Teresa Jusino loves the way Steven Moffat writes female characters for Doctor Who. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.)
Nivair Gabriel hates the way Steven Moffat writes female characters for Doctor Who. (See here.)
Funny thing is, Im largely in agreement with both Jusino and Gabriel; they just focus on different things. There are good and bad aspects of Moffats portrayal of women, and Jusino and Gabriel between them provide helpful analyses of each.
(In related news, I enjoyed Moffats satire on gender roles in his earlier series Coupling; but he clearly takes those roles to be largely innate whereas I take them to be largely constructed, so I actually enjoyed the humor in a somewhat different manner from what Moffat intended. Its like the different ways one would enjoy Yes, Minister depending on whether one thought that a viable alternative to bureaucratic government was possible laughing at foibles that one takes to be inevitable features of the human condition versus laughing at foibles in a way that can lead to discrediting and combating them.)
I don’t necessarily disagree that other women are portrayed in a sexist light, but it’s not fair to say River Song is a sexist character. My feeling is that River Song is the doctor’s anima; but that makes the doctor into River Song’s animus. So neither character is individuated — as one should expect from a time-traveler and an omniscient archeologist. Individuation is a process that happens through linear time, so neither the Doctor nor River Song would be complete people in and of themselves.
I’ve only seen episodes with the 11th doctor, so I don’t know how far this extends to the other characters, but given their non-linear time travel, neither the males nor the females would be individuated. And since Amy Pond is depicted as someone who grows up awaiting non-linear travel (the doctor’s return), it shouldn’t be that surprising that she also isn’t individuated.
I’m not saying — normatively — that non-individuated characters are absolutely good. I’m just saying that, given the circumstances, feminists might excuse how a woman — or a man! — would develop in extenuating circumstances.
Wow…I guess she missed the irony of scribing that in a screed against sexism and stereotyping. I guess it’s only a cardinal sin when blokes do it….
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