Feminism & Equality in the Modern Age
So... I was going to edit my book (Shiva XIV: The River of time, coming in Nov) but when I saw the news about the new Doctor in Doctor Who being played by a woman, I was so distracted by the inevitable fan freak out, I felt I had to drop everything to write this post.
So, here's the thing. I am an unapologetic feminist. Now, I know that's not popular these days (for some odd reason, considering I thought we were living in a post-sexual revolution, modern era) but I am what I am. What that means is I am for equality of the sexes. Hell, I'm all about equality for ANYONE: female, male, black, white, Asian, African, Native American, ANYONE! If you've read my Shiva books, I think you'll get that general idea about me. There is a central theme of fighting for equality in all my work. It's at the core of who I am, and why I could never vote Republican.
Anyway, I am also a big Doctor Who fan. I wasn't too into the original run, though I do like Tom Baker (how can anyone not?!)... My Doctor is Matt Smith (bow ties are forever cool!)
I wasn't too into Capaldi, but I'm still a big fan of the show. There has been talk for quite a few years now about the Doctor becoming female, and the reactions, especially by white British males, has always been extreme. They fear it will take away somehow from who the Doctor is, as if their own identities are caught within this fictional time traveling alien with two hearts who can regenerate into new bodies anytime he needs.
I don't get their reaction. I've even seen women get upset. Why? How does it affect them? Why would they be upset by a character who is largely nonsexual (except for that whole Rose thing. Bleh! Not my fave plot line in New Who, sorry) so why should it matter if he turns into a she? How does it affect his ability to save the universe from alien threats or time distortions? What does it do to their psyche? Does it make them question their sense of "normal?" If so, why is that so bad?
It makes me ponder about transgenders, and how freaked out so many people get about where they're going to pee. I mean, it doesn't affect them in the slightest, and yet, they're so upset. They fear a transwoman will somehow forget that they identify as a woman, and will sexually assault other women. What?! These are unfounded, crazy-pants fears, motivated by sexism and homophobia.
I think it also stems from that need for normalcy. We all suffer from that desire. I personally have always felt so abnormal and different from most people that I don't get that need much these days. When I was an insecure teen, maybe. But now? No way. I couldn't care less who sleeps with who or if someone has a penis or a vagina or if they want to identify as either, or both! In my eyes, everyone is good and has the right to be whomever they want, as long as they don't hurt others in the process.
Why is it in this day of advanced technology and modern thinking, we still have so much rampant sexism, bigotry, and racism? Not just about Doctor Who, but so much else. The fears and backlash about the Wonder Woman movie began before it even came out! It's like we're fighting the male dominated B.S. that went on in the 1950s. Is this how Trump got elected, putting aside Russia's involvement? So many people were afraid of Hilary, even women... and it made no sense to me.
I have brought that concept up on social media, and most are either in agreement or they are in denial. Even women are in denial that sexism is still largely at play. Can they not face the reality of what is happening? Sure, we've made a lot of advances, but it feels to me like we're stuck in the mud, unable to truly move forward.
I think there needs to be a fundamental change in our psyche throughout the world. But how will it come? Possibly through tiny, small little achievements like a female Doctor.
I have no idea how Ms. Jodie Wittaker will do as The Doctor, but I didn't know how Capaldi would do either, and it's always exciting to find out. That's what makes Dr. Who the amazing, ever-evolving show it is. It's too bad the entire world isn't the same... Not yet, anyway.