On Moffat and his Ladies
The man had to DELETE his twitter account because of the hate he was receiving. That’s not fandom, that’s disgusting. I get that a lot of people don’t like the way he’s written women in Sherlock and Who. Frankly, I don’t like Amy Pond. I don’t find her to be a very nice person and she rubs me the wrong way. But that’s my personality clashing with the personality of a fictional character and has nothing to do with Amy being written in a sexist or misogynistic way.
For the record, let’s talk about Doctor Who’s female companions (beginning with 9):
Rose Tyler. I LOVE ROSE. I think she’s compassionate and strong and amazing. She did, however, lead on her boyfriend and technically cheat on him by falling for the Doctor, letting poor Mickey wait around for her to decide what she wanted. She worried her mother to the point she put out a missing person’s ad and called the police. Her entire life revolved around the Doctor once she’d met him to the point that she ignored and hurt the people she left behind. Was RTD’s writing sexist because Rose started as Mickey’s girlfriend and ended as Doctor-Donna’s wife? The case could be made that she had no life or identity outside her relationship with a man.
Martha Jones. Martha always rubbed me the wrong way but I still love her because she’s intelligent and not afraid to speak her mind. She put up with a lot of shit while she traveled with the Doctor but she was also in love with him the entire time. She knew she was a rebound but she didn’t care. You’re telling me that can’t be interpreted as sexist? She ignored her family’s concern and went off with the Doctor time and time again, putting her education on hold, even though she knew her feelings were unrequited. Her whole life was the Doctor and eventually it led to her family experiencing trauma and grief and imprisonment. Yes, in the end she moved on, but she moved on to Tom and then Mickey. So now you have a female character who starts out single and independent but puts her life on hold for the Doctor and then ends up having a man in her life after she leaves him. Sexist?
Donna Noble. Donna is probably my favorite because she’s the perfect balance of badassery and compassion. I just love her depth. Of course, when we met her she had nagged her boyfriend into marrying her and then apparently spent quite a lot of time (potentially years) just trying to find the Doctor again. So from the moment she met him, her life also revolved around the Doctor. She occasionally returned home but for the most part she didn’t give a second thought to the family she’d left behind once she stepped into the TARDIS. Now, she is unique in that she was not in love with the Doctor, but her character arc is completely dependent upon her relationship with him and has little to no development outside him- is she a sexist character?
Amelia Pond. As I said, I don’t like Amy very much (meaning I wouldn’t really want to be friends with her). She is, however, extremely badass and independent.
Particular arguments I’m seeing about Moffat’s handling of Amy:
-Her entire life focus is the Doctor
I think the main thing people overlook with Amy is that she met the Doctor when she was seven years old. Of COURSE her life is going to revolve around him- she knew him before her relationship with Rory and he has been her best friend (albeit imaginary) her entire life. She can’t be compared to the other female companions because her story arc is completely different. And she has progressed over the seasons. While I still find her abrasive, she is no longer the self-centered bride to be we met in Eleventh Hour.
-She’s defined by her relationship with Rory
I can see where this comes from but I still think it’s ridiculous. From the very beginning, Amy has made decisions that don’t factor Rory in at all. Eventually she made a conscious decision to be with him (Amy’s Choice) and has been faithful to him since then. After that point, though, I don’t think there’s ever been a moment where it’s seemed like Rory was the domineering husband and poor little Amy was just following in his shadow. They’ve been equals and frankly I find it refreshing that girls can have such a role model- a woman who loves her husband completely but is still her own person outside of being his wife.
-Moffat reduced Amy to being just a mother
YES, she had a child- please, someone, tell me how it is misogynistic to write a female character who has a child. That argument suggests that any woman who has a child is less than she was before she was a mother. So, in my opinion, Moffat cannot be called sexist for writing this because IT IS PERFECTLY NATURAL FOR WOMEN TO HAVE CHILDREN. This argument also suggests that when a woman has a child, the child sucks all the strength, individuality, and mental capacity from their mother. Bullshit. What’s more, Amy has continued to travel with the Doctor, remaining strong and independent, since she gave birth. In summary: It is misogynistic to suggest that making a female character a mother reduces her as a character. It is not misogynistic to write that a female character becomes a mother.
-Amy has no relationship with River/story arc and River doesn’t get enough backstory
First, of course Amy has no relationship with River. She didn’t raise this person- in fact, they are very much strangers even at the end of Wedding. Plus, Amy is not by nature a warm and fuzzy person. She’s really not a hugger (yes, she hugs the Doctor, but she does not as a rule express her emotions physically, even with Rory). Amy and River’s relationship can’t be compared to a normal mother/daughter bond because it’s not a normal mother/daughter relationship.
Second, when in god’s name would there be time to follow River around during her childhood and training? I think the bottom line with all of this is that people are forgetting that the title of the show is “Doctor Who”. It’s not called “The Ponds” (even though it’s felt like that occasionally) and it’s certainly not called “River Song”. Plus, her story line has been built on her appearing briefly, revealing something about herself, and disappearing. Who’s to say we wouldn’t get more of her past?
-Amy has no life outside the Doctor
This is nitpicking at it’s finest. True, Amy is always “waiting” for the Doctor. But you can’t make this point without comparing her to the other companions. As mentioned above, every one of those women abandoned their families (with dire consequences) to travel with the Doctor. And yet Amy is different because… she doesn’t visit her family as often? Great idea, let’s devote an entire episode to getting to know Amy’s parents who didn’t exist before Big Bang. It seems to me that Amy has the most settled life outside the Doctor out of any companion, ever. She and Rory have a home and marriage and life for months at a time without the Doctor. She is settled and yet still occasionally travels with him. Of course, we have yet to see how this arrangement will play out, but to say that current Amy’s life is completely focused on the Doctor is to ignore the facts.
Bottom line is, if you’re going to apply a certain standard to Moffat, you have to also apply that standard to every other Who writer, and from my research, it seems they have all done the same thing. Any writer makes mistakes, every writer will occasionally come up with characters that people don’t like. I want to point out that if you’re not a fan of Amy and River, you can still be a fan of Sally Sparrow, whom Moffat created, and you can also see his numerous outings with Rose Tyler (which are BRILLIANT and not at all Amy-esque).
And if you’re going to attack the man because you don’t like his works of fiction, you’re showing yourself to be childish and undeserving of a piece of this fandom. Certainly, critique the show. Point out the things you don’t like. That’s what it’s there for and debate is important. But sending death threats to a writer and his friends is hateful and sad, especially when the basis of the hate is, to me, completely unfounded. For whatever reason, people want Moffat to be a sexist pig, so they’ve gone looking for support in a very small portion of his work. That’s silly. Go away, please- we have a fictional show to enjoy.
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