Feminist Media

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Posts tagged doctor who

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Some brief thoughts about Amy Pond & River Song

femfreq:

This article “Why This Year’s Doctor Who Finale Was (Mostly) Better than Last Year’s” by Charlie Jane Anders (io9) has some interesting thoughts about River and Amy’s characters.

SPOILERS

“River Song was such a shiny character, full of endless possibility, and she hit her high point in some of the early Matt Smith stories. Jumping out of spaceships in flight, carving messages in ancient cliffs, and generally being badass and mysterious. Now, it seems like her mystery is gone, and it’s been replaced by… I can hardly bear to type the words.”

“So in order to get River to restart the universe and set things right, the Doctor has to marry her — you’ll notice the Doctor never says he loves her, and he makes fun of her for saying she loves him. Soon afterwards, the Doctor tells River, “I don’t want to marry you.” And then, right before he does marry her, he tells her, “You embarrass me,” and he genuinely seems to be full of loathing for her in that moment. During the actual quickie wedding ceremony, River asks, “What am I doing?” and the Doctor replies, “as you’re told.” Awwww… so romantic. Finally, the Doctor tells her, “Now you’re the woman who marries me,” as if she’s won the jackpot.”

“Meanwhile, there’s Amy. It’s now safe to say that the Silence didn’t brainwash Amy to stop caring about the fact that she’ll never see her baby (as a baby) again — she just got over it really, really quickly.”

“In today’s episode, Amy finally does deal with the fact that her baby was stolen and abused by monsters, by inflicting a painful death on the bubble-universe version of Madame Kovarian. It’s a nice enough moment, but no substitute for seeing Amy actually deal with the enormity of what’s happened to her child. After two seasons, Amy remains a bit of a cartoon character-“

I really have to agree with both of these sentiments, first I was really troubled with how Amy vengefully assisted the murder of Madame Kovarian.  While there was some relief at the end of the episode when Amy speaks about her shame for her actions there is really, hardly any discussion about the emotional ramifications of having your BABY STOLEN! If there was any doubt that Amy’s pregnancy was a Mystical one, then this is further proof. 

While I enjoy Amy, and in fact really adored her the fifth season, I completely agree about the cartoonish aspects.  The writers haven’t really developed her character much at all and we have very little reason to really care about Amy or even like her that much other than the snarky jokes.  Plus this latest season met with way too many “Save Amy” moments to describe her as empowered.

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Feminist Media: Doctor Who 'Space and Time', Or: 'Slutshaming and Low Expectations of Men' Part 1

tinysprout:

feministmedia:

[Image description: A GIF. The first frame shows the Eleventh Doctor, as played by Matt Smith, standing on a platform in the TARDIS and exclaiming ‘Oh Rory!’. The second frame shows Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill, wearing goggles and standing below the platform. Above him on the…

It was never actually explicitly stated that Amy’s driving instructor was a man. Just pointing that out. Neither was it implied that all women are bad drivers, just Amy.

1. You’re right, that was pretty heteronormative of me! My bad!

2. That point, hrm. I still feel sexist undertones in that, that Amy has to be a bad driver. That joke could have easily been left out and it wouldn’t have impacted the bit much (heck, the skirt bit could have still been left in, with Rory implying she only passed on the first go because of it), and Eleven could have given a nice, non-biased answer for why Amy hasn’t been given a go helping him fly the TARDIS yet—maybe, since this seems to be the first time he’s let Rory help (evidenced by Amy’s shocked ‘is he helping you fly the TARDIS?’), he hadn’t felt sure/safe having either of them help before this? Either way, given the fact that Amy has been behind the (admittedly, non-flying parts of) the TARDIS console before, and that the Doctor himself is not the most careful of pilots much of the time, that joke just left me cold.

(via ileolai)

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Doctor Who ‘Space and Time’, Or: ‘Slutshaming and Low Expectations of Men’ Part 2

[Image Description: A GIF. Two versions of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) talking to herself.  The text, going clockwise, reads ‘Do I really look like that?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, you do.’ ‘I’d give you your driver’s licence.’ ‘I bet you would.’

Part 1 is here

Trigger warning for talk of sexshaming and arguable domestic violence

In the second 3-minutes and a bit clip, ‘Time’, we’re properly introduced to Future!Amy and she (and future!Rory and future!Doctor) try to sort the whole mess out.

Of course we go for the obvious menage a trois joke, and of course present!Amy is insulted and slaps Rory.  While I’m not saying Amy had to go for it just because she’s been established as kinky in earlier canon, I do find it kind of strange that this woman who is flirting with herself and is not ashamed of her sexuality in earlier instances is so insecure/troubled by the idea of her husband’s flitting *fantasy*.  Of course, no woman could actually *enjoy* being part of a threesome.  This is the reason I have a problem with the slap—not because it seems out of character in other contexts, because it doesn’t (and is the reason it’s a gif I use occasionally on my personal tumblr), but in this context it just made me headtilt.

I really don’t have a problem with Amy chatting herself up (outside of the matter of Amy being ‘given’ her license coming up again). She’s a very flirty person.  As previously stated, though, it seems contradictory to her other behaviours in the bit. If she finds herself so attractive, and knows Rory finds her attractive why is the *fantasy* such a bloody problem? I don’t think Amy as she’s presented throguh most of canon would find it a problem—Moff just wanted her to slap Rory, and needed to give her a reason, and Moff the occasional sexist couldn’t think of any better way than for her to be insecure and offended by Rory’s sexuality, even though it’s always *her* he’s attracted to and urgh my brain.

Annd we close it all off with Eleven telling Amy to ‘put some trousers on’.  Slutshaming at its finest!

All in all, this bit is so damn missable.  Slutshaming, sexist stereotypes, men as perverts/women as somehow frigid except when they’re flirting and, while they may be doing it for themselves,they’re obviously framed as objects of the male gaze and urgh.  This whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Doctor Who ‘Space and Time’, Or: ‘Slutshaming and Low Expectations of Men’ Part 1

[Image description: A GIF.  The first frame shows the Eleventh Doctor, as played by Matt Smith, standing on a platform in the TARDIS and exclaiming ‘Oh Rory!’. The second frame shows Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill, wearing goggles and standing below the platform.  Above him on the platform are Amy Pond’s (Karen Gillan) legs. The text by Rory reads ‘sorry.’]

Trigger warning for talk of voyeur-ist like behaviours and slut-shaming.

http://youtu.be/51JtuEa_OPc

http://youtu.be/RkmiefoRcfU

This two-part bit, ‘Time’ and ‘Space’, isn’t all bad.  It’s got Eleven being dorky, Rory being fumbly, and Amy being sassy, and lots of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

However.

The entire conflict centers around Amy’s skirt.  Yeah.

Before we even get to her skirt, we’re introduced to the fact that Eleven never lets Amy ‘have a go’ helping him fly the TARDIS.  While Rory is arguably more mechanically minded, this is just sad.  Oh, and then we have bonus ‘women are bad drivers!’ with Rory’s lovely story about how she ran his car into a house, specifically that Amy stated there was a ‘surprise house’, implying it wasn’t just that she had trouble turning or something, but that she wasn’t paying attention and didn’t see it.  Because that is totally someone who is as observant as Amy is likely to do

And THEN we get to the skirt.  Apparently, Amy only passed her driving test on the first go (according to Rory) because she wore a short skirt and the tester was male.

And then the TARDIS crashes and Amy and Rory start sputting about how it’s ‘Amy’s fault’, which she cops to because ‘it was my husband and my skirt and your glass floor’.  Eleven, at least, seems to have expected better of Rory. 

And so did I.

And this is all *before* future!Amy shows up and introduces a whole new flavour of sexism which I’ll talk about more in Part 2.

All in all, though? A really, painfully sexist four minutes broken with just a few adorable quips from Eleven.  Really sad from a bit done for charity—nothing more charitable than implying that men ‘can’t help’ looking up women’s skirts!

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River Song is a BAMF

Now I am well aware that I am in the minority of the Doctor Who fandom with this, but I freaking love Lady Christina de Souza from the Easter special Planet of the Dead. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. I mean, she’s sassy and can steal an ancient artifact out of a heavily guarded museum. And she gets shit done. Doctor says he needs some crystal mabob, she goes down and gets it. Group needs a leader. She volunteers. Course, there’s that business of her snogging the Doctor. RUSSEL. T. DAVIES. I PROMISE YOU. NOT EVERY FEMALE CHARACTER HAS TO BE DEFINED BY THEIR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DOCTOR. DROP. IT. (but that is a whole other post for another day)

Either way, when talking about this with a friend, she brought up that the reason why she doesn’t like Christina is that she doesn’t like characters that know, or act like they know more than the Doctor. Such as River Song. Now as someone who has had the privilege of (sleeping on the streets of NYC overnight to) see the premier of Series 6 in advance, let me just say that if you didn’t already think that River was a BAMF, you will after this next two-parter. Not that she wasn’t before this but really, most glorious scene ever in Day of the Moon just wait.

Point being is that River, in this point in her time stream, DOES know more than the Doctor. It’s absolute fact. So why is it abhorrent for her to assert that? She knows how to fly the TARDIS, she knows more about it than the Doctor, and so she corrects his mistakes. She knows parts of his future that she won’t share with him. She keeps secrets from him (for his own good more often than not and if not it is with best intentions). But, by many fans, this is viewed as simple arrogance. Maybe it is. But at the same time a lot of Classic Who fans have for years speculated that she is Romana regenerated.

For strictly Nu Who fans, Romana was a time lady who travelled with the Fourth Doctor and, though she was younger than him, she was recruited by the White Guardian to assist the Doctor with a daunting task. She scored better than the Doctor in timelord exams set up by the Gallifreyen academy. So clearly she’s brilliant and, like River (and many companions over the years) gets the Doctor out of a myriad of jams. And yet fans almost seem to be craving to have her back. There have even been speculations that Lady Christina was Romana (personally think that’s too much of a stretch). Why is it ok for her to know more than the Doctor if she is a past, beloved character as opposed to a modern, new, and complex character in her own right?

When River is more informed than the Doctor, she doesn’t hide it. She may not divulge every detail of what she knows at the time, but she won’t bottle up the fact that she’s brilliant or daring. And if that makes her ‘annoying’ then I hope fans that feel that way are annoyed for years to come because, as I said, I think she’s a BAMF.

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A note to the doctor who fandom

moonflowerlights:

If anyone tries to call the collective group of amy cosplayers “a shag of ponds” please tell them to stop. It’s going around, and it’s only going to go away if we stand up and point out that WE don’t want to be called that. “a pond of amys” or a “fairytale of amys” or whatever else that isn’t sexually objectifying, but a “Shag” Needs to END NOW.

Reblogging this cause it needs to spread. So yeah this happened recently. Story time: at Gallifrey One, a Doctor Who convention in LA, there was apparently a group going around calling multiples of Amy costumers a “shag” of Amys. They were asked to stop. Apparently the requests fell on deaf ears because a few months later in NYC for the screening of the season premier at the phenomenon that was DWLineCon, people were still going around telling this as a joke “Do you know what you call a multiple of Amys? A SHAG LOL”

And we continued to correct them. “No, the AMYS decided on ‘A Pond of Amys’ but if you don’t like that, there are many other appropriate options. Yours isn’t one of them” And the misogynistic assholes decided not to listen and continued to tell their “joke” to anyone in line who would listen. Yeah, notice how no one laughed? Especially not the ones dressed as Amy? I WONDER WHY. Possibly because sexual objectification isn’t a joke.