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The best worst reactions to the news that the next Doctor Who will be a woman

Jodie Whittaker, the next Doctor Who

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By David Futrelle

A tragic day for whiny baby-men — the BBC just announced that the next Doctor Who will be a lady. Naturally, these sensitive souls took at once to Twitter to make their displeasure known. And to make jokes about Doctor Who turning into Nurse Who amirite fellas high five!

Here are some of the best of the worst Tweets I’ve seen so far. I can’t decide which are my favorites — the ones lamenting the loss of a crucial male “role model” or those suggesting that a female Doctor Who makes as much sense as a male Mary Poppins (which would be perfectly fine to me, by the way).

https://twitter.com/DelDiablo007/status/886613308639514624

https://twitter.com/DelDiablo007/status/886629727745826816

https://twitter.com/Daniel_Ohana/status/886674231387234304

https://twitter.com/Amen1924/status/886681803167236099

https://twitter.com/spcwriter/status/886664276877991936

https://twitter.com/Erin_Danielle77/status/886639647387942912

https://twitter.com/williamparslow/status/886700469648842752

https://twitter.com/GreavesyX/status/886613123666513920

https://twitter.com/BasedKielbasa/status/886647001885978625

https://twitter.com/racerdog45/status/886677551770476545

https://twitter.com/Keef44002574/status/886700034934362112

https://twitter.com/Electromoth/status/886674967106125824

https://twitter.com/bazz83/status/886662581850701824

https://twitter.com/revjackashcraft/status/886693656647913473

https://twitter.com/Blackbirds1632/status/886655183224229890

https://twitter.com/amusedphysicist/status/886655148235161600

No, I don’t understand what that last one means either.

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Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

Fun fact: Leela was named for this woman (Leila Khaled) but Tom Baker wanted the scripts toned down to remove Leela’s somewhat kinetic approach to problem solving/removal.

Ironically, speaking of role models, Leela has always been my favourite Doctor Who character (who wasn’t a robot dog).

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weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

In other nice sci-fi TV news, the new Star Trek series is finally going to have a gay couple. For all you fellow 90’s teens, one will be played by Wilson Cruz who played Rickie on My So Called Life.

I’ve been going through all the Trek series on Netflix since I only watched TOS and TNG and that was a while back, and the absence of non-straight characters has been really bugging me. It’s just bizarre to me that a long running franchise that generally – though imperfectly – tries to be progressive would be so heterocentric.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@wwth
Yeah, and the few times it somewhat addresses homosexuality it’s a plot twist and I think that’s even worse.

Citizen Rat
Citizen Rat
3 years ago

@wwth and @kupo

I recall one of the producers of Star Trek responding to the lack of non-straight characters saying that there WERE LGBT crew members, but “What would you like us to do? Have them sashay up and down the corridor?”. As if having tired cliches about gay mannerisms like lisping, cross-dressing or butch women were the only way to show LGBT characters.

I wish I had a link to the source, but I don’t, so take this with a grain of dilithium crystal.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@Citizen Rat
They had no problem portraying dozens of heterosexual relationships, so I don’t accept their protests.

Citizen Rat
Citizen Rat
3 years ago

@kupo
Agreed! It’s a cop-out to go “They are there, but we just don’t show them because reasons!”. Heck, you’re actually admitting to erasure with that.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

I think Star Trek (or any progressive show for that matter) would be improved a thousand percent in a single moment by, say, having two men sharing a brief kiss or touching hands in the background of a shot, or two women staring enraptured into one anothers’ eyes over a nice dinner in the lounge while Main Characters do Main Character things.

Honestly, just a couple seconds in the background would go so far in showing that LGBTQ relationships are normalized in those societies! Or heck, a Klingon pirate husband and husband with an amazing relationship as they go carve a bloody swathe through the galaxy, laughing and rampaging all the way? Who wouldn’t want to see that?

(I’m pretty sure there’s got to be a fanfic of that out there somewhere to be honest…)

Come on, you Hollywood dorks! Stop just re-hashing the past! Give us a future to inspire today!

Katz
3 years ago

Watching Trek now, it’s such an obvious, gaping omission. But it’s worth noting that 1987 was a very, very different time in terms of attitudes towards gay people. We really didn’t see virtually any serious gay characters until the very late 90s, so when we would expect them to show up in Trek was right when it was going through its own “dark night of the soul” (Enterprise and JJ Abrams).

It would have been really cool if Star Trek had been a pioneer in that area and we’d seen some gay characters in DS9 or Voyager, but I’m not inclined to judge them too harshly because they didn’t.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

My So Called Life and Roseanne both had gay characters. Other shows did too. By the early to mid nineties it was becoming not too radical to show gay characters on TV. Although it wasn’t done all that well most of the time, they were either novelties or tragic figures as opposed to three dimensional people, but they were there. To me the absence is conspicuous. At least in later seasons of TNG or Voyager and DS9. Early TNG maybe gets a bit more of a pass.

Katz
3 years ago

I knew that when I said “virtually any” someone was going to jump in to say “I can name a gay character!”

Sometimes you guys remind me why I stopped hanging around here.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@Katz

Sometimes you guys remind me why I stopped hanging around here

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Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
3 years ago

*flicks between Katz and WWTH’s posts trying to figure out which part of that completely innocuous discussion pissed Katz off*

*fails*

???

Was there another post that’s already been deleted? Is Katz annoyed/upset about something unrelated and taking it out on WWTH? What?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Well gosh. I’m sorry that I remember TV shows I saw in the early nineties and applied that to a discussion of other nineties shows. I thought I was just sharing my own opinion based on the knowledge that I happen to have, but I see know that was a very mean and bad thing.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Well gosh. I’m sorry that I remember TV shows I saw in the early nineties and applied that to a discussion of other nineties shows. I thought I was just sharing my own opinion based on the knowledge that I happen to have, but I see now that was a very mean and bad thing.

EJ (the Scheming Liberal Race-Traitor)

We’re all on edge here; let’s not take it out on one another.

@Katz:
Star Trek was a pioneer in many forms of social inclusion, particularly the depiction of race and of multicultural groups. It didn’t have a depiction of a gay couple, but that doesn’t take away its laurels. The optimistic worldview which it portrays, and the tolerance which it teaches, are inspiring. Were it done today then it would be difficult to imagine that it wouldn’t have gay and trans crew members.

It is not bad, and you are not a bad person for enjoying it. I for one would feel bad if we didn’t have you around, and I’m sorry that we’ve created a space in which you don’t feel safe.

@WWTH:
Part of being a geek is identifying with one’s media to an often-intense degree, and part of being a progressive is learning to see the problems with them. The conflict between these two principles is hard enough, and we don’t need to make it harder for people by pointing those problems out to them more aggressively than is needed.

By the sound of it, Katz feels about her Trek the way you feel about your Buffy. Let’s be compassionate to one another when discussing each other’s favourite media. These are hard times, and in hard times the truest currency is cooperation.

Jesalin
Jesalin
3 years ago

Come on, you Hollywood dorks! Stop just re-hashing the past! Give us a future to inspire today!

^This x9999!

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

EJ,

I wasn’t criticizing anyone for liking Star Trek or saying it was a bad show. I like it too. I’m watching a DS9 episode as I type this, ffs. I was merely pointing out that it’s not true that TV was devoid of gay characters before the late nineties. And BTW, I don’t have a problem with people discussing various issues with Buffy. Only when someone makes blanket attacks on the fanbase on a personal level like that guy did the other day.

I didn’t think we needed to put the caveat that it’s okay to like a show before every post discussing the show in a very mildly critical way, but if people do want that done and find it necessary, that’s cool. We can have that conversation like grownups.

Sniping at me out of the blue for a post that wasn’t personally attacking any one individual or the fanbase as a whole and then implying that she’s going to flounce and it’ll be all my fault just feels manipulative to me. Like she wants everyone to walk on eggshells around her and touchy subjects for her and beg her to stay. If Katz had a problem with the way this discussion was going, she could have brought up precisely what the issue is like an adult rather than trying to lay a guilt trip.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I mean, the reason we were discussing this is because I brought up that the new series will have a gay couple and that it’s kind of strange that this is the first one. That’s pretty different than something like this

Trekkie1: “I love Star Trek”

Trekkie2: “Me too! Which series is your favorite? Who’s your favorite captain?”

Straw SJW “Ugh, why do you people like that? It’s so LGBT exclusionary!”

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@Katz
May I ask what it was about that comment that reminded you of the reason you left? It seems to me like there’s a history there of interactions with this community that is still raw for you, and I want to understand it better so I can help make this a more welcoming place for you. You and wwth and Petal (who also just announced a break) are valued members of this community and I hope that if issues are discussed constructively we can work together to make this place stronger.

I can start, maybe? The reason for my several month absence wasn’t just the toxicity in the posts themselves as I implied when I came back. It was partially that, but it was that plus a pattern of Male Feminism (TM) of a) dudes feeling sorry for the dudes who want to rape and kill women, and b) dudes who perpetuate misogyny and get defensive when called out on it, rather than having a discussion.

I only bring this up now because I see the community is hurting and many people are taking breaks. I feel like it can help to air these issues. I do not intend to start an argument or trample on anyone’s feelings with this, and if I have, please let me know.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

The issue of people feeling dog piled over using ableist language was almost entirely solved by putting it in the comments policy that it’s not all right to conflate asshole with mentally ill. Also the rule that if someone disagrees with the policy to take it up with David instead of arguing with commenters about it. And the rule that if someone does violate it, that only one person should just link to the comments policy and ask that person to stop.

This isn’t something to do immediately because David has health issues that are the bigger priority at the moment, but I wonder if he might be persuaded at some point in the future to add another little caveat to the comments policy.

Something along these lines

You may read these posts and be tempted to express pity for some of the people covered on this site. Just know that the regular commenters have heard many times before that Trump voters aren’t bad, they were experiencing economic anxiety. They’ve heard many times that MRAs have been hurt by women in their lives and are lashing out. They’ve heard many times that incels and harassers are suffering social anxiety or just awkward. Many of the regular commenters do not wish to be told that they should feel empathy for the people who want to harm them. While it is not against the comments policy to express pity or empathy for manospherians and alt-righters, keep in mind that it will probably not get a positive reaction.

That’s probably not very well written. My ability to express myself clearly feels off today, but hopefully anyone reading this gets the gist.
I do think a lot of fights here could be avoided if we had a stock response someone could give to those who express pity, or worse tone police us on anger or mocking towards the subjects of this blog. It really did work well with the abelism thing.

As to other points of contention, I think the best thing for people to do is if they have an issue with either a particular commenter or the community in general to just bring it up in a polite but direct way. It really does no good to let things fester and then either snapping and sniping at someone for a minor offense. And I don’t think anyone wants people feeling like they can’t or don’t want to be here anymore. Just with any “real life” relationships, communication is the key. It’s not always easy, I get that, but I think all the regular and semi-regular commenters here are good people and if everyone is willing to both speak up and to actually listen to the people who are speaking up without getting too defensive, we can keep the peace for the most part.

mrex
mrex
3 years ago

@WWTH

” I was merely pointing out that it’s not true that TV was devoid of gay characters before the late nineties.”

That wasn’t the issue?

You’re straight, right? I don’t want to talk over katz, but maybe consider that you’re missing something here.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@mrex
Please don’t get involved in this. You know how much you upset people in here regularly. Walk away.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ WWTH

That’s probably not very well written.

I think it’s spot on. By not making such sentiments a breach of the comments policy it avoids giving any weight to allegations that Mammoth is just an ‘echo chamber’ or that dissenting views are forbidden; but the ability to point to something like your suggestion means threads don’t get embroiled in PRATTs and traumatised people don’t have to put up with the same old apologetics they’ve heard a gazillion times before.

At the risk of being a bloke asking a woman to do all the emotional labour, perhaps you might like to invite David to add your bit to the FAQ?

Then people can just link to it as and when the need arises.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

I think that sort of a line shouldn’t be in a Comments Policy section; I think that should be reserved for actual rules that’ll get you the boot.

I do think that we desperately need a “Statements What We’ve Heard A Thousand Times Before” page, though, and that sort of a thing should be front and centre. That way when someone gives us a big ole what-about-the-menz we can just say “Common Argument #14. Your rebuttal is here.” and provide a hotlink to the relevant page.

As for our altercation here, I don’t think anyone was being wrong or hard-hearted. Just a collision. I understand your frustrations and feelings, both @katz and @wwth. No solution or glib words here, just some sympathy <3

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ scildfreja

we can just say “Common Argument #14.

Heh, this is so weird. I originally wrote a little bit in my post exactly on that; and more than that, I wrote ‘maybe ask Scildfreja to do it’. But then I thought that was a bit presumptuous so I deleted it. That’s what prompted the bit about emotional labour though. 🙂

Synchronicity!

mrex
mrex
3 years ago

@Alan

“By not making such sentiments a breach of the comments policy it avoids giving any weight to allegations that Mammoth is just an ‘echo chamber’ or that dissenting views are forbidden;”

I don’t think that what is important is not looking like an echo chamber.

If something like that is going to go up in the comments policy to prevent repetitive and upsetting arguments, it should be made very clear and firm as to what arguments are allowed, and what arguments are not. Is it just sympathy for Trump voters that is included, or is it any arguments over classism? Because I agree that the reason why the comments policy works so well RE: ableism is because it’s clear and firm and puts boundaries in place for both sides of the argument.

[edit: needlessly hostile tone, sorry.]

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Am I hallucinating or did one of Alan’s comments disappear?

Anyway

It could be nice to have new and updated welcome package. If one person was willing to organize the whole thing, it could be a group project. I do have the time to do it if no one else wants to (although I’m not the most computer savvy person ever so I don’t know that anyone would want me to), but only if there’s enough interest in it and if people are genuinely willing to make contributions.

Ideas for what it might have

PRATTS that we don’t want to deal with over and over again

An explanation of some of the inside jokes

Links to some social justice 101 type of resources

A troll glossary

Anything else?

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

I’d be more than happy to put in at least some of the development work. I’d rather not use my personal domain but I could get a new website set up if needed.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
3 years ago

@wwth

I’d throw in a detailed how-to for gravatars, seeing as that’s a frequently asked question.

I uh don’t have any other ideas right now. I think you’ve got most of everything covered already.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

Am I hallucinating or did one of Alan’s comments disappear?

Oops sorry, I hope I haven’t left you suspiciously eyeing up a beer or anything.

I’d responded to Scildfreja about her common fallacies point because I’d originally put something like that in my response to your suggestion.

In that original comment I’d mentioned Scildfreja’s talent for rebutting such fallacies. But I’d deleted that bit because it came across as a suggestion that Scildfreja should end up doing it. That’s what prompted my comment about guys getting women to do emotional labour.

But then I deleted the second comment because that had the same problem.

I couldn’t find a way of phrasing; (1) this needs doing (2) you’re good at this, without it coming across as a demand if that makes sense?

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
3 years ago

I’d include something that says that regular commenters are from all over the world, even though a some of the posts discuss things that are US centric.

Sometimes people assume everyone here is American, and respond without realising that commenters either don’t know US-specific things, or that English could be someone’s second or however many language.

Maybe something describing how moderation works, that if you change your ‘nym/email address, you’ll pop back into moderation until you’re let out.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@John and Rhuu

I’d throw in a detailed how-to for gravatars, seeing as that’s a frequently asked question

Maybe something describing how moderation works, that if you change your ‘nym/email address, you’ll pop back into moderation until you’re let out

Craving both of these!

HTML lessons? Lotta people getting tripped up by the Blockquote Mammoth (Edit: or just not knowing how to blockquote in the first place) and such. And maybe a gentle urging that folks not direct reply to comments. Messes up the flow of posts and sometimes causes sliding

EJ (Scheming Liberal Race-Traitor)
EJ (Scheming Liberal Race-Traitor)
3 years ago

That’s a fantastic idea, WWTH. I’d be very happy to help write or collate content for an updated welcome pack.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
3 years ago

@Alan: I’d go with “Your rebuttal of these fallacies is always well done. Thank you for taking the time to do them. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into it.”

ETA: the welcome package – how to put in a picture, and a youtube video, so both will embed.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

Clearly we need to write this thing in the style of the WHTM Post-Apocalyptic Survival Village we end up talking about every few months. We could put in some sweet Mad Max gifs of Furiosa, or some lovely pictures of little wood cabins nestled deep in the woods! Yes, I think this is what we need to do.

For services, I suggest that we just write it up on The Googs as a google doc and then ask David if he’ll make another header item on his website for us. If that’s something he can do without having to pay money, then it’d be easier for us to reference it and it’d be more likely that passers-by would encounter it. If not, we can dig up services then.

@Alan, my duck, my egg! (I have no idea why I am calling people that these days) Please, be as presumptuous as you like. It won’t make me upset. Being asked things is social reinforcement for me, as it turns out, and at the very worst I’ll just say that I can’t do it at the moment. So go ahead and ask if you ever want my opinion on something! My specialties are incredibly useless outside of a very, very narrow field, so it’s nice to be thought of as having a valuable opinion!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ rhuu

“Your rebuttal of these fallacies is always well done.

Heh, I do that with friends who are good at baking though. “You make great cakes…Oh no, I was just saying…Well, if you insist.” 😀

@ scildfreja

my duck,

Well it wouldn’t be the Internet without an unsolicited duck pic. Duck is a general form of address in some parts of the Midlands over here though. So if you go into a shop it’ll be like “What can I do for you duck?”. You’d feel right at home there.

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

What does it mean to people when they ask how I am, and I say “Just ducky, thanks!”? Because I have been saying this for decades, so I think Scild’s use of “my duck” is…well…just ducky.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
3 years ago

I uh can write, sorta. Just tell me what, where, and before when.

Just… don’t ask me to promise you it’ll be any good.

dlouwe
dlouwe
3 years ago

@PeeVee

I understand “just ducky” to roughly mean “quite good”. Pretty much the same as “just peachy.”

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

I say “just ducky” all the time! Also “just peachy!”

I’m basically just a dorky-phrase markov machine.

It’s English, of course it is! No doubt that’s where I’ve heard it. My folks (or half of them) are from Devonshire, but I’m sure I got it from them. by osmosis of course. Tah!

I encourage everyone to write. Someone should set up a googum doc or something.

DanHolme
DanHolme
3 years ago

Ay up me duck…

I’m sat in a cafe in Nottingham right now, and it’s wall-to-wall ‘duck’ in here – it’s enough to make anyone from outside the Midlands quite mardy!

Tarrah for now!

PaganReader - Misandrist Spinster

unsolicited duck pic

comment image

Louise
Louise
3 years ago

NuWho is rubbish anyway (‘eastenders with daleks’ as one Tv critic put it) so making The Dr a girl probably won’t make it any worse than it already is. I wonder though if she will have a male companion who bosses her around the way the female companions boss the Nuwho male doctors around. i suspect not.

Bex
Bex
3 years ago

“Let’s replace Julia Roberts pretty woman for pretty bloke”

I mean, um…sure, go ahead?
It’s not like you’d be taking work away from women – Julia Roberts ALREADY GOT PAID FOR THAT ONE.
And people who love the original would still be able to go back and watch it, just like you can with the first 10 male Doctors.
And, like, it doesn’t seem like there’s ever going to be a dearth of opportunity for women to play prostitutes, so, sure, you guys can have this one.

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