Last Sunday the person who will be playing the #doctor on the BBC’s long-running sci-fi show, Doctor Who, was revealed. It was announced after the men’s Wimbledon final, which no doubt had an increase of viewers awaiting the arrival of the new Doctor and fans of the show would’ve been pleased after Roger Federer showed his class and dispatched a heart-broken Maran Cilic in just one hour and 41 minutes. They often last at least 3 hours and have gone past the 5-hour mark.

Nonetheless, the moment came and walking in Peter Capaldi’s Doctor’s clothing, #Jodie Whittaker announced her arrival to play the iconic character. Unfortunately, the reaction is exactly how many expected and there has been a lot of disdain met, which proves a female Doctor is needed.

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The ‘politically correct’ nonsense argument

It has been a week since Whittaker was announced and the abuse hasn’t let up with many comments stating that they have ‘ruined the show’ and that they have now ‘lost fans’. But with those fans lost because individuals can’t get over the fact that the Doctor is now a woman, it will gain more fans from elsewhere and they are not alienating a large chunk of sci-fi fans which are female. The idea that sci-fi is a ‘mans’ genre has been a myth since its birth but that is largely down to marketers using sexist ideologies to promote products and socially condition society.

For decades marketing has often portrayed women as lesser than men and it has only been in the last 20 years or so that this myth is being debunked. Ingrained #Social Conditioning is a difficult aspect to change and it takes time to do this but this is an important step.

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Whittaker was chosen for the role because Chris Chibnall, the showrunner taking the reins from Steven Moffat after the Christmas special, said that after many auditions, she was their first choice. It is unsurprising that she was chosen after they had worked together on the show he created and wrote for ITV, Broadchurch.

This idea that it is ‘politically correct’ completely undermines her ability as an actress. When the reality is that she was chosen because Chris Chibnall knows her and trusts her to play the role and portray his ideas in the right way, which is what every writer wants. There have been individuals who have tried to justify their inherent sexism by saying such things as it is a ‘disregard to the character’. That notion is utter nonsense because the character is a time-travelling alien, the Doctor can be portrayed by whoever the writers feel is right for the part.

Society’s need for a female Doctor

Whittaker’s portrayal as the Doctor will be normalised in 5-10 years’ time and it’ll be regarded as a landmark moment for the fight for equality on the screen.

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But for the time being the utter disregard by those who disagree with it, won’t be able to see that they are being sexist even if they don’t mean to be because, it underlines how our society is innately unequal between genders. Social conditioning has told people that this is not right, even though individuals may not be sexist, they play into the hands of those who want to create further gender inequality by fighting against progress.

Furthermore, scientifically speaking the Doctor can become whatever form he wants. The process of regeneration literally changes every cell in the body. There is absolutely no reason that the Doctor cannot be female unless those who write the series continue to adhere to archaic gender assigned roles in society. When gender is just a human concept designed to divide by men seeking power over their counterparts in the first place and has no real bearing on the reality of nature.

Society needs Whittaker’s portrayal as the Doctor, yes, sci-fi has had numerous female leads over the decades and is one of the more progressive genres however, those have often been characters specifically written as female. The Doctor is character that was written as an alien and the Doctor as a character never had a gender defined, it was only through who portrayed the character that the Doctor was defined as a male. The Doctor is a time-travelling alien from the planet Galifrey, there is no reason scientifically and socially speaking that the character cannot be portrayed by a woman.