On the one hand, I can’t believe we need to have this discussion of how to write female protagonists and balance. On the other, since clearly we do need it, let’s have it.
With the announcement of the 13th Doctor as a female regeneration, the internet slightly exploded. I was actually at a fandom convention during the announcement and heard not only discussion of the announcement itself, but of reactions to the announcement.
We’re going to ignore those who were horrified to discover their Doctor now has girl cooties. They’re easy to ignore — or just borrow for humor, where they’re most useful. Anyway, the haters are vocal but seem to be a minority, or maybe I just have a better-curated network, and I don’t intend to waste blog space on that sort of thing.
But one repeated protest I heard repeatedly in several less-hysterical discussions was, now that the Doctor is a female, the male companions will be written down to idiocy so that she looks clever, and so everything will be less cool and the storytelling will suffer. I found myself saying or typing the same thing repeatedly, so let me just save time and put it here.
This is indeed a huge problem, only the problem is not the Doctor’s personal plumbing. Continue reading