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Doctor Who - Discussion Thread III (no untagged future spoilers) Watch

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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
    Look at actual feminist writing and you'll see how different their characters are from Clara Oswald. Also just look at the Bechdel test, how can Clara be feminist when her episodes aren't?!

    Explanation from my friend who is more eloquent than me
    The problem isn't so much with get character as it is with the problematic writing of Moffat about her character. The Doctor is constantly pointing out how she is getting old, less likely to meet a man, and cracking about her clothing choices. The episodes see about how Clara truly needs the Doctor in ask ways physical because whenever she is called upon to do something like fight, they make it comic relief until a man saves her.The only qualities that she has that gives her superiority are classic feminine tropes such as good with children, caring, understanding, emotional, empathetic, and being the Doctor's conscience. This is balanced by her apparent lack of battle strategy and physical prowess. Adding to that, her costuming is (I'm fairly certain) always skirt and heels.
    While it is important to remember as feminists that some people have these traits in real life and that is perfectly okay, as a character without a choice in the matter, her being stereotypically feminine to contrast the Doctor's masculinity is a patriarchal trope.
    In fact, all of Moffat's women, including River Song, are problematic because he always only writes women as accessories to the Doctor, damsels needing to be saved instead of truly equal partners like in the Davies series.
    The Bechdel test can be useful, but it is so often trivial. For example, TLOTRs fails it. You can't say that's to do with sexism; it's to do with a lack of female characters, because of the focus on battles. With Dr Who, the series is currently revolved around him and his evolving personality, rather than with killing the monster which it was in previous series'. This is in my view an improvement, though many dislike it.

    As for your friends response/post somewhere else/whatever; there';s so many things wrong with it that I'm going to use list form to critique it.

    1. The Dr cracking jokes about Clara's age is just irony based around the fact the Dr has aged and is no longer the centre of Clara's life (before you say the Dr being her centre is sexist, lets be honest, an attractive, crazy alien whom you travel in time with and whom shows you the universe IS going to be the centre of your life, irrespective of gender) whereas she is young and good looking, meaning he cannot be worthy of her in a conventional, human sense. It was a motif pertaining to the theme of last series which was the Dr losing Clara along the way of his character transformation, the reduction of his presense in her life and his conscious or unconscious fight against that. As he becomes less important in her life, he ironically turns the table with these superficial jibes which on one level show the Drs contempt for her as an object of his desire (why should she be? He is THE DR) and on another level is the Dr's verbal response to his loss of influence. The jibes are made even more potent by the fact he is powerless against this process, and for all his intelligence is reduced to verbal sleights in order to reduce the power Clara has over him by being more beautiful than him, and therefore making him in some way unworthy of her. This is beautifully subtle writing and the overly simplistic feminist analysis makes you miss it. I therefore have disdain for such a blinkered analysis.

    2. Clara is a woman, and not a physical anomaly, and therefore is not an effective fighter. You can't complain that she isn't "real" enough and then want her to beat up loads of men because "you go girl!!!". Although, such poor female character presentation would be consistent with feminism, so I suppose you have a point, if not the one you were trying to make exactly.

    3. Clara is also seen as being independently minded, intelligent (on some levels; she does stupid things to move the plot on admittedly, but this is just being the Dr's companion in a programme which by it's nature has to have some formuliac element), is seen as saving the Dr on many occasions. Her raw emotion doesn't castigate her within the text (though viewers like me who hates her type of irrationality will do that from outside the text) but instead is shown to be somehow superior than the Dr's pragmatism.

    4. She wears skirts. Well that's just too trivial to even bother dealing with. She doesn't act in a typically stereotypically female manner if that's your point. In fact, her just having to go agaisnt all these conventions, regardless of whether those conventions are realistic or not, make her seem like a plastic character.

    5. The Dr does portray a kind of patriarchal theme to him in his attempt to dominate Clara's life (though it's very clear that it isn't sinister; he's lonely and he and Clara were close before Clara moves away from him emotionally. That's sad not oppressive). Clara's character development in this series is about her escaping that and falling in live with a less dominant man. That is typically feminist.

    6. Moffatt doesn't write women as accessories to the Dr. River Song dominates her and his storyline utterly.

    6. In no single Dr Who series will or should the companion have an equal partnership with the Dr. We are humans; we're basically inferior to the Dr. He has super intelligence and technology. As humans we can fill the holes in his character, make him less lonely, and provide an extra competent pair of hands for when he saves the world. But we can't be equal to him. When did you ever see Rose telling the Dr how to defeat the Daleks or Cybermen and the Dr following her lead instead of figuring it out himself? Never, because he's the one who knows about these things. To say Davies' companions had an equal partnership to the Dr is a ridiculous thing to say. Actually, Moffat's women save the Dr far more than Davies' did.
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    The Bechdel test can be useful, but it is so often trivial. For example, TLOTRs fails it. You can't say that's to do with sexism; it's to do with a lack of female characters, because of the focus on battles. With Dr Who, the series is currently revolved around him and his evolving personality, rather than with killing the monster which it was in previous series'. This is in my view an improvement, though many dislike it.
    I'm not going to waste my time trying to argue with you. Doctor Who when written by Moffat will never be feminist. He's a sexist pig and incapable of writing feminist characters. Fact. You can disagree all you want, but as a feminist I can tell you that his show is not feminist nor pushing a feminist agenda. In fact it's more like the people who create fake twitter accounts posing as feminists to troll and make feminism seem bad.
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    (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
    I'm not going to waste my time trying to argue with you. Doctor Who when written by Moffat will never be feminist. He's a sexist pig and incapable of writing feminist characters. Fact. You can disagree all you want, but as a feminist I can tell you that his show is not feminist nor pushing a feminist agenda. In fact it's more like the people who create fake twitter accounts posing as feminists to troll and make feminism seem bad.
    Raw emotion shutting down debate. That's a very Claraesque response.

    Since I take it the discussion is over I'll just clarify my position briefly. I'm not saying that Dr Who is a feminist text as one would understand the term when reading, say, Angela Carter. I'm saying that Clara is a result of a push by feminism for their to be included "strong, independent female character" in the show. Clara's version of it is jarringly done, and I think that this is because of a attempt to make it so obvious that the character, as a representation of a human being, suffers. You agree with that last statement, but put it down to tendencies in Moffat's writing which are contrary to any feminist ideals whatsoever. We can continue to discuss the rights or wrongs of both viewpoints, or we can get angry and snappy for no reason.
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    Raw emotion shutting down debate. That's a very Claraesque response.

    Since I take it the discussion is over I'll just clarify my position briefly. I'm not saying that Dr Who is a feminist text as one would understand the term when reading, say, Angela Carter. I'm saying that Clara is a result of a push by feminism for their to be included "strong, independent female character" in the show. Clara's version of it is jarringly done, and I think that this is because of a attempt to make it so obvious that the character, as a representation of a human being, suffers. You agree with that last statement, but put it down to tendencies in Moffat's writing which are contrary to any feminist ideals whatsoever. We can continue to discuss the rights or wrongs of both viewpoints, or we can get angry and snappy for no reason.
    No, more I have multiple essays to write for my Masters before I go back for rowing training camp so have other things to do with my time than go round in circles with someone who clearly doesn't understand that feminism = equality.
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    Raw emotion shutting down debate. That's a very Claraesque response.

    Since I take it the discussion is over I'll just clarify my position briefly. I'm not saying that Dr Who is a feminist text as one would understand the term when reading, say, Angela Carter. I'm saying that Clara is a result of a push by feminism for their to be included "strong, independent female character" in the show. Clara's version of it is jarringly done, and I think that this is because of a attempt to make it so obvious that the character, as a representation of a human being, suffers. You agree with that last statement, but put it down to tendencies in Moffat's writing which are contrary to any feminist ideals whatsoever. We can continue to discuss the rights or wrongs of both viewpoints, or we can get angry and snappy for no reason.
    If you are right, and Clara has been introduced as a feminist character, then it has been done with people whose understanding of feminism is as poor as you have demonstrated yours to be.
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    (Original post by Feefifofum)
    If you are right, and Clara has been introduced as a feminist character, then it has been done with people whose understanding of feminism is as poor as you have demonstrated yours to be.
    I have a good understanding of feminism; i just don't accept it. If it were simple as just "equality" then it wouldn't be an ideology, it would be a synonym. It's like defining Marxism as "social justice"; no, it's an ideology revolving around social justice.

    Regardless i don't really want to talk about whether or not feminism is right or wrong. If you decide to respond to me on any points I actually have made please go ahead. I like arguing for the sake of it and am open to be persuaded by any point of view.
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    I have a good understanding of feminism; i just don't accept it.
    oh dear god no :facepalm2:
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    We just have to accept that Clara isn't a Donna. She's not a feminist character, whereas one might argue, Donna was.


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    (Original post by timeywimey)
    We just have to accept that Clara isn't a Donna. She's not a feminist character, whereas one might argue, Donna was.


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    Donna was independent and funny and a good friend. She was likeable and the complete opposite of clara

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    I miss Donna :sad:
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    (Original post by timeywimey)
    We just have to accept that Clara isn't a Donna. She's not a feminist character, whereas one might argue, Donna was.


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    Agreed, bring back Donna!


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    (Original post by Teddysmith123)
    Donna was independent and funny and a good friend. She was likeable and the complete opposite of clara

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    Really? I thought she was a bit of a ***** to be honest, at least at first. If she didn't get her way then she'd kick and scream until she got it. She was a very good companion by the end of her stay, though.
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    Donna was annoying. Rose was the best.
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    I'm not sure if you're a troll so I will not argue

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    (Original post by tomtjl)
    Really? I thought she was a bit of a ***** to be honest, at least at first. If she didn't get her way then she'd kick and scream until she got it. She was a very good companion by the end of her stay, though.
    Yh I mean I agree at first in the Christmas episode when she was first introduced she was a bit annoying, but atleast as the season went along she became better and we saw a nice friendship develop between her and the doctor. I would be ok with clara if they did that with her too, but it seems moffatt is intent on having the show be all about clara and her adventures with the doctor rather than trying to expand on capaldis doctor

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    (Original post by Zeetingman)
    I'm not sure if you're a troll so I will not argue

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    If this is directed at me; no i'm not a troll
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    Really, Rose?
    That companion that had that disgraceful releationship with an alien. The releationship seemed so human it made 10 seem human. Sometimes I even forgot he was a timelord a fighter in a great war. Don't get me onto the kissing. She was only good until series 2!

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    (Original post by Zeetingman)
    Really, Rose?
    That companion that had that disgraceful releationship with an alien. The releationship seemed so human it made 10 seem human. Sometimes I even forgot he was a timelord a fighter in a great war. Don't get me onto the kissing. She was only good until series 2!

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    What are your views on Christopher Ecclestone's doctor?


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    (Original post by Zeetingman)
    Really, Rose?
    That companion that had that disgraceful releationship with an alien. The releationship seemed so human it made 10 seem human. Sometimes I even forgot he was a timelord a fighter in a great war. Don't get me onto the kissing. She was only good until series 2!

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    I think that Rose and the Dr's relationship is how the issue of The Dr's companion and romance should be done. The Dr isn't asexual, humans and time lords do look identical, a girl is likely to fall for a man like the Dr. But the Dr can't have normal relationships with humans. Not like the new stuff where all the Companions fancy him and snog him.
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    the companions are like this:

    Rose>>>Martha>>Donna>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>Clara
 
 
 
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