quick aside on the DW article in question:
Full disclosure: I am a woman Doctor advocate. I see no essential “maleness” in the Doctor’s character (or essential “whiteness”, but that’s another rant entirely), and I think it would be phenomenal to see the Doctor’s non-gendered characteristics (the quirkiness, the excitability, the vague asexuality or bisexuality, or non-human sexuality, whatever, etc) embodied by a female. I don’t really think there has EVER been a female character of this sort on television or film before. It’s this willy wonka kind of strange clever madman that we have never really seen female-bodied before. There is nothing inherently male about this aloofness and/or quirkiness, there is just no precedent for it being female. It’s incredibly frustrating when I, as a woman, admire/aspire to some of these characteristics but find these social messages telling me this is exclusively the domain of a male when I don’t think it is. Craziness in females has only generally been portrayed as either oddly calm in the face of insanity or obnoxiously loud, and quirkiness in females is limited to the realm of the manic pixies. Control and whimsy with a touch of the mad is something we haven’t seen embodied by a female before, which is where a female Doctor would come in real handy.
This article says that the Doctor provides something for men that they can’t find anywhere else, in the form of a non-violent male role model, which I absolutely disagree with. What about Harry Potter, whose signature move is the Disarming spell? What about Spock or Picard or certain other starfleet icons? (These are the fandoms I’m most familiar with, but the nonviolence in male role models is not a Doctor-only thing, although I do love that he is so adamantly anti-gun — at least pre-Moffat). These men do fight when it is necessary, but so does Doctor. (I mean how many people have died in Who as a result of his actions? I wouldn’t necessarily pin up Doctor as ultimate Gandhi.)
But most importantly, why couldn’t a female Doctor continue to be a good non-violent role model for little boys? (Oh, it’s because in our society men are read as the “neutral” option, allowing both boys and girls to identify with them, whereas women are taken as the “other”, preventing both genders from relating to them? Oh, it’s because our society still has a lot of issues with gender equality? Oh, it’s because you’re sexist?) If boys and girls want to be him now, why wouldn’t boys and girls want to be her later? This would be huge for gender equality, and it’s not merely an issue of “why not”, I think it would allow the show to explore different aspects of the Doctor, and certainly different dynamics, and I really thing the show would grow as a result.
Now, onto Benjamin, the boy who is too insecure to even be on the internet, seriously, what are you doing here:
I don’t think Benjamin has his heart in the wrong place — is about the nicest thing I can say about him. He is just so painfully unaware of the tiny everyday ways women are othered in daily life, and the actual extent of male privilege in our society. It was definitely more problematic in his infamous “Girls on Youtube" exposé in which he assumed some kind of authority to discuss the matter. I think he’s certainly free to make whatever one-off tweet he wants tangentially related to feminism (provided he’s secure enough to handle the blowback, which evidence points to: no). [Besides, there are far worse things on twitter espousing gender inequality, for sure.]
So Hank is right in that Benjamin obviously can’t handle hearing he’s wrong, and so should probably just stay out of the gender discussion entirely. But I emphatically DISAGREE with the idea that you’ve got to be an expert on something before you even post a one-off tweet related to it. (How do you define expertise? How do you even get started, if you’re not allowed to speak or inquire further before you’re there?) The solution for both of them, if they’re feeling shaky on their ability to engage in discussion is to go out and LEARN MORE about the topic and figure out why they’re getting the negative responses, if they are (and clearly, They Are.) I feel like both Hank and Benjamin are sort of closed off to the feedback. And I feel that Benjamin, in particular, has neglected to do so (I mean he clearly is confused about what a “glass ceiling" actually is. It’s not that women are living in greenhouses, Benjamin.)
Anyway, let’s all assume this tumblr to be retitled nerdfighter and Benjamin Cook hate, because currently, my hate for him burns brighter than even my signature vlogbrother hate.