In case you've been living under a TARDIS-sized rock, you know that the thirteenth doctor is going to be played by....DUN DUN DUNNNNN....a woman. Jodie Whittaker, from BBC's Broadchurch, will be stepping into the iconic role next season to replace Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor. This felt great for a moment, until you risked a glance at your Twitter app and saw that the battle lines had been drawn and the fanbase had been polarized. Um...ok....we have a few questions...
1. Why did it take so long?
2. Why now?
3. Why do people suck?
4. Is this progress?
So why did it take so long? Doctor Who was first introduced to us in 1963. There have been twelve reincarnations of The Doctor, and all twelve have had peachy cream colored man meat. It had already been established with Missy's character that male time lords could be reincarnated into female time lords. In the 26 seasons of the original airing of the show, and then ten seasons of the "New Who", not once did that space magic jizz turn that Y chromosome to an X. Shouldn't there be a 50/50 chance?! That's like calling "Tails" on 36 coin flips and winning every time. That's like going on 36 Tinder dates and getting 36 strands of HPV. That's like taking a right at every fork in the road 36 times and never running into a Taco Bell. It's. Just. Not. Possible.
Why now? Is this a nice little shoulder squeeze from the BBC, letting us know that they don't buy into the concept of glass ceilings in space? Or are they trying to do something "controversial", "radical", "crayzayyyy" to get conversations going and ratings back up since they dropped off post-hipster-hottie-Matt-Smith? We are not entirely sure what led to BBC's gender shake-up, but it doesn't exactly feel like a win for the home team just yet.
Why do people suck? This may be a question we started asking since the first time a rock was hurled at our unsuspecting faces on the playground in elementary school, but we have yet to receive an answer. We thought we were safe with sci-fi nerds, but that is quickly proving to not be the case. Let's talk about suspended disbelief for just a moment... Any Whovian can set aside logic and facts to imagine a world where an alien from a planet that was destroyed but now might not be destroyed but is secretly hidden somewhere can travel through all of time and space in a blue Police Box that's bigger on the inside and save humanity/planets/alien races on a weekly basis, but The Doctor reincarnating as a woman ONCE in 36 seasons couldn't/shouldn't happen?! Fuck. Off.
Is this progress? While the feminists in us want to yell a resounding "YES!", we think that would be counting our proverbial chickens before they hatch. The fact that she is being referred to as the "female Doctor" rather than the "Thirteenth Doctor" (unlike all of her predecessors) shows that society still classifies men as the universal norm and women as the variant. It's the Rule of Reversibility in action. Take a description, reverse the gender, see if it sounds funny. The male doctor seems redundant. The female doctor seems descriptive. It doesn't just work with gender. The white President (Pre-44. We miss you..). The heterosexual frat bro. The Christian Republican, etc. etc. You get the gist. Whether or not this is progress has yet to be determined. If ratings continue to drop, is it going to be blamed on the fact that the Thirteenth Doctor was played by a woman, or will it be chalked up to the very plausible fact that maybe after 54 years and 36 seasons, its time has come?