I genuinely don’t understand why people are saying Doctor Who has become this raging sexists show from the depths of Hell. I get not liking Amy because she might not be as strong as the other companions (Martha anyone?) but I do think she’s strong in her own right, she saved the Doctor from being erased from creation by sheer force of will. I can see and understand these reasons even though I do not agree with them. But calling Moffat sexist, his characters sexist, and his story line sexist is something I don’t get. Maybe I missed a pivotal plot point somewhere along the way. Can somebody explain it? I’m not trying to start a war here, I just want to see a well thought out reason for this way of thinking.
It’s not that Amy isn’t strong. It’s that she has no agency.
I mean, Rose was the Little Red Riding Hood who became the Big Bad Wolf. Martha was the Second Best who became The Actual Literal Motherfucking Best. Donna was the Best Friend, and the Most Important Human In All of Creation.
Amy… is the Girl Who Waited. The Girl Who Perpetually Needs To Be Saved From Forces Too Large For Her To Understand. The Girl Whose Memory Is The Deus Ex Machina That The Doctor Himself Planted. The Girl Who Had A Magic Baby That She Didn’t Know About. The Girl Who Forgot Her Own Fiance. The Girl Whose Sole Functions Are To Get Kidnapped And Hurt Her Long-Suffering Boyfriend’s Feelings, and To Hold The Doctor’s Hand Whenever He Needs It, Which Isn’t Often Because Isn’t He Just So Manly?
I mean, where’s the choice in any of that? Where’s Amy’s power to make her own decisions, even if they’re bad ones? Amy’s entire role as a character exists as a function of the Doctor’s (or Rory’s), which makes her the ultimate Nice Guy(TM) fantasy. And it’s no surprise that she should be paired with Rory, the Platonic Ideal of a Nice Guy(TM), the guy who literally waited around until she could love him back.
(I mean, Adult Amy is introduced as a kissogram, for godsakes, a job whose function is to please the male gaze. Really, Moffat? REALLY?)
As for Amy saving the Doctor at the end of S5, she didn’t save him from nonexistence because she’d made the active choice to save him. She saved him because she remembered him. But memory is fickle, and largely out of our control. You don’t choose to remember something; you either do or you don’t.
And of course Amy only remembered him because he planted the seeds in her head in the first place — telling her the story about something borrowed, something blue, etc. — such that she would not forget him. So any part of Amy’s remembering that maybe could’ve been ascribed to her agency alone was undermined because the Doctor handed it to her.
Rose is a great comparison. Like Amy, Rose wasn’t particularly smart, or kind, or witty, or worldly. She wasn’t physically strong, or tactically brilliant, or physically pretty, or anything, really. She was just an ordinary shopgirl.
But she did choose to explore new places whenever she could. She did choose to consciously befriend the working class or “unimportant” people wherever she went. And she did choose to save the Dalek and the Doctor and all the rest of the people who didn’t deserve saving, and she did it using her own faculties, not something the Doctor planted within her. Rose made so many choices throughout her run as a Companion — and yes, many of them were bad ones — that she makes Amy look like a potted plant, just a pretty part of the scenery taking up space.
Moffat seems to believe that his female characters (the Companions, Molly, Irene Adler, etc.) exist purely so that his male characters (the Doctor, Sherlock, Watson, etc.) can prove how awesome they are to the audience. But Davies always wrote the exact opposite. Say what you will about Davies’s self-indulgence, but never once did he write an episode that was all about how awesome the Doctor was: instead, he believed the Doctor was the means for the Companion to prove how magnificent she could really be.
So back to the line that gave me the heebees this morning: “rescue me, chin boy, and show me the stars”. Now, i haven’t seen the episode, so I can’t make sweeping judgements about Moffat’s new season, but that line just suggests that it’s going to be more of the same with Oswain. Another girl begging to be rescued by the Doctor? I’ll pass, thanks.