Recent controversy on the inter webs regarding the casting of Jodie Whittaker as ‘the Doctor’ in Doctor Who, a role historically portrayed by male actors, has brought attention to a systematic problem – internet-generated misogny and sexism. In an interview with Northeastern News, Professor Moya Bailey of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGSS) explains this complex as the result of “equal parts internet courage and the biases people already have, and having a platform like Reddit ready to receive them.” She explains “science fictive futures are often just as racist, heteronormative, ableist, and sexist as our world today.”
Unfortunately, life is reflected in fiction, and the Dr. Who controversy epitomizes underlying sexist attitudes in the media that marginalize female leads. It seems that in the case of Dr. Who, prejudices are especially exacerbated with the transfer from a male to a female lead, a change in the status quo which some of the fanbase has deemed mandates backlash.
Read the full interview with Prof. Bailey here.