When They Make The Point Better Than You Can

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Doctor Who. I don’t need to say more. You’re already triggered. So we’ll move on from there.

I made a post on social media, a cheeky one out of amusement, that posited that Donald Glover should play Wonder Woman, and if anyone disagreed, they were by default racist and sexist. Nothing about the above BBC public television program, just this.

I’d say you’ll never believe what happened next, but exactly what I expected to happen happened next: everyone in the SocJus crowd who still bothers to associate with me came out of the woodwork to flip out about the matter. I not only affronted their new cause-of-the-moment — which is, seriously just the changing of a long time kids program television character — but I affronted another sacred cow, the Woman Of Wonder. It was doubly funny because Donald Glover caused a bit of a hooballoo about wanting to play Spider-Man years back, and caused this fake panic among SocJus types with that as well. A twofer.

I’ll note that there is no real racism or sexism or ism-ism involved on either side here, but just silly stupid reactions to something that doesn’t matter. The point holds though: if this woman can play a traditionally male character Doctor Who, a black man should certainly be just as capable of playing Wonder Woman. This is where the SocJus crowd should surprise you, but it won’t: they are absolutely horrifically opposed to the concept.

Because Wonder Woman is supposed to be a woman, which is the very thing they’re smugly proclaiming that anyone who doesn’t like this recent casting is saying in reverse about Doctor Who, while in the same breath calling them all sorts of names. The best part of this all is they default to a lower level aspect of this, the fantasy content specifics: that this is an alien time lord so that there’s nothing that says he’s supposed to be a man. They have this as a fallback to say it’s not political, their very public virtue signalling about this casting, because of it, even though they only reason they’re doing so is a gloating political purpose. And of course, the only reason the show is doing it is for a political virtue signal so that you and I talk about it on the internet.

But what’s great about this, these both being fictional heroes with superpowers, is that the core of the argument is that Wonder Woman cannot change her sex because it would undermine the character to change that, because she is not an alien being. Of course, the answer to it, is just, rewrite her as an alien being who can change her sex.

Imagine if someone did that, the outcry that they’d have about how wrong this is. These folk forget the history, that Doctor Who wrote this very alien regeneration into the storyline later to justify the changing of actors for the role (most these viewers don’t actually watch the old show so they may not know this). Therefore, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. And both don’t matter, because any writer can write any change at any time with legacy characters. It’s just when it’s political nonsense as a motivation, attempting to get a few short-term watches, clicks, sales, whatever, it annoys people.

Most people don’t like big changes to iconic, generations spanning characters, not because of a racist sexist ist-ist motivation, but because there is a certain amount of change that makes a character into a different character. These problems are always solved by just making your own thing, instead of trying to take a classic and morph it into something else that it’s not.

I have a great analysis of how Marvel Comics used this trick for years to try to get rubberneckers to tune in, and it ended with steadily declining long terms sales. You can read it here.

Now watch as the “nuh uh!” hate comments come in about how I’m just absolutely terrible for even suggesting to change such a sacred icon, and that they in NO WAY have political feelings about Doctor Who, but love to champion the sex change of the character anyway.

And if you’re really interested in great female characters. I am told I wrote a couple without having to make any political thing out of it, that appeals to left and right readers alike because it’s just about a fun story. Most of my readers would likely rank it better than the upcoming season of Doctor Who.

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14 thoughts on “When They Make The Point Better Than You Can

  1. I once loved Doctor Who very much. I stopped watching when Clara’s personality became unbearable. Everything I’ve heard about it since confirms my decision.

    They shouldn’t even be able to rewrite the character this way, per story consistency. It was clearly explained in the old series, when Romana regenerated, that male and female time lords have differences in the very way they regenerate, so without explaining that away, it makes absolutely no sense that they should be able to switch sex via regeneration.

  2. My main takeaway was about the reaction of the pro-change people; as someone who never followed Dr. Who, from what I understood it made as much sense as anything else. Based on Mary’s comment, I am apparently mistaken — but that’s neither here nor there.

    I have a big problem with people coming into fandoms, enacting major change, and then calling out fans who are bothered by the change. Especially if they do it in a mean-spirited way (as no doubt we’ve all seen related to this change to Dr. Who), and especially as someone old enough to remember when people with my interests were social outcasts, derided for what we liked, and called “losers” to begin with. Of course they’re defensive: it was their “safe space”, after all.

    Used to be, if you wanted a shirt or a gadget resembling something from a “nerdy” genre/subject, you had to make it. Now the stuff is available everywhere — so that stigma that a lot of us “old timers” (I’m in my 30s) dealt with isn’t there. But a lot of us were outcast *to* our fandoms, so yes — there’s going to be a pushback against changes we don’t like.

    It’s actually been eye-opening to see such a swift backlash from all sides involving a property I’m not invested in; I can see a lot of things clearly I could not when I was closer to the issue. It doesn’t help the SJW argument at all in my mind.

  3. Logical failure. There’s one single thing that requires Wonder Woman to be female. She’s an *Amazon*. It’s part of who she is and all of her culture. Is there a male-only equivalent in mythology that you can point to? Then that’s your Wonder Man (Marvel Man?).

    But there’s nothing intrinsically ‘male’ about an alien character who’s not even constructed like we are (two hearts, remember?) who regenerates regularly.

    As for your SJW knee-jerk, one of the creators of the show suggested it – in writing – in 1986. Long before your pretend pejorative came into being.

      • Now, Jon…I *know* you’d never read anything into what I write that’s not there because it would reflect badly on you.

        Note that while Amazons are mythical, they’re a well-established myth. I repeat: find an equally male-only mythological society and there’s your character. But one doesn’t change mythology on a whim.

        Can you point to anything about the alien Doctor that requires him to be male (as I did with Wonder Woman)? ‘Always has been’ doesn’t cut it. What character aspect requires maleness?

        • “Established Myth”. So what? Posy-modernism is all about upending the classics, I say Embrace It! Simon Legree played by Wanda Sykes, with all the slaves played by Irish actors!

  4. //Most people don’t like big changes to iconic, generations spanning characters//

    Hmmm, then Doctor Who probably isn’t going to be a show they like very much given it is prone to make big changes even between episodes. If you want stability then maybe a show that’s steampunk one week, fantasy the next, sci-fi the week after and whose lead character changes age and accent every so often.

    I’d be cool with a guy playing Wonder Woman but…only once we’ve got substantially closer to 50% of major lead genre characters being women.

  5. Well, tbh, there are some things with Doctor Who that mitigate the whole “male and female Time Lords regenerate differently” argument: It is a rule that “The Doctor Lies.” Which of course can justify ANY change of plot that conflicts with anything previously canon, if that canon is based on something The Doctor said…

    As for a black male Wonder Woman: Sure she’s an Amazon, and as an Amazon with fully free feminist *AGENCY* (which of course is all that matters in feminism, amirite? Unless it conflicts with the feminist orthodoxy, of course), she can decide that she is a male trapped in a womans body, and get this.. *ORIGINATED IN AFRICA*. Yup, Amazons are africans. Quoting from Wikipedia: ” Diodorus giving the account of Dionysius of Mitylene, who, on his part, drew on Thymoetas, states that before the Amazons of the Thermodon there were, much earlier in time, the Amazons of Libya.[5] These Amazons started from Libya passed through Egypt and Syria, and stopped at the Caïcus in Aeolis, near which they founded several cities. ”
    Therefore a white Wonder Woman is cultural appropriation and is WRONG by SJW/BLM rules. She is of African ancestry. And as a strong female character appearing in 1940’s America, in order to “get stuff done” she obviously was behaving as a man and as such might have developed gender identity disphoria and thus desired to change her gender to fit her dominant personality.
    Therefore your proposal of Glover playing Wonder Woman is mythologically, sociologically, genetically, and genderologically canon.

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