why do people feel the need to conflate every criticism of steven moffat and his writing with not liking what he’s doing with doctor who, or as attacks on his love for doctor who? i love series five—i love almost everything about it, expect for how boring that one two-parter was—and, in general, i actually prefer his writing style to that of davies (who has his own issues, let me tell you), and his episodes are still some of my favorite. if you go back far enough in my meta tag, you’ll see several posts of me defending him and giving him the benefit of the doubt re: amy and river’s storylines in series six. really.
the problems i have with him are with him as a person and the way his heterosexual white male privilege seeps into his shows, shows i love, and makes it harder for me to love them without being really fucking upset at the grossness he is perpetuating. this is a man who responds to every single bit of criticism with smug condescension and self-aggrandizing oneliners. it’s one thing to funny and to troll people who are asking stupid questions, but when someone says it would be nice to have an openly gay character in doctor who, and he responds by mentioning three one-off characters we’ll probably never see again and one recurring character we haven’t seen in two seasons, and shuts down the conversation. oh, and let’s not forget the time he said asexuality was boring and not worth exploring in fiction because there is no tension. there’s also the time he said that a married couple who doesn’t have kids isn’t really married. THAT is why i hate steven moffat: because he’s said things, without apology, that are about me and people like me and are hurtful to me personally; because he’s a privilege-denying asshole who refuses to try and be better, or to apologize for the ignorant and erasing things he’s said.
people seem to be equating hating moffat with hating river song (which is bullshit because i love river song, motherfucker, though i was and am angry that amy’s character and agency and importance as core of the show was reduced in order to explore river’s history and character, which was then shat on and destroyed the later half of the season) or eleven or being tired of the ponds. nope, sorry. try again. i love them all, and it makes me sad to see moffat’s issues coloring their characterizations (the real joke inherent in “permission to hug” is that it’s not really a joke). it makes me sad that he took what i loved about the river/eleven dynamic—that for once the doctor was not the one in the position of power, that for once he knew less than someone else (a woman!), that his body is physically younger than it’s been since he was a child and he’s still attracted to a woman who looks older, and it’s weird for him because how do you do physical attraction to humans—and turned it all around so that river’s entire life was wrapped up in him, so that he knew more than she did again, so that she was obsessed with marrying him
because all women want to get married and have babies because all women are mothers or whatever bullshit he tells himselfinstead of him being obsessed with trying to figure out who she was to him. what happened to amy is the saddest of all, and i just can’t even find the words to describe how horrifying the moment she wakes up pregnant is, and how that moments is representative of her arc for the series as a whole: reductive, frightening, violative, and all in such a specifically gendered way. DO YOU HONESTLY STILL NOT GET WHY WATCHING THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN ON A SHOW YOU LOVE IS REALLY HARD? AND INFURIATING? especially when the emotional fallout from all of it is not dealt with at all; instead, series six chose to focus on the doctor’s patriarchal power, fatherhood, and the romantic relationship between amy and rory, with emphasis placed on rory and what he wanted.
how many times do you have to be told that being critical of something isn’t mindlessly hating it, and that no one is trying to ruin your enjoyment of a show by discussing its issues? and that, for some of us, those issues are things that are relevant to injustices and difficulties faced in our daily lives, and your fucking enjoyment of a show or a character or a ship is not more important than the pain and awkwardness caused by that?
While I definitely prefer RTD to Moffat, THIS THIS THIS. S5 was so close to flawless. I love Amy and I love River and yes, I wanted the best for them.
I have issues with S6, not to mention Moffat’s earlier episodes—sans The Doctor Dances, which was heavily edited by RTD—and yes, I do think Steven Moffat is a sexist. Permission to hug is just one example of sexist jokes. Remember you sound like your mother when Rose was nearly executed and rightly upset at the man she loved swanning off with some other woman? Remember she’s having an emotion because obviously men are rational and reasonable while women are emotional and irrational (a recurring theme in Doctor Who and Sherlock)?
And then the serious shit. A woman marries a man because he won’t stop following her until she agrees to date him. River’s whole existence. The Doctor’s treatment of Rose (and Reinette) in GITF. Martha being made to work for the Doctor in 1969, when he is perfectly capable of doing his own shit, in a time when black women were EVEN MORE oppressed than they are now. Amy as a “bad girl” because Doctor Who has had enough “good girls” and all. The mother-or-lover archetypes all of his women get. Etc.
And yes, his privilege-denying offends and hurts me.
Because Amy Pond, THE FUCKING MAIN CHARACTER OF THE SHOW, SAVE FOR THE DOCTOR, has to be dehumanized and made to be a fucking incubator so that the Doctor can get his jollies off with her daughter, her daughter who also has BARELY ANY AUTONOMY, while Rory gets to be the hero and the good guy and keeps his agency always. He chooses to wait 2000 years for Amy; she is LEFT BEHIND for 36 years, living and growing and developing because she has no choice, and then when it’s all said and done, Amy Pond gets no real development because the older Amy dies, because the Doctor can’t live with his mistakes.
Because when he is criticized, he has the nerve to say that he loves women because he’s written highly sexualized and dehumanized female characters—and he’d have sex with them. Because how dare people suggest that he might not be the god he seems to think he is?
Because he’s called Rose Tyler a “clingy girlfriend” and when people got offended by that, he wrote it off as a joke and why can’t you feminazis take a joke?
Because he’s not so great a writer that I can disregard his bullshit.
And I criticize my show because I love it and I want the best for it.
Do you want to know why RTD didn’t get the criticism Moffat gets from feminist fans? Because even though there was a fair amount of questionable stuff, he was too damn good at character treatment, and giving his companions AUTONOMY, and keeping the Doctor’s God Complex in check.
The next person who tells me that I’m too sensitive or that I am making shit up because I want to be offended gets the Unadulterated Rage of Cate.