Diversity in Doctor Who

Since Doctor Who rebooted in 2005 it has made strides in representing diversity on television.  Strides that can’t be said for many other television shows.  We open with episode one, “Rose” set in England, 2005, on a rare scene for television.  Rose is a working class woman who really is working class, not a dramatized version of this.  She lives in a small apartment with her single mother and wakes early every day to clock-in at her job in a department store.  She’s casual, dressing in clothes that certainly aren’t the height of fashion for the time, she isn’t dolled up in makeup only a professional could do, and what’s more; she isn’t the tiny waisted, long-legged pretty girl we’re used to seeing on TV.  Rose sets the pace for the growing diversity we’re about to be treated to in “Doctor Who”.

Not long after we get Captain Jack Harkness, the first openly pansexual in the history of “Doctor Who” who equally and openly shows attraction to men, women, aliens, and the non-gender conforming.  This was a huge leap for sexual and romantic diversity in “Doctor Who”, and one of the very first times queer people could see themselves in a character on television that wasn’t harmful.  

Next comes Martha, the first black companion on “Doctor Who”.  She’s intelligent and able to keep up with the Doctor’s rambling better, perhaps, than most other companions.  For people of colour, Martha is a big deal.  She’s a strong, woman of colour, in a leading role on one of the most popular television shows of all time.  With Martha, the television series continues to push forward for more diversity in their cast.

The next three companions, Donna, Amy, and Clara continue to portray strong female leads with diverse histories and personalities.  Along the way we meet a couple more sexually diverse characters, and characters from all different walks of life.  

Now we come to the most recent companion, Bill, who is both a woman of colour and openly gay.  She is one of the very first leading characters like this on television, a huge influence for women, people of colour, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  We finally have a leading character that many minorities can view themselves in in a positive way.

Soon we’ll be treated with something that came unexpected: a female Doctor.  Jodie Whittaker will soon take on the role of the Doctor and make history as the first female Doctor.  Many people are very excited about this.  We get a leading female, and also confirmation that Gallifreyans, or at least the Doctor, experience gender fluidity, which could be a nod toward the transgender community.

But when it comes to diversity, is it enough?  Though Doctor Who has done a great job positively representing different groups of people, we still are left itching for more.  Several groups who wish to see any kind of representation on television have been left out.  Doctor Who has come a long way, but I believe it can, and should, go much farther.  I hope that as the episodes continue to air we will continue to see a rise in representation in the cast.      

Advertisements

Stereotypes and Gender

Women need a man to be happy. Women don’t know anything about sports. All women love kids and want to have their own. That’s too heavy for you to lift because you’re a woman. All women love to shop. These are just some of the stereotypes that women get lumped into. However, the majority of these are false.

Yes, being in a relationship can be fun and make you happy but don’t men get just as happy when they’re in a relationship? It could be that women are just more verbal about their emotions and that’s why they believe that women need a man to be happy. However, if you were to go up to anyone on the street and ask them if they are happy odds are they will say yes whether or not they are in a relationship.

The stereotype that women don’t know anything about sports is so extremely wrong I don’t even know where to start. I have had several instances where I go to a football game and I have to have my friend A WOMAN explains to me what’s going on exactly. Yes, this may mean that I don’t know anything about football, but if you were to talk about golf (yes, it’s a sport) I wouldn’t have any problems following along. This is simply due to the fact that they don’t know the sport because they haven’t been involved with it. If we were going to judge women for not knowing sports simply because they haven’t played it before would be the same as asking a man to explain how to contour makeup.

Men also have just as many stereotypes as women do. All men are jocks. Real men don’t cry. Only men can have a physical job. These are just the ones that I came up with off the top of my head. I don’t know about you but I can think of a handful of men that I wouldn’t consider jocks. I also can remember a time that I saw a man that works on the farm from 6 in the morning until 7 at night doing manual labor just to support his family cry over the death of his grandmother. Does this make him not a real man?

Too often in our society, we stereotype based on their gender and tell them that they must be this way or do this thing in order to follow our social code. You almost never hear that a man can’t lift something because of his gender, nor do you hear that a woman can’t cry because she’s a woman. This isn’t alright, but it continues to happen almost every single day.

Doctor Who FreeWrite

When I first started this class I was so excited to re-watch some Doctor Who episodes. I still am excited to be in this class. Last year when we signed up for classes I got up at midnight when it opened and Diversity and the Doctor was the first class I signed up for. Having a class that you have to take like IS, why not take it on something you like? I really like Doctor Who so when I heard there was a class all about it I couldn’t wait to sign up for it. Plus I get to tell people I watch TV for homework.

Doctor Who Update

At this point in the show I have been back and forth between emotions about several things on the show. For starters the new Doctor change, at first, upset me but as I kept watching the show the tenth doctor was similar in mannerisms to the ninth doctor. One noticeable difference was he jumped back to the suit look and turned the hyper dial up a bit. Nine and Ten get along with rose very well and treat her like an equal. Ten is very social with people of other planets and times such as nine was. Matt is just as witty as David Tennant but something about David Tennant seemed to portray the severity of situations a little more in a desperate matter…life or death.

Secondly, we see Rose and Mickey fade apart. Although when Rose left for the Doctor over Mickey, their relationship gets pulled apart but it doesn’t really hit Rose until he opts to stay in the alternate reality over continuing through the gap in time with the doctor. Rose even cries a little when he tells her but in the end, she goes with the doctor and he stays.

Next is the New Companion; Martha Jones. The episode we watched with Martha as the companion, the doctor verbally projects the fact that she is not as great as Rose. When they are battling the Ware wolf, the doctor says to Martha, “Rose would know what to say here.” Again, at the start of the show The Doctor and Martha are lying in bed and the Doctor says something to Martha about Rose in which she gets very upset and turns away from the doctor in anger. The feelings of the Doctor are feelings of how most of the viewers must have been feeling and perhaps was a “let me down easy” sort of attempt at getting people to stay on the show and continuing to watch.

A little note on Diversity, we still don’t see much color other than Mickey as prominent roles in the show before Martha Jones, and even though Mickey has somewhat of a big role in the show he gets picked on a lot by the doctor as if he is different and he gets basically dumped by Rose. And from the episode with Martha and the Doctor, she gets picked on as well.

On a reflective note, I am enjoying watching the episodes however sometimes they get a little dull where not much happens as far as action. My favorite genres are Action and Adventure… more along the lines of coming of age stories or learning stories and Doctor Who does follow that Pattern in Genre.

Diversity in Police and Racial Bias

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/07/data-police-racial-bias

 

Many of the drug cases today take place in low wage communities that are typically made up of minorities. Over the past couple of decades trends has shown that minorities are the ones who are selling and using drugs. However, this is not entirely true. Yes, there may be more people of color in jail for drugs, but there is a reason there aren’t more white people behind bars for drugs. The reason is that you are fare more likely to see a police car in a primarily black neighborhood versus a white one. In Chicago, a 2016 Police Accountability Task Force report found that “black and Hispanic drivers were searched approximately four times as often as white drivers, yet [the Chicago Police Department’s] own data show that contraband was found on white drivers twice as often as black and Hispanic drivers.” Never do you see a police car parked in a wealthy community of predominantly white people. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t drugs in those neighborhoods, it just means that they aren’t being paroled for drugs. Our police forces have it ingrained in their head to be more suspicious of black and hispanic civilians. This includes black police officers having it in their head that their own race is more dangerous.

My high school religion teacher was a black male who had been pulled over randomly 3 times in the two years that he lived in Dubuque. He is one of the most soft spoken and gentle humans that I know, and yet he seemed suspicious to the officers that pulled him over. Never did he do anything wrong, but he was still questioned as if he had. It’s like our justice system puts a target on the backs of those who aren’t white.

In many cases police officers literally are going out of their way to make arrest because of the quotas they have to meet. Some police officers will literally plant evidence on an individual, typically black or hispanic males, to convict them of a crime. You don’t have to look hard to find examples of this because it has recently happened in Des Moines. Two police officers planted narcotics on a suspect after his arrest. This is obviously illegal but it commonly goes on in the inner city. It may seem unfair to say that all police officers are like this, but in recent years they have not shied away from the news. We have seen the many cases of white officers shooting, and killing, unarmed black males. While the media likes to blow these things out of proportion to make a good story, this still is a problem. When someone sees a police officer they should not have to fear for their lives. The purpose of having police officers is to make citizens feel protected, not threatened.

 

Diversity of Language

Have you ever thought about language? Language is a way to communicate, either spoken or written, through the use of words in a structured and conventional way. Of course there are many different languages out in the world. Take the show Doctor Who for example; the Doctor and his companion travels to many places and every time, there is always a different language that they speak. However thanks to the TARLES (the time machine) the machine translate the language so that the companion can understand their language. Unfortunately though, life isn’t as easy as it is in Doctor Who, language is something that everyone struggles due to the amount of languages out in the world. This barrier of language causes miscommunication between people and is why their is such a huge diversity between people in general.

In my opinion, I believe schools in general should focus more about language than anything. There has been many cases where due to an misunderstanding, leads to a conflict that shouldn’t had happened in the first place. While its true that there are far too many languages in general to learn, at least learning the top most common language in the world, like english for example, can open many doors that hasn’t been open before. In todays society, language is a basic skill that everyone is expected to learn so it shouldn’t hurt to learn some more and besides, it’s never too late to learn a language and their culture.

 

Doctor Who Identity #2

The last post done from yours truly, it was about identities of the characters from Doctor Who and how a lonely Dalek (the last species of their kind) was lost as to who he should be; what his identity is. A recent episode I’ve watch however, reminded me of the episode Dalek once more and the identity about Dalek’s in general. The two episodes: Dalek and The Parting of Ways, both relate to one another of the struggle of identity.

From the episode of “The Parting of Ways” we discovered that the Dalek race has lived through the Time War thanks for the help of the Dalek Emperor. He then explains that by mixing dead human bodies with the little pieces left of the Dalek’s he was able to revive the Dalek race little by little. This little information is interesting because like Rose pointed out “wouldn’t that make the Dalek’s part human?” The Emperor denies this statement by getting rid of anything related to humans through the years that the Dalek’s control the human race.

As we know, its possible for Dalek’s to become part human because that’s what happened to a Dalek as he absorb a part of Rose’s DNA. We also know however, that this can drive a Dalek crazy in a whole other level; crazy to the point that a Dalek would commit suicide. This type of craziness can be seen as the Dalek’s tries to get rid anything human related. Even the Doctor points this out by stating the fact that the Dalek’s hates the stink of humanity, to the point that they hate their own existence. This is why they get rid anything human related, that way they’re not reminded that the Daleks are part human.

The Dalek’s tries anything possible to avoid their true identity despite their intelligence. The emperor has a mind set that they are pure Dalek’s and that he is God. Just the fact that he believes that he’s a God is prove that he’s part human more than he believes. The belief of a God in general, is a human believe that the Dalek’s didn’t had before. Basically, the Emperor and the Dalek’s in general are contradicting themselves to think that their not part human.