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Dear Male Doctor Who Fans

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post

So, it was just announced that the lovely Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor, and the first female to ever land the role. She was fantastic in Broadchurch (check it out on Netflix) so there’s no reason to assume she wouldn’t make a great Doctor. Unless, of course, you’re over sensitive and can’t handle any sort of change in a series that’s been running for fifty years. The news seems to be an awful lot of people’s worst-nightmare-come-true. And by people, I mean middle aged, cis-het men who are, let’s say, struggling with the change. Despite the doctor living beyond time, space, and dimensions, people are somehow both offended and confused over gender being something the Doctor can manipulate.

Well, here’s how it’s possible for the Doctor to be female.

The Doctor can REGENERATE

I’m a little confused as to why so many so-called “fans” need this one explaining to them, but if you hadn’t noticed, The Doctor regenerates. That’s why we’ve already had twelve so far. Got it? The show has never been specific about the sex of the doctor, only that he usually takes on the form of an adult man. The 13th Doctor could have been a man, woman, a child, or maybe even a dog (I don’t think they’ve ever ruled that out).

Side note: Petition to cast a Springer Spaniel as #DoctorWho14?

So, for all of the responses I’ve read this evening, claiming that the BBC have ‘given the Doctor a sex change’, the simple answer is ‘No.’ They really haven’t given him a sex change, since he never actually had a biological sex to change. I’m perfectly game for a Doctor Who sex change in the future, but since he’s not even really a human being, it’s not possible. Sorry!

And to the man who tweeted me saying “Well how would you like it if Wonder Woman was a man?” which received more likes than it should have from other men – that’s nowhere near the same situation. Firstly, the superhero world is already full of male protagonists so go find your own film. Secondly, Wonder Woman doesn’t regenerate, so it would be weird if she just kept changing form/sex. That’s why I was just as dumb-founded when Iron Man became a woman in the comics (but that’s a whole other article).

Despite the clear possibility that a female doctor was on the cards, and the complete sense it makes to have one, people across social media are still visibly upset. So, if you’re distraught at the sight of a lady doctor but want to continue watching Dr Who, here is some advice to help you woman-hating science fiction fans deal with this troubling time.

Nothing is really going to change. Calm down.

It’s just a woman. I’m assuming (hoping) you’ve came across one before, but just in case you haven’t, they’re human beings just like you. No need to be afraid. The same beloved Dr Who, but female.

The show won’t become a shrine to femininity

There won’t be a Tardis full of bras, or any travelling to lipstick dimensions. They won’t be swapping out the sonic screw driver for a sonic tampon or battling cyber men with guns loaded full of Estrogen. It will be the same eccentric and compassionate doctor, the same exciting story lines, and quirky British humour that we all know and love. It’s just a woman, this time.

Moffatt is gone so it’s all up from here

As most of you will already know, Moffat resigned from his role as writer for Doctor Who, after admitting he preferred dedicating his time to the Sherlock series and that had caused him to not be completely on-form with Dr Who. As much as I enjoy Moffat’s writing, even I must confess that Doctor Who went a little downhill and his lack of motivation became obvious. And so, now that the series has new writers, it’s only up from here. So, if the announcement of Jodie’s casting is destressing for you, focus on the prospect of new, innovative writing.

Try to focus on how perfect this really is

Despite your own feelings on the 13th Doctor’s casting, you might want to focus on the bigger picture. Casting females for protagonist roles in sci-fi and fantasy texts does amazing things for the confidence of little girls. As men, it will be difficult to imagine how it feels to be a huge fantasy and sci-fi fan, and yet never see yourself represented in that universe unless your someone’s love interest, or your enslaved by a big slug while wearing a golden bikini. Like I said, it’ll be difficult to imagine what’s it’s like but it’s hurtful, and it’s damaging. Outside your little box, a female Doctor Who is going to rekindle the fires in the bellies of young girls everywhere, just like Wonder Woman did.

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