Doctor Who memories

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    ichabod @ichabod

    Winston: Maybe a female Doctor will get a whole new bunch of people watching and loving the show so it keeps going.  . . .  I always understood that to be politically correct just meant being polite and kind and being considerate of everyone no matter who they are.

    Thank you, Winston; nicely put.  The “origin story” that I’ve read about the term “politically correct” is that it began as a sort of political inside-joke among left winger used to spotlight the martinet-like, exaggeratedly “pure” demands of their own further-left extremists, alluding to how much such people’s “standards” of what was acceptably left at all came across as old-style communist propaganda out of Russia.  It was meant satirically, but was immediately seized upon by the Right as a pejorative turned against those who had come up with it in the first place.  People on the Left then gave up on it altogether (because who wants to have to explain such a tangle every time they use a phrase with its original meaning as a satirical rebuke to Left wing extremism?), and so the Right’s version of its pejorative meaning became the only meaning left.

    No one among the many Left winger folks I hang out with ever used the term seriously, and none of them use it seriously (or at all, unless as mockery of the Right’s stupidity) now.  The last time I ever heard it even discussed seriously is back in the nineties at an SF convention at which Ursula LeGuin was told, in an accusatory whine from an audience member, that her political comments verged dangerously into “politically correct” territory.  She snapped back, “I AM ‘politically correct’.  I’m against slavery, the oppression of working people and the poor, misogyny, child labor, racism, and sexism.  Are you saying that you are FOR those things?!” But even by then, the battle for the term had been lost to the Right.  And, apparently, no one had told the jerk who’d complained that Ursula, in addition to be smarter than anyone else in the room — any room — and also smaller and slighter in build, suffered fools not at all and took no prisoners.

    I’ve never heard the term used approvingly by anyone on the Left since then.  Now it’s strictly a term of abuse employed by the Right.  This is how its usage play out here in the US, at any rate.



    I thought I was more concise 😉 but a bit of Ursula is never wasted.

    (I did my Masters ta LSE and, in true LSE style, we had our own term: “Ideologically sound”, used in exactly the same way – always satirical, usually self-deprecating.)

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant — Ha!  Wonderful!  There’s jargon, and then there’s self-satirical jargon, but such nuances do tend to get lost outside the fold.

    Missy @missy


    For me, Political correctness means:

    Not calling people Wops, Wogs, Yids, Yanks, Frogs, Krouts, Niggers etc. Which I never have.

    Then the lunatic fringe got working on it, and we get Spokesperson, Batters instead of Batsmen or woman and Chairperson – one must never say man or woman. *rolls eyes*

    I could say more, but I’ll leave it there.


    nerys @nerys

    @ichabod Thank you for that history lesson. I’m old enough to know … but a reminder of the context certainly helps. That awful “PC” backlash has really muddied the waters, to the point where everyone forgets that it’s mostly about trying to put oneself in the other person’s shoes, and imagine how we would feel if we were called (fill in the blank), or wronged in the countless ways that so many outside the mainstream have been. There’s nothing wrong with being reminded of that, but the backlash has caused some to feel they are well within their rights, and they need not concern themselves with what the impact may be.

    winston @winston

    @missy  I think that when titles get changed like batsmen\women to batters   and chairman to chairperson it is about inclusion. Including the female half of the planet is a good thing from my point of view as a member of that half and a Granny to 2 granddaughters. It is nice to be included. (says the person always picked last for the team.)

    One of my memories of Doctor Who is how he accepted and included all people no matter what planet they came from or what sex , colour or how many arms,heads,legs or lack of them, they had. As long as those people are not hurting others.

    The Doctor also seems to like women of all kinds and he trusts them ,sometimes with his life and they save him all the time. Heck that’s all Clara did! He even taught one to fly the Tardis.Maybe the recent regeneration is a homage to all the strong ,brave,clever and kind women he has met and traveled with with through his many lives. Maybe this Doctor wants to honour all those women and the sacrifices they made to help her save worlds.

    Just a thought , late at night, long past my bedtime.

    nerys @nerys

    I agree with that, @winston. I never understood why female actors had to be called actresses. They’re actors. It seems to me that some terminology became unnecessarily restrictive as women entered those fields. Maybe all firefighters used to be men, but they’re not all men now, so it makes no sense to call them firemen. Language evolves for all sorts of reasons. Inclusivity is one of them. Accuracy is another.

    gameravatar @gamergirlavatar

    @nerys I agree, never understood the term “actresses”. For me when people use the word “man” in terms such as “fireman”, I always figured it was referring to mankind, as if to view us as a species instead of gender form. I really never understood why we put labels on eachother and than judge eachother for them.

    Hi everyone, I see we’re still talking about Jodie’s gender. I feel I’ve made my option on the subject clear but I just need to rant for awhile. When the trailers for season 11 were being released I cried tears of happyness, not because Jodie has the same biological structure as me but because I saw a person who looked like The Doctor. I should have been sad, Peter was leaving the show and he was my favorite Doctor but I couldn’t look at Jodie and stay sad. I guess I just don’t really understand where all this tension is coming from. The only reason I was against a female Doctor was because I didn’t want people to fight over it. That was wrong of me, I want the role of The Doctor to be played by the best actor, despite their gender. Now, this past season didn’t handle the change the way I hoped it would. I don’t like that Chris Chibnall wanted to cast a woman (again, it should go to the best person despite gender). I don’t like that The Doctor mentions the gender change, in my opion The Doctor shouldn’t think about it and I don’t like that you can see the gender change affecting the stories. Some of the worse stories come from creating the theme or moral lesson first. This is suppose to be entertainment, it isn’t suppose to preach to us yet the latest season did that. However, I’m not going to complain about Jodie’s gender. She never had a choice over it, same as any of us. Really I’m just tired of hearing people looking at her outward appearance instead of her character or her acting talents since this is suppose to be a profession and not politics. I don’t like it when people look at me, see my biological structure and assume they know everything about me. That happens all the time! From the time I was a child I wondered why that was and lately I’ve been feeling stressed about it alot. Funny thing is I don’t even see myself as a woman, I just think of me as me. If I were to suddenly change from female to male I wouldn’t see it as anything different. That’s what I was hoping for with The Doctor. The point I am trying to make here is, I understand someone not liking some of reasoning behind this casting decision but I can’t comprehand how someone can hate Jodie because she is female. Especially since everyone in this world has been treated different on accounts of their gender and I’m sure none of us like it when that happens.

    I’m sorry for ranting. I try not to get political on this site and I won’t do this again. I hope no one was affended since I don’t mean to sound harsh. (If this did sound harsh, hard to tell when you have read it instead of hearing it.) I just had to place my thoughts somewhere so I can keep track of them. Thanks for letting me type it out.

    Missy @missy


    Because they are actresses. Why not call actors actresses?

    Mind you, I could never understand some females getting uptight about being called Miss if single. Ms is just plain daft, and mean the same thing as Miss.

    Peter is still  favourite Doctor. “grins”


    nerys @nerys

    @missy So, what is the difference between an actor and an actress? If the only difference is the sex of the one doing the acting, then it strikes me as a silly distinction. I’m fine with calling them all actresses, as long as everyone gets the same designation. (Though, from a linguistic standpoint, words ending in -er or -or have a sensible constructive meaning.)

    It’s like calling a female singer a songstress. The male equivalent is songster. Going by the definition of what’s actually being done, aren’t they all songsters? Or, really, singers?

    As for Miss vs. Mrs. vs. Ms., truth be told, a “Ms.” could be married or single. It’s the designation that woman chooses. The problem with “Miss” is that unmarried men are not given a similar unmarried title. Men, whether they be married or single, can go by Mr.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @nerys agreed. I hated being called, “Miss” just as much as I detest being called “Mrs”. Both make me cringe. The distinctions in title are also inconvenient. I was once working in a pollie’s office addressing mail and did not know what to put on letters going out to women, Miss, Mrs or Ms because I know some older women get offended by the later. In the end I just put initial and surname for everyone but of course some people will get offended by that too.

    Boys were referred to as “master” until they reached maturity when they became Mr. Girls however were not considered “mature” until married and so remained Miss so it is really deeply offensive in my view. Miss and Master are acceptable terms for children maybe, if salutations are required, but not for adults.

    I have been wanting to comment on this discussion because it is topic I have been giving much thought to. Back when I was working in hospitality we all objected to the suggestion that we be called by the gender neutral, “waitrons”. naturally we all immediately pretended to be robots. We much preferred the more human sounding waiter and waitress because being identified as female was fine. However on reflection a job title is a reference to the job and therefore should be gender neutral. titles such as, “doctor, prime minister, mayor, writer, student, builder, baker, candlestick maker, denote profession not person and so why should it differ for actors or waiters?

    (funny story. A few years ago our town had it second female mayor and one councillor proposed she be referred to as “mayoress”. He was laughed out of the chamber.)




    Whisht @whisht

    People choose what they are offended by.

    @missy – if you choose to be offended by people referring to themselves as Ms or actress etc then absolutely that’s your choice.

    If others choose to be offended by those things as they recognise them as demeaning women as being less than men and gay people as being less than straight people, then that’s their choice too.

    We all get to choose and the ability to choose is a wonderful thing.

    I hope that my choices as what to get offended by reflect on my values – ie I get offended by racism, sexism, homophobia and general stupidity. Unfortunately I also get offended by other things that don’t reflect well on me, but I’m hopefully working on those and will get over them (one day… but I must try harder as it reflects poorly on the type of person I want to be).

    I wish I was better but hopefully I’ll get better by working on my choices.

    nerys @nerys

    @janetteb Back when I was working in hospitality we all objected to the suggestion that we be called by the gender neutral, “waitrons”. naturally we all immediately pretended to be robots. We much preferred the more human sounding waiter and waitress because being identified as female was fine.

    In recent years I’ve heard the gender-neutral term, server, being used to describe wait staff. As far as I know, there’s no such thing as a servette … except for a couple of sports teams Google turned up.

    gameravatar @gamergirlavatar

    @janetteb @nerys @whisht Funny story about the councillor, janetteb. I don’t understand the need for the terms “miss”, “mrs” or “ms”. I’ve been called all these things along with “sir”, “mr” and once “master. (I wear clothes designed for both genders. As long as it’s pratical I’ll wear it. People also call me by nicknames that sound like male and/or female names so someone new might not know my biological structure until they see me.) I really don’t get affended when these words are used as long as people don’t mean to affend me. I just think, “Oh you thought I was male, nothing wrong with being male.” or “You might think I’m single. Well, I’ve single my whole life, nothing wrong with that.” because I don’t see anything wrong with being male or single. However, if someone were to get in my face and hiss at me for wearing mans clothes I think, “You are meaning to insult me for the clothes I’m wearing.” and I have been known to fight back in times like that. It’s really how people use the words that can set me off. However, when people talk about my gender when in a situation that doesn’t call for it, I think “Oh, your just viewing me as a label instead of who I am.” because people do that. Almost everyone does that, why don’t we view eachother as the people we are. People use these labels to indentify more than a biological structure, we use them to view a character. I’ve been pointed at and been told what my personality is, despite this person never talking to me before, all because they saw my body type and therefor felt they had enough information to know me. If these words are used like that, than I hate the way they are being used. I don’t think humans have been resposible with these words and that’s where the this problem comes from.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @gamergirlavatar Agreed. It is the intention that matters. I do get annoyed when say the boys’ school rings and calls me Mrs but I know that I shouldn’t because it is a natural assumption, no offence is intended. However when the staff in the post office query my right to pick up a parcel sent to my address because of the difference in name, I do feel entitled to get cross. They are being small minded.

    I recently heard a story of a man, late middle age, being called out for referring to a “server” as “waitress.” He meant no offence and was really hurt by the reaction. He was simply using a term that he had grown up with so the person who took offence caused more harm than he did.

    On a positive note, Having young people around I do think “times are a changin'” regarding, (in this backwards corner of the world at least) dress choices, which is fantastic and one of the few benefits the younger generation have. They wear stuff that would not have been acceptable when we were young. We still have a long way to go though, as your experiences show and there is a conservative backlash that we all have to keep fighting against, but that is always the way with progress.



    gameravatar @gamergirlavatar

    @janetteb Sorry I didn’t reply back to this post right away. Thanks for agreeing, a lot of people can willfully ignore the importance of how a word was intended. I think it’s great that “times are a changin'” and we do get to have conversations about these topics inorder to find a solution. We just need to keep fighting inorder to progress. Thanks for talking to me about this.

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