The Doctor as the catalyst for accepting “The Different”

I took some time to think of how The Doctor has a positive impact on the views we embrace and express in this blog. I looked at the entire series from beginning to the present for an answer. The Doctor in all his incarnations shows an innate joy in exploration and embraces those that are different. How wonderful to have this view, how amazing would it be to emulate this attitude. Instead of fear and loathing, if a person presented themselves as a decent individual they then would be accepted as they are. Be they male, female, gay, straight or whatever they so choose. We as a species could do worse than take this underlying theme and implement it when dealing with our fellow humans. The only skills required are an open mind, the joy of discovery and benevolent acceptance.

Would children discovering their sexuality, thought unacceptable, still feel the need to end their lives if these simple lessons were used? I believe with the use of what I like to call the Whomanity Formula , oppression, abuse  and that ever present villain “Bullying” would certainly become only scary fables.  As a lesbian and mother to a son that just came out, I hope I’m not the only one that observes this underlying thread. I’m not a Pollyanna; please don’t think all I see are butterflies and rainbows. I see many things in the series that should be discussed and addressed. I just wanted to point out the factor that drew me to the series. The unbreakable thread that ties my heart to The Doctor and his companions, no matter what face he wears. I want to learn new things, experience new ideas and see my surroundings through new eyes. I don’t care if they are straight eyes, lesbian eyes, or queer eyes;   The Doctor embraces them all and delights in the degrees of different.

5 comments

  1. tansy says:

    I think this is very true, and for all the problematic aspects that turn up from time to time in Modern Who, I love the fact that it has become so overtly a show that promotes acceptance of actual queerness as well as the “different” in general. In particular I think it’s important that the Doctor himself is a character who is so open-minded and joyful in celebrating the different because he is the male hero, and it’s an important message for us to have about male heroes.

    There aren’t MANY male leading men in SF shows who would, for instance, tell his male friend he was in love with him, in order to distract him from the Cybermen behind him. Or accept a farewell kiss from Captain Jack as the salute it was…

    The Doctor doesn’t just accept people’s differences, he (mostly) delights in them.

  2. anon says:

    One of my favorite Dr Who moments, actually, is the doctor recounting Rory and Amy’s wedding, saying he danced with all of the women – and most of them men. And then in a tone that indicates being completely baffled, and slightly perturbed, says that the men were a bit awkward and stiff.

    As a being who has seen all of time and space, the doctor can’t even think of homophobia, and finds people acting that way completely absurd. It’s exactly the way I wish people would respond to the aggressively homophic – not argumentatively, but rather with total bafflement at how someone could hold such a nonsensical world view.

  3. tansy says:

    Something similar is implied in Day of the Moon – we don’t know for certain whether the Doctor knows that Canton’s partner is either male or black, but it doesn’t matter to him one way or another. He can’t imagine any possible reason why Canton should possibly be fired for wanting to get MARRIED in the 1960′s, and that naivete is an element of his overall acceptance that everyone is wonderful except, you know, Daleks and people who are unexpectedly immortal.

  4. cathannabel says:

    Yes! It’s one of the things speculative fiction can do so well. If you only know a village then you might well be afraid/suspicious of anyone from outside it. If you have a whole cosmos, all of time and space, to roam around, there is just so much difference, so many variations, that the only one you actually need to worry about is: is this person/being trying to destroy me/the human race/the universe?

  5. Alasdair says:

    I think the Doctor’s gender-blindness can be exaggerated, or applies more in theory than in practice, given that in the new series he’s generally portrayed as heterosexual. That aspect would be stronger if he ever expressed attraction or love for a male character (flirtation with Jack aside).

    But that aside, I agree that the way the Doctor treats all people as people, and of equal worth to begin with, is one of his most admirable characteristics. One of my favourite lines in the whole show is from “A Christmas Carol”, where he says something like, “In all my travels, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” What a great statement.

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