I think I’m beginning to understand the vitriol some Whovians have for Steven Moffat.
Now, before I continue, I want to be real clear - I love it when people critically engage with media and I personally agree with some of the critiques of Moffat that I’ve read. However, saying “Steven Moffat did something that pissed me off/is super problematic because XYZ” is very different from the people who froth at the mouth while shouting “STEVEN MOFFAT MADE DOCTOR WHO A DISGUSTING ODE TO PATRIARCHY HE IS THE DESTROYER OF WORLDSSS.” I know people from both groups (which have some crossover) and yesterday I had a ridiculous conversation with some of the folk on the more extreme end.
Basically, an acquaintance called the latest season of Doctor WHO “disgusting” and said that the 12th Doctor’s slew of “body-shaming comments” toward Clara was written to reinforce the idea that this incarnation is a misogynist twit hellbent on upholding modern beauty standards. I commented, suggesting that the 12th Doctor’s comments about Clara’s appearance were intended to make him seem more alien than the other recent incarnations of the Doctor, since Clara is obviously a beautiful woman (for example, the Doctor makes a comment about Clara not wearing make-up when she actually was not to shame her or imply that she’s ugly, but because he’s an alien who’s not attracted to humans and can’t tell these things). I also suggested that we should still talk about the unintentional negative consequences of the Doctor’s comments on the audience, since that’s important, and was told that I was being “disingenuous.” Then the comment section became a pissing contest for who could hate on Moffat the most.
This type of venomous Moffat-hate honestly reminds me of a harmless version of those gamers who are furious because women and “SJWs” are “invading” their clubhouse - there’s a weird feeling of being personally attacked, or like Doctor WHO has been “stolen” from progressives. As someone whose introduction to Doctor WHO included a companion who wore a leather bikini and was regularly overpowered/captured despite being a warrior, I personally don’t think the show was ever all that progressive to begin with.
I have to admit, I wonder how many Moffat-haters (who, again, are different from people who simply critique or just don’t like Moffat’s writing) are New WHO fans. I don’t mean that in a shitty way, just that I wouldn’t be surprised if those of us who started with Classic WHO are more likely to roll with the changes, even if we don’t like them, cuz we know it’s just the nature of the show.