Yeah, I said it. And no, I am not screaming from the rooftops that we need Emma Watson, Olivia Coleman, or some other actress to take up residence in the TARDIS. Quite the opposite, actually.
For 50+ years, The Doctor had been male. He’s had companions of both sexes and I think he even had an Android or a robot or something in there. I love the dynamic between the almost god-like timelord and his (more often than not) female companions. This ancient man comes whipping through time and space, arrogant in his self assurance and commanding in presence, walks around like he owns the place and STILL gets schooled by a human girl who is more clever than him – exception being Rory Williams, who always asked the good questions and knew when to move.
The major point is, that bringing in a woman to be The Doctor isn’t equality. It’s women wanting a chance to have an amazingly well written and we’ll respected character who is strong and vulnerable all at once. We don’t need The Doctor for that. We need more Jessica Jones, or even a Shonda Rhimes character (just please, less sex). We don’t need a lady Bond. We need roles that are so good the men want in on them too. But jumping into a traditionally male role and claim it equal is bullshit. It sets us up for failure because of the mindset of “if a man can do it, so can I”. While true, for the most part, we don’t need their sloppy seconds roles. We need to write our own heroines and make them the badasses we dream of or the caring wise diplomats. Write about a McGonagall or a piratess. Make her indestructible. Make her fierce. Make her vulnerable. But make the sexiness optional. Let the actor bring that in if she wants.
Equality isn’t just taking up the controls of the TARDIS in a magical sex change. Equality is having a role that is equally awesome. It’s easy to settle and say that a tiimelady is enough, but it’s not and what’s worse is that if it fails, it only fuels the patriarchy’s ability and tendency to say “I told you so”.
Leave that delightfully grumpy, kind, loving, self righteous Timelord alone. Demand better roles or write them yourself.