The Doctor Who Christmas Special just ended, and because of all the emotions it gave me; it definitely deserves its own post.
So, spoiler warnings for that.
The episode is a Narnia-inspired story about two children and their newly widowed mother. The Doctor shows up, being his ordinary goofy self, and brings a giant blue box. One besides the TARDIS, that is.
One of the children decides he cannot wait until christmas to find out what is inside the present and opens it in secret, during the night. This fucks with the Doctor's plan to take the family on a guided tour on one of the safest planets he knows because "nothing bad ever happens there" because he is forced to bring the other child along in order to find the first one. The mother also wakes up and discoveres that they are all missing, as well as something being strange with the present. She crawls through the portal it turns out to be and enters the forest where the rest of her family, as well as the Doctor is wandering around.
I loved this episode and it made me cry, not once but twice. My favourite part about it was definitely seeing the Doctor being his ordinary, happy, self as opposed to the rather dark character he has been presented as in the latest episodes. I did, however, have some issues with it and I guess this is where that spoiler warning applies. So, if you don't want to be spoiled; stop reading.
The spirits of the planet turns out to be in need of someone strong in order to use them a life boat to escape the fate of being melted down by acid rain. When the Doctor and the son of the family has been rejected, the spirits choose to travel through the mother, as she is the strongest. This causes the Doctor to draw the conclusion that "strong" in this context means someone able to bear life; a woman! He actually says that according to nature, men are weak and women are strong. I really don't like this use of someone's ability to pop out kids in order to decide if they are strong or not. Because a) Women being strong doesn't necessarily mean that men are weak. b) Not all women can carry children, does that make them weaker or not women?
If children and life was a necessary theme, couldn't the mother simply have been the strongest because of how she had to deal with her husbands early death as well as taking care of her children? And when the daughter was considered relatively strong, couldn't that have been because of how she took care of her brother? Not everything is about biological abilities. And it also feels pretty unoriginal to justify women being strong with their mothering abilities, instead of traits such as empathy or mental strenght, which both the women of this episode showed.
I also don't believe that the writer was trying to belittle men, but calling them weak because they can't have children is pretty, uh, mean. Besides, some men have bodies which are capable of giving birth. This has nothing to do with them being strong or weak, and neither does their body have to do with their gender.
Things always get so complicated when you try to use people's gender to justify things.
On another, also pretty important, note; in one of the last scenes, the Doctor asks the woman to tell him how she met her husband. She tells him that they met because he followed her home. No, not as in he followed her home after a date. He literally followed her home. And not only this, but she continues to speak about how he told her he would keep following her until they got married. I think this was an attempt at romance, although I'm not sure since there is nothing romantic about being stalked.
And no, that is not a nice way to show devotion.