Anyway, I am working on another post that will include my upcoming viewing of the midseason finale, which I won't see until Saturday. But there have been several comments from mostly new people and rather than make the next post eighty-seven thousand words long, I'll hastily respond here.
This is a rant not a review.
This is a blog, not a review site. You obviously have never been here. All I do is rant. So your criticism is unwarranted.
Ndroid, as far as I can tell a first-time reader, initially posted this:
What a load of old tripe! To present a woman marrying and having a kid is not to say, in giant capital letters, THIS IS ALL A WOMAN CAN EVER DO OR BE. In fact, Amy Pond is the first woman in forty-odd years of Who companions to go through marriage and childbirth and stay on board the Tardis - she's a modern woman who's having it all. How is that "horrifically misogynistic"?
Fair enough, there are plenty of people who dislike Amy (I think she's great, myself) but to imagine that it's sexist to give her experiences that a great many (most?) women live through is just absurd. The purpose of fantasy is to make us think anew about the stuff we take for granted. On that score Moffat is doing a great job.
And obviously, old friend, you are entitled to your opinion. However, starting out with "what a load of old tripe" isn't exactly a pathway to a successful back and forth. As far as I know, you've never been here before. Therefore, I didn't know you existed until now. So coming in here like I offended you on purpose may not be the best path to travel. If it wasn't clear that I was stating MY opinion on MY blog, then let it be now.
Here's the part I'm loathe to get into. As you later tell me that you're a dude, guess what -- you don't get to decide what I find misogynistic. You just don't. You don't get to tell a black person what is or is not racist. And if you ARE a black person, or any minority, then you should REALLY get this. Whether or not YOU find it misogynistic is YOUR business, and you have every right to state that opinion. However, you do NOT have the right to tell ME what's sexist and what isn't. You SO DO NOT it's not even funny.
It's funny that you mention Rory, because I utterly adore him. He's so clearly the best character on the show (next to River). In fact, if it became the River and Rory show, I'd be all in. I love that Amy and Rory are married, although I do wish Moffat had given us more character development (particularly on Amy's side) to tell us WHY they're together. As far as two characters having enough of an internal life to justify their marriage, well... I just don't see it. So you see, I actually want MORE of their marriage and their relationship. My comment about Amy being married had, in fact, nothing to do with the awesomeness of Rory. Instead, it had to do with the rather Bechdellian concept of a female character who can't exist outside the approved female parameters, i.e., marriage and children.
Two of the best characters to EVER be on my television were Eric and Tami Taylor. Yes, A MARRIED COUPLE. WHO HAD KIDS. But neither character was handcuffed by marriage OR children. In fact, just as in life, they were ENRICHED. They both had very vivid points of view that sometimes clashed but even when they fought, they did so in a realistic way. They were never presented as the greatest fantasy couple the world has ever known. They were REAL, and they were wonderful. The difference between the Taylors and Rory and Amy is in the character development. The mere FACT that Amy is married, or that she is pregnant, is not the problem. The marriage has its own issues which have more to do with Moffat's underbaked character development than with anything else. The pregnancy, on the other hand, is the same sad old "women in refrigerators" bullshit that has become so mocked and so tired throughout science fiction. Talk about a TROPE! Inevitably, writers who run out of ideas turn towards a wooman's womb. And lest you think I am singularly opposed to pregnancy in genre, let me point you to one of my favorite movies of all time -- Rosemary's Baby. Rosemary is, in many ways, a victim. However, she's an INTERESTING one. She's well written. The story is fantastic. Everyone around her is well written.
Buffy never went the marriage/pregnancy route but I thought the last two seasons of the show were awful because they lost sight of who Buffy was. So even though they didn't knock her up, I STILL DIDN'T LIKE IT. It is not sexist to have Amy get married or get pregnant, but it IS sexist the way Moffat is doing it. And lest we forget, this is the second time Amy's been pregnant, even if the first was some fantasy. It's a little creepy, the way Moffat keeps knocking up this pretty young woman.
Now, about sexism. The short-sighted think that Mad Men is sexist because of how the women are treated. But since that's how women really WERE treated back then, it isn't sexist or misogynistic. The CHARACTERS are, and that's a hell of a lot different than the WRITER being so. Interestingly, Matt Weiner has talked about how he considers Mad Men a science fiction show, because it allows us to use a different time to tell stories about our present.
I doubt you've seen Strangers When We Meet (mostly because it's been out of print GODDAMMIT) but it's a Kim Novak-Kirk Douglas film from the 60s. They are both suburbanites living in Brentwood who meet each other while dropping their kids off at the bus stop and start an affair. It's a fantastic movie and what struck me most about it was how the Kim Novak character MUST have been a model for Betty Draper. She's NOT happy as the wife and mother but it's the early 60s, so she's living a life of quiet desperation. She's a sex object to men. Even Kirk Douglas idealizes her. It's a pretty astounding character and while the men in the movie are misogynistic towards her, the omniscient point of view is not. I watched it for the second time with a group of guys and all of them said it was the most misogynistic movie they'd ever seen. Quite a surprising response, and proof that they never understood that character, or what the movie was actually saying. And these are guys who will happily watch movies about vaginas who eat men and not find THAT misogynistic.
I get that you don't like Amy as a character, and that's fair enough. You think she's a shrill harpy, I think she's a likeable character who isn't overawed by what she sees. But to extend your dislike into a massively generalisation about Moffatt being "misogynist" because the character doesn't conform to your tastes is completely unfair.
It WOULD be, if that's what anyone was doing. But just because you are incapable of seeing misogyny doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I am not extending my dislike of Moffat into misogyny, nor am I grasping at excuses for why I hate it. The misogyny is simply the final straw. I started last season loving the first episode, then it slid into boredom and confusion. As you mention down below, Amy as "the girl who didn't make sense" didn't make sense to ME because when you are just introducing a character, it flies in the face of reason to create a character who doesn't make sense. The companion is the audience's point of view into the Doctor and his larger world. No wonder I was confused and taken out of the story! I didn't know who Amy was to begin with, so then how do I know how she DOESN'T make sense? I don't. Because there's no way for me to know that. It really says more about how conditioned people are to accept shiny things that you're defending this.
Then there's Amy as the girl who waited. Not a bad concept on its face, but waiting isn't exactly the most proactive thing a character can do. Maybe this is believable in life but drama is heightened, and I don't tune in to watch passivity. But maybe you do.
My comment about "having it all" wasn't meant entirely seriously but I repeat, why should Amy NOT have life experiences that many, or most, women undergo? Isn't it interesting to have a married couple aboard the Tardis? I'm a man - I think Rory is fantastic, an honourable and understated guy who has grown just as much as Mickey did. Or would you prefer women to be kicked out of the door as soon as they're married off (farewell Leela, enjoy life tidying the commune, Jo Grant)? You're indulging in a weird reverse sexism that says male characters are free to be themselves but women characters must represent an ideal for all womankind or stand as evidence of the writer's appalling attitudes to women.
What do you do for a living? Simplify? See above.
Why shouldn't a sudden and completely unexpected birth scene be horrifying? Most women WOULD be horrified to suddenly find themselves in labour when they didn't even know they were pregnant. That's not a comment on pregnancy and women's self-image - it's a comment on flesh avatars, the teleportation of consciousness and other fantastical ideas.The job of the show is to be exciting and surprising, not to second-guess itself and run through the potential objections of people who seek out subtexts that aren't there. Newsflash: women get pregnant, even in Tardises.
Newsflash: THAT'S NOT THE PROBLEM.
You can't keep redoing unrequited love in the Tardis, or dreams of escape. They get boring. The show needed something new. Martha was a medical student and a black Briton but both of those attributes were forgotten after a handful of episodes whereupon she was reduced to a complete drip mooning over the Doctor in ways which were (to me, but what do I know) rather less respectful of women in general than Amy's behaviour.
Martha walked the Earth for A YEAR. Martha is an understandable character, and while her mooning over the Doctor was not particularly attractive, that's kind of what made her interesting. Because she DID have attributes that were not perfect. Hell, they ALL did. Rose wanted adventure to a fault. Donna was shallow and obnoxious. What they all ALSO had was a character arc. Rose finally found what she wanted, but it was ripped away from her. Martha woke up and realized that she couldn't run away from her life. And Donna had the biggest tragedy of all -- she found who she was, and it was taken away without her knowing, without her having had those experiences. But these are all subtleties that Davies did well, and I know that his particular style was not everybody's cup of tea. But do you see how I can say that and allow you to have YOUR opinion without just trashing it and telling you that you're wrong? You didn't see all of that. I did. So how about it, Ndroid or whoever you are hiding behind that moniker? Want to play nice?
The instances you cite of Moffat writing the other female characters badly - i.e. in ways you personally dislike - are pretty thin stuff but I would point out that in the two-parter, a family and kids are what Donna AND HER MALE PARTNER, A MAN OF THE MALE GENDER, both want. The point being made is not "women just want a husband and kids", it is "humans are caught between the need for stability and a desire for adventure, and the achievement of one leaves us hungry for the other." I'd argue that that is the secret of Doctor Who's appeal.
And I'd argue that there are very good ways to do that, and lousy, horrible, misogynistic ways to do that. I choose the latter.
So no, Amy is a real character - she's just not to your taste. Your "self-centred and petulant" is my "confident and sarcastic". If her pregnancy is a plot device then so is every pregnancy in fiction, in which case what are you saying? Pregnancy is bad?
Are you just being disingenuous, or are you REALLY this clueless? Hoping for the former, dreading the latter.
This is A LOT more complex than you're making it out to be, even though you want to put me into some little feminist box. I don't fit in there, pal. And it might behoove you to not assume things like that. You have very strong opinions that don't seem to have room for anyone else's. If you wrote this on YOUR blog, I might read it but then because I disagree so vehemently, I would not respond. Because what would be the point? One side arguing against another never brings those two sides together. But you are affronted, so you come into MY house and tell me I'm wrong. You don't just share your opinion. You flat-out tell me that I'm wrong, and you insinuate (oh, yes, YOU DO) that it's my raging feminism or whatever that's blinding me. Because there can't be any way that I am seeing what I see. You are the High King of Drama and you make the rules.
I have only censored two comments since I've had this blog. Well, two comments and all that weird Chinese spam that was happening for awhile. One comment was just nasty shit and another was a personal threat. That's my wall. However, I think it would be nice in a sort of fluffy way if people who posted here had something to say other than "You're wrong." I'll keep posting your comments, of course, unless they turn into Chinese spam. You seem like a smart, if somewhat pissed off, guy. But some acknowledgement that this is my sandbox would be really sweet of you.
You just do NOT get to decide what I -- a woman -- find misogynistic. You don't. Ironically enough, my bigger issue with Moffat is his storytelling. But I'll save that for next time.