It’s a little thing, and it’s certainly nothing to get outraged about (no, seriously!), but when Steven Moffat refers to the actresses who have played the companions on Doctor Who as “girls,” instead of women, it doesn’t really help his case when it comes to his the female problem the show has been saddled with under his reign. There’s a whole, huge geek community obsessively devoted to Who who have, by their own admissions, given up on the show so long as Moffat continues to run it (I know! It’s mentioned at least once in every comment section on Doctor Who here), and this semantic thing — while small — simply highlights the perception many have of Moffat.
“We actually have changed it up quite a lot, look how different those girls have been. Wait and see,” Moffat told the Royal Television Society panel with regards to “changing up the companions.”
They are not girls. Karen Gillan is 26. Jenna Louise Coleman is 28. They are women.
Is that a dumb complaint? Yes. Probably, and I don’t want to make something out of nothing here. But the fact that he thinks of them as “girls” kind of illustrates the problem, i.e., the lack of respect that he’s afforded those companions. Certainly, there was significant improvement under Clara Oswald’s reign, and The Mistress was a nice touch, although at a certain point with Moffat — who has come under so much scrutiny for his problem with female characters — it’s hard not to wonder if it’s a patronizing token, as if to say, “Here you are girls. Isn’t this what you wanted? Get off my back now, OK?”
But really, honestly, it’s a slow news day, and I’m probably just making something of out of nothing, but when I saw the quote, the first image that popped in my mind was Joanna Robinson making a face like this …
… and then I thought, “Shit, dude. You’re not making it any easier to defend your show, are you?” So thanks for that, Moffat, because the next time I attempt to argue with Joanna on the Station Agents that you’ve come a long way with your companions, her response will probably be, “Oh, you mean, his ‘girls’.”
via the Women at The Mary Sue