the galaxies are full of very stupid people

The fans of Doctor Who are, on the whole, a pretty intelligent group with a fairly elastic capacity for the willing suspension of disbelief. Most of them (and by ‘them’ I mean ‘us’ because I’m also a fan of the Doctor) have a Disbelief Suspension Toggle that triggers immediately on hearing the first electronic notes of the harmonic waveforms that comprise the show’s theme song.

But there are some fans whose Disbelief Suspension Toggles appear to be seriously malfunctioning.

Consider the Adipose. Cheeky little semi-sentient marshmallows of fat, from the planet Adipose 3. They could, in a crisis, completely absorb humans, thereby turning those unfortunate humans into…well, more fat. To Whovians with a properly functioning DST, this is believable.

Totally believable, this.

Consider the Slitheen. They’re a Raxacoricofallapatorian crime family who plotted to turn the Earth into a huge nuclear reactor pile and sell the planet’s remains off as starship fuel. The Slitheen are able to pass themselves off as human by ‘wearing’ the skin of large, dead people. Because the Slitheen are larger than most humans, they have to compress themselves to fit inside the skin. One effect of this compression is the periodic necessity to expel gas in the form of resounding farts. This is believable.

Absolutely believable.

Consider Chula nanogenes. This was a microscopic form of gene therapy used to repair wounds and injuries suffered by soldiers from the planet Chula. The nanogenes were accidentally released on Earth in 1941 by an immortal, time-traveling human con man who’d stolen a Chula space ambulance. The escaped nanogenes attempted to heal a young British boy who was the victim of a Nazi bombing raid. Assuming the boy’s gas mask was actually part of his face, the nanogenes ‘healed’ the mask. Using the boy as a template, the Chula nanogenes ‘healed’ other injured humans based on the boy’s characteristics and injuries at death — thereby creating gas-mask-faced zombies. This is believable.

Who wouldn’t believe this?

Consider the Doctor — an alien being from the planet Gallifrey who possesses a binary vascular system, maintains an internal body temperature of around 60F (15-16C), and has a respiratory bypass system that allows the Doctor to occasionally go without oxygen for an indeterminate period of time. The Doctor primarily resides in a stolen dimensionally transcendental time-spacecraft called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) which, due to a faulty chameleon circuit, looks like a 1960s-era British police box. When near death (usually due to injury, age, or disease), the Doctor can regenerate — a process by which the body restructures its triple helix DNA. This restructuring generally allows the Doctor to retain most of the previous Doctor’s memories. However, it also includes the genetic equivalent of ‘bit errors’ in the DNA. This has the effect of altering the Doctor’s appearance, height, mass, and apparent age. This is believable.

So completely believable.

To some Doctor Who fans, however, there is one immutable characteristic of the Doctor. One physical facet of the Doctor’s being than is indispensable, regardless of the regeneration process. One supreme, conclusive physical attribute that defines the Doctor. An extendable intromittent organ that acts as a sperm delivery system. To these fans, the Doctor’s physical body is apparently nothing more than an extension of the Doctor’s dick. Absent that organ, the Doctor is a sham.

In other words — no dick, no Doctor.

What? No. Are you kidding me? Unbelievable.

These particular Doctor Who fans are what I like to call ‘fuckwits’. Why? Because there’s no evidence that the Doctor even has a dick. The Doctor has always appeared to be male, so many fans have fallen into the Operative Assumption of Dick. It is an implied dick; nobody has ever actually seen the Doctor’s dick.

I’m confident, though, that there are David Tennant/10th Doctor fans who’ve made an exhaustive visual inspection of the Doctor’s tailored striped trousers; if a dick had been noticeable, I’m pretty sure it would have been…well, noticed. Even if the Doctor has a dick, it’s possible he’s hung like a horsefly.

The thing is, we just don’t know. No, wait…the thing actually is, it just doesn’t matter. Whether the Doctor is fully dicked, partially dicked, variantly dicked, or utterly dick-free, it just doesn’t matter.

What matters is whether the Doctor connects with the audience — and that’s a personal issue. Jodie Whittaker will either be convincing as the Doctor or she won’t. If you’re only able to relate to Doctors who possess an implied dick, then — well, I don’t want to say you’re a sexist idiot, but… No, wait. That’s actually exactly what I want to say. If you can’t connect to the 13th Doctor because she hasn’t a dick, then you’re a sexist idiot.

I don’t know if Jodie Whittaker will be convincing as the Doctor. I very much hope she will. But it won’t depend on what’s hidden beneath her clothing.

That said, I’ll be deeply disappointed if she wears heels.

21 thoughts on “the galaxies are full of very stupid people

  1. I liked the person who descibed one misogynists’ brain as being “bigger on the outside than the inside”. Don’t know where I saw the remark so can’t credit it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wow you mean women can be Doctors too?? I think your article title needs correcting ….. there are only stupid people on Earth.


  3. Not to be overly contrarian – and also not that it matters to me one way or another – but there is reasonable evidence that the Doctor, in his male embodiments, does in fact have a dick. I’m working here from Amy Pond’s appreciative expression when he dresses in front of her in the earliest Matt Smith episodes. It was a moment that simultaneously made me like Pond and made me worry, for the first time seriously, about where Steven Moffat was going with the show.


    • Linus, you’re always overly contrarian. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy you. I don’t recall the scene you’re talking about, but I’ll re-watch those early episodes.

      Lawdy, I can’t believe I just said I’d re-watch episodes of Doctor Who just so I can learn something about the Doctor’s dick. It’s a big ol’ goofy world, as the poet Prine says.


  4. Well, reading that has made me happy. I’ve been running into some pretty obvious (to me) sexist stuff lately and the various males around me can’t see it or believe it. I’ve found my frustration coping mechanisms failing a bit. So thanks for this, and the recognition of the ridiculous nature of sexist attitudes about the necessity for the presence of a dick.


    • Beckett, here’s a sad fact: it’s easy for men to be oblivious to our own sexism. When it comes to issues of sexism, men are like rich folks who don’t quite understand why poor folks complain about gas prices. I mean, the fuel capacity of your average luxury yacht is about 4000 gallons, and they’re complaining about filling their Honda’s teensy 15 gallon tank? C’mon…who suffers more?

      Every so often some fact of life that’s blindingly obvious to women will register on our consciousness. I can still recall the moment I learned why my then-girlfriend was reluctant to drive down to the local convenience store by herself. To me, that was a ten minute trip. Park the car, go buy the whatever, get back in the car, and back home. For her, it was find a streetlight under which she could park the car so she could feel safe getting in and out, hope there are no young men–drunk men–angry men–horny men in the store, ignore the stares and/or catcalls and offensive/aggressive attempts to ‘flirt’, then hope nobody harasses her on the way back to the car.

      Then she reminded me she had to take those very same precautions for going to the gym, for attending classes at night, for meeting her girlfriends for drinks after work, and so on.

      The thing is, we men are pretty much ignorant about this stuff, and it’s so easy for us to remain ignorant. And even when we become less ignorant about one thing, we remain ignorant about all the other things. After I learned about all the fuss she had to go through to run to the convenience store on her own, she reminded me she also had to carry the stuff she bought to the car while also carrying a purse. And then she educated me about the social realities of why women have to carry purses.

      I figure I’m still ignorant of about 85% of all the shit women have to go through every day.


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  6. I’d just like to remind my fellow whoians of the cycle of new doctor. each new doctor is too young/old/different in some way until we… without fail.. fall in love with the new creation. its requires a tincture of time. I have complete faith that we will come to love boobs as much as wang. I do hope however that she has a solid set of balls. heels are okay depending on setting.

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. I will not argue with a Female Doctor. The figure of the doctor is almost like green lantern. But this does tie in into changing characters to suit current socio-political conditions.

    I believe we can have characters and heroes of all flavors but something I dislike quite a bit is changing existing characters because it may be politically advantageous. I am referring to some characters with extensive origin stories suddenly coming out as gay, existing characters changed/modified to hispanic or indian origin (Miles Morales anyone?).

    Lets have those superheroes, lets have those characters, but lets have them be original and not forced impostors of original characters. How would we feel about a blonde, blue-eyed Black Panther? Isn’t South Africa part of Africa? How about an Asian Thor?


    • I think those are valid questions. But I also think it’s possible to invent an Asian Thor without doing any damage to the mythological Thor.

      We actually do this sort of thing all the time. We set Shakespearean plays in 1920s Chicago, we turn pulp fiction private detectives into sci-fi cyborgs, we routinely turn Pride and Prejudice on its head, we re-write Sherlock Holmes every few years. But in all those cases, we never lose sight of the original story. And in all those case (well, theoretically), we learn something new about the characters and the storyline and our culture by shifting the perspective.

      Imagine if the inhabitants of Krypton were dark-skinned, and instead of crashing into an American farming community and being taken in by an all-American family like the Kents, baby Kal-El had crashed into a favela outside of Rio and was taken in by an orphanage run by nuns. Or by an old gay man who was dying of AIDS. How would his story change? How would his values change? We could do that and possibly create something interesting without destroying the original Superman story.


      • You are correct we do it all the time, but we do not have to. We do it with movies as well, right? How often do we see old movies re-done, or franchises re-booted. I think that a superhero with powers that is dark-skinned that crashes in a favela is a story worth pursuing, my problem is that it doesn’t have to be Superman, it can be an original character. The black panther origin story explores the rise of an African superhero and that is a great success. I guess it feels lazy to me to take established characters and stories, give them a coat of paint, a change of sex/race/orientation and sell them again.


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