So the news is out. The next Doctor Who is a woman! And what a storm it has kicked up! Every year about this time reported news descends into a silly season, and this year’s first brush with it is the storm created by the announcement that Jodie Whittaker is to follow Peter Capaldi as the thirteenth Doctor.
It has generated an amazing amount of comment across the press and TV.
It is the way that it has split opinion with some long standing fans going as far as to say that it has killed Doctor Who and that there are some who have vowed never to watch it again.
That is over and against other comments from those who have never watched it saying that they will now start following it!
It never ceases to amaze me how participants in social media are so quick to express their narrow minded and bigoted opinions.
Doctor Who is a TV fantasy drama, a bit of fluff created for our entertainment.
It just so happens to have captured people’s imaginations for the last fifty-plus years.
I love it and am a fan happy to be entertained by it.
I get far more concerned over something like the lack of reporting in the British news of the shooting of Israeli police at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem just over a week ago. A major crisis like that which could ignite the tinderbox of Israeli/Palestinian tensions hardly got any coverage. That is far more concerning!
But the sort of comments about the new Doctor being a woman perhaps also have a darker aspect.
Why is there such a vehement objection from some quarters?
It is sadly true that women are all too often in our world treated as either second class citizens or as possessions to be used and abused.
Consider how many times we hear of the abuse of women in war zones, or of the abduction of the girls in Nigeria for example, or of cases of domestic abuse.
The underlying disrespect for women is abhorrent, and nor has the Church been as responsible in its attitude to women as it should have been either, even with the respect and honour that the Church expresses for Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Unfortunately in society there is an inherent sexism which fails to treat women with the respect that they should.
To have the strong female leads like we have in the recent Wonder Woman film and now a woman as Doctor Who all helps to break down the myth that women don’t count, but to change attitudes in general will need more than whimsical silly season reporting!