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23 March 2011 @ 01:32 pm
my two cents about "Space" and "Time"  
I haven't posted about this before because a) I found the mini-episode to be a bit forgettable in most respects, and anyway it's only seven or eight minutes; and b) hello, gender issues ahoy. I'm disquieted, certainly, but at the same time I can't quite get a grasp on the mini-episode and say "This is its point of view."

Because I'm still of two minds about it, here's a blog post:

And this comment in particular (by the writer of the piece) basically sums up the second of those two minds:

Because Amy's skirts were such a topic of discussion in the media last season (ugh, so much), there is a possible reading that puts the mini-episode directly in dialogue with all that complaint, and pokes fun at it. More importantly, though, Amy's own reaction to her skirts--which is total forgetfulness, because it's a non-issue for her; she's just wearing what she likes--does exist in some sort of uneasy but contradictory relationship with the things I find problematic about "Space" and "Time" (the driving jokes; Rory's apparent inability to deal with Amy's skirt-wearing [I mean, really: if nothing else, it's not like he hasn't had practice!]; the whole "put some trousers on" thing). Moffat is the writer of both points of view--which is why I don't feel completely comfortable writing the whole thing off just as an example of casual misogyny all the way through; Amy's point of view is as valid as Rory's and the Doctor's, right? We can't just ignore its existence. And that has to be deliberate, even if only in the sense that Moffat wrote it and it was presumably not the result of mind control, rather than his thinking "right, better put in the woman's point of view as a deliberate challenge to Rory and the Doctor's casual misogyny."

That's not to say that I think the joke--whatever its intended direction--is successful. It left a bad taste in my mouth, and it's definitely based on tired gender stereotypes. (There's a way in which it's men who come off really badly here, completely disarmed by "an ordinary skirt" while women are just going about their business, which is the thing I never understand about that whole "the ladies better cover up because we dudes can't help ourselves" logic: why would you want to portray your gender as completely lacking in all self-control?) But there we are.
Constant Readerskirmish_of_wit on March 24th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Self-control is for girls. REAL MEN just go and TAKE what they want, WHENEVER THEY WANT IT, so women have to have self-control for everyone. Of course, then they nag and that's so annoying, so really the only thing to do is hang out with your bros and fantasize about how awesome women would be if only they didn't have personalities or wills or self-control.
Constant Readerskirmish_of_wit on March 24th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
I guess what was most disappointing about the sketch was that it seemed so out of character. I mean, Rory is transfixed by Amy, that I can accept. But Rory is unable to perform basic tasks because Amy is wearing a skirt? This from the guy who was focusing on a coma patient instead of the giant eyeball spaceship in "Eleventh Hour"? AUGH. Instance #28945789 of "Ways In Which The Patriarchy Is Bad For EVERYONE": it turns even competent men into drooling, mindless animals directed solely by their hormones. This is not typically a characterization that Rory falls into.
tempestsarekind: rory died and turned into a romantempestsarekind on March 24th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly! What I love so much about Rory is that he is steady and dependable--he's really not the sort who loses all ability to function because of Amy's skirt-wearing. He seemed to manage just fine through all of season 5, despite the inimical properties of this distracting material.
tempestsarekind: martha at the globetempestsarekind on March 24th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
This comment depresses me with its accuracy.