10 'Doctor Who' quotes that show why it's the perfect time for a woman in the role.

After much speculation, the news is out: Jodie Whittaker will be the first woman to play The Doctor on BBC's "Doctor Who."

This news was a welcome relief to Whovians, many of whom have been clamoring to see a woman pick up the mantle of The Doctor for years. To others, casting a woman in the role of a regenerating, time-traveling alien was an outrage. The role had been played by a dozen men before her and was always meant to be played by a man, they insisted.

A letter written by "Doctor Who" creator Sydney Newman to BBC One management in the mid-1980s offering up some suggestions on what to do with the character he'd created more than 20 years prior, however, suggests those outraged voices haven't done their research:


“At a later stage, [The Doctor] would be metamorphosed into a woman. This requires some considerable thought — mainly because I want to avoid a flashy Hollywood ‘Wonder Woman’ because this kind of hero(ine) has no flaws — and a character with no flaws is a bore.”

While "Doctor Who's" many years on air have been a pretty mixed bag when it comes to bucking sexist stereotypes (in fact, sometimes it was just flat out bad at this), there are a still plenty of quotes from the show that prove women (and men and aliens and everyone in between) can be whatever they want — which seems to now include the role of The Doctor as well.

Here are 10 "Doctor Who" quotes that anyone who says The Doctor can't be a woman should remember:

1. In "The Idiot’s Lantern" (2006), David Tennant's iteration of The Doctor takes on gender roles, delivering a royal comeback:

The Doctor: Hold on a minute. You've got hands, Mr. Connolly. Two big hands. So why's that your wife’s job?
Eddie: Well, it's housework, isn't it?
The Doctor: And that's a woman’s job?
Eddie: Course it is!
The Doctor: Mr. Connolly, what gender is the Queen?
Eddie: She's a female.
The Doctor: And are you suggesting the Queen does the housework?
Eddie: No! No, not at all.
The Doctor: Then get busy!







GIF from Doctor Who/YouTube.

2. During "Empress of Mars" (2017), companion Bill calls out the sexist views about what jobs women can do while stranded on Mars with a few accidental travelers.

Bill: What, you can deal with big green Martians and, and, and rocket ships, but you can't deal with us being the police?
Godsacre: No, no, no, no, no. It's just such a fanciful notion. A woman in the police force.
Bill: Listen, yeah? I'm going to make allowances for your Victorian attitudes because, well, you actually are Victorian.

3. Bill made history as The Doctor's first lesbian companion, but "The Eaters of Light" (2017) saw sexual politics turned on its head when she met up with a group of soldiers from ancient Rome.

Bill: There’s, um, something I should explain — this is probably just a really difficult idea. I don’t like men ... that way.
Lucius: What, not ever?
Bill: No. Not ever. Only women.
Lucius: Oh. All right, yeah, I got it. You’re like Vitus, then.
Bill: What?
Lucius: He only likes men.
Vitus: Some men. Better-looking men than you, Lucius.
Lucius: I don’t think it’s narrow-minded. I think it’s fine. You know what you like.
Bill: And you like ... both?
Lucius: I’m just ordinary. I like men and women.
Bill: Well, isn’t this all very ... modern.
Lucius: Hey, not everybody has to be modern. I think it’s really sweet that you’re so ... restricted.
Bill: Cheers.











GIF from Doctor Who/YouTube.

4. Back in 1968's "The Web of Fear," companion Anne took a stand for women and girls who want to be scientists everywhere.

Capt. Knight: What’s a girl like you doing in a job like this?
Anne Travers: Well, when I was a little girl, I thought I’d like to be a scientist ... so I became a scientist.

GIF from Doctor Who/YouTube.

5. The first on-screen mention of a Time Lord being able to jump from male to female and back came during "The Doctor’s Wife" (2011), when The Doctor talked about The Corsair.

Amy: Doctor, what is it?
The Doctor: I've got mail. Time Lord emergency messaging system. In an emergency, we'd wrap up thoughts in psychic containers and send them through time and space. Anyway, there's a living Time Lord still out there, and it's one of the good ones.
Rory: You said there weren't any other Time Lords left.
The Doctor: There are no Time Lords left anywhere in the universe. But the universe isn't where we're going. See that snake? The mark of The Corsair. Fantastic bloke. He had that snake as a tattoo in every regeneration. Didn't feel like himself unless he had the tattoo. Or herself, a couple of times. Ooo, she was a bad girl.
Rory: Oh, what is happening?



6. Bill and The Doctor have a chat about Missy, The Doctor's gender-swapping nemesis, and society's focus on the concept in "World Enough and Time" (2017).

The Doctor: She was my first friend, always so brilliant, from the first day at the academy. So fast, so funny. She was my man crush.
Bill: I'm sorry?
The Doctor: Yeah, I think she was a man back then. I'm fairly sure that I was, too. It was a long time ago, though.
Bill: So, the Time Lords, bit flexible on the whole man-woman thing, then, yeah?
The Doctor: We're the most civilized civilization in the universe. We're billions of years beyond your petty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes.
Bill: But you still call yourselves Time Lords?
The Doctor: Yeah. Shut up.





7. When Martha Jones meets The Doctor in "Smith and Jones" (2007), she makes it clear that she's the doctor in this pairing.

Martha: I promise you, Mr. Smith. We will find a way out. If we can travel to the moon, then we can travel back. There’s got to be a way.
The Doctor: It’s not Smith. That’s not my real name.
Martha: Who are you then?
The Doctor: I’m The Doctor.
Martha: Me too, if I ever pass my tests. What is it then, Dr. Smith?
The Doctor: Just The Doctor.
Martha: How d’you mean, just The Doctor?
The Doctor: Just. The Doctor.
Martha: What, people call you The Doctor?
The Doctor: Yeah.
Martha: Well, I’m not. As far as I’m concerned you’ve gotta earn that title.
The Doctor: Well, I better have a start then.










8. In part two of "The End of Time" (2010), we learn that former companions Mickey and Martha are now married. And we also learn that Martha isn't the type to sit things out simply because of that.

Mickey: Yeah, but — we’re being fired at by a Sontoran. A dumpling with a gun. And this is no place for a married woman.
Martha: Well, then, you shouldn’t have married me.

GIF from Doctor Who/YouTube.

9.  In "The Ark of Space" (1975), fan-favorite companion Sarah Jane Smith stands up to some condescending language in an awesome way.

Harry: She's coming round. Steady, steady on, old girl, steady on.
Sarah: [dazed] Harry?
Harry: Yes, I'm here, I'm here.
Sarah: Call me old girl again ... and I'll spit in your eye.


10. That time Donna Noble, aka the best temp in Cheswick, absorbed The Doctor's knowledge and became The Doctor Donna, a highlight of her time on the show in "Journey's End" (2008).

The Doctor: How did you work that out? You’re —Time Lord. Part Time Lord.
Donna: Part human. Oh yes. That was a two-way biological meta-crisis. Half-Doctor Half-Donna.
The Doctor: The Doctor Donna!

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Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

via Walt Disney Television / Flickr and The Simpsons Wiki

Actor Hank Azaria's relationship with "The Simpsons" character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon holds a mirror up to how America has progressed as a society on the issue of race over the past three decades. Last year, he announced he'd no longer be performing the character, but that came after a long, slow journey of understanding.

"It's 1988, and somebody says to me, 'Hey, can you do an Indian accent?' It was, like, one line. I said, 'Yeah, I think so.' And Apu comes out. We're like 'OK, that was funny' and we all laugh. So that keeps going from there, and over the years it develops," he revealed on Dax Shepard and Monica Padman's "Armchair Expert" podcast.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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