The new Doctor Who says of course her character can still be a role model for boys.
She's got a good point.
When "Doctor Who" announced the casting of Jodie Whittaker in the title role, some people kind of freaked out.
The series, which debuted in 1963, follows a time-traveling alien around the galaxy to solve crimes and right wrongs. Up until now, the titular character has been portrayed by multiple actors, all of whom were men. Whittaker made her debut as the Doctor at the end of the December 2017 season finale. The controversial casting decision was met with a mixed reaction among fans, which prompted the BBC to go on the record with its official ruling: The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and yes, can switch gender.
Pretty silly, isn't it?
Jodie Whittaker attends Comic Con 2018. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.
During her San Diego Comic Con debut, a questioner asked if Whittaker had a message for young boys who are fans of the show.
Just last year, Peter Davison, who played the Doctor between 1981 and 1984, expressed his uneasiness with the casting of Whittaker, or any other woman in the role, saying, "If I feel any doubts [about Whittaker's casting], it’s the loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for. So I feel a bit sad about that, but I understand the argument that you need to open it up."
Now, of course, there's no shortage of male role models for little boys to look up to. That aside, who's to say that boys can't find inspiration in a female Doctor?
When asked about the debate, Whittaker said she doesn't see the issue. "It's OK to look up to women," she said.
Terri Schwartz, Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill speak onstage during the Doctor Who panel at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Representation does matter, but there's no reason boys should have to feel put off by a woman playing the Doctor.
Girls are expected to draw their inspiration from male characters without a problem. TV shows, movies, and video games have had a history of centering male protagonists. That's still the case, even today. Boys should be equally capable of drawing inspiration from girls and women.
Of course there's a need to be able to see yourself in the entertainment you consume, but boys aren't going to be finding themselves without heroes who look like them anytime soon.
In all, it's actually the perfect time for a woman to take on the role of Doctor. After 50-some odd years, you've got to keep changing things up to keep the show fresh, right?