Why the thirteenth Doctor is just what the tech industry needs

by | Jul 17, 2017

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think there would ever be a female Doctor. To be clear, I’m talking The Doctor; Doctor Who, Time Lord and not the more widely known medical doctors that have been female for as long as I can remember.

A Woman, Lewis?

Much like Inspector Morse reacted when he first met a female pathologist, people are up in arms about a female Doctor, with sexist jokes about how she’ll park the TARDIS etc. It seems like, for every step forward we take towards equality, there’s always a bunch of old fashioned men waiting to push us back.

Like Marmite, people have either loved or hated the revelation that Jodie Whittaker will be the thirteenth Doctor, the first female to portray the Time Lord. On Twitter people have been telling her she’s going to ruin the show, because apparently it’s okay on Twitter to be mean to people in a way most decent humans wouldn’t consider doing in person.

So what’s the big deal? The Doctor is an alien life form that regenerates periodically when the current body is dying. It’s probably just laziness on the Doctor’s part that he keeps regenerating into the form of a human male, but to my knowledge there’s never been any rules about that, and with the appearance of Missy in these recent series, it was only a matter of time before we had a female Doctor.

So far, I’ve seen more negativity from women than I have from men. Is this because these women see The Doctor as a romantic figure?

Well whatever the reasons, it’s just plain silly to get all hung up about the gender of an alien that travels through time and space in a police box…

A Role Model for Girls

But what’s brilliant about the casting is this: We have a female Doctor! If ever there was proof that women can be anything they want to be, this has got to be it. And what a great thing for girl geeks. The Doctor is an intelligent scientific being with probably the greatest tech in the universe… as role models advocating for girls and technology go, it doesn’t get much better than this.

In all seriousness, there’s still a huge gender divide in technology. Girls aren’t being encouraged enough to enter tech. Our friends, Liverpool Girl Geeks are doing wonderful work with teenage girls, teaching them to code and trying to change the outdated stereotypes that hold girls and women back from tech careers. But if our mainstream media is still behind the times then how can we ever really change attitudes and show girls that tech is actually pretty cool.

One of our newest Little Sandbox members attended Liverpool Makefest recently and I pointed out the Dalek, roaming around behind us. “Do you watch Doctor Who?” I asked. She said “No, I’m more of a High School Musical kind of girl.” I confess I was stunned into silence. But then I realised something amazing had happened. She had attended Little Sandbox and despite having no prior interest in technology or computers or science fiction, she’d loved it. She thought it was cool and she’s become a regular member. And that’s what I’m talking about. Getting kids with no prior interest into tech, is the only way we’ll address the skills shortage and gender gap.

The casting of a female Doctor is a giant leap forward, and I for one, am thrilled.

Jodie Whittaker – the 13th Doctor

Ada Lovelace – The First Computer Programmer

Liverpool Girl Geeks