STFU, Steven Moffat!

As a writer, I’m always looking at what other writers say about the craft and their technique. But when I saw this little gem of genius erroneously attributed to Steven Moffat, I was, for lack of a better word, gobsmacked:

There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married – we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.

I’ve just found out (haha, joke’s on me) that Moffat DIDN’T say this,or, rather, the quote was taken out of context, as Moffat was discussing one of the characters on the show Coupling. Oddly, though, it was something that I wouldn’t put past him, because he seems to write with this kind of mentality.

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected from its original version, which used and out-of-context quote by Stephen Moffat and credited him for creating Martha Jones, who was created by Russell T. Davies.

I know this one has been around for a while, but I just read it and I was like, “REALLY?” Here’s someone who has created some wonderful woman characters–like River Song–but who has done some stuff that I don’t like to established characters from literature–like his treatment of Irene Adler in Sherlock. Every writer has characters that you do and don’t like, or may not produce the best treatment of established characters in an adaptation of some kind. But I find quasiMoffat’s statement that women are needier than men to be indicative of some of his attitude toward women in general, and that attitude is also reflected in the way he writes his woman characters. It’s almost as though he perceives women to be fundamentally weaker somehow because, according to him, their biggest goal in life is finding a husband. He writes some woman characters who kick serious ass, but somehow, because husband-hunting is their main objective, these women characters’ accomplishments are somehow diminished when comparing them to those of men characters.

I mean, really, think about it: Buffy’s main objective was to save the world from the big bad who was trying to end it. Relationships weren’t her primary goal; they just happened along the way, just like the rest of her life did, and sometimes being the Slayer cost her a lot when it came to her personal relationships. But she didn’t sit around and mope about it forever; she slogged on with the support of her friends and comrades-in-arms. The same thing with Hermione Granger. When Ron left her and Harry behind so that he could go search for his family while they were on the run from Voldemort, she didn’t go chasing after him, nor did she sit there and pine away for him. She kept going, too, because she knew that helping Harry find and destroy the Horcruxes would put an end to Voldemort’s reign of terror and save everyone, including Ron. And let’s not forget Princess Leia. Yeah, she was heartbroken when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite and taken to Jabba the Hutt, but she also needed to focus on the war that she and the rebellion were fighting against the Empire. And you know what? She and Luke and everyone else concocted a plan to bust Han out of captivity. They made sure that he wasn’t left behind, and she also got even with Jabba for messing with her man.

So shut up, quasiMoffat. No one wants to hear it from you.

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7 Comments STFU, Steven Moffat!

  1. Avatar of TrulybstTrulybst

    I was wondering why the women characters on doctor who have left a linger dislike in my mouth. Donna wasn’t too bad, strong and not a push over. Martha had potential in the beginning but her ‘mooning’ got in the way. Even when we see her again, she is not the same strong woman that she started as.

  2. Avatar of MaryMary

    Thank you for writing this post! It’s difficult to hear people fawn over Moffat’s work when he has expressed opinions such as the one you quoted here. Ugh, Moffat.

  3. Avatar of Bryn DonovanBryn Donovan

    Ugh, so stupid. I love Moffat’s projects, yet his female characters are more often terrible than not. What he did to Irene Adler was horrrrrible. There isn’t one really good female character on Sherlock. Making the fabulous Martha Jones moon over the Doctor for that long was both boring and hard to believe. Amy was a cranky hot girl that things happened TO. Gwen on Torchwood was insufferable: irrational and inconsistent. Ugh.

  4. Avatar of ElfityElfity

    Ughhhh, Moffat! I generally think his treatment of female characters is just vile, especially as of late. How did we go from Martha to Amy? I don’t think he is capable of developing a female character who isn’t defined by men anymore. The man has issues with women (see stories about his divorce for more) and I think he’s making it abundantly clear.

    I can hardly wait to see yet another spunky, flirty MPDG/Femme Fatale hybrid on the next series of Doctor Who. *sarcasm*

    1. Avatar of [M] freckle[M] freckle

      She had a lesbian phase, ha ha! She kisses the Doctor in less than two episodes, ha ha! She’ll think he hung the moon, ha ha!

      Yes, I don’t feel like watching DW at all anymore.

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