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.