Favourite Feminist Moments in Doctor Who - #5 Bones of the Hand

Submitted by Sarah531

Martha Jones suffered appallingly during her time in the TARDIS. Amongst other things, she has to spend a significant amount of time in a world that openly despised and dismissed her on the basis of her gender and skin colour. During this time her best friend in the world, The Doctor, treats her, at best, like an obnoxious child.

The frustration and anger Martha felt during those months must have been bloody unbearable. But she is Martha, and she is wonderful, and she refuses to let the situation beat her down, even when almost everyone around her tells her to be quiet, she is defiant. She still speaks.

This is best illustrated when Joan, like everyone else around her, dismisses Martha’s achievements.

Women might train to be doctors, but hardly a skivvy and hardly one of your colour.

You can see in Martha’s eyes the anger and frustration which have been bubbling away for months, boil over. She promptly turns the tables on Joan, demonstrating her knowledge (which almost certainly exceeds Joan’s own) by naming all the bones of the hand.

Women of colour have very different experiences of oppression than that of their more privileged counterparts and, I like to think, this scene demonstrates that well. The experiences of women of colour should not be ignored or glossed over, as they all too often are in mainstream feminism. This scene reminds us feminists who have privilege to never write off the experiences of those who are oppressed in ways we are not. As well as showing Martha in full on BAMF mode.

Favourite Feminist Moments in Doctor Who - #5 Bones of the Hand

Submitted by Sarah531

Martha Jones suffered appallingly during her time in the TARDIS. Amongst other things, she has to spend a significant amount of time in a world that openly despised and dismissed her on the basis of her gender and skin colour. During this time her best friend in the world, The Doctor, treats her, at best, like an obnoxious child.

The frustration and anger Martha felt during those months must have been bloody unbearable. But she is Martha, and she is wonderful, and she refuses to let the situation beat her down, even when almost everyone around her tells her to be quiet, she is defiant. She still speaks.

This is best illustrated when Joan, like everyone else around her, dismisses Martha’s achievements.

Women might train to be doctors, but hardly a skivvy and hardly one of your colour.

You can see in Martha’s eyes the anger and frustration which have been bubbling away for months, boil over. She promptly turns the tables on Joan, demonstrating her knowledge (which almost certainly exceeds Joan’s own) by naming all the bones of the hand.

Women of colour have very different experiences of oppression than that of their more privileged counterparts and, I like to think, this scene demonstrates that well. The experiences of women of colour should not be ignored or glossed over, as they all too often are in mainstream feminism. This scene reminds us feminists who have privilege to never write off the experiences of those who are oppressed in ways we are not. As well as showing Martha in full on BAMF mode.

Posted on 21 February 2012
Tags: #Martha Jones  #The Family of Blood  #favourite feminist moments in Doctor Who  #guest post  
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