Just found this article http://www.scotsman.com/news/time-lad-scores-with-sex-and-daleks-1-1394833 and found the bits at the end pretty brutal. Have you seen it before? It is a bit old…
Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure how to take that article. It’s a well known fact that the person who wrote it doesn’t like Moffat and there are some people who believe that it was taken out of context. Moffat said he was being misquoted, but we know how well Moffat’s ‘innocent’ act runs here when it comes to twitter (claiming he was hacked when he retweeted something that ended up with a user being harassed). I’m not entirely sure who to believe, but I would still take that article with a grain of salt.
HOWEVER, that does not mean he is completely out of the clear. He says that this quote was taken out of context by the person who wrote the Scotsman interview:
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. The world is vastly counted in favour of men at every level – except if you live in a civilised country and you’re sort of educated and middle-class, because then you’re almost certainly junior in your relationship and in a state of permanent, crippled apology. Your preferences are routinely mocked. There’s a huge, unfortunate lack of respect for anything male.
Now, him and his fans claim that this was taken completely out of context and was actually a quote by one of his characters in his show, Coupling. As some people are aware, Coupling was more or less based off of how Moffat met his wife, Sue Vertue. The main characters even have the names Steve and Susan. The character he is quoting is Patrick, apparently the ‘jackass’ of the show.
Here’s where the issue comes in. In this article, this quote comes up:
Writer Steven Moffat explains: “In the original version of the show, Steve was really as screwed up as his best mate Jeff, perhaps even more so. He can be just as erratic as Jeff can be, and certainly in the first part of the series, he remonstrates with Jeff for his madness. At the same time he tells Patrick off for being ruthless with women, and yet the evidence shows that Steve himself is a bit of a bastard. For example he asks Susan out on a date while he’s having sex with Jane. He is quite typical of having all the same lusts and appetites as Patrick while also having the nervousness of Jeff and the new character Oliver. He forms a compromise of a politically correct weasel, which helps him to believe that he’s a decent chap. Actually he’s really too frightened of Susan to misbehave!”
Now, this may not SEEM like a bad thing, but at the heart of it, he’s saying that his main character, Steve, the person who he based off of HIMSELF, is a LOT like the jackass who is ‘ruthless to women’. He’s a cheating, lusty, jerk who is too scared of the lady he likes to actually be a decent person. Instead, pretending is a-ok! He acts like a holier-than-thou person to the men around him, when in fact, he acts just like them. It goes to show that the writers DO put a little of themselves into their characters.
Also in the article above, is a quote by Jack Davenport, the man who plays Steven Moffat’s persona:
That’s what’s brilliant about Steven’s writing. He turns the tradition of men and women in this kind of comedy on its head; the women are mainly confident and sexually quite voracious, whilst the blokes are completely useless, riddled with self doubt and awkwardness. Steve’s good at getting to the heart - in a funny way - of a little boy that will not entirely disappear in every grown man.
Of course, the ‘bumbling man’ and ‘strong, confident woman’ is actually a common trope in comedic television, not original to Moffat at all. It’s pretty much everywhere. We have a quote in the queue (the original post is found here) explaining why this trope is actually harmful to women. It lets men off and takes away the responsibility from them and pushes women to succeed more, shaming them if they can’t. It continues the stereotype that men are lazy, or not responsible for anything which lets men BENEFIT since they don’t NEED to strive harder because a woman will do it anyways. We have also reblogged a post talking about how the ‘strong confident woman’ characterisation is harmful to women. It continues to show Moffat’s running trend of writing sexualised women in his series.
Long story short: take the article you found with a grain of salt, but know that there may be some truth to it.