UK MPs involved in row over how female Doctor Who influences boys


Who ever thought the casting of Jodie Whittaker as Dr Who would be the subject of a debate in the British parliament. Photo: Handout

British members of parliament were involved in a House of Commons row over whether one had claimed that Doctor Who being played by a woman was "turning boys gay.”

Conservative Nick Fletcher furiously denied the suggestion after it was levelled against him by Labour’s Charlotte Nichols.

Nichols later acknowledged she had "inadvertently misled” the house, noting Fletcher had previously suggested young men are committing crime as a result of Doctor Who being played by a woman.

She told the Commons: "So clearly it was a matter of misogyny rather than homophobia.”

The bad-tempered exchange was one of many between MPs as they considered the UK government’s decision to move against controversial reforms of the gender recognition process passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Nichols said: "Frankly, I’ve been disgusted by a lot of the tone of the debate today.

"There are a lot of people who I’m very interested to hear suddenly become massive defenders of equality, including the honourable member from Don Valley who I remember being in a Westminster Hall debate with when he said that Doctor Who being a woman was turning boys gay, among other ridiculous arguments.”

Fletcher shouted: "That’s not what I said.”

Nichols replied "yes it is,” adding: "I will not withdraw it.”

Fletcher, making a point of order, said: "I would ask the honourable member to withdraw that. I refer to Hansard, that is not what I said, that is an outright lie.”

Deputy Speaker Rosie Winterton intervened and asked if Fletcher meant to say Nichols "unintentionally misled the House,” as it is deemed unparliamentary behaviour to state an MP has deliberately told a lie.

Fletcher agreed with Winterton.

Nichols, in her reply, said: "On checking Hansard, the honourable member said that Doctor Who being a woman was turning boys towards a life of crime.

"So clearly it was a matter of misogyny rather than homophobia.

"However, I’m very sorry for having inadvertently misled the house in accusing the member in a very legitimate comment I made about his brand new respect for our equality legislation in having made a remark that was misogynist rather than in fact homophobic.

"So I apologise for that omission.”

Speaking in November 2021 during a Westminster Hall debate, Fletcher said: "Everywhere, not least within the cultural sphere, there seems to be a call from a tiny yet very vocal minority that every male character or good role model must have a female replacement.

"One only needs to look at the discussion surrounding who will play the next James Bond - and it’s not just James Bond.

"In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, the Equalizer all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby.

"Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?”

Fletcher, speaking during Tuesday’s debate on gender recognition process reforms, said: "I have spoken on this subject before, and I have been vilified for saying transgender children ... are just going through a phase, only for the NHS to write an article a few weeks later saying the majority of children are going through a phase.

"This is a toxic subject, and it is now being used by the SNP as a political football. But I want members to remember across the House what this is all about.

"There are families in this country now where their boys and girls are coming home from school and saying they are in the wrong body. These sorts of things are being glamorised on TV as though it’s a wonderful thing.

"Well let me tell you, it is tearing parents, families and children apart and setting children on a path of puberty blockers, hormone replacements and then on to surgery.

"It is a disgrace, what we are doing with children, and it must stop. I just hope that the parents of those children who come home and have to hear their children go through this show the wisdom and stick fast and hard to their beliefs that their child was born in the right body.”

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gender , stereotypes , bias


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