a line written by a man who is consistently shocked when people call him a misogynist (via theumbrellaseller)
Actually, this was a line from a speech that Queen Elizabeth herself gave to her army just before they went into battle in 1588.
Wanna hear the full quoted excerpt?
"I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm; the which, rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.”
So not only is this line a little historic inside-joke, and an actual quote said by the woman herself, but it’s literally Queen Elizabeth speaking to her troops about how although she is physically unable to fight and may be dismissed for being a woman, she’s still equal to a man when judged by her heart, soul and inner strength, and she’ll remain standing by her army and show her courage that way.
I know that it’s easy to accuse Moffat of sexism on several occasions, but this isn’t one of them. If anything, it’s neat that he gave a nod to this speech so that it can be further remembered within pop culture. Instead, this speech requires the Words Win Wars theme or something.
It’s not the same. Not at all. In Elizabeth’s original historical speech her reference to herself as a “weak and feeble woman” is rhetoric specifically crafted to get her sexist 16th century audience’s attention. She knows that her sex makes her unfit to rule in her audience’s eyes, so instead of ignoring the issue she addresses it head-on, and then dismisses those concerns by redirecting her audience’s attention to her strengths.
At the same time, her words are a gendered appeal to her army’s masculine identities. She wants them to feel protective of her as a woman as well as a monarch, and thus fight harder for her. She’s appealing to their egos, in a sense. Elizabeth did not think of herself as a “weak and feeble woman,” but she used her audience’s perception of her as one to manipulate them into getting what she wanted.
In Moffat’s Dr. Who, the words are spoken without premeditation and among close company, as if that Elizabeth truly believed that she was lesser than a man. That changes everything. Elizabeth’s words are stripped of all political context and meaning, and to what purpose? Did it make the story better? Did it make this interperetation of Elizabeth I a more appealing character or romantic partner? To prove that Moffat had read one book about Queen Elizabeth I one time? No, this is just one more example of Moffat’s inability to write women.