Pushing Last War in Albion until tomorrow – was just about to image it up when this crossed my desk, and I want to deal with it.
So, in the wake of Dark Water, the site usvsth3m ran a piece entitled “16 sexually confusing feelings that Doctor Who fans have had since The Mistress revealed her secret.” It’s a fun piece that reveals the pathetically blinkered attitudes of a lot of Doctor Who fans for what they are, which is to say the attitudes of sexist, homophobic, and transphobic assholes. It’s a sobering reminder of the at times appalling attitudes of orthodox and longstanding fandom, and was absolutely something worth doing. And to their credit, they played nice and clipped usernames, thus avoiding publicly naming and shaming people for their actions, not that publicly naming and shaming the person who said that they felt “as though something sacred has been violated” because the Master was a woman now would have been in the least bit unreasonable.
Which is probably why the forum tried to demand that the site take the article down and banned the writer over it on the supposed grounds that they’re a “private” forum and that one needs permission of people to quote their posts off-site. Like the entirely sensible people they are, usvsth3m aren’t backing down in the least, and more power to them.
But let’s be clear here. GallifreyBase’s claim that they’re a “private” forum is absolutely ludicrous given that they have open registration and nearly 80,000 members, which is to say, about the entire population of Bath. The forum is private in the same way that the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium is private, except that Yankee Stadium only has a capacity of about 52,000.
What this amounts to is the largest single community of Doctor Who fans declaring that they have the right to have their views go uncommented on and unreported on. It amounts to a declaration that scholarly research and ethnography on Doctor Who fandom is forbidden. It amounts to a declaration that journalists can’t cover Doctor Who fandom. It is a morally indefensible position that actively aims to have a chilling effect on entirely legitimate topics of media research and journalism.
I’m sure that many of you are members of GallifreyBase. If so, please use their Contact Us form to tell them your views on their efforts to stifle freedom of speech.
And seriously, check out usvsth3m. They’re a lovely mixture of fun “wants to go viral” content and leftist politics. And really, in a war between a cesspit embodying the worst aspects of Doctor Who fandom and a site with an interactive “Slap Michael Gove” game there’s only one side you can possibly be on.
Back tomorrow with the start of our coverage of the fantastic “Swamp Thing attacks Gotham City” arc.