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Gender was a sense of identity, relating to whether one was male, female, masculine, feminine, or anywhere along a diverse spectrum of gender identities. (PROSE: Island of Death [+]Loading...["Island of Death (novel)"]) It was a matter of self-designation, (AUDIO: The Sword of the Chevalier [+]Loading...["The Sword of the Chevalier (audio story)"]) with several individuals explaining that it was a social construct. (AUDIO: The Boundless Sea [+]Loading...["The Boundless Sea (audio story)"], COMIC: A Little Help from My Friends [+]Loading...["A Little Help from My Friends (comic story)"]) Gender was a fluid concept, varying from person to person, culture to culture, and species to species. (COMIC: Ophiuchus [+]Loading...["Ophiuchus (comic story)"])

As the Fifth Doctor explained:

Gender is a very fluid concept, Nyssa. For some people, more than others. A Time Lord even more so.The Fifth Doctor, explaining gender's fluidity [Ophiuchus (comic story) [src]]

The Thirteenth Doctor had similar thoughts, once telling her companions that biological sex was entirely "flexible among [her] people", while gender was merely a social construct. (COMIC: A Little Help from My Friends [+]Loading...["A Little Help from My Friends (comic story)"])

Amy Pond had met species with only one gender, or three, or, in one case, seventy-two. (PROSE: Borrowed Time [+]Loading...["Borrowed Time (novel)"]) The Oblongooni had thirteen genders. (PROSE: Dry Pilgrimage [+]Loading...["Dry Pilgrimage (novel)"]) One species switched gender every two minutes. (AUDIO: Summer of Love [+]Loading...["Summer of Love (audio story)"]) Among some species, like the Makemono, there was no such thing as gender, (PROSE: Chicken Fried Banana Republic [+]Loading...["Chicken Fried Banana Republic (short story)"]) and many aliens were of indeterminate gender to Bernice Summerfield. (PROSE: Happy Endings [+]Loading...["Happy Endings (novel)"]) Robots in the Haven had no concept of gender, (AUDIO: The Cannibalists [+]Loading...["The Cannibalists (audio story)"]) nor did the Sontarans, a clone race, with Linx calling the human gender binary an "inefficient system" and advising humanity to "change it", (TV: The Time Warrior [+]Loading...["The Time Warrior (TV story)"]) and Strax frequently confusing males and females. (TV: The Snowmen [+]Loading...["The Snowmen (TV story)"], et al.)

Torcaldians, who did not "specialise in one or the other", in terms of producing offspring, paid little mind to gender or its assignment. For instance, Freltese was mother of Ecsilo, and father of Jeyi. Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright tried desperately to determine the genders of their kind, according to beards and signs of pregnancy, but found no luck, and the First Doctor urged them to "cast aside these preconceptions". (PROSE: The Ruins of Time [+]Loading...["The Ruins of Time (short story)"])

The Ashtallans, a self-repairing amoeba-like species that did not experience death, pain or reproduction, had no concepts analogous to gender. When Ian and Barbara explained human gender and sexuality to Brenna, they found it all "unnecessarily complicated". The Ashtallans used universal singular they pronouns for one another. (AUDIO: The Invention of Death [+]Loading...["The Invention of Death (audio story)"])

Illixtrians had more than one gender, and segregated their genders in the workforce. (PROSE: The Great Escapes [+]Loading...["The Great Escapes (short story)"])

Gender roles could be restrictive, (PROSE: Erasing Sherlock [+]Loading...["Erasing Sherlock (novel)"]) and, along with sexual preference, might dictate one's fashion choices. (PROSE: This Town Will Never Let Us Go [+]Loading...["This Town Will Never Let Us Go (novel)"]) In some time periods, gender severely limited one's clothing options. (TV: The Crusade [+]Loading...["The Crusade (TV story)"]) According to the Fifth Doctor, times when gender could dictate what one could or could not do were always "unsophisticated times". (PROSE: The Immortals [+]Loading...["The Immortals (short story)"])

Among humans, gender was not always a fixed trait. For instance, Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17 said she was once a "little boy" on Earth. (TV: The End of the World [+]Loading...["The End of the World (TV story)"]) While gender was commonly assigned at birth, (TV: Day of the Moon [+]Loading...["Day of the Moon (TV story)"], Father's Day [+]Loading...["Father's Day (TV story)"]) trans people, such as Mickey Smith's friend Sally Salter, (PROSE: Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (TV story)"]) or Eleanor Blake, later realised they had always been a different gender, after all. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"]) Indeed, as the Tenth Doctor affirmed, it was up to the individual to determine their own gender. (AUDIO: The Sword of the Chevalier [+]Loading...["The Sword of the Chevalier (audio story)"])

Eleanor faced violence and discrimination on 20th century Earth on account of her gender, but as the centuries went on, trans people gained rights, and were able to live their lives more openly, without fear of condemnation. In the 30th century, home to Chris Cwej, people had no reason to care about such things. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"]) Similarly, the Tenth Doctor understood that the Chevalier d'Eon could decide on her own gender, calling gender assignment an "archaic concept", and opting to respect the Chevalier's current pronouns. (AUDIO: The Sword of the Chevalier [+]Loading...["The Sword of the Chevalier (audio story)"])

Physical characteristics could also affect how one was brought up. Charles "Chick" Peters was born with both an X and a Y chromosome like most men, but his body did not respond to the hormones like it normally would have. He was brought up as a girl by his parents, and came to realise his true identity at the age of fifteen. Chick did not have a womb. He dated women, and "never had any complaints" about his "female" body. Chick identified as a man, and did not consider himself a lesbian. (PROSE: Blue Box [+]Loading...["Blue Box (novel)"])

Followers of the Unknown Ancestor revered individuals with ambivalent or multiple gender. As a result, Keth Marrane was accepted as completely androgynous, "male or female as the circumstances may warrant", and given complete access to their segregated society. (PROSE: A Hundred Words from a Civil War [+]Loading...["A Hundred Words from a Civil War (short story)"])

Time Lords and gender[[edit]]

Gender can change from one regeneration to another. (COMIC: The Many Lives of Doctor Who [+]Loading...["The Many Lives of Doctor Who (comic story)"])

The Tenth Doctor told Rose Tyler that the Time Lords considered concepts like gender to be archaic. (AUDIO: The Sword of the Chevalier [+]Loading...["The Sword of the Chevalier (audio story)"]) With regeneration in play, gender could change from one incarnation to another, (PROSE: Interference - Book Two [+]Loading...["Interference - Book Two (novel)"], TV: The Doctor's Wife [+]Loading...["The Doctor's Wife (TV story)"], Dark Water [+]Loading...["Dark Water (TV story)"], Hell Bent [+]Loading...["Hell Bent (TV story)"], Twice Upon a Time [+]Loading...["Twice Upon a Time (TV story)"], Demons of the Punjab [+]Loading...["Demons of the Punjab (TV story)"]) which Missy thought was "not really a big change". (AUDIO: The Bekdel Test [+]Loading...["The Bekdel Test (audio story)"]) As a result, the Fifth Doctor explained, gender was quite fluid in their society. (COMIC: Ophiuchus [+]Loading...["Ophiuchus (comic story)"])

Missy explained that her core identity had remained in all her incarnations as the Master, though the particulars would change in each life. In her case, she told River Song that changing gender in her latest incarnation did not feel like much of a change. (AUDIO: The Bekdel Test [+]Loading...["The Bekdel Test (audio story)"])

The Doctor had their own relationship with gender, which they explored when the subject came up. The Thirteenth Doctor said she was "not [a] man or woman in the way you understand it", (PROSE: The Good Doctor [+]Loading...["The Good Doctor (novel)"]) and the Eighth Doctor firmly denied ever having been a man or a woman. (PROSE: Interference - Book One [+]Loading...["Interference - Book One (novel)"], Beltempest [+]Loading...["Beltempest (novel)"])

Time Lords could be considered men, women, and "those of indeterminate gender", (PROSE: Happy Endings [+]Loading...["Happy Endings (novel)"]) and used "he, she or they" personal pronouns. (AUDIO: Beyond [+]Loading...["Beyond (audio story)"]) Their concept of gender was distinct from biological sex, which was itself equally "flexible" among Time Lords. (COMIC: A Little Help from My Friends [+]Loading...["A Little Help from My Friends (comic story)"])

According to Clive Finch's research, some incarnations of the Doctor were "in-between [binary genders] or neither". (PROSE: Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (novelisation)"])

Echoing the Tenth Doctor's assertion, (AUDIO: The Sword of the Chevalier [+]Loading...["The Sword of the Chevalier (audio story)"]) the Twelfth Doctor claimed to Bill Potts that the "most civilised civilisation in the universe" was billions of years beyond petty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes. However, she pointed out that they still called themselves Time Lords. (TV: World Enough and Time [+]Loading...["World Enough and Time (TV story)"]) Although "Time Lady" was also used, Missy considered the term "old-fashioned". (TV: Dark Water [+]Loading...["Dark Water (TV story)"])

Later, while pretending to be the Doctor, Missy referred to Nardole and Bill as "Exposition and Comic Relief". When Nardole retorted that they weren't functions, she responded "Darling, those were genders." (TV: World Enough and Time [+]Loading...["World Enough and Time (TV story)"])

Prior to Rassilon, Gallifrey was ruled by matriarchal Gallifreyan leaders, the Pythia. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible [+]Loading...["Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible (novel)"]) After Rassilon's rule had ended, Pandora was the first female ruler of Gallifrey. She took up the title Imperiatrix to expand her power, but was ultimately deposed. (AUDIO: Imperiatrix [+]Loading...["Imperiatrix (audio story)"], Lies [+]Loading...["Lies (audio story)"]) Later female Presidents included Flavia, (PROSE: The Eight Doctors [+]Loading...["The Eight Doctors (novel)"], AUDIO: Lies [+]Loading...["Lies (audio story)"]) Romana II, (PROSE: Happy Endings [+]Loading...["Happy Endings (novel)"], AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element [+]Loading...["The Apocalypse Element (audio story)"], Neverland [+]Loading...["Neverland (audio story)"], Weapon of Choice [+]Loading...["Weapon of Choice (audio story)"] et al.) Romana III (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon [+]Loading...["The Shadows of Avalon (novel)"], The Ancestor Cell [+]Loading...["The Ancestor Cell (novel)"], AUDIO: Luna Romana [+]Loading...["Luna Romana (audio story)"], Enemy Lines [+]Loading...["Enemy Lines (audio story)"]) and Livia Caralis. (AUDIO: Enemy Lines [+]Loading...["Enemy Lines (audio story)"], Celestial Intervention [+]Loading...["Celestial Intervention (audio story)"] et al.)

Gender among the Ulk-Ra[[edit]]

Because female Ulk-Ra were expected to be rationalists, as well as decision-makers and battle strategists, poetry was restricted to males who made it to old age.

As a coming-of-age ritual, young Ulk-Ra boys would be sent into the forest to kill a beast and return wearing its pelt. Those who succeeded were allowed to remain male, and grow into warriors, whereas those who failed had their genitals removed, and were forced to eat Issu-mul berries until they developed female characteristics, to become thinkers in their tribe. Youngsters of their species could also be induced to become males, out of necessity.

Males who survived this tradition were expected to be strong, territorial, and ambivalent toward pain. They were suited for war, and had their own gods. An Ulk-Ra tribe without males was vulnerable to other tribes. Ossu-male ate Issu-mul berries in order to "think hard", to find his tribe. Before becoming Ossu-female, hir was Ossu-hir, "not male or female, not suited for war or thought, or for land or sea". This is the state in which Ossu died, burning at sea. (PROSE: War Crimes [+]Loading...["War Crimes (short story)"])


Gender roles varied greatly across cultures and time periods.

Gender roles on Earth[[edit]]

In the Tribe of Gum, on Earth circa 100,000 BC, "strong leaders" were exclusively young men, who held the power to make decisions, "not old men and women". Women were not listened to. Hur was seen as a prized possession, owed to the leader of the tribe, and as his mate, she was willing to give herself to him. (TV: An Unearthly Child [+]Loading...["An Unearthly Child (TV story)"])

Even early in human history, women sometimes made their way into positions of power. (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship [+]Loading...["Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (TV story)"])

By contrast, Nefertiti, an Egyptian queen from 1334 BC, refused to be seen as a possession by Solomon, a 24th century pirate. (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship [+]Loading...["Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (TV story)"]) Earlier, Hatshepsut, Egyptian Pharaoh in the 18th Dynasty, (PROSE: Wardenclyffe [+]Loading...["Wardenclyffe (short story)"]) wore a false beard, and was addressed as King. (AUDIO: The Eye of Horus [+]Loading...["The Eye of Horus (audio story)"])


In Rome, women were said to have "weak minds". Many, like Marcia, wished that men would recognise their skills, imaginations and intelligence. Though women in many ways lacked autonomy in the Roman Empire, the wife of a wealthy merchant, for instance, might have a great deal of power within the household, at least over slaves. However, women in Rome could only exercise influence in the public sector by persuading their husbands to carry out their wishes. A lady's status, as well, simply reflected that of their husband.

"The prophecies of women are limited and dull. Only the menfolk have the capacity for true perception." –Lucius Petrus Dextrus (TV The Fires of Pompeii [+]Loading...["The Fires of Pompeii (TV story)"])

Some cults, temples and ceremonies across Rome were gender-specific, including the cult of the Bona Dea (PROSE: Sarah Jane and the Temple of Eyes [+]Loading...["Sarah Jane and the Temple of Eyes (short story)"]) and the Sibylline Sisterhood, (TV: The Fires of Pompeii [+]Loading...["The Fires of Pompeii (TV story)"]) which were exclusive to women. As contemporary historical records were all written by men, however, very little information on the lives of women away from menfolk survived into Sarah Jane Smith's time. (PROSE: Sarah Jane and the Temple of Eyes [+]Loading...["Sarah Jane and the Temple of Eyes (short story)"])

Indeed, according to the Fifth Doctor, women in ancient Rome "[didn't] really have first names at all". Sisters were all given the same personal name, while men were afforded a greater variety of names. (AUDIO: Tartarus [+]Loading...["Tartarus (audio story)"])

In the 1st century AD, Boudica was the Celtic queen of the Britons. She inherited half of Prasutagus' kingdom after his death. She fought many battles, and took no prisoners. Though Boudica was obeyed without question, Bragnar, a cook, was considered lesser for being a girl. In 60, Boudica marched with her army of thousands to Camulodunum and Londinium, slaughtering everyone to avenge her people following the actions of Rome. (AUDIO: The Wrath of the Iceni [+]Loading...["The Wrath of the Iceni (audio story)"])

Middle Ages[[edit]]

In the feasts of Saxon England, women were not allowed to eat until after the men had finished. (COMIC: Woden's Warriors [+]Loading...["Woden's Warriors (comic story)"])

By the 13th century, English culture dictated that women ought to be subservient to men. According to Irongron their purpose was "to do the lowly work". Sarah Jane Smith, travelling from the 20th century, questioned the notion that men "owned the world", and told Meg they were being worked like slaves, always cooking and carrying for the men. (TV: The Time Warrior [+]Loading...["The Time Warrior (TV story)"]) Meg believed this was simply their place in the world, stating:

Women will never be free while there are men in the world, girl. We have our place.Meg [The Time Warrior (TV story) [src]]

Around 1190, it was not expected that "a lady" would venture out on her own. Women were also threatened when they spoke their mind on the actions of men. The First Doctor and Ian Chesterton tried to appeal to Richard I by telling him that their lost friend was a woman, demanding he take pity on her. (TV: The Crusade [+]Loading...["The Crusade (TV story)"])

Around 1599 in England, women doctors were unheard of. Indeed, to William Shakespeare, even women actors and writers were the stuff of fantasy. Men played women's roles on stage. (TV: The Shakespeare Code [+]Loading...["The Shakespeare Code (TV story)"])

17th century[[edit]]

According to the Thirteenth Doctor, the witch trials of the 17th century were targeted specifically at women, serving to execute those who got out of line, stood out, or made a stand. The Doctor agreed with Becka Savage that "These [were] hard times for women." In this era, it was inconceivable for a woman to hold any high office, such as Witchfinder General.

The Thirteenth Doctor is tried as a witch. (TV: The Witchfinders [+]Loading...["The Witchfinders (TV story)"])

King James I believed that women had an "innate aptitude for nosiness and gossip", and were often agents of Satan. The ducking stool was invented in order to silence "foolish women who talk[ed] too much". (TV: The Witchfinders [+]Loading...["The Witchfinders (TV story)"]) Educated women, such as healers, were frequent targets in 17th century witch hunts. (AUDIO: The Witch from the Well [+]Loading...["The Witch from the Well (audio story)"]; TV: The Witchfinders [+]Loading...["The Witchfinders (TV story)"]) When the Doctor herself was accused of being a witch, she acknowledged that she would not have had to deal with this delay if, like past incarnations, she were "still a bloke."

Some of the King's motivation for encouraging these witch trials stemmed from his own feelings towards his mother, who had abandoned him. At the end of a shared adventure involving the Morax, the Thirteenth Doctor convinced King James to end the witch hunts. (TV: The Witchfinders [+]Loading...["The Witchfinders (TV story)"]) According to another account, the Twelfth Doctor helped end the witch trials. (COMIC: Witch Work [+]Loading...["Witch Work (comic story)"])

18th century[[edit]]

In the 18th century, women were said to belong to the "weaker sex". They were not seen by men as fit for leadership positions. (AUDIO: The Avenues of Possibility [+]Loading...["The Avenues of Possibility (audio story)"])

Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson remarked that all women in France desired to be the King of France's mistress. When the King noted that Reinette wanted to see the Tenth Doctor again before her death, and spoke of him often, he said "you know how women are". (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace [+]Loading...["The Girl in the Fireplace (TV story)"])

19th century[[edit]]

The Tenth Doctor meets Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, due to become the first woman doctor in England. (COMIC: Nurse Who? [+]Loading...["Nurse Who? (comic story)"])

Around 1852, women had "no identity of [their] own" under English law, meaning that any property of theirs, or wealth, legally belonged to their father or husband. Ada Lovelace found this had one benefit: though she suffered great losses from gambling, her debt of several thousand pounds was technically Lord King's to pay, and not her own. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers [+]Loading...["The Enchantress of Numbers (audio story)"])

According to Lovelace, there was regrettably "no place for a woman in the world of science", such as it existed in the 1850s. The Fourth Doctor sadly conceded that this was unlikely to change within her lifetime. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers [+]Loading...["The Enchantress of Numbers (audio story)"])

Into the 1890s, women were still not given access to fellowships in the scientific community, with occasional exceptions made only in extenuating and "desperate" circumstances. Charlotte Mayfly had to release her findings under her brother Jonathan's name as well as her own in order to just get them published. Meanwhile, the pair received no funding from the Royal Observatory as a result of Charlotte's connection to their research. (AUDIO: The Ghosts of Greenwich [+]Loading...["The Ghosts of Greenwich (audio story)"])

Though some few women of repute, like Madame Vastra the "Great Detective", were greatly respected for their profession, (AUDIO: The Ghosts of Greenwich [+]Loading...["The Ghosts of Greenwich (audio story)"], The Screaming Ceiling [+]Loading...["The Screaming Ceiling (audio story)"]) at least one worker held the opinion that allowing women in the workplace at all would lead to "no good". Jenny Flint had to disguise herself as a young man in order to gain access to a gasworks water tower during an investigation. (AUDIO: Dining with Death [+]Loading...["Dining with Death (audio story)"])

Social class also played a role in the level of respect given to individual women in the 19th century. While Ada, Countess of Lovelace, wife to Lord King, was held in high esteem for her unparalleled logical and mathematical prowess — even sought after by her male peers, like ScheutzAnn Kelso, of no title, was immediately assumed to be the Fourth Doctor's maid. Conversely, though Colonel Wildman was instantly dismissive of Ann, he treated the Doctor with respect, calling him "sir" and casually speaking of other noblemen while in his presence. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers [+]Loading...["The Enchantress of Numbers (audio story)"])

Among lower classes, Ada Lovelace felt that she was able to engage "shoulder-to-shoulder" with men — but the Royal Academy, she noted, was far less willing to let her stand amongst her male peers. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers [+]Loading...["The Enchantress of Numbers (audio story)"])

At one point, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman doctor in England by gaining entrance to the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. In so doing, she paved the way for an Act of Parliament allowing all women to pursue this profession. (COMIC: Nurse Who? [+]Loading...["Nurse Who? (comic story)"])

Early 20th century[[edit]]

At the time of the Mexican Civil War, Arturo Villar declared simply, "Women should never think." Of Zoe Heriot, he said, "For such a little woman your mouth is too big." Zoe, who hailed from the late 21st century, considered his ideas about women "knowing their place" quite primitive. (TV: The War Games [+]Loading...["The War Games (TV story)"])

Even children's toys were considered gendered in this era. Tom Braudy was taught that space LEGO was for boys only, while girls liked building hairdressers and flower shops. For this reason, he thought that girls could not be astronauts. (AUDIO: Memory Lane [+]Loading...["Memory Lane (audio story)"])

In the 20th century, long hair was commonly, but not exclusively, associated with women. (AUDIO: Storm Warning [+]Loading...["Storm Warning (audio story)"])

By the late 1900s and early 1910s, suffragettes fought hard for women's suffrage, rallying to gain the right to vote. (AUDIO: The Suffering [+]Loading...["The Suffering (audio story)"], PROSE: Human Nature [+]Loading...["Human Nature (novel)"], Birthright [+]Loading...["Birthright (novel)"]) They were led by Emmeline Pankhurst, (PROSE: Birthright [+]Loading...["Birthright (novel)"], Forgotten [+]Loading...["Forgotten (short story)"], Casualties of War [+]Loading...["Casualties of War (novel)"]) who held regular meetings, (PROSE: Forgotten [+]Loading...["Forgotten (short story)"]) and had gained the attention of the British Prime Minister by 1909. (PROSE: Birthright [+]Loading...["Birthright (novel)"]) They were more active in London than on the English countryside. (TV: Human Nature [+]Loading...["Human Nature (TV story)"])

Women had a greater role in British society during World War I, as the men were away at war. Around the end of the Great War, women finally gained the right to vote. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"]) Some women, like Molly O'Sullivan, also took part in the war effort, taking care of the battle-scarred male soldiers. (AUDIO: The Great War [+]Loading...["The Great War (audio story)"])

Around this time, the notion arrived that a woman could "make her own way in the world", without a husband. (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp [+]Loading...["The Unicorn and the Wasp (TV story)"])

Nevertheless, in 1924, many men thought women should not participate in academia; those women who did were thought to be "such bluestockings". (AUDIO: The Boundless Sea [+]Loading...["The Boundless Sea (audio story)"]) 1926 saw no women in the police force, either. (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp [+]Loading...["The Unicorn and the Wasp (TV story)"]) Reginald Bassett would not speak of ghastly things around a "lady". (AUDIO: The Auntie Matter [+]Loading...["The Auntie Matter (audio story)"])

In the field of archaeology, it was considered inappropriate for a woman to enter a newly discovered historical site before any men. This was "no job for a girl". When Colonel Lifford had no choice but to ask Daphne Garsington to enter a Surene tomb first, to set up lighting, he made sure to clarify, "Of course, it's just the outer chamber. Leave the inner rooms to the chaps, huh? Don’t want you getting lost down there." Nevertheless, she was delighted at the opportunity, and declared that she was doing it "for women". (AUDIO: The Boundless Sea [+]Loading...["The Boundless Sea (audio story)"])

In 1930, Charlotte Pollard had to disguise herself as a man, specifically Murchford, in order to get herself onboard the R101. Charley hid her period long hair inside a cap as part of her disguise. She was the only human woman present. (AUDIO: Storm Warning [+]Loading...["Storm Warning (audio story)"])

Women did not fight in the Royal Air Force during World War II, (AUDIO: The Renaissance Man [+]Loading...["The Renaissance Man (audio story)"]) though Diane Holmes ferried planes. (TV: Out of Time [+]Loading...["Out of Time (TV story)"]) Others aided the British Army in the 1940s as code-breakers. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"], PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy [+]Loading...["Who Killed Kennedy (novel)"], TV: Captain Jack Harkness [+]Loading...["Captain Jack Harkness (TV story)"]) While Rachel Jensen found success in Alan Turing's Cambridge Group at Bletchley Park, (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy [+]Loading...["Who Killed Kennedy (novel)"]) Eleanor Grainger could only find work at Bletchley as a "glorified typist". (PROSE: Ancient Whispers [+]Loading...["Ancient Whispers (short story)"])

20th century Earth was particularly hostile to trans people, like Eleanor Blake. Eleanor chose to keep her birth-assigned gender a closely guarded secret. She was scared of others finding out. Despite others' non-acceptance, Eleanor was fully aware that she had "always been Eleanor". Arbuckle responded with violence when he found out, and also refused to refer to Eleanor by her name or pronouns, even opting for "young man" to rile her up.

However, Chris Cwej, hailing from the 30th century, had no such prejudice. He instilled a new confidence in Eleanor, through his own perspective of the universe. During their efforts against the Jabari, Chris and Eleanor developed a romantic bond, and he defended her against Arbuckle. When the adventure was over, having gained a clearer understanding of who she was, Eleanor asked the Seventh Doctor if people like her would be able to live freely and openly within her lifetime. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"]) He responded:

Earth takes its time on too many things, and [trans rights] is one of them. Not in this century, I'm afraid. Though the next one is.. a little better.Seventh Doctor [The Jabari Countdown (audio story) [src]]

Eleanor opted to travel in space with Alpha Wheeler, rather than return to her ordinary world, so that she might live truthfully without fear of consequence. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"])

Mid-20th century[[edit]]

Eddie Connolly, as self-appointed master of the house, believed in a strict division of responsibilities. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern [+]Loading...["The Idiot's Lantern (TV story)"])

Diane Holmes reflected that, once the war was over, women "were supposed to revert to being dutiful wives and daughters. Diane, however, continued as a pilot, having developed a taste for flying, adding that "no pig-headed man [told her] what to do." (TV: Out of Time [+]Loading...["Out of Time (TV story)"])

In 1950s England, housework was considered exclusively a women's job, at least by Eddie Connolly. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern [+]Loading...["The Idiot's Lantern (TV story)"]) By contrast, the use of weaponry was seen as only men's domain. (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship [+]Loading...["Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (TV story)"])

In 1960s England, men were expected to do the heavy lifting, rather than "let the women do the job for [them]". (TV: "The Forest of Fear" [+]Part of An Unearthly Child, Loading...{"namedep":"The Forest of Fear (3)","1":"An Unearthly Child (TV story)"})

Women were often kept out of the action, in relative safety. Victoria Waterfield wanted to join the men, but the Second Doctor convinced her that she was far more valuable away from the danger. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen [+]Loading...["The Tomb of the Cybermen (TV story)"])

Helen Sinclair's father believed that only men were important in the world. Helen was determined to prove him wrong, especially as he mistreated her and her mother. (AUDIO: Absent Friends [+]Loading...["Absent Friends (audio story)"])

One professor in 1963 held that women were not suited to serious academic study, as "they tend[ed] towards emotionalism" and lacked the necessary "temperament". He promoted a far less skilled employee at the British Museum, Timothy, over Helen Sinclair. (AUDIO: The Red Lady [+]Loading...["The Red Lady (audio story)"])

According to Helen, there were not an abundance of opportunities in 1960s London for one who was "educated, ambitious and female". She joked that she often wished to be a 55-year-old man named Kenneth. (AUDIO: The Satanic Mill [+]Loading...["The Satanic Mill (audio story)"])

She felt that in this time period, privileged, powerful men were always bossing her around. In her travels across time and space, Helen was sometimes disappointed to find things were no different elsewhere. (AUDIO: World of Damnation [+]Loading...["World of Damnation (audio story)"]) She left her world to travel with Liv and the Eighth Doctor because she felt the 20th century had no place for a woman like her, and in part to evade the authorities. (AUDIO: The Red Lady [+]Loading...["The Red Lady (audio story)"], The Satanic Mill [+]Loading...["The Satanic Mill (audio story)"])

Dr Kurdi spent her whole medical career being dismissed by her colleagues due to her gender and skin colour. (AUDIO: The Rise of the New Humans [+]Loading...["The Rise of the New Humans (audio story)"])

Women's liberation movement[[edit]]

Main article: Feminism

By the 1970s, (TV: The Invasion [+]Loading...["The Invasion (TV story)"]) women's lib began taking traction on Earth. As Sarah Jane put it, this was the position, among women, that men had no right to push them around. (TV: The Monster of Peladon [+]Loading...["The Monster of Peladon (TV story)"])

It was still remarkable when women were placed in positions of authority. (AUDIO: The Scream of Ghosts [+]Loading...["The Scream of Ghosts (audio story)"]) Indeed, men were reluctant to select a woman for a research position, even when she was the obvious candidate. (AUDIO: Primord [+]Loading...["Primord (audio story)"])

In 1975 (AUDIO: Last of the Cybermen [+]Loading...["Last of the Cybermen (audio story)"]) or around 1979, Isobel Watkins objected to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's assertion that photographing Cybermen was "no job for a [woman]". Jamie McCrimmon agreed with the idea that men were inherently superior. Zoe Heriot and Isobel were outraged by both their "bigoted, anti-feminist remarks". (TV: The Invasion [+]Loading...["The Invasion (TV story)"])

When she found out that the Brigadier gave instructions for her not to see a dead body in a hospital morgue, as such things were not fit for a young woman's eyes, Jo Grant called him a chauvinist and gained a new resolve to join the Third Doctor in his investigation. (AUDIO: The Rise of the New Humans [+]Loading...["The Rise of the New Humans (audio story)"])

Dr Ruth Ingram believed that both the Master's dictatorial manner and his courtesy came from "a bland assumption of male superiority". (TV: The Time Monster [+]Loading...["The Time Monster (TV story)"])

Peri Brown, from 1984, (AUDIO: The Reaping [+]Loading...["The Reaping (audio story)"]) called the Sixth Doctor a chauvinist for blaming his misadventures on the TARDIS herself. (AUDIO: The Song of Megaptera [+]Loading...["The Song of Megaptera (audio story)"])

Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to journey into outer space in the 1960s. (AUDIO: 1963: The Space Race [+]Loading...["1963: The Space Race (audio story)"], Thin Ice [+]Loading...["Thin Ice (audio story)"]) Eileen Collins and Pamela Ann Melroy joined this list of female astronauts to have reached the stars by the end of the century, still among a small number. (AUDIO: Memory Lane [+]Loading...["Memory Lane (audio story)"])

21st century[[edit]]

This section's awfully stubby.

Please help by adding some more information.

According to the Seventh Doctor, the 21st century was "a little better" than the last century, in terms of transgender rights. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"]) In the 2000s, Sally Salter found herself having to cut ties with her family in order to begin living life as herself. She found affirmation with her friends and bandmates, however, and a safe space in which to sleep at Mickey Smith's one-bedroom flat. (PROSE: Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (novelisation)"])

By this time, women could be doctors, (TV: Smith and Jones [+]Loading...["Smith and Jones (TV story)"]) political candidates, (TV: Boom Town [+]Loading...["Boom Town (TV story)"], The Christmas Invasion [+]Loading...["The Christmas Invasion (TV story)"]) police officers (TV: Everything Changes [+]Loading...["Everything Changes (TV story)"], The Woman Who Fell to Earth [+]Loading...["The Woman Who Fell to Earth (TV story)"]) and homeowners of their own right. (TV: The Eleventh Hour [+]Loading...["The Eleventh Hour (TV story)"]) Indeed, "a woman [could] do what she like[d]", (TV: The Shakespeare Code [+]Loading...["The Shakespeare Code (TV story)"]) and in some respects, had something like "equal rights" to men. (TV: To the Last Man [+]Loading...["To the Last Man (TV story)"])

Nevertheless, sexism was an ongoing issue, (TV: Smile [+]Loading...["Smile (TV story)"]) and many sentiments from the 20th century carried through to the new millennium. (AUDIO: Golden Age [+]Loading...["Golden Age (audio story)"]) Clara Oswald asked the Eleventh Doctor if he had shut the TARDIS down to basic while she piloted because she was a girl. (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS [+]Loading...["Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (TV story)"]) As late as 2065, when the Space War broke out between the solar system and the Astran Empire, it was "all male adults" who were mobilised, (PROSE: Battle in Space [+]Loading...["Battle in Space (short story)"]) although other accounts showed that by that year, women, such as Venus, did indeed exist within Earth's military space fleets. (COMIC: Power Play [+]Loading...["Power Play (comic story)"], Space Border Battle [+]Loading...["Space Border Battle (comic story)"], etc.)

Brands like Wolverine used ideas of masculinity to sell their products. (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen [+]Loading...["Revenge of the Slitheen (TV story)"])

The idea of gendered clothing still existed in 2079. (TV: The Wheel in Space [+]Loading...["The Wheel in Space (TV story)"])

Beyond the 21st century[[edit]]

This section's awfully stubby.

Please help by adding some more information.

In 2600, Irving Braxiatel and Dominic Troy understood that Bernice Summerfield was no less a woman while inhabiting Troy's body. Braxiatel referred to both Benny and Avril Fenman as "ladies". (PROSE: The Squire's Crystal [+]Loading...["The Squire's Crystal (novel)"])

30th century culture did not make a fuss about assigned genders. Chris Cwej, who was from this century, was unwavered when he found out that Eleanor Blake was a trans woman, facing violence and discrimination in the 20th century. He explained to her that "it seems a bit stupid to care about little stuff like that", considering the breadth of the universe, and all the dangers and variety to be found therein. (AUDIO: The Jabari Countdown [+]Loading...["The Jabari Countdown (audio story)"])

Roz Forrester, similarly, from the same time period, had trouble understanding the racism and sexism she encountered in 1919 Paris, as such attitudes did not make it into the 30th century. (PROSEToy Soldiers [+]Loading...["Toy Soldiers (novel)"])

51st century culture was very flexible around sexuality, (TV: The Doctor Dances [+]Loading...["The Doctor Dances (TV story)"]) and, by extension, those "quaint little categories" which mattered in the early 21st. (TV: Day One [+]Loading...["Day One (TV story)"]) Jack Harkness had no trouble adjusting to using they/them personal pronouns for Orr, a Torchwood Three recruit with no fixed gender. Other members of Jack's team, native to 21st century Earth, took longer before they no longer stumbled. (AUDIO: Orr [+]Loading...["Orr (audio story)"], Superiority Complex [+]Loading...["Superiority Complex (audio story)"])

Gender roles on other planets[[edit]]

Historically, the ruler of Peladon was always a man. (TV: The Curse of Peladon [+]Loading...["The Curse of Peladon (TV story)"], The Monster of Peladon [+]Loading...["The Monster of Peladon (TV story)"])

As Jo Grant encountered in her work with the Third Doctor, beings from other worlds were sometimes men, sometimes women, and sometimes neither. (AUDIO: The Hidden Realm [+]Loading...["The Hidden Realm (audio story)"]) As on Earth, ideas and structures around gender varied from culture to culture.

For instance, systems of power could favour one gender over another. On Peladon, at the time Sarah Jane Smith visited, the ruler was always a man. Thalira was crowned Queen only because her father had no son, and even so it was mostly in title. Chancellor Ortron held the "real power". With encouragement from Sarah Jane, Thalira began to assert herself as ruler. (TV: The Monster of Peladon [+]Loading...["The Monster of Peladon (TV story)"])

Adric, from a parallel 32nd century Alzarius, also differentiated between girls and women, and thought women were all "mindless, impatient and bossy". Nyssa called him a chauvinist for holding this position. (TV: Four to Doomsday [+]Loading...["Four to Doomsday (TV story)"])

On Necros, women's legs were to be covered at all times. Peri Brown, from 1980s Baltimore, thought this was "positively feudal". (TV: Revelation of the Daleks [+]Loading...["Revelation of the Daleks (TV story)"])

Formidians had a rigidly matriarchal culture, with even hiveless females outranking male drones in a Lyparian hive. They were led by a queen, and believed that males were not fit for combat. (AUDIO: Time in a Bottle [+]Loading...["Time in a Bottle (audio story)"])

On Terra Alpha, a pair of male roof-top snipers complained that women always got the better jobs, and the better guns. (TV: The Happiness Patrol [+]Loading...["The Happiness Patrol (TV story)"])

Vilhol, of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet from Sontar, believed that Leela, as a "human female", belonged to the "lesser gender" of a "lesser species", and would not accept help from her. (AUDIO: The King of Sontar [+]Loading...["The King of Sontar (audio story)"]) Staal, also of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Front, claimed that "words [were] the weapon of womenfolk" when he received verbal insults from Private Harris, judging him an unfit soldier. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem [+]Loading...["The Sontaran Stratagem (TV story)"])

Other Sontarans had no concept of gender, and either believed human women to be a separate species to men, (TV: The Time Warrior [+]Loading...["The Time Warrior (TV story)"]) or could not effectively distinguish humans based on apparent gender. (TV: The Snowmen [+]Loading...["The Snowmen (TV story)"], et al.) The Eleventh Doctor explained that "two genders are a bit further than [a Sontaran clone] can count", referring to Strax. (TV: The Snowmen [+]Loading...["The Snowmen (TV story)"]) Indeed, Strax once mistook Henry Gordon Jago and Professor Litefoot for Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint, (AUDIO: The Haunting [+]Loading...["The Haunting (audio story)"]) and believed "Madame" was a rank. (PROSE: Silhouette [+]Loading...["Silhouette (novel)"])


Human names were often considered to be gendered, but some names, like Charley, Kim (AUDIO: Memory Lane [+]Loading...["Memory Lane (audio story)"]) or Alex, were perfectly neutral. (AUDIO: The Havoc of Empires [+]Loading...["The Havoc of Empires (audio story)"])

Though surnames could be passed on through marriage, (TV: Something Borrowed [+]Loading...["Something Borrowed (TV story)"]) the Fourth Doctor believed it was unusual for a husband to take on his wife's name. (AUDIO: The Crooked Man [+]Loading...["The Crooked Man (audio story)"]) Despite objections, the Eleventh Doctor preferred to think of Amy Pond's husband as "the new Mr Pond", (TV: The Big Bang [+]Loading...["The Big Bang (TV story)"], The Almost People [+]Loading...["The Almost People (TV story)"]) and decided that their daughter would be Melody Pond, rather than Williams. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War [+]Loading...["A Good Man Goes to War (TV story)"]) Some opted to join their names together, as did William Stewart and Mary Lethbridge in 1603, becoming Lethbridge-Stewart. (PROSE: The Daughters of Earth [+]Loading...["The Daughters of Earth (novel)"])


Some titles, like "Miss" (PROSE: Silhouette [+]Loading...["Silhouette (novel)"]) "Mrs", (AUDIO: Five Twenty-Nine [+]Loading...["Five Twenty-Nine (audio story)"]) or "Madam", (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth [+]Loading...["The Woman Who Fell to Earth (TV story)"]) were strictly gendered, while others, like "Mx", (AUDIO: Superiority Complex [+]Loading...["Superiority Complex (audio story)"], The Web of Time [+]Loading...["The Web of Time (audio story)"]) or academic titles like "Dr" and "Professor", (TV: The Husbands of River Song [+]Loading...["The Husbands of River Song (TV story)"], The Green Death [+]Loading...["The Green Death (TV story)"]) remained gender-neutral alternatives. (AUDIO: Five Twenty-Nine [+]Loading...["Five Twenty-Nine (audio story)"])


When spoken of in the third person, individual women were generally referred to with she/her pronouns, while individual men generally used he/him instead. (AUDIO: The Sword of the Chevalier [+]Loading...["The Sword of the Chevalier (audio story)"]) Those who did not fit neatly into either camp often used a gender-neutral alternative, like ze/hir (PROSE: Oblivion [+]Loading...["Oblivion (novel)"], War Crimes [+]Loading...["War Crimes (short story)"]) or they/them. (AUDIO: Orr [+]Loading...["Orr (audio story)"], The Web of Time [+]Loading...["The Web of Time (audio story)"], et al.) Iris Wildthyme used her/him/hirm for Zelopan when he disguised himself as Iris. (PROSE: The Golden Hendecahedron [+]Loading...["The Golden Hendecahedron (short story)"])

Some people used different sets of pronouns at various points in their life, and the Tenth Doctor believed this ought to be respected. (AUDIO: The Sword of the Chevalier [+]Loading...["The Sword of the Chevalier (audio story)"]) Some people, like Cá Bảy Màu, would use both masculine and feminine pronouns, as they were genderfluid. (PROSE: What Keeps Their Lines Alive [+]Loading...["What Keeps Their Lines Alive (short story)"])

When speaking of a hypothetical Time Lord, Braxiatel offered up "he, she or they" to cover all options. (AUDIO: Beyond [+]Loading...["Beyond (audio story)"]) The Eighth Doctor used they/them pronouns to refer to the Time Lord most recently known as the Eleven, on finding out that they had regenerated into the Twelve, as he did not know their current gender. (AUDIO: Dreadshade [+]Loading...["Dreadshade (audio story)"])

River Song once claimed that she only referred to others as "sweetie" when she did not know their name or gender. (PROSE: Picnic at Asgard [+]Loading...["Picnic at Asgard (short story)"])

The Doctor[[edit]]

As he was often perceived as a man, (PROSE: Beltempest [+]Loading...["Beltempest (novel)"]) the Eighth Doctor referred to himself as a "he, for now at least". (AUDIO: The Conscript [+]Loading...["The Conscript (audio story)"]) It took the Thirteenth Doctor time to get used to she/her pronouns — and other gendered terms like madam — which were now directed at her as a result of her new appearance. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth [+]Loading...["The Woman Who Fell to Earth (TV story)"], The Ghost Monument [+]Loading...["The Ghost Monument (TV story)"], Rosa [+]Loading...["Rosa (TV story)"]) Both incarnations confirmed that they were neither man nor woman, despite appearances. (PROSE: Interference - Book One [+]Loading...["Interference - Book One (novel)"], Beltempest [+]Loading...["Beltempest (novel)"], The Good Doctor [+]Loading...["The Good Doctor (novel)"])

Those who knew the Doctor well, like Jack Harkness, (AUDIO: Piece of Mind [+]Loading...["Piece of Mind (audio story)"], Mighty and Despair [+]Loading...["Mighty and Despair (audio story)"]) the War Master in the Time War, (AUDIO: He Who Wins [+]Loading...["He Who Wins (audio story)"], Masterful [+]Loading...["Masterful (audio story)"]) Missy, (AUDIO: Masterful [+]Loading...["Masterful (audio story)"]) the Lumiat (AUDIO: The Lumiat [+]Loading...["The Lumiat (audio story)"]) and River Song, would sometimes employ they/them pronouns to refer to the Doctor generally, (AUDIO: The Power of River Song [+]Loading...["The Power of River Song (audio story)"], Concealed Weapon [+]Loading...["Concealed Weapon (audio story)"], He Who Wins [+]Loading...["He Who Wins (audio story)"]) or when unsure of incarnation. (AUDIO: Concealed Weapon [+]Loading...["Concealed Weapon (audio story)"]) Clive Finch, who had studied evidence surrounding the Doctor's many incarnations all his life, used they/them pronouns to refer to his hero. He described always wanting to meet them. (PROSE: Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (novelisation)"])

The Encyclopaedia Gallifreya, a sentient encyclopaedia aboard the TARDIS, referred to the Master using they/them pronouns around the time of the Twelfth Doctor. On consulting its styleguide following the Doctor's regeneration into a female form, it decided on they/them for the Doctor as well. Rather than revise past entries to reflect the Doctor's latest identity, it chose to employ each incarnation's respective pronouns when referring to them specifically. (PROSE: Citation Needed [+]Loading...["Citation Needed (short story)"])

When Jack Harkness referred to his Doctor using they/them pronouns, the Sixth Doctor assumed this future incarnation of his would be a woman, or at least tried to tease the information out of Jack by saying "she". Jack corrected him. (AUDIO: Piece of Mind [+]Loading...["Piece of Mind (audio story)"])

Other individuals[[edit]]

Orr, a psychomorph with no fixed gender, used the personal pronoun "they", (AUDIO: Orr [+]Loading...["Orr (audio story)"], et al.) and the title "Mx", (AUDIO: Superiority Complex [+]Loading...["Superiority Complex (audio story)"]) as did Mx Neon, a transtemporal museum curator. (AUDIO: The Web of Time [+]Loading...["The Web of Time (audio story)"]) The Ashtallans, who had never so much as encountered gender, used they/them pronouns to refer to one another. (AUDIO: The Invention of Death [+]Loading...["The Invention of Death (audio story)"])

Humans from the early 21st century would often require time to learn gender-neutral language, and would tend to stumble over unfamiliar pronouns before getting used to them. (AUDIO: Orr [+]Loading...["Orr (audio story)"], Superiority Complex [+]Loading...["Superiority Complex (audio story)"]) Yvonne Hartman, in part due to her personal relations skills, had no such qualms, and consistently used they/them for Orr before even first meeting them, having read the files. (AUDIO: Poker Face [+]Loading...["Poker Face (audio story)"])

Bernice Summerfield decided on "hir", over gendered pronouns like "him" or "her", to refer to Sgloomi Po, a Sloathe. (PROSE: Oblivion [+]Loading...["Oblivion (novel)"]) Ossu-hir also used this set of pronouns after eating Issu-mul berries, and transforming from Ossu-male. (PROSE: War Crimes [+]Loading...["War Crimes (short story)"])

Father Habemus Papem was a Balooshi monk from Baloosh Minor. Being "small strands of vegetable slime", the Balooshi had no gender and Habemus Papem was not a "him" according to the Seventh Doctor. (PROSE: Companion Piece [+]Loading...["Companion Piece (novel)"])

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

In the production notes of DWM 482, Steven Moffat suggested that River Song had been married 428 times, "one for each gender".

According to Jimmy Carr and the Dalek, the Daleks have no concept of gender.