mysticalchild_isis: (dr who rose)
[personal profile] mysticalchild_isis
I hate to keep harping on a subject, but one of the comments to my previous meta set me off on this one.

I don't care if you like Rose or not. That's your business, and I'm not going to dictate to you who you should and shouldn't like (and I expect the same courtesy in return). Nor do I expect you to give a reason for your like or dislike. These things aren't necessarily rational, and it's good enough for me if you just say, "I don't like character X". In fact, generally, I think that is to be preferred, as that simple answer is far less likely to lead to pointless arguments.

However, I want to take a moment to address the specific argument, "I hate Rose because of the way she treated Mickey". I don't want to set off a round of Rose wank, but I'd like to point out that this reasoning is generally another case of misogyny, and a double standard when it comes to male versus female characters. Hating Rose because of her treatment of Mickey smacks of hating on a woman because she didn't stand by her man, subsume herself to his glorious masculinity, and struggle daily to live up to being "good enough" for him.

To be sure, Rose certainly didn't treat Mickey very well. But when did Mickey become a sparkling paragon of virtuous manhood, incapable of doing any wrong?

Let's start at the beginning: Rose and Mickey aren't married. They don't even live together. They have a pleasant, friendly relationship, but it hardly seems to be OMG PERFECT TRUE LOVE FOREVER. It seems rather casual, honestly, as Mickey appears to be more interested in watching the match down at the pub than anything else (I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that- quite the contrary- I think its very healthy for people in relationships to have separate interests). Let's also keep in mind that Rose is a teenager, and Mickey is at least a couple years older than her.

Then Rose makes the spur of the moment decision to run off with the Doctor. It would have been nice if Rose and Mickey had some sort of communication about the status of their relationship, but come on- full grown, experienced adults have trouble with this sort of thing. It's not surprising that they didn't have a talk about what was going on, relationship wise. (I will say this, though- if my significant other ran off with an alien, I'd take that as a sign that our relationship was over.)

Rose has some adventures with the Doctor, and then they make a brief stop back at Rose's flat. It's only been a few days for her, but due to the Doctor's mistake, a year has passed on Earth. (I'd like to emphasize the fact that this was the Doctor's fault, and Rose had no idea that she was going to miss a whole year.) Some people seem to think Rose was very callous about this, but she hardly set out to miss a year, and she was pretty damn confused about the whole thing. You try imagining what it would be like to go away for a few days, only to discover that for everyone else, it's been a year. I'd certainly find it rather off-putting.

They all immediately get swept up in another alien adventure, Mickey helps, and due to said help, the Doctor invites Mickey to join them. Mickey turns him down. I don't blame him for this at all; in fact, I think it's very mature and sensible of him to realize he's not ready for such a thing (but I am less fond of the fact he didn't tell Rose the truth, here). But this is a moment where Mickey chose to go one way, and Rose another. Again, defining the exact status of their relationship would have been the polite and mature thing to do, but choosing to go their separate ways is an obvious case of actions speaking louder than words.

Especially since, between this point and the next time we see Mickey (Boomtown), he starts dating somebody else. Generally, a new relationship is a definite sign that someone has moved on. Mickey doesn't inform Rose of this development, but I don't blame him for this, as, after all, I think their relationship was pretty clearly over at this point anyway. However, considering his subsequent actions, he's either dating this girl to make Rose jealous, or he's ready to throw her over for his ex the moment Rose crooks her finger. I don't think this is really the sort of behavior that should be idolized, though feel free to disagree.

When Rose calls Mickey to come meet them in Cardiff, he comes running, and he doesn't immediately make her aware of the fact he's involved with someone else. When she called, he could have said no. He could have mentioned that he was in a relationship, but he'd be happy to come as a friend. He didn't do either of these things. I'm not calling Mickey a terrible person- I think he's human, and makes mistakes. Just like Rose.

At the climax of the episode, Mickey tells Rose the truth, and makes it known that he's not going to come when she calls. He really should have told Rose this from the beginning, but at least she knows now. She's upset about it, which I think is totally understandable and human- remember, far less time has passed for Rose. It's also very clear that she's been used to Mickey always being there. This isn't a great way to treat people, but she hardly had Mickey on a chain. This sort of behavior takes two, and he could have refused her at any point. They both made mistakes, and they are both equally to blame for the way things turned out.

I think all their behavior from that point onwards stems from the fact that they have trouble negotiating the boundaries of friendship versus those of a romantic relationship. They've known each other forever, they've been involved, and redefining how we relate to exes who are now friends is a difficult and awkward thing. They both make mistakes, they both have unrealistic expectations, they both get hurt.

So the next time you want to declaim how much you hate Rose due to her awful, bitchy treatment of poor, noble, Mickey, think about why you're putting all the burden on Rose, and none on Mickey. Mickey chose to get involved with Rose, Mickey made his own mistakes, and Mickey could have cut himself off from Rose at any time.

So, hate Rose all you want- it's no skin off my nose. Just consider what gender politics might be behind your reasoning, and why you're so quick to idolize men at the cost of disparaging women. Why not stick to the simple answer of, "I don't like her".

I will now step down from my soap box, and stop throwing teal deer at you.

Date: 2010-03-27 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The whole Saint Mickey thing gets tiresome, because he isn't perfect. None of the characters on the show are - that's why I love it. That's why it's interesting. I love flawed characters and learning what makes them tick and watching them overcome their mistakes in life.

My biggest problem with the people who slag off Rose is they seem to have no tolerance for the fact that she's only nineteen. She's at an age where she's really discovering herself and people should remember that not everyone matures emotionally at the same speed. She's still very much growing up, and to grow you HAVE to make mistakes. I think some just expect far, far too much from a nineteen year old girl who spent her childhood on an inner city estate only to have the most amazing man appear in her life like something out of the fairy tales she'd obviously taken to heart. It bothers me when people bang on about every single imperfect moment Rose ever had on the show because she's only human, and a very young human at that. And character flaws are important. If she hadn't had any, they'd just brand her a Mary Sue. Rose wouldn't win however she was written.

Date: 2010-03-27 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. Mary Sue is just used now in place of "I hate". The expression has become so far removed from its original meaning.

Date: 2010-03-27 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree with this. If I'm honest, it actually took me a long time to come around to liking Mickey (it happened around the time he finally grew a spine) and I get very easily annoyed when authors tout the Saint Mickey flag at the expense of Rose's character.

Date: 2010-03-27 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*joins crowd under soap box*
*whistles and cheers*

I'm glad you said it was a stranger; I was wondering what I had said...

Date: 2010-03-28 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is exactly why I need you to read The Dark Tower Series. There are so many people who treat the main female character like shit. I will admit that at first she's very annoying in the way she speaks but by the end of the novel you have a reason for that and by the end of the series you have an even better reason for it. Dear Lord..why do people have to SUCK so much on a regular basis???

Ahem. Hi. :)

Date: 2010-03-28 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Some people don't like Rose? ...wut? ._.

I want to take a stick and beat the rose love into everyone!!!

Edited Date: 2010-03-28 02:40 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-03-28 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

And it was coyotes. Much more civilized.

Date: 2010-03-28 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
we studied him in HS!

see how civilized i am? i have not been ruinning around in the woods blowing shit up all day, nope.

Date: 2010-03-28 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh my word. You guys and your icons have totally made my day...

Sorry. Carry on.

Date: 2010-03-28 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've enjoyed all of your thoughtful posts on fandom misogyny.

Rose definitely handles her relationship with Mickey in immature ways sometimes, but as you argue so well here, he's not really any better, and he's a bit older than 19 and thus has even less excuse. So they're not perfect. That makes interesting television!

Are there really people out there pulling a Saint Mickey routine? Because that very much seems to be constructing their own little world that has very little to do with canon. I love Mickey, but part of that love is for his flaws.

Date: 2010-03-28 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*breaks into wild applause*

I hate double standards. This is also a problem in my other favourite TV fandom, The Big Bang Theory. And it drives me nuts. Way to present your point in a clear, well-supported, sane manner. *thumbs up*

Date: 2010-03-28 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I see a lot of people say they don't like how Rose treated Mickey in S2 (it's been so long since I've seen S2, so I don't remember how true this is), but even though Ten also participates in that round of How Mickey is Treated, especially once Mickey's on the TARDIS, it seems like Rose still gets the lion's share of the blame.

Damn it, now you're making me want to write about double standards in Torchwood fandom (Gwen, who has a partner, cheats with Owen? Whore. Owen pursues a woman he knows is attached? Boys will be boys. Gwen sort of flirts with Jack? Cow. Ianto flirts with Jack while his girlfriend is in the basement? OTP!!!1).

Date: 2010-03-29 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I *SHOULD* be writing a seven page paper for my anthro class.

But let's face it, when faced with anthro paper vs. fannish meta, we both know which one I'm going to pick.

Date: 2010-03-28 11:33 pm (UTC)
ext_440609: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
> I think all their behavior from that point onwards stems from the fact that they have trouble disentangling the bounds of friendship from that of a romantic relationship. They've known each other forever, they've been involved, and redefining how we relate to exes who are now friends is a difficult and awkward thing. They both make mistakes, they both have unrealistic expectations, they both get hurt.

I agree with this! You state it very well here.


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