Jodie Whitaker, the actress who currently plays the role of Dr. Who, has revealed that her parents took a gender neutral approach to raising her and her brother “before it was even considered a thing.”
In an interview with UK news outlet The Times, Whitaker stated, “My brother and I were raised gender neutral befor it was even considered a thing. She went on to describee how she and her brother “were given equal opportunities and thrown into the same activities.”
“Our parents told us that our social skills and sports were just as important as our academic results,” explained Whitaker. “‘They wanted me to be well rounded, able to have a proper conversation and have an inquisitive mind.”
Whitaker also described her mother as “incredibly progressive.”
She explained, “I’m surrounded by a sisterhood that is the most extraordinary gift I’ve been given. My mother is an inspiration and is incredibly progressive for her age.”
“I also have a group of girlfriends I’ve known since I was little. It’s never an effort to be close, even if we don’t see each other regularly, and you know they’ll call you out if they disagree with you,” she stated.
The presentation of items, activities, and practices as ‘gender neutral’ has seen an increase in popularity in recent years.
Last year, Google promoted their Stadia controllers as gender neutral, while toy manufacturer Mattel launched a gender neutral doll line on the basis that the company did not “want their toys dictated by gender norms.”
At the same time, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar star Zoe Saldana revealed that she has taken to raising her three sons in a “gender-neutral environment.”
With the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons earlier this year, Nintendo removed the ability for players to choose their gender and instead allowed them to choose their ‘styles.’
Later in the interview, Whitaker would also reveal her biggest weakness writing, “My biggest weakness is being paranoid about getting two ticks on a Whatsapp and no response.”
She added, “I get in an absolute state and wonder what I’ve done. I overthink things and that can be exhausting.”
Whitaker also reflected on when she first got the role of the Doctor. She wrote, “Being given the role of the Doctor was a challenge before I’d even set foot in front of the camera.”
She continued, “Keeping it quiet was hard, and then hearing everyone’s opinions on whether I was capable as the first female, and how it should be played, showed how passionate people felt, even if there were rude headlines.”
“It was a full year of filming before my first episode landed. So the build-up was a constant tug between it being my joyous, happy place and concern about not wanting to ruin Doctor Who for future generations,” she added.
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