Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media, but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for kids to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following is rife with spoilers galore for Doctor Who. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Now, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) was raised by her foster mother Moira after her biological mother passed away. Not much is known about her father. From a young age, Bill knew she was attracted to women. However, she remained mum regarding her sexuality, thus her stepmother assumed Bill was heterosexual. When Bill was in her mid twenties, she took up a job as a canteen assistant at St. Luke’s University in Bristol. It was there she met the Doctor (Peter Capaldi).
Later, the Doctor took Bill under his wing as her tutor. He saw great potential in her. Of course, this led to the Doctor revealing that he’s actually an alien with two hearts from a planet called Gallifrey. Bill and the Doctor commenced their adventures in the TARDIS. They traveled across galaxies far and wide, through all of time and space.
Unfortunately, Bill’s tenure with the Doctor came to an abrupt close. She was mortally wounded aboard a colony ship by a frenzied technician who believed humans were a threat. The Doctor allowed elusive medical professionals to cart Bill away to save her. However, they morphed her into a Cyberman instead. After her Cyber-conversion, Bill reunited with the Doctor. She rejected her programming to help save him when he was in grave danger. Eventually, Bill the Cyberman perished on a battlefield. But, not all was lost. Bill was converted to a sentient oil creature and later traveled through space with her beau Heather. Initially, the pair met when Heather was still alive, prior to the latter’s transformation into a sentient oil creature. Yes, Heather’s all oily, too.
The Real Deal:
Bill is the real deal, folks. She’s highly inquisitive, which is never a bad quality to possess. Bill never shies away from asking questions, especially ones that people seldom proffer. Her brain is a thing of beauty and the way she processed information utterly fascinated the Doctor. In addition, Bill is bold in the best way possible. She refuses to fall victim to misogyny or sexist comments. She’s not afraid to rein in the male ego. Bill is also chock full of heart, with a soft spot for people. She was able to reject her cybernetic programming to help the Doctor! Typically, once you go Cyberman, it’s pretty damn difficult to retain any remnants of your former humanity. While she may not be open to every person she meets regarding her sexuality, Bill isn’t afraid to love wholeheartedly. She loves who she loves.
Why She Matters:
Now, why does she matter? Bill made Doctor Who history. She’s an LGBTQIA+ black woman who’s a companion to the Doctor. That’s not something that should be brushed under the rug. Now, young black girls everywhere can see themselves in Bill as a wonderfully complex friend of the Doctor traveling through time and space. Bill’s desire for knowledge and her mental growth therein should be something we all aspire to. Learning is good. As humans, we’re incessantly evolving, and Bill is no exception.
So, be like Bill. Never stop asking questions. Absorb information like a sponge. Be bold and always speak out against injustices. When faced with adventure, courageously step over that TARDIS blue threshold into the Great Unknown. Oh, and always go steady with the sentient oil creature. She’ll show you a good (oily?) time.
This article was originally published on 6/23/20
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