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 young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers galore for Doctor Who. If you’re not already caught up on new Who, I suggest you mosey on over to Amazon and binge away. The TARDIS awaits.
Clara Oswald (portrayed by Jenna Coleman) is a teacher at Coal Hill School whose destiny is intertwined with The Doctor. Dubbed by the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) as “The Impossible Girl,” Clara has managed to save each regeneration of The Doctor from nefarious threats. We even see her popping up in different timelines, swooping in at the last minute to aid The Doctor. There are also multiple iterations of the character existing in said various timelines such as Oswin Oswald, the bold explorer-turned-Dalek. There’s also a young governess named Clara living in Victorian England who the Eleventh Doctor encounters while saving the day.
Later, Clara joins the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors on their adventures, although it takes some convincing for her to hop aboard the TARDIS. She proves to be a fiercely intelligent and clever companion, helping The Doctor through many intergalactic scrapes. Clara is a true heroine, and eventually nicks a TARDIS of her own and traverses the galaxies with Me (Maisie Williams).
The Real Deal:
Now, Clara has a bad rap in the Whoniverse. People tend to view her as a “bossy” character – one who overshadows The Doctor and consistently makes herself the martyr. However, “assertiveness” is often misconstrued for “bossiness.” Clara is a strong and capable woman. While she may appear to “boss” The Doctor around, he often relies on her humanity as a means for solving whatever crisis is at hand. This particularly applies to the Twelfth Doctor, who had a more difficult time understanding humans as a whole. Her cleverness and quick thinking has helped The Doctor survive many a trying situation. As I mentioned previously, she’s “The Impossible Girl” for a reason – she’s saved The Doctor countless times. She’s brought him joy and laughter. Clara is a pivotal character in Doctor Who because of her strong ties to our favorite Time Lord.
Why She Matters:
Alright, why exactly does Clara matter? Hear me out, naysayers. Clara Oswald matters a great deal because of her positive standing as a role model for young girls everywhere. Remember in “Face the Raven” when she sacrificed herself so Rigsy could live? Even in the face of imminent death, Clara maintained a brave facade and gave The Doctor advice. She urged him not to seek revenge. Despite her fear, she managed to act bravely. Clara cared so deeply about her friend that she was willing to shoulder his death penalty as her own.
Now, “Let me be brave” is my favorite quote from Clara, and one that I often look to for guidance. In fact, her death scene in “Face the Raven” has me toying with the idea of getting this very quote tattooed on my arm. Yes, Clara has influenced me that much. I know I’m in the minority here, but I thoroughly enjoyed Clara’s tenure on Doctor Who and Jenna Coleman’s brilliant, nuanced portrayal of her.
So, be like Clara, friends. Be strong. Be brave. And, for the love of Gallifrey, be clever. Think outside the blue phone box. Do what’s right, no matter the personal cost. Go on adventures with your friends. Save the universe. It’s what Clara Oswald would do.
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