Anonymous: 1. A woman who takes charge is not a bitch or snarky. River Song is not mary sue know it all bitch. She is a woman acting in the same manner as most of the other men on the show. The fact that she is a woman is the reason mary sue is being thrown around. 2. A woman who is written sexy by a man is not a victim because women are not victims who happen to be sexy. 3. Taking your husband's name even if your friends call you by something else is not oppressive if it is your choice. 4. Just stop.
1. Word! I’ve actually run into people who throw around “Mary-Sue” (without knowing its origin) like confetti, yet they’ve never once heard the terms “Gary-Stu” or “Marty-Stu.” In my experience, these also tend to be the people who will rave about how awesome characters like The Doctor/The Master/Jack Harkness are and then belittle characters like River Song/Jenny/Amy Pond. (And this absolutely is not limited to the DW fandom, but they have a particularly ugly affinity for these types of double standards.)
2. I would say that there are valid arguments that can be made with regards to the “male gaze” and the sexualization of female characters, but there’s a difference between a female who is sexual object and a female who is a sexual subject. In the cases of River and Amy, both of these women are sexual subjects. They do not solely serve the purpose of eye candy for The Doctor or the heterosexual/bisexual male audience. These women are conscious of and direct their sexual desires, instead of just having sexual desires directed at and acted upon them. Amy chose to be a kissogram. She likes kissing. She also chose to kiss The Doctor and tried very hard to have a one night stand with him. Whether that was morally right for her to do is a whole other subject of debate, but nevertheless, she was still acting as a sexual subject by attempting to fulfill her own sexual fantasies and desires. And just because she was written by a man does not automatically negate the character’s choices.
3. True. And while I really wish Amy had kept her maiden name when she got married, I can also see why she might have agreed to change it for Rory. Rory’s always made so many sacrifices for her happiness that I can see her deciding that she could do that one for him, yet still have people call her by Pond in her everyday life (and insist on giving her daughter the Pond surname to boot). It fits into the growth of their relationship fairly well, actually. So I don’t feel that it was turned into one giant joke just because her headstone now reads Williams. There are reasons that certainly make sense.