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Old March 7 2012, 04:27 AM   #25
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Re: Vanguard: Harbinger by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Or maybe the only plausible reason to put anyone in a miniskirt or a skant is to sexually objectify them, which seemed liberating at the time but is now recognized as just another mechanism for patriarchal control.
I don't agree. I think it's sexist in itself to assume that a woman is automatically a victim in any sexual situation. I think it's insulting to women to dismiss their choice to embrace and control their own sexuality as just another sign of their helplessness and lack of agency. It's not objectification if you're choosing to express and employ your own sexuality in pursuit of your own fulfillment. That makes you the subject, not the object.
Sure -- if that's how you personally choose to dress in your personal life.

But if you're part of a military organization that literally forces you to wear revealing clothing (and on pain of court-martial)? That's not a choice, and that's objectification.

And Vanguard: Harbinger made it very clear that numerous female Starfleet officers were not comfortable with the miniskirt uniforms.

I think that in a truly liberated, non-oppressive society, sex would not be seen as a source of vulnerability at all, and no one would be seen as diminishing themselves in any way by choosing to present themselves sexually. So any present-day concerns that a woman or a man is somehow victimized by showing a little skin would seem bewildering in that context.
I want to emphasize that I respect you, Christopher, but I think that argument is premised on the supposition that somehow these hypothetical people can divorce their egalitarian present from the historical patterns of patriarchal oppression that led to it. But you can't divorce yourself from history.

And maybe the skant looks ridiculous because people aren't conditioned to think it's okay to objectify men the way they objectify women, and that thus the answer isn't to "assume the male way is automatically better," but to recognize that a means of fashion designed to objectify is impractical, unprofessional, and sexist.
Isn't it ethnocentric to assume that trousers are automatically superior to a draped garment, or that the only possible purpose of a short draped garment is to "objectify"?
No, because there's a big difference between the garments you just discussed, and the TNG "skant" or the TNG and TOS skirts. Those garments aren't designed to be practical or useful or project a professional image. Those garments are designed to show off skin, to advertise the wearer as a sexual object.
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