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Old January 13 2013, 11:58 PM   #66
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Blamo wrote: View Post
And while it's not part of the topic, in regards to gender politics I'd say it wasn't progressive OR revolutionary. It was pretty much stuck in the 60's.
No, it was progressive, just not as progressive as it should've been. Just having women on a military starship crew at all was a very progressive step, something you didn't see anywhere else in the era. And at the time, the miniskirts were seen as very progressive and empowering for women, a symbol of the sexual revolution and of women asserting control of their own sexuality rather than hiding from it and thus being rendered passive and helpless in sexual interactions. Certainly there were still a lot of very conventional gender attitudes that the show failed to overcome -- notably the era's attitudes about rape as seen in "The Enemy Within," or "Turnabout Intruder"'s assumption that Dr. Lester was insane for aspiring to do a man's job instead of being content with her feminine role. And overall the show's portrayal of women wasn't as progressive as something like The Avengers or Get Smart or Mission: Impossible. But it wasn't completely conservative about gender roles, not by the standards of its day.

Indeed, the Trek fan community of the '60s and '70s was overwhelmingly female, and plenty of women at the time were drawn to it because they did find the show's portrayal of women inspiring and aspirational. Looking back on it today, when we've come so much further, we see all the ways it didn't transcend the assumptions of the time, but at the time, fans saw the ways in which it did, and they made a real difference in a lot of lives.
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