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Old June 13 2013, 11:42 PM   #148
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Just reaching again a bit on the subject of sexism a bit. I don't really think the movie was sexist considering that they had the pre-existing gender distribution of TOS (almost all guys). JJ could have done better but the movie is certainly has better gender distribution than a lot of movies around.
However the scene with Carol in her undies makes me (despite my better judgement) think of her less seriously. In TWOK I got the impression that Carol was Spock's peer. I respected her there.
In STID I think she was fiddling around a bit. I think we need to see more hard science out of her. She shouldn't be there IMO just to be Kirk's possible baby mama.
Both movies were very sexist in fact. They suffer from token female syndrome also known as the Smurfette principal where they focus on one or two female characters. Giving Carol more to do will be good, but she'll still be a Smurfette.
If we're going to hammer on tropes, let's be correct about it. Under the Smurfette Principle, there can be only one. For STID, you probably want "Two Girls to a Team" or, maybe, "Affirmative Action Girl". As long as there isn't any antagonism between Uhura and Carol, Carol cannot, by definition, be a Smurfette. (And, even if there were, Uhura already had dibs on being the Smurfette; no way would they invert that trope and have Carol push Uhura off).

Another way to look at it is to say, remove Kirk and Spock and look at all the male characters you have left. Remove Uhura and Carol and look at all the female characters you have left. Go one step further and remove the Big 7 and see how many men and women you have left. There is no comparison.
Remove Kirk and Spock and there's no one left to carry the show period, male or female. For that reason, the pair of Uhura and Carol isn't really parallel to the pair of Kirk and Spock. You're comparing apples and oranges, there.

What you need to do, there, is see what the cast looks like, besides Kirk and Spock. The main cast might benefit from at least one more female. Rand as security chief could work (was that you who suggested that, months back?).

However, this isn't a dog and pony show. There has to be sufficient reason for the characters to be on screen, or it will just come off as contrived, and take us back to Yawnersville.

Whether you have two male leads or not, the supporting cast is in no way balanced and the women they do have are mostly women because they have to be (mothers, girlfriends etc). The notable exception is in the stereotypical sick bay, where there are lots of women but apart from that we've had no female security guards,
Since "in no way balanced" sounds pretty extreme, if not hyperbolic, I'd like a tally, please. There's some space in between "totally balanced" and "in no way balanced", namely "somewhat balanced".

I also think you're being disingenuous about mothers and girlfriends. They didn't "have" to be on screen at all! Strike any one of Winona, Amanda, Gaila, or even Hannity, and STXI is a noticeably lesser film, but it's still perfectly doable. (ETA: Are women only legitimately on screen if they come stag and childless? I'm probably missing something here, but the main characters are already set in stone: Kirk and Spock and they're male. Is Carol not legitimately on screen because she's Admiral Marcus's daughter?)

By the way, for all we know, maybe Hannity is Number One.

IIRC, wasn't there an alien female security guard at one of the consoles in the brig in STID? I'd have to see the film again to be sure.

very few (maybe 10%) female senior officers,
In Starfleet? Post proof please.

no female captains or first officers
This has already been debunked on the BBS. Who are the women shown here in the Daystrom Conference Room?

They wrote out Chapel and Rand and introduced Keenser and Cupcake.
While I wasn't necessarily happy about that, the purpose of Abrams's films isn't to replay TOS beat for beat. That applies to Number One also, whom I might have also liked to have seen (unless we already saw her). This relates to my point about there having to be sufficient reason for characters to be on screen in the first place.

Their errors are many and varied
Choices are not in and of themselves errors.

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
beamMe wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post

Both movies were very sexist in fact.


both movies are definitely sexist.
Concise! But I'll rephrase. In failing to show on screen an equivalent mix of male and female characters in equal numbers, both movies fail to demonstrate a reasonable level of gender equality in the 23rd century (or the 21st century).

As an aside, after you remove Uhura and Carol from the mix, do you think there are enough women remaining? And where are they?
Just how big does the set of main characters have to get? The big ten? Even The Big Chill stopped at eight main characters.

There's a difference between the universe overall being reasonably balanced and the characters shown on screen being more males than females. What the camera focuses on is just a cross section of the larger whole. It's always going to be an uphill battle, in terms of gender balance in the characters shown on screen, because of the source material. I haven't seen any convincing evidence that the universe itself is "in no way balanced". (I think these last two points have been made on the BBS before.)
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” — Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

Last edited by CorporalCaptain; June 13 2013 at 11:57 PM.
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