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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old April 4 2013, 08:27 PM   #16
Danger Ace
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Melakon wrote: View Post
Maybe you weren't alive yet in the 60s, but it was an advancement because there had not been a scene on television before with a kiss on the lips between a white man and a black woman. There are some sources that dispute this moment, but that's why it was considered ground-breaking. Some stations refused to air it.
I was very much alive in the 60s. I am one-half of an interracial couple. I had to deal with a loving but disapproving mothers (on both sides). And just the other night I watched "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" on TCM. I'm bona fide.

I would submit it was put out there and perpetuated by an unknowing media who, at the time, probably didn't know better and, because it is a point of trivia, no one has ever sought to investigate it - I mean, why would they ... its only TV show. Fans have kept the misinterpretation going because by definition they are fantical in their devotion.

I am of the type however that believes strongly that to accept credit or accolades where no credit or accolades are due is a form of lie. And since the kiss is nonconsentual and the result of force how can it be applauded or defined as anything other than "rape?"

I mean, in "Roots" when the plantation owner takes liberties with a "slave" should that be hailed as a positive interracial couple?

Now, to be clear, I am not saying Kirk was a rapist because he wasn't He was just as much a victim as Uhura.

The "why," the motivation, the intent is what frames something as being deserving or not of celebration. And it is the personal responsibilty of each of us to be principled in what we do or do not hold up for praise and publicity as to what Star Trek represents.

Would any of us show this scene to our sons or daughters to illustrate a positive human interaction? Speaking for myself, I wouldn't.
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Old April 4 2013, 08:31 PM   #17
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
... But describing it by using just the word "rape" is a misuse of the term.
How is it a misuse given the literal definition of the word?

It is certainly odd that this is still referred to as the "first interracial kiss. Star Trek itself had a previous interracial kiss in Elaan of Troyius (France Nuyen is Cambodian on her father's side).
Plato's Stepchildren is episode #65 while Elaan of Troyius is episode #68.
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Last edited by Danger Ace; April 4 2013 at 08:51 PM.
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Old April 4 2013, 08:50 PM   #18
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
Would you seriously say to someone "Hey, did you ever see that episode of Star Trek where Kirk raped Uhura?", seriously?
Yes, in a way I have. I have discussed this with fellow fans live and in-person. And I would say, "Kirk and Uhura" were raped - always clear to make that distinction. The negative circumstance of "the kiss" simply disqualify's it from praise - or at least it should.

Kind of reminds me of those psychology experiments were an authority figure instructs a person to abuse another. They keep upping the ante to measure how far folks will go in order to conform with authority - even to the point of denying personal responsibilty and exceeding the professed limits of good conscience.

A heinous act is being protected and defended by virtue of what Trek authorities have put forward as a positive. They've done this by blatantly, purposely misrepresenting the event.

I sincerely cannot help but be fascinited by this phenomena.
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Old April 4 2013, 09:13 PM   #19
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

I agree with the overall point if not with the use of certain terms. It is odd, based on the context of the scene, that they've hyped this moment as a "progressive" one for so long.
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Old April 4 2013, 09:25 PM   #20
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

If you force two people to kiss, this is not rape. It's "forcing two people to kiss." There was no sex involved, it was designed to humiliate. Their minds were not controlled, so it wasn't "mind rape" either. It was a violation of their will, yes, but rape? Nope.

As for why it broke ground (or why it didn't), that's been covered eloquently by the others.
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Old April 4 2013, 10:15 PM   #21
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
If you force two people to kiss, this is not rape. It's "forcing two people to kiss." There was no sex involved, it was designed to humiliate.
"Rape" has long been identified as being more about power and control than sexual gratification. In fact, that was the exact purpose and motivation for forcing Kirk and Uhura to kiss. Also rape is not limited to just coitus but rather any intimate contact (such as kissing or petting).

Would it be more palatable to say, "sexual assault?" Is it a mere matter of semantics? Wouldn't that still disqualify it from praise?

Their minds were not controlled, so it wasn't "mind rape" either. It was a violation of their will, yes, but rape? Nope.
Did Kirk and Uhura kiss of their own free will and under their own power and control? Free of any outside power or influence? The answer is, unequivocally, no.

They did not kiss by choice. So how can one rationally, credibly say it was anything other than a rape or sexual assault?

Following that, how can a group choose to elevate it for glorification?
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Old April 5 2013, 01:00 PM   #22
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

I think they were speaking from a purely real life production and not considering in story ramifications.
IOW, they had a white actor kiss a black actor on tv. Other information they have treated as superfluous, like the actual plot or circumstances or even the characters themselves.

And, whether Elaan of Troyius was on before or after, it doesn't matter. I hate to be so blunt, but it wouldn't count as "interacial" unless it involves a black person, as per attitudes in US, especially at that time. They had seperate facilities for whites and blacks, although they sometimes used the word coloreds. Asians really weren't on the national radar, although there were certainly local incidents of bigotry. Again, I apologize for my comments, I don't post to offend.
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Old April 5 2013, 04:43 PM   #23
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
... But describing it by using just the word "rape" is a misuse of the term.
How is it a misuse given the literal definition of the word?
Source


rape, noun
1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
3. statutory rape.
4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
5. Archaic. the act of seizing and carrying off by force.

verb (used with object)

6.
to force to have sexual intercourse.
7. to plunder (a place); despoil.

None of which apply to two people being forced to kiss.

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
. . . Kind of reminds me of those psychology experiments were an authority figure instructs a person to abuse another. They keep upping the ante to measure how far folks will go in order to conform with authority - even to the point of denying personal responsibilty and exceeding the professed limits of good conscience.

A heinous act is being protected and defended by virtue of what Trek authorities have put forward as a positive. They've done this by blatantly, purposely misrepresenting the event.
Uh, remember we're talking about a fictional act between two fictional characters portrayed by professional actors in a fictional TV show.

Lighten up a bit.
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Old April 5 2013, 06:01 PM   #24
ssosmcin
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
ssosmcin wrote: View Post
If you force two people to kiss, this is not rape. It's "forcing two people to kiss." There was no sex involved, it was designed to humiliate.
"Rape" has long been identified as being more about power and control than sexual gratification. In fact, that was the exact purpose and motivation for forcing Kirk and Uhura to kiss. Also rape is not limited to just coitus but rather any intimate contact (such as kissing or petting).

Would it be more palatable to say, "sexual assault?" Is it a mere matter of semantics? Wouldn't that still disqualify it from praise?

Their minds were not controlled, so it wasn't "mind rape" either. It was a violation of their will, yes, but rape? Nope.
Did Kirk and Uhura kiss of their own free will and under their own power and control? Free of any outside power or influence? The answer is, unequivocally, no.

They did not kiss by choice. So how can one rationally, credibly say it was anything other than a rape or sexual assault?

Following that, how can a group choose to elevate it for glorification?
It would be sexual assault if Kirk assaulted Uhura. He didn't. They were compelled to kiss each other. Not all demonstrations of power and control fall under the rape heading. The point of this particular event was to force two people into a humiliating circumstance. They were not being sexually assaulted, they were being manipulated. Parmen committed no sexual assault. He made Kirk and Uhura kiss. He forced them into intimate contact, but Parmen himself did not commit any act of a sexual nature. The fantasy nature of their powers takes the rape and sexual assault out of it. There's no real definition for it because it couldn't happen in real life.

They were all abused, absolutely.
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Last edited by ssosmcin; April 5 2013 at 06:11 PM.
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Old April 5 2013, 06:13 PM   #25
Melakon
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

I think a world like "coerced" might have been a better word choice, but it's less provocative for a thread title. And "telekinetically forced" would just be cumbersome.

When I saw the title I had to look, because I didn't remember a rape scene that was as obvious as what happened in "The Enemy Within".
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Old April 5 2013, 06:39 PM   #26
Caje
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
It would be sexual assault if Kirk assaulted Uhura. He didn't. They were compelled to kiss each other. Not all demonstrations of power and control fall under the rape heading. The point of this particular event was to force two people into a humiliating circumstance. They were not being sexually assaulted, they were being manipulated. Parmen committed no sexual assault. He made Kirk and Uhura kiss. He forced them into intimate contact, but Parmen himself did not commit any act of a sexual nature. The fantasy nature of their powers takes the rape and sexual assault out of it. There's no real definition for it because it couldn't happen in real life.

They were all abused, absolutely.
Here's Wikipedia's definition of sexual assault:

"Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented"

Kirk and Uhura were both sexually assaulted. The definition of sexual assault does not explicitly state that it has to be between two people and that one has to be the aggressor, because there's no logical reason to limit it to that.

In most jurisdictions, it wouldn't be considered rape because there was no penetration. I think calling it rape would go a bit far given the context of the scene, but it's a valid argument to make.
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Old April 5 2013, 08:25 PM   #27
Danger Ace
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Caje wrote: View Post
In most jurisdictions, it wouldn't be considered rape because there was no penetration. I think calling it rape would go a bit far given the context of the scene, but it's a valid argument to make.
To begin with I would like to thank folks for their considered responses. I may have agreed or not but they all gave me points to ponder (and that's the joy of forums such as these).

I can agree on the surface issue of "rape" being a bit harsh in classifying "the kiss," however, maintain it is unsuitable to be viewed or lauded as being in any way "progressive" or "positive imagery."

Again, I was motivated to pose this topic to the forum because the Kirk/Uruha kiss was ranked as number two (of 100) top moments in Trek history. Of coure, at the very least, it still shows 99 other instances of note.

I will be honest in that one or two responses struck me as being the byproduct of denial, and one I would say was outright specious (considering it was made on a message board dedicated to a work of fiction). All that aside though, a lot of great input and it was much appreciated.
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Old April 5 2013, 08:55 PM   #28
Caje
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
I can agree on the surface issue of "rape" being a bit harsh in classifying "the kiss," however, maintain it is unsuitable to be viewed or lauded as being in any way "progressive" or "positive imagery."
I can definitely see your argument. The Original Series dealt with rape/sexual assault really poorly, in my opinion. The most obvious examples being Yeoman Rand in "The Enemy Within" and Uhura in "The Gamesters of Triskelion". It's also depicted in "Day of the Dove", "The Return of the Archons", and "Plato's Stepchildren". All of the scenes make me cringe when I'm re-watching the series, and it's unfortunate that they had to be included at all when none of them served any significant purpose plot-wise.

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
Again, I was motivated to pose this topic to the forum because the Kirk/Uruha kiss was ranked as number two (of 100) top moments in Trek history. Of coure, at the very least, it still shows 99 other instances of note.
While I wasn't around when the episode first aired, I agree with you that the kiss doesn't seem like something that should be lauded. Out of curiosity, what were the other top-5 moments?
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Old April 5 2013, 09:09 PM   #29
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

A thesaurus is often helpful in word choice, I've used Roget's for thirty years or so. If you don't have access to one, this site can sometimes suffice: http://thesaurus.com/
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Old April 5 2013, 09:20 PM   #30
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Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
I will be honest in that one or two responses struck me as being the byproduct of denial...
This is a slightly unfair assumption. Many of these Trek legends began long before the internet. The only way one could research facts was to go to a library and consult something like the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, or other reference. I believe the "first inter-racial kiss" business actually started due to TV Guide saying how important it was during the week of the original broadcast.
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