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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old August 27 2011, 08:54 PM   #76
Christopher
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

^I don't think they'd see any need to keep the extramarital relations secret or worry about "sanctity." The marriage bond, to Vulcans, is presumably about procreation and the economic and sociopolitical advantages of joining two families (which, historically, was what marriage was about for humans up until a few centuries ago when the idea that it had anything to do with love was introduced). Since a same-sex relationship has no procreative relevance, I don't see Vulcans seeing it as being in any way threatening to a marriage alliance. They'd probably see it as a logical way of balancing personal needs with the benefits and responsibilities of the marriage.

Then again, if Vulcans really were logical about marriage, they wouldn't have kept this barbaric fight-to-the-death ritual 2000 years after they supposedly embraced peace.
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Old August 27 2011, 09:21 PM   #77
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Christopher wrote: View Post

Then again, if Vulcans really were logical about marriage, they wouldn't have kept this barbaric fight-to-the-death ritual 2000 years after they supposedly embraced peace.
And deny us the most awesome fight music ever recorded? Not logical.
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Old August 27 2011, 09:42 PM   #78
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

David cgc wrote: View Post
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And the reason she rejected her arranged marriage to Sten as a youth is that she was gay.
I probably overlooked it, but I didn't remember that being made explicit in the novels.
It's called subtext, and it's an entirely logical (pardon the expression) interpolation based upon the text of Vanguard books one, three, and five. It's also being expressly stated here by me as my intent in the depiction of the character and the events of her life.
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Old August 27 2011, 10:07 PM   #79
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

If I remember correctly, Dr Selar's brother was homosexual. I also recall their father disapproving of his son's sexuality, but only because he felt sex without reproduction was illogical.
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Old August 28 2011, 12:49 AM   #80
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

David Mack wrote: View Post
David cgc wrote: View Post
David Mack wrote: View Post
And the reason she rejected her arranged marriage to Sten as a youth is that she was gay.
I probably overlooked it, but I didn't remember that being made explicit in the novels.
It's called subtext...
First, ouch. The "overlooked" bit was more a concession to the fact that, as I mentioned up-thread, I'd completely forgotten what an "Aole Miller" was and was briefly confused when he was brought up in "Ruins" like he was someone I knew. Side effect of not revisiting the books after the first read yet. I didn't mean to give the impression that I was criticizing the books for not spelling it out, but rather that they may well have, and it had just slipped my mind in the meantime.

David Mack wrote: View Post
...and it's an entirely logical (pardon the expression) interpolation based upon the text of Vanguard books one, three, and five. It's also being expressly stated here by me as my intent in the depiction of the character and the events of her life.
I get that, and I don't disagree that it makes sense or anything like that, I was just saying that, to me, there were much more overt reasons for T'Prynn to scorn Sten than disagreement over the suitability of his bits. That just makes the whole thing even more tragic than it was when I assumed T'Prynn actively disliked him before the fight, like she's more of a victim.
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Old August 28 2011, 12:59 AM   #81
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

David cgc wrote: View Post
I was just saying that, to me, there were much more overt reasons for T'Prynn to scorn Sten than disagreement over the suitability of his bits. That just makes the whole thing even more tragic than it was when I assumed T'Prynn actively disliked him before the fight, like she's more of a victim.
Well, yes, absolutely. And it wasn't my intention to characterize Sten as an "evil bastard," but rather to portray him as a Vulcan male overcome by the violent, primal urges of Pon farr, as exacerbated by the challenge of the kal-if-fee. Sten might have been a perfectly decent Vulcan man when not seized by the blood fever, but when lost in its throes he refused to grant T'Prynn's rational request, and when she killed him, even then he wasn't willing to concede defeat.

As with so many other characters' stories in the Vanguard saga, T'Prynn's was absolutely meant to be tragic in its causes and effects. And I suppose it could be argued that her sexuality, in driving her to reject a forced marriage to Sten (or any man), was a contributing factor in her tragedy. But that's not a judgment on her sexuality; it's just another detail in her story, in my opinion.
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Old August 28 2011, 01:12 AM   #82
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

David Mack wrote: View Post
And I suppose it could be argued that her sexuality, in driving her to reject a forced marriage to Sten (or any man), was a contributing factor in her tragedy. But that's not a judgment on her sexuality; it's just another detail in her story, in my opinion.
If anything, it sounds more like a judgment on a society that would assume heterosexuality as a default, and thereby force her into that unfortunate situation in the first place.
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Old August 28 2011, 02:02 AM   #83
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

David Mack wrote: View Post
And it wasn't my intention to characterize Sten as an "evil bastard," but rather to portray him as a Vulcan male overcome by the violent, primal urges of Pon farr, as exacerbated by the challenge of the kal-if-fee. Sten might have been a perfectly decent Vulcan man when not seized by the blood fever, but when lost in its throes he refused to grant T'Prynn's rational request, and when she killed him, even then he wasn't willing to concede defeat.
I always got the impression that Sten was a fundamentally maladjusted character. The way he invaded T'Prynn when she beat him is a remarkable act of spite at best, and the fact that none of the Vulcan elders could do anything about it suggested that it was a fairly unique case. On the other hand, attempts to break off Vulcan marriages are probably rare, and cases where the bride chooses to be her own champion are probably even rarer, so it could be that more sex-crazed Vulcan divorcées would set up shop in their fiancée's head if they got the chance.

Which brings me to the other thing. Spock and Surak, when they were in residence in McCoy and Archer, didn't seem to have their behavior constrained by the circumstances of their deaths. I assumed that Sten's katra would be free of the blood fever thanks to his lack of blood, so his constant attempts to dominate T'Prynn had to be due to a prideful, vindictive streak that had nothing to do with pon farr. What I always walked away with was that his clearminded, logical appraisal was that that T'Prynn was the wife, he was the husband, and she did what he wished, and it offended him that she'd act otherwise so much so that, even though he hated her, he had to possess her, because it was all about exercising his power and putting her in her place.

Though, writing this out and giving it deeper thought, I just realized that it wasn't exactly a fight to the death for both of them. Yay, Vulcan, for institutionalized marital rape.
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Old August 28 2011, 02:39 AM   #84
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

^^ Actually, VOY's "Blood Fever" establishes that the act of fighting to the death can itself resolve the pon farr, no sex required. So it's just institutionalized ritual semi-consensual homicide.
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Old August 28 2011, 02:52 AM   #85
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

I guess, but it seems weird that the male would go to all that trouble and then actually kill the female when the whole point of accepting the challenge would be preserving the marriage. If he doesn't just subdue her, then the challenge ends up being a catch-22 from the male's perspective. If he forfeits without fighting, he loses the marriage, if he fights and loses, he loses the marriage (and is also dead), and even if he fights and wins, he's married to a corpse.

I can only hope this sort of thing makes the Vulcan Elders discourage women from serving as their own champion. It's much less complicated when she can sucker some guy into fighting to take her as a concubine than when she's fighting to be her own chattel.

Actually, come to think of it, is there a known case of the man issuing the challenge? I know the assumption would be that they're too sex-crazed to be picky, but if they already had a partner to exhaust themselves with, or even just a supreme force of will to overcome the urge, it seems possible, at least, that the male could want to cancel the wedding while the female wishes to go through with it.
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Old August 28 2011, 03:36 AM   #86
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

David cgc wrote: View Post
Which brings me to the other thing. Spock and Surak, when they were in residence in McCoy and Archer, didn't seem to have their behavior constrained by the circumstances of their deaths.
But they weren't in plak tow when they died.

I assumed that Sten's katra would be free of the blood fever thanks to his lack of blood...
I'm sure "blood fever" is only a figurative description, not a medically accurate one, like being hot-blooded. But since it is a physiological condition, substitute "lack of hormones" and you could be right.

Still, if he was in a mentally imbalanced state when he forced the meld, it could be that the katra thus imprinted in T'Prynn was equally imbalanced. If we take a non-spiritual, mechanistic view (for the sake of argument), the katra could be nothing more than a "snapshot" of the brain's mental state at the moment of the "download," kinda like the snapshot of your RAM that Windows writes to your hard disk when you put your PC in Hibernate mode and then reloads into RAM when you restart. Such a "snapshot" of a brain in a deranged state could be permanently corrupted, so to speak.


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^^ Actually, VOY's "Blood Fever" establishes that the act of fighting to the death can itself resolve the pon farr, no sex required.
No, "Amok Time" established that. Spock's plak tow broke when he thought he'd killed Kirk. What "Blood Fever" established was that it doesn't have to be to the death, it's enough just to wrestle around for a minute or so. (Although it could be that the Doctor's holographic "treatment" for Vorik had done half the work curing him already, thus he didn't have to go all the way to homicide. And B'Elanna wasn't really going through pon farr, just a loss of self-control that mimicked it.)
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Old August 28 2011, 04:00 AM   #87
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

With the telepathic Pon Farr that B'Elanna suffered from in "Blood Fever", my understanding is that Vulcan females are immune to the emotional overload created by the telepathic bond that Vorik established. We've never seen any other evidence to suggest that this happens and therefore, it could also be that B'Elanna developed the condition as part of her Klingon DNA.

We've seen in ENT that Vulcan females also undergo Pon Farr. Originally in TSFS, Saavik mentioned that "Vulcan males must endure it every seven years of their adult life". I suppose this could be interpreted as meaning that Vulcan females endure it at different periods. But then again, did T'Pol not mention the seven year period when suffering with a premature case of Pon Farr?
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Old August 28 2011, 04:22 AM   #88
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Christopher wrote: View Post
Still, if he was in a mentally imbalanced state when he forced the meld, it could be that the katra thus imprinted in T'Prynn was equally imbalanced. If we take a non-spiritual, mechanistic view (for the sake of argument), the katra could be nothing more than a "snapshot" of the brain's mental state at the moment of the "download," kinda like the snapshot of your RAM that Windows writes to your hard disk when you put your PC in Hibernate mode and then reloads into RAM when you restart. Such a "snapshot" of a brain in a deranged state could be permanently corrupted, so to speak.
This is exactly what I was thinking when I concocted the whole T'Prynn-Sten story arc.
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Old August 28 2011, 04:25 AM   #89
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

^"Exactly?" Right down to the labored PC-hibernation analogy? (Which is only on my mind because the folks at the computer store were telling me about the horrible things that hibernation would do to my computer, so I researched it online and found they were hugely exaggerating.)
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Old August 28 2011, 05:44 AM   #90
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

David Mack wrote: View Post
This is exactly what I was thinking when I concocted the whole T'Prynn-Sten story arc.
Thanks for the insight. I'll remember this perspective when I do my reread of the series when the final novel comes out.
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