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Old March 5 2013, 01:59 AM   #106
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
I wouldn't give Mission Impossible a pass though. The team that was wiped out in the first film was balanced but ever since then we've had no female agents in the implausible second movie, and only one female agent in each of the sequels compared to 3-4 male agents.
The first two M:I movies are irrelevant to this discussion because they had no involvement whatsoever from Abrams, Kurtzman, Orci, or any of the other current Star Trek creative team. I was referring specifically to the one film that Abrams did direct and K&O did write, namely M:I:III, whose climactic action
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Old March 5 2013, 09:56 AM   #107
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

I think that earlier MI movies are relevant for comparative purposes. The two teams we had were M/F 2/3 and 3/1 in MI1, 2/0 in MI2, and 3/1 in 3 & 4, (I think) with one more man if you count their boss. There has been a consistent imbalance there since the promising start.

Thunderball had a great female villain, a competent female CIA agent, and a heroine that saves the hero but I would hesitate to say movie espoused modern-day equality overall. Nonetheless, comparatively, taking into account the nature of the franchise and when it was written, it scores far higher than NuTrek.

The role of women may depend upon the nature of the franchise - I don't expect to see equal numbers of female soldiers in a contemporary army film. When dealing with pure fantasy though, I think more effort should be made to apply higher standards of equality. Not every female character should be strong and up there with the main heroes but the same should be true of the male characters. There should be enough characters to give us a decent mix of both sexes. Too many movie writers seem to believe that being a woman is a defining trait in itself so we end up with one woman and a bunch of men with varying skills. It would be better to decide what characters they need and then ascribe the characters' gender.

Given their success with franchises featuring female leads 'could do (much) better' springs to mind for NuTrek. Whether pressure is coming from above or not (and I find it hard to believe that producers are saying, 'Use less women') the end result is lacking.
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Old March 5 2013, 10:30 AM   #108
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
I think that earlier MI movies are relevant for comparative purposes. The two teams we had were M/F 2/3 and 3/1 in MI1, 2/0 in MI2, and 3/1 in 3 & 4, (I think) with one more man if you count their boss. There has been a consistent imbalance there since the promising start.
Focusing solely on the team is a very poor basis for analysis in M:I movies, since the first three movies downplayed the team element and focused more on Hunt as a solo protagonist. Ghost Protocol is the only one so far that really plays as an ensemble piece like the original series.

So you need to look beyond the team and consider all the characters who were important in the movies. And in M:I:III, there are two very important female cast members who are not members of Hunt's official team -- Keri Russell in the first act, and Michelle Monaghan throughout, especially in the final act. I can't believe you're ignoring the complete inversion of traditional gender roles in the climax of the third film!


When dealing with pure fantasy though, I think more effort should be made to apply higher standards of equality. Not every female character should be strong and up there with the main heroes but the same should be true of the male characters.
I definitely agree with that. I just think the evidence proves that it's unfair to accuse Abrams, Kurtzman, and Orci of sexism, because all of them have a proven record writing stories with strong, central female protagonists. If there is pressure to downplay female characters in the films and comic, it's unlikely to be coming from them, given their record. I'm not saying it doesn't exist or that it's acceptable, I'm just saying, don't blame people who don't deserve to be blamed.


Given their success with franchises featuring female leads 'could do (much) better' springs to mind for NuTrek. Whether pressure is coming from above or not (and I find it hard to believe that producers are saying, 'Use less women') the end result is lacking.
Why is that hard to believe? Executives have been saying things just like that for generations, meddling in shows and films and comics and forcing them to add or drop or alter characters to fit their views of what the target audience would want to see. Just browse through TV Tropes's pages on Executive Meddling.
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Old March 5 2013, 08:22 PM   #109
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post
I think that earlier MI movies are relevant for comparative purposes. The two teams we had were M/F 2/3 and 3/1 in MI1, 2/0 in MI2, and 3/1 in 3 & 4, (I think) with one more man if you count their boss. There has been a consistent imbalance there since the promising start.
Focusing solely on the team is a very poor basis for analysis in M:I movies, since the first three movies downplayed the team element and focused more on Hunt as a solo protagonist. Ghost Protocol is the only one so far that really plays as an ensemble piece like the original series.

So you need to look beyond the team and consider all the characters who were important in the movies. And in M:I:III, there are two very important female cast members who are not members of Hunt's official team -- Keri Russell in the first act, and Michelle Monaghan throughout, especially in the final act. I can't believe you're ignoring the complete inversion of traditional gender roles in the climax of the third film!


When dealing with pure fantasy though, I think more effort should be made to apply higher standards of equality. Not every female character should be strong and up there with the main heroes but the same should be true of the male characters.
I definitely agree with that. I just think the evidence proves that it's unfair to accuse Abrams, Kurtzman, and Orci of sexism, because all of them have a proven record writing stories with strong, central female protagonists. If there is pressure to downplay female characters in the films and comic, it's unlikely to be coming from them, given their record. I'm not saying it doesn't exist or that it's acceptable, I'm just saying, don't blame people who don't deserve to be blamed.


Given their success with franchises featuring female leads 'could do (much) better' springs to mind for NuTrek. Whether pressure is coming from above or not (and I find it hard to believe that producers are saying, 'Use less women') the end result is lacking.
Why is that hard to believe? Executives have been saying things just like that for generations, meddling in shows and films and comics and forcing them to add or drop or alter characters to fit their views of what the target audience would want to see. Just browse through TV Tropes's pages on Executive Meddling.
I love the team set pieces the most. I could do without the principal hero approach to MI. For my part, a well written standard mission would be more exciting than the oh no everything has gone wrong we have to go up a notch approach that they keep on rolling out. I'm not ignoring the contribution of the women they do have; I'm just saying that a well written smurfette doesn't mean that a movie scores well on the equality front.

They are capable of writing their principal women quite well. All they need to do is write for more of them in NuTrek. The movie isn't out yet and they are edging towards increasing female involvement by having two (gasp) prominent women. There should be more and indeed there may be more that we don't know about. We'll have to wait and see. I'm willing to bet there is still a ratio of 2:1 in speaking roles and half those women will be primarily wife/mother/girlfriend/sex object roles.
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Old March 5 2013, 08:54 PM   #110
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

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I'm not ignoring the contribution of the women they do have; I'm just saying that a well written smurfette doesn't mean that a movie scores well on the equality front.
And what I'm hearing is that you've pre-emptively made up your mind that these creators are sexist and will find a way to twist or dismiss any evidence to the contrary, even though there is abundant evidence to the contrary. That's every bit as unfair and prejudiced as the sexism you claim to be protesting. And yes, you absolutely are ignoring the contribution of the women in M:I:III, if you think you can dismiss them with a term like "Smurfette."
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Old March 5 2013, 10:04 PM   #111
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post
I'm not ignoring the contribution of the women they do have; I'm just saying that a well written smurfette doesn't mean that a movie scores well on the equality front.
And what I'm hearing is that you've pre-emptively made up your mind that these creators are sexist and will find a way to twist or dismiss any evidence to the contrary, even though there is abundant evidence to the contrary. That's every bit as unfair and prejudiced as the sexism you claim to be protesting. And yes, you absolutely are ignoring the contribution of the women in M:I:III, if you think you can dismiss them with a term like "Smurfette."
Apparently the Smurfette principle is a real thing! It refers to the tendency of movies to have a single high profile female character as a love interest among a sea of men. I do agree that things have improved somewhat but this isn't all or nothing - there are degrees of sexism. The degree of sexism in nuTrek is currently greater than it could be.

I do try to give credit where it is due and MI isn't as sexist as say the Expendables but in the context of the comics to date, they have fallen into the predictable sexist traps of making far more supporting cast members men to a very noticeable degree. I applaud their use of an all-female security team in one issue but yeah, I still think they can do much much better. I want to see it on screen!

And it's not that I've made my mind up, it's more that I was so disappointed with their efforts in the first movie that I'd rather keep my expectations low and be pleasantly surprised.
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Old March 5 2013, 10:26 PM   #112
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

I'm not talking about "movies." As I have repeatedly tried to explain, I am talking about three specific individuals named Jeffrey Jacob Abrams, Alexander Hilary Kurtzman, and Roberto Gaston Orci, and what their own specific creative records show about their ability to create strong, central, empowered female characters. You're obsessing on one isolated example of their work and ignoring all the female-led shows they've created or produced -- Felicity, Alias, Fringe, Undercovers, Xena. It is ridiculous to say that the people behind those shows are unwilling or unable to write about women as more than sex objects or set dressing. I don't even know why you want to claim that about those three specific men. There's plenty of actual sexism out there you're welcome to condemn, but why accuse these three people in particular when the evidence overwhelmingly shows the opposite?
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Old March 5 2013, 10:45 PM   #113
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
I'm not talking about "movies." As I have repeatedly tried to explain, I am talking about three specific individuals named Jeffrey Jacob Abrams, Alexander Hilary Kurtzman, and Roberto Gaston Orci, and what their own specific creative records show about their ability to create strong, central, empowered female characters. You're obsessing on one isolated example of their work and ignoring all the female-led shows they've created or produced -- Felicity, Alias, Fringe, Undercovers, Xena. It is ridiculous to say that the people behind those shows are unwilling or unable to write about women as more than sex objects or set dressing. I don't even know why you want to claim that about those three specific men. There's plenty of actual sexism out there you're welcome to condemn, but why accuse these three people in particular when the evidence overwhelmingly shows the opposite?
In that case, we are talking at cross purposes. I agree that it is ridiculous to say that the people behind those shows are unwilling or unable to write about women as more than sex objects or set dressing. I moan precisely because they ARE capable of doing better. It is true to say that they have not lived up to those standards in this franchise yet.

But it's also true to say they don't write the comics and the people that do have also not lived up to those standards in this franchise yet.

As an aside, these stories about the support characters increase the chances of the women getting a bit more airtime. The reason why we've had only one story about one female character is precisely because there is only one female support character of any note so far. We might get a Marcus background story soon, maybe a Rand or Zahra background story, but those are pretty slim pickings when you look at them.
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Old March 6 2013, 01:10 AM   #114
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
In that case, we are talking at cross purposes. I agree that it is ridiculous to say that the people behind those shows are unwilling or unable to write about women as more than sex objects or set dressing. I moan precisely because they ARE capable of doing better. It is true to say that they have not lived up to those standards in this franchise yet.

But it's also true to say they don't write the comics and the people that do have also not lived up to those standards in this franchise yet.
Well, that's just what I've been saying all along.

Although I still disagree with you about M:I:III. I've rarely seen such a delightful subversion of macho heroic expectations as the final act of that film. (And I want to make it clear that I'm not including the first two M:I films in my praise. In my opinion, only the third and fourth M:I films are any good.)
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Old March 6 2013, 01:37 AM   #115
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post
In that case, we are talking at cross purposes. I agree that it is ridiculous to say that the people behind those shows are unwilling or unable to write about women as more than sex objects or set dressing. I moan precisely because they ARE capable of doing better. It is true to say that they have not lived up to those standards in this franchise yet.

But it's also true to say they don't write the comics and the people that do have also not lived up to those standards in this franchise yet.
Well, that's just what I've been saying all along.

Although I still disagree with you about M:I:III. I've rarely seen such a delightful subversion of macho heroic expectations as the final act of that film. (And I want to make it clear that I'm not including the first two M:I films in my praise. In my opinion, only the third and fourth M:I films are any good.)
The latter two movies were better, I agree, although the first one had some great set pieces in the middle of the film. In that vein though, Nancy Travis's heroine in the Vanishing scores more highly for me.
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Old March 6 2013, 02:13 AM   #116
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
All they need to do is write for more of them in NuTrek. The movie isn't out yet and they are edging towards increasing female involvement by having two (gasp) prominent women. There should be more and indeed there may be more that we don't know about. We'll have to wait and see. I'm willing to bet there is still a ratio of 2:1 in speaking roles and half those women will be primarily wife/mother/girlfriend/sex object roles.
Another problem is that Trek movies are already have overly large casts. With the Abrams series, you have the 7 principal TOS characters (or 8 if you include Pike) plus a villain plus additional "guest stars" (characters like Sarek and Nero's henchman in XI, Carol Marcus and whoever Peter Weller is playing in STID). Just trying to service all the principal characters is difficult enough, hell the TNG movies never really pulled that off. Add into the mix of introducing a villain and developing them, and this becomes quite a juggling act indeed. I'd say story concerns and just trying to appease the actors under contract are the deciding factor here.
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Old March 6 2013, 09:12 AM   #117
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Yes, I agree that part of the problem is the large casts, including the Big 7 but they aren't going to help matters by making Nero a man, by making Robau a man, by making Olsen a man, by making Keenser a male, by featuring a nameless male Vulcan instead of T'Pau, by making Admiral Marcus Carol's dad instead of her mum. I'm not saying that they should all have been female but if they had been, there would still have been more male than female characters. The fact that none of them were really skews the dynamic.
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Old March 6 2013, 03:03 PM   #118
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To be honest, what bothers me more than the lack of women is the over abundance of white people. Aside from the Uhura and Sulu, Captain Robau and a nameless Vulcan with no dialogue were the only non-white characters in Trek XI (excluding the Orion girl, who was played by a white actress anyway), and I can't think of any in STID. In fact, if rumours pan out (and I emphasize if and rumours) than STID has cast a white guy to play an Indian character originally portrayed by a Latino actor.

In all honesty, whether it's a result of laziness from the production staff or studio meddling, the Abrams Trek movies aren't really aspiring to feature anyone other than white males.
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Old March 6 2013, 03:47 PM   #119
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

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To be honest, what bothers me more than the lack of women is the over abundance of white people. Aside from the Uhura and Sulu, Captain Robau and a nameless Vulcan with no dialogue were the only non-white characters in Trek XI (excluding the Orion girl, who was played by a white actress anyway)
You're forgetting Tyler Perry as the Academy commandant. Plus quite a few nonwhite or mixed-race supporting players -- the Kelvin helmswoman, the alien doctor who delivered baby Jim, the pilot of the medevac shuttle, various Academy cadets and staff, the cameo by Captain Chandra at Kirk's hearing, etc.


and I can't think of any in STID.
You're forgetting Noel Clarke and Nazneen Contractor as the London couple that Harrison approaches in the teaser footage. And looking over the cast list on IMDb, I see quite a few nonwhite actors listed as supporting or bit players in this film, just as in the last.


In fact, if rumours pan out (and I emphasize if and rumours) than STID has cast a white guy to play an Indian character originally portrayed by a Latino actor.
Which is one of the main reasons why I don't find those rumors credible.
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Old March 6 2013, 08:27 PM   #120
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Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Yes, I agree that part of the problem is the large casts, including the Big 7 but they aren't going to help matters by making Nero a man, by making Robau a man, by making Olsen a man, by making Keenser a male, by featuring a nameless male Vulcan instead of T'Pau, by making Admiral Marcus Carol's dad instead of her mum. I'm not saying that they should all have been female but if they had been, there would still have been more male than female characters. The fact that none of them were really skews the dynamic.
Quick question: who is "Admiral Marcus" and how do we know about him? Google isn't actually giving me any sources.
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