RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 145,293
Posts: 5,720,283
Members: 25,765
Currently online: 353
Newest member: tiffany1994

TrekToday headlines

Where No Garden Gnome Has Gone Before
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Scotland Yard Trekkie Fear
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Koenig Joins Captain Pike Project
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Retro Review: Ex Post Facto
By: Michelle on May 22

Smallwood: Creating The Xindi
By: T'Bonz on May 21

Greenwood Joins O.J. Simpson Series
By: T'Bonz on May 21

The USS Enterprise Building
By: T'Bonz on May 20

Wheaton Guests On Mission Log Podcast
By: T'Bonz on May 20

Pegg: Star Trek 3 Less Trek-Y
By: T'Bonz on May 20

Two Trek Book Covers Unveiled
By: T'Bonz on May 19


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Voyager

Voyager There's coffee in this forum!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 27 2014, 04:11 AM   #1
Destructor
Commodore
 
Destructor's Avatar
 
Location: Melbourne, VIC
Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

Okay... so I'm chatting on Facebook with a mate about BSG. A friend of his chimes in to say:

Yeah, sexy cylons really broke it for me straight away. And the usual mother bitch woman in power trope. I guess there's a particular type of bad writing I just can't stand. Indeed it's probably the whole using sex stupidity, sexism, and using stupid tropes about women that hits the top of the list.
She was writing to say she gave up on BSG after the first episode, and when she uses the 'mother bitch woman in power trope' she is referring to Roslin. I disagree with the analysis, but after one episode, well, fair enough if that's your opinion. Whatever.

Then the original friend I'm having the discussion with responds to her, saying:

As for President Rosyln, I get your beef with the character (and hate Janeway for pretty much that reason) but pretty quickly Roslyn felt like a more complex character acting outside of those two polar opposites.
and I'm like WOAH, wait a second, and I say:

You hate Janeway?!? Because you think she's a mother bitch woman in power? I get not liking Voyager the show, but as someone who has watched the show through at least three times, I reject that characterisation strongly.

I also find that description sort of oddly gendered. What episode did Janeway act like a 'mother bitch' in which, if you flipped the gender, you would just say that was their character, as a man? The writers of Voyager had to walk a very fine line with that character and I thought by and large they did a pretty great job. I think calling her, or Roslin, a mother bitch archetype is not only poor analysis but also kinda sexist.
My mate bounces back:

I should clarify - it's not that I hated the character herself - it's that I hated the writing for Janeway because it seemed to flip between those two extremes, which was frustrating, rather than letting Janeway be a more complex, nuanced character.

I can see how the same criticism could be made of Roslyn, but I personally disagree.

It's not a matter of hating the character, but writing that felt like it couldn't consolidate two separate and important parts of a character.

And yes, the description is gendered because it seems to be female characters that get lumped with clumsy writing more than male.

But I apologise for what that sounded like - laying the blame for that at Janeway's feet. Absolutely not the case, and I love the example that Kate Mulgrew has been for women in STEM as well.
and his friend follows up:

Yes, Janeway for me also suffered from mother bitch syndrome. And the problem is precisely that it is a gendered trope where most women in power are portrayed as these weird flip-flopping mother bitch characters, soft one moment hard the next, for no apparently good reason. Thinking about female characters in authority positions far too many of them are written this way. It's very irritating. And while I get TV shows may have inconsistencies or get around to fleshing out their characters eventually it's something that instantly annoys me so it doesn't make for a great viewing experience. Just one of my main irks so I think I have a much quicker no response to it than other things.
and I respond:

I still feel like there is a double-standard being applied here. Take Picard- he was variously written as a grumpy asshole, a cerebral archaeologist, and a gun-toting, buggy-drivin' action hero. Yes, this is a product of being a character in an anthology show written by many different writers. Voyager was also an anthology show with many different writers, but I actually think Janeway was written far more consistently due to the fact that Jeri Taylor and Kate Mulgrew *knew* they'd be under additional scrutiny so were very careful to craft her character in a specific direction. And yet even then we've got people saying she was a 'mother bitch'. But I never hear gendered epithets being thrown at Picard's feet for the same (or worse) 'writing inconsistency', so I do feel like there is a special standard being applied to Janeway due to her gender.

I think it's fine not to like Janeway. I think saying she's an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power trope' is a sexist double-standard. Even TV Tropes doesn't apply that label to her (they call it the 'depending on the writer' trope, instead, which I prefer).
to which she responds:

The mother-bitch thing is a trope because it is sexist writing. It's not just Janeway, it's not just inconsistent writing, it's a very particular way that female characters in power are written. You can call it fluffy and hardass if you like. It's the fact that these characters flip between those two states for no good reason. Not just inconsistency but a specific inconsistency for female characters in power.
I have not responded and the thread ended on that note. I'm coming to the BBS to ask... who is right here? Was Janeway really written as 'flip-floppy', and, if so, is that an example of the mother bitch woman in power trope? OR is that interpretation something that would never be applied to a male character written in exactly the same way?

I honestly don't know the answer here, will take advice on the matter.
Destructor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 05:23 AM   #2
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

Roslin said something lovely the other day during a rerun.

"I'm not suggesting anything Doctor. If I want to throw a baby out an airlock, I'll do it."

...

Riding bitch is sitting in the bitch seat or sitting behind the driver on a motorcycle.

Riker and Deanna were obviously in Picard's bitch seats.

It's clear who's the boss.

Voyager's bridge is weird.

Not only is Chakotay not riding bitch, but he seems to be on an even pegging with Janeway as far as their seating goes.

Which is weird.

In an attempt to make Janeway not look like a bitchmother, they over compensated, making the Captain seem as dull as the first officer, and aliens they just meet might be confused by the command structure and not know who to kill first.
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz

Last edited by Guy Gardener; November 27 2014 at 06:25 AM.
Guy Gardener is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 06:18 AM   #3
teacake
Fleet Admiral
 
teacake's Avatar
 
Location: VOTE FOR MY AVATAR IN THE SECRET AVATAR XXX COMP AND RECEIVE SPECIAL FAVOURS!
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

Jesus christ, let's just apply this to Kirk. If he was a woman the bitch cries would rend the cosmos.
__________________

"Damnit Spock. God damnit!" Kirk ST:V
■ ■ ■
Janeway does Melbourne
teacake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 06:22 AM   #4
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

Kirk was a woman in the last one.

McCoy thought he'd turned into a sissy.
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz
Guy Gardener is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 06:30 AM   #5
teacake
Fleet Admiral
 
teacake's Avatar
 
Location: VOTE FOR MY AVATAR IN THE SECRET AVATAR XXX COMP AND RECEIVE SPECIAL FAVOURS!
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

Thankfully we don't have to call that ep the "finale".
__________________

"Damnit Spock. God damnit!" Kirk ST:V
■ ■ ■
Janeway does Melbourne
teacake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 06:38 AM   #6
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

He was a woman in the 6th movie, and madeout with himself too.

What a doubleslut.
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz
Guy Gardener is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 06:39 AM   #7
teacake
Fleet Admiral
 
teacake's Avatar
 
Location: VOTE FOR MY AVATAR IN THE SECRET AVATAR XXX COMP AND RECEIVE SPECIAL FAVOURS!
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

I admire him greatly for that.

WHEN will I get my clone WHEN?!
__________________

"Damnit Spock. God damnit!" Kirk ST:V
■ ■ ■
Janeway does Melbourne
teacake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 06:51 AM   #8
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

https://www.facebook.com/findmydouble

Looking for a double might be a better option, since if they were allowed to make clones of you, they can, it's just unethical and therefore illegal (depending where you live?) so they don't, but even after they have made your identical clone, the technology to acceleratedly maturate your sister/daughter does not exist, which means sadly that you'll be pushing 70 by the time you can have a meaningful conversation about how wonderful you both are with each other.
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz
Guy Gardener is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 06:54 AM   #9
teacake
Fleet Admiral
 
teacake's Avatar
 
Location: VOTE FOR MY AVATAR IN THE SECRET AVATAR XXX COMP AND RECEIVE SPECIAL FAVOURS!
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

I am a very patient person, I will hold out until I can have my insta-clone. How long did it take to grow Boba Fett's accelerated pod-siblings, I am sure we can soon achieve the same.
__________________

"Damnit Spock. God damnit!" Kirk ST:V
■ ■ ■
Janeway does Melbourne
teacake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 07:02 AM   #10
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

2 Years?

Although the contract was made 10 years earlier, there were were probably several "batches" cohabitating.

Boba Fett was a clone who aged naturally so that Jango Fett could raise him like a son.

Did Jango get a baby or an 8 year old?
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz
Guy Gardener is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 07:05 AM   #11
teacake
Fleet Admiral
 
teacake's Avatar
 
Location: VOTE FOR MY AVATAR IN THE SECRET AVATAR XXX COMP AND RECEIVE SPECIAL FAVOURS!
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

If he was smart he got one at about 4.

I will take altered hothouse grown clones however. Might as well get a few while I'm at it.
__________________

"Damnit Spock. God damnit!" Kirk ST:V
■ ■ ■
Janeway does Melbourne
teacake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 07:15 AM   #12
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

Did you see Soulmates last night?

Two cavemen were arguing over the ethics of eating babies making a pro and con listing while trying to decide whether they should stop eating babies.

That's why you need more than one spare Teacake right?
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz
Guy Gardener is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 07:46 AM   #13
teacake
Fleet Admiral
 
teacake's Avatar
 
Location: VOTE FOR MY AVATAR IN THE SECRET AVATAR XXX COMP AND RECEIVE SPECIAL FAVOURS!
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

I just think it is easier to take medium level care of a few of them rather than extra special care of one. They can do all the boring emotional support stuff for each other.
__________________

"Damnit Spock. God damnit!" Kirk ST:V
■ ■ ■
Janeway does Melbourne
teacake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 07:49 AM   #14
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

Kids look after each other.

The more children you have, the more you are allowed to drink and/or sleep in.
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz
Guy Gardener is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2014, 07:54 AM   #15
teacake
Fleet Admiral
 
teacake's Avatar
 
Location: VOTE FOR MY AVATAR IN THE SECRET AVATAR XXX COMP AND RECEIVE SPECIAL FAVOURS!
Re: Is Janeway an example of the 'mother bitch woman in power' trope?

I am not having kids with my clones. That would be just icky.
__________________

"Damnit Spock. God damnit!" Kirk ST:V
■ ■ ■
Janeway does Melbourne
teacake is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.