A problem with Captain Janeway

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by The Overlord, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    I think a major problem with how Captain Janeway was written, was that she was written as "the woman captain", instead of a captain who happens to be a woman.

    It seems like because Janeway was a woman, no one could really challenge her authority and the crew had to fawn over her. Chakotay, despite being a rebellious terrorist commander, seemed far to willing to defer to Janeway then he should have. Torres, another former terrorist, seemed to begin worshiping Janeway right away. Heck you think the former Maquis members would have unhappy with Janeway with stranding them there in the first place, but no, that wasn't the case. Plus Janeway seemed brook almost no dissent, Picard and Kirk were not so fragile that couldn't take a little criticism or different opinions. When Picard was replaced by aliens and the impostor Picard did reckless things, he was relived of command, that never seems to happen when Janeway does something reckless.

    I think Ben Sisko came off more as a captain who happens to be black, rather then the "black captain". Sure Sisko's race played a part in a few episodes, but the writers didn't try to turn him into a Mary Sue, because of background.
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    She was just a force of nature. Not sure how much of that had to do with her being a woman. Some people are just like that.

    Archer was worshipped by most of his crew, I never got why (at least, in his pre-Earth saving days). Janeway just seems popular with her troops.
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    She saved the Ocampa!

    It's not like they left them marooned on a planet with dwindling irreplaceable food, water and power reserves, where they would have to resort to cannibalism within half a decade... But the Kazon didn't steal their water and that delayed the cannibalism by 5 whole years.

    YOU'RE A MIRACLE CAPTAIN JANEWAY!
     
  4. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    I don't buy that the former Maquis members would have fallen in love with her instantly. Sure the regular Star Fleet officers would bound by oath to serve her, but the Maquis do have no reason to like or respect her at first. Heck even some of the Star Fleet crew might have secretly blamed her for their situation and been passive aggressive towards her, if they were not written to love Janeway instantly. Plus when Dr. Crusher would relive Picard for medical reasons, Picard would usually defer to her authority, when the Doctor tried the same thing, Janeway threatened to delete his program. That made her seem like a control freak.

    Plus the Voyager crew came off as a cult in certain episodes, instead of being a professional crew who just respected her. It didn't ring true, at all.

    Also I don't find Archer a well written captain either, so comparisons to him are not particularly compelling.
     
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    You're not wrong, in fact potential sexism was a problem some folks were concerned with when the show was being produced. They were too afraid that the first woman Captain in Trek (major woman captain anyways) having too much dissent and conflict with her crew would look bad.
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    It's not like Tuvok told her that she was breaking the Prime Directive in the pilot.

    He's been in Starfleet for over 70 years and this is her first week on the job on her first ship and her first mission, so of course she would be so much a grander authority on what is and is not a Prime Directive issue.

    But then Kathryn didn't disagree with the Vulcan.

    She confirmed his assessment that this was about the Prime Directive, but that she didn't care.

    How isn't that criminal?
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    How did it look after Genevieve Bujold ran off?

    I think that would have given Mulgrew massive amounts of power on set, that she could have threatened to run away as well and something odd that happened once would be seen as a pattern confirming that women hate Star Trek almost as much as Star trek Hates Woman.

    In the future, internally between humans sexism and racism doesn't exist. I remember reading about how Mulgrew was so proud of Janeway for accomplishing all that she had despite being a woman, when in the future that's simply not true, there's barely any isms left, and people just get on with it.
     
  8. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Calamity Janeway had a LOT of problems. But yeah, there was much attention made (and script writing) about this being a woman captain--much more than was done with Sisko being a black captain.

    Both in real life and in ST, you'd think having a black captain shouldn't make much difference, and for the most part this was true.

    Both in real life and in ST, you'd think having a woman captain shouldn't make much difference, but it did.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    What would happen if Janeway got pregnant?

    Captain Chakotay, Acting Captain Chakotay or still Lieutenant Commander Chakotay who's remit has suddenly quadrupled?

    The gorgeous Ensign Wildeman was still working hard core despite having to carry a baby bump that looked like 2 hundred meat pies. I remember an episode where Neelix was pestering her to fix his replicator... That sounds dirty doesn't it?

    Neelix really supported her looking after Naomi.

    (I still think they were boyfriend/girlfriend.)

    But are we supposed to think that failing to have a "partner" to share the raising of her child with, that Kathryn is going to leave her newborn on the holdeck for weeks at a time while she Captains the ship?

    No I'm serious?

    How much maternity leave is she allowed?

    The US Navy currently allows for 6 weeks Maternity leave, and 6 days paternity leave.

    In the real world the half of the relationship who has the shittier paying job looks after the kids, which means that Tom Paris in the original Time Line stayed at home with baby Miral and the chief engineer abided as the chief engineer.

    Janeway will not have a relationship with anyone who lives on her ship.

    If Janeway was still with Mark, or they got back together... Could they have beamed his sperm across the galaxy? Hell, given the technology if they had his dna on file they could make genetically identical sperm to Mark even if his sack hadn't made that specific spunk.

    So she could make his semen with out Marks permission, actually they could make anyones sperm including Jim Kirks... If it wasn't for all the antiEugenics legislation, but if she made and used Mark's sperm, and used it without his permission, isn't that rape as well as a patent violation?
     
  10. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    North America
    IMO...

    The Maquis didn't fall in love with Janeway immediately. Belanna resented having to toe the line behind Joe Carey and didn't "fall" for Janeway until the Captain started giving her a lot of 1 on 1 interaction where she demonstrated her respect for Torres' skills and intellect.

    The "Maquis", in the person of Seska in season 1 and Hogan/Jonas in season 2 were not in love by any way, shape or form, with Janeway.

    As for the EMH and Janeway, in season 2 the Captain actually did bow to the Doctor's orders to go to the holodeck and blow off steam because she was obviously burning out. (Persistance of Vision) What she did NOT do, is let the Doctor put her on enforced leave when the entire crew of voyager consisted of 6 people and 1 hologram. When Voyager didn't even have a first officer or a pilot on board, the tactical officer was blind and there wasn't an option to call starbase 12 for replacements.

    Janeway was difficult for PTB to get a handle upon, and I assume it was because she was a woman. Mulgrew herself said she went to TPTB in season 2 and told them to just write her as a Captain and let Mulgrew worry about "the woman", which they finally did.

    As far as how Star Trek Captains and crews are written... let me remind people about a little film called First Contact, where Picard ignored the advice of his Tactical Officer and his Physician and looked like he was going to run off a cliff... and like the lemmings they are his crew went to follow him until a 21st century woman said "THIS IS STUPID!."


    WORF: Wait! Captain, our weapons are useless. We must activate the autodestruct sequence and use the escape pods to evacuate the ship.
    PICARD: No!
    CRUSHER: Jean-Luc, if we destroy the ship we destroy the Borg.
    PICARD: We're going to stay and fight.
    WORF: Sir, we have lost the Enterprise. We should not sacrifice...
    PICARD: We have not lost the Enterprise, Mister Worf. We are not going to lose the Enterprise. Not to the Borg. Not while I'm in command. You have your orders.
    WORF: I must object to this course of action.
    PICARD: Your objection is noted.
    WORF: With all due respect, sir, ...I believe you are allowing your personal experience with the Borg to influence your judgement.
    PICARD: You're afraid. You want to destroy the ship and run away. You coward.
    CRUSHER (OC): Jean-Luc...
    WORF: If you were any other man I would kill you where you stand.
    PICARD: Get off my bridge.
    LILY: So what do we do now?
    CRUSHER: Carry out his orders. Dyson. Kaplan. Start working on a way to modify the weapons systems.
    LILY: Wait a minute! This is stupid. If we can get off this ship and blow it up, let's do it.
    CRUSHER: Once the Captain has made up his mind the discussion is over.
    (Lily goes after Picard)

    As Janeway would say... "A Starship is not a democracy."
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    I've explained this to all of you before but it seems people just don't retain the facts.

    Janeway will be having a baby with 7. Their genetics, their DNA, no one else. Since they are both super busy and important people the baby will be gestated by Harry Kim and when it is delivered caesarean section Neelix can be its nursemaid. Harry Kim will get a girlfriend out of this in the end because he will now have a manly scar on his stomach and chicks dig scars.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  12. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    How many scripts were there really that directly addressed her being a woman?

    Sure, there were a ton that acknowledged that she was, indeed, female. But there was never a script where she had any kind of problems being in command because she was female. Her core personality traits seemed to me like she was impulsive and stubborn, and unwilling to compromise. And yeah, sexist jokes could probably be made based on that description (One particular poster), but none of her personality traits had anything to do with the fact that she's female. There were stories where she was actively heterosexual, but how is that a story about her being female?

    Sisko had an entire story where he received a false vision where he was back in the 1940s, unable to publish his story because it was written by a black man. They never addressed sexism directly in Voyager.
     
  13. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Seska was a Cardassian spy, she doesn't really count, considering she had no real loyalty to the Maquis. I will concede the point on Jonas, but he was willing to betray everyone, there should have been way more regular friction between Janeway and the various Maquis, those two crews coming together should have take longer and had far more growing pains.

    Also by the time "Learning Curve" comes along, Torres has developed a cultish devotion to Janeway, essentially telling Dalby he had no right to question Captain Janeway. That comes off as unrealistic, that Torres would be that devoted to Janeway that quickly.

    Her threatening to delete the Doctor was still way out of line and dangerous considering in that situation they would have needed a medical officer and frankly the Doctor was correct that Janeway was behaving irrationally in that situation. Picard never treated Data with that level of disrespect because he was an artificial being.

    The difference is Picard's actions in that movie were clearly being presented as wrong in that movie, the writers rarely present Janeway's actions in a similar negative light.

    In Scorpion, Janeway made an alliance with the Borg and what came of this alliance? Janeway helped the Borg win a war where they were the agressor and this led Species 8472 to decide that the Federation was a threat to them and they nearly declared war on the Federation. Janeway almost got the Federation involved in a war with a vastly superior force, that would have crippled the Federation and no one called her out on any of this. At least someone took Picard to task when he was behaving irrationally and we were supposed to be on Lilly's side when that happened. No one ever did the same with Janeway.

    Perhaps I making an assumption here, but I do think the writers neutered potential conflicts and other characters, to make Janeway look better because she was the first major female captain. Maybe I am being unfair and the Maquis story and Chakotay as a character were watered down due to imcompetent scripting, but the episodes with Janeway as a Mary Sue and the crew's cultish devotion to her makes me think otherwise.

    It seems like they took the easy path, rather then the hard path. Instead of having her slowly earn the crew's respect through various feats and acts of good will, it seemed like most the crew almost instantly fell in love with her, even if it didn't make sense for some of them to do so. The level of loyalty went beyond healthy respect to slavish devotion and it didn't ring true.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  14. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    You can say the same about Kirk.
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    In Basics after Cullah liberated Voyager, he belted Janeway with the back of his fist and... Oh, Lets just look the bastard up.

    But they're from the 9th century.

    Human on human sexism isn't supposed to exist unless you believe Janis Lester.
     
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space 9
    Looking back on some of the characters, they don't seem to have much depth to their conception. Janeway does come across as the Woman Captain, just like Chakotay is the Native American and Kim is the Rookie (both of whom never really develop much further than that).

    Janeway also became quite stereotypical as the caring, maternal figure, often times more the crews mummy than their Captain. But if they'd made her more standoffish and Picard-esque she'd be branded a 'bitch' like Nechayev has been (something I have never understood).
     
  17. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Location:
    Hard Sassenach in Moist Aberdeen
    This

    Janeway apologists will point to episodes where Picard was being irrational but will ignore the fact that the whole point of those plots was that Picard's irrational actions would result in another member of the crew pulling him up on his behaviour

    When Janeway was being irrational.....NO ONE pulled her up on it or relieved her of command....NO ONE...in Equinox, after she goes insane, all we get at the end of the episode is Janeway saying that Chakotay had good reason to have a mutiny of his own (even she is perplexed at his utter lack of balls).....and Tuvok is also told he will be sent to the brig with Chakotay if he doesn't shut up

    Now someone please give me an example of Picard threatening two senior crew members with the brig if they don't follow his irrational orders......he may have made irrational decisions but

    1 - his officers would call him on them immediately (Janeway's would not)
    2 - and he would not have threatened the brig if they continued to question him

    I would like to point out once again though that i firmly believe Janeway was deliberately written to be slightly incompetent and a little out of her depth....for me, that was the whole premise of her captaincy and also possibly one of the reasons the crew didn't want to knock her confidence too often but i think it's clear she was meant to be inexperienced and therefore, a slightly poor captain (even the doctor says towards the end that he's been keeping a record of her questionable decisions)...she was clearly written to be a tad weak (though it was probably a bad decision in hindsight given the fact that she was a woman and those weaknesses would be seen as being due to that fact rather than due to the fact that her character was written to be a little poor and out of her depth)
     
  18. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Janeway wasn't written to be a bad Captain, it's just that they hired some back to front writers from time to time who were so in love with this woman that they didn't recognize her batshittiness for what it was.

    Any novel by Christy Golden is evidence of this.
     

Share This Page