Highest Ranking Woman?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    So you're suggesting they don't have separation of church and state in TOS' political system? The Federation Council is a political body.
     
  2. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Okay, so she's not the Pope. But both Vulcan and the Federation could have total separations of church and state, as we secular fans would hope, and T'Pau could be a secular philosopher or former official not currently holding any office. She could be a former legislator or a former member of a president's administration.

    She could be a justice on the Vulcan Supreme Court, which makes more sense in that she's officiating at a wedding and judges do that.

    But I don't think it was ever said that she runs the whole planet.

    I can't imagine that a sitting head of state would ever fly out to the sticks (or the Stonehenge) to referee a fight.
     
  3. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    :rolleyes:

    She didn't know there would be a fight. Logically, she was there to officiate a wedding.

    Conventional fanfic and even pro novelists have taken the approach that T'Pau is Sarek's mother, Spock's grandmother, and Amanda's mother-in-law (I recommend you read Diane Duane's excellent Spock's World).
     
  4. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TOS also frequently had women who became infatuated with men and subsequently betrayed everybody to be with them. The TOS writers clearly did not have progressive views on the emotional and psychological integrity of females.

    In the first TOS episode there is a female first officer who is strong and grounded. In the last one there is a female who "Should have been happy being...only a woman. But fortunately now she has a man to look after her".
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...But themselves. In essence, these "frequent" cases (care to name a second one?) were downright Nietzschean in their unadulterated devotion to themselves. Surely the very definition of a "strong" character?

    At least these women weren't soulless minions of orthodoxy. "Integrity" is a poor word for describing military servitude and unquestioning following of orders, IMHO.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

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    Urgh, my least favorite TOS episodes rear their ugly heads. Turnabout Intruder with its notorious line about females not being good enough to qualify as starship captains and Space Seed with that idiot who was completely infatuated with Khan and betrayed her ship and superior officers for his sake.
     
  7. Doomsday

    Doomsday Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    And let's not forget Captain Pike's wonderful line in The Cage about not being used to having a woman on the bridge.

    That being said, let's also remember that TOS was a product of its time, and whatever the personal beliefs of individual writers, story editors, producers, directors, actors, etc...ultimately in order to keep the show on the air, they had to make sure that a 60's TV audience would accept and understand the stories.

    I'm not defending some of these attitudes, I'm just being realistic about a 1960's TV show.

    It was a huge thing just for their to be women on the ship at all, when the viewing public was used to war movies where the only women were the wives/girlfriends of the leads, or at best, nurses in the base hospitals.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The jury is still very much out on whether "Turnabout Intruder" said anything about women not being able to become starship skippers; whether the writer of the episode intended any such interpretation; and whether it is even possible to interpret the episode that way. Certainly there was no suggestion that Janice Lester would have wanted to become a starship skipper, so it's quite convoluted to think that the line would refer to the putative obstacles to such a desire.

    (This in no way suggests that Janice Lester would have been a progressively portrayed character or anything, of course. But as said, the central element of this episode was that she was crazy. The story wouldn't have gotten any better with a more progressive set of legs.)

    In turn, while the description of McGivers may have been conservative rather than progressive in the 1960s, insisting that it still remains conservative is, uh, rather conservative. McGivers was the ultimate Mary Sue: she wrapped two dominating men around her little finger, got to do a little hurt/comfort and rescue fantasy stuff with both in turn, and got exactly what she wanted in the end. This is HBO stuff from today's viewpoint...

    Eventually, McGivers got to be the First Lady of an entire planet. If we don't accept T'Pau as the Space Pope, then McGivers is actually our highest-ranking female character!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In current novel continuity, Sarek's mother is named T'Rama. T'Pau is sort of a great-aunt.
     
  10. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    T'Pau could as easily be related to T'Pring as Spock, but neither Kirk nor Spock said anything about being related to T'Pau. All that was said was Kirk had no idea Spock's family was important enough to have T'Pau there. When families are wealthy and influential enough, the high muckety mucks come to officiate things.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    As has been said, the big example of a woman who betrayed the Enterprise is Marla McGivers. She deserved prison.

    Lt. Carolyn Palamas went pretty far astray with Apollo and then came back to her senses just in time.

    Yeoman Teresa Ross never waivered from her duty or her loyalty, despite the immense, macho sex appeal of General Trelane. Ross was a tower of strength.

    And not bad looking, either. :bolian:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And this makes her a bad role model, why? She's a strong character who gets what she wants, regardless of which side she plays. (Remarkably, nobody got hurt in the episode where she was a leading adversary, as opposed to virtually every other example of human treachery.)

    Given that she was under truly divine influence, she can hardly be considered any worse than the barbaric Kirk we witness in, say, "Day of the Dove". Both are appropriate examples of how people of TOS do not want to behave.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Except she stated she wanted to be a starship captain, was angry at Starfleet for not allowing women to be captains (if this was only her perception and there really was at least one female captain, surely the other characters would have pointed that out), and at the end, sobbed, "Now I'll never be the Captain...". That suggests to me that she did, in fact, want to be a starship Captain.

    Um, yeah. "First Lady" on a dying planet, among a group of people who ALL considered her to be physically and mentally inferior. Yes, I know Khan referred to her as "superior"... but I interpret that to mean he considered her to be superior among the lesser Enterprise females - in that she was the only one "brave" enough to join him. I don't believe for a second he meant she was in any way equal to him and his people.

    I don't read the current novels, so have no idea who or what you're referring to. Titles, so I can look it up next time I'm in a bookstore?

    How could anyone consider that Teresa Ross betrayed the ship? All she did was dance. You might as well say Uhura betrayed the ship because Trelane zapped the knowledge into her of how to play the harpsichord. Sure, she enjoyed it. But when the dance was done, she was all business again.

    Kirk nearly died! Marla was an accessory to attempted murder, and you don't think that would make her a bad role model? The fact that she saved him at the last minute doesn't negate the fact that she helped Khan in the first place.

    Palamas was not under the influence of anything but her own hormones, a pretty face and body (Apollo's), and a mind full of cornflakes (as in stupidity).
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    She never stated anything even remotely like that.

    Not really. She was angry at Kirk for not allowing her into his world of captains. No anger towards Starfleet, for any reason, was ever suggested.

    Emphasis reveals what she really wanted. Being captain would not count; only being the captain she loved/hated was of significance.

    ...Just like T'Pau. :devil: Assuming, of course, that T'Pau ever reached that high a position.

    Kirk "nearly" killed people left and right, too. Why should McGivers be judged by different standards?

    Says you. Now who's playing antiquated role models for $500?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I. Rest. My. Case. Janice was jealous of Kirk, wanted to be a captain, perceived that there was some conspiratorial reason to deny her that, and she chose to blame Kirk. Kirk knew of her desire to be a captain, says flat out that she doesn't merit such a position. After Janice steals Kirk's body, she doesn't crow about being Kirk; she crows about being a captain - a starship commander. She would have stolen any male captain's body to get what she wanted.

    McGivers was an accessory to the attempted murder of her captain. When did Kirk try to kill his crew, other than when he was split into two halves, and therefore could not possibly be held legally responsible?

    Is there some reason for your hostile tone? Do you think that just because I'm a woman, I can't think poorly of a female character I find vapid and easily swayed by the last charismatic male who looks at her? Whatever Palamas is, it's not professional.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As you well should, as you have not provided a shred of evidence to support your erroneous original claims or your later ones.

    The evidence presented still lacks any phrase suggesting Lester wanted to be a starship captain originally, but was thwarted -or any phrase suggesting she hated Starfleet, for any reason.

    OTOH, any phrase suggesting that the starship captain position falling on her lap as part of the body-swap plan would have been Lester's ultimate goal, the one that would satisfy her, can be seen as a mere means-to-an-end situation: she's satisfied at having defeated and humiliated Kirk, and is just reveling in her victory / wriggling in her inability to think of any future course of action.

    Lester doesn't take command of a starship from Starfleet. She takes it from Kirk - away from Kirk. She has studied the art with the specific purpose of thus being able to take it away from Kirk. It's all about Kirk, from start to bitter finish, just as her closing cries testify; captaincy is just a means to an end.

    Yes. And in any other show, such a character would have come to a bitter end, justly punished for her impudence (typically by being hoist to her own petard, with the hands of the hero remaining clean). In "Space Seed", she triumphs, her cause justified, her status secured. Which is why she's not a particularly bad or repressive role model for her times, even though she is a criminal.

    Who said anything about "his crew"? Heroes have opponents, who become free game by virtue of standing in the way of the hero. McGivers' opponent was Kirk, whom she defeated, without harming him in the end. Kirk's opponents varied.

    I tend to get irritated at people who don't want to see any of the six to twelve sides of the coin even after they are rather trivially presented, is all. Narrow-mindedness in a debate about presenting characters in a narrow-minded way is something of a double irritant; the rest is just classic net debate hubris. But when that comes off as hostility, I have done something wrong, and I apologize - that wasn't quite my intention.

    ...Didn't notice. Honestly.

    I don't see why professionalism should rank particularly high in the evaluation of a Trek character. Kirk is at his moral best, not to mention at his most exciting, when he defies orders and uses his own judgement.

    Lester was crazy; Palamas fell under the influence of a God. There's no room left there for the personality of the character to show through.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Oh, FFS, I read that whole script, and Janice makes it plain that she wants the life of a starship commander! She doesn't say she wants Kirk's life; she wants a captain's life. If Kirk were to retire from being an active captain and teach at the Academy, would she have done what she did (stole his body) to have that life? I very much doubt it.

    I don't see McGivers as having triumphed. She had a choice of court-martial or exile. In neither case would she be free to resume her normal life.

    McGivers betrayed her captain and fellow crewmembers. The only time Kirk did that was when he was afflicted by the effects of a transporter accident. It wasn't deliberate. All the rest of Kirk's opponents in the series' other episodes are irrelevant to this discussion. We're talking about 'Space Seed' here. And even though he recovered from what Khan did to him, he still could have died. She was an accomplice, thereby making her guilty. I see ZERO "role model" credibility there.

    And keep in mind that she also turned around and betrayed Khan. Even if Khan forgave her, do you think the rest of his people would? History has shown that people tend not to trust traitors, no matter which side they betrayed.

    I get irritated at people who can't seem to recognize their own narrow-minded take on an issue.

    Thank you for the apology; I appreciate it, because this is certainly not the first time you've taken this tone with me in discussions.

    The thing is, Kirk has the experience and training to have earned the leeway to use his own judgment. Palamas doesn't. And even before they met Apollo, she simpers and wonders why she's there on the landing party... Duh - you're the anthropology officer! Myths are a part of studying anthropology (I know this because anthropology was my college major). Apollo is a mythic figure. Figure it out, woman!

    Before she got mesmerized by Apollo's charisma, Palamas was just plain stupid.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yet that is the only thing she schemes for. She lures in the Enterprise, sending out a distress signal at a moment of her own choosing. She is certainly not surprised to see Kirk in the slightest, even if she feigns (double-feigns!) disgust. And when she proceeds with the body swap, it is with a tirade of specific anti-Kirk bitterness. Tellingly, it's never "Captain", it's always "Captain Kirk".

    The phrase "Love? Him?" is an obvious lie, a piece of desperate self-deception. The scheme with Coleman involved prearranging for moments of gloating over the victim, moments Lester used and wasted, never daring to complete the kill. There would have been no need for such an arrangement had the victim been an indifferent Starfleet skipper.

    Which is a definite triumph, because obviously she hated her normal life.

    We learn early on what McGivers wants. Ultimately, that is the very thing she gets, even if it takes some arranging.

    Nonsense. We're talking about the portrayal of women and men in Star Trek. In some episodes, men do things like the ones a woman does here, scheming and betraying. In some of these, the men are portrayed in negative light; in others, positive. This is a rare example of such actions being portrayed as forgivable, uniquely so for a female character.

    Much of this of course comes from the positive portrayal of Khan... Which is an interesting chicken-and-egg problem. Was Khan (along with his mistress) portrayed as less than completely rotten because the writer wanted the ending where Kirk basically pardons him (as the character of Kirk would suffer if he let a truly rotten egg go)? Or did the writer want an ambiguous opponent, a choice that allowed him to use the ending? There's no sign that Trek was going serial at that point; Khan as a recurring character would not have been a likely prospect. But it's a possibility, as Trek would soon start to experiment with a recurring Klingon villain (but fail due to actor availability issues), and would eventually reuse Mudd.

    A likeable villain the hero admires before a betrayal and still respects after it is a bold move. A likeable traitor among Kirk's own ranks is an even bolder one. Neither Khan nor McGivers is good Starfleet material, but that's not the same as them not being progressively portrayed characters.

    Umm, upon reviewing the episode, I must say I agree here. But is it fair to fault the character for the same traits Chekov consistently portrays? ;)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must agree with the guys who said Nancy Hedford. Within Federation ranks. :)

    There are others that might be of a higher status in some broader, Monarchial sense. Elaan Dohlman of Elas was clearly of great importance, but didn't necessarily hold "rank".
     
  20. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    T'Rama first appeared in a SNW story ("A Girl For Every Star") and then in one of the ENT Romulan War novels (To Brave The Storm), where she is T'Pau's bodyguard.