"Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Danger Ace, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    "Rape" has long been identified as being more about power and control than sexual gratification. In fact, that was the exact purpose and motivation for forcing Kirk and Uhura to kiss. Also rape is not limited to just coitus but rather any intimate contact (such as kissing or petting).

    Would it be more palatable to say, "sexual assault?" Is it a mere matter of semantics? Wouldn't that still disqualify it from praise?

    Did Kirk and Uhura kiss of their own free will and under their own power and control? Free of any outside power or influence? The answer is, unequivocally, no.

    They did not kiss by choice. So how can one rationally, credibly say it was anything other than a rape or sexual assault?

    Following that, how can a group choose to elevate it for glorification?
     
  2. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I think they were speaking from a purely real life production and not considering in story ramifications.
    IOW, they had a white actor kiss a black actor on tv. Other information they have treated as superfluous, like the actual plot or circumstances or even the characters themselves.

    And, whether Elaan of Troyius was on before or after, it doesn't matter. I hate to be so blunt, but it wouldn't count as "interacial" unless it involves a black person, as per attitudes in US, especially at that time. They had seperate facilities for whites and blacks, although they sometimes used the word coloreds. Asians really weren't on the national radar, although there were certainly local incidents of bigotry. Again, I apologize for my comments, I don't post to offend.
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Source

    [​IMG]
    rape, noun
    1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
    2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
    3. statutory rape.
    4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
    5. Archaic. the act of seizing and carrying off by force.

    verb (used with object)

    6.
    to force to have sexual intercourse.
    7. to plunder (a place); despoil.

    None of which apply to two people being forced to kiss.

    Uh, remember we're talking about a fictional act between two fictional characters portrayed by professional actors in a fictional TV show.

    Lighten up a bit.
     
  4. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It would be sexual assault if Kirk assaulted Uhura. He didn't. They were compelled to kiss each other. Not all demonstrations of power and control fall under the rape heading. The point of this particular event was to force two people into a humiliating circumstance. They were not being sexually assaulted, they were being manipulated. Parmen committed no sexual assault. He made Kirk and Uhura kiss. He forced them into intimate contact, but Parmen himself did not commit any act of a sexual nature. The fantasy nature of their powers takes the rape and sexual assault out of it. There's no real definition for it because it couldn't happen in real life.

    They were all abused, absolutely.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I think a world like "coerced" might have been a better word choice, but it's less provocative for a thread title. And "telekinetically forced" would just be cumbersome.

    When I saw the title I had to look, because I didn't remember a rape scene that was as obvious as what happened in "The Enemy Within".
     
  6. Caje

    Caje Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    Here's Wikipedia's definition of sexual assault:

    "Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented"

    Kirk and Uhura were both sexually assaulted. The definition of sexual assault does not explicitly state that it has to be between two people and that one has to be the aggressor, because there's no logical reason to limit it to that.

    In most jurisdictions, it wouldn't be considered rape because there was no penetration. I think calling it rape would go a bit far given the context of the scene, but it's a valid argument to make.
     
  7. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    To begin with I would like to thank folks for their considered responses. I may have agreed or not but they all gave me points to ponder (and that's the joy of forums such as these).

    I can agree on the surface issue of "rape" being a bit harsh in classifying "the kiss," however, maintain it is unsuitable to be viewed or lauded as being in any way "progressive" or "positive imagery."

    Again, I was motivated to pose this topic to the forum because the Kirk/Uruha kiss was ranked as number two (of 100) top moments in Trek history. Of coure, at the very least, it still shows 99 other instances of note.

    I will be honest in that one or two responses struck me as being the byproduct of denial, and one I would say was outright specious (considering it was made on a message board dedicated to a work of fiction). All that aside though, a lot of great input and it was much appreciated.
     
  8. Caje

    Caje Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    I can definitely see your argument. The Original Series dealt with rape/sexual assault really poorly, in my opinion. The most obvious examples being Yeoman Rand in "The Enemy Within" and Uhura in "The Gamesters of Triskelion". It's also depicted in "Day of the Dove", "The Return of the Archons", and "Plato's Stepchildren". All of the scenes make me cringe when I'm re-watching the series, and it's unfortunate that they had to be included at all when none of them served any significant purpose plot-wise.

    While I wasn't around when the episode first aired, I agree with you that the kiss doesn't seem like something that should be lauded. Out of curiosity, what were the other top-5 moments?
     
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    A thesaurus is often helpful in word choice, I've used Roget's for thirty years or so. If you don't have access to one, this site can sometimes suffice: http://thesaurus.com/
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    This is a slightly unfair assumption. Many of these Trek legends began long before the internet. The only way one could research facts was to go to a library and consult something like the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, or other reference. I believe the "first inter-racial kiss" business actually started due to TV Guide saying how important it was during the week of the original broadcast.
     
  11. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, that is a bit on the snarky side (fortunately I enjoy a good snark). :lol:

    And it wasn't a lack of thesaurus-ness. It was a starting point from whence a good, healthy discussion sprang. :)
     
  12. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It wasn't intended to be, I truly apologize if you interpreted it that way.
     
  13. Caje

    Caje Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    Most of the denial I saw in this thread was regarding whether or not the scene constituted sexual assault. For example, one poster compared it to a child having to kiss their Aunt.
     
  14. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    What research is needed? What does it matter where it started? Folks can quash these things as they occur. Eventually, it vanishes. Like weeding a garden.

    PS: I used the word "quash" without the aid of one them -- watcha call it -- "thesaurusaurus."
     
  15. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I did. Your sincere apology, however, salved the wound.:techman:
     
  16. NCC-1701-B

    NCC-1701-B Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This episode wasn't shown on the BBC, but only because it featured a "sadistic plot"
     
  17. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Seriously?

    I had never heard that before. Did they ever reverse that edict? Has it ever aired in the UK? Anyone know other international instances of such censorship?

    I know stations in southern states of the USA have refused to air specific episodes of various shows never thought of it on a global scale. More info would be greatly appreciated.
     
  18. NCC-1701-B

    NCC-1701-B Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It was finally aired in 1992. And Miri was not shown after it's original release until 1993.

    There was also TNG - The High Ground, which was cut because it said ireland was reunited through terrorism. It was only shown unedited on the bbc for the first time in 2007.
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The United States never got any UK shows with bare breasts showing (before cable anyway), though one time a Benny Hill episode slipped through.
     
  20. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I remember that! I think Benny Hill was a vampire in that one!:guffaw:
     

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