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

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

  1. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    That would depend on who you were and where you lived, which is why I said "controversial".
    Personally I think it's a bit overblown. Though civil rights and segregation were still an issue in 1968 as the February 8 entry in Gov. Kodos' list shows. Was a show like Star Trek even a blip on the racist radar? Hard to say. But if say, Diahann Carroll had been cast as Elaan or as Helen Noel back in 1966, the blip might have been bigger.
     
  3. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Or had Uhura been regularly left in command as senior officer of the deck when Spock and Kirk went planet side there might have been more notice taken.
     
  4. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    More so because Uhura was female and an African-American?
     
  5. Caje

    Caje Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    Interracial marriage was criminalized in a large number of US states until 1967, when it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Here's a map showing when each state repealed the laws: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_miscegenation.svg

    The fact that the kiss happened in 1968, one year after the ruling, is pretty damn remarkable in my opinion, regardless of if it was forced.
     
  6. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    It would have happened more frequently.
     
  7. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Agreed.
     
  8. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    So by your reckoning all the cases of white men forcing themselves upon black women because they felt they could get away with it were merely just steps toward the acceptance interracial relationships?

    Intent, free will, motive, etc. don't matter?

    Nobody believes that.
     
  9. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    In the same magazine referenced in my first post of this thread it was stated she was fourth in command of the Enterprise during TOS which of course was demonstrated as being untrue. I recall after Spock and Scotty we got DeSalle or Sulu. I think Ensign Chekov even took the conn before Uhura.

    Was there ever an instance of Uhura taking command of the Enterprise during TOS, TAS or the films?
     
  10. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    She took command during TAS "The Lorelei Signal," but only after every male in the crew was incapacitated. Even so, it was an intense moment in (for a cartoon) a sexually charged episode.
     
  11. Caje

    Caje Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    First of all, it's already been established that this isn't the case of a white man forcing himself on a black woman, it's two people being sexually assaulted by a third party. I don't know why you feel the need to keep falling back on that argument. But the main problem with your post is that you somehow equated a kiss portrayed on television by actors, who willingly volunteered to be a part of the scene, with someone sexually assaulting someone else on the street.

    To expound on my position, I find the scene remarkable because it displayed a kiss between a white actor and a black actor on national television. How many actors would be willing to do that given the possible repercussions from within the industry? And how many television shows would risk possibly alienating a large segment of the audience? That’s why the kiss was important, and that’s also why context doesn’t matter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given that the actor playing Parmen (Liam Sullivan) was white, it would be fair to say that Uhura a black woman was being assaulted by a white man. Parmen was forcing himself upon Uhura by proxy.

    She just wasn't being assaulted by Kirk.

    .
     
  13. Caje

    Caje Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    That's fair, but it doesn't really take away from my central point.

    Also, the context of the seen makes Parmen's race fairly irrelevant. They never showed any racial motivations on his part, and given that he wasn't even from Earth, it's pretty clear that there wasn't any. Especially if you consider that he did the exact same thing with Chapel and Spock.
     
  14. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you. I'll give "The Lorelei Signal" a watch on Netflix (so nice to have all the TV Treks at my command - not a plug just a statement of fact ;)).
     
  15. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Caje, from the start it has been my position that Kirk was just as much a victim as Uhura. The simple fact that "the kiss" was non-consentual by both people directly involved (Kirk and Uhura) renders it meaningless in terms of being a progressive statement on interracial relationships.

    I am not looking to burst anyone's bubble regarding Santa Claus, however, if you want to really look at how the scene was constructed we could discuss whether the intent was in fact to repulse the audience and illustrate just how perverse the Platonians were - an interracial kiss, bleech!. NOTE: Just for the record I personally wouldn't go that far and feel the use of Uhura and Chapel was simply because they were the only female regulars).

    With all due respect I believe you are mixing-up reality and fantasy.

    In Reality: I'm sure Shatner was more than eager while Nichelle was willing to take one for the team. In reality, I'm sure Roddenberry himself (may he rest-in-peace) would have volunteered to double for Shatner while they lit the scene.

    In terms of the fiction that was "Plato's Stepchildren" their characters (Kirk and Uhura) were forced to kiss. How the story framed "the kiss" is what disqualifies it as any sort of positive statement or commentary on interracial romances. There simply was no romance or free-will involved in it.

    So you pay no attention to the actual story. "Plato's Stepchildren," through your eyes, is a romance wherein two forlorn souls are finally able to act upon their forbidden love for one another?

    More, I think, than you apparently believe. Actors didn't have the fear. Hell, actor's will chew gum off the bottom of a shoe or kiss anything you put in front of them.

    No, that is a statement of obstinance as the wrongness of it is self-evident. Context is what allows us to properly process and interpret what our sense take in.
     
  16. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah! Really check it out, she doesn't only take command she grabs it by the :censored:! (There was an almost "mutiny" aspect to it as no one above ordered her to take the conn, she recognized that all the senior officers were incapacitated and as highest remaining functional officer stepped up and seized command. I thought it was kind of impressive.)
    I wish she was in command more often. The episode has it's problems, but the Uhura taking command and forming an all women securtiy team is not one of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  17. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Uhura WAS fifth in command, at least before Chekov's promotion to Lt. Commander. It's painfully obvious that DeSalle was only commanding the bridge for the first and only time in CATSPAW as to prevent Uhura from having the seat, and preventing Dr. McCoy's ancestors from having an embolism while watching the TV. And as far as I remember DeSalle's rank was never mentioned in CATSPAW (his original appearance). Even if he was on the bridge, wasn't he merely navigator/ensign status?
     
  18. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The exact chain of command can be supplanted if a particular duty officer is made the officer of the deck (like Geordi in TNG season one) where a senior officer might be expected to follow the orders of a junior officer. It's part of officer training.

    I would question the wisdom of leaving 17 year old NuChekov in charge of the bridge though when there must have been a decent number of more experienced officers to summon from elsewhere on the ship.

    But it is annoying that Uhura did not get to sit in the chair in any of the later movies either. They did it once on a Phase II (fan series) episode where Uhura gets out of the chair as Kirk returns to the bridge. It was simple, brief, and cool!
     
  19. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not so sure.

    After Kirk, Spock, and Scotty, the subsequent order of command was never clear. We don't know if Sulu was senior to Uhura or vice versa.

    And we don't know if either of them was really next in line anyway. In the briefing room scene of "The Enterprise Incident," there are two silent officers in the background: a commander and a lieutenent commander. Maybe they were military intelligence aboard to track Kirk's mission, but maybe they were crew.

    And there was Commander Giotto in "The Devil in the Dark." But maybe he was analogous to an officer of Marines aboard a Navy ship.

    Still, it could be that Sulu and Uhura were not that senior, but just frequently seen on camera. The show always held about 400 unseen crew members in reserve for whatever type of personnel might be needed in a given story.
     
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, there are certainly a number of higher ranking background and guest characters. Ann Mulhall was a Lt-commander and since she was dressed in red instead of blue, she's just as much in the frame for chain of command as any other redshirt.

    Uhura is only more likely to inherit the seat as the senior or most experienced bridge officer while someone else higher up in the chain of command is summoned to the bridge. Typically though, the helmsman or navigator, as crew on the command track are gifted the conn.