Should they have had a female Commodore in TOS?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Lance, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    But we're not dealing with a contemporary naval organization. We're dealing with a fictional universe. And there's nothing in TOS that flat out states women cannot command while on the other side there's Number One whose very existentence argues that they can.
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Number One argues that female can rise to the position of First Officer.

    Cultures and societies do change over time, that women will have the same societal position in the 23rd century as they do today is no more likely or unlikely than that women will hold the position they did in the 1960's.

    Women's ability to hold command of a starship might have been a given in the beginning of the 23rd century, ended with a change in culture, and resumed later. The prohibition could have apply solely to Human women as a consequence of a change in Human culture, and not have impacted females of other species.

    We did see a single Human female in command of a ship in TVH, but other than that the movies showed male Starfleet commanding officers.

    Even in TNG-DS9-VOY the majority of CO's were male, females were the exception.

    I can't remember any Vulcan female CO's.

    :)
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I simply can't take that negative view of the TOS universe particularly with nothing of substance to support it.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Only the substance of what was shown on screen.


    :)
     
  5. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    No, that is absolutely not correct. An officer who is in the line of command of a US Navy vessel is authorized and empowered in all respects to succeed to that command should the situation arise, in order of seniority. If the officer were not qualified, he/she would not be in the line of command.

    Female officers in the US Navy command naval combatant vessels in a similar proportion to the number of women who are designated as unrestricted line officers (~7-8%). Female URL officers do not form their own category and compete for promotion with men of the same grade, and there is no restriction on the commands they can hold, with submarine service now also open to women. And there is no upper limit, either, as we have recently seen the nomination of the first woman four-star admiral.

    And captain, because she does become the captain in Pike's absence. As Kirk pointed out in "The Tholian Web," when Spock succeeds to command, "he is the captain." If Number One's sex disqualified her, Spock or some other male officer would have taken command. It makes no sense that Number One would be put in the position of second in command if she could never succeed to that command.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Which is nothing.
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe you're wrong, once it became known that the original commanding officer was "gone," a new commanding officer would be sent/flown to the carrier, the officer who assumed command would not simply be left in that position. The female officer I used in my example wouldn't remain in command beyond temporarily.

    Exactly, there are no examples in TOS of anyone who isn't male being assign to captain a starship. We neither see nor hear of a female captains.

    Yes, prior to beaming down to "rescue the survivors" Pike did give Number One the conn, just as we've seen Kirk do with Sulu. But if something happen to Kirk that doesn't automatically mean Sulu becomes the ship's next captain.

    :)
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    From the get-go Roddenberry established Number One as the ship's First officer. It's right in his series concept breakdown when he outlines the characters.

    And by "nothing" I mean there is nothing throughout TOS that contradicts what Roddenberry established in "The Cage."
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Maybe, but that would have nothing to do with the officer being a woman.

    The conn is the authority to give helm orders. What Number One was doing was different: she was commanding the entire ship, giving orders to all departments. She was the captain in the same respect as Spock was in "The Tholian Web."
     
  10. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except that we never saw any woman in TOS over the rank of Commander.
    There is also what Lester said and Kirk's response to it that may contradict it.
    If Lester had said Starfleet doesn't allow anyone but white men to be the Captain of a Starship I believe we had some evidence to prove that wrong. I don't believe we have any evidence to prove Lester wrong except showing that a woman was allowed to be in temporary command of a ship once.
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    This is pointless. How many commanders did we actually see? A small handful out of at least hundreds. That's hardly a meaningful representational sample. And Lester discounts herself by her own behaviour.

    The only reason this issues persists is because some want to see something that isn't there.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I really can't speak to the intentions of the writers of "Turnabout Intruder", since I wasn't there. But, in universe, it really makes no sense that a woman could be a first officer yet not be eligible to be a captain. We're talking about interstellar distances here. It could be weeks, months or years before a ship could make it back to its home port and if something had happened to Pike somewhere along the way, a woman would have effectively been captain for the entire time.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Very true. That example alone illustrates how demeaning it would be to Number One (as example) to bring the ship home and then be relieved with nothing more than a pat on the head. If she's capable of assuming command then she's qualified to actually be given the rank and post. And so why would any woman choose a command path knowing well in advance that the best she could hope for was First Officer?
     
  14. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    We also see an Indian Starship captain (with an accent) and many aliens Starfleet officers. As I said sooner in this topic, the majority of human characters shown in previous Star Trek material were americans. It doesn't mean that Starfleet was before a club for white-american dudes.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And he was male.

    And how many of them were female ship captains?

    We also saw Asian, Black, Indian and Latin Starfleet officers during TOS.

    Kirk and Scott were played by Canadian actors.

    :)
     
  16. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But with a majority of WASPy characters. We have Uhura, Chekov and Sulu, but the typical redshirt's name beging with O' or finish with son. ;)

    You don't need a Danish actor to play Hamlet or an Italian for Romeo Montaigu. ;) Patrick Stewart is from England and played a "French" captain. (John Cleese made a better French dude. ;))

    Scotty seems to be the only anglophone whose not from USA and I think it was still usual to met Scottish immigrants (and not simply of Scottish descent) in North-America in the 60's.
    Shatner and Nimoy are both jewish and portrayed WASPy characters (Grayson sounds pretty Anglo-Saxon).

    Take a look of senior officers introduced in the first three movies:
    - TMP, Admiral Nogura (it sounds Japanese, but we don't see him) and Captain Decker, a white American.
    - Captain Terrell, black, but American
    - Admiral Morrows, black, but American, Captain Styles and Captain J.T. Esteban, spanish family name, but American accent and anglo-saxon initials

    I'm not seeking for racism, I'm pretty sure it was absolutely not the case. For me, what we see in STIV is the start of an adjustment that really became effective with TNG and following series. This adjustment it's not into the Star Trek universe, but outside, into scripting and casting.

    And how many aliens neither Vulcans nor Klingons did we see in first three movies? Not a lot. Of course, there was logistical reasons, but what whe see in STIV is also a part of this adjustment.

    There's nothing in TNG that suggests there had been a drop and a new rise about gender equality during TOS era. Star Trek has a naive conception of progress. There had a third World War and after that, it's the come-back of a linear progress.
     
  17. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    "Should they have had a female Commodore in TOS?"

    Maybe. Where would you put her? Which character should have been female instead of male?

    It makes me no difference, I'm just asking.
     
  18. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    I was thinking in terms of one of the guest Commodores/Admirals. Maybe cast a woman in the role of Admiral Komack in "Amok Time"? It was a small role in just one scene. But it would have been a nice gesture, and would have shown sexual equality within the command structure in the future in much the same way as casting roles like Commodore Stone shown full racial equality within the command structure. :techman:

    On the other hand, there are other guest Commodores in the series where I suspect casting a female in the role would have created some VERY unfortunate implications in retrospect. For example: the ineffectual Commodore Stocker in "The Deadly Years", who would need Captain Kirk to come and rescue 'her' from the Romulans when 'she' makes the wrong command decision. I can see things like that going very badly indeed...
     
  19. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    I do find it odd that TOS seemed okay with women in positions of power OUTSIDE of Starfleet. Romulan Commander, Elaan, etc.
     
  20. Timewalker

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

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    Just cast someone who wasn't his girlfriend...

    I'm reminded of a series of novels written by F.M. Busby, in which North America (and much of the rest of the world) is taken over by a multinational corporation, with a bizarre "Tea Party-fundamentalist" twist (although the Tea Party did not exist at the time these books were written). Basically, in the space service in those books, women could rise in rank to anything they aspired to - except the leader's position. They could be First Officer on a ship, but never Captain. If the Captain were to die, either the next-ranking male would be promoted into the captaincy or a male captain would be brought in from another ship.

    If they weren't scientists, had no interest in support services, weren't doctors, and they didn't want to become Expendable Red-Shirts/Skirts, command is what was left. And it's possible some would try to change the "system" from within.

    The novel gave Nogura a thoroughly Japanese first name, so it would be surprising if he were not Japanese.