Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Shaka Zulu, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    This isn't about women having active roles in the film, because we have that:

    Carol Marcus is a weapons specialist.

    * Marcus saving McCoy.
    * Marcus attempting to save the Enterprise.

    * Uhura attempting to speak to the Klingons when no sane individual would. Then kicking some ass when it falls apart.
    * Uhura showing the balls to go down and fight Harrison in an attempt to save both Spock and Kirk.

    We have women all over the place in key positions.

    This is just people "grinding their gears" because the film didn't play out the way they wanted it too. This is Star Trek, these movies are playing by those parameters that were laid out by Roddenberry all those years ago.

    If you don't like it, go bitch and moan at Roddenberry. The guy who ditched the female first officer because he didn't want to hurt his mistress feelings.
     
  2. KittyDuran

    KittyDuran Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Had a lengthy rebuttal even though I agree with a lot of your points - but I'm afraid you'd think that I was totally disagreeing with you - so I'll hold off (maybe edit it the response some more). It also feel as though I'm defending STiD maybe too much - I really love the movie, warts and all (including Bechdel Test failure) so I tend to smooth over the rough spots and not have such a critical eye. I really like these threads though, because it allows me to remember and possibly rethink Trek. :)
     
  3. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Yes, the whole "Roddenberry's vision" thing comes up again. It usually only comes around when people are trying to find a way to support keeping Trek stagnant in the 1960's, and that's too bad. As for the cast of the movie having something to do, well, I think Jill Pantozzi at her nerdybird blog said it best:

    http://www.thenerdybird.com/2013/05/hera-help-me-i-hated-star-trek-into.html
     
  4. KittyDuran

    KittyDuran Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    She got that right... ;)
     
  5. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Thanks, Kitty. I've also said there are parts of the movie that I did actually like, and perhaps I'll get around to those on this thread too.

    Rebuttal or not, I am interested in your thoughts. :)
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Of course it's the God-damned Kirk and Spock show, they are culturally relevant to the main-stream crowd. It's like bitching about a Batman movie because it focuses too much on Batman.
     
  7. The Naughty List

    The Naughty List Working the Pole Moderator

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    Originally the Bechdel Test was just supposed to be a thought experiment about gender equality and gender roles in film in general, not a specific measure of any single film's sexism or lack thereof. Incredibly misogynistic films can sometimes "pass" the test while much more enlightened films can "fail" it for any number of factors (certain historical films like you mentioned, for instance, or Star Trek where you're dealing with an established --mostly male-- main cast). There's even a disclaimer to this effect on the website.

    Unfortunately, as time went on people kind of missed that point and started using it as a sort of sexism pass/fail test for every major individual film that came out, which it was never intended to be.
     
  8. KittyDuran

    KittyDuran Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I wanted Bones to have more to do with Kirk and Spock but a "waste". Have to agree to disagree - all IMHO had a chance to shine and made the most of it!
     
  9. KittyDuran

    KittyDuran Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I was going to compare Star Trek characters to a baseball team and the various roles they play (as I listen to the Reds game...). :luvlove:
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Sitting here right now watching Chapman try to close out a win. :techman:
     
  11. KittyDuran

    KittyDuran Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm multi-tasking with radio, twitter, TV, and a forum... :techman:
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Watching the game, arguing here and have a running text chat going with the wife. You win. :p
     
  13. KittyDuran

    KittyDuran Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    REDS WIN! (and the my forum died... :p)
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    At the end of the day, there are times to be offended at what Hollywood offers us and we should reject it. I just don't think Star Trek Into Darkness comes anywhere close to that line, much less crosses it.
     
  15. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    ^I think it does, but opinions vary. Also, I think the batman comparison is a bit off. He's one character, and so it's supposed to focus on that one character (until it's batman & robin of course, and then it's two). The way ST09 was presented, at least to me, felt like it was about a team, and so I want to see the team (as a whole and as individuals). If that's not going to be the case, then I'll just move along. I suspect I'm not alone, and I'll be doing my voting with my wallet, in conjunction with other people, as some in this thread have suggested doing. I already know I won't get the DVD of STID, nor will I go to see it again.

    But, on to other things...
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While the Bechdel test is a measuring stick, or a tool rather, to help to point out possibly sexist or misogynistic practices in film, we don’t need to look to it for conclusive evidence. I’d rather look at the actual sexism and/or misogynistic practices that might be in film and that possibly effect film.

    Case in point. Nikki Finke, Editor-In-Chief at the DEADLINE website, posted this article in 2007:

    http://www.deadline.com/2007/10/warners-robinoff-gets-in-catfight-with-girls/

    Well, obviously, this caused a bit of a ruckus across the internets at the time. I don’t know what anyone thinks of deadline.com, but they’ve always been pretty reliable to me. Anyway, John Campea at themovieblog followed up on this news and reported (please forgive the length):

    http://themovieblog.com/2007/warner-bros-bans-female-lead-movies-updated/

    Regardless of what happened, or the fact that this was just one studio, it points to a larger problem to me. Yes, STID was made by Paramount, not Warner Bros., but I think all of these major studios have this problem to some extent (especially with women of color), and that’s sad. It’s not a studio problem; it’s an industry problem, and I think that has to change. It needs to change. The fact that the Bechdel test even exists is at least somewhat indicative of this in my opinion.

    I’m trying not to make this post too long, so I’ll just link to a blog that follows up on how Warner Bros. has handled women in film since this little kerfuffle. In 4 years of time passing (2011), the writer doesn’t seem to think that any real progress was made regarding “gender bias in movies.” And just remember, pink is for boys and blue is for girls. ;)

    http://lynleystace.wordpress.com/tag/warner-brothers/

    Walk away with your own thoughts, but to me at least, it’s good reading. :)
     
  16. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Cool. And I'm sure that each position is critical to the success of the team. :) I can agree with that, if that's where you were going.
     
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, that's EXACTLY what it means. Shrug and accept it, because it's not going to change until science fiction becomes dominated by female writers. Consider, for example, that of the 25 best selling and/or best known scifi novelists of the past 50 years, how many of them were women?

    What you CAN do is show approval when writers handle the subject in a mature and halfway respectful way, which is exactly what the last two films have done with Uhura and now with Marcus. Make it known that we see what they did there, and it is good, and that we want to see a lot more of this and a lot less of that.

    You clearly missed the implication that Carol accompanied the crew to New Vulcan specifically because she wants to talk with their scientists about the Helios Device. As I understand the concept, Helios is pretty much a primitive and profoundly troublesome precursor to the Genesis Device.

    I suspect that's part of the reason for having her on the Enterprise in the first place, to play up that angle for the third movie. Either way, knowing what we do about Carol Marcus and her importance not just to the Federation but in the life of one James T. Kirk, she is GAURANTEED to have a pivotal role in the future.

    Threesome with a couple of Caitians just for the lulz... that seemed even more forced and tacky than the "turn around" scene.

    Or maybe they were just playing to the barely-suppressed voyeurism of their target audience on a TV show that was already gritty enough that nobody would really notice?:ouch:
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're thinking of 2010. The only female character in 2001 is Floyd's eight year old daughter (unless some of the man-apes were female, of course).

    Also, I'm not sure that Irina and Tanya actually spoke to each other during the entire movie. The only times they were ever in the same room together was either during very tense operational missions or when Floyd was having one of his monologs. OTOH, 2010 failing the Bechdel Test sort of renders that test irrelevant, considering Helen Mirren's performance in that movie made Roy Schneider look like a lost pedestrian.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    Rodenberry's vision has surprisingly little to do with how Star Trek ultimately turned out. Suffice to say, Christopher Pike managed to get through two movies without some alien drawing his attention to his yeoman's "Unusually strong female drives."
     
  20. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    No, I'm not.

    On the contrary, as I said, I'm thinking of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Besides all the other stewardesses that you've forgotten, plus Frank's mom, there are three Russian women on the space station, all introduced by name: Elena, Dr. Kalinan, and Dr. Stretyneva.

    The scene in question takes place from 29:26 to 33:42. Before Dr. Floyd arrives, all four Russians speak among themselves, in Russian. Dr. Stretyneva says something, possibly asking what time it is. Smyslov answers. Then, Dr. Kalinan says something, and then Elena addresses Dr. Kalinan directly. What Kalinan and Elena say, and whether what Kalinan says qualifies as speaking to Elena, are completely mysterious to me, because it's in Russian. When Dr. Floyd departs, Smyslov, Stretyneva, and Kalinan each speak again, in that order, in Russian.

    From http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/2001-A-Space-Odyssey.html [nearly but not completely in agreement with what's on screen]:

    Of course, whatever they say when speaking among themselves isn't much, and it's incomprehensible if you don't speak Russian, but all that's really beside the point of whether it's technically enough to pass the test. The test is the test.

    In any case, regardless of whether all criteria are met, what's inarguable is that there are at least three named women in 2001.
     
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