Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Shaka Zulu, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Are we really getting so prudish that we aren't allowed to see good looking people wearing less clothes in movies these days? Do we have to go back to stealing Dad's Playboys from under his mattress?

    People go to see SF movies for all kinds of reasons. Some want explosions, some want a philosophical story, some want humor, some want solid characterization - and some fans just like seeing great-looking, fit, healthy male and female bodies in very tight outfits or less.

    TOS was infamous for all of the above. A movie based on TOS should reflect those elements.
     
  2. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why don't we see Kirk on display in a thong or why wasn't Decker walking around in miniscule nightwear?
     
  3. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have (of course) collected pics of all male nudity in Star Trek.

    A small sample..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And on and on.. something is definitely missing from these shots.

    Look how much T'Pol is shown, we never see this much male EVER:

    [​IMG]

    Of course Trip does not drop his pants in this scene.
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Decker? Well, we did get to see the outline of his Decker Unit in one scene. :rommie:

    And, as originally scripted in "In Thy Image", Kirk and Alexandra (who evolved into Lori Ciana in the novelization) were supposed to swim naked together before Kirk is urgently recalled to Starfleet HQ.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's nothing interesting about that mental exercise, especially since it would mean Captain Jenny Kirk is having a threesome with two male caitians around the time Pike calls her to the carpet.

    And lest you pull the "double standard" card, I'll again remind you of the issue with recognizable gender roles in western society: men are expected to apply huge effort and creativity to acquire as many sexual partners as possible and women are expected to choose partners only from those who DISPLAY the most creativity and most effective effort. This is routed in evolution more firmly than it is in culture, and playing this trope in reverse -- with the woman in the sexually aggressive/pursuer role -- would be detrimental to the credibility of both the character and the writers who created her.


    Which is why I mentioned the difference between gender and GENDER ROLES. You continue to be obsessed with numbers -- representation, quotas, percentages -- and are entirely indifferent to the nature of that representation, the implications of gender roles, the dynamics of the relationships between men and women in a working/personal relationship. You are, in other words, advocating the PRACTICE of affirmative action without having any concept whatsoever what affirmative action is supposed to accomplish.

    Then you should probably stop watching Star Trek, because that particular practice has been the basic premise of almost every Trek episode in history. "We have a crew of 400 people on board, most of whom are qualified specialists in their field with years of experience, so of course the Captain, the first officer, the ship's doctor and two random security officers will be part of every away team."
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    LOL! :lol:

    (and that was genuine laughter this time)
     
  7. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think I have a concept of what I'm aiming for even if I may not be able to articulate it very well. Watch an episode of Defiance. The dynamic between the sexes and gender roles between the different species is sort of what I'm aiming for.

    I'm advocating greater numbers largely because the more women you feature, the more likely you are to feature them in diverse roles. Some will be girly, some will be kick ass,some will be smart, some will be dumb, some will be in their underwear but the overall balance will be good.

    Going back to Ilia, I agree that Deltan pheromones are a bit of a Roddenberry wet dream (but lets not forget that Gaila had them too). But I rather like the concept of Deltans as creatures who are sensitive to pheromones, making them empathic (rather than bog-standard psychic empathy) and who can control emotional states by modifying their own pheromone output. It looks like fertile ground compared to the watered down betazoids.
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I do too. You're aiming for quotas: any particular scene should have X number of women for every Y number of men. You're willing to accept switching male extras for female extras in order to accomplish this goal; you're willing to accept female characters having fewer or less important speaking parts if it means they at least got into the film at all. You do so with the assumption that just by the law of averages, SOME of those extras will somehow be developed into richer characters or have their roles expanded as a matter of happy creative accident.

    In doing so you have completely ignored -- EVERY TIME -- the expanded roles of Marcus and Uhura. You have completely ignored -- EVERY TIME -- the fact that a negative portrayal of women is less preferable than no portrayal at all. You have completely ignored -- EVERY TIME -- the simple fact that a male-dominated creative process is NOT more likely to lead to positive creative twists, but rather negative ones preferentially cater to the overwhelmingly male audience of science fiction.

    You are, in other words, spectacularly missing the point.

    And this is the last time I'm going to point this out to you: as far as science fiction is concerned, those diverse roles are significantly less likely to be positive ones. You glossed over this with my earlier example (I have no idea why) but it's the same issue as someone realizing "There aren't a lot of good black characters in movies" and then addressing the issue by hiring an all-black cast for a movie about gangsters and prostitutes.

    And is, incidentally, the same problem with affirmative action. Quotas are counter-productive if you give no consideration to the people you fill them with; OTOH, once you start considering people on their merits, the quotas become irrelevant.

    And is positive proof that male-to-female quotas won't address the issue at all. Because when it comes to characterization, quality is actually more important than quantity. Nowhere is this more evident than in some of the more recent Ben Bova novels, which do a lot of blatant and awkward pandering to feminist memes while at the same time portraying the majority of its female characters as being basically disposable sex objects with wooden and forgettable personalities (or Tomboy crpyto-Lesbians, in the case of Pancho Lane).

    In this case, the producers of TMP chose to create a novel female character in the personage of Ilia. They were NOT looking to create a female character for the sake of representing females in a positive light or examining the nature of gender roles in speculative alien societies. They were seeking to flesh out an interesting character and one of the attributes of that character was that of being female.

    IOW, we don't need to add more women to the science fiction in the hope that some of them will be better characters. We need to add better characters to science fiction, knowing that some of them will be female.
     
  9. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    I find it hilarious that we're supposed to consider STiD the most sexist movie ever made because of a two-second bikini scene, yet we should give TMP a pass for having a bald Indian supermodel prancing around for half the movie in a skimpy white robe, nylons and clear stripper heels because she had a scene where she talked to Christine Chapel.

    Good luck with your 'cause'.
     
  10. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Does it count if they're covered in white foam?



    I'm curious what all the dudes on the ship were up to when they died, since they all had towels draped over their junk. Mass auto-erotic asphyxiation?



    We almost caught a glimpse of the Captain's Dinghy (oh wait, Picard insisted that they call it the Captain's Yacht instead).
     
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  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Heh, what is the Picard pic from Locutus?

    Oh and LOL on the white foam.. clearly almost nudity is okay if you're not meant to be seen as sexy.
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm glad it's the last time you are going to say it because I don't agree with it - or rather I don't agree that this would have to be the case in Trek. :bolian: It certainly isn't the case in NuBSG or Defiance. Please look at Defiance as a better example of what gender roles in Trek could be. Yes, it's a series so just pick two episodes and see what you've got to work with.

    Never mind that, watch Defiance because it is very good sci fi.

    With the final statement the principle difference between us is that I cannot see that the writers of a Trek franchise if they were 'required' to introduce more women would find a way to make them all bitches and ho's. With more numbers would come more captains, more admirals, more romulan officers, more klingon warriors, because those are the characters that Trek features. The problem with your final statement is that writers could easily do that now and yet they haven't. If it's a laudable goal, your statement does nothing to help adjust the status quo that currently doesn't lead to enough of the characters being women.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Doubtful.

    Writers create characters that tell the story they need to tell.
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So the writers of Defiance need to tell a story that has more women in it?
     
  15. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I have absolutely no idea what "Defiance" is, nor do I care at this point. I'm guessing it's never reached Australian commercial TV?

    Writers create characters that tell the story they need to tell. I thought we were discussing JJ's Star Trek?

    ADDITIONAL:

    Haha! I just Googled and now realise that "Defiance" is a new SF TV series starring Aussie actor Grant Bowler. I saw his pic on posters all over Glasgow and Edinburgh when I was there in April. I assumed it was an ad for a new video game?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  16. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    I believe that's from "Chain of Command, Part 2" - Picard is beginning to wonder whether there might actually be five lights.
     
  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We are. Defiance is a good example of the level of gender balance that I think Trek should be aiming for. The kind of gender balance that some people have suggested can only be achieved if women take over writing sci fi.

    Google is your friend. It's written, directed, and produced (largely) by men with two producers out of ten being women.

    Seriously though - it's very very good. Keep an eye out for it.
     
  18. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't say Defiance is very very good but it has markedly gotten more interesting by episode 9 which is what it is up to. Sci fi fans should be used to waiting out first seasons for the the goodness to commence :)

    But you know that is a series. A movie is not going to spend 2 hours developing multiple characters and in the case of TOS Star Trek we already know that the two main characters will be male. I would like to think that if a new JJseries started with Kirk and Spock in it there would be well written women characters who did more than just kiss Our Heroes.
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Already Googled and amended my post before you posted. I only Googled out of curiosity and momentary boredom.

    It's apparently already premiered in Australia while I was OS. Zero local publicity. It's on satellite. I haven't bothered with satellite TV so it'll likely stay well beyond my radar.
     
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Defiance also mixes up the genders of the support characters.
     
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