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. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    That sounds like a pretty narrow definition.
     
  2. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    :wtf: So now the women don't count as much because they weren't "human?" You make it seem like the inclusive nature of the series is a bad thing. Just because Kira was Bajoran (and really, the only thing that looks different about them is the ridge of the nose) that means that her taking command of the station doesn't count. Your emphasis on "human," or race rather, seems a little problematic to me.

    Honestly, I think the women on DS9 were handled very well. And the human women weren't just wives and mothers. Keiko was a teacher and and a talented botanist. She didn't just sit around with the kids:

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Keiko_O%27Brien

    You also had that kind of snotty lady Vice Admiral that Sisko had to answer to, Alynna Nechayev:

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Alynna_Nechayev

    Sisko's wife died in the pilot, but she was also a Starfleet officer, and we got to see her as a career woman in the Mirrorverse. Although she seemed to form a bond with Ben and particularly with Jake, she was neither a wife nor a mother:

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Jennifer_Sisko_(mirror)

    Then you had Cassidy Yates, who for most of the series was neither a wife nor a mother. She was very clearly a career woman, a freighter captain, who stayed in touch with her family (her brother played baseball, and that was one thing he had in common with Sisko).

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Kasidy_Yates-Sisko

    These are the "human" women that come to mind right now, but there may be more. Needless to say, humans and other races (and their genders) were handled very well on DS9. Much better than Into Darkness, and of course this series passes the Bechdel Test. ;)

    And since we're talking about being spouses and parents, I think it's only fair to mention that Sisko, Worf, and O'brien were each fathers and husbands on the series. That was handled very well too, imo. :) And since we're pointing it out, out of the 3, Worf is of course the non-human.
     
  3. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There were practically no human female being in command positions in all the 5 Star Trek series.

    I just have a bit of a problem with only 'alien' women being capable of command.
    Obviously the producers of Star Trek were doubling by having women and aliens being represented in one position.

    And I doubt DS9 passes the Bechel Test because I'm sure Bechel was talking about human women. :lol:

    I'm not really saying DS9 or VOY were sexist. That would be ridiculous. Just that there were not many human females who even temporarily commanded a Starship/Space Station.

    Just as in original BSG/Star Wars only men could be pilots

    Yes and Keiko was a teacher but I'm talking about having women in charge (not just of O'Brien) just like Kira was at times. Why couldn't they have a human woman in charge of a ship ? Aren't human women capable of it? I think even women are allowed to be 'captains' nowadays. Why not in the 23rd/24th century?

    Even some of the 'alien' women who were in command positions were not Starfleet (Kira and T'Pol) or once a man (Dax) :p
    I'm sounding like Janice Lester now. :rolleyes:
     
  4. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Like it makes a hell of a difference if there are some spots on the skin or ribs on a nose.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Does it count as "gender balance" when slightly more than a third of the female characters are exemplars of gender stereotypes?
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The handling of Kasidy Yates was further evidence that DS9 edginess was only in the minds of its fans. A truly edgy DS9 would never have had her surrender to Ben, much less come back for a group hug and marriage to him. Better would have been for her to persist as some sort of semi-antagonist.

    However, while part of it, I don't think the bad handling of Yates was necessarily entirely a gender issue. As she was originally set up, she could have been a fine character. The problem was more the tendency to have all the protagonists on the show follow some road to Damascus and come around to the same moral perspective as Starfleet and the Federation. It might have been reasonable in the case of someone like Kira. However, Quark, especially, suffered from the blandness of infecting everybody with Federation sensibilities. At least the writers were self-aware enough to make fun of it, with the root beer scene in The Way of the Warrior.

    Getting back to Kasidy, the writers just didn't seem capable of conceiving of her as a multidimensional character who might be in love with Ben but also have a dedication to the Maquis. They cheapened her character and reduced her to just an extension of Ben. But as with Quark, they also had a habit of dropping the ball on a lot of characters on the show.
     
  7. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    I'm sorry, but this entire post is REALLY stretching to try and make an ill-formed point. What is it about this subject that people have to engage in such hyperbole, obfuscation, falsehoods, and poorly thought out premises to support their point of view?
     
  8. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    :cough: ... admirals... :cough:
     
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Compared to what else we have currently, I'd so, "Only a third? That's pretty good!"

    I'm sure more than a third of the male characters are based on gender stereotypes too but they are stereotypes for a reason. If two thirds of the women are not gender stereotyped I'd say that's diversity.
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, a lot of people disliked Enterprise, so that show had poor gender balance AND wasn't very good. Gender balance won't make a bad story good but neither will sexism. Nonetheless, we should strive to avoid sexism where possible.

    Out of interest, what aspects of the show did you find to be so objectionable? I thought it was better than Fringe (which became too convoluted for the casual viewer), Continuum (which seems to be improving but there aren't enough characters to avoid it repeating itself) and Revolution (which paid only lip service to a world without resources). Are there any new sci fi shows with which you find favour?
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just found Defiance dull. For me, that is the absolute worse sin a show can commit.

    The last televised sci-fi that I found interesting was the Battlestar Galactica mini-series from 2003. I found I like sci-fi literature and movies far more than sci-fi TV these days.

    Though there isn't much on TV these days that catch my interest.
     
  12. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    IOW, the occasional day player. Minor - a line here, a line there, gone.
     
  13. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, Nechayev was pretty cool. They initially portrayed her as an ice cold cow but after a few appearances it became clearer that actually she pretty much agreed with everything the heroes did but she was overruled by Starfleet Command and carrying out orders she didn't really agree with but with the conviction required of a flag officer.
     
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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  15. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    The actresses, yes. But most admirals were portrayed by women. And a few were reoccurring roles.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Compared to Star Trek, it isn't.

    Because when it comes to gender stereotypes, "zero" is still preferable to "one third."

    Which isn't really helping your case all that much.
     
  17. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    I'd rather Admiral Staite.

    And so would Possum.
     
  18. robau

    robau Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I want more short people in Star Trek. There's a clear height bias in all Trek shows and movies. The test is simple:

    1) Two short people talk to each other

    2) Not about money or acquisition
     
  19. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    Randy Newman disagrees.
     
  20. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    While it might not have happened enough, I'm not sure "hardly" is the right word for all of them. Voyager is about one ship, and it's headed by a "human" woman. Enterprise is also about one ship, and the other ship we do see from Starfleet (that I can remember) was headed by a woman, Captain Hernandez. I quite liked her a lot. Deep Space Nine is about a space station by a wormhole that acts as an incoming/outgoing port. So, it only makes sense to see a lot of "aliens." Most of the people in the galaxy (or Alpha, Gamma, and Delta quadrants) are not human. And as I've mentioned, there was a Vice Admiral that was a woman and Kassidy was the captain of her own freighter ship.

    And since you are wanting to be super technical about it, at the end of the day, who do you think these "aliens" were played by? Humans, of course.

    Having said this, what would be nice is to see some non-white Admirals. I think it's interesting that everyone I've seen is white, with a few women thrown in. Maybe a black lady Admiral or even Starfleet captain for that matter. I don't think they've ever done that in Starfleet with black women. I think I read somewhere that Sulu's daughter ends up being a starship captain, but again, I don't think there's ever been an Asian lady Admiral or a Latina Admiral. It's just a thought...

    As to the rest of your post, you say there weren't a lot of women who commanded a starship or space station, but at least on the space station thing, there was only one that we saw on DS9 and that was DS9. So, there also weren't any other men (save for one) that commanded the space station, unless you want to mention Gul Dukat, but he's not "human."

    If we are talking purely about starships, then perhaps more women could have been shown as Captains. I'd have to look at the series again to have a definite opinion about that one, and I do plan on doing a DS9 rewatch when I can get around to it. As for the other series, Enterprise did show Hernandez, and she was I think the only or about the only other captain other than Archer since they were just starting to send ships out on missions. Janeway was the captain of the Starship Voyager, but outside of that, I'm not sure.

    And with Keiko, you only acknowledge that she was a teacher, and seemingly ignore the fact that she was also a chief botanist. So, I'm sure "chief" means that she was in a position of power and in charge of more than just herself, kind of like how Miles was the chief engineer and all the engineering staff had to answer to him.

    Now if you really want to make an argument here, you could say that we could have seen Keiko in the field as cheif botanist a bit just like we saw her running the school. An episode featuring that could have worked with Miles going to visit her for some reason, and then something going awry. Still, I think they handled her character well enough considering that she's a main cast/crew member's wife. She got far more coverage and better treatment than most spouses I've seen in Trek. Usually, you don't even see them. You just hear about them.

    Deep Space Nine handled secondary, recurring, and minor characters probably better than most series, and that includes non-sci-fi as well as sci-fi.
     
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