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. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There are still some leftover hippies even to this day who never changed, you know? People's attitudes don't necessarily change just because the decades flip over. And certainly there is some residual hippie attitude even in TNG, as it morphed into political-correctness.
     
  2. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If it's OK to allow Kirk to look like a chauvanist for the sake of showing him "grow", why not some accidental passive racism while he's otherwise trying to apologize for being a wham-bam womanizer?

    It's not just like one moment he's going to be an immature brat, full of flaws, and the next moment he's a paragon of virtue. It takes multiple steps forward, and the scene with the lookalike could have been one of them. That it would have been a lightning-rod for criticism is probably true, but then so has this scene in question with Marcus. If JJ and company are the serious auteurs that some are claiming he is, then why not stick to your guns for the sake of artistic purity and leave it in? Personally, I think that scene was cut out for the same reason the flashback with him and his guardian (Uncle?) was cut-out. To favor fast-pace and action above character. My speculation as to their motives is at least as valid as those who have read all this added-depth into the Marcus flesh-flash.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I've yet to see anyone actually prove that Kirk is a chauvinist in this timeline. He's young and he likes sex. I'm pretty sure you're going to find tons of young people who are exactly the same in the real world.

    I've yet to see anyone claim this. J.J. Abrams and Company are people who make movies for money. They understand one simple fact of the business: if you don't make entertaining movies, you won't be making movies for long.
     
  4. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Winona Kirk is primarily a wife and mother in that she does nothing else on screen, Amanda is primarily a wife and mother, Gaila is primarily a girlfriend, Nanzeen Contractor is playing a mother whose role was tiny compared to her husband, and Nero mourns his absent wife. Uhura's role in the first film was expanded primarily because of her relationship with Spock, although they found a better balance in the sequel. NuTrek doesn't steer clear of traditional gender roles at all it's just that so few of its women are more than a handful of lines that they barely have a role, let alone a gender role. Even Voyager, which had some decent female characters, had Kes as a carer and girlfriend, Wildman only ever in pregnancy and mommy episodes, Seven of Nine in a massive boob suit, and Seska vamping it up between Chakotay and the Kazon dude. The Romulan commander in Nemesis tries to shag Shinzon the first chance she gets.

    Er, hello, card waving poof here - I think I know plenty about the absence of gay men in sci fi. I said ONLY homosexual relationships because heterosexual relationships are a gender stereotype. One good character may be worth fifty stereotypes but when you have fifty different characters, some of them are going to be gender stereotypes. Why do you think stereotypes ARE stereotypes?

    Do I think that we should never have a camp male character because camp men are a gay stereotype? Newsflash - I know plenty of camp gay men and it doesn't offend me if they are featured on TV. What is worse is when that is the ONLY kind of gay character that's on TV, which is not the case today anywhere near like it was in the seventies and eighties.

    If we have a lot of women and two thirds of them are not stereotypical, that is a great step forward from just a few non-stereotypical women. It's also worth noting that the two-thirds non-stereotypical women in Defiance leads to us having more non-stereotypical women than Trek has even with the alleged and contested absence of gender stereotypes.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Then you should be perfectly happy kicking Trek to the curb and discussing the Defiance universe for the next twenty or thirty years. :techman:
     
  6. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Assuming all the women he bedded never expected anything more than he delivered, I'll concede that point. Replace the word chauvanist with "shallow".

    However, the cut apology to Gaila implies that he did something he regrets.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, he used her to gain access to the Kobayashi Maru scenario. He wasn't apologizing for having sex with her.

    You'll get no argument from me that he was a douchebag during the Academy section of the film.
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's a stereotype now?:vulcan:

    I now realize you don't actually know what a "gender stereotype" is. This, after the "gender roles" thing, makes strike two.

    Actually, it was expanded because of her relationship with KIRK. Indeed, the very first thing Kirk does when he wakes up on the Enterprise is run to Uhura and ask her about the Klingon distress signal. The fact is, Uhura winds up on bridge duty because of Kirk, not because of Spock.

    And "traditional gender roles" and "gender stereotypes" are two COMPLETELY different things.

    It's kinda like the difference between Jewish traditions and Jewish stereotypes. It's one thing to show a Jewish officer walking around the bridge with a yarmulke; it's another thing entirely to have that same officer sidle up to Uhura trying to sell her a diamond necklace.

    And there's strike three.

    I'm beginning to realize that you don't actually know anything about gender issues and have been basically talking out of your ass this entire time.:brickwall:
     
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh I dunno, I might multi-task. Trek's potential hasn't been sucked dry yet and they are very different conceptually. :borg:

    Lol - well of course I have! I'm playing Devil's Advocate. I'm not really as 'extreme' as I may sound just because I'm arguing for the contra position.

    However, please don't assume that there is a universally accepted definition of the terms 'gender stereotype' and 'gender role'. Different sociologists and different cultures will have different definitions across the world. The kernel of the argument isn't invalidated because you think I've used the wrong label on certain items. If you want to present your contra case by explaining specifically what you do think are the gender stereotypes in Defiance so we can compare and contrast to any stereotypes in Trek, that takes the debate forward. If you think something does not count as a stereotype, then explain your reasons, don't slam your head into a wall.

    However, putting Trek on a pedestal when it comes to stereotypes is unsustainable - it has a reduced number because its focus is on a workplace environment and even then there are plenty. However, such an analysis doesn't change the fact that there are a lot more women front and centre and driving forward plot elements forward in any single episode of Defiance.

    And of course being a wife/mother can't be anything other than a gender stereotype - lol - but it only really crops up as a 'negative' in a sci fi concept when referring to characters who have no significant defined role outside of being the wife/mother to one of the other characters. Sarek, for example, is the Vulcan ambassador as well as Spock's father and functions in that role during the movie. Winona Kirk on the other hand does not function in her capacity as a starfleet officer on screen at all unless you count how her absence has a negative effect on her role as... a mother. I mention Nero's wife who was only an image because that's it for her - she's Nero's wife. Obviously, the nature of a Trek movie means that support characters will be sketchy at best, often just a few lines of dialogue, or a smiling hologram at worst but there is probably enough to compare.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  10. Lee Enfield

    Lee Enfield Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I have to say.... this test is stupid.
     
  11. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    Again, a two-second bikini shot...
     
  12. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Look at it this way.

    The half-naked shot of Kirk in the film serves to reinforce the idea that Kirk is not taking things entirely too seriously still.

    The half-naked shot of Carol Marcus in the film serves to reinforce the idea that...Kirk still has some issues.

    One could argue that, for equality's sake, if you're going to have a half-naked scene of a male character that at least has some minor point, then the equivalent half-naked scene of the female character should at least be relevant to the character development or SOMETHING regarding the female character.

    You're right, it's only a two-second scene, which makes it a not particularly strong example of what people find objectionable about it, but it is still an example nonetheless.
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    tl;dr.

    That's all I really needed to know.
     
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    But, as has already been pointed out, this isn't Carol's story; it's Kirk's.

    Exactly.

    But, anyway, as has also been pointed out, it does tell us something about Carol, too. It, in conjunction with her bringing up of Chapel, tells us (and Kirk) that she won't stand for being another hit-and-run victim of Kirk's affairs. Why would that be an important point for her to make? Because she finds him attractive, just as she knows he finds her attractive, too. Everyone should have noticed that Kirk engaged the charm machine right away, beginning when they first met on the shuttle. She obviously finds him attractive too, or else she wouldn't have changed in front of him so overtly in the first place. She's interested, but she wants a relationship with a grown-up.
     
  15. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    However, the contra argument still has validity, as do many other variations in between and Defiance is living proof that that NuTrek could very easily feature more women more prominently without requiring a coup by female writers, directors, and producers.
     
  16. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    ST:Insurrection passes the test, for all the good that did.

    The "Bechdel" test is pointless.The gender and topic of the character's dialogue ideally is irrelevant. The only factor which should matter is the subject matter of the movie itself.
     
  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But I think the test was only intended to highlight the oddity. If the gender and topic of of the character's dialogue ideally is irrelevant why is there such a consistent imbalance in the gender of the characters and why do so many women talk to each other about men.

    The test was simply asking people to think about the conscious or subconscious bias that was finding its way onto the screen. The fact that a hooker asking another hooker for a light on a street corner passes the test while two doctors talking about a male patient would not is fine if it's part of a wider mix. It's that the wider mix that is uncommon that is evidenced by the fact that so many movies fail the test.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    If you really want to think about things, the word bias is a loaded term. Disproportionality is, I think, a more neutral, and therefore more objective, term. So, instead of,

    I would say,

     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Good point. Another good example about the gay issue is to look back at Troy and 300 where heroic characters who had gay relationships were edited out. The butch Spartans, who practised homosexuality as part of their culture were shown mocking the Greeks as 'boy lovers' when in fact the historical Spartans probably shagging more young lads because the sexes were more segregated. And Achilles mourned the death of his cousin (although it isn't conclusive that Achilles & Patroclus were lovers, it would not have been unusual).

    I don't mind so much if gay characters are an afterthought but it is irritating if they should be there but the writers take an active decision to edit them out to avoid the slightest risk of alienating their action-hero loving str8 male audience. Thus the term 'bias' may be loaded but it may also be appropriate.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, bias sometimes is the appropriate term, if not often so. It's just not the best generally accurate term, is what I was saying.
     
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