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. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    It is not absurd, and you may be laughing but a lot of other people are not, including myself. All of these scenes are set up to play out the way that they do. In other words, there are plenty of artistic choices at a writer's fingertips. When the only person to shoot a phaser several times and still they need help is a woman, that says something. You can say that Spock needed her help too, but he is the one who ultimately takes Khan down in the end.

    No one is getting excessively outraged here, but feel free to assume that's the case.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  2. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Right on cue. And yes, it is most assuredly absurd to think the screenwriters hate women because they set up a scene where a major secondary character joins the action (instead of a more "real life logical" character whose skill set would be better suited to the job, admittedly, but that kind of substitution is a standard story-telling technique not limited to Trek) to assist a primary character in accomplishing the task at hand. To expect the secondary character to be given "the moment" is the first absurdity--it was ALWAYS going to be Spock that took out Khan once Kirk was incapacitated. The second absurdity is the outright ridiculous suggestion that Uhura was provided with an ineffectual phaser because of her sex. "Cupcake", Sulu, Scotty, McCoy, Chekov, nameless other security guy who went to Kronos…put ANY of them in Uhura's place and the phaser would have been exactly as ineffectual.

    You can argue that the female characters in this Trek movie were not as fully developed as they could have been. You could argue there were not as many as there could have been (but doing so would need to account for the fact that the two primary and five main secondary characters are six men and one woman as per the source material). You can argue there are sexist moments in the film. But sexism is NOT synonymous with misogyny and Uhura's ineffectual phaser is NOT an indication the screenwriters hate women. To insist otherwise is, however, laughably absurd.
     
  3. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Well it looks like you've hit your cue too. It is interesting how you are twisting things. I've never said that they hate women, and so it sounds as though you haven't been paying attention. I don't think they hate women, but they did fall back on practices that are rooting in sexist and somewhat misogynistic thinking.

    You can yelp "laughably absurd" all you want, but the takeaways a lot of people have gotten from that movie, that don't sit well with them, regarding women are not. You want to tell me what I can and can't "argue," well go ahead. Just don't expect me to be a good little girl and follow along with that. The way that scene was set up is problematic, especially when I consider the treatment of women for the rest of the film.

    You may be laughing at me, but I'm shaking my head at you. Sad.
     
  4. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Now you do know that if this was on the big screen I'd be screaming SUBTEXT!!!!
     
  5. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The suggestion that the writers had a fully automated pistol from the future fire weakly because it was handled by a woman is exactly that. This is something that a comedian would use to mock sexism through hyperbole. That is something a sexist would use as a tongue-in-cheek to pretend they've been joking all along when they realise they've gone too far. Should anyone ever suggest something like this for real, the most anti-women people will not take it seriously.

    Even in the time we still used muskets, we knew that a loaded musket fired the same whether the trigger was pulled by a man, woman, child, bear, cat, parrot, or the wind. The steel spring strikes the flint all the same, and the gun powder expands in the barrel all the same. Common knowledge, now engrained in the human mind. There is absolutely no circumstance under which anyone, not even people from the 15th century, would expect a weapon to have a different yield depending on the gender of the people holding it.

    If this is there to discredit women, is so bad an idea that it wouldn't fly in the past six centuries.
     
  6. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    You seem to think I'm saying that the problem is with the phaser itself, which is ludicrous.

    The problem is with how the scene was written and how it played out. It's that simple. I don't know if you are not getting my point or if you are just choosing not to, but it is a valid point nonetheless.
     
  7. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    No. They get your point. They're trying to show how it has zero merit.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Pretty much this.

    It was obvious that Khan was playing possum on the bridge of the Vengeance as he pops his eye open almost immediately after Scott stuns him.

    But taking that into account would nullify the point about Uhura needing help and we can't have that. Can we?
     
  9. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    It does not have "zero merit." And "trying" would be the operative word.

    Well, she did need help. You saw the film. That's how the scene played out.
     
  10. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Actually, it does have zero merit. Because it rests on a false premise. Uhura is not made to look weak in the scene at all, much less because of her sex. She is the SECONDARY character in the scene. ANY SECONDARY character, male or female, would have been portrayed exactly the same way in that specific scene as far as subduing Khan is concerned.

    Again, not because she is a woman. Because she is the secondary character. Spock and Kirk are, alone, the primary characters of this film. When Kirk became incapacitated, the ONLY character left who would EVER be written as the one to subdue the main villain is the OTHER primary character--Spock. Sex, gender roles, sexism, misogyny--NONE of those things matter for that specific denouement. Primary vs. secondary character is the ONLY factor at play here. That is where the absurdity and "zero merit" for your argument lie. Your overall concern about the way women are portrayed in the film is not absurd on the face of it--there were certainly a number of instances where different artistic choices could have been made to bring greater balance to female/male roles and behaviour. But what IS absurd is the specific example you are citing here. If you objected to the notion that Uhura is a secondary character and put forth a coherent argument that she should be a primary character (and thus treated as such throughout the film), your criticism would hold some water as then it would be a choice between giving "the moment" to one or another PRIMARY character. However, that has not been your line of argument. Instead, you complain that a primary character gets "the moment" over a secondary character--which would happen REGARDLESS of the sex of that character--and attempt to portray it as a sign of sexism and misogyny. And that is absurd.
     
  11. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I saw the film, and it was Spock who was the one in desperate need of help on all accounts. He would could be dead if it wasn't for Uhura running to his rescue. Even if he made it, he had such a bad anger trip, that he would have crossed the line, killed Khan and messed everything. So not only a woman saved a physically stronger Vulcan, a woman – much against stereotypes of an emotional woman touted in TOS – helped a Vulcan of all people compose himself.

    She also fearlessly confronted a superhuman who a strong Vulcan could not handle, and her "ineffectual" phaser stun shots were what helped bring him down, saving the day, despite Spock's punches that finished the job.

    But maybe she should have set her phaser to kill as a vain display of strength. Or physically confronted Khan, despite being physically weaker. Or maybe she should have pulled a Pippi Longstocking to deliver the ultimate shocker.
     
  12. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    Has this debate actually gotten anywhere?
     
  13. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Nope.

    In fact, it's now looking a lot like reruns from another thread, including those melodramatic bits where stuff is being taken personally which was never thus intended.

    Say bye-bye, thread. You're done.

    [​IMG]
     
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