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. KittyDuran

    KittyDuran Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    At both ceremonies at the end of ST09 and STiD there were older ladies (officers) present. STO9 centered around cadets going forth to Vulcan while the rest of the fleet with some older personnel where in the Laurentian System (?) - so there wasn't much of mixture of ages. But apart from some scenes in STiD there wasn't that many older people represented. My theory is that aging has slowed or that people are living longer and looking younger - the product of lifestyle and science but I also believe that with some blending of species - example would be Spock who would still outlive the other crew members because of being half Vulcan. I really didn't even see anyone really over what we would consider 40 in the crowd scenes of San Francisco at the end of STiD.
     
  2. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just reaching again a bit on the subject of sexism a bit. I don't really think the movie was sexist considering that they had the pre-existing gender distribution of TOS (almost all guys). JJ could have done better but the movie is certainly has better gender distribution than a lot of movies around.
    However the scene with Carol in her undies makes me (despite my better judgement) think of her less seriously. In TWOK I got the impression that Carol was Spock's peer. I respected her there.
    In STID I think she was fiddling around a bit. I think we need to see more hard science out of her. She shouldn't be there IMO just to be Kirk's possible baby mama.
     
  3. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    You think less of Kirk, too, since he was shown at least twice in his undies now?
     
  4. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Besides, it's not like the camera lingers on Alice Eve for several minutes. It's a brief glimpse that also manages to belittle "Kirk's reputation" by Marcus' "Turn around." The supposedly irresistible womanizer, in Abrams Trek, is shot down quite efficiently by the two most prominent female characters. Did it have to include a shot of Eve in her undies? No. Uhura was fully clothed in the bar in the 09 version. But the undies did underscore the awkwardness of Kirk's glance (making it another lesson on the road from youthfulness to maturity) while also engaging in a rather mild form of brief titillation--something that no other film (including no other Trek) has ever done, of course. :rolleyes:

    Just because it is a Trek movie doesn't mean it will be devoid of titillation (no matter what the committee for the way things ought to be would like). It is entertainment, first and foremost, not a training film on how to completely avoid the objectification of people (and I mean people--not just women).
     
  5. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    In that one, Uhura hails Regula 1 to ascertain the situation.
    Saavik responds to her without ever mentioning men.
    The Wrath Of Khan actually just passes the test.
     
  6. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I couldn't think less of Kirk in that respect.

    I don't feel the same about Uhura even though she did the same thing in ST09. I suppose it was because she had shown herself to be tough or professional in other respects IMO. I know people didn't like the kissing but give me a break.
    I'm not against seeing scantily clad people though just maybe with some more feasible reason.
     
  7. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I went to see 'Into Darkness' on its UK opening night, and when this scene came on my girlfriend turned to me and whispered "so, I guess not much has changed in the future; old men still running things". It was just so obvious: when the writers, casting agents, or directors think about the 'top brass', they think about old men.
     
  8. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Both movies were very sexist in fact. They suffer from token female syndrome also known as the Smurfette principal where they focus on one or two female characters. Giving Carol more to do will be good, but she'll still be a Smurfette.

    Another way to look at it is to say, remove Kirk and Spock and look at all the male characters you have left. Remove Uhura and Carol and look at all the female characters you have left. Go one step further and remove the Big 7 and see how many men and women you have left. There is no comparison.

    Whether you have two male leads or not, the supporting cast is in no way balanced and the women they do have are mostly women because they have to be (mothers, girlfriends etc). The notable exception is in the stereotypical sick bay, where there are lots of women but apart from that we've had no female security guards, very few (maybe 10%) female senior officers, no female captains or first officers (and they wrote out Number One and replaced her with Spock). They also focused exclusively on male spokesmen for the Vulcans despite having T'Pau to work with.

    None of the Enterprise's senior officers in the first movie were women (not even the ill-fated doctor and engineer). I don't think Marcus has any women in his crew does he? They wrote out Chapel and Rand and introduced Keenser and Cupcake.

    Their errors are many and varied but yes, both movies are definitely sexist.
     
  9. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    No.
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Concise! But I'll rephrase. In failing to show on screen an equivalent mix of male and female characters in equal numbers, both movies fail to demonstrate a reasonable level of gender equality in the 23rd century (or the 21st century).

    As an aside, after you remove Uhura and Carol from the mix, do you think there are enough women remaining? And where are they?
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Saying the movie series needs more women isn't a bad thing, IMHO. Add a female Admiral or two for the next one and Doctor Chapel. I also hope Carol Marcus plays an actual role in the third film.
     
  12. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The problem is that the Carol Marcus underwear scene served no purpose other than to titillate. She's wearing a push-up bra for God's sake.

    The same goes for the Uhura/Kirk bedroom scene in ST09. The camera does linger on Saldana's body in a voyeuristic way-a way that it does not when it focuses on Kirk.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I just want to know when people stopped going to the movies to be entertained? It seems like many of you have a checklist of what makes a good film that is really narrow.

    Me and the wife are going to see Man of Steel Saturday and she wants some shirtless dude action and really doesn't care if it has anything to do with the story or not.

    OMG!
     
  14. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    I know women, including lesbians btw, who've seen STID and do not have a problem with any maladjusted men/women ratio so this must not be a real thing.
     
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    I don't think the movie is sexist but there's a .5 between 0 (No problems whatsoever) and 1 (Sexist) which is a holdover from the original show. On my end, I'd have liked to have seen more women on screen.

    It felt a little crowded testosterone-wise is all I'm saying and that's ADDING a woman.
     
  16. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Carol Marcus in her underwear was staged to be titillating, and both JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof have admitted this. But any claim that there was no purpose for her to strip down to her underwear wasn't paying attention. She was changing clothes.

    The camera was just following Kirk's lead in staring inappropriately while she was between outfits.
     
  17. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    I think there are exactly as many women as the filmmakers intended to have and I have zero problem with that (meaning I have zero problem with the filmmakers producing a film that reflects what they, rather than anyone else, wants). I would have zero problem with that if the ratio of men to women in the film was reversed, if that is what the filmmakers wanted. What I don't want is for any artistic production to decide that it is more important to meet the requirements laid down by the Committee of the Way Things Ought to Be than to put out what they want.

    Art of any type--commercial, fine, big-budget, tiny budget, (fill in the blank)--should always reflect the desires of the artist (in the broad sense of "makers of the art"). Artist wants to make a Tarantino-esque bloodbath in the Trek universe? That's ok. Wants to make a version with an explicitly pro-feminist message and theme? That's ok. Wants to make an action-adventure movie just like the one that came out last month in the cinema? That's ok. Do I have to like each option equally? Nope. It is entirely my choice whether to like, dislike, love, hate, viscerally loathe, adore…the film (or other artwork) in question. BUT, I have no right to expect satisfaction on my terms. I have the right to partake of the artistic endeavour and judge it according to my views. The artist has the right (one I will vociferously defend) to put out exactly what he or she wants--subject to whatever praise or criticism it engenders once in the public space. What I will NEVER countenance is the idea that an artist has an obligation to satisfy an arbitrary set of criteria to meet the expectations of the self-appointed guardians of The Way Things Ought to Be. When that becomes a requirement, it stops being art (good, bad or other) and becomes propaganda. The world has enough propaganda already, thanks.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    God damn, this is a beautiful post. :techman:
     
  19. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    And the scene successfully conveys the inappropriateness of his actions--thus criticizing the actions in question. And titillation is not evil in and of itself. Nor is it going to disappear anytime soon.
     
  20. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The difference is that Star Trek has always had some kind of agenda at its heart: feminist, liberal, egalitarian, whatever. If you sell your programme or film as a 'progressive vision of the future', then don't use women as sexual objects to ogle at.

    Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek 2009 are not overtly sexist, but they certainly contain problematic gender dynamics. I don't think modern-Trek should treat one half of the population as window dressing or (God knows the old versions certainly did). It's boring, it's anachronistic, and it's letting down young boys and girls.
     
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