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. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What was it with that Khan head squishing thing anyway. Like it was his only finishing move. It's so inefficient.


    Back to topic. Taking something that is extraordinary in this day and age but not have the characters talk about it is the best way to do it, in my opinion.

    Think of all the films that, for instance, had a black president before Obama got elected. In none of these films it's a big deal. Only behind the scenes it is. Not only does that make these films innovative, it also makes them timeless. Because IF some day it won't be a big deal anymore, you can still watch the films without having to cringe how stupid society was back then.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because I simply don't expect my entertainment to be in the business of curing societies ills, I expect it to entertain me.

    If you want change, make a statement: go work in women's shelters, climb the ladder of big business/government and make changes. But bitching about entertainment isn't going to change a thing as long as your going out and buying tickets.

    Bitching about it constantly on a message board is going to create as much change as me going out and pissing in the street.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I pointed that out to my wife when we saw it together. :lol:
     
  4. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'd just like to point out (since I'm on Pauln6's side of the divide) that I would never defend Star Trek: Insurrection on any point. :p
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh my God! Somebody actually gets it.
     
  6. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    The why is irrelevant. It remains their choice. You have NO right to expect satisfaction on your terms. You can hope for it, be disappointed when it doesn't happen--still aren't entitled to it.

    Yes. It is entirely ok--if that is what the filmmaker wants. Of course, the filmmaker is also subject to all the criticism such a choice would generate. But the filmmaker should NEVER be prevented from that choice because it doesn't meet someone else's expectations.

    The filmmaker doesn't have to take any of that into account. He can't expect to avoid criticism about it, either. And representations of gender balance in art are always arbitrary. You might believe that gender balance won't be an issue in some utopian future (I don't find Star Trek all that utopian, incidentally), but that doesn't mean it won't be.

    Lastly, I don't expect fiction and entertainment to present me with a society that meets my expectations of justice, equality and so on. Nice if it does (as long as that's what the artist wants AND as long as it makes sense within the artwork). But it was a requirement, I would enjoy a far, far narrower set of artwork (in the broad sense of art) than I actually do. I am quite capable of distinguishing between fictional situations and reality. Watching the Three Stooges did not lead me to start banging people on the head with frying pans and watching non gender-balanced fiction did not turn me into a misogynist. Doesn't work that way.

    You seem to think my endorsement of an artist's right to create what he or she wants, regardless of the expectations of others, represents an endorsement of all the resulting choices. Two different things.

    I agree. I simply don't think it should be done because there is an obligation to do so and while you may not specifically feel obligation is at play, it is certainly at play in a number of things I've read, here and elsewhere, in relation to the issue of gender balance, gender dynamics and so on in this film.
     
  7. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    My wife is a highly placed senior director of clinical research at a pharma company while I work part time by teaching mostly online courses in order to be the stay at home parent. Funny how that works.

    Gotta go make dinner now. Later.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  8. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The main problem regarding gender balance in nuTrek is that they took the characters of a show from the 60s and transported it into the 21st century. That's why you have the black girl in miniskirts still acting basically as the receptionist (and love interest), but nothing more substantial.

    Then there's the sexism coming from the writers, because they think the story and script are elevated by threesomes and women dressing down for no reason during a dialogue.

    Deep Space Nine had better gender and ethnic balance.
    Voyager had better gender and ethnic balance. Heck, Captain and chief engineer were finally women. Only in season 4 they lost the ball when they introduced Sex Object of Nine in skintight catsuits to boobs the ratings, err, boost the ratings.


    Let's not talk about Enterprise, because that was silly. Hoshi, the receptionist again, and T'Boob. And then the mirror universe episode where they suddenly run around with bare bellies to sex it up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  9. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Actually, the media is a very important site for all of these issues. It has a huge impact on the way that young people view themselves, others, and the world around them. Star Trek is not a major offender on this front, but it has certainly had its fair share of minor infractions. I enjoy it-in all its incarnations-and that's why the gender thing bothers me.

    And this is not bitching. I'm simply having a discussion about a certain aspect of a certain film with a number of interesting and enlightened people, many of whom I happen to disagree with. If everybody took your suggestion as a benchmark, nobody would discuss anything.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You obviously haven't noticed the dozens of other threads about this movie. There becomes a time when someone runs a subject completely into the ground to the point that people begin to push back, not because they hate women or think they should be subservient but because the discussion serves no real purpose without people being willing to back up what they say.

    If I thought Star Trek Into Darkness showed women in a poor way, I wouldn't buy tickets to it. I wouldn't buy tickets for my wife (who is a pretty staunch feminist, laughs at this discussion and the Alice Eve underwear controversy), my mother-in-law and tell my daughter she should go see it.

    There are totally times one should be willing to take a stand and refuse to support something because it offends them. This simply isn't one of those times.
     
  11. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the comics Keenser is male. Darwin is female all right.

    I agree that the background characters on the bridge are not too bad. We're generally just missing women in speaking roles and senior positions. They missed numerous opportunities - Marcus, Spock's new commanding officer, Cupcake's assistant, a female deputy chief engineer, leaving out Chapel and Rand again, or flipping the role of the parents so the mother is more active.
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's about both, silly.
     
  13. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    At first I read that as "beer bellies" and was really confused. Now I'm just partly amused by the misspelling.
     
  14. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Haha, oh my!

    Bear bellies, pretty furry.
     
  15. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    But none of us are saying that people who don't give a flying-giraffe about the gender balance in Star Trek or Alice Eve's underwear shouldn't be able to express their annoyance, bemusement, or opposition to those who do.

    I think that this is an important issue, and for many women it's symptomatic of a wider one which they don't have the luxury of being able to ignore. In my opinion, the 'gendered construction' of Star Trek hasn't been done to death: at least not any more than the Box Office results, Khan, or the effects of salt water on a fictional starship.
     
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think I agree that DS9 had the best approach to gender but even in DS9 there were twice as many recurring male characters as women.

    Voyager suffered a bit too much from the Smurfette principle. Its high profile women were in more senior positions than ever before but none of Janeway's senior staff were women until Chakotay put Torres forward and they didn't give the women below them a whole lot to do. Seska was a great villain though - it's a shame they felt the need to sexualise elements of her character.

    The catsuits and mini skirts are so iconic I can't bring myself to hate them but more power to Aisha Hinds as Darwin - she certainly has some meat on her bones. I would have preferred them to re-use Ilia, personally, but I hope they feature Darwin again, and in the comics as well.
     
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't mean they were BORN that way.;)

    Carol was RAISED by her mother, who (I'm only guessing here) didn't turn out to be a crazy megalomaniac. There's also the previous film in which Spock is depicted as being strongly influenced by his mother through most of his childhood, so much so that it is an insult (more likely a history of insults) against his mother's heritage that leads him to turn his back on Vulcan and seek a career in Starfleet. Amanda is, in fact, a far more important figure in Spock's characterization than just about anyone else on the Enterprise.

    As for missed opportunities: Carol Marcus disarms a photon torpedo and saves McCoy's life. Uhura stares down a Klingon warrior in his own language and eventually stabs him in the leg when the shit hits the fan; later, she personally beams down with a phaser and helps Spock defeat Khan.

    As for Chapel and Rand, let's be honest with ourselves: you cannot and SHOULD not attempt to introduce those characters unless you've got some time to really develop them into something dynamic. Both of these made it through three seasons of TOS and appearances in the movies without getting so much as a background story. In these films, they wouldn't even be ancillary characters, just repeat extras with an unusually large number of lines (sorta like Cupcake).

    You're also ignoring one other thing: as far as background characters, the casting directors don't generally think that deeply into who they're giving that particular role to. You put out a casting call for extras and you get thirty eight and ninety two men; what's the ratio gonna look like in the actual film?
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's been a running theme on this board for the decade plus I've been here.

    Personally, once your buying tickets to the movie, buying comic books, toys, soundtracks... you're a hypocrite. Because your sending a message with your money that what your seeing is acceptable.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    THAT is a matter of opinion.:vulcan:

    I can. Not the miniskirts so much, since that at least passes for standard uniform (plus I got the distinct impression they're wearing shorts under those skirts, which seems like it would be more comfortable) but the Voyager/ENT catsuits are just stupid and never seem to belong anywhere. Seven of Nine looked just fine in a regular uniform, and T'pol had exactly zero reasons NOT to put on a regular Starfleet uniform when she resigned from the Vulcan service.

    They essentially became noticeably less-useless versions of Deanna Troi, with the ironic distinction that Troi eventually remembered where her uniform had gone to and finally started wearing it. Seven and T'pol have no excuse.

    This is 2259. Isn't she, like, ten?:alienblush:
     
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    How do you ever cope when watching reruns of TOS episodes? :rommie:

    Darwin - remember the bald woman of colour who wasn't the typical shape of a catwalk model - was steering the ship. Sitting in the same seat we once saw bald Persis Khambatta, former Miss India, occupying.
     
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