Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by DevilEyes, Aug 2, 2009.
Off topic, but at the same time, kinda on topic
Here's some more "deep" thoughts on sexyness:
I think an important element in feminine attractiveness is...the issue of vulnerability, or lack therof.
Now, this does not mean "weakness". I am referring to the "air" many girls have, which appeals to a man's sense of protectiveness.
I reffered to this some time back, when I noted how part of Ezri's charm is her vulnerability--i.e. the tendency to ellicit a response of protectiveness. Case in point: in "Afterimage", where she rushes into the temple, and breaks down in tears.
Also, in "Till Death Do Us Part", after the Breen probe her mind, and she's barely concious. You can see the effect her vulnerability has on Worf, as he tends to her in an uncharacteristically gentle manner.
(BTW, kudos to Miss deBoer for her superb acting in this scene, as Ezri goes through a variety of emotions, from compassion ["I'm not just saying this because...I'm your sister...."], to desperation ["I'm not like you, Joran--I'm not a murderer!"], to sad dispair ["I was your wife...why don't you talk to me...?"], and finally, to peaceful, innocent serenity, as she reveals her feelings for Julian Bashir--her radiant smile here as she whispers "Kiss me...kiss me, Julian", IMHO, is one of her best moments in the show....)
This, as I said at the beginning of this post, is "sexy" because it highly appeals to masculinity, because it make a man feel, in a sense, heroic, as he feels the desire and the capability to defend and protect this girl....
This, then, can be connected to the "innocence" factor, for obvious reasons.
For "tomboys" such as Seven, then, who have no such air of innocence or vulnerability (as far as I know), perhaps the "sex appeal" comes from...the challenge factor, then? I don't know...I'm not drawn to ladies who don't act feminine.
I think that's a good analysis.
Of course I want a strong woman - someone I can count on when I need help. But many guys want a woman who needs him, too. Ezri fits both criteria quite nicely (plus, lovely spots).
Maybe that's why, although I quite liked Seven as a character, she was never my Trek dreamgirl.
Exactly. And I think the interaction between Ezri and Julian leading up to the kindling of their romance illustrates this nicely.
We see Ezri supporting Bashir when he's in the depths of dispair about helping Sarina ("Chrysalis")--just as he helps to build her up during her own moments of crisis (particularly "Field of Fire", when Julian comforts her as they stand by Illario's coffin).
Same here. I like her as a character (especially her dry, Spock-like wit), but did she attract me? (shakes head)
Hey, DevilEyes, maybe I'm just far too focused on the Top Five, but...I don't see that much change lately.
Has the thread seen its day?
(Hope not--not while Ezri is still TIED for second....)
I dunno, guys - I agree that vulnerability has its charms, but in so many ways, Seven is vulnerable. You're letting her appearance affect your opinion of her character too much, I think.
I think you're underestimating her as a character (and, to a certain extent, Jeri Ryan's talents as an actress). By a lot, really. In many ways, she's just an orphaned kid. A socially awkward orphaned kid who has wants and needs and desires that she can't even put a name to. And she's trying to grow up. And she's so...alone.
How can you not see any vulnerability there?
I mean, think about it: Stolen from her family when she was a child, brought up by the Collective, separated from the Collective by humans (mostly humans, anyway), feeling guilty for being separated from the Collective, feeling guilty for what she did while she was part of the Collective, feeling confused by those warring guilts, feeling both hatred and loneliness for the Collective, feeling apart and separate from her shipmates, routinely puzzled and sometimes downright flabbergasted by humanity, unsure what to do or say or feel...unsure whether she wants to feel...unsure whether she's supposed to feel and what it is she's supposed to feel...
I think you look at her statuesque body and those Borg implants and her stoic calm - which is almost 100 percent defense mechanism, if you ask me - and you make assumptions from that appearance. And I don't think those assumptions are correct.
Now, you're absolutely right that Seven would never appeal to a man for help. But then again, Seven isn't really comfortable appealing to anybody for help - at least not as she was on Voyager. But she is - and you really ought to be able to see this - incredibly vulnerable in spite of this. Being vulnerable and admitting you're vulnerable are two very different things.
I think the guys who really go for her don't usually see that either (which I do not understand, but oh, well) - or if they do, they don't tend to mention it here on the BBS. More than one person has referred to her strength. Yes, she is strong in several ways - she wouldn't have been able to tolerate separation from the Collective otherwise, I suppose - but she's so childlike in many ways. So confused. So unsure.
So...wounded. Yeah, that's the word. Wounded. She's been wounded right to her very soul.
You just want to - or at least you want to if you're me - give her a hug. Which she'd probably reject because she'd have (at least in her early years on Voyager) no idea how to handle a hug. How sad is that?
The other thing I think needs to be pointed out is that with Ezri, you only have one season, whereas with Seven you have four (I think) seasons. The Seven you see at the end of the show isn't the same character you saw in the beginning. What makes you think the Ezri you'd have seen if she'd been on DS9 longer would be the same Ezri?
And I think - I really do - that you're romanticizing her character. You only have, really, a few episodes, a few hours' worth of screen time, to base all this...this yearning on. I think that's making it easier for you to imagine her as...well, whatever it is that you want her to be, really. I think that's what makes it easier for those who really dislike her, too. Whether you like or dislike her, you don't have that much to work with, so you have a lot of room for speculation either way.
I'm not trying to talk anybody out of Ezri, of course. I'm a heterosexual female, but I think I can at least somewhat understand the appeal of both Ezri and Seven. But I really have to disagree with anyone who differentiates so sharply between Ezri and Seven primarily on the basis of vulnerability. They are both vulnerable. One is vulnerable in a soft and appealing way, while the other is prickly and vulnerable. But prickliness doesn't negate the vulnerability. In my opinion, it only emphasizes it. This is one of the things that makes Seven such an interesting character.
Great post, JustKate. I think people often overlook the fact that strength and vulnerability can both be prominent characteristics of the same person. Those who have to learn to be strong often have to be so because of their vulnerability, and their fear of showing it.
Now, let me say that I strongly respect Seven. And I see JustKate's point on Seven's hidden vulnerability.
But, again, this air leaves a different impression that honest vulnerability does. For characters such as Seven, you could feel sorry for her--but her curt, stiff attitude effectively takes (for me, at least) the "appeal" out of that.
I could see this as a good trait of attraction in regards to men (case in point: Spock, who's female fan mail skyrocketed after he revealed his inner conflict in "Naked Time"), but...see, this is what I mean by calling Seven a "tom-boy". This "pricklyness" is, quite frankly...well, in my eyes, at least, it does negate.
Well, to each his/her own, I guess....
Now, as for Ezri only being around for one season, and Seven being aroung for four (and growing and developing all the while)--I grant all that. Nonetheless, the essence of Seven's character remains--if not, she would not be the same character. The same would go for Ezri, had the writers decided to continue the show. Look at the books--though Ezri goes through a lot of developement, her essence still remains--even as far as Destiny and beyond....
I do not begrudge Seven, or her fans. I understand her many conflicts and traumas--and I do sympathize. But I would not be attracted to her--not really. Personality really is an issue--and how a woman approaches her vulnerabilty (or lack therof) is a big part of it. Seven seems ashamed of it, and thus tries to suppress it. Ezri, on the other hand, accepts it, and channels it to be part of her strength.
Seven being vulnerable: very true, JustKate.
I'm not that into vulnerable though. Fantasies of taking care of a girl you've got the hots for when she's vulnerable, sure, once in a while, but me I like someone who stands right next to me; not someone I constantly have to take care of. The focus of such a fantasy with me, is always building her back up to where she doesn't need me to take care of her anymore.
Taking care of is reserved daughters and sons, not lovers.
Thus it isn't exactly what makes a girl attractive to me.
(On a side note--Ezri's broke the tie! REJOYCE!!!)
Very interesting post, JustKate. Some of those aspects are why I found Seven such an interesting character; somehow I didn't draw the parallels, however.
As Rush Limborg has said, prickliness is offputting, even if we can understand where it comes from and sympathize.
Perhaps its less a function of the character needing or being capable of helping, and more of whether it's possible to actually help her, and whether she would understand what you need (beyond "please fix the ship!").
It can be difficult to engage with people, even as friends or colleagues, who are, or act as if they are, 100% sure of themselves. There's no point agreeing when they're right; they already know that. There's not much point disagreeing - they won't change their minds.
Janeway's ability to get through to Seven is one of the reasons I also admire her a great deal, when her character is well-written.
I don't find vulnerability at all sexy. That whole "take care of me" vibe squigs me out. It's fine in kittens, puppies, and small children. In a romantic partner or a sexual relationship? Forget it!
EDIT: That doesn't mean there's never any room for a partner to be emotionally vulnerable, particularly in difficult times or situations, but if that's the overall vibe from the get go, not only will I not look twice, I'll be looking for the exit.
I think you're talking about two entirely different things. A lot of people want a partner, a relationship of mutual support; a 'take care of me vibe' implies something quite different.
I certainly wouldn't expect or want to see the later in a Starfleet Officer!
Well, as I said, "vulnerability" does not neccesarily imply "weakness". It is simply an "air"--which has a sort of connection with "gentleness" and "meekness" (this latter word meaning "strength, under control") simultaneously.
Gentle and meek don't do it for me either. People like that bring out my inner tormentor, not my inner nice guy, and they not only don't turn me on, they actively turn me off. I think we can suffice it to say, Rush, that you and I have very, very different taste in women.
What a, uh, surprise Seven is number one. You Americans love big-breasted blondes! My faves are still Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) and Leeta (Chase Masterson). -- RR
Uhura was one of my first crushes, ever. She's way sexier than Seven. I love her attitude as much as I love her looks.
Dukat is sexy, too, damn his sociopathic self. It's the pants, I tell you.
So you fancy mean babes?
Wait a minute--Uhura's pretty meek, so...?
Seven's still ahead, 51. (Yes, I AM saying that in a grumbling tone....)
Ezri's tied once again, with Jadzia, 49-49.
(Hmm...we looking at a three-way, soon?)
T'pol's in fourth, 46....
And...Kira's fifth, with 39.
I fancy assertive, confident women who enjoy sometimes playing rough (not speaking in a TMI way with that) and who put off the vibe that they can definitely take care of themselves. I can be very blunt and acerbic. Anybody I'm able to run roughshod over or who gets their feelings hurt easily is automatically out. If that means having a slight mean streak to put up with me and give as good as she gets, that's OK, too. Mean just for the sake of being mean, not so much.
Shy, meek, gentle, vulnerable, soft, helpless (YUCK), damsel in distress sorts can go chasing after Prince Charming. I'll even point them in his direction. As Professor Harold Hill once said, "The sadder but wiser girl for me."
As I said before...the literal definition of "meek" is "strength under control".
I seriously do not see Ezri as "shy" or "helpless"--she may have been a little "helpless" at the beginning, but she quickly overcomes that. She's no damsel in distress--certainly not. Her confidence builds up a great deal over the course of the season--and if "Field of Fire", etc, is any indication, she can be "assertive" when she has to be....
Case in point: in "Penumbra", Worf calls her what is probably the biggest insult one could ever give a girl like her. She almost gave him a punch--but Worf caught her fist in time, and then...
And she does have a certain wisdom--take her speech to Worf in "Tacking into the Wind", for one....
But, to each his own. Agressive for agressive--idealist for idealist, and so on.
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