The Andorian sexes

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Cicero, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    I only believe in female submission during roleplay in the bedroom and only if we take turns.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    She, on the other hand, believes that men should always be in charge, should make decisions in a relationship and for the family, and should in general make a woman feel dominated and protected.

    As you can imagine, I rather strongly disagree with that concept -- male dominance inevitably leads to violence (whether physical or emotional) against women; it is about power, not protection. But, as I noted above, even such a fundamental difference in assumptions about how a relationship ought to function never occurred to me as existing -- nor to her, at first. We both just assumed that "naturally" the other would share our biases.

    So it's not that hard for me to believe that Humans and Andorians might go a long while assuming that the other has the same kind of reproductive set-up.
     
  3. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    I whole heartedly agree on those points Sci and I find women with such a viewpoint a turn off. Would you consider yourself a feminist then?
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I would, provided we're operating from the most basic definition of "feminism" - a belief that men and women, though different, are and ought to be equal and that neither sex ought to be given more power or influence than the other on the basis of sex, that no sex is "naturally" dominant or "naturally" deserves power.

    There are other strains of feminism I strongly disagree with -- this woman's concept of radical feminism, for instance. But by the basic definition of, "Men and women are and ought to be treated as equals," yes, I am a feminist.
     
  5. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    Yep that's what I mean :bolian:
     
  6. Cicero

    Cicero Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure that definition is accurate. It's somewhat broad, and (though supported by Webster's and American Heritage) conflicts with the more specific definition provided by Oxford: one who supports the advocation of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

    The latter definition is accurate to the history of feminism, which has primarily focused on recovering rights granted to men but denied to women, is accurate to the original French feminisme, and is accurate to both the general public perception of feminism and the female root of the word. Oxford specifically differentiates feminism from egalitarianism in general, of which it is a subcategory.

    The Oxford definition of egalitarianism is: the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights an opportunities. The definitions offered by Merriam Webster and American Hertiage are very similar, which would lead me to suspect that feminism is defined insufficiently precisely by those dictionaries.
     
  7. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    oh, goody, i'm egalitarian. i hold fundamentally true the belief that all humans are equal regardless of race, gender or religion.

    except the French. they're just a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. ;) :D :p :rommie:
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    ... I'm not clear on where there's a relevant difference in meaning between "one who believes that men and women, though different, are and ought to be equal and that neither sex ought to be given more power or influence than the other on the basis of sex, [and] that no sex is 'naturally' dominant or 'naturally' deserves power" and "one who supports the advocation of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."
     
  9. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    ^
    Maybe the difference has got something to do with the level of activism. Not sure, just guessing.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There is no difference. They're clearly saying the same thing.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, to be fair, my definition is obviously more verbose. But yeah, I don't see a difference in meaning.
     
  12. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Oh I think I see a minor difference. In the first case, its about both sexes being equal, and in the second case its about elevating women's rights and privileges to that of men.

    So if in some hypothetical matriarchal society in which some of the power and rights of men are lower than that of women, the first definition would represent supporting the view that both sexes should be equal (and in this case elevating men to women), whereas the second definition would still support the advocation of only women's rights.

    It's a minor technical difference, and its effectively the same in the current state of things though and doesn't change what others have said or meant earlier, which is that both sexes should be treated equally. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, as someone to whom gender is a very big issue but who has serious problems with every branch of feminism, I would like to say the issue is far, far more complex than one of simple "power". I must disagree with Sci here, as I feel the feminist "violence-against-women" viewpoint- indeed, almost all their arguments- is deeply flawed and an inaccurate portrayal of human society on many levels. Fortunately, in my country dangerous feminist concepts are not quite so unquestioned and powerful as they are in America. I myself am in complete rejection of distinct gender roles or separate perceptions of men and women, but I arrived at this system of belief through a rejection of feminism, a deconstruction of it and a condemnation of the many errors in the basic interpretation of human culture and history as they view it. If people do not understand this, perhaps they should approach the subject of gender in a new light, rather than responding to what feminist-influenced scholars feed them. Conservative, traditional views on gender and feminism are ultimately two sides of the same coin, and neither is acceptable in an advanced society, in my personal view. As someone who has dedicated himself to altering people's harmful and destuctive views on their males and how they should be related to (as this is the basis of our people's thinking on gender, their views on women simply a means to supporting these assumptions about the males), I feel I must caution people that the issue is far more complex than "power" or "rights". In my community, there is essentially no difference between men and women. I treat my male and female friends the same, relate to them in exactly the same way. If people aren't going to respect the thinking and personal experiences that led to this result, and instead are going to promote misjudged feminist concepts, I do wonder how other communities will ever move beyond distinct and oppressive gender roles. Remember, how people, both men and women, relate to me as a man is of equal importance to how I and they relate to any woman as a woman. If we refuse to take into consideration men's experiences of marginalization or mistreatment, how can we move beyond what we had before? Everyone's experiences matter. I treat my friends- of both sexes- with the exact same respect they all treat me; and this includes how I define myself as a "liberated" man just as any woman would. Political and legal approaches are important, but real power, freedom, oppression, etc, is in each individual's unique viewpoint and life experience. To disregard that in favour of loud-mouthed ideologies attempting to impose their interpretation upon us all is a very big mistake, in my humble opinion.

    Mutual respect is key. The reason my community/friends are so free from gender discrimination is our mutual respect for our experiences of our sex, how members of our sex or we personally are related to, and our willingness to listen to one another's individual take on gender roles and gender liberation. I have never had that respect granted me by any feminist, and I've met quite a few of note.

    My actual scholarly beliefs on gender are too lengthy and complex to actually post here, but I will say one more thing, if I may be so bold: the scholars at my university (which is of high prestige) have responded very well to my views, and following a public debate on the subject, during which Germaine Greer argued her point (and most eloquently, I give her that!), a number of people came up to me to say that they thought my contributions were the most insightful- many told me I was the reason they had finally voted on the issue as they had. People in general are very pleased to see other interpretations than those of feminists. However, I am lucky to live in a place where multiple viewpoints are welcomed. My experiences with feminists- by which I mean genuine feminist scholars- is that, unlike the average woman or man on the street, or in the corridors at the university, they are NOT interested in debate but rather in pushing forward their ideological position at all costs, attempting to drown out competition. Sadly, in many places they seem to succeed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Those are my feelings exactly. In fact, a few weeks back I had to fight to keep my mouth shut when a guy at my register made a racist comment. The worst part though, is that the guy has decided he apparently likes me and now every comes through the store he has to say hi.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    You should speak to your supervisor about whether or not you can chastise a customer who makes a racist or otherwise bigoted or prejudiced comment. It can't possibly be good for business to develop a reputation as place for racist clientele.
     
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm, I wasn't sure if something like that was appropriate. I might have to keep that in mind if something this happens again.
     
  17. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    If it happens again, perhaps you should tell this person- if he seems to like you- that you personally find such comments offensive and would he kindly not make them in future while in your presence? That should keep your workplace/business free from his racism, and you wouldn't need to worry about it being appropriate or not because you'd be phrasing it as your problem, not the store's. :)
     
  18. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    I would be interested to know more about your views, since I too find myself thinking about externally applied ideas and rules to individual experiences and instances where the outcome might not be positive especially where other cultures whose views on the structure and nature of society and individuals might not be the same as the "standard"...even for such basic things as equality of the sexes in all aspects of life.

    Since I am from India, I have some idea of how even basic things can be culturally different and though appears correct from the viewpoint of that culture (or subculture or subsubculture...the advantages of diversity), can yet be considered incorrect and immoral from an external culture. In India people, for the most part, are tolerant (perhaps almost to a fault) of cultural differences and idiosyncracies (and in my view that is good) and external interference is less. (I won't comment on religious ones though, since we all know the history)

    So if there is a post of yours in this forum or your views are on a website, I would be delighted to know more. :)
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Huh? When "The Andorian Incident" aired, I thought they did a wonderful job of showing Tholos as a more androgynous male counterpart to Shran. Tholos seemed to leer sexually at the Enterprise males as he did at T'Pol.

    When Shran and Tholos were still working together in "Shadows of P'Jem", I was starting to think that when females inevitably turned up, in later episodes, that we might be led to a group of four actually being established. Then along came Tarah in "Cease Fire" - and she towered over Shran. She was quite different in physique and personality to Talas ("Proving Ground").

    As far as I'm concerned, there's no "clearly" about it. And for the ENT novels to have totally ignored the work on the Andorian world-building done by the DS9 Relaunch would have caused plenty of complaint by ST readers.
     
  20. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    You're kind, Rahullak, thank you! For what it's worth, I'll clarify that I share the feminist belief (or at least the belief of original feminists) that there is no need to differentiate between the sexes and that men and women should be treated equally. This position they promote has my complete respect and support, and I acknowledge that it was they who first made gender an accepted and legitimate issue and made our people aware of the problems with enforcing distinct gender roles. However, I have strong objections to the manner in which they promote this idea, and the assumptions their ideology makes in its overview of human history and culture. I therefore reject their position even as I agree with some of its essential points. To me, it is not what you believe but why you believe it that is important- each individual's own unique experiences, and manner of relating to the world, must be respected. I for one have a female friend who believes in traditional gender roles, including the idea that she should be subordinate to men. I disapprove strongly, but this is her choice- she lives in a culture that is no longer forcing such a view upon her, she has friends (like myself) who have promoted the viewpoint that she should not see herself subordinate to men at all- indeed, her community on the whole tries to impose a view that she has equal status to any man. We can argue our position to her all we want, but if she wants to live by traditional gender norms, though, who are we to impose on her? To say "You MUST reject traditional gender roles" is no different to saying "You MUST conform to those roles". My friend is not an oppressed woman. She has a choice, and is chosing to exercise it. It is in my mind unacceptably patronizing to summarize all human individuals and cultures and communities in terms of a single interpretation of history and culture. This friend wants a traditional life dictated by gender roles just as strongly as I want a life free from them.

    Obtaining the laws and freedoms for your society to give everyone a choice is one thing- there are many, of course, whose countries and cultures do not yet give them a choice. But once this freedom is obtained, we cannot respond with hostility when some people choose to continue as before. As long as we can be sure they are not being pressured into it, we can't impose on their unique worldview by insisting there is only one way to understand the history and culture of our people as it relates to an issue. I personally have a massive bone to pick with my nation's history of forced military conscription for its young men. That doesn't mean I'm going to insist a modern soldier is oppressed- because there is no longer the expectation that he must fight, and so it is his own choice and freedom.

    I grew up in a strongly multi-cultural area and could see from a very young age that none of the culture's views on gender could be easily or simply defined in the matter many feminists would have us believe, and as I always had a pretty even mix of male and female friends, I was exposed to all "sides" of the story.

    As for sharing my views in detail, I'm honoured by your interest, but I'm afraid I can't give you a link to anything, as I haven't gone into detail about my views outside of my studies. My objections to feminism stem from my interaction with feminist scholars and study of their work and theories, and I'm not yet sure how to separate my beliefs from this context. Besides, I'm always afraid of imposing myself- my goal is to provide a different view of our people's thinking on gender due to my own problems with the theories I've so far encountered, not to say "I am right!!!" I only mentioned it here because it came up. Maybe I'll eventually put something up elsewhere. If I do, I'll let you know. :) Thank you again

    PS: My apologies to everyone else if I am imposing here! I know I've detracted considerably from the issue of Andorian biology!! :lol: