The Skant in TrekLit

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Gotham Central, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I'm curious if any of the 24th century books make mention of crew members wearing this variation on the Starfleet uniform? I'm particularly curious if any of the male characters are ever described as wearing one?

    Is the thought process behind the unisex nature of this uniform ever discussed?

    I consider the skant one of the few times that Star Trek tried to be genuinely egalitarian and seemed to run afoul of 20th century mores that could not seem to deal with that level of equality.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I'd like to think that by that time, it wouldn't need to be.
     
  3. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    2010
    Michael and I once started an outline for a tNG novel set shortly after "The Neutral Zone." We called it The End of Skants. We didn't get very far, but a few of its plot elements (not the riveting uniform transition, nor the jaw-dropping explanation of how O'Brien became transporter chief) made their way into A Choice of Catastrophes.
     
  4. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Because it would have been generally agreed to be a ghastly mistake, and thus not worth talking about. :lol:
     
  5. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    The Uniforms in the 23rd century were clearly not unisex.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It doesn't have to be one or the other. The point is that hopefully by then they don't feel it necessary to defend or justify a different choice.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    England
    Skants? Pfft. I want these uniforms to return!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Gene's office
    So, I take it that there's scant mention of them in TrekLit?
     
  9. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Location:
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
    Actually the ones in the two pilots, the TMP, and the TWOK-TUC ones were.
     
  10. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    No the pilot uniforms were not actually unisex. The uniforms had a much larger collar. However, they were actually closer to unisex than what we got in the series.

    The monster maroons were fairly unisex except that they had a skirt option for women (not introduced until ST:V).

    It is interesting that given all of the diversity that we see in Trek Lit across the eras, no one has ever bothered to address the fact that mid 24th Century officers actually had the option of a Skant.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I've just remembered that I did mention the skant in The Buried Age; Deanna was described as wearing one when she first met Picard. I didn't mention any male personnel wearing it, but I described it as a "junior officer's skant" rather than a female uniform specifically, so I at least implied that it was unisex.
     
  12. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Soaking up the sun
    Simple reason?

    Because the skant looked silly. Even in the 21st century, both males and females can wear pants, slacks, jeans, or any other type of lower body garment with two separate legs.

    Pants are the unisex garments of the present and future.
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    England
    "Picard gazed into his wardrobe. Today was the day he'd been preparing for. All those nights jogging around the darkened corridors of the Enterprise. The waxing and tanning treatments in sickbay. Today was the day he was going to wear the skant."
    [​IMG]
     
  14. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Randyland
    A better question is: in a medium where we are unable to see them, why mention them at all?
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The only reason you think pants are less silly-looking is because you're more used to them. That's the kind of ethnocentric bias that the Federation is supposed to have grown beyond. There have been many human cultures in which men and women both wore draped or skirtlike garments -- kilts, saris, togas, kimonos, etc. -- rather than pants/trousers. Trousers were invented by horse-nomad cultures as a more practical type of wear for riding horses. Presumably they caught on among nobles in the West because horseback riding was common among that class as well. But for people who don't habitually ride horses, there's no particular reason to prefer them beyond fashion, and that's arbitrary.

    Besides, as I've said many times before, it's illogical to expect the fashions of another century not to look silly and bizarre by our standards. We're chronologically closer to the era of powdered wigs and bustles than we are to the era of TNG, and yet TNG-era fashions seem hardly any different from our own. I've always found that a failure of imagination.
     
  16. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Ironic, really, that the skant should be described as "unisex":

    because anyone wearing those damn things, uni-sex is the only kind they're likely to get :devil:
     
  17. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Soaking up the sun
    In all fairness, you don't know anything about my culture or its preferences. Just saying.

    With the notable exception of the kilt, the majority of unisex wrapped garments reach the feet, and with good reason. A Middle Eastern style garment, or Pacific Island wrap is very comfortable, practical, and stylish. I would prefer to wear such garments, particularly in the hot climate of my home, but unfortunately Western European styles dominate the "business attire" that is required in my office.

    The skant is a very silly and impractical garment.

    As for "lack of imagination" when it comes to sci fi clothing design, I don't imagine that the human body is going to change its fundamental shape anytime soon. Fashion is based on the comfort and utility needs of the human body. So although there are some notable exceptions, that is the basic framework for any human clothing.
     
  18. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Gene's office
    I have to wonder whether the Inuit invented their traditional fur trousers thousands of years before trousers showed up in recorded history in the 6th century BC according to Wikipedia, and even that wiki acknowledges the possibility of trousers being prehistoric. Unfortunately, Inuit history exists mainly in oral tradition and they live in the land of waste not/want not, so concrete evidence of when and how they developed their art is, according to what little I know, hard to come by.

    In any case, the circumstances of inhospitable weather provide non-arbitrary reasons for trousers.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    There are legitimate grounds for saying it's impractical for use as a uniform, but calling it silly-looking is an aesthetic judgment, and that's a matter of cultural preference, not universal law. Every fashion, including your own, is going to seem silly-looking to people from another time or culture.
     
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Never have been able to get past the fact that the slang term "skant" refers to a prostitute who is so unattractive she can't find clients.

    A skank who can't.



    :)