Writing Women

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by QuarkforNagus, May 23, 2014.

  1. QuarkforNagus

    QuarkforNagus Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    I don't get why ST writers had such a hard time writing decent female characters.

    With the exception of Seven and Whoopi Goldberg, the female characters were either annoying, bitchy and/or whiny, or completely uninteresting.

    This doesn't seem to limited to ST. What's so hard about writing a compelling female character?
     
  2. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    What constitutes annoying, bitchy and/or whiny?
     
  3. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2001
    It's debatable how much is faulty writing and how much is a double standard on the part of the audience.

    I won't deny that there's some of the former, but it's also not entirely the writers fault.
     
  4. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    Speech.
     
  5. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    Proof there is no god, that. Or if there is, god isn't a man.
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    Male characters are like that too, except they're called ambitious, determined and/or forthright, or stoic.
    The kind of stories being told. Otherwise, they're written how a writer, producer, or studio/network wants them to be written, just like male characters.
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I'd argue Seven falls under "completely uninteresting" because she was, other than being a former Borg which really didn't come to much more than her having a body full of plot contrivances to save the day. It'd mean something if she went from bland and rigid after first being de-borged and became more, you know, human over the course of time but no always stiff and talking in a rather flat voice.
     
  8. AgentCoop

    AgentCoop Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Janeway, Seven, Kira, Jadzia, Ro, Guinan and Torres were all well-written characters, in my opinion.
     
  9. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Janeway was one of the cases where they tried to make her a "strong female leader" by letting her make the "tough decisions", but they completely ignored how stupid those decisions were. The result was that the character of Janeway had a completely fucked up moral compass. Many times her subordinates had to go great lengths to convince her to do the right thing, but she always stuck to her wrong path, always pulled one of those "Never dare to speak to me that way again" variations, until the last act of the episode.

    The most notable example imo is the episode where the EMH goes crazy, and Seven eventually puts her foot up Janeway's ass.
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    I said out, dammit!
    How was Seven a decent female character in any way?
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    On paper, she was a good character. But it was totally ruined by the decision to pointlessly sex her up.
     
  12. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    You are wrong.
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Sex her up was on the paper, too.
     
  14. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    When I say on paper, I mean without the visuals.

    Unless the script said "REVEAL big breasted blonde in skintight catsuit."
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    I said out, dammit!
    Or "Reveal Braga's adolescent emotionless ice queen fantasy."
     
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    Unless you like a deus ex machina with enormous boobs wearing little more than body paint, then there really is nothing else to the character.

    Trek does have some issues with writing strong women, often falling back on some old stereotypes, or having them there for obvious titillation. Worst still is when a female character really has no function or purpose unless hinged on a man--for example Kes was little more the Neelix's "girlfriend" at the beginning of VOY (the creepiest relationship in all of Trek), and now we have NuUhura's main function is as NuSpock's partner (where she does prove to be annoying, bitchy, whiny and totally uninteresting).

    However, when the writers get it right, they do it very well indeed. For me, Kira Nerys was a strong, multi-layered and dynamic character, who grew, matured and developed significantly over time. She was tough as nails but also suffering from some deep emotional scars, whilst still having moments of being very feminine. Even when she and Odo get together, she still stands on her own as a character. But then again I am a little bias, being a big Niner and an even bigger Kira fan.
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    I said out, dammit!
    Agreed 110%!
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    I'm sure the visuals were in place before the script. She was never going to be just a Borg who goes "good".
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I wouldn't have put it past Braga to write just that.
     
  20. QuarkforNagus

    QuarkforNagus Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Belanna, Kira, Luwaxanna Troi, Vash, Ro, Janeway.

    Dax doesn't count. She's both man and woman.