Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by KlingonCereal, Jan 17, 2021.
You might find this relevant.
I'm going through ENT for the first time right now and it's quite glaring to watch what would have been, in previous versions of ST, violations of the prime directive.
This mess was all on Trip. 100%
He stuck his nose where it didn't belong, arrogantly judging what he saw as flaw in an alien culture. He had no business doing so and it cost a life. He's totally culpable. He should have been court martialed.
You're doing the same thing Trip did. Making a judgment on an alien species through the lens of being a human.
I'm reminded of what Picard said to Crusher in the TNG episode, Transfigurations. "...and not let our personal feelings impede our judgment" an then "it's not up to us to judge their laws, doctor"
Yes, the PD does not exist yet at the time of ENT but it sure as hell shows why it was needed.
Grown men marrying 13-year-old girls used to be a part of our culture. That doesn't mean it wasn't a deplorable behavior.
Respect for culture only goes so far with me. The Vissian culture was so toxic, so evil, it required the cogenitors to be both ignorant and indoctrinated to work. All Trip did to Charles was enlighten her of the toxicity of her environment. The Vissians imposed that toxicity. I'm sorry, but you cannot convince me that their actions were less wrong than Trip's.
^I can't tell whether you're recalling that the cognitors were a significant minority within Vissian culture. If all of them decided they wanted nothing to do with the rest of the Vissians, it would mean extinction.
We also have so little insight into broader Vissian culture that calling it toxic and evil based on 45 minutes of exposure to it seems really dubious, IMO.
The cogenitor would have had to deal with certain limitations on her lifestyle, it's true. She would have had to move from couple to couple. She could not have been a significant part of the lives of the children she was helping to conceive, for the same reason. But not letting her learn to read, not giving her an ice cream sundae, not even letting her have a name... no rational justification exists.
To be fair, this is Archer from the first half of Enterprise we're talking about. Consistent moral clarity and actual self awareness about the consequences of actions is not really his strong suit until at least season 3.
I rather think "Cogenitor" is one of the first times that he shows real awareness that imposing human values upon other civilizations isn't necessarily his mission.
My head canon is still that when the Federation formed, their charter banned slavery. So they were able to pressure the Vissians to grant cogenitors greater equality, in the right way.
Oh, I'd very much like to think that before too long Earth or the Federation formed stronger diplomatic ties with the Vissians (who generally seemed like a pretty decent race), and were able to combine their medical science to make the Cogenitors no longer necessary as incubators.
A person can be involved in reproduction and still be treated like a person, free to choose who to reproduce with, where to live, to read, and to have a name.
If there was a minority subset of humans who were required for the rest of the species to propagate, I don't especially have a lot of faith that they'd be treated any better.
It would have been interesting if things turned sideways and the cogenitors banded together and withheld their rare ability from the others, to gain a more honored position in their society.
It's possible that in the past, the cogenitors did stage an uprising to try to control society, or gain a more respected position, due to their essential nature - but it didn't go well. Maybe the pendulum swung far in the other direction, and the cogenitors not only lost whatever favored status they had, but lost all rights, even the right to an education. And eventually they reached their present "pet" status in society. Might be that some cogenitors were still pampered and valued tremendously, while others were just taken for granted and treated like living bric-a-brac, mostly ignored on the shelf. (Like pets in our society today.)
Or maybe society was once equal, with the cogenitors in a place of honor, and the uprising was led by the "normal" males and females who wanted to be in charge, and they feared the cogenitors would wrest control from the government and rule themselves. Because c'mon, cogenitors had all the power, the power over procreation.
For another perspective on a third gender used for procreation, remember the TV series "Alien Nation"? The binnaum, the rare third gender (male, but needed for procreation) were valued, even revered by most Newcomers, and some lived in quasi-reiigious retreats, while others married just like everybody.
Well look what would happen if that happened on Earth. Now if the Cogenitor "race" if you will, was in equal numbers to the rest of the population, a some what 1/3 split, it would just be a Thruple type of "marrage" or ones that arn't monagamus and go around to other couples for there services, treated like the rest of society.
Now, with the Cogenetor being a rare race, you have the typical thing of rare items, coveting, so probably back in the day, they were like HandsMaid tail, where they were kept as slaves pretty much. and that evolved into cogenetors being traded and used as society wishes, and cogenetors treated as cattle.
But I agree with Trip in that, the treatment of the cogenitors was bad, and needed reform. Yes they are needed for reproduction, but not having any kind of life other than baring Children? Thats just not right.
Statistically, a couple is only trying to conceive a child for a small fraction of their lives. Either (a) they conceive in a few months, (b) there are fertility issues, or (c) the mom is simply not able to carry a child (like Ellie in "Up" ). Because there is one cogenitor for each 16 couples (3% to ~48% each for men and women), that's enough cogenitors to allow them to circulate around, do their job in the bedroom (seems awkward, but I guess the Vissians have learned to deal with it), and still have time for proper schooling, reading books, holding a job that allows for frequent relocation, and even the occasional mountain climbing trip.
Are you projecting human biology onto the Vissians?
Seems like they are needed during procreation, but not carry a child, so, as I understand, the Cogenitor lives with the couple as there trying to concieve, and are there during "business" providing some type of enzyme, or other, somehow during copulation.
My thought would be instead of treated like a, commodity, or beast of burden, they'd be well respected, and taken care of by the families that need there services where they live with them, and then after they move along to the next couple. Have Laws that forbid the other genders from mistreating them while under there roof, I guess something like Adoption, having minimum financial, home, etc. to care for the Cogeniter while they are trying to have a baby.
But again that doesn't mean the Cogeniter can't have a job during the day, and "Help" at night when needed.
My only thing if they requested Federation membership would be to treat the cogeineter gender as equals in society.
We simply don't know enough about their culture to draw any solid conclusions. We got less than an hour of exposure to it.
True. It would be fascinating to find out more.
I think they show up in the Romulan War novels, but I'm not 100% on that. If they do, I'm pretty sure the cogenitors aren't really a part of it.
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