"Cogenitor" discussion

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by HopefulRomantic, Oct 22, 2019.

Tags:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    cuddling my Grogu plushie
    The last "Cogenitor" thread has been dead for over a year, so here is a new one for y'all to start fresh.

    The existence of people who defend Archer's actions = the writers thinking the Taliban's enslavement of women was correct? There seems to be a lot of connective tissue missing from these two statements, so I'm a little unclear on what you mean. Would you please clarify?
     
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    In the movie Clue there's this scene:

    Mrs. White: "He threatened to kill me in public."

    Ms. Scarlet: "Why would he want to kill you in public?"

    Wadsworth: "I think she means he threatened, in public, to kill her."

    Ms. Scarlet: Oh.

    [​IMG]

    Which is to say, "no, that'd not what I meant."

    In my case, I thought it was an indictment of the Taliban and their treatment of women so Archer's anger is grossly misguided and his choice not to grant her asylum is despicable. However, I've seen a lot of people who argue that it was Trip in the wrong versus Archer--which seems ludicrous as Star Trek is not the kind of place you'd argue against teaching a woman to read or respecting a culture that denies it.

    It seems I may be drawing conclusions that weren't meant and the Congeniture was NOT a commentary on oppression of females, though--which means I think its social satire may be very very flat.
     
    Rey likes this.
  3. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    With Aloy in the Frozen Wilds
    I think it can be open to many interpretations, I viewed Trip as both acting right and wrong at the same time, and possibly putting at risk relations with a friendly alien species.
     
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Congenitors are not female.

    The one congenitor that we saw superficially seemed to look female, and maybe, although doubtfully, other congenitors may superficially look male, since gender specific hormones are a strong component on outward appearance.

    This is completely more so about slavery than female rights, and slavery is bad. Although if you put in the time, from birth, a slave can be so indoctrinated that they do not even know that they are a slave, which is what may have happened here, since the congenitor's world exploded the moment a man treated her like a person.
     
    Delta Vega and Gingerbread Demon like this.
  5. Takeru

    Takeru Takeru - Space Police Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany, EU, Earth
    No, mostly because the cogenitor wasn't female, the male and female vissians seemed to have equal rights. It is about oppression but not of women and in this case an argument can be made that forcing a cogenitor into service is necessary because they are so rare. Conscripting people into military service is still an acceptable practice on earth after all and arguably allowing the next generation of vissians being born is more important than having an army because it's literally about the survival of the species (how a species with such a weird way to reproduce that absolutely requires a rare cogenitor could flourish in the first place is another question or why they didn't just synthesize the cogenitor enzyme, seems like that should be a priority for them).
    Not allowing them to read etc. is obviously bad and shouldn't happen but Archer was right not granting the cogenitor asylum, it's none of his business how the vissians run their society especially considering how little they actually knew about it.
    What he was wrong about was chewing Trip out for thinking he did what Archer would do and telling him how wrong he is about that when this is EXACTLY what Archer would have done if he had the hots for the cogenitor with T'Pol advising against it because she knows better and Archer ignoring her.


    Again, not a woman (that the actress is a human woman doesn't change that) but it absolutely that place, 90s Trek is full of examples of letting bad things happen because "prime directive, can't get involved" like Soren being brainwashed against her will into losing her gender or several examples of an entire planet's population being killed and Picard acting like "Well, shit happens, not our problem".
     
    HopefulRomantic and sekundant like this.
  6. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    The Great Barrier
    I just simply can't get round the obstacle of having a gender that is not male or female
    The whole concept of a third gender doesn't make any sense to me
    Species of all shapes and sizes procreate, and to procreate there has to be a male and female
    If "Cogenitor" was an analogy on slavery, it was a bit too over subtle for its own good.
    Maybe
     
    Charles Phipps likes this.
  7. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    NX01 Bridge
    So many get into trouble by viewing the cogenitor's "situation" through human eyes with human rights as their justification for praising Trip's actions and sticking a knife in Archer's back for returning "it".

    From what we've witnessed this is the assumption I've come to with regard to how "it" is treated within the Vissian society.

    The one cogenitor we know, learned to read etc and obviously couldn't handle the knowledge/status within their society. We do learn that cogenitors make up only about 3 percent of their population so protecting them would seem to be mandatory for their species survival. Could it be that one day in their history, the cogenitors were so powerful that the "masses" had to rally to overtake them to survive? Could it be that the cogenitors aren't emotionally stable enough to handle knowledge and freedom and the way "it" is treated is mandatory for their survival? I tend to believe the latter because of the suicide and how open the Vissian's were to the Enterprise crew. If this advanced civilization wanted to hide any knowledge of the treatment of the cogenitors it would have been very easy.

    I just wish we could have had one more scene on the Vissian's vessel that could have shed some light on this.

    What makes this episode so good, is that it could have been a great TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY episode as well.

    Love Archer’s lambasting of Trip. He deserved it for sure and Archer didn’t let him off the hook.

    This episode took us where 'Dear Doctor' should have. Archer should have helped the Valakian’s and there should have been grave consequences as a result. This is a true “Prime Directive” episode.

    Hats off to another wonderful SCI-FI performance by Andreas Katsulas. He was a truly gifted actor.
     
  8. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    The Great Barrier
    Agree on Archer's treatment of Trip
    Trip stepped way over the mark in this episode, leading to the situation that made the Cogenitor feel so emotionally unstable that "it" saw no other solution bar suicide.
    Also agree about the Vissian's and their openness with Archer and the Enterprise crew, if the Cogenitor or any other Cogenitors on their ship were such a big dark secret, then they wouldn't have been so open, frank and helpful.
     
    Yanks likes this.
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    When the Taliban strip away female rights, to the point that they have no rights, they are neither female nor human from a certain point of view, and might as well he a third gender treated always like a thing and never like a person.
     
  10. unimatrix7

    unimatrix7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    Amazing episode.

    Does anyone really believe Rick Berman and Brandon Braga wrote it though? :guffaw:
     
    Gingerbread Demon likes this.
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Re: A Third Gender

    It's not a terribly complex idea here and actually isn't that far off from real biology. Phlox said that the Cogenitor is required to provide an enzyme for couples to reproduce. Basically, like an insect they make a "Royal Jelly" that would provide an essential part of the reproduction process somehow, perhaps allowing the women to enter a fertility cycle or the men to reproduce. It's a weird thing but evolution doesn't actually 100% make sense. It just means the people who have traits have survived long enough to reproduce with them.

    Re: Not a male or a female

    An allegory is basically what Star Trek is all about. The fact Charles isn't male or female doesn't change the fact that they mostly track to the oppression suffered by women across history. The fact women are needed for the reproduction cycle, treated like crap, not taught to read, and have committed suicide when denied a chance at a normal life is pretty common. I feel like this is basically THE HANDMAID'S TALE in Star Trek.

    Except, Archer is, like, "No, back to Gillead, Offred!"

    The Prime Directive was created by Gene Roddenberry so Kirk could angst about breaking it for the greater good.
     
    Rey and Yanks like this.
  12. KJY

    KJY Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    I think the writers wanted to contrive a situation where it seemed logical or even necessary to oppress and enslave a particular group without any regard to how biologically implausible it is.
    It sort of reminds me of several aliens on Voyager like the Ocampa, whose females could only birth one child in their lifetime, or the two alien species who tried to assimilate Harry and Lindsay Ballard, who seem to rely on technology to convert other species somehow.
    You can probably imagine how the situation might resolve itself in a free society. Maybe the cogenitors would make a living selling their services or someone would synthesize the enzyme. But it isn't really at all plausible that the species would evolve this way in the first place.
     
    Charles Phipps likes this.
  13. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    With Aloy in the Frozen Wilds

    Says who? Evolution isn't a finite law or rule and life may take many forms even non carbon based. The latter is yet to be proven but not impossible.
     
    Rey likes this.
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Ants have only one breeder, a bunch of workers, and drones to fertilize.

    This confuses me. IS there any reason to oppress and enslave them? I don't get any. I mean, so they're 'needed' to breed. 3% of the population is still a pretty big amount. No reason why they can't be educated or free,
     
  15. KJY

    KJY Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Probably not, now that you mention it. The natural sexual instincts of this species evolved under these conditions, so their natural behavior would lead to adequate reproduction without the need for any societal structures.
    It still doesn't make any sense that they could evolve this way in the first place though. Imagine a small hunter-gatherer tribe where each copulation only had a 1 in 33 chance of producing one of the sexes required for reproduction.
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    "Hi Chuck, if you have sex with three couples every day for the rest of your life, of our choosing, you're allowed to live a relatively unfettered life of reading and surfing... Although there will be consequences if you miss even one booty call, becuase that will effect our bottom line, so we'll beat you senseless and lock you in a box with no food until you figure out your priorities. "

    You're assuming that these folkes live a human length life span.

    What if they live for 2000 years, which would mean that its in the planets interest to keep these people with an impossibly low birthrate?
     
  17. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I think if anyone with advanced super technology that keeps people enslaved (or even low technology) is pretty much not getting any bennies from me.

    I also find it bizarre someone would argue Star Trek would ever go with a rationalization for that.
     
  18. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Saving that congenitor might have lead to Earth getting blown up, or redressed as a slave farm, if murdering and eating Archer's crew didn't level the scales.

    Diplomacy, stops open warfare with weapons of mass destruction.

    Diplomacy is telling an asshole that they are a very fine person, when they can beat or hurt you in a fair fight.

    Saving one congenitor might start a war.

    Saving all the congenitors, leaves this species a barren dead end, for as long as they are willing to accept Human arrogance as wrote.

    ...

    In the last thread, I suggested that they had the tech to artificially create the enzyme, or devising a milking program, imagine that you could sell a milk bottle of pee for a thousand dollars, whenever... What would your life would be like? You'd be hunted by assholes who would turn you into a cow, but if they can continue without enslaving an entire gender, and they are still keeping these people in pens... Hipsters seeking the authentic experience.

    Why do we still eat meat, when the vegetarian alternatives are almost tolerable?
     
  19. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I feel like this argument basically ignores the entirety of Star Trek as a whole. When have our captains ever let injustices slide for realpolitc? The whole point of our adventure shows are about our Captains standing up for the Federation's principles of human rights, dignity, alien rights, freedom, and blah blah puppies.

    I mean, literally, on every other show we have the captains standing up for individuals and so on.

    Humans are supposed to be better than they are today.

    I also point out there's another sci-fi show about a race suffering a fertility crisis and the oppression of a class of fertile members of society in order to guarantee childbirths.

    [​IMG]
     
    Rey likes this.
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Asylum is just patently given out in the case of Hugh or those kids from Voy Innocence, by Geordi and Tuvok's prerogative. Janeway had a trial to determine if Quinn was sane enough to request Asylum, and what was the deal with Q, in Q-Less? Was he just a passenger, or did he have asylum too? Picard called defending Q from his past victims "A full time job".

    When Archer and T'Pol are off the ship, Tucker has the authority to grant Asylum... So it was her job to shut it down, and she probably tried? I suppose that he could have granted the congenitor asylum if T'Pol was asleep or off duty, which is underhanded and sneaky.

    If the congenitor hadn't offed herself, we would have been probably looking for a trial to determine if the congenitor was capable/aware enough to request asylum... In the same way that Canada wouldn't grant asylum to an American 4 year old in the middle of a tantrum about eating green beans.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.