Is Uhura's uniform sexist?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Cheapjack, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Cheapjack

    Cheapjack Fleet Captain

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    My teacher said it was. She was a woman.

    I would say no, cos lots of women wore short skirts in the 60's and it was seen as empowering.

    Also, Uhura isn't a 'maiden', ie she's admitted to having lovers. She's wearing a very short skirt and she isn't a target for courtship. She hasn't been claimed by the alpha male in the room and he isn't fighting off all the other males, ie Kirk. In fact, most of them are ignoring her and just going about their work and letting her go about hers. She doesn't seem to be under any pressure date anybody, she may even be single, but you can see her legs!

    I think it's empowering. Why wasn't it extended much, during ST in the 80's 90's and 00's? Cos they'd already gone far enough and we had to digest it? Should they go further? What should they do?
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It depends on one's culture and personal social values, IMO. Some would say yes, some would say no.

    Others would consider it not so much sexist as impractical to wear aboard a starship. But even then it would kind of fall back on being impractical to a particular society's standard of modesty, because skirts were worn by male soldiers in ancient times for centuries, if not millennia, and nobody complained about them being impractical (but probably just very drafty at times)...

    IIRC, the TOS women's miniskirt uniforms actually were worn over shorts (albeit extremely short ones), so it wasn't exactly like they were flashin' panties.

    I just chalk it up that Federation style in general went through a "retro phase" during the TOS era and miniskirts became very fashionable for a short while and even made its way into Starfleet uniforms during that time.
     
  3. Cheapjack

    Cheapjack Fleet Captain

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    It was hinted in one of the 70's novelisations, that women sometimes go topless, in the 23rdC! And no-one bats an eyelid, just looks appreciatively!

    It was stated that some Greek or Roman cultures did this in past times. They have topless beaches in Spain, don't they?
     
  4. Michael

    Michael In alignment with canon Moderator

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    No, women in Europe don't even have breasts. :rolleyes:
     
  5. tau136

    tau136 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I heard an interview with Nichelle Nichols on TV once where she said she didn't find the costume demeaning or sexist. :confused:
     
  6. Cheapjack

    Cheapjack Fleet Captain

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    Why are you depressed?

    It's empowering. Women wore them in the 60's and were empowered.

    Uhura isn't 'owned' by anyone, she's flaunting her sexuality and she isn't being goosed or stared at or chased. She's single.
    Kirk hasn't staked a claim, he hardly looks at her, apart from professionally and he hasn't warned off every other male. either. He isn't being Mr False Protective.

    I think ST goes forward sometimes, then stops, for people to catch up. People haven't totally digested Encounter yet. Some of them sicked it up. Maybe it wasn't right food.
     
  7. Orcus

    Orcus Captain Captain

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    It's not sexist - it's sexy. There is a difference - and it's been explained already in this thread.

    And, this being the case, I've just realised this is a bit of a pointless relpy. Oh, well...
     
  8. Cheapjack

    Cheapjack Fleet Captain

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    ...and, i think I've done the explaining. Amazing, what you can learn, off the TV.

    Good show, Star Trek.
     
  9. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

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    Probably because the mini skirt was an in your face symbol of feminism back in the sixties.
     
  10. Cheapjack

    Cheapjack Fleet Captain

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    I wouldn't mind it if Nichelle Nicholls thrust her femininity in my face.

    :techman::techman:
     
  11. CommanderRaytas

    CommanderRaytas DISCO QUEEEEEEN Premium Member

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    Okay, bad mental image. I need a holiday. :p
     
  12. Cheapjack

    Cheapjack Fleet Captain

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    I think there will be sexuality-thrusting equality in the 23rdC.

    There is in my house.

    Actually, I think they will have evolved way beyond that. More recreational, less ego-driven, dominatory and more free, for both sexes.
     
  13. Rett Mikhal

    Rett Mikhal Captain

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    As long as you don't order her to crawl in front of you in the Jefferey's tubes.

    I believe that was one of the first gags Zapp Brannigan pulled off, going up a ladder with the skirt uniform to Kiff's displeasure.
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The miniskirt might have been a case of Starfleet's uniform code giving personnel some level of choice in their duty uniform, miniskirts were going through a period of popularity in the "civilian" fashion world and Starfleet women were allowed to emulate it. The miniskirt period would seem to have been relatively brief, no one was wearing them in WNMHGB and by the time of TMP they were gone. They were seen on occasion during TNG, so the option in the women's (and men's) uniform choices still exists.

    As C.E. Evans post points out, soldiers have worn short skirts, short skirts give a fighter more freedom of movement, not less. As the example of Chapel in WALGMO shows, the "stocking" that the women wear give just as much protection as the men's "leggings."

    :)
     
  15. Trek_princess

    Trek_princess Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    If TOS came out now, then, yes it would seems really cheap and objectifying for the female crewmembers to wear such revealing outfits - but in the sixties, it was a different social climate, and also miniskirts were really fashionable. So, I would say, no it's not sexist - it's cute.
     
  16. Trek_princess

    Trek_princess Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ok, this has nothing to do with the discussion, but I just love your avatar of the bunny with a pancake on its head - that is the most amazing thing ever.
     
  17. Melete

    Melete Ensign Newbie

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    Interesting fact: all trousers on the Kelvin. And, yes, IMHO it's sexist if it's a mandatory part of a uniform.
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk MSGT USAF 1947-1972 Premium Member

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    It wasn't "Uhura's uniform", but the standard unifotrm for all female members of Starfleet. A better argument could be made for the "one off" uniforms worn by Troi, Kira, Seven and T'Pol. Even the Ilia-Probe spends most of TMP wandering the ship in her micro-bathrobe.
     
  19. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    For a military uniform yea it's sexist to have that as the standard uniform.
     
  20. maneth

    maneth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not only sexist but impractical. There's a reason why you almost never see women on away missions.

    It would be one thing to have a miniskirt for the dress uniform, such as was the case early on in TNG, for both sexes (Picard has great legs!). Quite another to force women to wear revealing clothing because of their sex. (I had to wear a school uniform including a knee-length skirt while we lived in England for a year when I was 12, and refused to wear another skirt or dress until our equivalent of the American high school prom, I found the mandatory skirt so demeaning).

    Even granted that Starfleet personnel would be expected to keep themselves fighting fit and there wouldn't be any obese people in uniform, it still doesn't mean that everyone would feel comfortable wearing a miniskirt. I know someone who hates her knock knees so much she won't wear anything that reveals them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010