Kirk’s Comment in Elaan of Troyius

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Spock's Barber, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Defiler-Of-Redshirts

    Defiler-Of-Redshirts Commander Red Shirt

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    Sexist or not I loved the scene when she slapped Kirk and he slapped her right back without missing a beat, calmly scolding, "That's no way to treat someone who's telling you the truth." No humanoid being is entitled to behave as horrifyingly hilarious as the Dohlman rabid monster did, regardless of gender. Talk about "The Taming of the Shrew!"

    Elaan was so comically vile, during the engine room tour she told Scotty, "Engines are for mechanics and menials" and told Kirk, "We have already given your crew permission not to kneel in our presence, what more do you want from us?" There was also a scene in which she threw a knife at Kirk, Kirk looked at the knife stuck in the wall and quietly told her, "Tomorrow's lesson will be on courtesy."

    She screams, "I DID NOT GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO LEAVE!!!" And Kirk sneeringly replies, "I didn't ASK for any."
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Am reminded of a case several years ago when I reprinted some old SF stories that had originally been published in the fifties. With the author's permission, I quietly "fixed" some of the more dated passages.

    Changing "the senators and their wives" to "the senators and their spouses," that kind of thing. Given that the stories took place on Earth centuries in the future, during an advanced era of spaceships and computers, that kind of casual 50s sexism stood out like sore thumb now and dated the book unnecessarily.

    The author, who happened to be a woman, by the way, agreed. She saw no reason to preserve those bits just because they were a product of the time.
     
  3. Spocktoberfest!

    Spocktoberfest! Commodore Commodore

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    I agree but I don't cringe at all. I don't have a problem with it at all. People read way too much in a casual comment now is the biggest difference between now an the 60s, IMO.

    We are nearing a time where any comment is offensive in some way and comedy will be impossible.
    Do I want us to be ok with things meant to denigrate others for a cheap laugh? No!
    But is Kirk putting down women or just observing how they react. Vulcan women are presumably logical, non-Vulcan women most likely are not. He was saying this back to Spock as he was wondering how Kirk came to a logical conclusion based on emotionality, a know weak point for Spock. This was Kirk's light hearted one liner explanation rather than a serious discussion that would have taken longer than the episode. I don't find Kirk to be sexist anywhere.

    Some people in the show are, but for the most part it really isn't sexist. The worst one I can think of is Ben Childress "rolling his eyes about female cooking" That's a completely different situation and he was intending to put Eve down. That clearly not what Kirk did, ever. Even Crater's "you know how women are, I prefer solitude" is much more sexist, as if he knows what ALL women like, and he isn't even trying to be hurtful, just stating his world view.

    I think dismissing this as a "product of the time" rather than a sincere analysis is just side-stepping the issue. And again, the real change is today's attitude of pedantic picking apart of everything rather than any true "enlightenment", thereby making the hyper-critical give themselves a boost of ego thinking how much better they are.
     
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  4. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You don't need to be hyper-critical to find sentiment that women are inherently illogical to be blatantly sexist, and frankly it doesn't tell anything good about you if you don't.
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Looks like you're maybe falling off the post-not-poster wagon, pardner. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  6. Spocktoberfest!

    Spocktoberfest! Commodore Commodore

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    I take no offense from your statement.

    And some sensitivity is certainly warranted now as it has been lacking at times. But I don't find the statement of Kirk's to say "women are inherently illogical" I find it to say, non-Vulcans are emotional creatures and an emotional response can be predicted. I think it's all down to interpretation, if I interpreted in the way you do, I'd certainly see a problem with it. I don't so I do not.
     
  7. Cold Spot

    Cold Spot Vice Admiral Admiral

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    More that it will require wit, the lack of which is the root cause for many a mother in law joke.
     
  8. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh come on!!! Can't we find something ELSE to be outraged, shocked and offended at? This was a throw-away line from a 50 year old TV show!! Apparently most people get that since only a few are shocked that people didn't cry about it. I wish people would quite being offended at just about everything these days!! :)
     
  9. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Correcting myself and the record, said comment does NOT do anything I claimed above. It comes at the episode's midpoint, and after Petri is stabbed. Kirk says it to Spock right after the fun scene where Kirk engages the Morg-like guards outside Elaan's quarters, and then Spock suddenly Phaser Twos them into stunland. They are then welcomely removed to the brig, where they should have been placed far earlier.

    And I rewatched EoT this morning; I had already planned to do so before this thread, because I hadn't seen it in a long time, but this sealed my plans. It's a pretty good episode!! Shatner's acting is on point, Spock is excellent throughout with good lines ("our ghost has materialized"), every member of the eight-person ensemble is used (although Ms. Barrett's delivery of her lines is atrocious), and the bridge action is really gripping. Kirk even thanks Sulu and Scotty for their excellence in defeating the enemy ship, and Spock spends a lot of time making logical use of his scanner and sensors (which are, for once, not obscured by some alien interference). There's even a lot of engineering, and Klingons! Elaan wasn't as bad or hard to take as a character as I remembered either. And then Kirk simply shrugs off the Elasian tears at the end like a boss.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  10. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's true that the overlords of society today have ruined everything! You cannot say a word today about anything without offending someone somewhere!!! Kirk's comments back in the sixties were not offensive then and have only been made that way today due to people trying to control the thoughts and minds of it's citizens!:brickwall:
    JB
     
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  11. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Agreed, it's a pretty solid bottle episode overall. With that and Spectre Of The Gun, season 3's production was off to a promising start!
     
  12. BK613

    BK613 Commodore Commodore

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    I think one should remember, in TOS anyway, that the opposite of "logical" is "emotional." Especially when you are referencing the Vulcans in any way.
     
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  13. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    But Kirk actually said women,
    If he said "Vulcan is the only planet where men are logical": I'd have a good belly laugh and tell men not to be so hyper-sensitive if they were unjustifiably unhappy with the comment. ;):)

    Throw-away lines, uniform colours, Rahda;s hair are what these forums are all about.

    I'm sure its not the illogical females throughout this galaxy that are the overlords running society.
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Or maybe we can just acknowledge that older shows have stuff that hasn't aged well and that it's okay to notice that, even with regards to stuff we love.

    It's not some sort of insidious mind-control. It's progress, which is what Star Trek is supposed to be about. Attitudes that were once acceptable are now seen as something to improve on--and better left behind in the past. Doesn't mean we have to banish "Elaan" to the dustbin of history, but let's not react defensively when old-school sexism is called out as . . . old-school sexism. It's okay to acknowledge that when it came to women, TOS was often two steps forward, one step backwards. That's not an attack on our beloved TOS. Just an acknowledgement that times have changed for the better since the 1960s, at least as far as sexual equality is concerned.
     
  15. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not even suggesting that, Commish, but those that are, are trying to rule us by the divide and conquer theory! While we fight amongst ourselves we are not fighting them which is what we should be doing!
    JB
     
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  16. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So you won't scream FIRE THE CANON if TOS episodes were ever revamped for the modern audience? ;)

    Yeah I miss the 'good ole days' when it was ok to offend people based on things they had no control over ..you know stuff like skin color, gendar, and sexuality, all that unimportant stuff. At least in TOS they offend aliens instead of their fellow enlightened human beings. :rolleyes:
     
  17. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well I see your point, Nyota! But as someone who has never been rude to a person of colour, or the others you have mentioned. I find that people of all races, sexualities and the like can take a joke and can give it out to without being nasty! But with the politicians sticking their nose into our affairs we find we have to be careful how we breathe at night as well as many other things! :)
    JB
     
  18. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Just trying to see what other TrekBBS members think....:cool:
     
  19. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    I would rather be outraged over the deliberately offensive humor in all the raunchy cartoons that have been extremely popular the last couple decades.

    Kor
     
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  20. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I miss the days when you could speak your mind without having to concern yourself if someone was going to be offended, no matter how inoffense your comments were.