News Star Trek: Discovery Nominated for GLAAD Award

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by AutoAdmin, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A better moral the episode could have presented is that it doesn't work at all. That conversion therapy is entirely BS.

    Because there are most certainly people who believe that a lobotomized person is better than a "confused" person.
     
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  2. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commodore Commodore

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    Like this lovely person and the many people who gave him victims to cripple:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Jackson_Freeman_II#Lobotomy

    So the episode addressed that issue briefly as well. My impression was that it clearly showed that their 'treatment' turned people society forced into this procedure into different personalities that society found more acceptable.
     
  3. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which is exactly what people who force gay people into conversion therapy hope will happen. They often don't care about the actual welfare of the person involved; they just want the person to not be gay anymore.
     
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  4. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commodore Commodore

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    which makes the episode a good comment on precisely that
     
  5. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Commodore

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    One of the reasons I didn't care much for TNG when I watched it in its first run was the fact that it made an effort to be safe, inoffensive and avoided pushing hardly any envelopes unlike TOS, and perhaps that's why it captured the widest audience of all the shows in the franchise. However, boldly going it wasn't.
     
  6. MrPicard

    MrPicard Jean-Luc's Loving Husband Premium Member

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    Yeah, I can't really disagree with this. TNG did play it TOO safe sometimes, especially in matters of gender/sexuality. The show is downright dreadfully heteronormative. (If it didn't have Jean-Luc it most likely wouldn't be my favorite anyway... but... sssh... lol.)
     
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  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, it doesn't, because the episode pushes the idea that conversion therapy does work, in the sense of giving homophobes exactly what they're hoping for.

    "Well, Soren may or may not be brain-damaged now, but at least they're not 'confused' any more. Net improvement!"

    I'm curious as to whether you saw the episode when it originally aired, because, especially at the time, that was a terrible message to be sending.
     
  8. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Take it sleazy Moderator

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    It almost works better as an allegory for trans people, even though it wasn’t the intent. But the writers confused sexual identity with gender and that’s why you should at least have LGBTQ people in the room if you’re going to write about them.

    Still it’s pretty awful given how it ends and it’s a terrible message to send to LGBTQ viewers, although that was also not the intention. It ends up doing more harm than good and makes conversion therapy look successful when it isn’t and just tortures people until they go along with what you say. They either end up coming out later or sadly killing themselves. To even accidentally promote is one of the worst sins Trek ever made.
     
  9. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Take it sleazy Moderator

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    She should have slipped a message to Riker, he plays it and it’s revealed that she’s still herself since the process doesn’t work and she’s going to work on changing her society to be more accepting. Maybe she says goodbye forever or leaves it open for a future hookup, whatever gets the better reaction from Frakes.
     
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  10. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commodore Commodore

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    That portrays the culture as cruel and merciless concerning individual freedom, which was the point. Had it not even worked, they would have been just stupid, and Soren could still have left with Riker with her personality intact. The twist that Riker lost her because she was forcefully altered made it much stronger in comparison.

    The Beles hunting the Lokais also seems to have worked to some degree. Would it have been better if the Lokais couldn't even been captured? No, it would've been pointless. To portray the J'naii as the bad guys, they need to be dangerous and ruthless about the issue, not just incompetent. Should the Vulcans in ENT Stigma not have fired the melders? Should the death chambers on Eminiar have malfunctioned so nobody died?

    I saw it in the early 90s, I think, but was too young to recognize what they were actually addressing.
     
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  11. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Take it sleazy Moderator

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    I get that the point of it is cruelty, but that was sort of the “positive” portrayal of LGBTQ people at the time. They were objects of pity with short tragic lives. Which may engender sympathy in cishet people, but is just another reminder for LGBTQ people that it’s your fate to be miserable and suffer. That you can be “fixed” if you give up everything you know about yourself, that the core element of your identity is an illness. When you’re still in the closet or very young and trying to figure out who you really are this can be traumatic.
     
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  12. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commodore Commodore

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    It was clearly shown that it's that culture that treats them like that, and that everyone on the Enterprise finds it very problematic (maybe except Worf XD). So in the Federation, our future, the issue is long gone, like all the other things Trek has always addressed by showing an alien culture still having them and the heroes addressing how we've had similar issues and overcame them cause we realized we were wrong. This is the same type of story.
     
  13. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suppose the inescapable issue is whether it should be considered "good" in the sense of telling a good story, or in the sense of sending a good message to the viewing audience.

    The episode is clearly coded as a 'message' episode, and given the controversies of the time, I would accept a reduction of quality of the episode in favor of sending a better message. The episode itself seems to hew in the other direction, and as a gay man growing up at the time, yes, I hold that against them. Their intentions may have been good, but you can pave a road with good intentions.
     
  14. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If I'm reading what you're saying correctly, then apparently most of Our Heroes don't find it problematic enough that they're willing to do anything about it other than Riker, who's not objective, and Worf, who's perhaps mostly just helping out a friend.

    And IIRC there isn't any point in the episode where non-heterosexuality is even raised as a historical reference point.

    And now I'm wondering why Soren didn't request asylum, as I don't recall that being raised during the episode.
     
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  15. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commodore Commodore

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    "It is not unnatural. I am not sick because I feel this way. I do not need to be helped. I do not need to be cured. What I need, and what all of those who are like me need, is your understanding and your compassion. We have not injured you in any way. And yet, we are scorned and attacked. And all because we are different. What we do is no different from what you do. We talk and laugh. We complain about work and we wonder about growing old. We talk about our families, and we worry about the future. And we cry with each other when things seem hopeless. All of the loving things that you do with each other, that is what we do. And for that we are called misfits and deviants and criminals. What right do you have to punish us? What right do you have to change us? What makes you think you can dictate how people love each other?" - Soren

    "Did it occur to you that she might like to stay the way she is?" - Riker

    That's very clear and powerful to me. Sure, they could have done more, but I think they made it clear how backwards and inhuman the J'naii were.
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While also making it clear that if people are determined to pursue conversion therapy, it works.

    The people most willing to send others into conversion therapy aren't the ones who are concerned about how backward and inhuman their actions might look, because to them being non-heterosexual is worse, and if the end result is that the converted now identify as heterosexual, then mission accomplished.

    The people who would send others into conversion therapy are the people who think it would be better if the gays "went away" or perhaps "I wish they could all be put on an island...and then the island nuked."

    Do these sound like people concerned about how backward or inhumane they sound?
     
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  17. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Take it sleazy Moderator

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    I know what it is, but that isn't the point. It's a terrible message and it's harmful because of what happens to the character. She's just a plot point, existing only to suffer. I saw this as a child and I'm a trans woman, although I didn't really understand that at the time. It's complicated. So I was just utterly confused as to what I was going through. I saw this a character who seemed to be going through something similar at least to what I felt, but it ends like that. It makes you feel worthless. I don't think you're taking into account how it might actually affect viewers.
    Yeah, if that episode was anything to go by humanity is purely hetereosexual with two genders with defined roles. Which is laughably outdated now.

    They could have easily added a line about how humans used to persecute other humans who were considered different, but they've evolved beyond that and humanity celebrates it's variety.
     
  18. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commodore Commodore

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    They say they can't interfere because of the prime directive.
    They didn't need to explicitly address LGBTQ by name, just like they didn't have to in Stigma or LTBYLB.
    Riker offered Soren asylum, but they dragged her away. When he lied to protect her, she said she didn't wanna lie and hide any longer.
     
  19. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For the audience this episode was intended to bring hope to, they absolutely did need to explicitly address LGBTQ by name, and it was cowardly and a betrayal of ST's allegedly progressive stance that they failed to do so.

    And as Awesome Possum illustrated, it would have taken them all of ten seconds to add a line to that effect.
     
  20. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Take it sleazy Moderator

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    Which she doesn't get to do, she's basically dead.

    I'm glad Trek got over trying to bury LGBTQ people as allegory and focused on them as people. They've never managed to make it work until Culber and Stamets, I hope it's more like this going forward.