Stigma & The AIDS Allegory

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by thatklingonbitch, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. thatklingonbitch

    thatklingonbitch Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Although it was an entertaining episode, the logic of the "Melders" was mindless to say the least. Surely just because one has the ability to meld, this doesn't mean they have to meld - especially if a possible consequence of melding is to contract the life threating illness.

    This can also be seen in regards to AIDS to. Surely if one is to have sex, they should take all the neccessary actions to maintain their protection as to not get AIDS. If one does not take the neccessary precautions, should they not be held responsible for contracting the illness by not taking the neccessary precautions?

    The illness in "Stigma" is obviously caused by the act of melding, and passing the virus on through a meld, so the question should be asked, should these vulcans be melding at all if they know the consequences, at least until a cure has been found for the deadly illness?

    =TKB=
     
  2. ThankQ

    ThankQ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe there is an interal need to meld, like there is to have sex.

    Look, it doesn't have to be perfect. The idea was "doing this means you are bad" isn't a great way to go about your day.

    That's Trek.
     
  3. ThankQ

    ThankQ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And besides, T'Pol was a Meld-rape victim. Surely you don't hold rape victims responsable for contracting AIDS from their rapists?
     
  4. thatklingonbitch

    thatklingonbitch Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^

    I wasn't talking about T'Pol individually, I was referring to natural "Melders."

    But rape is very different from a consensual act, and If I remember correctly in "Fusion", T'Pol did indeed to consent to the meld - halfway through it though she wanted to bail out.

    =TKB=
     
  5. dex

    dex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^

    Therein lies the problem, even in today's society. When does "yes" mean "no"? I doubt she knew what she was getting into.
     
  6. ThankQ

    ThankQ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay...sorry...let's get off rape. Tread lightly, here
     
  7. thatklingonbitch

    thatklingonbitch Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Surely she did though, as in "Stigma", the "Melders" were regarded as being a very dangerous group in Vulcan society. And judging from her initial reaction in "Fusion", she new exactly how dangerous these outsider vulcans and their fellow "Melders" were.

    But even so, she was edged on to get to know the Vulcans in "Fusion" by both Archer and Phlox, which most likely changed her viewpoint in one way or another about the "Melders", thus putting her in the dangerous situation.

    =TKB=
     
  8. dex

    dex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, Vulcan society portrayed them as dangerous. They portrayed themselves simply as another lifestyle. They even had a statue of Surak abroad, which probably convinced her that her elders were exaggerating the danger.
     
  9. thatklingonbitch

    thatklingonbitch Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Given the fact that she contracted a potentionally fatal disease from these offworld "Melders", don't you think that the majority of Vulcan society were justified in criticising and speaking of the dangers of the "Melder" lifestyle?

    After all, alot of homosexuals have the christian cross around their neck, even though that lifestyle is considered to be dangerous and abhorrent by alot of christians and the beliefs of many of them.

    =TKB=
     
  10. dex

    dex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No. All Islamic Terrorists are Middle Eastern. However, not all Middle Eastern people are Islamic Terrorists. You can never hold that kind of prejudice because it goes against the very ideas of an open minded and tolerable society. You can keep a close eye on them, but you shouldn't reprimand/exile them.
     
  11. thatklingonbitch

    thatklingonbitch Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That allegory is very different from that of the "Melders", in the fact that the "Melders" are taking part in actions that could lead to the infection of a life threatening illness, and it is clearly stated that NOT ALL Vulcans take part in the melding of minds, in fact it is only a small minority of the Vulcan Population.

    Also, most Middle Eastern people are totally against Terrorism - as are most Vulcans are against "Melds". So how does the view of Vulcans differ from those Middle Eastern countries against Islamic terrorism?

    Both terrorism and "Melding" can have serious consequences and can mean an extreme loss of life for Earth and Vulcan societies.

    =TKB=
     
  12. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And the guy kept the mind meld going after she wanted it stopped which can get a man convicted of rape in most, if not all, states in the USA. So the consent that initiated it (the mind meld) is basically revoked at that point.
     
  13. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    That's not completely true. She initially agreed to mind-meld and then decided she wanted to stop after it had gone on for a bit. only the part after she said "no-STOP" was forced on her. What if she contracted the viris in the early part of the session that she was still consenting to?

    Does her being a "rape victim" still mean anything with regards to contracting the syndrome?

     
  14. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    I agree, the episode's story could/should have been fine tuned/altered a bit. I agree it is reckless and incorrigible that the melders who are infected dont tell their potential "victims" (of the disease) that they are at risk of contracting same. However, I cant imagine how they'd prevent disease transmission... little condoms for the fingertips that are in contact with the recipients head? wouldnt THAT look funny?
     
  15. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    Didnt T'Pol also say that she experimented with her emotions when she was younger and was familiar with this sect's "philosophy?" I think she knew they werent dangerous to anyone but themselves (possibly) and the Vulcan Status Quo.


    I seriously doubt T'Pol is that weak-minded that she'd be talked into doing something she finds dangerous or even repulsive on the authority of 2 people who could not possibly know or understand what these offshoot Vulcans and their behaviors represent to Vulcans. Archer, in fact was COMPLETELY clueless about their ways. He probably just thought "hmm, Vulcans who eat Chef's chicken marsala cant be half bad"


     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    It's seriously doubtful that T-pol would be completely ignorant about something that seems to be so greatly stigmatized by her society.

    I do think she knew what she was getting into but she did it for what ever reason (poor judgment, curiosity etc.) To say what happened is rape is not entirely credible and some might even have a hard time saying it's date rape (although I'm sure a good scheister could get a conviction;)

    ABZ
     
  17. where'sSaavik?

    where'sSaavik? Vice Admiral Admiral

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    John Walker Lindh is a white kid from California IIRC, but I agree with your point. ;)

    It's an interesting point you raise, theklingonbitch, about the absense of "safe melds." However, as with all allegories there are inherent imperfections, and I think this might fall into that area. Overall, I think as "message" episode it worked very well. "Stigma" certainly exceeded my expectations, which were admittedly quite low.

    As for "safe" melds, it would be nice if in later episodes they could explore this. Obviously at some point the Vulcan civilization got over its ridiculous fear of melds and thus would have had to address the problem. Perhaps curing the disease or finding a way to immunize the public. However, with the "current" state of Vulcan society I'd find it highly unlikely that the necessary resources would be diverted to studying the problem to figure out a way to address it.
     
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    But rape is very different from a consensual act, and If I remember correctly in "Fusion", T'Pol did indeed to consent to the meld - halfway through it though she wanted to bail out.

    =TKB=

    [/QUOTE]

    I've since gone back and watched that episode and it was a type of rape IMO. He didn't hold her down physically and force her, but he did manipulate her into a vulnerable position and take advantage of the situation.

    She was unwise to spend time alone with him and even unwiser to refrain from meditation when she knew it would protect her.

    Tolarus on the other hand knew exactly what he was doing. T'Pol had her defenses down and he pushed all the right buttons. Yes, she is a consenting adult, but she was a neophyte when it came to emotions....from my woman's point of view it was rape!
     
  19. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    What if he had stopped right when she told him to and she was still infected?

    would/could she ever have been able to claim the infection was the result of a coercive mind meld?

     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That allegory falls apart on many levels, the two most prominent problems being:

    1. AIDS is not the disease of a "minority." Have the Beebs been shacking up with bin Laden in his cave? How could they not know that the majority of AIDS sufferers around the world are heterosexual?

    2. T'Pol is the wrong person to focus on in this story. Let's assume that most AIDS sufferers were gay, and the point of the story is to say that gay people are okay, even if they tend to contract AIDS. Does it make sense to have, as the main character of this story, a straight person who got AIDS because he/she was raped?