Stigma & The AIDS Allegory

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

  1. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    ^^^ something tells me the beebs werent counting on us examining their effort too closely... let the story generally be about a disease and generally about victimization as a result of same and they've done what they wanted to do. What a difference between this "allegory" and the DS9 episode aired in 97 or 98 for black history month about an African American Science Fiction writer's short story....about a Black Starship Captain... I cant remember the title but it was a fantastic homage/allegory story.
     
  2. Gorn 2001

    Gorn 2001 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think a lot of people fail to take into account the idea that infected Vulcans were stigmatized and refused medical care because of the way they contracted the disease. When they believed that T'Pol received the disease through forced exposure she was no longer stigmatized and was offered help.

    This is much like the plight of many AIDS sufferers, particularely during the early onset of the disease. If you got it from gay sex, it was bad, but oh those poor hemopheliacs! That was the point of the show.
     
  3. dex

    dex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps if you were more open minded...

    As for "No" during the action, the state of Illinois recently passed a law making it illegal for a partner to proceed with sex when the partner says no, even if it was during the middle of the act.
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Your posts are really great. Thanx! :)
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest


    I wasn't arguing the issue of when he stopped, but the means he used to get her to 'consent' in the first place. My arguement still stands, he took advantage of his superior knowledge of emotions, and the backlash they can cause in a Vulcan. That is really no different than taking advantage of superior physical strength to get what you want.
     
  6. Lady Conqueror

    Lady Conqueror Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I said this in another thread but I'll repeat it here too (it is repeat season after all :p )

    I've always wondered if T'Pol really got her Panar syndrome from Tolaris as she suspects. Depending on how close the different mind techniques are (as compared to how the Vulcans equate them in the 22nd Century), perhaps she contracted the disease from the mind-wipe she recieved (except it was latent/dormant in her system), but the double whammy of mental trauma from both the mind-rape and the returned memories in "The Seventh" triggered it.

    If TPTB go with this explanation and it comes out on the show somehow it could explain the seemingly quick reversal of stigma associated with mind-melds over other mental techniques that we don't see later in TOS.
     
  7. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, so now you're extending the definition of rape in favor of the recipient of an intimate act to absolve her of any responsibility??????

    is that what you're saying? that even if he did not proceed beyond the point he was no longer welcome to mind meld her, he's guilty of rape because she's not responsible for allowing him to do the meld?

    Im confused. Or, at least I hope I am. :eek:

    EDIT: your argument assumes she had no knowledge of the possible risks or ill effects, yet T'Pol was familiar with the definition of a mind meld (she actually said so in 'Fusion' before agreeing to one) and also familiar with panar syndrome (there's no indication of when she learned of the disease, but there's a good chance it was before Fusion occured, since she's a scientist). Finally, she had admitted to that rape guy in Fusion that she had experimented with unorthodox vulcan behaviors/thinking when she was younger. all of these details point to the fact that she did not go into the mind meld at a disadvantage borne of ignorance.
     
  8. Odie

    Odie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The problem I have with this, Lady C , it that her symptoms started occuring right after her meld in Fusion. The Doctor tells Archer in Stigma that he had known about her illness for "a little more than a year." That fits in with the meld in Fusion.

    The mind-wipe occured some seventeen years ago (actually 17 years from the Seventh). That's the timeline she gave Archer when discussing her past as an agent of the Minstry of Security.

    Do you think the disease laid dormant for seventeen years and then popped up right after her meld with Tolaris? Too coincidental for me.

    I can't agree with you, Lattelady , concering when the actualy violation occured in Fusion. Tolaris, to give him the tiniest, iota of crdeit, does forewarn T'Pol about the meld and it's level of intimacy, before they actually begin. He even offers to do a less intrusive "guided meditation" instead. It was T'Pol's decision to make and she chose the meld.

    I agree with you, Komet , the violation didn;t start until she said "stop". What occured before was concensual. Would anyone here consider that she had been violated if Tolaris had stopped immediately but she still had the disease and the tramua of flirting so close to her emotions?
     
  9. Lady Conqueror

    Lady Conqueror Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's part of what I was going for yes. That the trauma from the meld unlocked the dormancy of the disease. It's just something to think about though - I certainly wouldn't say that's "what happened" difinitively in my mind. Just an area TPTB could explore if they chose too (but they probably won't).

    I think Tolaris was manipulating T'Pol from the start, long before the meld was even suggested, although I don't disagree that she had some say in the matter.

    But really that's irrelevant - we don't know at what stage she contracted the disease and we probably never will - but we do know that he forced the meld on her during the operation.

    If your a victim, you don't compartmentalise the event into 'while i was agreeing' and 'when he actually raped me' - you lump it all together into the rape and that's what T'Pol has done. There will no doubt be an element of self-blame in there as well but the whole event does come under the banner of 'he raped me' whether you agreed to some of the activities or not.
     
  10. Odie

    Odie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks for taking the time to explain your concept a little more in depth. While I think it's a bit unlikely that the disease had such a long unnoticed dormant stage (wouldn't she have has physicals that should have detected it, and didn't the short doctor say defnitively that there was only ONE way to contract P'Narr Syndrome?) I do agree with your premis that it is possible.

    Your take on how a rape victim would view the whole deal is the first I've heard that sounded plausable. I can not speak from that prespective, thank god, but find your idea not only possible, but probable. That disconnect has always bothered me about Stigma. I kept getting so annoyed everytime it was stated that the meld itself was totally forced on her. Now I think I can get over that hump. I'm glad too because I loved the rest of the episode.
     
  11. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    I agree he had been playing "mind games" with her long before he suggested the mind meld, but unfortunately men and women and women and women and men and men do that sort of thing to each other all the time. It may be not be considered honorable behavior, but it's far from a precursor to rape. I would be less emphatic about this where the manipulator is an adult and the manipulated is not because the playing field is uneven, but in this case they were both adults.

     
  12. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    If Im not mistaken, isnt this kind of the case with Multiple Schlerosis? It can lay dormant and testing would only show you to possibly be predisposed to it but may never develop....but a unrelated traumatic event CAN then cause the disease to manifest itself.

    Anyone else hear about anything like this?

     
  13. Odie

    Odie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, Komet , I have heard something to that effect. There's many known viruses and such that have long dormancy periods. Also. and emotionally charged event could trigger such a thing. At least, it's not impossible, by any means.
     
  14. Lady Conqueror

    Lady Conqueror Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well I was thinking that they wouldn't bother testing for the disease in people who didn't have the mind-meld gene or whatever since they assume that's the only way to get it.

    At the moment it seems the Vulcans classify their mind techniques into different groups, with melds being an especially different type (and one that only a minority seem to be able to perform). Now if it turns out that their thinking is off slightly and all the mind techniques are more closely linked than they previously believed - mind-melds -> mind-wipes doesn't seem that huge a jump to me - then this would be one way that it could come out and therefore perceptions of this melding minority and the stigma of the disease would be able to fade out more rapidly.

    I also think they are too closely relating the Va'tosh Katur (Vulcans with emotions) with the melders. The Vulcan melding doctor didn't seem particularly more emotional than his counterparts even though he performed melds on a regular basis. It may be a more prevalent practice among those more willing to experience their emotions but not necessarily limited to those who do so.

    Not sure about MS Komet155. I hope someone else knows and can clear it up for us. sounds interesting.
     
  15. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    ^^^Do you think, in keeping with the conservativism that seems to be prevalent in Vulcan culture, that they dont use much of their telepathic powers (one of which I suppose is Mind Melding)? I remember reading that Vulcans dont like to be touched because they are can somewhat telepathically read someone who is touching them and it adds to the "noise" in their head. So, maybe in this "Vulcan Victorian Age" they felt any telepathic contact offensive as an invasion of privacy?
     
  16. Odie

    Odie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree, Lady C , you have done a good job in convencing me here. I think also that the Vulcans HAVE to be wrong about what they think is true in terms of the melders. We know that by TOS many vulcans meld and there is no stigma attached to it. Indicative, I think, of a sea change in their culture concerning the melds, their usefulness vs danger, melders in general, etc. They could easily be just as wrong about melding being the only cause of P'Narr Syndrome. And, yes, a mind wipe must be very like in nature to a mind meld. Both require intimate access to another's mind.
     
  17. Keen

    Keen Commander Red Shirt

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    This is my main problem with Stigma's message; it's 10-20 years late. If they wanted to have a pro-gay episode, they should have had one about gay marriage, or the stigma attached to same sex relationships in the present. It rings kinda hollow when AFAIK, there's never been a non-heterosexual character on Star Trek; every single time we see people get romantically involved, it's always hetero.
     
  18. Odie

    Odie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    To make Stigma current they could have stuck to the facts in Fusion, i.e. T'Pol initially consented to the mind meld. That would provide the device to explore why she would take such a risk. Why do people today still have unprotected sex? This is current and applicable. And they wouldn't have had to change the facts we saw in Fusion to make it work by turning T'Pol into some sympathic victim. She's reaping now what she has sown.
     
  19. Komet155

    Komet155 Commodore Commodore

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    ^^ very insightful, Odie
    ;)
     
  20. Odie

    Odie Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^^Thank you, my favorite tin-can of a clown!

    *sends air kisses to Komet *

    Can't help myself, he gets rusty when he blushes! :D