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Is Enterprise Sexist?
People think two women on ENTERPRISE is sexist?
That's two out of seven characters. Well, BUFFY's cast has seven main characters and only two are men. And one of them is the biggest screamer (Xander) of the cast. And the other guy (Spike) is considered the sex symbol of the show. (No catsuit but plenty of leather, tight shirts, peroxide blond hair, and attitude.) And no one has complained that that show is sexist.
In a patriarcharcal society...
Buffy is still an exception.
But Angel has more male characters than female...
So when is there going to be several Trek series to balance everything out. But the big difference between Buffy and a Trek series is that Buffy centers on Buffy, who as a woman is likely to have more close female friends than male firends. Whereas Trek is about future work place in which one would think that woman have achieved equality.
What about Giles? (sp?)
I think the biggest difference is that with Buffy it is dang near unprecedented to have such a predominantly female cast. A predominantly male cast is all too common so a cast as Buffy's is a refreshing change.
But Trek had been making real progress with its female characters. Uhura, being both black and female was ground breaking. Dr Beverly and Deanna were a step in the right direction, but as Marina said in the documentary the other day they were "both in the caring professions." Not bad, just stereotypical. Kira and Dax were a leap forward and obviously Kathryn Janeway was a giant step forward accompanied by B'Elanna Torres, Kes and Seven - an unprecedented step having so many women in the main cast. Not to mention incredible villains like the Borg Queen and Seska.
It feels like Enterprise slipped back several notches. I can recall only seeing two female extras and the two of our main cast are a sex symbol and a screamer. Granted these observations are based on one two-hour episode and one preview of the next episode but it is disappointing nevertheless. Sure after Voyager only two women is disheartening. But I was hoping to at least see more female extras than there were.
Arguments can be made that it is a mental jolt leaping from a series based in the latter part of the 24th century to a mid-22nd century based show. But I'm living in the early 21st century where female leaders are visible in all professional areas and the numbers have grown dramatically in the past 30 years. So I refuse to believe that 150 years from now that women would be so sorely underrepresented on a starship, no matter how dangerous this frontier they were heading into.
In Gene Roddenberry's world we are supposed to have grown past all those misconceptions and preconceived notions about people, cultures etc so naturally that includes the sexes. Wouldn't a good way to foster such changes in our present culture be to present it consistently in the franchise that has grown to represent what our future could be? Especially now?
As I said earlier in this post everything here is based on one two-hour episode and one promo for the next episode. I can very well be eating my words by the end of this season. What bothers me is that I felt the need to say the words at all.
I just don't get it.
Its a starship crew for crying out loud! When you pick a crew you pick the best people available for the team.
Starfleet does not sit down and say OK we need X number of males, X number of females, X numbers of this racial group, X numbers of this, X number of Vulcans, X number of gay characters.......waaah! ...that does not balance the books!!!! We need X number of dominant, Macho males, X number of of caring, sharing, sensitive males. We need strong, kick ass, females too...... its just totally unrealistic.
I just don't understand why people get sooo hung up about this. Its about how the crew gel together, getting to know their characters, seeing their adventures, sharing their experiences. How can anyone enjoy a show if they get so hung up on labels?
Don't get me wrong I am all for equality, those who have met me.. I am not a masogenist bigot am I?? It just irks me when it takes over the who darned assesement of the show. People are people irrespective of what gender, race, sexuality they are.
Tim...who has been brewing this rant for a long time.
Thank you Tim.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
No strong female characters? T'Pol looks like she can kick some serious butt when it comes time too. Besides, she's the won who did lead them in the right direction of the shuttle, and even found it for a rescue. Without Hoshi that mission was scrapped! So what if she screams a little. She DOES get the job done.
Giles is ... (SPOILERS)
leaving. Actually, he already left for England but might be back for a short period. But soon his character won't be around much if at all.
By a 3:2 or 4;2 margin, true.
Depending upon whether the Host is considered a regular. I don't think he's in the credits.
But most of the recurring characters and villains have been women. Kate, Faith, Darla, Drusilla, Lila Morgan, Anne. The only two men who come to mind, Carlton Manners and Lindsey, are dead or have left town. I guess Merl, the snitch demon, has some small roles.
I have to agree with Terry and Tim
I also have been thinking about this for a couple of days. I didn't see any indication of sexism at all. Archer went to Hoshi and practically begged her to join the crew because she was the best person for the job. T'Pol was shown as good at what she did. Yes, they dressed her in a catsuit, but hey -- they showed Trip and Archer in their jockey's.
And, frankly, the statistics weren't that much better in VOY if we're focusing on numbers. Three women, six men. Yes, one of them was the captain, but they always had trouble writing for her. Seven was a super woman (as T'Pol may turn out to be), and B'Elanna was underutilized. And, one rumor I've heard about VOYAGER, if true, shows the folly of just looking at numbers instead of characters. I've heard a couple of reasons as to why they got rid of Kes instead of Kim when they brought on Seven of Nine. And one is that they didn't want it to have too many women, particularly since the main character was female. Kes, IMHO, was the more interesting character, and, I think she might have interacted in a good way with Seven, as opposed to Kim, who just acted silly around her 99 percent of the time.
As for Hoshi being helped to the ship -- Well, if she's not a trained fighter, and it doesn't appear that she is, they should have helped her. I hope they help the doctor sometime. Heck, I hope they'd help me, and I have a couple of advanced degrees myself. But they wouldn't stop bullets or ray guns.
And high time somebody said it.
You can rant like this anytime, as far as I'm concerned.
I don't get it, either, Tim.
I just don't understand why people get sooo hung up about this. Its about how the crew gel together, getting to know their characters, seeing their adventures, sharing their experiences. How can anyone enjoy a show if they get so hung up on labels?
My primary demand on Enterprise or any TV show is to be entertained. I don't particularly care if it makes a social statement. Keeping an account of the characters' sex, race, etc. as a measure of the show's worth is ridiculous.
Finally, look at the numbers. Is Enterprise really so different from Voyager? Voyager never had more than 3 female characters at a time out of a total of 9. Enterprise has 2 female characters out of a total of 7. 3 of 9 or 2 of 7 look about the same to me.
Join the club
I have to say... it didn't occur to me to even count the male to female ratio, let alone start panicking about how it was unequal one way or the other. I was a little taken aback to find that anyone else was angsting about it, to be honest. Is it that big a deal? Not to me, I'm afraid.
If it had been seven males and no females, or possibly just one female who showed up at the beginning or end of every episode to kiss the captain as he left on his mission or returned from it, then yes... I'd be clamouring for a few changes. Because that would imply a belief that the females weren't up to the job. But from everything I've read, the seven crew members are as equal in their contributions to the crew as you can be in a hierarchical structure where somebody has to be captain. They're the best person for their job, or at least the best person available at the time.
Does it really matter that there are more males than females? You might equally easily say that the Vulcan to Human ratio is unfair, or the Human to whatever-race-Phlox-belongs-to ratio.
Re: I see Tim's point, but...
I'd feel better about it if the two women hadn't appeared shrink-wrapped and we hadn't had close ups of the T'Pol's high beams. And the one woman appeared helpless, kind of like Julia Adams in Creature From the Black Lagoon. What's next? Sprained ankles? The producers cashed in a lot of chips with me on the way the women were depicted. I don't remember seeing any other Vulcans in the other series shrink-wrapped. It's offensive to me. So, it's not so much the number of women, but how they are depicted.
And it just isn't likely, over two hundred years from now, that a spaceship will go up with so few women - and no Russians. No Germans, French, Chinese, Scandos... So far, Enterprise is fairly male and very Anglo and this just doesn't seem that realistic to me. I have no beef with any of the actors as characters, and I very well might end up liking this show (I didn't like Voyager at first either), but this just doesn't seem realistic to me.
Star Trek has always been about inclusion, not exclusion, and Enterprise seems to be taking a bit of a step backwards here.
The personal is political, but not only political
Despite my rants at times, im actually a pretty anti-PC guy--i hate the hygienic political correctness that substitutes for real engagement with political issues and art...i study Dead White Males, and love them, for a living...
In comments ive made about the dearth of female characters on ENT, ive expressed a disappointment that is more personal than it is political (im not sure if others here saw it the same way).
I have a predilection for female heroes, heroines are my cup of tea. I generally dont find the guys in scifi that interesting...Kyle from Terminator is kind of an exception...although, much as i have come to like Robert Patrick, i was brought up short to realize that i actually really missed Mulder last season. Anyway...
one of the main reasons why i loved VOY is the magnificent female characters on the shows, magnificent to me, anyway..and i always think of it as FOUR of them, not three.
this is not to say that i didnt like or care about the men on the show, but, with the exception of Doc or Tuvok, they often werent the center of my own idiosyncratic attention.
Since i dig female characters in scifi/action best, I have been disappointed to see only two women on the show. Here's where the personal does get political:
ENT--and let me add that im happy it's on and that im looking forward to watching it tonight--has been constructed specifically as the anti-VOY. it has a nearly completely white, male cast. presumably, these are the virtues of a demographic that Trek feels is a)crucial to its success, b)nearly lost to it, and c)worth grabbing at any cost.
As has been repeatedly pointed out to me, i have rushed to judgment on Archer, but he also seems to me to be a character written as a big F--k You to Janeway while actually dependent on many of the same traits. Time will tell.
Look, it's quality, not quantity, yadda yadda. I happen to think women heroes are more interesting, to me, personally. But I worry that on ENT, this move may be indicative of reactionary and terrified scramblings to insure ratings success, again.
Dear God i agree with David!
There has clearly been a LOT o9f back peddling with Enterprise.
It's not the NUMBERS like Terry thinks it's the type of roles.
On Andromeda the guys outnumber the girls BUT the women are all in places of equal rank. Hell the veryt ship they travel on is FEMALE.
Farscaoe is the same way, the central character is male but the stories are driven by the women!
MOre later, got to run!
Re: Dear God i agree with Eric
I don't give a flying f about 2/7. Or 5/whatever (if you count Archer's love interest and the Venus flytraps) As long as the roles are good!
What I noticed on BB was the absence of women in the background -- on the ship and in Starfleet. It seems very retro compared to what we now see in the U.S. military. There must be plenty of female extras and bit actors who need jobs too. I found it jarring, and I don't really care if that somehow offends people.
So don't angst about it if it doesn't bother you.
A recent stroll down the carrier piers at the Norfolk Navy base
Some friends and I took a a friend of mine completely unfamiliar with military life or people to the Norfolk Naval Station. We got out of the car and strolled down the carrier pier. I would say that well over half of the sailors we saw were: black, Hispanic or female. Coming from the submarine community, which was lilly white when I grew up, and is still all male (until they figure out there aren't enough men that want to do it and that women eat less and take up less room), this came as quite a surprise.
I realize that Trek is fantasy, and I accept it at that, but it's just not realistic that so few women, minorities, and non Anglos are going to be on that ship.
As much as I think I'll enjoy Enterprise, like David, I see it as the anti-Voyager. As veterans of the TrekBBS, David and I have seen the misogyny (sp?) that pervades that board and perhaps are a bit touchier on the subject as a result.
Well, exactly. Thank you, Malcom!
I don't think as I people a novel that has a military or quasi-military starship setting, "I have to balance these numbers gender-wise!" But because I'm accustomed to seeing women and so-called minorities in the background roles in real life, I put them there. It comes naturally, and their absence is jarring to me when I'm viewing or reading work produced recently.
It makes no sense that 150 years from now, Starfleet will look the way the U.S. military did when my brothers (grandpa-age guys now) entered it. That's my problem with the gender situation on "Enterprise." That, and the two female roles I do see being a sex symbol and a screamer (thanks to you, too, Janey).
I wish TPTB had not felt it necessary to be true to THAT part of the Trek Universe's back story. The last thing I need as a viewer right now is a back story featuring World War III (which was the excuse for the dearth of women and non-Anglos in TOS).
It's quality, not quanity.
David made some good points there. After VOY, I think it's hard for some people to look at a Trek series without strong women. DS9 also have strong women, and as VOY, they too were outnumbered by the men. It's just the women are quite interesting to hold their own to the men or even surpassed them as the VOY women done.
It's only the first episode, so I hope over time they gell the characters better, including the women. T'Pol for me doesn't act Vulcan, more emotional than usual for a Vulcan, and Hoshi (That's her name?) seems whiny. Are all the crew military trained or mix of civilians as well?
It's quite obvious that ENT is aiming to return to the TOS style of Trek. I hope they don't make it *too* TOS or else the women will definitely suffer regardless of their positions (T'Pol as first officer/science officer and Hoshi as communications officer).
Oh well, time will tell.
Dear God i agree with David! (Take Two)
There has clearly been a LOT of back peddling with Enterprise.
It's not the NUMBERS like Terry thinks it's the type of roles.
On Andromeda the guys outnumber the girls BUT the women are all in places of equal rank. Hell the very ship they travel on is FEMALE.
Farscape is the same way, the central character is male but the stories are driven by the women!
More later, got to run!
Ok, I was in a rush here is the rest of my thoughts.....
Like I said, it isn't so much the number of roles it's are the equal?
On Enterprise they are NOT.
T'Pol is little more then something for Archer to yell at. She is a object of derision for Archer and Trip to make fun of as they eat their steaks.
Maybe that will change, I hope it WILL but that was the case in Broken Bow.
As much as I like Hoshi she is not military and while I could understand why she wasn't armed the thing is she is there to get in trouble and be rescued.
For me there is nothing wrong with that, heck I LOVE Jool on Farscape but Jool is balanced by two other take charge women with Chiana and Aeryn. HOSHI does not have balance. T'Pol doesn't take charge of anything on BB, here command presence is nil. She cuts breadsticks and slathers herself with jelly. Hell we saw better from Seven!
Even more, Jool has been built up a lot from those early days. She was planned to grow and change. Will Hoshi or Jool change? I say look to Voyager for the answer.
How much did Harry change?
That said I will happily eat my words if by the end of the season Hoshi is John Wooing it with Archer and T'Pol shows some real command presence, but I just don't see it when they are playing a Enterprise promo right now on the radio and Hoshi's scream is breaking windows!
Nana Visitor easily held her own against the guys....
So did Terry Farrel to a smaller extent. And while Ezri was meant to be green recruit with a lot of baggedge she could also fight with the best of them.
Just look at Field of Fire and The Siege of AR47. Nicole could do action just as easily as the guys. Heck even Leeta the Dabo Girl was better then T'Pol!
It's not the gender discrepancy that bothers me so much as...
...the color discrepancy. (I'm still holding out hope for some sexual diversity.) Looking 150 years in the future, I can't imagine that humanity won't be one great big ol' cafe-au-lait-colored race, with just a few pockets of ethnically distinct folks here and there. I know what you're thinking--they weren't that homogenized 250-400 years in the future in TOS, TNG, DS9 or STV, so why should they be in ENT?
Just because it makes sense, that's why.
As far as gender diversity goes, we do have it in the Big Three--Archer, T'Pol, Trip. I believe TPTB are trying to recreate not only the Kirk-Spock-McCoy dynamic on ENT, but also to recreate TOS's scheme of first tier and second tier characters, where Archer, T'Pol and Trip are in the first tier, and Mayweather, Reed, Hoshi and Phlox are in the second tier. And you will note that, in the second tier, you have gender, race, *and* species diversity.
Good heavens! It's a sure sign of the End Times!
You're being a little hard on T'Pol's character, Eric. I think she shows some promise. Now, I tend to agree with you about Hoshi, but I don't really like the Hoshi character, so that may color my opinion.
After three viewings of Broken Bow, T'Pol makes me long for the good old days of Seven!
At least Seven made you feel a little sorry for her becuase of her tragic past and her occasional vulnerability that Jeri played well.
T'Pol is more and more a great sucking vacume in BB. Her catsuit makes me and her sneering voice grows tiresome and while i feel sorry for her when Archer and Trip gang up on her i keep waiting for her to defend her self with biting Vulcan humor like Spock did and she never does it.
It just makes me want to show her the airlock.
I can see both sides of the issue here.
Sure, Tim's right. If I were in charge of assigning people for a ship, I certainly wouldn't say, well, got to have 50% men, 50% women, 10% alien, whatever. I'd want the best men or women in the job, and if I ended up with all men, whatever. If I ended up with all women, whatever.
But I think what the "Enterprise is sexist" people are getting at is that they're not showing more women in positions of power, ie there were no women that were going to be as good as the men. Let's face it, there's only one prominent Starfleet female on board. And she's only there because Archer knows her and knows she has extraordinary hearing. If it came down to just ability, what's the odds she'd still be there?
T'Pol is not a member of Starfleet. She's more of a Vulcan liaison than anything. At that, then, she is a pretty powerful figure, I'd say. I just wish the catsuit would go!
It's kind of cheating to count Voyager's four females
They did, after all, only have them concurrently for two episodes. By the same token, Enterprise could fire and hire its two female stars every season, giving a situation where by the end of the show's run you'd have 14 females to 5 males. Would that make the show seem any less sexist than you currently perceive it to be? Just the opposite, I'd imagine.
So, no, it isn't just about the numbers. But people have been throwing them in my face for a week, and have a habit of mentioning them even when they go on to say that it's about something else entirely.
I agree with pretty well everyone that the important thing is the strength of characterisation. But a lot of that's about the strength of the actor or actress as much as the writing, and you have to watch their performances for more than a couple of hours, see them play across the range of what's being written for them, see whether they can take the material and make more of it than is on the page to truly gauge that. Take B'Elanna, for example. She wasn't always front and centre like Seven or Janeway. She was often underwritten, or else they'd fall back on the one-note Klingon temper angle, but Roxann Dawson played her cleverly enough that the character came over as much more than the sum of the writing that was devoted to her. Maybe T'Pol and Hoshi will too, or maybe they won't. But it's always going to be difficult to tell that from a "meet the crew" type first episode; tonight might be much more telling on that score.
And, you know, I'm not really hearing that much about any of the male characters other than Archer and Trip yet. Shouldn't we be getting indignant on their behalf that they're being underwritten, or neglected, or are less interesting too?
Re: It's kind of cheating to count Voyager's four females
Don't you find the shrink-wrapping, well, sexist?
And in the one scene Archer and Trip marginalize T'Pol by making sport of her. No doubt their acceptance of her will be an arc, but it added to my disappointment on how the women were presented to us in this episode.
I agree with you about the actor, but sometimes that's not enough, and Torres is a great example of that. Dawson is a terrific actor and wonderful re-actor to others, but they kept tossing her into the agnsty Klingon role (I thought linage, while well done, was a step back for her).
The sexism in TOS was funny. Sometimes on purpose, other times not, but it always ended up being funny. Same with things like the Mike Hammer show. This sort of thing does not inherently bother me, but it does here because of the combination of factors and because I've come to expect better of Trek. But, as you say, it's too early to tell.
How powerful is T'Pol really?
She is there to serve the human crew. What did she do for her peaple in Broken Bow?
To flip it around, in DS9's pilot Kira shot right over his head to complain for Najor right to Starfleet command. In Caretaker Kes fought her way onto Voyager and B'Elanna went toe to toe withy Janeway. THAT is what i was expecting from T'Pol. But no, her big scenes was eating breadsticks and giving a jelly rub down.
Youre going to love this post even more than, Jules
Jules, I dont think it's erely a matter of sexism. I have also tried to make the case that, from my own idiosyncratic, eccentric viewpoint, I am personally disappointed that more women are not in the cast, because this happens to be an area that a) i thought was a strong point of VOY's (and not everyone agress with me, there, anyway), and b)is something i personally enjoy.
I was going to throw in the two Borg Queens, Seska, and even the Voth Queen as examples of the awesome power of dynamic female characters that made me love VOY.
Actually, i want to throw out issues of politics, including sexism, from my contributions to this debate because i think they get in the way, for me, again, personally, of my real point--that i personally like strong female characters in scifi, and i personally want to see more of them--that's why i was disappointed about not having more women in there.
i guess it was doubledealing i my part to say, hey, it's also a political point im trying to make, so, for the time being, scratch the politics out of my posts.
now, considering that this is a personal need or obsession on my part, i have no rational cause to expect more from ENT--but i think i can be disappointed on a personal level--and i think that's fair enough to say.
now, not only might these two female characters become beloved heroines of mine, but ENT might develop more a la Seska or Borg Queen lines...i dont wat to rush to judgment anymore, and i also want to say, Im glad we all have a new Trek show to dish over.
Can't comment properly on the shrink-wrapping. Haven't seen it yet.
Give me a week and I'll get back to you on the subject of whether it bugs me senseless or not. On aesthetic grounds alone, yes it probably will.
In the meantime, all I can say is that I've seen pictures of T'Pol in full-blown Seven catsuit, which I still find a particularly ugly piece of attire on anybody... but I've also seen her wearing a kind of wrap jacket over the top, which looks altogether more attractive. And, somehow, more Vulcan.
But maybe the difference is that I don't expect better of Trek, or hold it to a higher standard than other programmes. I liked TOS and have a great deal of affection for it, but it was just another show among many that I liked. The same holds true of TNG and DS9, and even Voyager, although for several years it was my favourite show and at one point the only show I was actually watching. I like it as a concept and am attracted by the vastness of a universe that has been given so much time and so many episodes to paint itself, but at the same time I feel that it's very much easier to come in with an entirely new show and concept which stands alone, and carve out a smaller universe with an internal logic that doesn't step on any existing toes. Enterprise will always be reined in by the demands of the ongoing franchise, and will have to play safe because of that. If it can manage to interest and entertain me in spite of that, then that'll do. It'd be great if it broke new ground as well, but I won't be surprised or feel let down if it doesn't.
I have hopes for T'Pol; something curius about Hoshi
T'Pol can become a deepened and interesting character; the potential is there...Eric, im overjoyed that you agreed with me...and i yet have to disagree with you--me likey breadstick and KY scene.
Hoshi: Hmmm. I really liked her right away, but it bothered me that she was helpless in battle. Now, I would be, too , and i am wondering if TPTB are positing that she is civillian-woman and not fighter-action-chcik woman, therefore cnat and shouldnt be expected to fight like the others?
Jules, to continue on in my unPC vein...
I actually love the hyperromantic depiction of women in TOS--heavenly close-ups, swooning Courage music, femininty in a PreRaphaelite sensual bath of misty longhaired imagery...
and given the fiendish rep TOS has for misogyny (which i never thought was entirely fair or accurate), i am squarely in the minority of academics who'd disparage the show as more mindless sexist retro dreck.
i also take your point about not expecting more from Trek...but i always thought Braga loved those strong and passionate women too, larger than life, like those Golden Age Hollywood women i also love.
maybe he still does.
Well, hell. I have to speak at Vanderbilt in 45 minutes...
...so I wasn't going to get involved in this discussion, but here goes. I think you have to be really careful about considering clothing "sexist". Now, I hated Seven's silver sausage casing with a passion, because I thought it made her look like a pneumatically pumped-up Barbie doll, but there's no doubt that Jeri had the body to carry it off. By the same token, no one heard me complaining when they dressed Ben Browder up in tight black and red leather on Farscape. Why? Because *I* thought it was sexy. And the guys who put Jeri in that silver sausage casing thought it was sexy, too. It didn't have anything to do what her character could or could not do, any more than the leather made a difference with John. It's a costume, nothing more.
That said, I hate T'Pol's catsuit, not because it makes her look like a Barbie doll, but because it's just plain butt-ugly. Same goes for that god-awful wig. Jolene is such a pretty woman--T'Pol is almost a fright. I know everyone except me hates the decon scene, but she looked better in that scene than any other time in the ep, because she wasn't wearing that horrible catsuit. (And because she was holding that most becoming of all accessories--a half-naked man.)
My final word is this--one episode, folks. We've seen one frelling episode. For all we know, Hoshi will get herself a big honkin' pulse rifle, T'Pol will turn out to be the Noel Coward of Vulcan, and Tripp will perform all of his engineering duties with his shirt off.
I smell mega-hit!
I have to admit to feeling more than a little alienated by all this. Its nice to know I am not totally alone or off base with my opinions.
I guess if you are really looking to be offended you will be. I know a lot of people here were annoyed with some of Braga's directions on Voyager (I am by no means a Braga fan)and are determined to see Enterprise of Voyagers antichrist!
I guess it will be a few months at least before I can see it and make a fully objective decision. From what I have heard it sounds good. Then again, as long as it entertains me and makes me think sometimes I am a happy bunny.
Re: I have hopes for T'Pol; something curius about Hoshi
David said : "Hoshi: Hmmm. I really liked her right away, but it bothered me that she was helpless in battle. Now, I would be, too , and i am wondering if TPTB are positing that she is civillian-woman and not fighter-action-chcik woman, therefore cnat and shouldnt be expected to fight like the others?"
Oh i agree and i said this to Ginny i think. But the problem is while Ezri had Kira and Jool has Aeryn and Chiana, Hoshi does not have a balance for her.
Jules, I think it relates to Vickie's earlier comments
All I really expect from any show, including Trek is to be entertained. That is not to say that I would be entertained by a circa 2001 version of "I Love Lucy" in space where Captain Ricky Archer refuse to let T'Lucy be in the show. But, I really doubt that will happen, silly-a** (to use Archer's favorite word) costumes aside. I saw T'Pol and Hoshi being competent within their respective fields. I have also only seen one episode, so maybe I will the one who is wrong about this. But I'm going to keep watching for a while.
As for the costume, if that is the judge of whether Trek is now sexist, I find T'Pol's costume slightly less objectionable than I did either Seven of Nine's costume or the way they used to dress Deanna Troi. And, like Ginny, both of those costumes bothered me more on aesthetic grounds than political. Same with this one.
And, from a women's point of view, one of the things that bothered me most about VOY was the absence of sex, an absence I felt was almost solely connected to the fact that Janeway was female, and the PTB were afraid to tackle old stereotypes regarding women and sexuality. While I liked Janeway, frankly writing for strong women is not really a strength, so to speak, of this current writing team. I don't think that modern Trek can be all things to all people. There is a sense of idealism and innocense in TOS that I don't know can be recreated in the post-Tet Offensive, post- Watergate world.
Let TPTB play to their strengths, while they entertain me, and while they avoid damaging stereotypes. If at the same time they inspire a young Asian-American girl to dream of becoming a space traveller, like Hoshi, all the better.
Weeeeel, now that everything's been said on it...
...I can just pipe in and say: Agreed! And, thank you for saying it.
And with whoever noted quality vs quantity--yes, yes, yes.
I am disapointed that there are only two women in the permanent cast, but
I'll give them some time. Hopefully the recurring and guest characters will make a difference. Afterall, after Tasha was killed there were only 2 women regulars in TNG, but they had Mrs. Troi, Admiral Necheyev, Kiko, Captain Garrett, K'Lahr, Ozowa, Shelby,... And DS9 had the Kais, Leyta, Kassidy, Moogie, Zial,...
What I won't buy is retroactive justifications. TOS was a product of the '60's and the women on the show reflected that era. The business about needing to coddle women in the aftermath of WWIII is, IMO, an unnecessary rationalization. As horrendous as the Trek history death toll is it is not quite 10% of the current Earth population and about 7-8% of the projected population in 50 years. Certainly not a significant enough percentage to necessitate the "protection".
An asside on Hoshi. She is a Starfleet officer, the first woman to be the green ensign . So she should have had basic small arms training - a cousin of mine was a Public Affairs Officer in the Navy but when she went through OCS she still had to qualify on the shooting range. I can't imagine Starfleet not continuing that requirement.
How fun, I'll probably get the last word.
Since it's late for the rest of you and you will all be commenting on the new episode of "Enterprise" instead of following this thread.
Balance. I agree with Eric when he talks about the balance the other shows have between their female characters. I find it interesting that we don't look to that for the male characters.
Balance. The male and female characters have to have an equal balance of skills and power. It doesn't really matter if there are more male or more female main characters, as long as they are written equally strong. They managed to do that on DS9. That does seem to be the only Trek show that accomplished that feat. Unfortunately Voyager never balanced the wonderful female characters with strong male characters.
Balance. I only watched the last 20 minutes of BB on Sunday so I don't know about the rest of the show, but if there are no females in the background, then there is no balance. We are all in this together.
Terry, there have been many problems in the past with a derth of female characters in important roles on TV. We are sensitive about it. We should be. You mention one show that has more female characters. One show out of how many? There are a few new shows out this season with female lead characters, and these characters are mostly surrounded by males. It may not be sexism, but it is uncomfortable and doesn't feel fair.
Now, I'll go back to lurking.
shadda, dont lurk!
i mean only that i really enjoy having you around and hearing your views...
I thnk I smell a red herring...
Unless I completely missed something (like casting for the Enterprise crew was done completely open without respect to gender of the actor and the actor chose for the part again irrespective of gender who most convincingly played the part), the character's gender and charactersitics were decided upon by the writers. For whatever reason, the writers did not feel that women were as capable as men in serving on a starship otherwise the characters would be better portioned between men and women. To me this reflects some sort of bias.
Nicely put "last word", Shadda!
Re: People think two women on ENTERPRISE is sexist?...No, not really...
...not any more nor any less than any other show on network televison in the year 2001.
Who cares if there is an uneven mix of genders? It would a lot more unrealistic if it was perfectly balanced.
Besides, where does it stop? Whave a representative of every color and/or religion on board, too, so we can be politically correct? I mean, where are the Jews? (Don't tell me that after 5000+ years, we're going to disappear in 150!) Where are the Catholics? (Ditto, only change that to 2000+ years). How about Hindus? Sikhs? Muslims? Lutheran Protestants? Southern Baptists? Coptic Christians? Hari Krishnas?
My point is, it can get kind of silly after a while, donch'a think?
Besides, it's the writing, stupid!
Terry, I think "Lorne Green" is in the credits this season. (nim)
!!!!! You go, Tim! (See below for my "little" rant.) (nim)
Oops! Sorry, Shadda...did I end up with the last word? (nim)
It most certainly *is* the writing, Mindy!
I hesitate to quote you verbatim in the subject line for fear of the wrath of others who might think I'm calling you stupid. SO easy to incur folks' wrath around here for no reason.
Yup, I'll watch a *good* all-male submarine movie anyday. But the operative word is good. And good writing encompasses many things. I think Shadda made the points very well. And just to indulge my sick need to bash Braga , Braga can't even lick the boots of a rushed, two-week Sorkin.
Re: People think two women on ENTERPRISE is sexist?...No, not really...
It's not about numbers. If you want to make the numbers defense in reference to how impractical it would be to represent Sikhs, Hindus, etc. the fact remains that women comprise over half the world's population, so they are grossly under-represented. To make the comparison between Sikhs, Hindus and women just doesn't work. But that's not the point I'm making. I'm the only woman in my office (if you don't count the cat), so the number of women isn't the issue with me.
The issue is presentation. I think Hoshi (whom I like) was better this week, but her screaming and panting with fear went on far, FAR too long. And the Vulcan is still shrink-wrapped. I'm still recovering from the close-ups of T'Pol's breasts and naval in the premiere episode.
I pretty sure that Lorne Green is dead, Mindy. (NIM)
Maybe offed by the Cylons or bad BG scripts.
Dead!?! I didn't even know he was sick! (NIM)
"Braga can't even lick the boots of a rushed, two-week Sorkin."
Amen to that!
Sadly, there was a time when he could.
Anyone remember TNG's "Cause and Effect"? He wrote that when he was an intern.
Unfortunately, he's not that great at producing, and his infantile fixation with Jeri Ryan really ruined a lot of his stuff.
Shame. "Cause and Effect" is one of my favorites.
(raising hand) Me! Me!
I love Cause and Effect, along with others. I think his muse was really fresh, then. For that matter, he was a spice to the rest of the staff, not the norm. CaE every week, of course, would have gotten boring.
But I also believe his powers for good waxed big time when he started producing--just as you said.
...LOL! Lick Sorkin's boots. That's a good one.
Staying within the franchise has been his downfall, IMO.
And how could it not be? Think about it. He brought his original ideas to "TNG" as an intern, a young writer who wanted to become a pro. He found a womb (a "home" is not a sufficiently confining metaphor) in the Trek Franchise, and he's never tried his wings elsewhere. So I truly think a couple of things have been happening, and that they were/are inevitable.
First, he's lost a lot of his originality. "Enterprise" is an attempt to reclaim it, with its stated purpose of being a different kind of Trek...but there's something sad about him as he says it. Seems to me, anyway.
Second, of course he needs to bring in "his own toys"! He must be sick to death of playing with prepackaged ones, if (as I would hope) the man's truly creative. Trouble is, he has no experience creating his own SF universes - and apparently no interest in trying it. So he messes around with the one that the fans see as "ours," and is surprised and hurt (and masks it with what david g might call a "big F U" attitude) when we aren't delighted en masse by his efforts.
Brannon, write something of your own. Please. There is a reason, a good one, why Pocket Books doesn't (except in "Strange New Worlds") work with writers who haven't demonstrated they can create their own universes and characters, before they turn them loose with those of the Franchise.
End of Nina's Friday morning rant!
It's not really a matter of sexism
at least, not entirely...
Why is the only human woman the most "vulnerable" of all the characters?
ive always loved heroines best because they manage to be both vulnerable and strong, possessing a strength that matches that vulnerability...here's my parade of such women (and this is only to start in the 70s, and ignoring Golden Age Hollywood for the moment): Jaime Sommers, Sarah Connor, Ripley, Clarice Starling, Janeway, B'Elanna, Seven, Kes, Max (Dark Angel)...
what bothers me is how heavyhanded the depiction of Hoshi's vulnerability seems to be...i have to agree with you, Mike, i found that whole "the stars are on the wrong side" infuriatingly annoying. If it had been Trip or Reed making a similar complaint, Archer would have said, "Get outta here before I knock you on your a--!"
Now, i like Linda Park, and i think Hoshi may become a favorite, anyway, of mine...but it still feels a step BACKward from VOY's roster of women, to me...though im enjoying ENT, its sexual politics seems regressive, in flight from VOY's advances, imo, of course.
i really agree with something Jules said earlier, that an actress or actor can put an amount of surprise into a role, even a really conventional role, that transcends it all. Now, I happen to think my BLT was always well written for, and i didnt find, say, LINEAGE a step back but a superb culmination of the BLT arc...but i doubt i would have fallen in love with BLT had it not been for RD...i liked but never fell in love with Worf.
I took a different spin on his tenure on Trek over under the "Braga speaks" thread, but I think you've really hit the nail on the head.
Wish I had that kind of insight.
The name is confusing
Lorne Greene, who played Ben Cartwright in "Bonanza" and Adama in "Battlestar Galactica," died of pneumonia in 1987 at the age of 72.
However, there is also a Lorne B. Green (without the final "e" in his last name). The only credit IMDb has for him is a movie in 1993. I assume he's the actor Mindy refers to.
I hope that helps straighten things out!
Guys, last season, in the Pylea arc...
...when the Host's cousin showed up in our world, we found out that the Host's name was "Loren" and then he made a comment about the color of his skin, and Angel said, "Lorne Green?" and the Host said, "See what I mean?" and the others looked blank, and Angel said, "Bonanza?" and the others still looked blank, and Angel said, "20 years on the air?" and the others still looked blank, and then Angel said, "Now I do feel old."
Guess the joke doesn't work when you have to explain it.
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