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TrekInk: Review of Star Trek #17 February 10, 2013

by Mark Martinez , Filed under: Comics,Review,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

mccoy IDW Publishing returns home from the Mirror Universe with Star Trek #17, the latest chapter in the ongoing series. This standalone issue features McCoy, in a detailed and introspective portait of the Chief Medical Officer. Spoilers ahead.

Star Trek #17
Written by Mike Johnson and F. Leonard Johnson, M.D., art by Claudia Balboni, inks by Erica Durante, colors by Claudia SGC, letters by Chris Mowry, creative consultant Roberto Orci, edited by Scott Dunbier

Story

McCoy is reminded how much he hates his job all too often. While trying to comfort a crewmember whose husband is grievously ill, McCoy examines his past for clues to how he might deal with his present. A childhood walk with his father in Mississippi; meeting his wife, Pamela, for the first time; meeting a dying young child who wants to be a starship captain; the slow death of his marriage; and another walk with his elderly and still spry father. His past has lead him to Starfleet, new colleagues, new challenges and surprisingly, new resolve.

dying

Fear of flying and dying!

Review

After an action-packed visit to the Mirror Universe, writer Mike Johnson brings us back to nuTrek to focus on Dr. Leonard McCoy. In the film, Star Trek (2009), we meet McCoy with Jim Kirk. He’s crabby and not very happy. Johnson takes us on a tour of McCoy’s past to give us an idea of the events and circumstances that shaped the doctor prior to our first meeting. This is a very introspective story. On it’s own merits, I found it interesting, but came away a little puzzled and maybe a little disappointed. We’ve been told that the ongoing series will give us hints about what’s to come in the next feature film, but I don’t see anything of what might be coming, in McCoy’s story. There’s no reason that every issue has to be informative, but IDW has announced that the ongoing series ends with issue #20, so I guess I was expecting more. On the other hand, Claudia Balboni returns as the artist for this issue and does an outstanding job, along with inker Erica Durante and colorist Claudia SGC. Their art really draws the reader into McCoy’s past and present. Tim Bradstreet’s cover portrait is unusual. McCoy looks angry, but that’s ok. He does his best work when he’s emotional, in spite of what Spock may think.

Star Trek #17 is available now in your local comic shop. Coming February 20, a fleet of Star Trek comics are tentatively scheduled for release. They include Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #2, a second printing of Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #1, Star Trek: The Next Generation – Hive #4, and Star Trek #18.

Star Trek #17 cover art by Tim Bradstreet

Cover: Art by Tim Bradstreet

Star Trek #17 RI A cover art by Tim Bradstreet Star Trek #17 RI B photo cover

Cover RI A: Art by Tim Bradstreet, Cover RI B: Photo cover

In you case you missed it, artist Josh Howard posted an animated-style drawing of the Deep Space Nine crew to celebrate their 20th anniversary. This version includes Ezri Dax. There is another version with Jadzia Dax. This is a followup to his 25th anniversary drawing of the Next Generation crew. I hope folks at IDW are paying attention. Large versions are available on Howard’s blog. He also plans to sell prints.

Crew of Deep Space Nine by Josh Howard

Deep Space Nine 20th Anniversary by Josh Howard (click to visit his blog and find larger images)

Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. You can visit his website, the Star Trek Comics Checklist for more than you ever needed to know about Star Trek comics.

Comments

1. Pontihog - February 10, 2013

Love these comics

2. Spockchick - February 10, 2013

Yay! McCoy at last for me! I heart McCoy.

3. Pauln6 - February 10, 2013

The ongoing series is ending? Boooo. Admittedly, it lost some impetus with its recent single issue stories but it had a lot more potential. I agree that the McCoy story was nice but didn’t add much to the overall legend. I think these background stories should feature some decent information about new background characters.

4. cpelc - February 10, 2013

Interesting that while never officially noted as canon, McCoy’s wife was always known as Jocelyn in star trek novels – now it’s Pamela.

5. Jeyl - February 10, 2013

I’m glad Bones didn’t tell the dying girl that her dreams of becoming a Starship captain would have been pointless since Starfleet at this point in time didn’t allow women to become Captains of a starship. Bones is a class act.

6. Martin - February 10, 2013

It’s unfortunate to see the ongoing series ending. But i would like more comics concluding after into darkness and where DS9,Voyager and Enterprise left off.

7. MikeB - February 10, 2013

I hope the ongoing series will pick up again after the new movie. Anybody know if that’s the plan?

8. Pauln6 - February 10, 2013

Allegedly IDW is soliciting issues 21 in its March previews. Where lies the truth?

9. Nony - February 10, 2013

I have a lot to say about this comic, be warned.

I was looking forward to this one, Bones being my favourite character, but ultimately found it a really mixed bag. Appreciated the emotional motivations, loved David McCoy’s personality, and I liked seeing Bones when he was young and carefree. Didn’t appreciate the non-appearance and subsequent off-screen killing off of his mom (same thing that seems to have happened with Winona Kirk in a previous comic? What is it with this reboot and killing people’s mothers?), the Pamela character was so flimsy as to be almost a complete non-entity, and the characters were terribly drawn. I’m sorry. The colouring was beautiful, but the art was not – people’s pupils pointing in different directions, bizarre proportions, copying-and-pasting the *exact same* closeup of Bones’ face twice in completely different settings within two pages, and the design of the female officer from the Enterprise was almost identical to Pamela, down to the mole on her face.

Also, I’m disappointed that McCoy is now apparently a native of Mississippi rather than Georgia, for no good reason. (And I’m not the only one who feels like that.) Come on – McCoy=Georgia! It’s a homage to DeForest Kelley and a longstanding influence on his characterization in pretty much every fanwork out there, TOS and reboot! Why no mention?

10. Jack - February 10, 2013

That was really sweet. A little schmaltzy, but sweet.

11. TrekMadeMeFat - February 10, 2013

Comics never end. They just keep restarting at #1.

12. Mark Martinez - February 10, 2013

@8 PaulIn6 – The February Previews says “the all-new origin stories of the Enterprise crew conclude with” #20 and I took that to mean the end of the series, but a fellow over at the TrekBBS/TrekLit forums who works for Diamond says #21 will be solicited in the March issue of Previews, so I misinterpreted. Not ending, but I wonder what’s coming?

13. The Optimist - February 10, 2013

Liked the t-shirt that David McCoy was wearing! Hotty Toddy!

14. Phil - February 10, 2013

Okay, why is Pine’s mug on a comic featuring McCoy?

Also, what’s with the six inch heels on the DS9 women. Was Quarks a str*p club afterall?

15. Starman - February 10, 2013

#9 Nony – ditto on your review….I read the preview and was hoping for something really unique, and came away disappointed in the inaccurate background details of McCoy’s life. The story was okay, it just missed begin so much more….a missed opportunity for a great background story.

16. Gorn Captain - February 10, 2013

#5 Who do we have as a source of reliable info on that besides the crazy Kirk hating Janice Lester? ;)

17. Herb Finn - February 10, 2013

the ST ongoing is ending?

18. Jeyl - February 11, 2013

@16 Gene Roddenberry, the man who wrote that said episode. And it’s hard to argue that is not the case when the original series never showed us a single female captain, and it usually treated it’s female guest stars with about the same integrity as teen comedy movie. The only time we’ve seen a woman in command in JJ’s Trek universe is Uhura…. from the mirror universe after she’s betrayed everyone.

Maybe we’ll see something that proves otherwise in Star Trek Into Darkness, but I doubt it since women are hardly a priority in this new Trek since they’re here to “benefit the main characters”.

19. Pauln6 - February 11, 2013

I think there where were female admirals in the movie at the award ceremony (although they might just have been teachers with very large hair). This implies that there are female captains. There were not many of them compared to the men and, much the same as the Vulcan science Academy, the women don’t do the talking.

This has little to do with Starfleet’s equality policy and a lot to do with sexist writers and casting directors in Hollywood. Their default setting has been male for decades and token female syndrome (where you have a high profile love interest sitting atop a sea of male characters except where wives and girlfriends are required) is still usually the norm. British TV and movies aren’t quite so bad at this. Channel 4’s Utopia on at the moment, while hilariously eccentric, is maintaining a decent mix of male and female characters in varying roles.

20. Dom - February 11, 2013

Although Rodders admitted Janice Lester’s line was sexist, the presence of a female captain in STIV just makes me retcon Lester’s comment as the ravings of a loony!

McCoy’s origins being at slight variance to the original series aren’t problematic for me: it’s an alt-universe, so these are all slightly different versions of the characters. I don’t see why people have such an issue with this.

While the writers have said they’d (frankly unnecessarily) respect the future history events referenced in the original universe shows up to the Narada incursion, it doesn’t mean they had to happen day-and-date the same. The Eugenics Wars obviously happened later for example, since no superhumans have tried to beat me up lately! Some crewmembers will have been born at the same time, some later.

I’d rather this new Trek stand on its own, rather than be affected by other, defunct shows.

21. Jeyl - February 11, 2013

@20 It was a welcome change for sure that Star Trek IV did showcase a female captain, but I would hardly give thanks to Gene Roddenberry for that since he was no longer the producer “in charge” of the franchise. Heck, the next time we did see him take charge of Star Trek, two of the show’s three main female characters left by the end of the first seasons, with the one who stayed just happened to be the only main character who doesn’t wear a uniform and was systematically raped in the first episode of the second season.

And granted, we’re not going to be seeing much of the Star Trek universe if all we are going to have are these two hour movies that come out every three to four years that seem to focus on the same story line. Earth is in trouble and Kirk must prove he’s worthy of being a captain. Doesn’t leave much room for anything else, does it? Even future films seem less likely to do anything different thanks to Lindelof’s “Earth will have a much bigger role in our movies.” comment. It’s unfortunate that any hope of seeing these characters do things even remotely Star Trek (i.e. Doing something outside of Earth and not always action oriented) is restricted to these comics that, even with the writers and producers saying otherwise, still has a shaky canon standing.

22. The Sinfonian - February 11, 2013

What a letdown that after so many strikes, we get a whiff on #17. Jocelyn is well-established as others have pointed out. Even makes the naming of Joanna self-referential, fitting the ex-wife’s previously established persona. I guess the argument could be made that in the JJverse, he’s avoided Jocelyn, only to end up with some other shrew of an ex-wife…. that sort of fits MWI, after all. But “Pamela”? Heck, what comic writer’s wife or daughter is named Pamela? Or are we thinking Bobby Ewing? Changing the name is so “Gold Key” that it’s annoying. Annoying to the people who are MOST likely to buy comics: those who also know about Memory Alpha and Memory Beta, and the details therein. Even the comic producers should be aware of those references. We don’t need to keep re-inventing the James R. Kirk wheel.

23. Jovius - February 11, 2013

#5: I’ve always found that line apocryphal at best. (And Roddenberry wasn’t any more enlightened than other men in the ’60s when it came to the treatment of women — he basically thought of them as disposable playthings. Eventually he settled down with Majel, thankfully.) Hernandez commanded a starship over a century before Lester said that. Ravings of a loony indeed. She couldn’t become a starship captain because she was /mentally unstable/, not because she was female.

24. MattR - February 11, 2013

#12. Maybe it’s because this is the last one that examines the backstory of each of the characters, and so it’s technically the end of that phase.

25. Still tired - February 11, 2013

To: The author Mike.

Hey, I have spent the last 2 days searching the internet and I can find no evidence whatsoever that IDW is ending the Star Trek ongoing series, repeat NO evidence. Therefore if you have a link to any concrete proof of this statement that you made I request you share it immediately, or remove the sentence saying the series is ending.

26. Pauln6 - February 11, 2013

Check out posting 12. The position has been clarified for a while and the sentence crossed out. I’m really pleased.

27. efren - February 11, 2013

Question is the ongoing canon as the star trek into darkness countdown

28. Mark (not Mike) Martinez - February 11, 2013

@25 Still tired: Sorry you had to search for two days. You should get some sleep. I already crossed out the comment about the ongoing series ending and discussed my misinterpretation up in comment #12.

29. Still tired - February 11, 2013

@28. Then you should have put an “Update” tag on the article to let people know the article had changed, I mean come on, isn’t that part of the job. BTW, my name has to do with my newborn daughter so if you all want to make jokes then just imagine the most horrific profanity you have ever heard and multiply it by 1 Million times. That is my response to the damn jokes.

30. Pauln6 - February 11, 2013

I think the horse has already bolted both on the error and the wisdom of having children. Mind you, it would not surprise me if the ongoing series were to be cancelled following issue 24. It’s enjoyable but I’m not sure how popular it is compared to say a 4 issue limited series. I suspect they may have a rethink following the sequel.

It will be a shame if they do cancel it though – it has a huge amount of untapped potential. I actually look forward to the re-tellings and there are loads that they could still do. I still wish they’d take slightly longer with the stories though – I really enjoyed the pace of the into Darkness prequel.

31. Marja - February 11, 2013

#9, Nony,

I’m with you. Although I did think for the most part the issue was well-drawn, I have grumps about:

Mississippi. Should have kept the tribute to Dee Kelly & Georgia – this would have been perfectly in keeping with other ST novels and with the “easter eggs” already present in the JJverse. I don’t care so much if McCoy attended Ole Miss, but in my headcanon he will always be from Georgia. I cannot imagine why this was changed.

Where the hell was Joanna, McCoy’s daughter? She was a heartbreaking loss in McCoy’s life and this loss explains a lot of the bitterness in his character. Admittedly, she was not part of filmed canon, but she *was* in the backstory as noted by “The Making of Star Trek” (1968).

Yeah, “Pamela”? Why not Jocelyn, per many of the non-canon sources?

And may I ask why there is such a predominance of Euro-American characters in the movies & comics? Couldn’t the husband/wife from the Enterprise have been Starfleet-member aliens, or Indian, or Chinese? Or the little girl who wanted to be a starship captain? Notice, whenever there’s a little kid, he or she is always Caucasian and blue-eyed? My goodness, 200 years in the future and “we’re” still leading the world, nay, the GALAXY!

OK, I’m very glad this little girl had high ambitions. But she died.

There is some sexism and weird writing about females, to wit: Not once in any officers’ conference in the comic series has Uhura said a WORD. Hey, at least she’s there. The boys didn’t have a meeting without her.

Females are either absent from the picture or cast in old-timey roles. Witness

(1) Winona Kirk, who lives with her brother, who has “taken in” her and her boys. No job, no Starfleet career for Winona! Nope, living on her brother’s charity. Didn’t she even get death benefits from Starfleet? Cheesy of them. And yes, I know that mothers work raising their children, but to resort to living with her brother and not using her own abilities to make a living – her boys are old enough for her to leave them in care; why wasn’t she working outside the home? A sore point.

(2) Amanda in Countdown #1 to Spock: “My brave boy!” I cannot imagine Amanda saying this, even as Human and sentimental as she might be, to a grown Spock. Perhaps she said this because it was a dream, and Spock’s dreaming mind mixed words from the distant past with his latest memories of his mother?

These are the two most egregious examples, but there have been others.

I love that Uhura is a capable, confident and respected Starfleet officer. I’d like to see more of that, but I would also love for the creators to remember that she cannot carry all of Federation Women’s Equality on her slender, albeit well-muscled, shoulders.

32. Marja - February 11, 2013

#30, I agree with the “longer pace” idea. It’d be great to have 3-issue tales; this would allow stories to be a tad more complex.

I think the comics are great [except for my whingeing above]. Most are beautifully drawn [I still have heartburn over Mirror Spock on the interiors -the cover WAS GREAT], and much of the dialogue is wonderful too. Some of the stories are *meh* but some are very good. Outside of the drawing, I liked the Mirror story. I would love to have seen some expansion on what happened with Mirror Spock and Uhura, why she felt comfortable doing what she did and leaving him like that

… and I would love to have seen Uhura cooing over a tribble, and Spock holding one and catching himself petting it, and turning all logical. One of the best moments of The Trouble With Tribbles, IMHO.

33. Jeyl - February 11, 2013

#31 McCoy does mention his daughter in the TAS episode “The Survivor”, and it was done on film. :)

34. The Sinfonian - February 11, 2013

@31. I don’t think Frank is actually a true “Uncle”, but a stepfather or sig-o. Alternatively, Jimmy lived with Uncle Frank, because Winona had an active career in Starfleet. Still doesn’t explain why she’s not around when Jim’s 20-something.

35. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 11, 2013

“(1) Winona Kirk, who lives with her brother, who has “taken in” her and her boys. No job, no Starfleet career for Winona! Nope, living on her brother’s charity. Didn’t she even get death benefits from Starfleet? Cheesy of them. And yes, I know that mothers work raising their children, but to resort to living with her brother and not using her own abilities to make a living – her boys are old enough for her to leave them in care; why wasn’t she working outside the home? A sore point.”

What are you talking about? Did you not see the movie Star Trek or the subsequent ongoing comic? When Jimmy totalled the car, his mother was off-planet, working in Starfleet (afaik). She was called home because of what her younger son did. Uncle Frank was Winona’s older brother.

Hang on – “her boys are old enough for her to leave them in care” – what kind of care do you mean? What makes her care less valuable, less essential than someone else’s care.

Well, she did leave them in care, of her older grumpy brother’s care. Uncle Frank and nephews George and Jim did not get on and eventually George left the uncle’s home to stay with a grandmother. The younger Jim was left alone in the care of his uncle while his mother worked off-world “using her abilities to make a living”. Wow! Meanwhile, the young James Kirk felt ABANDONED. You are right about the sore point. Ask Jimmy Kirk who is alone, no father and rarely ever seeing his mother because he is pretty much regarded as a hobby as opposed to her all important career. (See ongoing comic – don’t remember number where the family situation is explained at the time when the antique Corvette is totalled).

Anyway, this is how I am calling it…

36. Trekkiegal63 - February 11, 2013

#19 Pauln6:

This has little to do with Starfleet’s equality policy and a lot to do with sexist writers and casting directors in Hollywood. Their default setting has been male for decades and token female syndrome (where you have a high profile love interest sitting atop a sea of male characters except where wives and girlfriends are required) is still usually the norm.

This!

Agreed. In fact, I’m in danger of whiplash I’m nodding so hard in agreement. ;)

This is exactly the problem, and as much as I’d love to say Trek was/is exempt from such blatant unbalance, we know its not – as placing Uhura as one half of a token romance in the last movie proved (and let’s throw in mentions of Deanna Troi, Jadzia Dax, and B’Elanna Torres for good measure, just to really get the point across).

Single, lead, female professional protagonists in Hollywood share a commonality with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, as in, they don’t exist.

Miles to go yet before true equality is portrayed (i.e. yes, female characters can be interesting without romancing them up, promise).

37. Trekkiegal63 - February 11, 2013

#35 Rose (as in Keachick):

Hi Rose. :)

If you could remember the name of that comic, I would appreciate it as I’d love to read it.

Now on to this…

Ask Jimmy Kirk who is alone, no father and rarely ever seeing his mother because he is pretty much regarded as a hobby as opposed to her all important career..

You know, Rose, I know from our previous conversation that your views of house and home are somewhat antiquated, but this really takes the cake. Talk about victim blaming! If what you’re saying is accurate, and this was explained in one of the comics (I can’t vouch first hand, I’ve only recently started reading the comics and haven’t read that one yet) one can hardly fault Winona for working – yes, even you. The woman was widowed! Therefore she is a single parent. A parent responsible for the feeding and clothing her sons. Money (or ‘credits’ as the case would be in the 23rd century) does not grow on trees!

She in a damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t situation. Were she to stay at home it is entirely possible she and her sons would be impoverished, and in her going to work you consider her somehow unfit?!

Don’t get me wrong, yes the situation entirely sucked for Jim. Just having his father die the way he did sucked for Jim. But one can hardly fault Winona for trying to make the best of a poor (<- pun) situation! It was fortunate that she had an education and prior work experience thus could support her boys and herself.

38. Historian_Levi - February 11, 2013

I really hope that the tears that will come from into darkness are not cause we end up seeing the Good Dr, is killed.

So far we have had an anouncement trailer, a teaser trailer, and a superbowl ad spot, and McCoy is hardly to be seen, considering McCoy is one of the main 3 characters. Hope I am not reading to much into and that the 2nd trailer when it surfaces give us more McCoy.

39. Still tired - February 11, 2013

@35. “Uncle Frank” was not Mrs. Kirk’s brother, his name is listed as Frank Kirk, therefore he was George’s brother, not Wynonna’s, cause if he had been her brother his last name would not have been Kirk.

40. ObsessiveStarTrekFan - February 12, 2013

@ 36 & 37. Trekkiegal63

36. – Umm – what about Capt. Janeway? … and B’Elanna Torres didn’t begin to become involved with Tom Paris until Season 3 (kinda like real life – I met my husband through work). … and I don’t recall 7of9 being involved with anyone (although I’ll admit she was eye-candy for adolescent male viewers).

@37. – I would hope the issue Rose is getting at here not that Winona works instead of being a stay at home mum, it’s that she works off-planet without her sons. I worked while my sons were kids, but they still lived with me . I would assume that this would be expected to be the optimum arrangement unless I was an abusive or neglectful parent. I would also hope that any employer (even Starfleet) would make a reasonable effort to enable any single parent, male or female, to keep their children close at hand if that was what the parent requested.

By the way, the comic in question would be Ongoing #5: Operation: Annihilate part 1. In the comic, Winona refers to Frank as her big brother, and that he has given them a home.

41. ObsessiveStarTrekFan - February 12, 2013

40. continued…

Just another point about that comic (Ongoing #5) that I ‘ve just thought of: it makes no mention of Winona being in Starfleet or otherwise off-planet. In fact she is home when the policeman tells Frank the car is beyond repair. The comment Marja makes at #31 regarding Winona’s circumstance seems quite reasonable if we rely only on what the comic tells us as the implication and tone of the scenes in the comic is that Winona and boys are dependent on Frank for support. It does seem to be inconsistent with what we saw in the movie, or else that was one fast trip back to Earth for Winona.

42. The Sinfonian - February 12, 2013

@41 Winona was in Starfleet when James Kirk was born. She was posted to the USS Kelvin.

My conclusion is that Winona was working near Earth in space, such as on a station in orbit. You know “I’m from Iowa, I only work in space” as Prime Kirk once said. Beaming down in the aftermath of Jimmy running off with the Corvette makes sense…

43. Trekkiegal63 - February 12, 2013

36. – Umm – what about Capt. Janeway? … and B’Elanna Torres didn’t begin to become involved with Tom Paris until Season 3 (kinda like real life – I met my husband through work). … and I don’t recall 7of9 being involved with anyone (although I’ll admit she was eye-candy for adolescent male viewers).

Actually, 7of9 did get paired up. With Chakotay (not sure if you watched the 7th season? But that’s when this *cough* blessed event occured). And Paris and Torres may not have officially started dating till the third season, but it was certainly deliberately hinted at prior to that. The two of them being paired up was not a surprise to anybody.

As for Janeway, you’re right, she was single. Thank the gods. I love this fact. But since they already had Paris/Torres and later 7/Chakotay, they had met the standard quota for token romances within one show.

Now a note on Winona and working… as you pointed out there is nothing saying she didn’t work close by. The movie just stated she was off planet at the time. It sounds like, based on the information you provided in post #41, that the comic didn’t point to a regular pattern of her being off-world either. In the real life army reserves each member is required to devote at least one weekend a month and two weeks a year in service (when the US is not at war). There is nothing saying Winona wasn’t upholding that kind of schedule to keep her benefits and feed her children.

My point in all of this is that all we have is speculation, so judging Winona for her choices first, without the whole story and without giving her the benefit of the doubt does not point to a proper attitude nor supportive nature towards women in general. She’s being accused of ruining Jim for life without any real concrete empirical evidence. There could have been numerous contributing factors to the destructive behavior we witnessed Jim engaging in before Pike recruited him. For example in “Conscience of the King” we learned that TOS Kirk had witnessed both famine and genocide – the massacre of 4000 people – on Tarsus IV as a young child. If 2009 Kirk witnessed similar events, well, that would do it.

44. Jemini - February 12, 2013

I liked it, the bit about the little girl was touching and it fits Bones arc as a character. I have to say with the lack of promotional pictures featuring him I needed this comic! Where is my McCoy?
ps: I found it funny that when he talks about the academy days and the friends and colleagues from there, you see Spock’s face instead of Kirk. I’m a bit disappointed that there is no mention of him, tbh

now excited about the comic about Uhura :)

45. Pauln6 - February 12, 2013

There are some decent female characters, especially in DS9 and Voyager but the issue is that there are simply not enough of them. If you go through every show from TOS to Enterprise, there is a consistent imbalance of 2:1. That can’t be accidental.

NuBSG certainly gave the impression that they had a better handle on the issue, with a balanced central cast, including the Cylons, although I would hesitate to say that they ended up with a 1:1 ratio off the top of my head.

NuTrek has a disadvantage in that it decided to go with the big 7, leaving out two of the three recurring women but then went on to add male character after male character (Keenser, Olsen, Pike, Nero, Cupcake) instead of trying to make up the difference in the supporting cast, reserving the women for medical staff and sex objects. It’s great that Alice Eve is coming on board but from the cast list I’ve seen, there are yet again, a lot more new male characters, and some of the actresses seem to be in sexist roles once again. It’s uninspiring.

The ongoing comic has added in Rand and Zahra as recurring security staff but has as yet avoided elevating Rand to the status of a character in her own right, while Cupcake and Keenser have got their own issues. They wrote out Dr Dehner but decided that the Enterprise had no psychiatrist at all instead of using Dr Noel (which would have been a very popular move). There have been some issues (Where no Man has Gone Before and the recent Into Darkness prequel) where women have been almost absent from the story. This is an ongoing problem and it’s astonishing that the producers don’t have a Trek bible that states quite clearly that the cast in every episode and issue should be balanced by ensuring that every guest character’s gender should be applied randomly (flip a coin) after the character’s purpose in the story has been written, with the exception of ‘love interests’. It should be easy.

46. Jovius the Romulan - February 12, 2013

Pauln6: You raise some very good points, sir.

47. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 12, 2013

#40 Yes, that is what I was getting at. I did not say that Winona’s conduct ruined Jim for life, nor did it necessarily help him. If this Kirk had later moved with his mother to Tarsus IV and witnessed the massacre, that would have had a huge impact on him…

My impression is that, most of the time, Winona Kirk worked off-planet. Uncle Frank came to resent the fact that he was left as the primary caregiver for children who were not his own. Jimmy was a minor, a child, therefore he required day to day care, something his mother was not providing because she worked off-planet for a good part of the time.

Maybe Bob Orci might like to clarify just where Winona was and what she did while her two sons grew without having a father around – either.

Trekkiegal – I do not think that my ideas are that antiquated. I am not opposed to women working outside the home to support their families.

I resent the fact that biological mothers are deemed less valuable than strangers when it comes to looking after children. The expectation is that they go back to work (outside the home and away from their little ones) and then spend some of their hard earned incomes to pay strangers to take of their children. What would these day-care (note: not night-care workers – children often have sleep problems) do that the mother could/would not do herself, and more? For those mothers fortunate enough to have rewarding careers, then great. However, most women are not in that position, even if they have a good education. They have little or no choice in the matter of working for money and their situation is not helped by the kind of expectation and labels put on those who don’t conform. Mothering is work and always has been.

48. Still tired - February 12, 2013

@47. You Said. “For those mothers fortunate enough to have rewarding careers, then great. However, most women are not in that position, even if they have a good education. They have little or no choice in the matter of working for money and their situation is not helped by the kind of expectation and labels put on those who don’t conform.”

What world do you live in? There is no resemblance to reality in that statement, at least not for American women, if its like that for NZ women then I really pity all of you, and hope your government is overthrown in the very near future.

49. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 12, 2013

Really? What kind of world do you live in? Most people, men and women, have to work for money and are not necessarily fulfilled by the work they do. People feel themselves lucky/fortunate if they have a job that is not only financially rewarding but fulfilling on other levels as well. Economics is the overriding factor.

Ask many an average worker how they feel about their work – I think you will find that they often feel frustrated, tired, bored and fearful that they will lose the crappy job they do have, but bills need to be paid. I also think that this answer is more likely to come from the average American worker (male and female) than from a NZ worker. Many American workers are at will employees and work long hours for low pay.

50. Pauln6 - February 12, 2013

I think there is an obsession to varying degrees in many cultures with relationships between fathers and sons – this includes Chinese culture, Muslim culture, and US culture. Winona is an afterthought because of the American version of ‘Little Emperor Syndrome’. For Kirk it’s all about the Dad he never knew and his Mum rarely gets a mention and is even absent from his awards ceremony. Amanda gets a better showing because she represents the personification of Spock’s human side.

Personally I would have preferred more balance. And some Hollywood movies do achieve this. Compare Rosemary Harris’ May Parker to Sally Fields’. The former has something to add to her relationship the latter leaves Peter to fret about his uncle without having anything to add.

51. Still tired - February 12, 2013

@49 “Many American workers are at will employees and work long hours for low pay.”

This statement is utterly incorrect, American workers have the lowest hours/highest pay in the world, and there is no such thing as “at will” employment in the US. Several states, not a majority, have what is called “right to work” laws which are really right to fire laws, but nothing even close to what you are saying, good god do some f-in research before you type, you will sound like less of an idiot.

I know far more on this subject than you ever will since I have been an “average American worker” for decades, and if people here don’t like the job they get hired for, they f-in quit, sometimes the first day or hour, nobody in this country is forced to do a job they don’t want to do, if they are unsatisfied in their job it is their own fault, no one else’s.

As for the rest of your rambling nonsense, I do not even feel the need to dignify it with an answer.

52. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 12, 2013

#45 – “male character after male character (Keenser, Olsen, Pike, Nero, Cupcake)”

How do you know that Keenser was male? Keenser may well be the female of the species – don’t know.

That aside, I think there is a difficulty here that the producers/writers have.

Olsen – if this character had been female, then doing what the character did would have caused a huge outpouring of anger…

Pike – well, he is part of canon and allowed for a certain continuity

Nero – I guess this villain could have been female, feeling the same way as the male Nero did, the reasons just as real and plausible, except…there would be an even greater outpouring of anger at a female being portrayed as emotionally unbalanced etc (which the male Nero was), citing eg stereotyping etc.

Cupcake – that could have been a female character in charge of Security. However, if a female Cupcake were there in the bar, she would have been seen as a weak, mean bitch who let the other guy beat up a civilian.

Therein lies the problem. We (both men AND women) are, by far, much more demanding that women behave a certain (good) way and far nastier if they do not, compared with how we regard the various behaviours of men. If people are not going for the women themselves, they are going for the writers.

You only need to see the difference in attitude towards Uhura as opposed to Dr McCoy. Neither Kirk nor Uhura were originally supposed to be on the Enterprise, yet they both got on. Uhura is called every nasty name under the sun and Spock is considered weak, whereas McCoy’s behaviour is rarely even noted. Yet, what Spock and McCoy did had exactly the same effect, ie letting people onto the Enterprise who were originally not on the list of crew assigned to the Enterprise.

I’m just *loving* the double-standard here, except that it was actually McCoy’s actions that were remiss, not Spock’s or Uhura’s.

53. The Sinfonian - February 12, 2013

@51. Most American workers actually are “at will”. We can be terminated/fired/let go for any reason. Less than about 12% are union members, but even they can be furloughed without cause other than business. We certainly are among the best pay, but we have a wide disparity between the CEO end of the scale, and the server at Outback end of the scale. ($2.44/hr + tips). When you look at CEO to entry level pay in the US, we’re *way* out of whack.

With unemployment “reported” at 8%, but actually more around 15% when you factor in those who’ve given up, and around 22% if you factor in the “disabled” who could still work…. it ain’t that great in the U.S. of A. or probably in the U.F. of P. either!

I’m sure in the 2240’s, Winona continued working in both the Prime and the JJverses. It’s interesting to think of how we know the Kirks were on the Kelvin in both universes, and that at least in the Prime they also were stationed on Tarsus. They might surely have also spent time on Deneva, considering George Samuel Junior lived their with his wife Aurelan and their children.

Intriguing how we completely get that G.S. Kirk Senior was dead by 2258 when Kirk’s at the Academy, but Boborci fails in the movie to note what became of Winona. I suspect… Was the reason Kirk was moody and back in Riverside because of his mother’s funeral???? That could completely explain his actions in the sequence leading to his encounter with Captain Pike.

54. The Sinfonian - February 12, 2013

Aargh, number switching underway. Followup was @52.

55. Disinvited - February 12, 2013

#51. Still tired

The only reason you don’t understand Rose’s workers statement is that like most of my fellow U.S. citizens you want to ignore the significant economic impact that undocumented workers play in your having those options.

56. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 12, 2013

#53 – Thank you. I only had to google US at will employment and I found a whole host of threads on same. Still Tired needs to take himself to bed and not blow me up because he claims I don’t know anything.

Re: At Will Employment –
“Under this legal doctrine:
“ any hiring is presumed to be “at will”; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals “for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all,” and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work.[2] ”

In a landmark 2000 decision largely reaffirming employers’ rights under the at-will doctrine, the Supreme Court of California explained:
“ [A]n employer may terminate its employees at will, for any or no reason … the employer may act peremptorily, arbitrarily, or inconsistently, without providing specific protections such as prior warning, fair procedures, objective evaluation, or preferential reassignment … The mere existence of an employment relationship affords no expectation, protectable by law, that employment will continue, or will end only on certain conditions, unless the parties have actually adopted such terms.[3]”

Actually, the country with one higher rates of pay and lowest working hours is or has been France and other parts of Europe. France has had for quite a while now 35-37 and a half hours working week. Many countries have better employment laws than the US.

Hopefully, those better employment laws may well have made into the 23rd century, but it appears, on the surface, that for this alternate Star Trek universe, it has not come to pass.

57. Pauln6 - February 12, 2013

LOL. Still Tired – your dogmatic egocentrism is so… American. Still, the last time I looked there was a recession and I suspect that there are plenty of surveys out there that demonstrate an awful lot of people are doing jobs they would rather not be doing to make ends meet through no fault of their own and yes a surviving spouse could easily fall into that category.

However, NuTrek’s approach is inconsistent. Should 23rd century post-need Federation citizens really have to go into space because an ex takes everything in the divorce? Seems a bit inconsistent. I don’t think Winona was working off planet because she had to to make ends meet. She was off planet because she wanted to be more than just a parent. That doesn’t make her a bad person but I do lament the way the writers made her a non-presence as a parent, leaving her son in the care of various male role models.

58. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 12, 2013

“Maybe Bob Orci might like to clarify just where Winona was and what she did while her two sons grew without having a father around – either.”

This is what I wrote in a previous post on this thread.

#57 – There is not so much inconsistency as a lack of elaboration.

59. Pauln6 - February 12, 2013

@ Rose – Keenser is referred to as male and is portrayed as male in the comics.

Olsen – if this character had been female, then doing what the character did would have caused a huge outpouring of anger…

Pike – well, he is part of canon and allowed for a certain continuity

Nero – I guess this villain could have been female, feeling the same way as the male Nero did, the reasons just as real and plausible, except…there would be an even greater outpouring of anger at a female being portrayed as emotionally unbalanced etc (which the male Nero was), citing eg stereotyping etc.

Cupcake – that could have been a female character in charge of Security. However, if a female Cupcake were there in the bar, she would have been seen as a weak, mean bitch who let the other guy beat up a civilian.

I think you approach to gender roles is skewed by your own prejudice. Olsen was a man and I found that his character was lamentable but I’d have no problem visualising Katee Sackoff playing Olsen exactly exactly as written having seen her play Starbuck as a damaged adrenalin junkie. Still, they could have killed him without making him a total imbecile.

Seven of Nine was conceived as a male character and became female when they decided to write out Kes instead of Kim. The actor brings something to the role but that need not be hard-wired into the words on the page. Jessica Chastain’s CIA agent in Zero Dark Thirty could easily have been male and any actor that played the role would have stamped their own masculinity on it.

Cupcake is trickier since his character seems largely based on his machismo and rivalry with Kirk but Julie Caitlin Brown’s Na’Toth had quite a lot of ‘machismo’. The sex of the character is not the be all and end all. I just find it frustrating that the casting is so consistently and negligently skewed in favour of male characters.

60. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 12, 2013

My approach to gender roles skewed by my own prejudice? How so?

If they had cast Olsen as a female and showing her (as opposed to him) behaving foolishly/dangerously, many people would have gone for the writers/producers for showing one of the few female characters behaving so erratically, in the same way people would have gone for them had they cast a female Nero. People got pissed off for having about the only female cast member, ie Deanna Troi, crash the Enterprise saucer into Veridian III (St: Generations). They accused the studio of negative stereotyping then and they would have done the same now, even more so, in the case of Nero and Olsen.

I agree that there are not enough female characters and unfortunately, with Star Trek, there are difficulties, despite it supposedly being against sexism, racism etc. I am not sure there is negligence, just certain obstacles, which has to do with how the original series (1966) was put together, ie male oriented and centered (sign of those times).

I would have loved a female no. 1, as GR had originally intended. No reason there could not have been, eg a Dr Lenora McCoy or a Julia Chekov, however, that is not how it happened. I love all those characters and find it very hard to imagine them being anything other than who they are – actually, I think I could, but a lot of joe public, I doubt, would not tolerate with such changes.

People were objecting to the notion of a female being captain of a smaller starship called Voyager. I remember reading about the controversy and this was in the nineties. Unbelievable but true!

I don’t think that it is so much the writers/producers’ attitudes as it is more to do with what jo-public want and expect to see – unfortunately.

61. Jay - February 12, 2013

why has a thread about the latest issue of the comic swerved so of course into no no political land.
Aren’t Political debates not permited on these forums?

62. Trekkiegal63 - February 12, 2013

Actually, you’re both right (and wrong). Employment laws are governed, for the most part, on the state level, not a federal level. While yes, all states have an ‘at will’ policy, all but seven states have what is called ‘public policy doctrine’ which dictates to an employer what is and isn’t a firing offense. I know this first hand, as a supervisor I had to attend a class on this.

Minimum wage is also determined at a state level. Right now the minimum wage in California is $8.00 an hour.

On education: It is true that many people with college degrees are not necessarily finding work. This depends largely on what field you chose to major in (this is why I’m trying to encourage my daughter not to choose Business Adminstration… I know too many people with kids who possess a business degree and who are now finding themselves working in retail or unemployed). My field, biotechnology, is always hiring. As is, on a closely related basis, the medical field. The trick is finding a niche that is also in demand. But one thing is for certain, since in the current state of our economy obtaining a job is highly competitive, it is better to have a degree than not.

On 23rd century economics: the abolishment of monies (credits or otherwise) was a Picard statement, not a Kirk one. While canon does dictate that the 24th century is free of such difficulties as putting food on the table, there is no canon evidence to support this is also the case in the 23rd century.

On childcare: I was in no way implying that a mother isn’t particularly suited for care of her child. What I was responding to was the implication that a working mother is somehow lacking in parental concern. Because that would be WRONG.

I also take exception to vilifying Winona automatically with so little canon evidence to back up a claim of neglect. As Pauln6 pointed out, and beautifully I might add, we have so few women in ST2009, I do not take kindly to one of the few we have being automatically labeled as the Wicked Witch of the West without corroborating evidence.

63. Pauln6 - February 12, 2013

Olsen was a dick. He would have been a dick even if he’d been a she. The fact that you THINK that the gender of the character would have been singled out is part of the problem. The transporter operator replaced by Chekov was a woman too – albeit a forgettable one. I don’t recall her being singled out because of her gender despite being as useless as Olsen.

Lets look at this another way. Take all the male characters outside the big7 seven, the parents, and the girlfriends and flip their sex. The alien doctor in the shuttle is now a man. Robau, his bridge crew apart from Kirk, Keenser, Cupcake, Pike, the Vulcan acadamy master, Auntie Francine, the police officer, the Vulcan bullies, – they are now all women.

Do you find yourself thinking – gosh, why are there so many women in this movie? Sauce for the goose Mister Saavik. The writers need a wake up call and 40 years of Trek hasn’t been enough to do it. Yikes.

64. Trekkiegal63 - February 12, 2013

#63 Pauln6:

The writers need a wake up call and 40 years of Trek hasn’t been enough to do it. Yikes.

I very much want to buy you a fruit basket for this statement.

65. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 12, 2013

#62 – ” I do not take kindly to one of the few we have being automatically labeled as the Wicked Witch of the West without corroborating evidence.”

I never labelled Winona as that. That’s all you.

“#40 -“@37. – I would hope the issue Rose is getting at here not that Winona works instead of being a stay at home mum, it’s that she works off-planet without her sons. I worked while my sons were kids, but they still lived with me . I would assume that this would be expected to be the optimum arrangement unless I was an abusive or neglectful parent. I would also hope that any employer (even Starfleet) would make a reasonable effort to enable any single parent, male or female, to keep their children close at hand if that was what the parent requested.”

I agreed with this qualification at post #47.

On this issue, when I wrote about “abandonment”, surely that would have been how the absence of his mother must have felt like for a young boy. She pops in and out while the rest of the time, he and his brother are left in the primary care of an uncle who would rather not be looking after them. It is one thing to offer a home to them, but another to be expected to take on the longterm day to day care of the children. This is how it appears to be for Jimmy, older brother George (or Sam) and Uncle Frank. Herein lies the problem.

Actually the situation is not unlike what is occurring today with many families…It is current social commentary.

The other separate issue is about the often very unbalanced ratio of males to females in a lot of movies, and in particular, Star Trek. As I said above, it is a difficult one, because of how TOS series was set up character/gender wise. I am not disagreeing with you, trekkiegal, and others, but I don’t know how the writers can bring about a better male/female balance.

Please, please – Bob Orci – your input, please?!

66. Still tired - February 12, 2013

@56. Ha ha ha ha, you say the French work fewer hours then give the exact same numbers as a standard work week in America, so funny. As for whether the French earn more than Americans, even if they do now, with the EU collapsing they wont for long.

@57. Holding a job you dont like to “make ends meet” does not preclude the possibility of it being a “worthwhile” or “fullfilling” job, I would consider any job that allows me to take care of my family both worthwhile and fullfilling, and I rather suspect nearly any parent who deserves the title would feel the same. I also consider nearly all surveys worthless and devoid of any real factual information.

@62. Thank you for that, I will admit that in 20 years of employment I have never heard anyone make a reference to “at will” employment, so honest mistake I suppose.

@53. I am still absolutely certain that that Server at Outback can take their W-2 form and compare their yearly income to someone doing the same job in almost any other nation and see that they are FAR ahead of their counterparts.

Bored now, and totally done with this thread.

67. Still tired - February 12, 2013

Whoops, forgot you Disinvited, you have a small point, but I believe the negative impact of undocumented laborers is not as significant as many think, and certainly not as significant as the outsourcing of manufacturing to countries like China where they can have the work done by 10 year olds for a dollar a day.

68. gingerly - February 12, 2013

@44

“…now excited about the comic about Uhura :)”

I’m right there with you!

I’m also pleased the diversity of women I saw in the 2009. Seriously, I’ve never so many non-stereotypical women of color in a blockbuster movie before…

And I counted three background black women without chemically straightened hair. I do think more of that will be our future.

So, kudos for forward-thinking.

I just hope Alice Eve and Uhura end up passing the Blechel Test. I’d love to see them have a normal conversation and be kickass together.

Also, I must shout-out that episode of TAS where Uhura captained the Enterprise!

I’d rather more quality from the women, than quantity, tbh.

69. gingerly - February 12, 2013

I accidentally many words, yuck.
Apologies.

70. Trekkiegal63 - February 12, 2013

#65 Rose (as in Keachick):

You said…

…rarely ever seeing his mother because he is pretty much regarded as a hobby as opposed to her all important career.

… Uh huh, I drew your viewing Winona as Wicked Witch of the West totally out of thin air. I mean, you no way implied anything that would lead me to believe you felt that way about her. Where could I possibly have come up with it? *she says dryly*

Said it before, will say it again, a working parent is not synonymous with a uncaring parent. Seriously Rose.

#68 Gingerly:

And I counted three background black women without chemically straightened hair. I do think more of that will be our future

Really? Where? I’m not asking to torment you, I’m genuinely curious. I must have missed that, which is surprising as I a) normally look for that kind of thing and b) have seen the ST2009 multiple times.

‘Course, I could argue that it would have been much nicer to have them up front and center rather than in the background. Just saying…

Now on to your statement on quality over quantity: I both agree and disagree. I adored… no, not a strong enough adjective, I LOVED that Uhura was portrayed as incredibly intelligent, and gifted and compassionate and well educated. I did not like that they took our one female lead and made her a part of a token romance. And I will not like it if/when they do it for Carol Marcus as well. I do not like this trend of placing a strong, self-sufficient woman in a relationship at all costs within film, no matter the genre. The implications are horrible. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that ST2009 had some quality in regards to its portrayal of women, it did not have a lot by any stretch of the imagination. Miles to go yet. Miles.

But yes, it would be nice to see a Trek film pass the Bechdel (after cartoonist Alison Bechdel) test.

71. Still tired - February 13, 2013

One final little clarification re: length of average American work week

While I cannot, of course, speak for all Americans, I have lived and worked in more than 10 different states, and 35 hours has always been about the average for me, this is over the course of 20 years so its a pretty good average.

I have never lived or worked in a state where that did not meet the legal definition of “Full Time Employment”, and have never heard of one either.

I have been employed at my current job for 6 years, very rarely I might work as few as 25 hours (Christmas), and equally rarely I might work as many as 44 hours (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally week, the smart people out there now know where I live :) ), but almost every week my timesheet shows a number like 33.44 hours or 36.78 hours, and so on.

I work a menial job, washing dishes in a restaurant, for 9 dollars an hour, and have never earned more than 20 thousand dollars in one year, and I am completely happy with my life exactly how it is. Why you ask, when I work such a “low class” “dead end” “no brain required” job, would I be happy?

Because I feel worthwhile and fulfilled, why do I feel this way, because I earn enough to house, feed, and care for myself and my family, and get myself and the family all the “luxury items” (video games, TV, Netflix, candy, iPods, and so on) we have time for, plus the occasional movie theater visit, vacation thousands of miles from home, and other things.

Because I do not want the workload and stress of being a boss, despite having a more than sufficient intellect and education to handle the job (IQ 145, and I used to be a licensed Electrician, there is a job I don’t ever want to do again).

Because I do a better, cleaner, and more efficient job than all 3 of the employees that work my job on the shifts I don’t work and every single one of my co-workers knows it and appreciates me for it.

Because my boss has loaned me hundreds of dollars to help me with emergencies and given me any time off I have needed for said emergencies without me even asking for it, and without ever pressuring me to pay him back or make it up, though I have done both.

Lastly, and most importantly, I am fulfilled because my children think I am the greatest hero on Earth, bar none, and they are the only people whose opinions matter to me.

72. Pauln6 - February 13, 2013

But Still Tired – if you’re so happy and fulfilled why are you so rude to others when you post on here? ;P Doth you protest too much?

Joking aside, if you were to suffer a serious injury so that your partner had to take over as the sole carer of both you and your children, would your lifetime of relatively low income have enough elasticity for your family to remain happy and fulfilled or would they struggle?

Winona Kirk was essentially a single parent with two children. Illness and death can have a massive impact on a family dynamic emotionally and financially. She may have been a negligent mother due to the trauma but I would prefer that to be spelled out as part of the plot rather than make her a non-entity.

In the comic the boys clashed with their uncle because they weren’t allowed to be Kirks (i.e. arrogant and right all the time) in his house. Personally I can see exactly why she wanted to get off planet! ;P

73. Still tired - February 13, 2013

@72. I’m rude because I have no respect whatsoever for the people I am talking to, and because I enjoy it, and because I can, not complicated. I was also a single parent for a number of years before finding my partner, took a few fairly serious injuries along the way too, we are all still here and kicking.

I utterly disagree with the idea of Winnona as being a neglectful mother or bad parent. She was a member of Starfleet, a military service, and could not just leave whenever she wanted, no matter what the circumstances. She had a duty to fulfill, every bit as much as George was doing his duty when he gave his life.

But I don’t respect you enough to keep arguing about it.

74. Dom - February 13, 2013

To be honest, I’d hoped the new Trek would ‘Starbuck’ a couple of characters, maybe replacing Sulu or Chekov with women. Even better, have a female Sulu and replace Chekov with Arex!

Still, I like the people who play the roles!

75. Trekkiegal63 - February 13, 2013

She was a member of Starfleet, a military service, and could not just leave whenever she wanted, no matter what the circumstances.

This is a very good point. Assignments in the military are not voluntary, they are ordered. And in real life the UCMJ is a contract, which, once signed is upheld or you risk dishonorable discharge. We know Starfleet has a similar standard because it has been addressed in canon. For example Kirk ‘drafting’ McCoy in ST:TMP – the man had thought himself retired, but Kirk found a clause that said the equivalent of ‘there is no retiring in Starfleet’.

Thus Winona’s assignments would be at the whims of her commanding officers, not her own discretion.

But all that aside, the main point still stands: a working parent is in no way, shape or form synonymous with being an unconcerned or negligent parent. More specifically, since this train of thought seems to be gender specific, a working mother is no way, shape or form synonymous with being an unconcerned or negligent parent. Believing working mothers to be somehow lesser parents, or neglectful, or automatically painting them with that taint despite having very little detail into their family dynamics, is sexist thinking.

I would also like to point out that just because a woman might decide to stay home to raise her young does not automatically mean she’s going to be a wonderful parent. This thinking that ‘homemaker = happy home, working professional = unhappy home’ is flawed on many levels.

76. Pauln6 - February 13, 2013

And we have to remember that it will be another 100 years before they have families on starships. Winona was superficially ‘neglectful’ because Kirk needs to be an unruly teen cos life’s soooo harrrd. Personally I never cared for that plot arc when you consider the far more interesting history he had in TOS but nevertheless they needed an origin story to fit in a movie and Kirk the jerk was born. It would be cool if she appeared in the sequel in some starfleet capacity to redeem her potential but Trek writers have traditionally quite disdainful of happy families. Very few Trek characters are shown to have both parents still living despite being quite young and we’re off to a cracking start in NuTrek.

I’m not in favour of replacing established male characters with alternate females. I’m more in favour of modernising the women we already have and introducing new ones to even up the numbers.

Does Nurse Chapel really need to be a nurse? There’s nothing wrong with being a nurse of course but she”l be resigned to meaningless cameos in that role. She was originally a research biologist so make her a scientist who works alongside McCoy or Spock. Use Helen Noel. Use Ann Mulhall – an engineer and astrobiologist – a very useful addition to the team. Use Janice Rand. Use Ilia (who is roughly the same age as Chekov but her canon age was never officially established). Lets see an Andorian security chief!

And lol Still Tired is hilarious. I don’t think I need to say more than that ;P

77. Trekkiegal63 - February 13, 2013

#76 Pauln6:

I would love to see Helen Noel, Ann Mulhall and yes, Janice Rand modernized.

Frankly, any new rendition of Noel would be a step up for the stalkerish, and rather creepy portrayal of her in “Dagger of the Mind’. If ever there was a character that could use a rehaul…

The new series has the opportunity now to undo a lot of the sexism evident in the original series (don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing TOS, it is my favorite of them all, I’m just saying it was very much a product of its time) , so yes, I agree, it would be nice to see these characters make an appearence. Bonus points if they are put into the movie based on their own merits, professional standing and contribution to the running of the ship and not as a love interest for Kirk.

78. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 13, 2013

“I would also like to point out that just because a woman might decide to stay home to raise her young does not automatically mean she’s going to be a wonderful parent. This thinking that ‘homemaker = happy home, working professional = unhappy home’ is flawed on many levels.”

I agree with you. It has not been my contention either re your last sentence quoted above.

Still Tired – your disrespect for me has been all too apparent, not only on this topic, but on just about everything else as well. You blow me up, virtually swear at me, because YOU had never heard of the “at will” doctrine. Nice going – not…:( I was not making any personal attack against you or whatever your lifestyle is. The fact is that I did not know, until reading your post just now, what it was. Yet you make disparaging comments about my posts. Perhaps you think you can do that because you have an IQ of 145, and you think I can’t have a similar IQ. Well, I don’t, but my husband has an IQ of 150 – (ex)NZ Mensa member and still eligible to rejoin….just so long as we are throwing IQs around. He has no problem understanding me…

I have been talking in general terms, making social commentary, if you will.

I have no idea whether Winona was a neglectful mother. From reading the comics, I think that Winona was doing her best. It is also possible that Winona never properly bonded with little baby Jim Kirk, because of the entire traumatic events that took place at his birth. This is something I have mentioned some years back on another Star Trek (2009) site and may have also written here.

I think the real issue here is that society, as of now, (perhaps never has really), taken into account the real needs of women. We have lived under a mostly patriarchal governance – where singular thinking is much more the norm. Women think differently and that has been verified by many brain scans taken to see how the minds of men and women work and whether there are differences, what they may be and what relevance they might have…

This means that females can and do get (highly) qualified, because they have the brain power and focus to do so. They do make fine lawyers, doctors, *veterinarians, nurses, teachers, chemists etc. It is just that women possess a procreative biology, one which cannot be ignored by most women. I remember somebody once saying, “Men have two motivating influences – head and heart. Women have three parts – head, heart and womb”. The socio-economic set up that we now have is that many women are told to or choose to ignore the third aspect, basically because, once again, as we have seen when it comes to casting even for a fine science fiction drama like Star Trek, males predominate, along with their singular way of thinking…

It is not very good.

* the two local veterinarian practices near where I live are both run by women. I recall only once having a consultation with a male veterinarian within the last five years. We have had several kinds of animals – dog (just had surgery done by an all female surgical/nursing team), cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Female vets saved the life of a 5 month old kitten some years ago. We still have the cat with us now. I am in awe of their expertise and dedication.

79. Disinvited - February 13, 2013

#73. Still tired

Not entirely sure what your point is about 35 hour full time work weeks are? But I must be older than you because I remember when it was minimum of 40hrs mandated by most state laws and the corporate lobbyists (led by WalMart in my state) went and shaved it off by 5 hours so they could qualify for massive tax breaks and other perks by reclasifying part-time employees as full. But the kicker was they left the old overtime definitions intact. I’m glad you can make it work for you but a lot of 40hr full-timers took hard hits to their weekly budget as their work week lost those 5hrs of pay.

Also, although I’m as guilty of it in my misspent youth as the fictional Dr. Sheldon Cooper, I have noted when among Mensans that rudeness is not a necessary and sufficient characteristic of a high I.Q.

80. Pauln6 - February 13, 2013

I agree. Even as a child I was quite frustrated at how passive most of the women were in TOS. I was growing up with Blakes 7, which while far from the epitome of equality did have a fair number of supporting women. When we used to play with our action figures we had to use all the different versions of Leia to play the characters we needed. Thank heavens the Black Hole figures gave us a blonde to use.

But I have a confession to make: I absolutely love Janice Rand. She was camp and generally useless but I love her! I will die a happy man if she gets a modern update in one of the NuTrek movies. Like Uhura, Janice was never given much of a chance to shine – she was far too passive in Miri but I rather liked the bit of fire she displayed in the Enemy Within and Charlie X. Her final appearance spoke volumes without uttering a single word.

I’ve tried my hand at doing some ‘motion comics’ uploaded onto Youtube – just a cheesy excuse to merge themes from various other sci fi genres into the Trek universe, using images from TMP. It can be a challenge to equalise the sexes when you start off with such an imbalance but it’s definitely possible as long as you keep it in mind and just use the characters in situations relevant to their skill set, it’s certainly possible to ‘improve’ the situation.

81. Still tired - February 13, 2013

@79. Look back at some of Rose’s comments on this thread, she claimed that workers in France had the lowest number of hours for their work week, and said they worked 35 to 37 hours a week, since that is exactly the same number of hours I work on average here in America, and the same number of hours defined by law as full time employment (at least in SD, KS, MI, NV, UT, and all of the other states I have worked in), I was pointing out that workers in France do not work fewer hours than American workers, on average. You arent that much older than me because it was 40 hours until about 23 years ago, and I remember that time quite clearly, now I hope I have clarified why I posted that message enough for you, especially as you and trekkiegal are the only people in this argument I do respect. As for my rudeness, what exactly does that have to do with my intelligence? The only correlation I am aware of is a long known tendency of the very intelligent to be rude and dismissive to the stupid people around them, like Rose and Paul.

All else aside though, arguing with these stupid people is just not worth the time, especially when they refuse to even try to learn, so I will not be bothering any more.

82. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 13, 2013

I reiterate that many people do work more than 40 hours per week on one job in the US and other countries in the western world now.

Just because I may not know everything about work conditions and pay in the US does not mean that I know nothing. Clearly, I was aware of something you were not aware of. I note that Still Tired has not apologized to me for his ugly outburst towards me…

#81 – “The only correlation I am aware of is a long known tendency of the very intelligent to be rude and dismissive to the stupid people around them, like Rose and Paul.”

So that gives you the right to be so to myself and Paul. Funny thing, I have met and conversed on several occasions with real Mensans, those whose IQ’s start at 150. My husband’s previous late partner (died of cancer at 33 years old) had an IQ of 172, actually higher than Stephen Hawkings (168) after he had an accident where he suffered a head injury, and she was not nearly as rude, dismissive, or patently stupid as you have been sometimes.

Still Tired – Maybe if you stopped being so dismissive, YOU might actually learn something.

83. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 13, 2013

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=ANHRS

http://www.justlanded.com/english/USA/USA-Guide/Jobs/Work-environment

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/americans-work-too-much-for-their-own-good-de-graaf-and-batker.html

Look what I found – google can be interesting…

84. Marja - February 14, 2013

Re: work

– Some people may be forgetting that though French people may work 40 hrs per week they get FIVE WEEKS PAID VACATION per YEAR.

– ALL COMPANIES should provide childcare on premises so parents can visit their children during the day, take kids with them when reporting for / leaving work. I have always felt strongly that the child issue should concern PARENTS, not mums or dads, but PARENTS of equal importance. Companies, the military, ALL employers should do this, but it costs money, and when it comes to money, business owners win out. The military is a little more advanced in this way.

– SOME COMPANIES put their employees on “work weeks” with hours short of full-time in order to avoid paying legitimate full-time worker benefits.

=/\= WOMEN IN STAR TREK – TrekkieGal and Pauln6, I agree completely, their passive roles annoyed me a great deal when I watched TOS in the ’60s, and I was only eleven years old when I started. The good thing about Trek is, it inspired many women in spite of its sexism: Mae Jemison, Whoopi Goldberg, many, many scientists and military women (including me, a Coast Guard petty officer, now retired. Can I tell you how much I loved Capt. Pike? Like a real captain. And I loved his line, “… a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada”). I loved Number One too, even though she was featured in only a pilot ep.

=/\= So YES, let’s update original female characters to be as expert and competent as Uhura (but perhaps without the complications of dual-career romantic relationships? Though I must confess, I was always an advocate for a Crusher/Picard relationship. I write romantic fanfic … forgive me)!!! My argument for Picard/Crusher was much the same as Bob Orci’s. Bless you Bob and may you and fellow writers introduce more career women into Trek.

=/\= Personally, I think a female “Nero” would have been a super great character. Enraged because her husband and child had died.

One thing I wish above many others, Bob Orci, is that you and fellow writers would move beyond some of the sexism – although perhaps you write characters as male to appeal to international audiences who may not be so advanced in matters of equality as we in the US?

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED seeing so many female officers in the b/g in ST09, but wish more could have had speaking roles, or been written as women, e.g., Nero, Ayel, the senior Vulcan Elder, the LT whom Uhura replaced, the Barracks Officer who challenged McCoy’s entry onto the shuttle, Admiral Barnett … women can chastise, block goals, and be ignorant of Romulan dialects just like men … I did love Ms. “Sit Down or I’ll Make You Sit Down!”

Rose and others, please know that I wasn’t dissing Winona, but I was dissing her PRESENTATION by the writers of the comics. They often seem to lapse into an easy sexism that never fails to tick … me … off.

Though there are many things I love in the comics, too. Mirror Uhura was kick-ass [and in fact, she and almost all the characters, EXCEPT MIRROR SPOCK, were drawn very well … but for MirrorVerse, you just NEED a GREAT Mirror Spock.

I cannot say enough how much I wish it had been McCoy’s MOM who had been the doctor … his dad could still have served the vital role of advisor.

StillTired, Bless you for excellent performance on the job, Bless your employer for being a true mensch, and bless you for being a great dad. You told us you were done with this thread three separate times – really, we’re okay if you take a nap or go enjoy being with your baby daughter. No need to stir yourself up over this nonsense, it sounds like you have important stuff to do, and no, my intent is NOT to be patronizing or sarcastic. Why stress yourself out explaining stuff to people you consider silly or dumb? There are people around me with whom I don’t discuss politics b/c I know it’s pointless to try to bring them round to my POV.

Folks, I just want to say I LOVE THIS BOARD when folks aren’t being mean. I’m getting a lot of great ideas for fanfic, e.g., points brought up in here re: Kirk’s possible background and reasons for his rebellion / misbehavior.

85. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 14, 2013

“I did love Ms. “Sit Down or I’ll Make You Sit Down!”

I agree. I wish we could have seen more of her.

86. Pauln6 - February 15, 2013

Lol – well said Marja. I loved Uhura’s ‘This isn’t reality; this is fantasy!’ line in STIII too. She got very little screen time but that one scene made up for a lack of decent scenes in the previous two movies. My only regret is that we didn’t get to see that she had to stay behind to slow down Starfleet Security’s response not because she was a girl. It would have shown that she was willing to sacrifice her freedom for them and demonstrated her skill level since she actually scrambled comms, beamed out before security beamed in, and rand headlong to request asylum at the Vulcan Embassy (shown in the novelisation). Now that would have been a cool scene to see but I suppose it would have detracted from the excitement of the ship escaping.

Marja, while I’m not a fan of romantic fanfic, in my comic strip I did try to play with the theme of the long-lost unrequieted(?) romance between Kirk and Rand, including the implication that he might have been the father of her daughter (as implied in the novel Captain’s Daughter). There is enough romance between the resurrected Decker and Ilia so I don’t want to waste too much screen time on mooshy stuff with the others.

87. Jovius the Romulan - February 15, 2013

76, 77: YES. Yes yes yes. I would love to see appearances of those characters. I’m also hoping Rand makes an appearance since she was in the comics, but maybe that’s wishful thinking along with Chapel. Is there even a “yeoman” position in this alternate reality, though? They seemed to drop the whole thing after a while in the original series… until Burke and Samno confused matters more than a couple decades later! There seemed to be no yeomen or commodores in TNG, though.

I really hope Carol Marcus is a well fleshed out character and not just “token love interest”. Alice Eve is capable of more than that (and more than just being thought of as a sex object — I don’t object to nudity or appreciation of beauty but some of the fratboyish comments on this site… wow). I was a little frustrated that they put Uhura on so many promotional materials yet her role wasn’t quite as well defined as it should have been. There were hints of her personality, but not enough.

We saw in TWOK that Carol is witty, very intelligent, and quite proud of her scientific achievements. Yet at the same time… she didn’t do the cliche thing of holding a grudge against Kirk after so many years. I only wish we could have gotten to know her better.

88. Trekkiegal63 - February 15, 2013

#84 Marja:

Before I repond to anything else, I just want to say thank you so much for your service to our country. :)

I should probably clarify that I don’t object to romance. Really. I’ve read “Pride and Prejudice” and “Gone with the Wind” and thought both great books. I tend to be more of a science fiction and fantasy person by nature, but I have no qualms with the occasional romance done well. What I object to mostly is the use of tropes in regards to female characterizations in films and their sexist connotations. Uhura’s romance with Spock in the 2009 film, for example, is an almost text book example of “The Smurfette Principle”. The term Smurfette Principle was termed by writer Katha Pollitt in an editorial she wrote for the New York Times, called “Hers; The Smurfette Principle” (http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/07/magazine/hers-the-smurfette-principle.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm) which noted the disproportionate amount of male characters to female characters in family geared entertainment, and when there was a female, a ‘Smurfette’ if you will, she was usually the portrayed as the ‘love interest’ or metaphorical ‘cheerleader’ to the male protagonist. The Smurfette principle also sets the female protagonist up as a trophy, an object whose affections is to be won by the male protagonist. In the Smurfs, all of the male Smurfs sought the attention of the single female in the group, Smurfette, while in Star Trek 2009 both Spock and Kirk aimed for the affections of Uhura.

Excerpt from the article:

The sexism in preschool culture deforms both boys and girls. Little girls learn to split their consciousness, filtering their dreams and ambitions through boy characters while admiring the clothes of the princess. The more privileged and daring can dream of becoming exceptional women in a man’s world — Smurfettes. The others are being taught to accept the more usual fate, which is to be a passenger car drawn through life by a masculine train engine. Boys, who are rarely confronted with stories in which males play only minor roles, learn a simpler lesson: girls just don’t matter much.

That is the trope that has been in the back of my mind as I’ve been interacting in this thread. Along with another, even more insidious trope called “women in refrigerators”. “Women in Refrigerators” is a term first coined by comic book writer Gail Simone, in which she and her friends developed a list of female heroines who had been killed, maimed or depowered that circulated around comic book circles in the 90’s, these heroine’s deaths or brutalization used as a plot device to further the story arch of a male protagonist. She did this to make a point. The implication was that female characters are notoriously treated as expendable. The darker, more menacing implication is that female characters are more likely than their male counterparts to be brutalized and for no other reason than that it prompts the male protagonist into revenge or enlightenment. If you’re curious, here is her original list, and an update section (http://www.comicvine.com/women-in-refrigerators/12-43763/). The death of Amanda Grayson in the 2009 Star Trek film was a “women in refrigerator” moment.

I loved ST:TOS more than any other show that came before or has been aired since. It is my go-to show whenever I’m feeling melancholy or stressed. I just pop in a dvd (it’s on my birthday list to update my seasonal boxsets to bluray) and lose myself. But TOS, despite its brilliancy, was a product of its time. It is literally littered with these tropes. What I would love to see, more than anything, is for this not to be the case in any new incarnation of Star Trek.

And on that note, Pauln6, I would love a link to your comic! It sounds wonderful. (And I have no issues with Rand, aside from the puppy love stuff. I thought it was neat that she was both a supportive friend, and that she fought off ‘evil’ Kirk’s attempted rape in “Enemy Within”, you go, girl!… an update of her without the whole mooning aspect would be lovely).

As for Crusher and Picard… I actually loved how they were handled within TNG’s “All Good Things”. We know that in Q’s version of the future, at least, they were married and divorced. But their marriage happened largely offscreen, there was never any obligatory make-out scenes, Crusher wasn’t shown as parading around in her underwear, solidifying her image as an object. The marriage of Picard and Crusher did not become the central focus of either character. Crusher was even a captain and had her own ship! That is AWESOME. So yeah, the reason I didn’t include Beverly Crusher in my list of females who had been placed within a token romance above is because I actually thought that she was handled well. It was Troi who was both the Smurfette and the Woman in a Refrigerator (she was raped, albeit mentally on a few of those occasions, far too many times for my liking) on that particular show.

#87 Jovius the Romulan:

Agreed on the Carol Marcus love. She was handled very well in tWoK. She was intelligent, savvy and cordial. Her previous romance with Kirk was never delved into with detail because it didn’t have to be. We knew what we needed to know, i.e. they had at one point produced a son, but that singular fact wasn’t what defined her. She was a scientist who, with the help of her team, had invented this amazing thing. A thing, unfortunately, that got turned into a weapon. But the ultimate fate of the Genesis Project does not overshadow just what it was she had accomplished. I hope we see *that* Carol Marcus – the first and foremost a scientist Carol – in this new film.

89. Pauln6 - February 15, 2013

The Smurfette Principle! I love it. I’ve always called it Token Female Syndrome. I must also confess that we often killed our heroine in our action figure games and it’s scary that this TV staple had the time to sink into our consciousness even by age eight! It’s not a myth but with more shows based around heroines (Buffy, Alias, Xena, etc), you can see that it’s a device used for heroines too so it’s not necessarily completely a male/female thing so much as a sign that most shows have a male protagonist and brutalising loved ones makes for a good story.

I think the link to my Youtube page should come up if you click on my name but you can search for pauln6 or Angels of Acheron. Don’t get your hopes up though – it’s pure cheese.

90. Jovius the Romulan - February 15, 2013

88: I hope we see her in that light too. She obviously stood on equal ground with Kirk. I don’t mind that she’s wearing the skant uniform (or even in Starfleet, something a few people take issue with as she was a civilian contractor in TWOK), so long as she’s not just eye candy. Beauty is fine, but we need brains too. (I’m looking at you, Bella! God, what an awful role model for young girls.) Perhaps the screencap on the bridge is her contributing in a big way — a scientific or tactical solution that helps drive the plot? That would be one way she would get the attention of Kirk. Or, who knows, maybe it is /her/ who pursues him? It would be a nice little reversal, kind of like Gillian Taylor leaving Kirk speechless after saying she would call /him/. (Which was such a cute moment in TVH.)

For what it’s worth, Kirk’s awful pick up lines and leering at Uhura in the 2009 movie were shown to be little more than childish behaviour and /not/ something to be emulated by the younger male audience. (It parallels real life that Spock — the genius nerd — was more appealing. Word is that Shatner was frustrated with all the attention directed at Nimoy during the original series!) It seems like we’ll see a more grown up and mature Kirk in this movie. I like this. It also comes with the age of the actors in real life — Pine himself is now in his early 30s, around the same age as Shatner when he began work on the original series.

89: Ironic, considering these are the shows that are supposed to be all about women being equal. I think Joss Whedon got better at writing female characters by the time of “Firefly”, however. The only major trope I can think of is in the pilot episode where Kaylee is shot and barely recovers. To be fair though, the romance between her and Simon was rather one-sided at that point (her being the one who tries to capture HIS attention) and he did not go off balls-first to seek revenge when she “died”.

If you’ll allow me a sappy moment here…

It’s clear that you are two of the smartest people posting on this website (part of the reason I wish there was a full fledged forum here). I’m really glad to have you here and it’s been a pleasure reading your informed discussion. I’m well aware of the tropes you discuss and hope Star Trek’s two (male) writers will consider these things. You discuss it intelligently without getting too emotional. I think back and remember that some of these tropes with regard to women happened in MI: III. It was well done in terms of action-thrillers… but the damsel in distress and woman in refrigerator tropes practically drive the whole story. On a more minor note, the 30-second charge up for the defibrillator (much less the electricity reaching the brain when aimed at the chest — either way it would KILL the characters) was total BS. I really hope Orci and Kurtzman have been reading these sort of comments over the years and considered them carefully.

91. Pauln6 - February 15, 2013

Lol – flattery will get you nowhere. I do get frustrated that a lot of US shows have impossibly attractive women lusting after himbos when a lot of women do go for the intelligent nerds with the sense of humour. I recall wondering why, in the Bionic Woman remake, Jaime’s sparky dialogue with the computer nerd gave way to a flavourless relationship stereotypical hunk of greater physical prowess. In the UK version of Primeval, the action heroine and the nerd got together most likely because they were a couple in real life. Actually, the Canadian version isn’t doing badly at equalising gender roles and mixing up the relationships in unexpected ways. Mind you the characters are almost as incompetent as their British counterparts when it comes to countermeasures.

I just re-watched the Avengers, and while I might grumble a bit at them only using one woman, Natasha is just note perfect, as the super spy who can seemingly switch her emotions on and off. I think we’re all expecting them to introduce a couple more gals in the sequel. I’d seriously love to see a show based around the low powered heroes (Cap, Hawkeye, Widow, Falcon, Mockingbird, maybe Nomad, even Demolition Man).

I recall Mission Impossible I started ok with a decent mix of men and women [SPOILERS]] but while Emilio Estevez got a great death, the women acted like idiots. Despite being told to abort and go their separate ways, one got into the escape vehicle when the driver wasn’t even in it, and one failed to notice potential hostiles behind her (even I spotted them the first time round and I’m not a trained spy) and went into a dark alley against orders knowing that it was highly likely an enemy agent was down there. What I wouldn’t have given to see Kristen Scott Thomas return as an IMF agent in the sequels. Why couldn’t they have just put her in a coma? Whhhyyyyyyy?

92. Pauln6 - February 15, 2013

Which reminds me – one thing that annoyed me in NuTrek was when Kirk and Spock beamed over to the Narada alone. What possessed them to think that going in without a security team was a good idea? Uhura is fluent in Romulan and they need to access the ship and its systems – this is a perfect opportunity to use her character in something she is qualified to do but Kirk decided he should go alone wtf? Their lack of back-up almost got them killed on more than one occasion. They also didn’t take any medical help for Pike. The Narada’s sensors are going to detect their incursion almost immediately in exactly the same way as the Enterprise’s sensors did earlier in the same movie so what hope is there of stealth and a six man strike team of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, and two security guards would be have been sensible, possibly even beaming in a second team of security guards to act as a distraction.

93. Phil - February 16, 2013

@92. Realistically, a commanding officer would not put senior staff into that kind of search and rescue operation at all. But this being Hollywood, they had to give Kirk and Spock the chance to bond under fire. Also, recall that Scotty thought he was putting them down in a cargo hold somewhere, and by that point in the movie the Narada’s crew had been thinned out a bit. I enjoyed Trek09, but you really can’t take to close a look at it.

94. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 17, 2013

If I may, I do not disagree with anything written above here.

@ trekkiegal – who appears to be newer to this site than others, you may not know this. I have been here since June 2010 (almost three years) and I have been the one, virtually the only one, to comment on the fact that Kirk only had casual (sexual) affairs or situations where the women he fell in love with died. All these women were expendable and so, it seems, were Kirk’s needs and desires in terms of loving and being loved also expendable. In the TOS episode, The Paradise Syndrome, the writers not only killed Kirk’s lover, Miramanee, off but also their unborn child, so diddly-squat did that worman and the relationship mean to the writers. Then some people interpret it as “well, she did not really mean much to Kirk, because he was suffering some amnesia at the time”. Good God.

He’s been constantly portrayed as someone who is really “married to the Enterprise”, “his mistress, the Enterprise” by other characters in Star Trek and by many posters here – ick, ick. Therefore, he could easily get over any woman who came along – she was of no real consequence to him. I remember reading someone on another site referring to the Kirk character as the “ultimate male slut” as in he was totally selfish and care-less.

I have been coming at this issue from a different angle, but no less, important. Captain Kirk is a leading protagonist, a genuine hero, in a popular television/movie series that has now spanned four decades. Yet, his character is mostly made out to be “lazy and dismissive” in personal relationships he may have with any woman. What kind of a hero and message is that for young men to emulate?

What we do get though in Star Trek is the specialness of male/male (platonic) friendship and many of its fans rooting for the “bromance”, the Kirk/Spock friendship or the Kirk/Spock/McCoy friendship. Other romantic(sexual) relationship are of little or no consequence. Given that these characters are heterosexual, what message is being given about any female in their lives? And even if one or other of these characters were gay, still not a good message seems to be given here.

I am not against friendship per se, just how what relationships with women there have been, have been portrayed in much of TOS Star Trek – not good.

I am hoping for the same as many of you above are – Carol Marcus in this alternate universe, it seems, is already an accomplished scientist with some expertise in weaponry (so the promotional blurb for STID tells us). It may be that there is a mutual attraction between her and Kirk – there was clearly one in the prime universe. I really hope that Carol Marcus does not get killed off in this movie, because that is a very well worn, ugly, horrible cliche, especially for Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and any female he happens to like. Enough already!

Bring on the Spock/Uhura relationship, I say. Relationships of every kind can be frought on occasions, so it is likely that Uhura and Spock may have their share of problems – whether they mean the ending of their romance, who knows. If Uhura is not only shown to be a professional kick-ass Starfleet officer, but also a concerned and caring individual who may wear her heart on her sleeve occasionally, then so be it!

95. Trekkiegal63 - February 18, 2013

I apologize for the delayed response, went away for a road trip to take advantage of the three-day weekend – no laptops, tablets or i-phones allowed. ;)

#90 Jovius the Romulan:

What a sweet thing to say, thank you. It is a pleasure reading your posts as well. It’s always so lovely to meet fellow sci-fi fans, I’d be willing to discuss Whedon and Firefly with you anytime in addition to Trek. :)

Pauln6: Thank you! I look forward to delving in. And no worries, I have a healthy respect for cheese. ;)

As for Buffy… I agree with Jovius on that one. Whedon got better at alleviating tropes over time, and he was much better by Firefly. Buffy, herself, while yes, progressive, was also a ‘woman in a refrigerator’ on multiple occasions. She was killed and brought back to life on the show – twice. She was also nearly raped by Spike once. And she was passed around from love interest to love interest (Angel, Riley, Spike). So yeah, Whedon, like wine, definitely got better with age. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved BtVS. Completely adored it. But it wasn’t perfect.

I do agree with you completely on the Widow love, though. She was incredibly portrayed in the Avengers. Just a wonderful character all-around.

#94 Rose (as in Keachick):

It might surprise you to find I agree with you on some points… It wont surprise you to find that I completely disagree with you on others.

I do not think we will ever entirely agree because our philosophies, our very belief systems, are so vastly different. This became apparent in that other thread, and it is even more apparent in this one.

I agree with you that TOS, despite being my favorite of all of the Treks, succumb to the ‘women in the refrigerator’ trope far too often. My greatest wish is that any new incarnation of Trek ceases this unfortunate trend.

I disagree with you on your assessment of Kirk, and of romance in Trek in particular (Spock/Uhura, Paris/Torres, Riker/Trio, etc). I’ll elaborate. Miramanee and Edith Keeler were two very unfortunate circumstances. But we know from canon that Kirk was once engaged to a lady named Ruth (Shore Leave), dated Janice Lester for a year and even if he hadn’t told us why, the reason for their breakup would have been rather obvious… she was completely certifiable (Turnabout Intruder). He had at one point in the past dated Janet Wallace and they broke up because they mutually wanted to put more emphasis on their careers (The Deadly Years) and also dated Areel Shaw whom he parted with as friends (Court Martial). And then there is Carol Marcus. There is no canon evidence to claim that he wasn’t completely serious about these relationships when he was in them. His engagement to Ruth proves that.

So no, Kirk being single wasn’t a case of ‘poor Kirk deserves to be love but is looking in all the wrong places’. Kirk CHOSE to put his career first. He had plenty of serious relationships, any one of which – aside from Janice Lester who we have already established was a taco short of a combination platter – he could have married and settled down with. He made an adult decision, as is his right, to put Starfleet first.

And there is nothing wrong with that! Let me repeat that, it’s important… There is nothing wrong with choosing to remain single and putting a career first. Life is about choices and each person making the best choices for them.

The difference between you and me? You seem to think that relationships are a necessity to make a person whole. Me? I object, wholeheartedly and with every bit of fervency in my soul, to the word ‘needs’. Anyone who ‘needs’ to be in a relationship probably shouldn’t be in one. It creates an unhealthy power dynamic. A relationship should be about equals, of two independent, individually whole people coming together because they want to, not because they need to. And the coming together should be an equal balance of give and take. I feel this about real life, I feel this about fictional characters.

The problem with the romantic trope? It glorifies relationships to the point it creates a false ideal. People live vicariously through romance portrayals in film because it gives them all the endorphins from the early stages of falling in love, without having to deal with what happens after those initial feelings of ecstatic giddiness fade. When life becomes about learning to cohabitate, of learning when to make a stand and when to let it go. When romance ceases to be about grand gestures (flowers, chocolates, etc.) and becomes about doing the dishes without being asked or taking turns picking the daughter up from band and soccer practice.

I also object, as you well know, to the Smurfette Principle and the Token Romance being used in film, because I do NOT think it great representation that all female protagonists are forever and without fail placed into the role of love interest when there is SO MUCH more to women then who they’re dating. And there are far more important things in life then finding a boyfriend.

Writer Stephen King had this to say once when comparing the “Twilight” series to the “Harry Potter” series:

” Harry Potter is all about confronting fears , finding inner strength , and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

…I couldn’t agree more fervently with the sentiment behind that statement if I tried.

96. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 18, 2013

First of all, trekkiegal, how could you mention Twilight because then I am reminded of who could possibly be the MOST boring, boring, boring (perhaps it has something to do with her atrocious diction) and idiotic creature on the planet – Bella (Kristen Stewart)! Where to begin – no, I really do not want to go there…
I completely agree with Stephen King’s statement.

However, Star Trek is not Twilight. There is no real comparison here. At times, Star Trek series has been dismissive of women, in every sense, in terms of NUMBERS, let alone being a good career-oriented individual and/or longterm lover for any of the main male protagonists. That does piss me off – I think we all agree on that one.

Interesting re your comment about “needs”. When does a “need” become a “want’ and vice versa? When it comes to simple things like “I want that cookie” as opposed to “I need that cookie” – then, unless you are starving, it is merely a want. We don’t really need to eat that cookie, however we do need to drink fresh water. When it comes to what might be considered “higher needs/desires/wants” like social ones, which could include love relationships, then things are not necessarily so obvious and black and white.

I read out the two posts here to my husband and then asked him – “Did we need to get married? We know we both wanted to, but…” He said he thought we needed to (and not because I was pregnant – I wasn’t). We had already met in the past, had a relationship, ended it on good friendly terms and once meeting again (not planned) realized who we now needed?/wanted? I think that you are seeing “need” in terms of dependency, submission, being subordinate, whereas I see human needs in a more objective way (if I might say). Who are we as human beings and how do we function fully as humans? Every creature has an inherent need/want? to create/procreate. Few human beings are happy being hermits. We are social by nature.

“A relationship should be about equals, of two independent, individually whole people coming together because they want to, not because they need to.”

Now that is a fallacy. This view presupposes that people are generally already *perfect* (not really needing or wanting for anything). No one is truly independent or individually whole. We are co-dependent beings. How do you define “whole”? Do you mean somebody who does not need anybody else emotionally, socially or otherwise? Curiously, loneliness is a very real condition experienced, especially by people living in big cities and it is increasing. Loneliness is a perceived lack of human companionship and a felt need for same. So if two lonely people met out of need for companionship, liked each other and formed a relationship, that relationship would not be deemed totally valid, by your standards. If such a relationship were written into a (Star Trek) storyline, then would labels like token female, Mary/Marty Sue etc get thrown about?

I do not know where you are coming from. I do not understand nor indeed feel good about all these labels put on various characters and situations. It is sort of compartmentalization and unfortunately, whether we like it or not, we humans just can’t easily, nor want to be compartmentalized in such a fashion. You seem to be doing the very thing that you complain the writers and producers within the movie industry are doing.

97. Trekkiegal63 - February 18, 2013

#96 Rose (as in Keachick):

*sigh* Let’s look at facts, shall we?

The last two census report showed that 51% of the households here in the US are single person households. The point? Your ascertaining that ALL of mankind thinks the way you do about marriage and children has no basis in reality. Believe it or not, some people (a lot of people) CHOOSE to remain single and some people CHOOSE not to have kids and your implying that their lifestyles are unnatural, or are somehow unfulfilled is not only narrow-minded, it is also wholly inaccurate.

Furthermore, I don’t know if you intended this but you’re indirectly undervaluing all other relationships by claiming that the romantic relationship is the only one which prevents we ‘social creatures’ from being ‘lonely’. Friendship is a beautiful thing. As is extended family. Before I met and married my husband I never felt lonely, because I’m really close with my family, and I have some very close friends in my life who I know will always be there for me. The addition of my husband in my life was an added joy, not a necessity to cure me from a chronic case of ‘loneliness’ or ‘sadness’.

The ‘labels’ as you call them are tropes. “A trope is a common pattern in a story or a recognizable attribute in a character that conveys information to the audience” (I cannot take credit for that definition – it comes from Anita Sarkeesian who runs the webseries “Feminist Frequency” which explores these tropes in greater detail). The problem with tropes? They can be damaging psychologically. Very much so.

Let’s stick to an example that wont push too hard at your belief system, shall we? The number of cases of bulimia and anorexia have risen with the introduction of modern media and the increase in the number of media platforms (from this article here: http://www.voxxi.com/eating-disorders-teens-children/#ixzz2LJ9AO2yZ)

Cases of eating disorders among children and teens in the United States are on the rise. According to a report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, hospitalization of children and teens with eating disorders rose 119 percent from 1999 to 2006.

The thin, scantily clad woman as portrayed in most modern media outlets has had a profound influence on this. This is fact. You with me so far?

Okay then, lets move on. You wonder what I met by being independent and individually whole prior to joining a relationship. I’m going to let a professional psychologist sum it up for me (http://www.smartlifestyledesign.com/relationships/codependence-independence-interdependence):

Codependent relationships arise when two people form a relationship with each other primarily because neither feels that he or she can “stand alone.” Rather than working on ourselves to cultivate a source of good feelings that is drawn from within (self-esteem) we slip into a state where our sense of self becomes dependent on external (or egoic) factors outside of our locus of control. In this case the need for a partner to provide us with validation, attention or good emotions.

The above is basically what I was trying to say, only prettier and with a degree behind it to back it up. Now lets look that this ‘compartmentalization’ you think is impossible.

“The Smurfette Principle” and the “Token Romance” were coined because they are tropes, i.e., (once more, with feeling) common patterns in storytelling. When girls see nearly every single female protagonist pair up in a movie, regardless of the genre of said movie, they’re being sent the message that all the cool, interesting female protagonists have boyfriends. Like with the case of body image and anorexia, this creates an unfortunate implication, i.e. a girl can only be interesting, can only matter, if she has a boyfriend. Much like girls believe they can only be pretty if they’re excessively thin.

This is not healthy, because as the excerpt I pasted above points out, self-worth needs to come from within and not outside sources (i.e. a love interest). This applies to Star Trek because Star Trek is utilizing these tropes.

I do not know how to make my stance any more clear to you.

98. Pauln6 - February 18, 2013

While I agree, having lived with 3 women at university, it’s also true that, despite having a ton of options available, many women will actively seek out stories and TV programs that contain these romantic storylines,. If producers want to capture this mythical ‘female audience’ they will use these stereotypical plots, including the will-they-wont-they plot that is so common in family entertainment.

It’s a chicken and egg scenario.

99. Jovius the Romulan - February 19, 2013

Trekkiegal63: You can reach me on Skype, search for “Jovius/Kanji”. (I’m loathe to give out my exact screen name in public due to spambots.) I’d be delighted to discuss anything sci-fi.

Pauln6: I hear you on MI1. What a waste of good talent hiring Kristen Scott Thomas. At least give her a better death. A trained agent shouldn’t have been that dumb. Yeah, yeah, I get what they were going for — the Hitchcock thing of killing off big name actors early to shock the audience out of complacency and raise the stakes, but still. I would have liked her to continue as well. She would have balanced out the testosterone a little bit more on the team. And again, it’s Kristen Scott Thomas… she has the gravitas to pull it off.

To be fair, TOS also had Kirk’s shirt ripped wide open dozens of times in order to capture a female audience. Ironically they didn’t need this sort of cheap ratings-bait because, as stated before, most preferred the quiet stoicism and intelligence of Mr. Spock!

100. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 19, 2013

trekkiegal – …oh dear…sigh Once again, you totally misunderstood/misinterpreted my post. I simply queried your own presumption that the only *valid* relationship is where the (two) people involved are independent and individually whole. Perhaps the better word, instead of independent or co-dependent, might be interdependent.

I gave the example of the need not to be lonely, when it came to how a couple might initially meet and go on to form relationships, romantic or otherwise. Fact – most relationships get formed to stave off loneliness, because a good many people do not want or like to be alone for very long. Humans are not made perfect, nor will many of us achieve true/real “perfection” “wholeness” or whatever else you may want to call it and frankly why should we? I fail to see what longterm benefits there would be, if any.

Only in the initial effort of moving past the lonely and needs driven aspect of our natures can many humans develop a greater sense of self-esteem and those other positive qualities. This can only start with relationship – sometimes it may be platonic friendship. Other times, it may involve romantic sexual relationship, because humans also have physiological needs like tactile contact and sexual desire. Not to acknowledge need or to disparage need is also unhealthy.

We humans are a bundle of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs and desires, imaginings and fantasies and we each try to make sense of these. It is a work in progress.

You keep throwing out this 51% single household statistic, without any context. Legally, anyone who has not signed either a marriage or civil union contract is single. Many singles may well be in romantic (sexual) relationships; others may be in defacto relationships where there are children involved. What about the gay and lesbian couples relationships which, by law in some places, are not afforded any legality, irrespective of what the two people may wish? Those people are single by definition. While many people do choose to be single, others may be single by default.

You need to back up your figures/percentages with a bit more than what you have given here.

I preferred to live alone when I was single. I am now married, and still I like my “alone time”. So does my husband. We are both not as socially active as most other people appear and most of the time it does not bother us and that is NOT just because we have each other. That has never been the case. I also understand and fully appreciate the difference between loneliness (which I have experienced) and the desire to be alone. I also know what how lonely I can feel while being surrounded by people.

I am all too aware of the problems to do with eating disorders, whether they be anorexia, bulimia or overeating. There has always been this expectation that women’s bodies need to conform to certain measurements, whether they be the (abnormally) thin look of today or the more chubby look in other centuries, in order to be seen as acceptable and desirable. Men have also had expectations that they conform to a certain body shape but it has not been as bad as it has been and is for women. Although, that may be changing for many younger men as well now. Not good.

Now it seems that even some employers can and do fire people for being overweight/fat (esp. if you are female). I’m not sure if anyone has been fired for being too thin. Just saw in a magazine a picture of a model in a bikini where her ribs were so obvious/sort of sticking out. Apart from being unhealthy, I also fail to see how anyone could consider this attractive.

People are obsessed with image and I think that it is a chicken-n-egg thing. Movies/television create but also reflect social trends, thinking etc.

Thank you for being kind and civil toward me in your postings. I hope I have been the same for you.

101. Trekkiegal63 - February 19, 2013

#100 Rose (as in Keachick):

I’m tired, long day at work (always sucks going back to work after a three day weekend), so I’m going to make this blunt and to the point. Its not personal, I’m just not in the mood to pussyfoot.

On census and the single person household: You wanted numbers, here are numbers. The following addresses single person households, as in one person living at a physical address (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Eric-Klinenberg-on-Going-Solo.html):

“Today, there are more than 32 million people living alone—according to the latest census estimates, 32.7 million—and that’s about 28% of all American households. This is an enormous change. Instead of being most common in the West, it’s now most common in big cities, and it’s common in big cities throughout the country. In Seattle, and San Francisco, and Denver, and Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., and Chicago, there are between 35 and 45% of the households have just one person. In Manhattan, where I live, about 1 of every 2 households is a one-person household.”

That is a huge number, a significant percentage, therefore my original point about people choosing the single lifestyle stands. BTW: Erik Klinenberg, the sociologist who is quoted above, wrote a book on this very topic called “Going Solo”, in this book he delves into the rise of the single person in modern times.

On mankind being social: I never argued that mankind isn’t a social creature. What I have been saying is that romantic relationships aren’t the only legitimate form of social interaction. Friendships and family are just as valid. The fact that Hollywood glorifies only one type of relationship (the token romance) completely devalues the others and this is a problem. Anytime only one thing is shown, despite that there are many and varied types, it’s a problem.

On coupledom: To put it bluntly, what I meant by ‘whole’ is someone who has a healthy self-esteem, who approaches a relationship with the idea that the could stand on their own if necessary, but are with another person because they enjoy being with that person. You know what is NOT a good way to approach a relationship? ‘I have to be in a relationship because all the female protagonists in the movies have one therefore there must be something wrong with me if I can’t attract a man!

The romantic trope is unhealthy, and psychological damaging because it feeds into the mindset of that last, italicized sentence in the above paragraph.

Validation should come from within, not externally.

Lastly, here is a real-life example of the psychological ramifications of the token romance and the smurfette principle, a ‘shipwar’ that happened online that was so heinous, the behavior of some fans (of the Harry Potter series) so appalling, it made the San Fransisco Chronicle, a major newspaper here in the US. Here is the SFC article, called “If you’re an obsessed Harry Potter fan, Voldemort isn’t the problem. It’s Hermione versus Ginny”.

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/If-you-re-an-obsessed-Harry-Potter-fan-Voldemort-2650652.php

I don’t know about you but I find that behavior (as detailed in the article) worrisome. Very much so.

Yes, you’ve been civil. I know we disagree on a lot of things, in fact, our entire belief systems are different, but I do appreciate that you didn’t make our debate an excuse to devolve into personal insults. We can disagree but still respect each other as freethinking individuals and I know we both recognize that.

102. Trekkiegal63 - February 19, 2013

#98 Pauln6:

Not all females, lol…

I’m not buying the new Uhura backstory comic, even though I love the character Uhura, entirely on principle. If the review on this website is any indication, it centers far too much on her relationship for my tastes.

Believe it or not, between the two of us, my husband is the one more likely to pick a romantic film (he dragged me kicking and screaming to Titanic, for which I promptly fell asleep… in the theater). ;)

#99 Jovius the Romulan:

Great, sounds like fun!… I’m going to have to get a Skype account (I don’t actually have one yet – I know, I know, I’m a bit behind the times.). Been meaning to get one for awhile though, so this is another nudge to get on that. ;)

103. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 20, 2013

Yes, I do find this fandom/shipper stuff worrisome. It can also get very nasty. This has happened a while back with K/S shipping and Pinto shipping. I don’t know if you have heard about it, but it seems that a lot of fans imagine that Kirk and Spock are in a less than platonic relationship, ie sexual lovers. They write fan-fiction about the two characters. No big deal. However, some fans got it into their heads that the two actors, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto were also lovers. The fans wrote fanfic involving these two actors. Although these stories were posted on a subscription-only site, some people started mentioning the existence of the stories on more public sites, which is how I know about. Some people believed the fan-fictional stories were actually true.

As a result, Zachary Quinto has been verbally abused at least twice, once in the middle of a New York street, where a woman with an 8/9 year child with, yelled abuse at him for being gay, called him names, all in front of a child… People yelled out abuse towards Quinto, mentioning Chris Pine as well, while Quinto was in the middle of a stage performance in New York. I have no idea if Chris Pine has been the subject of similar abuse, however his girlfriend has been repeatedly referred to as being tantamount to a whore or his “beard”.

This fan obsession with fictional characters (as well as with the actors who play them sometimes) is a worry, especially when it becomes really crazy, as above. I do not condone this behaviour at all. It is not healthy, not at all.

I am also unsure what can be done about it exactly. I think that such craziness will still go on irrespective of the various kinds of relationships movies and television programmes may show. However, I do not think it wise to censor romantic relationships per se, because of these individuals. I agree that other healthy relationships need to be part of various storylines as well. I always thought that the friendship developed over time between the characters Kirk and Spock was an honest, healthy one. But, look how that has been devolved by some people, along with the behaviour.

It seems that no kind of genuinely good relationship is spared…:(

104. Phil - February 20, 2013

@103. This was news…30 years ago.

105. Trekkiegal63 - February 20, 2013

#103 Rose (as in Keachick):

Well Rose, I think this is a day for the books, because I’m in full agreement with you on something, i.e. just how unacceptable the behavior you referenced is, and on so many, many levels. Shouting obscenities at someone you’ve never met (and based on a rumor at that)? Undeniably rude. Shouting homophobic slurs in front of a child (in front of anyone, for that matter, it shouldn’t be done AT ALL- but teaching a child to hate is a particularly heinous act)?! Unpardonable! Being homophobic in the first place?! Despicable. Blurring the line between fantasy and reality?! Get in therapy pronto!

While its true that ‘shipping’ would go one whether every movie had a token romance or not, I think the fact that every movie does contain one, regardless of genre, adds fuel to the proverbial fire.

I’ve never advocated erasing romance from cinema entirely, there is a romance genre, and that’s all well and good, but we’ve reached a point where a romance is added in almost all films just to meet some kind of formula in every genre, and nine times out of ten these romances feel out of place to the plot, and tacked on, and largely superfluous. Its almost egging this absurd shipping behavior on in a very Pavlovian way. And, as I’ve said again and again, setting a poor example for young girls.

I read an article recently on “parasocial relationships” (a one sided relationship with a celebrity or fictitious character) and the correlation with anxious-ambivalent attachment, which relates in a very direct way to the behavior we’ve been discussing.

Although I warn that its rather long (17 pages), here’s the link if you’re interested:

http://condor.depaul.edu/tcole/parasocial.pdf

106. Son of Captain Garth - February 22, 2013

Rose, I think that the abuse aimed at Quinto is generated by some sort of jealous impulse and that it reveals more about the abuser than the subject. I personally have never understood the movie/TV-viewing public’s fascination with the romantic lives of actors. They work to produce a product that we consume. So do the workers at McDonald’s, but I have yet to see anyone devote any serious effort to exposing their romantic relationships.

Of course, the media perpetuates itself with hype surrounding our entertainment providers; how many times have we heard teasers even on supposed news programs like, “who wins the fashion battle at the Emmys?” or “hot new romance for a cast member of the Golden Girls”, suggestion an elevated reality that exists for these celebrities, whose every living moment is charged with glamor and energy? Most regular people’s lives aren’t, and if you combine that with the perceived freedom and access that their fame and fortune provide, I think that the average schmo, whose life must pale by comparison, gets caught up in some sort of envy. Those who aren’t well-equipped intellectually and/or emotionally act out with this pathetic abuse.

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