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  #21  
Old 11-23-2010, 02:35 PM
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There is nothing sexist about liking the troika and not wanting communications officers on tactical missions.
Seven characters are enough for the movies, if you put Rand or Chapel in (ironically, being both utterly stupid and weak, they are the most sexist characters from TOS) it comes at the cost of Chekov, Sulu, Uhura or Scotty.

I fail to understand how using the sexist Rand and changing her into a redshirt (if you want a chick with a gun why not invent a new character?) for comic relief is supposed to be less sexist than the original. Sounds even worse to me, sexism in the guise of emancipation.

For good reasons the original movies have chosen the seven and ignored Rand and Chapel. These reasons haven't changed in the last thirty years. I fail to understand why new or entirely changed characters should appear in a TOS reboot whose main purpose is to use the classic characters.
All those who care (or claim to care so much) about female liberation should be happy about Uhura. Especially because she pissed off all the fanboys who think that Jimmyboy from Iowa should get everyone.

Last edited by horatio : 11-23-2010 at 02:40 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-23-2010, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
There is nothing sexist about liking the troika and not wanting communications officers on tactical missions.
Seven characters are enough for the movies, if you put Rand or Chapel in (ironically, being both utterly stupid and weak, they are the most sexist characters from TOS) it comes at the cost of Chekov, Sulu, Uhura or Scotty.

I fail to understand how using the sexist Rand and changing her into a redshirt (if you want a chick with a gun why not invent a new character?) for comic relief is supposed to be less sexist than the original. Sounds even worse to me, sexism in the guise of emancipation.

For good reasons the original movies have chosen the seven and ignored Rand and Chapel. These reasons haven't changed in the last thirty years. I fail to understand why new or entirely changed characters should appear in a TOS reboot whose main purpose is to use the classic characters.
All those who care (or claim to care so much) about female liberation should be happy about Uhura. Especially because she pissed off all the fanboys who think that Jimmyboy from Iowa should get everyone.
Tut tut. Why use Pike, a character who appeared in far fewer episodes than either Rand or Chapel, instead of some other new Admiral? Pike works incredibly well in the movie because of the way he is written. He didn't need to be Pike to work but fans appreciate the fact that he was Pike.

Some people feel the same way about Rand and Chapel. Yes, the sixties versions were sexist but the 21st century versions don't have to be. We simply give the characters shades of the originals but with more professional personalities. Plus I think that the murky reasons surrounding Grace Lee Whitney's departure from the show had little to do with the character, who had bags of potential. Had she stayed as initially intended, Rand would have been very much a major part of the franchise. Similarly, Majel Barrett's absence from the more recent movies was partly due to the politics surrounding her husband's marginalising following TMP, although I do think that Chapel was a weaker character overall compared to Rand.

So the Captain is assigned a Yeoman (this isn't sexist, it's a real naval posting). The yeoman is a woman (this isn't sexist as 40-50% of the crew is female). She would be a petty officer trained as Starfleet crew i.e. trained to shoot, fight, fix things, as well as handle the Captain's schedule, and make the coffee (this isn't sexist - it's a yeoman's job - and TOS Rand was supposed to trained like this but TOS rarely practised what it preached for its female characters).

The comic relief for me comes from fact that Kirk is arrogant and overconfident. If his Yeoman is a faster draw than him and a better shot than him, that could dent his machismo i.e. lead to a comic moment. If she's a bit keen to cosider herself as his personal bodyguard and steps in to search some strange woman when Kirk is trying to work his mojo, that could lead to a comic moment. Sure the comedy is sexist but it's no more sexist than the similar humour involved with Gaila and her scenes were quite popular - it involves poking fun at both sexes, gives a nod to the characters' TOS dynamic, would only require Rand's involvement in tiny snippets (like in her final scene in TOS her line was cut but she spoke in volumes), and could be fun to watch.

Chapel was a biological researcher, and they already fumbled the ball by referring to her as a nurse in the first movie. Even so, if she's required to be McCoy's assistant, they can still acknowledge that in some areas she is more qualified than him. Chapel could hold her own against McCoy when she had to. It would be easy to give her one decent scene with McCoy to establish her and her credentials.

I think you're right that they also need other women - either an engineer or female security chief would help - but Chapel and Rand can slot in nicely without taking up much screen time. Plenty of time left for the big 3. And I am happy that Uhura is filling the role of principle female lead that was originally intended for Rand but with a Spock rather than Kirk pairing. I'll be less happy if they spend too much time on her in 'girlfriend' scenes and if they labour on a love triangle.
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  #23  
Old 11-23-2010, 03:50 PM
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Handle the captain's schedule and bring him coffee, in other words a secretary which is hardly emancipatory. Now to paint over this you wanna make her a polymath (secretary, engineer, redshirt and bodyguard) and show her superior combat skills yet underneath the paint there is still the stupid blond secretary from the sixties. I am not convinced.
If you care so much about kick-a*s female characters why don't you just advocate a random female redshirt instead of this mixture of extremes, stupid secretary plus strong bodyguard?
Why would a captain have a bodyguard who brings him coffee to begin with? Sounds like a weird mixture of patriarchal authority (bring me coffee!) paired with impotence (cover my a*s!). NewRand is a woman who exists only in relation to man, the old male myth again, and the only pseudo-progressive thing in it is that she virtually castrates Kirk.
Uhura on the other hand is what I would call a relaxed strong character, there is nothing forceful in it. She is strong and caring, neither a 50s housewife nor a more-patriarchal-than-men type like Thatcher.

I don't wanna be nasty but your idea still sounds to me like sexism in the guise of feminism.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Handle the captain's schedule and bring him coffee, in other words a secretary which is hardly emancipatory. Now to paint over this you wanna make her a polymath (secretary, engineer, redshirt and bodyguard) and show her superior combat skills yet underneath the paint there is still the stupid blond secretary from the sixties. I am not convinced.
If you care so much about kick-a*s female characters why don't you just advocate a random female redshirt instead of this mixture of extremes, stupid secretary plus strong bodyguard?
Why would a captain have a bodyguard who brings him coffee to begin with? Sounds like a weird mixture of patriarchal authority (bring me coffee!) paired with impotence (cover my a*s!). NewRand is a woman who exists only in relation to man, the old male myth again, and the only pseudo-progressive thing in it is that she virtually castrates Kirk.
Uhura on the other hand is what I would call a relaxed strong character, there is nothing forceful in it. She is strong and caring, neither a 50s housewife nor a more-patriarchal-than-men type like Thatcher.

I don't wanna be nasty but your idea still sounds to me like sexism in the guise of feminism.
It's called the hierarchy. He's the Captain. She works for him. If she was a man, her role would be the same and her character could be the same. But I want Rand. And Rand is a woman. They have very few women in the movie. Showing so few women when the sexes are supposed to be equal in Star Trek is sending the wrong message. And Rand is a woman. Give us more women. Sometimes a nacelle is just a nacelle.

Ooh, and sexism in the guise of feminism is making a big thing about giving Uhura a bigger role and then making all her bigger role about her relationship with her man.
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  #25  
Old 11-23-2010, 04:02 PM
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Uhura only had two scenes with Spock and I found the turbolift scene great as it showed that they had a stable relationship which built a nice contrast to Kirk. Unlike Gaila (or all the female guest stars in TOS) she didn't just exist in relationship to the man.
She also had scenes were she said no to Kirk, questioned his leadership talents or showed her linguistic skills.

I guess I just don't like extremes in the case of female characters.
Let's take the only (?) female MACO in ENT, (I love ENT so I may bash it ) shortly after she was introduced she landed in the arms of Trip. It's like they feared that 'just a female soldier' would go too far and that they'd have to soften her. Same with Janeway in VOY who swung between 'caring Mama Voyager' and 'super-nasty captain running around with a gun'.

About more female characters, I agree ... once a new series is made.

Last edited by horatio : 11-23-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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  #26  
Old 11-24-2010, 12:54 AM
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Rand was just one of those characters that rubbed me the wrong way in general. Not only did I find the character rather sexist in terms of her interactions with Kirk, but she's also an extremely poor depiction of a yeoman. Having seen it myself, pretty much any command out there literally comes to a screeching halt whenever the yeoman is gone. You can have the commanding officer, executive officer, training officer, command duty officer, and every single department head and division officer present. However, if you don't have any yeoman present, nothing gets done administratively at the command. Everything from pay, transfer requests, and getting people their orders just doesn't happen. During really busy periods when the unit is getting ready for something, those of us in the security division avoid the admin office like the plague. When everything in the unit is in motion, the weight of all of that really falls onto the yeoman and the storekeeper. So if anyone other than the command staff walks into admin, our yeoman will likely bite their head off. So usually we just pick one person among us redshirts to go in as the sacrificial lamb with a list of what we need taken are of. There's a reason why I have no intention of becoming a yeoman and it has nothing to do with being the CO's coffee boy. That job is a nightmare and every seaman coming to us fresh out of bootcamp learns within the first day or two not to piss off the yeoman, because if there's something you need done 9 times out of 10 she's going to be the one that ultimately makes it happen. Seriously she is probably feared more than any of the women in security.

Now to be fair to Rand, the yeoman job by nature isn't the most exciting job to depict and even if you put a man in her place it wouldn't be any more or less interesting. It is what it is and if you lose your yeoman then your command is SOL until a new one is assigned. Those that are or are slated to become boatswains mates or maritime enforcement specialists get to go out and drive the boats and walk around with the big guns and look pretty. The yeomen, the storekeepers, the machinery technicians, operations specialists, gunners mates sit back in the office, engineering, or the armory but they're the ones that make things happen and keep things going. And it doesn't mean that the yeoman and all those other rates that I mentioned aren't trained to fight. But they fill a particular critical job at the command. If you want to become a secretary or a clerk then become a yeoman or a storekeeper. If you want to repair and clean weapons, become a gunners mate. If you want to be a cop, then become a maritime enforcement specialist. If you want to be a grease monkey then become a machinery technician. If you want to be a carpenter or a contractor then become a damage controlman. If you want to be a scientist then be a marine science technician. If you want to work with computers then go Information Systems Technician. And if you really have no idea what you want to do or you want to do a little bit of everything, well as we say, "If you don't have a rate, go boatswains mate." There's also the saying, "Choose your rate, choose your fate." Of course that saying is not absolutely set in stone but it's a rule of thumb. Being on a ship or any command is like being in a small self contained community where people have particular responsibilities that don't go away just because the sh** hits the fan.
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  #27  
Old 11-24-2010, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Uhura only had two scenes with Spock and I found the turbolift scene great as it showed that they had a stable relationship which built a nice contrast to Kirk. Unlike Gaila (or all the female guest stars in TOS) she didn't just exist in relationship to the man.
She also had scenes were she said no to Kirk, questioned his leadership talents or showed her linguistic skills.

I guess I just don't like extremes in the case of female characters.
Let's take the only (?) female MACO in ENT, (I love ENT so I may bash it ) shortly after she was introduced she landed in the arms of Trip. It's like they feared that 'just a female soldier' would go too far and that they'd have to soften her. Same with Janeway in VOY who swung between 'caring Mama Voyager' and 'super-nasty captain running around with a gun'.

About more female characters, I agree ... once a new series is made.
The turbolift scene showed what was great about the relationship. The transporter scene showed how it could descend into ludicrousness if the characters are not allowed to remain professional officers. Some of Uhura's scenes (such as the bar fight where the big strong macho men had to fight over the girl) were also partly to set up the 'love triangle' but overall, apart from not using her on the Narada, Uhura was reasonably well done.

Traditionally, Trek has a 66/33 split of the sexes and female guest stars, more often than not, ended up with a love interest sub-plot for one of the 'spare' male characters be that a guest or recurring character. Because there are fewer female characters to pair up with, male guest stars don't get as caught up in romantic sub-plots. Other C**k ups include making Yar the only female security guard on the ship and making her obsess about her femininity...

Ro was one of my favourite characters because she was never needed to be a love interest to give her a purpose and the way they turned her 'romantic' sub-plot on its head was pure genius. Mix TOS Rand with TNG Ro and we have a win.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula2ssn View Post
Rand was just one of those characters that rubbed me the wrong way in general. Not only did I find the character rather sexist in terms of her interactions with Kirk, but she's also an extremely poor depiction of a yeoman. Having seen it myself, pretty much any command out there literally comes to a screeching halt whenever the yeoman is gone. You can have the commanding officer, executive officer, training officer, command duty officer, and every single department head and division officer present. However, if you don't have any yeoman present, nothing gets done administratively at the command. Everything from pay, transfer requests, and getting people their orders just doesn't happen. During really busy periods when the unit is getting ready for something, those of us in the security division avoid the admin office like the plague. When everything in the unit is in motion, the weight of all of that really falls onto the yeoman and the storekeeper. So if anyone other than the command staff walks into admin, our yeoman will likely bite their head off. So usually we just pick one person among us redshirts to go in as the sacrificial lamb with a list of what we need taken are of. There's a reason why I have no intention of becoming a yeoman and it has nothing to do with being the CO's coffee boy. That job is a nightmare and every seaman coming to us fresh out of bootcamp learns within the first day or two not to piss off the yeoman, because if there's something you need done 9 times out of 10 she's going to be the one that ultimately makes it happen. Seriously she is probably feared more than any of the women in security.

Now to be fair to Rand, the yeoman job by nature isn't the most exciting job to depict and even if you put a man in her place it wouldn't be any more or less interesting. It is what it is and if you lose your yeoman then your command is SOL until a new one is assigned. Those that are or are slated to become boatswains mates or maritime enforcement specialists get to go out and drive the boats and walk around with the big guns and look pretty. The yeomen, the storekeepers, the machinery technicians, operations specialists, gunners mates sit back in the office, engineering, or the armory but they're the ones that make things happen and keep things going.
Yes, Rand was very much a traditional sixties heroine but remember the producers disliked Number One, so I suppose they were giving the producers what they wanted.

I also think the role of the yeomen was poorly portrayed in TOS but this is why I say that a modern version could have more moxy. I think we also have to understand that a Starfleet captain's yeoman probably spends a lot of time using a computer, liaising with various department heads, and Starfleet Command in his/her office, and not a lot of time distributing coffee, getting padds signed, or recording logs on landing parties, which were envisaged as the TOS yeomen's main functions. This is why I think mixing the role of TOS yeomen, real yeomen, and a sort of personal bodyguard, would give the role enough breadth and give us an action female, which the franchise has always lacked with a ready-made excuse to be in the thick of the action with the captain. Making her an ordinary red shirt only gives her a reason to be there on that one occasion.

NuBSG managed to produce varied, competent, interesting female officer characters even though the original version failed to do so (Athena quickly became a cipher and Sheba, despite supposedly being a great warrior, always looked like she was going to burst into tears, bless her). It can be done!
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Last edited by Pauln6 : 11-24-2010 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:53 AM
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I can't help but think about the first time I reported to a unit. There was another seaman that reported in that day. She and I were taken to the range to shoot the Sig Sauer P229 DAK and the M16. She'd never fired a gun before but she got expert on both pistol and rifle. The CO was joking that he should take her as his personal driver. She didn't pass the practical and the CO was like, "Nevermind." Of course the practical is pass/fail and a lot of people don't pass it nor is it required to qualify on either weapon. I think she and I almost passed it which isn't bad for not having ever fired the practical course or having any knowledge of what the practical involved.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:29 AM
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Ok you've convinced me - my version of Rand is definitely going to be a crack shot.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:24 AM
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There's definitely no reason for her not to be a superb marksman. Chances are if you want to be assigned to a ship like the Enterprise, you'll need to be qualified on the hand phaser and phaser rifle, or you'll need to get qualified as soon as possible after reporting to the ship. Since the Enterprise is usually depicted with a range on board, they no doubt would have regular classes and range time to get people qualified and maintain those qualifications probably every other month or so. So getting trained in various areas of combat is not necessarily an issue. It's just how easily you are able to get that training and what level of training you get and whether or not you are ever in a position to use that training is kind of dependent on what job you have at your unit or ship.
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