Hey. How's it going?
You are officially spoiled if you read below, NO COMPLAINTS!
Up front I will say I enjoyed this latest Star Trek movie a lot. It was super noisy, but enjoyable, beautifully executed, and I particularly like some of the secondary characters, Spock was excellent, etc etc. I just want to share an observation that stuck with me:
Where are the women? The strong women? The women we’d like to see in 200 years? Where are they in this world? They certainly aren’t around the roundtable when the Starfleet are learning about Khan (there might have been one in that scene, if so that extra was not cut to in any significant manner to be notable.) In the scene where Kirk gets his ship back and the admiral is having a meeting with “important” people around a table later, I failed to see ONE WOMAN AROUND THAT TABLE, ALL MOSTLY WHITE MEN IMPLIED TO BE MAKING IMPORTANT DECISIONS TOGETHER. Yes, these are just scenes with extras, but seriously, in the future not one woman over 40 is in charge in this world?! How can that happen?
For main characters, Uhura had a FEW nice scenes (as a vehicle to humanize Spock mostly), but that other woman character was the WORST damsel in distress ever. I kept waiting for her turn, waiting for her to not be the victim, to be a bit cleverer, to add to the equation in a “yeah you go girl” way but no, she was there to be sufficiently sexy that Kirk would acknowledge her existence, to be pretty, to serve the plot. I loved her bob. That’s it. What if she had been a less attractive woman, older, overweight? A tomboy? Wouldn’t have that been a tad more interesting choice? Or at least give her a moment where she’s not a princess waiting to be saved. From a director who is so amazing, who created wonderful female characters in Alias and Felicity, I was super bummed by this. A woman character CAN exist without having to be sexually desired by the guy. Oh, and she doesn’t have to be a lesbian either, OMG WHAT A SURPRISING IDEA!
I don’t know if I’m extra sensitive about this issue or what, but I don’t think so, it’s a trend in media today. When I walk into the theater, I see men on posters. Mostly white men, the same men we see over and over in movies. Seth Rogen, Owen Wilson, Brad Pitt etc. Where did the women go? We are telling people that only men are worth centering storytelling around, and that’s just bullshit. And the problem is we unconsciously define the world and our culture through media. These things are subliminal, we absorb them, they formulate the “given” that influences people’s life choices. It might be a little thing on the surface, but this stuff is what prevents women from being as interested in math, or business people or tech etc. Where are the examples of women in media to strive for, to make that stuff seem possible? I don’t see many. And that makes me sad.
People ask me why I don’t like Disney cartoons (edit: Except for Brave :P), I say, “Think of a princess. Tell me three adjectives that come to mind. Now do that with a prince. Now do that with the phrase, “leading character”. We will all probably align around a lot of common ideas, Princess: taken care of, rescued, pretty dresses. Prince: adventurer, proving himself, manhood, Leading Character: chiseled white guy in his thirties, rockin’ body, girlfriend in peril.
I dunno about you, but it’s kind of boring to see the same thing over and over again. So I guess, rambling away from the Star Trek thing, if you’re creating something, think of the first three adjectives that come to mind, then: Do something different. It’s time to invent new cliches. For all of us, please.
Now that I’ve seen the movie, I totally agree with this. I did enjoy the movie a lot, but it was really really lacking in female roles. I like Uhura a lot but I think she deserved more scenes showing her strength rather than asking Spock to show his feelings. I think the excuse that the film industry uses to not put more women, or even women that don’t fit the status quo (aka not white and perfect looking), of the fact that people won’t go see a movie with females that aren’t serving their male counterparts or aren’t perfect is because people won’t be interested in watching it. What a load of horse shit. There will always be people that want to see that, they’re just being ignored over and over again so they’re silent. Felicia made a great point that media and particularly films get absorbed in the social consciousness, so that being said, film’s portrayal of women or attitude toward how female characters are supposed to be, play a role in how society views women whether we want to acknowledge it or not. It is not risky to have different women in media that aren’t white or amazing looking, it’s accurate.
"It’s kind of wonderful. I’m incredibly proud of that show — proud of everybody on it, of what we did … You can’t be prouder of that show. It still holds up in reruns and I’m blessed every day … I’ve been pretty lucky."
I hate your stupid desk. And I hate your ugly ties. And I hate your ridiculous socks. And I hate everyone locked up in this place. And I hate my parents for spending their very last penny to keep me in this zoo. God forbid they should ever, for one moment, live their own lives. Is that what they came here for? To be the fucking same as everybody else? And I hate the jerks in my office who think the money they earn makes them “the shit”. And more than anything I hate the zombies on the subway who have forgotten all of their dreams or the fact that they ever had any to begin with.