Saturday, December 15, 2012

Star Trek: The Original Sexism

I've been watching Star Trek: The Original Series, and I have some observations.

Captain Kirk is really smug and unlikeable. In every episode so far, he's insulted his crew's intelligence and been skeevy with every single woman who comes near him, including a girl who was supposed to be about 12.

The portrayal of women is largely disappointing. Uhura seems to be good at her job so far, and Yeoman Rand (the one with the blond, weaved bouffant) is a stellar waitress, but is that really what yeoman are for? Honestly, she just serves Kirk drinks. Then there's also the easy sexual harassment of the women, which the ladies of course accept with either a flattered smile or a non-threatening quip. I wasn't nearly prepared for the attempted rape of Yeoman Rand by Evil Kirk, which was particularly disturbing, given the flagrant sexism in the series. Yeah, yeah, the times. Screw the times, it's awful seeing my whole gender categorized as sexual objects with almost no independent thought.

Bones and Spock are the highlight, they're both used as the voice of justice and reason when Kirk is flying off the handle and being manipulated by brain zappers or whatever is making him try to rape people this week.

But, there is just enough awesome to keep me watching. I just finished the one where the space-cube/yellow-ball-ship/wavy-grey-aliens (also known as S1E10, The Corbomite Maneuver) test the crew of the Enterprise by threatening to destroy them, and while I found most of the episode tedious, the end reveal was fantastic.

I've been wanting to write more about television, I end up watching a lot when my head's on high, and I have so many opinions. I'm interested in portrayals of minorities in media, as my paper a few posts ago would suggest, so I'm going to be talking about it more here. This calls for a new tag!