#so let me get this straight #it’s 2259 and the only two women in this story both have to argue to be allowed to do their job #wow jj yeah that’s a really awesome vision of the future (via)
i noticed this too. the worst part is that in both scenes, they’re having to argue with their captain to do their job. A+ characterization of kirk right there ugh
How nice that you all are ignoring context. Wonderful.
Uhura is asking this after they’ve been shot at multiple times by Klingons who are clearly bent on killing the lot of them, and have just been cornered by them. Kirk is afraid that they are going to kill her on sight without letting her have the chance to do her job. Before this point, he had every intention of letting her do her job (“Lieutenant, how’s your Klingon?” “It’s rusty, but it’s good.” “Good, you’re coming too.”). He does not want to risk her life on the off-chance that the Klingons will listen. He is doing his duty as captain and attempting to keep everyone safe, as well as being his usual stubborn protective self (which he does for EVERYONE he cares about). He is being very Jim Kirk in this scene.
You are also ignoring the context of the conversation itself.
Uhura: They are ordering us to land. Captain, they’re gonna wanna know why we’re here. And they’re gonna torture us, question us, and they’re gonna kill us.
Kirk: So we come out shooting.
[Uhura rises from her seat and goes over to Kirk]
Uhura: We are outnumbered, outgunned. There’s no way we survive if we attack first. You brought me here because I speak Klingon, then let me speak Klingon.
You are deliberately manipulating us into believing that Kirk is shutting down Uhura’s agency and that she is pleading with him to regain it. This is not true. Jim does not want to risk the life of a valued crew-member and one of his dear friends on the off-chance that the Klingons won’t kill them on sight. This has nothing to do with sexism, and cutting out the context of this scene is a shitty and manipulative thing to do.
As for Carol’s scene, she is not actually addressing Kirk directly, but Bones. This is the scene where Bones’ arm got stuck in that torpedo. Kirk is not even physically there.
Kirk: Dr. Marcus, can you disarm it?
Carol: I’m trying. I’m trying.
Bones: Jim, get her the hell out of here!
Carol: No. If you beam me back, he dies! Just let me do it!
[Carol quickly works to deactivate the torpedo]
Kirk is in no way trying to keep Carol from doing her job. She is attempting to save Bones’ life, and Kirk is very willing to let her do it. He is trusting that she will be able to deactivate the rocket. He is placing his best friend’s life into her hands: if that’s not agency, I don’t know what is.
So shut the hell up and stop being deliberately manipulative and trying to force victimization and a lack of agency on two very talented, very capable women who were not belittled or looked down on, and by no means did either occur at the hands of Jim Kirk.
I’m so confused- I mean- not about what you actually wrote up. I did see the movie and I have basic comprehension skills. But my confusion is with your point… what is it? Because those comments were directed towards JJ (and writers by implication) and I’m not sure why you brought fictional characters’ feelings into it.
Your comments above are totally accurate. That is how I interpreted these scenes as well. I would be surprised to find anyone that didn’t read those scenes in the way you described.
If these situations happened in real life, everyone’s actions and responses would be very realistic and correct. But you do realized that’s not the fucking point, right? That being critical of how writers/creators/directors deal with women is not the same thing as being critical of the women themselves. (it’s almost like… you are deliberately manipulating everyone into believing that these comments made are critical of the characters, and not the writers that placed this in that situation.)
As I was looking for the posts linked below, I found the following quote, and it does a really good job of making my main point:
“Criticisms about representations of gender (or race and other diversity) are often countered in fandom by sociological or scientific analyses attempting to explain why the inequality happens according to the internal logic of the fictional world. As though there is any real reason that anything happens in a story except that someone chose to write it that way.
Fiction is not Darwinian: It contains no impartial process of evolution that dispassionately produces the events of a fictional universe. Fiction is miraculously, fundamentally Creationist. When we make worlds, we become gods. And gods are responsible for the things they create, particularly when they create them in their own image.” (source)
Look, I’m all for fandom ‘making things better.’ I love and adore head canons, and fic/art meant to fix and soothe my aching heart. I love ‘if only’s’ even though they make the pain worse. Fandom is amazing at polishing shit, and I will forever love being a part of that.
Fandom works really, really, really hard at this. I work hard at this. I know what effort is. I know what ‘looking too hard’ looks like. This is not an example of looking too hard. This is an example of watching a movie and pointing out what is shown.
I’m going to write this out even though it seems obvious. Don’t worry, I’ll use bullet point and small words so you’ll understand (I would say sorry for being a condescending asshole, but that seems to be the approach you and the anon haters seem to favor so-)
- This is a movie with multiple characters and not much time to spend with each of them.
- Jim Kirk is a main character. We know this because we spend a lot of time with him. We understand his POV, and unless directly proven wrong by the narrative, his word and actions are ‘right.’
- Because he’s the main character, and because there are so many characters and little time, when there are excanges like the following: Kirk: ‘Mr.Sulu. You have the conn.’ […] off of Sulu’s worried look: ‘Is that a problem?’ Sulu: ‘No sir. I’ve just never sat in the chair before.’ Kirk: ‘You’re gonna do great.’ We believe that Kirk knows what he is talking about, and that Sulu will ‘rise to the occasion’
- This a narrative shortcut and very common
- This is a fictional universe with unlimited possibilities. Literally. It is the future. They have magic science. They have tossed out the old canon, and are only tenuously beholden to the prior Star Trek.
- This is an amazing crew. All are basically super geniuses, and brave/kind/fucking awesome.
- The writers/creators had unlimited possibilities in the way they could show/demonstrate just how awesome this crew was.
- By using the narrative weight Kirk has as main character, the writers attempted to demonstrate ‘awesome Starfleet officer’ with the following:
Have Kirk promote a male ensign with a primary job as navigator to that of Chief Engineer. His qualifications for that new position are he spent time ‘shadowing Mr. Scott.’ (not that he worked in engineering, or minored in engineering at Starfleet. No. he ‘shadowed’ Mr. Scott. Ok then. Face value.)
Kirk had a male helmsman be acting captain for the very first time. His very first assignment in the chair of responsibility was issuing threats in the direction of the Klingon Empire while in enemy space. (is that all?)
He asked his male Chief engineer to infiltrate and sabotage the enemies’ amazing super-duper secret starship. No known previous ‘spy’ work for this character- but that would be a secret right?
He asks a male doctor to be a torpedo engineer. His qualifications are he ‘has steadiest hands on the ship.’ It’s unclear how Kirk knows this, but if you ask the Kirk/McCoy shippers they’ll be happy to give some fic recs that explain further.
He says this to his male first officer: Kirk: ‘The Enterprise and her crew needs someone on that chair who knows what he’s doing. That’s not me. It’s you, Spock.’
The writers had a female weapons specialist explain her qualifications/plan to Kirk. Kirk understands and supports plan, but becomes distracted when female character changes in the same room.
The writers wrote a situation where Kirk would be reluctant to send his female communications officer into danger. Even though the mission was already established as dangerous when he initially requested her for the away mission, and her skill set was unique and necessary for any hope of success.
All of this is to say, that Kirk expects great things from his male crew. He asks them to do things that they have never done before, and his quiet expectation becomes self-fulfilling. We as the audience members might be a tad worried now that Chekov is in red and seems over his head running around engineering, but for the most part (and because Kirk keeps checking in with him and saying things like ‘I’m sure engineering will have everything patched up by the time we get back’) we believe along with Kirk, that Chekov get what needs to be done, done.
Kirk asks the female crew members if they can do their job. I have a fuckton of confidence in Uhura and her skills. But in that moment, when Kirk asked Uhura - in front of the rest of the bridge crew mind you- if she could do her job, I paused and took a moment and wondered too. How fucking dare them make me doubt in her skills.
Let me say that again slightly different. The writers choose to craft a story where the captain expects (with quiet certainty) that his male crew will not only do the job they are assigned, but succeed at never previously performed tasks.
The writers also choose to craft a story where Kirk questions (literally- ‘Lieutenant how’s your Klingon?’ ‘Dr Marcus, can you diffuse the bomb?’) the female crews’ ability to do their assigned duties. The writers choose to write situations where the female crew members had to literally ask (let me) to do their job.
And if you don’t think that doesn’t have an impact on how the audience relates and interprets all of the characters, then I don’t really know what else to say. Well, except: Fuck you.
Because really, I don’t expect this, but why the fuck not this:‘Uhura, I’m going to need you on the away mission as well. I hope to avoid any Klingons, but if we run across them, I’m gonna need you to communicate with them.’ Or how about giving that line of Marcus’ to Kirk, ‘She can do this Bones! Let her help you.’
AND yes it’s a little thing! and yes it feels ridiculous to spend all this time on something like this. On something so fucking small and something that could have been so easily fixed. (I’ll just go ahead and Moff Law myself to save everyone the trouble.)
Especially with so much to work with. I mean really,
Another quote from the same source as before:
“Science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists, but liberated by the power of imagination. Perhaps more than any genre of storytelling, it has no excuse to exclude women for so-called practical reasons — especially when it has every reason to imagine a world where they are just as heroic, exceptional, and well-represented as men.”
How fucking dare you for not expected better of Star Trek.
Let’s not forget that Kirk knows from the first film that Uhura’s Klingon is good because of her translation of an earlier incoming transmission! I don’t have a copy of ST:ID so I can’t remember if we’re supposed to interpret his question as rhetorical or not…