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Opposing Viewpoints: Star Trek

Star Trek: Into Darkness is released onto DVD this week. Karen and Christie went to the theater to see it, and then saw all the outcry about the scene when Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) is changing into a space suit and Kirk (Chris Pine) turns around and oogles her in her underwear. Before the declaration that it was completely gratuitous, we had an interesting discussion. 

Here is just a look at what some people were saying about the Carol Marcus situation:
Space Bras and Sexism
Think Progress
5 Things That Bothered Me in Star Trek Into Darkness


Christie’s side: Two things: (both before the idiot director opened his mouth about needing to have her in her underwear)

The fact that she was so intent on talking and changing and everything else reminded me of a lot of geeky people who are completely intent on their tasks, and wouldn’t think about that, especially in a psuedo-military environment. Star Trek is based on the US Navy– you don’t think about your fellow personnel that way. And the fact that Kirk was completely speechless and she was in control (he turned and then couldn’t say anything and she made him turn again) made her the one with power and she wasn’t ashamed of her body or her self and didn’t see anything wrong with that. And she had curves which was wonderful- she wasn’t a stick. 
Compare that to the scene in the first one, where Uhura was undressing without KNOWLEDGE of him there, and then when he poked his head up he ogled and then she rushed to cover herself up- she was embarrassed, and the whole scene was played for her to BE embarrassed. No female power there AT ALL.

Second, yes, she was in her underwear- and it was a nice shot for all the guys- and all the lesbian girls in the audience. She wasn’t gratuitously naked (I thought), it fit in the context of the story; Kirk was in his underwear fit in the story as well (although why he needed literally two sex kittens is another story) and that gave all the women and gay guys eye candy. Can I wish the shower scene with Benedict was in there? Yes. Can I wish that there was actually more interaction between Uhura and Spock? Yes. Am I happy with what they made? Yes. I am more pissed about Transformers and female roles in that.

Not to mention that those two weren’t the ONLY female roles, they were just the NAMED ones. There were female crew members on the bridge- they just weren’t named. Is it wrong? YES. There SHOULD BE more female roles. However, when you take an established franchise like Star Trek, which has established characters and character-types, how are you going to deviate from it? How badly would people have reacted to a female Scotty? Or a non-Russian Chekov? 


So, before the apologies, I didn’t see anything wrong with the scene. Does it make me less of a feminist? No. I just saw it differently. Those are my reactions without the idiot coloring the viewpoint. Now him saying that she HAD to be in her underwear makes it different, but at the time, no it didn’t bother me. The scene from the first one bothered me.

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