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I've just finished my first watch of Voyager, and in the past year also watched DS9 for the first time, and I feel like we've regressed so much when it comes to tv characters. Voyager has strong women, who are sensitive; strong men, who are sensitive; men who believe in logic; women who believe in logic; men who are a bit goofy, but have important skills and get respect; women who are angry, but have important skills and get respect.

And for none of these characters the fact that "I'm a man but sensitive" or "I'm a woman but a really good leader" is a big deal. It's just who they are, but it's not their character arch.

I love it and feel like we've lost this completely on tv. If you're not stereotypically man / woman, that's the story for your character. So boring!

So, yeah, I just started an immediate re-watch because the Spaceship is my safe place.

I've just finished my first watch of Voyager, and in the past year also watched DS9 for the first time, and I feel like we've regressed so much when it comes to tv characters. Voyager has strong women, who are sensitive; strong men, who are sensitive; men who believe in logic; women who believe in logic; men who are a bit goofy, but have important skills and get respect; women who are angry, but have important skills and get respect. And for none of these characters the fact that "I'm a man but sensitive" or "I'm a woman but a really good leader" is a big deal. It's just who they are, but it's not their character arch. I love it and feel like we've lost this completely on tv. If you're not stereotypically man / woman, that's the story for your character. So boring! So, yeah, I just started an immediate re-watch because the Spaceship is my safe place.

21 comments

That's something I love about Star Trek. It's a shame they put a "non-binary" character on Discovery, which is a huge step back, and have been trying to trans Jadzia.

[–] klytaimestra [OP] 11 points (+11|-0) Edited

The most ridiculous thing about that is that A) hundreds of years in the future, we're still going to be worried about pronouns, really? Like, everything else has developed way beyond the current state of things, but we're still pretending using 'they' is somehow relevant? Language hasn't moved at all? And B) if gender identity really is a real thing, not just an imaginary concept, we haven't figured out how to fix everyone's sex to match their identity at birth? E.g. if non-binary exist, let's just 'fix' you into hermaphrodite. Surely, if these concepts are real, then hundreds of years from now medicine surely would have evolved so that all people who 'identify' as women, will be women, and the concept of 'trans' becomes obsolete that way?

I really liked Discovery otherwise though. Although on it, I feel like the "strong woman" is a stereotype rather than just one dimension of a complex character.

edit: grammar

[–] Constantine 6 points (+6|-0)

I feel like the "strong woman" is a stereotype rather than just one dimension of a complex character.

This is the big thing now. Look at any of the big franchises: Star Wars, superheroes, whatever, Hollywood makes all these overpowered female characters with no flaws or interesting personalities whatsoever and calls it feminism. Well, “girlboss” feminism, anyway.

It’s why I’ve all but given up on modern franchises. I still follow Marvel to an extent, and anything JKR puts out I’ll watch/read, but other than that I’m out, and I’m really into this stuff generally.

It’s just a flip of the old stereotypes. Now instead of being helpless and having to be saved, women have to do all the heavy lifting and grunt work, and men get all the character development and bring the levity to the storylines. That’s not progress.

[–] Ishahchai 2 points (+2|-0)

I still follow Marvel to an extent

I’m curious to see how the Black Widow movie is going to play out, now that they’ve done such a phenomenal job humanizing female characters with WandaVision. I appreciate that they made Wanda a sympathetic but realistically flawed character and didn’t rely on the crazy-Wanda trope from the comics. They set the bar pretty high for female character development and I’m on the fence if they can bring that to a character who has thus far existed in the MCU for the male gaze.

[–] ActualWendy 1 points (+1|-0)

Or... maybe, in the Star Trek future, if a person's mind doesn't fit their body, there's a medical treatment for that? Perhaps treatments for mental illness will progress as much as physical illnesses, *because the mind is not separate from the body. *

[–] arylcyclohexie 10 points (+10|-0)

i've seen personally seen people in a star trek group talking about ds9 and "why jadzia might actually be trans"

they demonstrate no understanding of trills. i think it's innapropriate to transpose human social constructions on other species, in a time very far from the current. it's ignorance.

i am so protective of her, this really grinds my gears. she means a lot to me.

She's one of my favourite characters in the franchise, and one of the reasons is this lack of gender ideas in the trill culture. I am protective of her, too.

[–] Dark_Mercy 4 points (+4|-0)

and have been trying to trans Jadzia

I saw a meme a while ago about how, one of the klingons (I don't know who) that was friends with Curzon (spelling?) Like respected trans people, "be like him" but they all talk about Curzon. Sisko calls her "Old Man" she doesn't care.

I've seen this meme. Complete misunderstanding of the nature of the Trill.

[–] Dark_Mercy 4 points (+4|-0)

And if I remember it right it feels more like it should be addressing trans people, since she doesn't get offended by "old man" she knows she is Jadzia Dax, but if people remember Dax as Curzon that's okay with her.

Something, like that.

The only thing that annoys me about Voyager is the waste of building up tension between Chakotay and Janeway (which wasn't necessary in the first place) and then a random romance happens between him and Seven in the last season. Tom Paris has such great character development as the series progresses.

Trek is supposed to depict the world how it could be, and Discovery and Picard have regressed these ideals massively.

[–] TheCakeIsALie 7 points (+7|-0)

I'm obsessed with the Expanse on Amazon. It's amazing sci-fi and every female character is fantastic in their own way. I can't recommend it enough.

[–] drdee 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

Seconded--there's a qualitative difference between media that have 'strong women characters' and media in which women are actual full characters, with their own personalities, agency and story arcs, and the Expanse is one of the latter. (So is For All Mankind.)

[–] TheCakeIsALie 1 points (+1|-0)

Right. They're all complex and flawed and not one of them has to run around in a skimpy costume to stand out. Bobbie's hulking power armor is the exact opposite of every other female armor trope.

I started watching when it was on Netflix, but then gave up for some reason... sounds like I need to go back.

[–] TheCakeIsALie 1 points (+1|-0)

To be fair, I did the same. I didn't have the attention span for the first couple episodes and I got confused and gave up. So glad I gave it another go. By the 4th episode I was absolutely hooked and now I'm reading through the books for more.

I totally love the men of voyager - including Tom Paris. So I was thinking about that for a while, and realized they were all fantastic, because voyager was a lot about showing how women can be strong, and how men can be strong while following a woman. Which meant the men seemed to be written differently. They were written as men respecting women, and it shows! Yet none of them were less manly for it. I also very much noticed that especially when Janeway and chakotay walked together, he never walked in front of her. Q little things, but it added up.

Also, the Spaceship is and has been for a long time my safe pplace, too!

[–] ActualWendy 1 points (+1|-0)

This essay by Sheridan Sinclair called "That time Star Trek TNG did an episode on gender identity ..."

In 1992 they’d tried to do an episode of Star Trek that was an allegory of homosexuality and gay conversion therapy. The problem was the slap-dashed arse up way they did it, especially by chickening out and casting women as the Jna’ii instead of men, it comes across as a great bit stonking story about gender identity.

The essay points out that young people today read this episode as a defense of affirmation of gender identity, when it really was a messed up attempt at a gay allegory, but Star Trek couldn't have Riker getting busy with a male actor playing a genderless alien.

[–] [Deleted] 1 points (+1|-0)

It's essentially why I watched so much of Voyager even when the plots actually bore me a lot haha. I just love everyone so much, every single character is amazingly constructed, TNG is years away from being that sophisticated with the cast. The only strong female character, who wasn't completely riddled with stereotyping was Dr. Crusher.

I could easily see any of the Voyager characters turning into a laughable stereotype had they featured in TNG, for example: the relationship between Neelix and Kes would've been laughed at, and both of them would've had completely different, goofy and stereotypical characters, Neelix would've been a comical relief and Kes just a random hot girl. B'Elanna is Lt. Yar done right, and so on and so forth.

Also, Captain Janeway, is in my humble opinion, the best Captain, although I still have to watch more of DS9, but the way Janeway handles things is my favorite, she never resorts to treating her crew like idiots, and she doesn't fall into feminine stereotyping, and still goes through female struggles and injustice.

To me, it's bonkers that so few shows do this right. Specially when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy: you have a whole world to imagine, and you still choose to create an universe where women are inherently inferior.