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Posted 12 hours ago

Motherhood and Pregnancy in Star Trek > All Things Trek Podcast

This week our show is absolutely overflowing with class and intellect, as we are joined by both Jarrah Hodge and Kathy Ferguson. Our discussion covers how Star Trek portrays motherhood and pregnancy, and also I go on a rant about Barge of the Dead? Who wouldn’t want to listen to that! But seriously, this is one of the best episodes we’ve done in a while, and we couldn’t have done it without our guests. Don’t worry, we’ll be having them back again soon. Otherwise we won’t be able to follow up on any of the topic ideas we came up with during the episode.

In case you missed it, the audio of last weekend’s All Things Trek, in which we talked pregnancy and motherhood on Star Trek, is now online. There was a lot of discussion in the Trek Radio chat room and among us guests about other things we needed to explore in future episodes, because there was just so much to talk about. Tune in and let me know what you think! 

P.S. If you like this episode, consider subscribing to the podcast on iTunes. I know it makes for some great car/plane listening.

Posted 23 hours ago
We acknowledge that we are walking a very dangerous sort of tightrope with a female captain. She is judged by different standards. If she shows any weakness, if she shows too much emotion in a situation of stress, it damages her in the eyes of the audience. So we have to be careful that in professional situations, in leadership situations on the bridge, at all times she is completely in control. But to do only that with her would be to do a great disservice to the character and to the actress, who is capable of a broad range of things. I think that we have given her more emotional stories this season [Season 2] and as a result, we have deepened her character.
Jeri Taylor, quoted in Captains’ Logs: Supplemental by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, 1996.
Posted 1 day ago
The female body, as a functional instrument, obsesses me…My greatest fantasy is to be with the fifty-foot woman from those schmaltzy 1950s sci-fi films. That would be the ultimate: to actually crawl up into a vagina.

Brannon Braga, quoted in Jeff Greenwald’s Future Perfect: How Star Trek Conquered Planet Earth, 1998.

More than any of us wanted to know about Brannon Braga.

Posted 3 days ago

zoetikadax:

…that is a good question.

Am I the only one who feels inspired and yet a little bit terrified every time I see this? 

(Source: tpringsgirlfriend)

Posted 4 days ago

Deep Space Nine script coordinator Robert Gillan came up with the original story premise for [“Our Man Bashir”]. Naturally there were some significant differences in his version, most notably the fact that Bashir was originally sharing his holosuite adventure with Kira.

"He wanted her to experience it wish him," Gillan explains, "so she was with him, not Garak. I had her playing one of the Bond-type girls, and Kira, being kind of a head-strong person, was kind of put off at the sexist role she was supposed to play, so she kind of modified her character…But to keep up with the Bond thing, Bashir couldn’t really have a woman partner, because women were always treated differently. "

- Background on “Our Man Bashir” in Captains’ Logs: Supplemental by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, 1996.

I was really interested to read that this had been the plan for “Our Man Bashir”. It’s an episode I just can’t love, because the James Bond stories it pays homage are so sexist.

While maybe it would’ve been hard to make Kira work with the plot, it would’ve been great to at least have a character reflect about how regressive the women’s roles were in Bashir’s holoprogram - similar to how Sisko is concerned about whitewashing history at Vic’s in “Badda Bing, Badda Bang”. 

Posted 4 days ago

mollybecameanengineer:

trekkiefeminist:

I’ll be joining All Things Trek again this Saturday, April 19, to talk about pregnancy and motherhood in Star Trek. Also joining us will be Kathy Ferguson, who teaches in Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Hawaii.

Listen live at 1 p.m. Pacific/4 p.m. Eastern at http://trekradio.net/

If you missed the last episode I did a couple of weeks ago, where we talked about the recurring child characters on Trek, you can catch up on the All Things Trek website.

I loved listening to this today, however I wished there had been more Voyager talk, especially since B’Elanna is one of two main characters in Star Trek to be pregnant while the show was happening and the only one who chose to. For example, in Lineage: 

JANEWAY: Would you like some time off?
TORRES: To do what?
JANEWAY: Adjust. This is a big change.
TORRES: I’ll work during the day, sleep at night and have the baby when it’s time.
JANEWAY: Well, if you need to cut back on your duties, I’m sure Seven would be happy to fill in for you.
TORRES: I think I can handle it.

and

PARIS: Well, I figured quiet, romantic dinners may soon be a thing of the past. Tough day?
TORRES: The Captain practically relieved me of duty, as if I couldn’t handle being an engineer and being pregnant at the same time.

Which kind of brushes upon the parental leave that you guys touched on. Voyager is a weird case as to how parental leave would be handled and we never got to see it because they ended the show basically the moment she had the baby. We do know that she was working up to the moment she went into labor. However, it is interesting that in Roxann Dawson’s real life pregnancy, she also was working until she went into labor (half way through the filming of The Omega Directive) and returned to work 10 days later (she missed two and a half episodes in total).

The other issue with Lineage is how B’Elanna’s outrageous action of reprogramming the doctor is blamed on her hormones… which is an interesting topic to discuss.

Finally, on the show there was a discussion of Trip’s pregnancy in Enterprise. It reminded me of this scene from Friendship One 

TORRES: It’s been months since I’ve been on an away mission.
PARIS: Then try the Holodeck. The Flyer is full.
TORRES: You can make room. Neelix doesn’t have to go.
PARIS: He’s not six months pregnant.
TORRES: Being pregnant doesn’t make me an invalid.
PARIS: No, it doesn’t. There’s a toxic atmosphere down there and you’re breathing for two.
TORRES: Alright, you win, but if we have another baby, you carry it, and I’ll go on the away missions.
PARIS: It’s a deal.

The way the McNeil plays this scene is that he sincerely agrees to this arrangement (although it is of course acknowledged by both parties that it is not possible). He does not hint that he is at all being emasculated by the suggestion of carrying their child. 

In any case, those are just some thoughts of mine, I’m interested if anyone else has thoughts on motherhood and pregnancy that weren’t dealt with in the radio program. 

Thanks so much for adding your thoughts to the discussion. I love your comments and agree I wish we’d had more time to spend on Voyager. I hadn’t thought about that last exchange you referenced between Paris and Torres but I think you’re right - I was actually pretty impressed at the way Paris related to B’Elanna pretty much the entire time during her pregnancy.

I actually just re-watched Lineage last week in prep, so I should’ve remembered that point about Janeway offering B’Elanna time off, which I think is rad. And I wanted to talk about the issue of her wanting to re-engineer the fetus and how people responded. And I wanted to talk a bit more about “Elogium” and how it was intended to be a teen pregnancy story. But as you heard, we totally lost track of time, what with all the other interesting episodes dealing with pregnancy and motherhood.

Because we ran out of time we’re talking about doing a sequel touching on some other things we didn’t get a chance to really get into, like symbolic motherhood (Janeway and Seven, Janeway and Kes maybe, Kai Opaka and Kira, Seven and the Borg kids…etc.). I’ll try to make sure we get a bit more Voyager time in and talk about some of the points you raised.

Thanks again. Glad you enjoyed the show and really appreciate your follow-up thoughts. I know the All Things Trek gang also love listener mail so if you wanted to send in any more comments or ideas to them, you can email allthingstrek@hotmail.com. 

Currently I’m scheduled to do another show with ATT on May 10 on men and masculinity in Star Trek, so will post a reminder closer to then!

Posted 4 days ago
I watched the pilot with my hands over my eyes. I didn’t feel it was working. I got some really good feedback from people but personally, knowing what I can do as an actress and what was up there, I wasn’t really happy…I personally thought that if I continued to play Troi that way, it would get really boring because if you’re telepathic, a psychologist, who is hugely super intelligent and has that kind of background, she would be so understanding, so nice, so forgiving, so laid back and perfect that I’d be the Linda Evans of Star Trek. What I wanted more of was Alexis.
Marina Sirtis on “Encounter at Farpoint”, quoted in Captains’ Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, 1995.
Posted 5 days ago

I’ll be joining All Things Trek again this Saturday, April 19, to talk about pregnancy and motherhood in Star Trek. Also joining us will be Kathy Ferguson, who teaches in Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Hawaii.

Listen live at 1 p.m. Pacific/4 p.m. Eastern at http://trekradio.net/

If you missed the last episode I did a couple of weeks ago, where we talked about the recurring child characters on Trek, you can catch up on the All Things Trek website.

Posted 5 days ago

TNG 4X16 “Galaxy’s Child”

jescissa:

trekkiefeminist:

image

A few years ago I went for a first date with a guy I met online. It was almost unreal how much we had in common. As we played Scrabble at a coffee shop we kept bringing up more and more things we had in common. At one point I asked if there was any foods he disliked, and he said no but that he was somewhat allergic to peanuts.

After the extended coffee we went for a walk and were having such a great time that we decided to tack on dinner, too. We went to a nearby sushi restaurant and the food was taking a really long time. My goma-ae came and I totally forgot about his allergy and offered him some. A few minutes later he stopped chatting so freely, and a few minutes after that he said, “Um, was there peanuts in that?”

I gasped and stammered that there probably was and I must’ve forgot. I was pretty mortified.

"Yeah, um, I might have to go throw up," he said quietly.

I apologized over and over and he said, “Well on the bright side we found something we don’t have in common: I don’t think it’s ok to poison someone on the first date.”

I was chewing a piece of sushi when he said it, but I was so nervous I laughed out loud and spat rice across the table at him. It was a miracle we even ended up friends.

But as embarrassing as that date was, there could always be a worse date. There could always be a Geordi La Forge date.

But before I get into that part of the plot of “Galaxy’s Child”, first I want to talk about the other plot-line in the episode, which is that the Enterprise encounters a space-dwelling alien, which looks like a giant floating clam, and accidentally kills it. They quickly realize the alien was pregnant and lashed out at the Enterprise in self-defence. The fetus is still alive.

image

Crusher suggests delivering the baby alien by using the phasers to perform a C-section, despite knowing next to nothing about “the bio-functions of the adult, much less the child”. A minimum phaser blast killed the mother, so using phasers around the fetus doesn’t seem like a genius move.

However, the procedure is successful. But the baby immediately attaches itself to the Enterprise and starts draining its energy. Eventually, they manage to get “Junior” back to its relatives before it destroys the ship.

In her book Sexual Generations: “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and Gender, Robin Roberts looks at this part of the episode and how it relates to societal views of pregnancy and reproductive rights.

Read More

I never liked this episode for Geordi. How can someone who acknowledges the personhood of an android and has a Starfleet captain for a mum fall right into the “nice guy” cesspit? He used his knowledge to try to pick her up not to offer her friendship and when she’s rightly upset about the misuse of her image he acts like that’s her fault.

I also didn’t like the way they killed the alien, saved the baby & just left. In the film Insurrection, Picard asks “Remember when we used to be explorers?” Well, here was a great opprtunity to explore and connect with a new species & they kill one & think it’s okay because they saved it’s baby & don’t bother to stay & try to communicate with and study the group.

I love it! That’s such a perfect summary of this episode’s issues. I love the connection you made about Geordi’s behaviour to the “nice guy” thing. If anyone isn’t up on the discussion on that, it’s basically looking at how some guys proclaim they’re “nice guys” and complain that women keep choosing “jerks” over them to date.

The two problems with that is that it often seems like these “nice guys” aren’t really thinking about how they’re really coming across, and there’s a sense of entitlement that somehow women owe it to them to date them. I think this cartoon from Eat That Toast sums it up perfectly. 

Geordi totally fits that bill in this episode when he blames Leah Brahms instead of his own creepy behaviour and totally unrealistic expectations.

Listen to Guinan, Geordi! She’s always right! 

Posted 6 days ago

TNG 4X16 “Galaxy’s Child”

image

A few years ago I went for a first date with a guy I met online. It was almost unreal how much we had in common. As we played Scrabble at a coffee shop we kept bringing up more and more things we had in common. At one point I asked if there was any foods he disliked, and he said no but that he was somewhat allergic to peanuts.

After the extended coffee we went for a walk and were having such a great time that we decided to tack on dinner, too. We went to a nearby sushi restaurant and the food was taking a really long time. My goma-ae came and I totally forgot about his allergy and offered him some. A few minutes later he stopped chatting so freely, and a few minutes after that he said, “Um, was there peanuts in that?”

I gasped and stammered that there probably was and I must’ve forgot. I was pretty mortified.

"Yeah, um, I might have to go throw up," he said quietly.

I apologized over and over and he said, “Well on the bright side we found something we don’t have in common: I don’t think it’s ok to poison someone on the first date.”

I was chewing a piece of sushi when he said it, but I was so nervous I laughed out loud and spat rice across the table at him. It was a miracle we even ended up friends.

But as embarrassing as that date was, there could always be a worse date. There could always be a Geordi La Forge date.

But before I get into that part of the plot of “Galaxy’s Child”, first I want to talk about the other plot-line in the episode, which is that the Enterprise encounters a space-dwelling alien, which looks like a giant floating clam, and accidentally kills it. They quickly realize the alien was pregnant and lashed out at the Enterprise in self-defence. The fetus is still alive.

image

Crusher suggests delivering the baby alien by using the phasers to perform a C-section, despite knowing next to nothing about “the bio-functions of the adult, much less the child”. A minimum phaser blast killed the mother, so using phasers around the fetus doesn’t seem like a genius move.

However, the procedure is successful. But the baby immediately attaches itself to the Enterprise and starts draining its energy. Eventually, they manage to get “Junior” back to its relatives before it destroys the ship.

In her book Sexual Generations: “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and Gender, Robin Roberts looks at this part of the episode and how it relates to societal views of pregnancy and reproductive rights.

Read More