speccygeekgrrl42: (cunning linguist : Uhura)
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TOS episode The Enemy Within. I know it's kind of lulzy to spoiler-cut over something that aired in the 60s, but I know a few people are watching the series for the first time, so.

At the beginning of the episode Kirk gets split into Good!Kirk (wimpy, but gets shirtless scene with Spock, oo-er) and Bad!Kirk (steals McCoy's Saurian brandy and goes on a rampage). The first thing Bad!Kirk does after getting trashed? Sneaks into Janice Rand's room and tries to rape her when she comes in.

Now, there are a lot of things wrong with how this is handled through the whole episode. I hope we get to see Janice in the next film, because she has so much potential... and her hair is ~awesome~, btw... and so we can see her put in situations where she's more than a handy victim.

At the end of the episode, once Kirk is put back together, Janice says something like "well, I wanted to tell you that I--" and Kirk says "I know, Yeoman." So, he didn't even let her finish... then she takes a clipboard up to Spock, who signs it, then looks at her and says "The impostor had some interesting qualities, didn't he?" (or something to that effect) and. Just.

That made me REALLY uncomfortable, and as much as I'm trying to interpret it from another angle, that just comes off as an incredibly cruel thing to say. Not insensitive, because insensitive is one thing, but if you look at the expression and the tone in which the line is delivered... that's either Vulcan!Fail at teasing, or plain mean.

Really, I kind of know I shouldn't get bothered so much because, hello, 60s, and we STILL have problems with the portrayal of women in television, but that stomped on my toes pretty hard.

...next episode, Mudd's Women. And again with the gender!fail.

Date: 2009-06-04 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aegoceros.livejournal.com
SPOCK MADE A RAPE JOKE. 8( I don't think there's any other way to put it. It's not just insensitive, it's downright cruel! When I first saw the episode, I was like, "OH, GOD. SPOCK. HOW...WHAT? REALLY?"

D8 I've tried to sit and analyze it, and so far the closest I've been able to come in justifying some of the stuff that happens in this episode is looking at it with a queer slant (IE: the slash goggles). I'm still trying to work out the numerous flaws in this argument (http://allyourtrekarebelongto.us/enemywithin.htm), but it's kind of interesting to look at the episode with the idea that Kirk is bisexual and is split into his gay and straight "halves" as opposed to his good and evil ones. It always struck me as weird that Kirk's "good" half was so short and disinterested with Rand, but was so sweet and gentle otherwise. And Spock's "joke" makes a little more sense (but is still mean and totally WRONG) if you look at it as him being all like, "MM-HMM, THAT'S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU MESS WITH SPOCK'S MAN...BETCH."

8\ This argument in itself is full of sexuality!fail and stereotyping, though, and it still doesn't sit too great with me. Although in the 60's, who knows. It was a different world~*~

IDK, food for thought, I guess. xD It's glaringly obvious that it's past my bedtime.

Date: 2009-06-04 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] speccygeekgrrl.livejournal.com
Hmm. That argument was an interesting read, but you're right, there's not much of a way to interpret the episode that doesn't involve major fail on SOMEONE's part.

(I was totally thinking, while watching the episode, "hey, it's submissive!Kirk and scary, non-safe sane and consensual dom!Kirk!")

Date: 2009-06-04 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aegoceros.livejournal.com
INTERESTING ARGUMENT! xD Kirk is a SWITCH, and they were his DOM side and his SUB side!

...D8 I totally don't need to rewatch the episode and try to find some truth to that. The hell, self. Stop trying to write Star Trek essays xD

Date: 2009-06-04 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] speccygeekgrrl.livejournal.com
You DON'T need to rewatch it. Just remember the last bit before Kirk gets fixed. "I can't make a decision! YOU GUYS GIVE ME AN ORDER." Yeeeeah.

Date: 2009-06-04 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jk-rockin.livejournal.com
...I have seen none of TOS, but I'm fine with spoilers. YEESH, FAIL. SKETCHY GENDER ISSUES ARE SKETCHY.

Date: 2009-06-04 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] speccygeekgrrl.livejournal.com
I'm just trying to come up with some way to explain it that isn't completely offensive... I may have to erase that last minute or two of the episode from my brain-canon. v.v;

Date: 2009-06-05 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jk-rockin.livejournal.com
I'm... not so much seeing a way? I WISH. I love me some Spock, but also, DUDE. WHAT IS THAT EVEN. Even Captain James T-for-Toolbag Kirk is a little more sensitive than that! And Kirk- even old!Kirk, who is a much more mellow beastie than new!Kirk- can be kind of a dick!

Date: 2009-06-05 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] speccygeekgrrl.livejournal.com
This is going in the box of Things That Didn't Happen in My Canon. Also in the box: the deaths of Krycek, the Lone Gunmen, Carson Beckett, and Boone, Volume 3 of Heroes, the final season of SGA...

Date: 2009-06-04 12:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eridanie.livejournal.com
Actually I think Spock was just pissed that he wasn't the one targeted for the mauling ;p

I think sometimes interesting is just a vulcan insult, I also use it as an insult when I'm trying to be mild. Like I really mean terrible but instead I say that was...Interesting.

Let's not forget it was actually really forward for it's time, depicting women in a millitary organization, in positions of authority, as scientists, technicians, that was almost unheard of at the time.

Also remember how original series was the first show to have an on air interacial kiss? It was really forward and political for back then.

Date: 2009-06-04 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] speccygeekgrrl.livejournal.com
Oh, I know it was a step forward, in depictions of women and minorities and all. But I can't help looking at it from my privileged, 21st-century point of view.

Also, that on-air interracial kiss was like the first example of "aliens made them do it" ever. xD

Date: 2009-06-04 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eridanie.livejournal.com
hehe totally!

Date: 2009-06-04 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liasbuttissexy.livejournal.com
The only thing that makes this better is knowing that Kirk is supposed to be this amazing awesome hand to hand combat dude, right? And Rand messes up his face, right? Examining this evidence, one can only come to the conclusion that clearly Rand > Kirk. This only makes her more awesome.
Edited Date: 2009-06-04 08:26 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-06-05 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] speccygeekgrrl.livejournal.com

Date: 2009-06-05 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaleidoscope87.livejournal.com
I've been rewatching TOS way too much lately, and for some reason I've come to the conclusion that The Way To Eden is one of my favorite episodes. Two words: space hippies...

And I totally agree with the need for some Janice love, she could show those girls with the weird topknots how your hair should look on the Enterprise.

And oh hell, don't get me started on Mudd's Women.


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