The Reboot’s Uniforms & Why They Are Sexist
Why are you ranting about this? you ask rhetorically.
I ignore the facetiousness of your tone and tell you anyway.
Starfleet is a para-military organization. It’s structure follows a chain of command. Responsibility and authority flow from the top of the command structure down. Authority and responsibility are not invested in the people, but in the positions they hold. For example, if Dr. McCoy is relieved of duty, he would not longer be Chief Medical Officer aboard the Enterprise. The next person in the chain of command would take his place.
Now, let’s play a game with hypotheticals, shall we?
Let’s say that instead of Dr. McCoy being relieved of duty, he is incapacitated while serving aboard the Enterprise. This happens during an emergency situation. People are pouring into Sickbay, and many of them are from different departments, with no idea who is in-charge in Sickbay. They need a way of quickly knowing who is in-charge so that they can be treated. Luckily for them, Starfleet has foreseen this calamity. All they need to do is look at the uniforms and the badges. They look for blue, see a medical comm-badge, and then glance at the acting CMO’s sleeve. They immediately know who is coordinating medical treatment in this crisis.
Now, let’s play another round of this game…
In this version, Dr. McCoy is incapacitated during a medical emergency just like the last situation, but in this situation, the acting Chief Medical Officer is a woman. People pour into Sickbay from different departments, not knowing who is in-charge. They look around for blue shirts and medical comm-badges, but the highest ranking personnel they see is an ensign. They ask him for help, interrupting what he is doing. He directs them to the acting CMO. All of this happens over the span of a few minutes, but in the chaos of the emergency, these minutes make the difference between life and death of the people being treated.
You can see why this might begin to cause an issue.
Similarly, let’s say that Lt. Uhura commands a random ensign to do something of the utmost importance. On a ship as large as the Enterprise, this ensign does not recognize Lt. Uhura. They know who she is, but they haven’t seen her that much, spending most of their time in Engineering. They then spend the time to ask who she is before following the order. In an emergency situation, that time is precious.
Perhaps that example works even better with Lt. Marcus, who is actually a new addition to the Enterprise crew. It is highly conceivable that her new crewmates would be unaware as to her identity and rank.
There is literally no mechanism for crewmembers to immediately asses the rank of the women serving in Starfleet. For all some new crewmember knows, Uhura could be anything from an ensign to a lieutenant commander.
But, you say having listened to me drone on, women can choose to wear variations of the uniform!
Ahh! Not so fast!
You see, women in TOS could do that too.
As you will note, this is a uniform cut for a woman
that has pants.
The lack of piping indicates that this woman rocking pants is of a lower rank, and is probably an ensign or is enlisted. She still has a means of displaying rank.
Even TNG flipped this standard on its head, but showing men in the background wearing the skant version of the uniform in the 1980s.
But see those pips? That’s his rank indicator.
You see, much like TOS and TNG, the Reboot has thus far relegated modified uniforms to a few select background extras. What’s the problem with that?
Only allowing a unnamed background characters to wear the variant uniform is not the same as seeing Lt. Uhura or Lt. Marcus occasionally wear it.
Additionally, the cultural context of the miniskirt has changed. While it was once seen as a symbol of liberation, it is now interpreted as one of objectification. That is not to say that the miniskirt is inherently one or the other, but that a very clear message is sent within our own cultural context today when the vast majority of the women seen onscreen are wearing it.
Within film, and also television, there is a saying, “Show, don’t tell.” Film is primarily a visual medium and secondarily an audio medium. The majority of the information in film is communicated to the audience visually. That means that seeing one or two extras wearing variant uniforms in shots that last perhaps a few seconds within the context of a feature-length film does not show us much. It has almost the same effect on the audience as a throw-away line of dialogue of Uhura saying, “I prefer the short-sleeved dress to the other options” would. That is to say, it has almost no effect at all, because that is not what the audience sees for the vast majority of the film.
Saying that women clearly have the option of wearing the variant uniform is like saying R2-D2 is a Star Trek character because he appeared as a bit of debris for a few seconds in both the Reboot films.
You see, even in the TOS Mirror-verse, women still show rank.
See that braid around the collar of Uhura’s top?
That signifies her rank.
Even the corrupt Terran Empire, with its midriff-baring uniforms, still has a means by which women can display their rank. After all, the Terran Empire might be vicious and terrible, but it also has to function properly.
So when high-ranking women officers have no way of displaying rank on a starship that routinely faces danger, it causes problems in emergency situations, and annoyance in everyday life.
It makes no sense functionally within the world of the universe.
The world of the universe is a fictional one, however, so why does this all matter?
Well, real people made the decision to not include a way for the women officers to display their rank. It probably wasn’t a decision made out of malice. The costume designer might’ve been too worried about the "large male fanbase" that "JJ wanted to appeal to”. Perhaps it just didn’t occur to Micheal Kaplan.
But then why didn’t anyone notice it? Why wasn’t it corrected before filming started?
In my opinion, the answer lies in how the women characters are treated by the script.
In short, the women aren’t scripted as officers in the same way that their colleagues who are men are.
That’s why something so small has taken on such a larger meaning. The lack of rank insignia has come to be a symbol for the problematic and sexist ways the Reboot has treated its fictional women. It so eloquently captures the attitude that many of the people in creative and executive positions have expressed toward the women characters, and fans who dare to voice such criticisms.
Great read! Gender-based double standards in costuming may not always refer to protectiveness (or even the relative ‘sexyness’), it may be the case of basic functionality.
See how JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek denies the very purpose of (para)military uniforms, which is making crew members recognizable by their rank and function… None of that for female officers, apparently.
A week after successfully publishing the Female Armor Bingo, I present to you its spin-off: Female Armor Rhetoric Bingo!
This card refers to the defenses/apologia that’s used against the critique of skimpy female warrior outfits.
I did my best to collect the most pervasive arguments used to justify bikini armors and similar costumes.
Breakdown of all the squares under the cut.
Hoooo boy! I even received an argument featuring several of these yesterday.
Anonymous asked: Okay now favourite Doctor (DONT PICK THE TOP COUPLE I WANT O N E NO CHEATING :D )
TESS THIS IS UNFAIR
I’ll do my best with this one, to give you a straight answer, because otherwise this is going to get epically long like the last one. xD I do have a top three ready for this specific occasion and for my personal reasons but I WILL KEEP IT TO ONE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT KILLS ME.
I’m going to have to say Eight’s my favourite. It kills me to have to pick one, but if I have to, it’s him. Even before I listened to the audios, I loved that awful masterpiece of a TV movie as if it were my own child and I still rewatch it sometimes for no reason, it’s the first Doctor Who DVD I got (New and Classic!) because I just needed to rewatch it over and over. He’s such a precious delight in it and I couldn’t get over that this dreamer would eventually have to make the decision to destroy everything in the Time War (shhh don’t disillusion me he still did) and I absolutely loved it. That ‘contradiction’ didn’t feel unnatural to me at all — you can ask Sage, I met her before I listened to any audios and by the time I’d only read one EDA, and I was gushing about how much I loved the idea and how much I could see Eight’s character expanding and growing through his arc to become the man that would actually do that. And now, through the audios, the emotions I feel for Eight are all just magnified at least a hundredfold — especially seeing how he deals with his regular companions in an adventure-by-adventure setting. He manages to keep that optimism through quite a lot and when he doesn’t you know it’s getting serious, and Paul McGann just plays it so well that it’s incredible to listen to and I wish I could see his physicality to go along with his voice.
I still need to get back into the EDAs, because I know I’ll love them just as much, and Eight in them as well. And I’m behind on the comics too, but from what I’ve read of them, he’s just as multifaceted and amazing in those too.
So that’s who I’ll pick! Eight, there you have it. (And, interestingly enough, this answer hasn’t changed from the summer of 2012, when I first watched the TV movie and then had to give an answer to this question when I went to a Doctor Who panel at a convention in my city!)
Good choice, good choice =D!
Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker, is the only woman EVER to win a Best Director Oscar. Only 4 women have ever been nominated. Women made up only 6% of Directors for the top movies of 2013. There were NO female nominees for directing, cinematography, film editing, writing (original screenplay), or music (original score) during last year’s Academy Awards.
Women make 91 cents on the dollar compared to men, once you account for individual life choices. The 77 cents per dollar figure everyone cites is a raw figure that doesn’t take into account any difference in personal choices. For instance, women are more likely to choose low-paying occupations and leave the workforce when they have children. While 91 cents still isn’t fair, it’s far better than the misleading figure most people cite. This is an unpopular fact as opposed to an unpopular opinion, but I thought it should still be shared.
what the hell makes you think women want lower paying jobs.
Higher paying companies don’t hire women because they are sexist assholes so we’re forced to deal with lower income jobs unless we kick some asses along the way
Higher paying jobs aren’t given to women because there are not many women who are qualified for the jobs. Yes, many colleges are mostly female nowadays, but if you look at ANY college you will see that a vast majority of the bs liberal arts majors are women and most technical majors are men. On top of that, more dangerous jobs pay more, and women are never too keen to apply for those either.
If you people would stop trying to play the victim all the time, you’d realize that all this wage gap bullshit is just that: bullshit.
No, it’s not bullshit. Sociology studies have shown that in job applications, those in control of admissions are more likely to look favourably on a men’s application than a female’s application even if they have the same qualifications. They’re more likely to not trust a woman’s qualifications than a male’s, with phrases like “oh we’ll have to check those degrees” cropping up when regarding a female’s application. Overall, society teaches us to be largely biased towards males.
Different, independent studies show that companies are more likely to promote a male to a higher up position because they think he “looks more authoritative” or “commands more authority”, while on the flip side if a woman is authoritative, she is considered a bitch, bossy and too controlling. She is demonised for it, as highlighted in this video.
It’s harder for women to get into professions such as politics, because (again) they are demonised because of their sex, and in debates gendered slurs are directed towards them. Their sex is used against them.
In the film industry, it’s harder for women to get jobs, so don’t blame it on the “bullshit liberal arts” courses. Women aren’t given the same opportunities to use their degrees as men. There’s a 1:5 ratio of women working in the film industry. In popular TV shows where writers are asked to write/submit a script, women are rarely given the chance. When submitting scripts for episodes women (again) are more likely to be harshly judged. Popular comedians have also spoken out about how it’s harder for them to be comedians, as they are more likely to be judged quicker on whether they are funny or not compared to men. It’s hard for women in the acting profession, as they are not only expected to be conventionally attractive, and demonised if they are not, but expected to wear more revealing clothes and get partially or fully nude more often than men. In media productions, only 3% of decision making comes from women. That means 97% of how women are portrayed in media is decided by men, and women aren’t being encouraged to change that.
It’s only been recently when women have been actively encouraged and supported when they want to go into scientific fields, and even then, there’s still problems, including stereotypes, lack of recognition and lack of opportunities. My friend was encouraged not to take physics and not go into engineering because it’s a “male job”. Another friend of mine was told she was “too pretty” to be a chemist. We still have barriers to overcome. Another piece of evidence for this is the fact that history books and science books have still not added in the amazing discoveries female scientists have made.
Household jobs and looking after children are still largely regarded as a woman’s job, and this is something you can’t deny especially when looking at adverts for household products. These harmful gender stereotypes contribute to women leaving their jobs. It’s completely different if a women chooses to do this because she wants to and is happy doing this, but you can’t ignore the pressure society puts on women to still be domestic goddesses and caregivers.
Women are discriminated against in jobs such as the police force because society tells them that that’s a “man’s job” when in actual fact this is not true. In fact, it’s often more useful to females on a firefighting team because women usually have smaller builds and can fit into smaller places, such as through windows. Many, many women would be capable of passing the physical requirements of jobs in the police force and firebrigade but because of society’s pressure they don’t even apply which is bullshit because you need to use your brains more than anything in these jobs.
People of colour and women of colour are actively discriminated against. An example includes whitewashing in media. People of colour aren’t given opportunities in acting roles. Katniss and Khan are two clear examples. Cultures, or choices of POC are also discriminated against, such as having dreadlocks or wearing a hijab, as these are considered “unprofessional”. You also have differences in quality of education when communities are segregated by race and there are divisions in socioeconomic class. This results in lesser opportunities for POCs in certain areas, which in turns leads them to not be able to get degrees and higher paying jobs.
And the whole having children thing is bullshit. Friendly reminder that if women didn’t have children the human race would die out? Yeah. Just in case you forgot. Women, like I said, are often expected and pressured into leaving their jobs because they are expected to look after the children. Because of rigid gender roles, men aren’t encouraged to leave their work to look after their children, it’s always the women’s job. And maternity leave is pretty crap in most countries too. A female often has to completely leave her job if she wants to look after her child for longer than a few months, which isn’t fair. Then if she wants to go back to working, she needs to start from the bottom and work her way up again. This could be solved if a) women weren’t expected to be the only one’s to look after children and b) if women had longer paid maternity leave.
Women are discouraged from doing things from an early age. Instead of being told our worth comes from what we do and acheieve, we are told it comes from how we look. This can clearly be seen in magazines aimed at teenagers, where the one’s directed at boys are about doing things and the one’s directed at girls is about shutting up and thinking about how you look and if you love yourself too much.
When society influence our actions and and pressurise us into decisions, you can’t just say that it’s our “life choices” and ultimately our fault that we have lower paying jobs and the wage gap exists.
YES IT WORKED !
I HAVE SERIES 2 TO 4 NOW! Hello Ten!
And I have season 1 to 18 and 21 to 26, only season 19 and 20 missing =D!
And I have at home series 1 but I’ll download it, with series 5-7 (6-7 out of necessity)
"What no tea?"
Genesis of the Daleks - season 12 - 1975