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The Appropriation of Queer Issues to Promote K/S Slash - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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The Appropriation of Queer Issues to Promote K/S Slash [Jul. 24th, 2009|10:52 am]
Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

starbase_idic

[eumelia]
[Current Mood |pissed offpissed off]

Okay.
So Kirk and Spock have been having an epic (Slash) love affair for 40 years, of this there is no doubt. They are the Slash couple. They are in fact, as far as I'm aware, the namers of the genre, names after the "/" that goes between their names: Kirk(Slash)Spock.

In canon they are the best of friends - in the New!Canon they are primed to be quite good friends with an ally of their own at their sides, Uhura backing Spock and Bones backing Kirk.

The old dynamic refurbished for the 21st century, I like it. It was refreshing see a successful relationship happening aboard the enterprise, especially between Uhura and Spock, whose differences in manner and temperament make the whole thing so damn pretty.

My own fannisheness aside.

Star Trek as a franchise, in the 60's and to a certain extent up until the 80's was considered ahead of its time (hah!) when it came to representation of charterers and social issues. That isn't to say it wasn't or isn't flaws, we all know it is, but the ideal of Star Trek is that of the IDIC as much as it is to Boldly Go...

Now here's the pickle.
To Boldly Go... and the idea of IDIC aren't the co-optation and appropriation of Real Life issues and Human Rights in order to push a pairing a very particular and overly fethishised NON-Canon pairing in the name of Equality.

No really, it is not!

This campaign - started here and I quote:
From Gene Roddenberry: "Yes, there's certainly some of that - certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being, the Greek ideal - we never suggested in the series - physical love between the two. But it's the - we certainly had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century." Roddenberry directly stated that Kirk and Spock loved each other and that their level of love for one another was sufficient for a romantic relationship, and while he did not confirm or deny this relationship, he did mention essentially that if homosexuality was to be accepted in the 23rd century, then the relationship between the two characters would indeed be possible.

We've seen Brokeback Mountain, and we've seen other homosexual relationships on screen. However, the relationships are generally either the focus of the film, or comic relief. It would be a big step indeed to see the Captain and First Officer of the Enterprise in a relationship that is simply a normal part of life. The push is for equality in the media; for the normalization of GLBT relationships in movies and television.

See... it would have been okay, maybe, if the concern actually was LGBTQI representation in media and NOT the objectification of queer sexuality on screen.
Also, Brokwback Mountain, I've said it once, twice, three times a gentleman!
"Gay Movie for Straight People!"
Along with this little campaign which I hoped dies in obscurity into a fiery pit dowsed by torrential rain, there are people who just don't see the problem.
Like this precious quote:
Hm. I'm...Buhhh. I really like the K/S focus, to be honest. But I don't want to be stubborn and obtuse and cause unnecessary trouble by not agreeing. ._.
I really think it's a bit...silly? For people who support LGBT interests not to sign the petition or support us because they don't support the pairing. It's like if civil rights supporters decided not to support the movement because they didn't like MLK Jr.. Progress is progress, as long as we're not harming anyone, I think it's fine.
No offense to anyone, that's just my opinion.
From See Trek Love.

Crack open a book why don't you.

I'd like to add that the focus on a particular Fanon pairing and attempting to push it for Canonisation ostensibly in the name of Queer Rights is downright nauseating.
No really.
It is.

Especially since one is willing to pretty much "guilt"(?) a creator to change fictional character dynamics in the name of social change. I know that this may come off as hypocritical considering the very long debate I had not too long ago here regarding the same subject, namely Queering Kirk.
That really was just an example of how the Reboot could have been a little bit more awesome and more inclusive when it came to the Queer.

The new movie, though far from being terribly progressive, did see a huge leap for Uhura who was crucial to the plot and was not undermined by the fact that she is romantically involved with a superior officer, both of them concerned (as well they should be, I really like that they showed that concern) with the issues of Hierarchy.
That too was a little push of the envelope when it came to heteto representation and mixed-race couple representation.
Go Trek.

Again. A push for a specific same-sex pairing "in the name" of Queer Rights stinks of appropriation and an utter misunderstanding of what Queer Rights are and what media representation actually is.
You want to have more queer characters? I know I do, then campaign for THAT, not for an on-screen kiss between Chris Pine and Zack Quinto.
Seriously.

In the comments of the link at newtrekslash there are a few prime examples of cluelessness, racism and misogyny. Because Uhura is using her Nubian Wiles to keep Spock from his OTL Kirk.
Excuse me while I go vomit.

I urge you. Do Not Support this campaign. If you're going to mention in... mention that you oppose it. Please. This is just another example of the unwitting (though it really shouldn't be) homophobia found in fandom and should be not be tolerated, just like any transphobia, racism, misogyny and other forms of oppression should not be tolerated.

Ces't Tout.

Any questions?
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: antikythera
2009-07-24 05:31 pm (UTC)
Heh, sorry about that, I was trying to rewrite while people were replying to me. See below. I agree with your last paragraph.

For what it's worth, the "I'll be monitoring your frequency" bit made me laugh and cringe, because it struck me as just a sci-fi clone of tying a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree -- the men go off to have adventures while their women sit at home and wait for them to return.
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[User Picture]From: eumelia
2009-07-24 05:34 pm (UTC)
It could be construed as that, I agree.

But I think you're reducing Uhura to something she's really not in the film.
I can already see that we're not going to agree on her characterisation, so I say we leave at that and not get into a merry-go-round of "but she's this!" "no, she's this!".

*sigh*
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[User Picture]From: antikythera
2009-07-24 05:41 pm (UTC)
Hell no, no merry-go-round. I'm perfectly willing to accept that we can both have completely different opinions about the character and still both be good feminists and not sell-outs. :P

I have the same problem with one of my favourite comics, Girl Genius, which a respected friend of mine thinks is way too sodden with male gaze. *shrug*
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[User Picture]From: antikythera
2009-07-24 06:29 pm (UTC)
Question! Is desexualization of a female character more of an issue when the character is not white?

I like seeing female characters who are not in relationships, just because it seems rare to me, especially when the character in question is attractive.

If it's more common for black female characters to be depicted as sexless, and therefore that desexualization is something to be avoided at all costs when trying to keep away from stereotypes, I can see where you're coming from on this.
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[User Picture]From: wolfy_writing
2009-07-25 06:05 am (UTC)
There's actually a politically troubling history with Uhura in TOS not being allowed to have relationships by network officials who had issues with the possibilities of interracial relationships (and nearly any relationship prospect on TOS involving Uhura would have beein interracial). So pushing for single Uhura has unfortunate implications, even if unintended.
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