Happy New Year first of all. I’m squeezing this one in before going out with family to count down another year…
But before I head out, I’m watching some TV and I’m back to watching Star Trek Voyager. Sure, it has some problems, one of which is where do they keep getting all those shuttles and torpedoes from? but that isn’t what I will be writing about today.
Watching it with 2016 eyes I notice something I haven’t noticed before. This year has been a very polarized year, and one of the dividing lines has been gender. Those that have been following me and reading some of my rants may realize I am fairly traditional in my views of the sexes.
Men are big and strong and women are small and frail. Right? For the most part that still is true, and there is nothing wrong with that. There are exceptions, and while I may look oddly and weak men, strong women can pull it off. With one requirement.
Before I go into that, I want to make a brief mention of yet another Hollywood remake (read trash masking writers with no originality). The Ghostbusters movies were awesome. I loved them back in the 80s and I still own the movies now, part of my grand extensive collection of 10 dvds.
But you probably guessed I’m going to talk about the remake a bit. All of the ghost busters are female. Putting aside changing gender to parade a hip and progressive message, the way those character portray strength is far from it. A woman punching a man in the balls is not strength. It’s weakness. A woman acting like a man is weakness. Or at the very least confusion.
How did all of this pop in my head watching Voyager?
Kate Mulgrew’s character, Captain Kathryn Janeway is one that portrays in equal measure femininity as well as strength. But not masculine strength, not at all. Not feminine strength either. It is command strength.
This is something that we are robbing ourselves of. Women feel they have to be men to be strong and taken serious, and men lose the women they adore. Nobody wins (except those with who knows what agenda.)
Janeway is strong when she needs to be, and soft when she wants to be. That is her power, knowing who she is and not changing based on the whims of anyone. It’s why she is one of the better captains in scifi. I’d say number two, tied with Sisko and Mal Reynolds. Kirk is still number 1. But lets move past my geek speak.
I have written about this before, and her character is compelling because it is real. Anyone that served in the military might have come across female commanders that did the job without turning into testosterone lined men. Without having to punch a man in the balls, figuratively or literally in order to validate themselves. They don’t need to prove themselves. Not anymore, not to you.
She isn’t a political 21st century cliche. The story in the end comes first, and that is her purpose. Sure, she can be an inspiration for young women to go into science, but not at the cost of alienating young men.
So for 2017 how about we create characters that don’t draw lines, vilifying the other side.
Does that sound like a good resolution to you?
Signed, Somebody that will always admire a strong woman, that still is a woman