I have been wanting to post a compilation of my random Voyager lulz, but I am toward the end of season four now and there has been something nagging at me the entire time that has never happened with any of the other series. Is it just me, or does Voyager seem more… traditional than the other series? I sometimes wonder if its a product of its time but then I remember it was running concurrent to DS9. Yes, Voyager has a woman as a captain, but does that make it a more socially enlightened show? While there’s a strong emphasis on a future free of social inequality and full of social, scientific, and personal enlightenment, it seems that Voyager in fact upholds a lot of traditional values, specifically regarding sexuality. And once again, despite Janeway as captain, I would go as far as to call the show anti feminist.
I’m not even going to touch the fact that I think Janeway is a terrible captain, thus not doing women any favors. I don’t think she’s terrible because she’s a woman, I think she’s terrible because the writers are idiots. They could have made a man just as terrible (lol Enterprise). But let’s talk about Janeway. Poor decision making skills aside, I think they made her too much of a matriarch and less of a bad ass captain. She constantly refers to the Voyager crew as family, which I can understand given their situation, but I think it just drives the point home that here’s a woman who HAS to balance being a captain and a mother figure. Why? And while a captain SHOULD serve as a role model for the rest of the crew, it’s once again taken a bit too far in Voyager with their “morals over survival” theme. I’ve used the phrase before in my last rant, but Janeway has to be a paragon of virtue for the rest of the crew, thus making her the traditional ideal woman. For hundreds of years of western history, that’s all women were supposed to do. Be good, virtuous role models. And if they weren’t, then they weren’t “real” women. This black and white dichotomy strikes a nerve with me whenever I see Janeway saying or doing something that’s completely idiotic in the given context, just to uphold “Starfleet principles.” And when we do get into sexuality, it’s worse. She has a fiance, Mark, who wears really ugly socks, but she loves him anyway I guess. Although Voyager is probably never going to get home for years, Janeway is a Penelope and stays faithful to him while we know he didn’t wait for her. I get that she may have been deeply in love with him, but anyone who has ever been in a long distance relationship knows that that doesn’t last for long, especially with NO contact whatsoever. You can still be in love, but humans need physical contact, even if it’s not explicitly sexual. I think the closest thing she did was hold hands with Chakotay just to humor him or something. The guy is obviously in love with her and is loyal, sweet, and sexy as hell. But she just teases him and brushes him off time after time. I could be reading too far into the behavior, but to me she acts somewhat coquettish toward him, which again strikes me as too traditional. Back in the day (and if you are a woman now, you are aware that THE double standard is still present), a woman could not take and count up lovers as sexual conquests the way a man could. The next best thing she could be was a coquette - a woman who could make men fall in love with her, thus counting the acquisition of their romantic love as a conquest. While I really wouldn’t call Janeway a coquette - she doesn’t take advantage of Chakotay’s love or anything - it’s just irritating to me that she HAS to refuse him. I can see where Kate Mulgrew is coming from on the subject; a man and a woman can be just friends, especially where a command structure is involved. That’s fine, but then don’t constantly flirt with the idea, idiot writers! Ugh.
And we know Janeway is completely above using sex to get anything. She could have taken one for the team and had sex with Q in order to get the crew home, but did she? No. I agree that one could argue that that makes her a strong female character, but what if the gender roles were reversed? What if it were a male captain and a female Q, and all the male captain had to do in order to get home was have sex with a female Q throwing herself at him? I don’t think anyone would believe it for a second if he said no (unless it were Harry Kim, lol). It would be just as unbelievable as Tom refusing an aggressive, horny B’elanna in “Blood Fever” (and Robert Duncan McNeil even said as much, and that the scene was hard to play because it made no sense!). But Janeway has to hold her ground, because a woman couldn’t possibly do something just as casually, otherwise she will seem weak. And since this rant really has no structure and I’m on the topic of “Blood Fever”, I like how as soon as Tom agrees to have sex with B’elanna, it doesn’t happen. Because no sex on Voyager happens outside of marriage or an otherwise serious commitment. I guess this is also why B’elanna rejects Vorik’s advances (okay, maybe she just doesn’t like him like that, but he’s cute as hell and pretty chill for a Vulcan).
I think the epitome of “no sex on Voyager” can be seen in the Seska arc. I mean really, she’s pregnant because she stole a sample of Chakotay’s DNA? What does that even mean, in the context of the show? Did she jerk him off or date rape him or what? That is seriously a thousand times more ridiculous than to have just implied that Chakotay and Seska still had a sexual relationship despite their amicable breakup. Since you know, that does happen in real life. But not on Voyager! And I don’t mean this as a compliment to Voyager, but that whole Seska thing is almost Shakespearean in a way; not only is it overly dramatic and requires total suspension of disbelief, but it also makes Seska typical of a villainous Shakespeare woman, that is, unwomanly (cannot become pregnant naturally, not attractive to Chakotay, therefore she is not womanly and can be a villain). Way to live up to those 16th century notions of womanhood, Voyager.
There are some other examples of “no sex on Voyager” that spring to mind. Men are affected too, so in a way it’s not just female sexuality being attacked, but tradition being upheld. Kes and Neelix are an item but don’t even share the same quarters, and are probably not having sex if you read what the writers had to say about their relationship. Tuvok is not allowed to have any affairs because he is married (because hurr, this is a “family show” and affairs don’t happen). At the point of the show I’m up to, Roxanne Dawson is pregnant but just like on every show with a pregnant female lead, they hide it poorly. It’s ridiculous that they couldn’t have just said it was Tom’s child. I know they get married in season 5 since I guess they are living in sin otherwise and eventually do have a child together, and maaaybe the writers just weren’t ready for or didn’t want them to have a baby, but come on. Just admit that they have sex. But oh, I guess we can’t have anything “dark” happen which would mean B’elanna would have to carry the baby to term and the writers would have to deal with it. Hell, just USS Make Shit Up like you did with Kira! But I guess the writers were like Rick Santorum and find pregnancy inherently disgusting because it involves female sexuality (oh writers, just pull even more of a Rick Santorum and make her get raped by some alien and refuse to give the baby up just like you did to Troi… awesome female character development there *EYE ROLL*). And the no sex thing with Harry is so ridiculous, it will get its own paragraph.
I guess as far as canon is concerned, Harry Kim is straight (lol whatever - I admit that this paragraph is going to be ridiculous because of how hard it is for me to believe that Harry likes women). I’m honestly surprised that he is able to share a bed with Libby, but I guess he’s in a serious enough relationship with her (did that episode even “really” happen though?). But back in reality where I constantly make gay jokes about him being reluctant to give his virginity to Tom (lol), Harry Kim is, canonly (is that a word?) a Buzz Killington. He’s Starfleet’s golden boy who follows all the rules and might as well be Janeway’s moral protege. Bo-ring. So of course whenever Harry gets into deep shit, hilarity ensues. In “Alter Ego” he’s in love with a hologram, which I just like to pretend is a Harry metaphor for being in love with Tom, because that would make Voyager more interesting if there was actually subtext. But anyway, he doesn’t get the girl. Then “Favorite Son”, which I realize is generally accepted as a bad episode, combines no sex, traditional values, and anti feminism all in one. The women who seduce Harry are basically a Freudian nightmare of vagina dentata - sirens who lure men into their sexual trap and kill them. To me, it was a BLATANT attack on female sexuality and the ills of casual sex in general. I have yet to see “The Disease” but from what I do know, that episode seems to be yet another attack on the ills of casual sex, since you will all die of space STDs, which is all Harry’s fault. Oh, and apparently he’s so ashamed of himself too (“SEX… I HAD SEX”) since sex is a terrible thing. And Janeway chews him out for it. I just crack the hell up whenever Voyager’s poor use of characterization actually upholds all the jokes my friend and I make about it, in this case Janeway and Harry being uptight goody goodies who frown upon sex. I just… I don’t even know what to say anymore. I’ll just continue to believe that Harry is gay. I mean, he also doesn’t want to have sex with Seven of Nine when she throws herself at him, and having a dream about her making out with him turns out to be a nightmare! I just hope it doesn’t sound as if I’m linking misogyny to homosexuality or anything. I’m just trying to bridge the gap between the nonsensical crap I see happen on Voyager and reality.
On that note, I often rationalize Janeway’s ridiculous behavior as closet homosexuality. And I KNOW I’m not the only one who thinks she’s so obviously gay for Seven of Nine. But seriously, it’s like she just stole herself a girlfriend from the Borg and told the Doctor “make her all hot!” I do like Seven of Nine and Jeri Ryan, but I once again know I am not the only one who sees canning Kes for a bombshell and making a fucking borg the sexpot of the show as rather anti feminist. I realize it’s more of a real world problem but it’s yet another thing just wrong with the writing staff since they felt the need to sexualize her (I get that the Borg costumes are uncomfortable enough, but putting Jeri Ryan in a suit in which she could barely breathe? Really?). Back to the in-universe though, I really loathe Janeway’s reasoning for taking Seven away from the collective. Janeway has a really, really narrow world view for a Starfleet captain. Apparently there is only one way to be, and that way is human. I get that assimilation has always been portrayed as a parallel for rape, but what Janeway does is just as bad, if not worse, since she SHOULD know better. Seven tells her several times that she wants to go back to her people, but Janeway doesn’t allow it. How is that even ethical? Oh wait, it’s not. The Doctor even TELLS her it’s not and says it’s unethical for him to do anything to his patient’s body that she does not want him to do. LAWL TOO BAD, THIS IS VOYAGER. Even in the TNG episode “I, Borg” Hugh is given a choice as to whether or not he wants to stay; he chooses to go back to the Borg and everyone respects his decision, including Picard. So what the hell is wrong with you, Janeway? I know this is getting off-topic somewhat, but think about it. Female character put into a vulnerable position and coerced into doing something against her will. Female character has no control over what is done to her body. Female character is then turned into a bombshell. HOW IS THIS OKAY?
That’s it, I’m done ranting. I can’t think about this shit anymore. I know that as per usual, only three of my friends will read this, and I know that this wasn’t an entirely serious or structured argument, but I’m curious to know what others may think?
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- mrpicard answered: You can read my mind, right? Imma reblog this for being the truth. Screw the Janeway lovers. :P lol
- ottervomitrarara answered: Also too tired, but Star Trek’s dirtiest secret is that it usually upholds traditional Christian values, and we know where women stand there.
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- circuitsmaximus said: I will attempt to formulate a response other than “yes, all of this is correct” when I am less tired. But yes, all of this is correct.
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