I'm back with another abbreviated Links + Things (we'll be back to our regular posting next week).
And JJ Abrams has approached xenobiology and xenoanthropology in a very Star Wars way in his reboot. Background puppets abound, used to illustrate the diversity of the universe, but this is still a universe where the actions of the humans are those that matter. Scotty has a non-verbal alien friend who plays an almost identical role to Chewbacca in Star Wars; he’s a silent cipher whose words must be surmised only through the pauses of the more plot relevant human. Kirk bags a space babe, but she’s mostly just a sight gag. And there are Romulans and Klingons, but they’re villains–obstacles to overcome, really. But still not people, not fully, not yet.
I meant to share this outstanding, thought-provoking post from author Phoebe North (Starglass) last week and somehow omitted it. She dissects diversity and otherness in the context of the new Star Trek movie, and points to J.J. Abrams' frequently problematic treatment of alien characters in his work. This is a companion to her earlier post about Star Trek: Into the Darkness, which (warning) contains spoilers, but is an important read.
We don’t want the behaviors of this septic culture to become or seem normalized. If we’re quiet about it, we contribute to the normalization of misogyny or any of the other cultural poisons.
Like I said the other day, this isn’t about playing the hero — we aren’t going to fix it with our magical man-hammers, and women are not our Death Star Princesses to rescue. But we can signal boost. We can support. We can be on the side of the angels instead of the side of the diseased dick-bags (they don’t rate being devils, honestly) who want to trumpet their hate and rampant shittiness. We can try to do better and ask that others do the same.
This week author Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds) wrote an unintentional three-part series about sexism as a result of the mess of misogyny from the SFWA (which I mentioned last week). I recommend reading each post, but the last one about why men should speak up about this type of behavior struck a chord with me.