The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Well, the mail this weekend has been somewhat heartening.

After this, and attendant commentary at the TrekBBS, I did get a few of these:

----- Original Message -----
From: [edited]
To: [edited]
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 6:36 PM
Subject: Too Far

Okay now you have pushed it. I have never written to you before but your last mail on trek today has made me very angry. Firstly you do put forward an overtly feminist viewpoint in your trek reviews and your coloumns, but I feel that is OK; after all everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint. However, for you to deny that in your coloumn smacks of hypocrisy. You are very feministic, it is going to wind people up, just as an overtly sexist comment would wind you up. Secondly, I work as a theatre actor, I spend much of my time in the company of homosexuals, yet being heterosexual myself. I do feel though, that you do bleat about the lack of homosexual characters in Trek far too much, I have seen you make endless references to this. Star Trek is meant to appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers, and across the world there are people who are uncomfortable with homosexuality, especially in America. I am British and live in the UK, but I see this attitude a lot, especially working in Theatre I have been accused of being gay several times myself by less cultured assholes. You have to accept that Trek is trying to aim at the common denominator, deal with it and get off the gay pride bandwagon. The main problem however, is your Hitler comment, comnparing a group of viewers and readers off your site to Nazis is unforgivable and completely out of order.


But most of my mail this weekend was more along the lines of these notes:

----- Original Message -----
From: [edited]
To: [edited]
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 10:20 PM
Subject: You're latest article about mail from last week's review

I don't usually bother the mods with my opinion but I wanted to express my support to you for speaking your mind last week (and every week). As a male I also found the episode sexist, idiotic and poorly written. A lot of other words come to mind but you covered that pretty well already.

It's unfortunate that some are reacting negatively to your reviews as if you had some sort of sway over Trek itself. I agree that with many of your observations about the nature of sexuality in Trek. Reading and hearing GR and seeing some of his other films (try Pretty Maids all in a Row) he's a garden variety dirty old man who spent his adulthood wishing he was younger, hipper and getting as much as the teenagers in the sixties were getting. It's not enlightened, it's just fantasy.

Don't take it too hard, when you put it out there (as any writer willing to put their real name on it does) you run that risk and have to deal with it. I know how important support can be at those times too. So you have mine. I'll miss your reviews when ENT goes off the air, that was what brought me to this group/site in the first place.


PS: I haven't read your review of 'Through a Mirror, Darkly Part 1' yet...but why did only the women have revealing uniforms? Isn't that just more sexism....

----- Original Message -----
From: [edited]
To: [edited]
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 9:17 PM
Subject: Review and Site Column

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I have read most of your commentary pretty religiously over the last few years. I used to live in DC, have lots of Jewish friends, and, of course, watch the occasional bit of Star Trek. So, I always enjoy your stories, both on point and off, and like to see what's new with you.

I just got around to watching "Bound" last night, thanks to the wonder of Tivo. (I had just gotten a new season of DS9, so I was making my way through the discs, punctuated by the occasion CSI repeat...geek!) I was jaw-droppingly appalled by what I saw. Like you, I sat there and thought, "this is why Enterprise got cancelled."

I couldn't even hazzard a guess as to the number of times I rolled my eyes as the show played up one sexual stereotype after another. I watched the slave dance and pondered how far we've come as a society - in the 1960's, we got a few seconds of Susan Oliver waving her arms around. In 2005, we get even more blatant sexual stereotypes and several minutes of club-thumping music while we watch supposedly "evolved" males turn into apes.

No man could resist them.

Um, except, of course, me.

Oh yeah, that's right, I'm gay and I watch Star Trek. Is that allowed? I'm not sure.

I was stunned...shocked...saddened...outraged...and generally annoyed. A shipful of humans, with a token Vulcan and Cardassian (uh, Denobulan), suddenly drool on themselves because of "pheromones." I swear, the way Phlox was walking, I was prepared to learn that Denobulans have unusally long sexual members and it had extended down his pantleg so he couldn't bend his leg. Of course, none of the women could be bisexual or lesbian. They just got "headaches." And none of the men were bisexual, gay, or asexual...oh no, baby, those Orions can bring out the horny in any man!

Truly, I couldn't believe my eyes nor my ears. What had happened to our great progressive television? Why did it have to join the rest of our country in turning a blind eye to the realities we face today?

Star Trek has always been a beacon of hope. I remember when I first started watching the Original Series, in 1982. Suddenly, there was a world that made sense. People were different, but they worked together. They were all pretty smart, and they demanded a little more from a seven year old such as myself. As I got older, Star Trek grew up with me. The technicolor sets gave way to more mature ships and more mature subjects. Then, in 1987, I got my very own Star Trek series, and it was popular. I remember being shocked when I went from being the kookey kid who watched a silly sci-fi series to people asking, "so why doesn't the Enterprise have a cloaking device?" Then I got to college and they gave me Deep Space Nine - advanced Star Trek for grown-ups. Religion...political actual plot that lasted for more than one show...

Voyager was okay - we could debate and agree on many of its good and bad points, but my heart was still on that Cardassian space station. I liked Trek, though, and for the most part it had never let me down. Then I got Enterprise'd.

Now, as Trek draws to a close (or hiatus, for the optimistic among us), it echoes the political climate of our country, but only behind the scenes. On the tube, we have Bakula's horrible acting, plots that would have been bad in the sixties, let alone today, and a general regressiveness more in keeping with teen melodramas than good sci-fi. My brain is only stretched to believe the contrived plots, rather than the limitless possibilities of existence, to quote the good Q.

I watched "Bound" and truly saw the end of the light, at least for now.

So, as I went back and read your review, and your subsequent Site Column after apparently having been spammed by the Trek religious right, my only thought was "thank you." Thank you for being a progressive, heterosexual woman who isn't scared at the thought of having "real" relationships on Star Trek. Thank you for wondering with me why all the "sex talk" on Enterprise has to be reduced to the level of playground giggles. Thank you for validating my indignation that MY Star Trek had gone so far as to slap me in the face and forget the very soul that I have enjoyed all these years.

You're neither an idiot nor a prude. You don't hate sex, you just hate seeing it treated like anything other than a normal part of life. Star Trek is about watching what humanity can strive to be, what it can become. Enterprise is written as though by a group of eleven year olds who got their hands on an older brother's (or sister's!) Playboy. Frankly, I haven't been that sad that it was cancelled, and after "Bound," I almost feel righteous.

So thanks again, and keep up the great work!

Take care,

----- Original Message -----
From: [edited]
To: [edited]
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 6:40 PM
Subject: thankyou and hang in there

I just wanted to thank you for your piece on tolerance on April 22. I have found it frustrating in recent years when I have been exposed to some of the bigoted and downright hateful things I have heard coming out of the mouths of people calling themselves trek fans. I've read many stories that seem to fall in the category of "I did this with my life cause I saw myself on trek and knew I didn't need to be ashamed.." As a gay person I've had to find my confidence else where. I think it is sad that your sexuality was attacked because you had an opinion about what was a truly bad episode. This is a tactic used by the truly ignorant. I agree with your comments about whether we are ready to go to space....and fortunately it is a moot point. As for some ways I am going to feel a bit relieved when it goes off the air. It is a show that has said important things in the past but it may need some time off before it can do so again.


----- Original Message -----
From: [edited]
To: [edited]
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 7:27 PM
Subject: Today's Hello World

I really liked what you had to say about people's attitudes! Good for you for give 'em hell for being closed minded idiots. People can disagree with your reviews but they don't have to a) call you names, b) slam feminism, or c) slam gays or others they find different.

Trek fans should be open to "infinite diversity in infinite combinations." No matter what Gene Roddenberry's faults were, that's one concept that Trek fans have always loved and with good reason, it's about acceptance and tolerance.

Again, I just wanted to let you know that I'm one person who agrees with you.


----- Original Message -----
From: [edited]
To: [edited]
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 8:33 AM
Subject: sexism and Homosexuallity in Trek

Hi, I'm not a member of any of the forums on your site, but I do regulary read your episode evaluations plus several others because living in the UK and being at university I can neither download the episodes nor watch the latest episodes (for us anyway) on Sky.

Anyway, I am writing to you as I just read your article on sexuallity with in Trek, I am a warm blooded hetrosexual male but I believe that homosexuals should be included in what ever future Star Trek has, whether they are make or female, I don't care, Trek for the last almost 40 years has shown a diverse culture and has addressed many different subjects, but with the rights of homosexuals raging around the world, I think Star Trek should address this issue.

As for your points about sexism in Trek, I haven't seen "Bound" and to be frankly honest, I don't even want to, it sounds as if that it has taken what has been happening for the past how many years it has been since Jeri Ryan was introduced to Voyager to bump up its ratings to the absolute stupidist level possible, yes I agree sex does sell (I'm in the media over here) but I'm not really that fussed about when it comes to Star Trek, I prefer a great story over a crap one and an attractive women guest staring.

Maybe it would be wise to begin a campaign to get the first openly gay charachter into Trek when it comes back or even a gay captain!


----- Original Message ----- From: [edited]
To: [edited]
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 9:35 PM
Subject: Infinite diversity


Your views sparked me to write in agreeance. Your passion is commendable. Thank you.

Alas infinite diversity also includes prejudice and ignorance, remember life is a proces even for bigots. Hopefully your post will add to this process.

Yours in solidarity and compassion


So I guess there are still some people watching Enterprise to whom IDIC means something. I had really begun to wonder whether they'd all tuned out, and the only people left were the young white boys who had been UPN's target audience until the sudden "actually we're an urban and women's network!" switcheroo.
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