tanithryudo: (IDIC)
[personal profile] tanithryudo
I guess one thing that I'll give for the reboot Trek films is that they've inspired a new generation of fans into the general franchise. I'm seeing a fairly large demographic range on various reddit threads and so forth, which is cool...even if sometimes rage-inducing.


Take this thread on reddit speculating on how the major races in ST would view homosexuality. My god, the number of people who immediately jump to "Vulcan's wouldn't approve because having sex without making babies is not logical" makes me want to *stab* something.

In case anyone cares, I personally feel most Vulcans wouldn't care, in the way that they're already closeted heterosexuals who mentally treat the whole topic of sex as anathema and taboo, so any closeted or non-closeted homosexuals wouldn't even stand out next to that. I feel that they also wouldn't "logically" equate sex with reproduction, since their biology is literally screw or die. If someone screws another person of the same gender or alien or whatever for the purpose of *not dying*, why wouldn't that be "logical"?

As for reproduction, I feel that modern Vulcans would prefer to do family planning "logically" outside of pon farr, which means they can essentially have babies by mail if they feel like it, and the whole thing can be "logically" divorced from the mentally taboo subject of pon farr, not to mention optimized for scenarios such as race-rebuilding in the reboot universe, or general population planning in the prime universe.


Another topic that comes up a lot is the Prime Directive. Generally, a lot of people are critical of Starfleet's non-interference code. Granted, there are also a lot of controversial (and sometimes baffling) on-screen depictions of the PD, such as why it even applied to the Klingon Civil War during TNG given the Klingons were a empire of technological parity to the UFP.

But IMO the core idea of it was based on the anti-colonial sentiments that followed WWII, and the stricter interpretations of it in TNG onwards was influenced by Vietnam. The "White Man's Burden" is an incredibly tempting slippery slope, and it's quite visible from how much that is evident in the criticisms against the PD.

I think it also helps that for me, I've also seen the POV of the recipient of such "well-intentioned intervention", which characterized China in the 19th and 20th centuries. I've read many alt-history fics by probably-Caucasian authors covering those time frames, and inevitably when they get to China, it's "and now our uber-wanked alt-UK/USA/Russia/Germany/etc. will now civilize the corrupt/powerless court or lawless/savage warlords of China by reprising the Alliance of 8, seizing more concession areas to civilize modernize..." ...And then I want to stab someone, again.

*long breath* Back to Star Trek. Occasionally, though, there are well written posts that don't immediately get my hackles up on behalf of intervention. This one is a very relevant modern day example.

In my honest opinion, I am actually fine with the stricter Prime Directive as it's shown in TNG (and as it applies to primitive societies, not advanced ones!)...as a Starfleet directive. (I'm less impressed with some of the rhetoric that the various characters use when discussing it, whether for or against breaking it for any specific episode case.)

I think that the formal "rule" should be "don't intervene". HOWEVER! It should still be within the prerogative of the individual captain to break that rule if the captain felt an exception should be made. HOWEVER! The captain should also be fully aware of the fact that they will then have to justify any intervention before a court martial panel. If they are indeed justified in their intervention, they will have to prove it.

This will allow there to be an form of automatic legal protection of less advanced planets from potential well-intentioned colonialism. It will also allow exceptions to be made in exceptional cases such as when the alternative to intervention is extinction. Further, it will give captains who are tempted by "White Man's Burden" an extra impetus to pause and really think before they act.

If they still feel it's a cause they are willing to potentially sacrifice their career for... well, that means they would have done it anyways PD or no. And this system would give Starfleet a way to quickly weed out captains who are wrong about their intervention, while retaining those who are able to make a valid case. In other words, the person choosing to intervene should bear the full burden of consequence for that intervention.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-27 07:27 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
I'm pretty sure Vulcans wouldn't care about homosexuality. Given that they're perfectly fine with cross-species relationships, different genders seems much less extreme.

Now, as for PD, well, no system is perfect, and since the Starfleet is a military organization, all the more reason to question how fair a court martial panel would be. Real life examples of military covering up the wrong doings of one of their own is hardly new or rare - so not sure how possible it would be for them to ferret out officers who won't follow PD. But at the very least, they need to make a show of trying their best to follow it out of good faith.

Anyway, I guess I'm starting to get into the nitty-gritty in terms of execution of the enforcement, rather than the theory behind the need for PD. Point is, it would make for interesting story, if a captain did think it's necessary to violate the directive, but then maybe he knows someone who tries to pull rank/connections to get him out of the situation because they are worried his reasons won't be convincing enough, etc. Lots of room for courtroom drama there. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-28 05:35 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
*puts on biology hat*

Well, technically, POV of who is a rival vs. sex partner falls under the bigger umbrella of sexual identity. That is, sexual identity determines who the individual perceives as a rival vs. partner. Thus, a Vulcan who is homosexual would perceive the same sex as partner, not rival, thus would logically not be against homosexuality if that is in fact what their biology is driving them to be attracted to. So, logically, the bigotry could only exist if there is a fundamental misunderstanding of how sexuality works, which, given Vulcan technological advancement, is not very likely.

*takes off biology hat*

In addition to the supporting intervention

Date: 2016-10-27 07:39 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
The modern day example is hardly relevant. Unlike these planets that the Starfleet captains happen upon, the current African countries have all been exposed to the rest of the world. And while, yes, some rural areas in developing nations are extremely lacking in modern amnesties, these countries, as a whole, are on par with "Western" technological know how.

Firstly, in order to even get doctors into these countries, you will need modern transportation, provided by the local government. Papers needed to be signed, visas needed to be granted, etc. etc. There is a coherent system of government that also has a seat on the UN.

Secondly, these countries also have been European colonies, so I would argue the "white man" kind of owes it to these countries to help when they have severe public health threats. The situation is no longer about should we intervene, since you already colonized them and they gained independence much, much later. Rather, it's a case of "we fucked up their country, we owe it to them to help as much as we can". Any arguments of "non-intervention" is simply too late in the game to make.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Ebola outbreak would be more comparable to a planet that's part of the UFP, has a health hazard epidemic, and then the UFP trying to cite PD for non-intervention. Uh...no.

Re: In addition to the supporting intervention

Date: 2016-10-28 05:38 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
I will say this: I agree that they should bring in the concepts of planetary sovereignty instead of trying to assign PD to explain every case of non-intervention. It's not just about what's best for the situation, but rather an acknowledgement that "what's best" is going to differ based on tradition, culture, and being part of the in vs. out group.
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