Trek is about the relationship of the characters and the grander theme of exploration. It’s also a meta-story about us. At its best it was a deeply thoughtful mythology about ourselves and our conflicts, an allegory of our modern problems and flaws of humanity—war, greed, bigotry, narcissism—and how we overcome them, told as science fiction. That’s why we’re still telling these stories nearly 50 years later.
Thank you, Phil Plait, for hitting on a good number of the issues I had with the movie. It was enjoyable, for sure, but I definitely liked the first one better.
Now, I am not a sociologist or a psychologist who studies gender roles and the differences between the sexes. It strikes me that there may be no need to separate the way we teach between boys and girls — my friend and geologist Evelyn Mervine discusses this point further — but I’ll also readily admit that there may very well be differences between the ways boys and girls see the world. If that’s the case, I have no problem with a company, teacher, or parent accepting that and using it to help the child learn. In other words, science is the same for everyone, but how we get people interested in it and learning about may vary from demographic to demographic.
But I don’t think that’s really the issue here. The problem here is these girls’ kits all are almost entirely marketed on the idea that girls should be pretty, or should try to make themselves pretty.
I completely agree. I cringe whenever I pass by anything overly pink and fluffy and princessy in the store, for that matter, knowing that little girls everywhere will pass by shelves and shelves of this stuff all the time. Science is one of those areas in which the practice of narrowing gender roles needs to stop.