a discovery / tos comparison meta about sexism that got very long i’m sorry
hey so am i the only one who noticed the absolute lack of sexism in discovery? bc i haven’t seen any post on this at all so far.
(note that i’m sick and probably won’t make much sense, but i think i’ve got a point here)
the thing i noticed most was the complete and utter lack of sexism being addressed. there are usually a couple ways sexism can be addressed. it’s either shown, aka the world is portrayed as it is irl, with the figures of authority being men, the women rather occupied with children / “feminine/girly things” and/or jokes being made about how women aren’t “as important” or are “worth less”; generally this kind of portrayal has less female characters, even if the main character is a woman. in a way, tos did that a tiny little bit with uhura, having her be very feminine while also reducing her role to a galactic phone operator on occasion. version number two has a definite, deliberate presence of “strong women”with the point that they are “just as good as men” - see for example mad max fury road. version number three jokes about sexism, aka “haha, but women are exactly as strong as men, lol sexism is stupid”. those jokes are often made by men. version number four is “woman rises above casual sexism” - a movie that did that very well was legally blonde, where elle stayed traditionally feminine while also kicking ass.
discovery doesn’t address sexism at all (which is also due to the tos-type social commentary that it hasn’t done so far), but it also has absolutely 0 sexism. like there is absolutely no difference between genders. for example the bridge crew has three women. cpt georgiou was just a captain. that admiral whose name i’ve forgotten is just an admiral. cmdr landry was just head of security. tilly and burnham are just scientists. and at no point does anybody assume anything or say anything about how it’s “unnatural” or how the women maybe aren’t “as good as men”. the women are simply there, doing their job, and nobody bats an eyelash because it’s not something to bat your eyelashes at.
in storytelling, there are two modes with which you can tell the reader something about the character - you can show it or you tell it. for example: “tilly is happy.” is telling. “tilly couldn’t stop smiling all day.” is showing. telling gives the reader an exact statement, and there’s no room for interpretation. she’s happy. that’s it. showing, on the other hand, leaves room for interpretation, which means it engages the audience. she couldn’t stop smiling. the audience begins to imagine her smiling, maybe even associates memories of their own giddiness, and suddenly the audience is involved. showing is the stronger form of narrating, because it involves the audience. a passive audience is a bored audience, an engaged audience is active and more likely to think.
tos had a male character go and say (paraphrased, bc i can’t remember the exact words): “she’s human, and she’s allowed to do as she pleases!” (kirk about reyna (?) sorry i have 0 sources but there’s a screenshotset being perpetuated, you probably know the one). tos does that a lot, and considering the time it was made in, and considering how many female characters that weren’t entirely ridiculed / pushed to the sidelines it had, that was revolutionary. tos went and said: “hey, women are people too! women are strong, too!” for its time, that was revolutionary. but today, we need to redefine what revolutionary means. if discovery had blatant sexism, and a character would constantly go and say “hey, that’s bad, women are people too!”, then that would be a step back from what tos did. we are 50 years in the future, after all.
so instead, discovery shows what equality/feminism looks like. by giving us a ton of diverse female characters. by having random background characters be female. and by not having anyone remark upon that, because there is nothing to be remarked about.
tos wrote and cast women. discovery wrote and cast people. tos made revolutionary statements. discovery shows revolution. that’s where discovery’s social commentary is. (even though i do hope they do make some statements, don’t get me wrong!)
also, in regards to “but they killed off georgiou and replaced her with a white male captain!” - yes, they did. and they show a massive, massive contrast there. georgiou is kind, calm, straightforward, honest, even loving, a thoroughly likeable character. lorca is twisted, manipulating, scheming, even downright evil on occasion (which makes him a very great kind of villain, which is nice. most villains we have atm are just plain boring - see loki, immortan joe, ares etc). they gave georgiou the white, male, asshole admiral - and lorca gets the female, not quite asshole admiral. it’s a lovely contrast. also, notice how lorca, the only (assumed) straight white male of importance on the show, is evil? i don’t know whether that just so happened or whether that’s a conscious choice made by the creators, but … man, it’s nice. and tilly! the only (assumed) straight white woman of importance - kind of oblivious, tries but does tend to fall short a little bit. there’s a message there. and meanwhile, tilly isn’t even the obvious kind of white woman - in comparison to burnham, she’s a little on the chubby side, and red hair is not what we commonly imagine for white woman. discovery is sending us a ton of messages. we just have to see them.
also, a lot of tos plots were kind of flawed, don’t you think? they relied on the “savior” storytelling method, which is a trope that is very predominant in our stories. it assumes that in times of trouble, somebody will come save you, speaking words of wisdom, whether it’s jesus, captain kirk, iron man or your politician of choice. popular media (and yes, i’ll count the bible as a popular media because it did and still does influence western culture incredibly much) has always told us that we will be saved. that we are already inherently good, and that after we’ve suffered enough, somebody will come to save us. a lot of tos plots were exactly like that. kirk and his officers descended onto cultures or groups with “inferior thoughts” and spoke out against that (see for example plato’s stepchildren), effectively “saving” the people. that’s pretty idealistic. as lovely as the concept of a savior is, it’s just not realistic. when the monsters come, we can’t wait for heroes to fall from the sky and save us. we have to save ourselves. (yes, pacrim. but i like the way they said it). we have to become what we want to be, not talk about how we want it to be. and that’s what discovery is doing far better than tos, in my opinion. yes, tos was a different time period, i know, i get that, but so many people complain about discovery in comparison to tos, while discovery is going places tos never did. tos said “it should be like this”. in discover it is like that. and that’s pretty damn great.
tl;dr: discovery is pretty damn cool and also the least sexist piece of media i have ever encountered.
I feel like Hugh spends a lot of his time trying not to laugh fondly at Paul’s absurd expressions and inability to emote. Paul’s fine with it, he definitely prefers being found endearing that exasperating, and Hugh certainly enjoys everything he does.
I’ve drawn this for my 2018 Trek Calendar, but I expect I’ll be drawing every damn scene these two have together and will end up picking one of them once I send to print. So in the meantime I’m posting some stuff here <3
It’s the 1970s, and we’re about to send two spacecraft (Voyager 1 & 2) into space. These two spacecraft will eventually leave our solar system and become the most distant man-made objects…ever. How can we leave our mark on them in the case that other spacefarers find them in the distant future?
The Golden Record.
We placed an ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2, a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.
The Golden Record Cover
The outward facing cover of the golden record carries instructions in case it is ever found. Detailing to its discoverers how to decipher its meaning.
In the upper left-hand corner is an easily recognized drawing of the phonograph record and the stylus carried with it. The stylus is in the correct position to play the record from the beginning. Written around it in binary arithmetic is the correct time of one rotation of the record. The drawing indicates that the record should be played from the outside in.
The information in the upper right-hand portion of the cover is designed to show how the pictures contained on the record are to be constructed from the recorded signals. The top drawing shows the typical signal that occurs at the start of the picture. The picture is made from this signal, which traces the picture as a series of vertical lines, similar to ordinary television. Immediately below shows how these lines are to be drawn vertically, with staggered “interlace” to give the correct picture rendition. Below that is a drawing of an entire picture raster, showing that there are 52 vertical lines in a complete picture.
Immediately below this is a replica of the first picture on the record to permit the recipients to verify that they are decoding the signals correctly. A circle was used in this picture to ensure that the recipients use the correct ratio of horizontal to vertical height in picture reconstruction.
The drawing in the lower left-hand corner of the cover is the pulsar map previously sent as part of the plaques on Pioneers 10 and 11. It shows the location of the solar system with respect to 14 pulsars, whose precise periods are given.
The drawing containing two circles in the lower right-hand corner is a drawing of the hydrogen atom in its two lowest states, with a connecting line and digit 1 to indicate that the time interval associated with the transition from one state to the other is to be used as the fundamental time scale, both for the time given on the cover and in the decoded pictures.
The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University and his associates.
They assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind and thunder, birds, whales and other animals. To this, they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages, and printed messages from President Carter and U.N. Secretary General Waldheim.
Listen to some of the sounds of the Golden Record on our Soundcloud page:
Blank records were provided by the Pyral S.A. of Creteil, France. CBS Records contracted the JVC Cutting Center in Boulder, CO to cut the lacquer masters which were then sent to the James G. Lee Record Processing center in Gardena, CA to cut and gold plate eight Voyager records.
The record is constructed of gold-plated copper and is 12 inches in diameter. The record’s cover is aluminum and electroplated upon it is an ultra-pure sample of the isotope uranium-238. Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.468 billion years.
What's going on with the TOS crew during Discovery? Part.1
To provide some context:
The first episode of discovery takes place in the year 2256
The Enterprise (NCC 1701) launched around 2245. The Enterprise is 11 years old in Discovery and still very much a new starship.
Discovery takes place is three years after the Canon events of the first Original Series pilot and the flashback in the later TOS episode “The Menagerie,” (2253)
During the time of the first Discovery episode Christopher Pike is still in command of the USS Enterprise and is finishing up a 5 year exploratory mission.
Spock is 26 years old and is serving on the USS Enterprise as its science officer.
James T. Kirk is 23 years old and is a Lieutenant aboard the USS Republic. He is finishing his last year in a five year officer training regimen through Starfleet Academy. it will be 9 years till Kirk takes command of the Enterprise.
Nyota Uhura is 17 years old and is more than likely attending classes at Starfleet Academy for advanced phonology and advanced acoustical engineering. She is also a rising star in Starfleet Academy’s Chorale Ensemble. It will be 10 years till she is a Lieutenant assigned aboard the Enterprise.
Montgomery Scott is 34 years old and has been in starfleet for 14 years. it can be assumed that he is serving in an engineering department of a starship or as an engineering advisor for the Deneva colony. it will be 9 years before he is assigned to the Enterprise.
The Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft explored Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune before starting their journey toward interstellar space. Here you’ll find some of those images, including “The Pale Blue Dot” – famously described by Carl Sagan – and what are still the only up-close images of Uranus and Neptune.
Photography of Jupiter began in January 1979, when images of the brightly banded planet already exceeded the best taken from Earth. They took more than 33,000 pictures of Jupiter and its five major satellites.
Erupting volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io, which has 100 times the volcanic activity of Earth.
Better understanding of important physical, geological, and atmospheric processes happening in the planet, its satellites and magnetosphere.
Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere with dozens of interacting hurricane-like storm systems.
The Saturn encounters occurred nine months apart, in November 1980 and August 1981. The two encounters increased our knowledge and altered our understanding of Saturn. The extended, close-range observations provided high-resolution data far different from the picture assembled during centuries of Earth-based studies.
Saturn’s atmosphere is almost entirely hydrogen and helium.
Subdued contrasts and color differences on Saturn could be a result of more horizontal mixing or less production of localized colors than in Jupiter’s atmosphere.
An indication of an ocean beneath the cracked, icy crust of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
Winds blow at high speeds in Saturn. Near the equator, the Voyagers measured winds about 1,100 miles an hour.
The Voyager 2 spacecraft flew closely past distant Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun. At its closest, the spacecraft came within 50,600 miles of Uranus’s cloud tops on Jan. 24, 1986. Voyager 2 radioed thousands of images and voluminous amounts of other scientific data on the planet, its moons, rings, atmosphere, interior and the magnetic environment surrounding Uranus.
Revealed complex surfaces indicative of varying geologic pasts.
Detected 11 previously unseen moons.
Uncovered the fine detail of the previously known rings and two newly detected rings.
Showed that the planet’s rate of rotation is 17 hours, 14 minutes.
Found that the planet’s magnetic field is both large and unusual.
Determined that the temperature of the equatorial region, which receives less sunlight over a Uranian year, is nevertheless about the same as that at the poles.
Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to observe the planet Neptune in the summer of 1989. Passing about 3,000 miles above Neptune’s north pole, Voyager 2 made its closest approach to any planet since leaving Earth 12 years ago. Five hours later, Voyager 2 passed about 25,000 miles from Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, the last solid body the spacecraft had the opportunity to study.
Discovered Neptune’s Great Dark Spot
Found that the planet has strong winds, around 1,000 miles per hour
Saw geysers erupting from the polar cap on Neptune’s moon Triton at -390 degrees Fahrenheit
Solar System Portrait
This narrow-angle color image of the Earth, dubbed ‘Pale Blue Dot’, is a part of the first ever ‘portrait’ of the solar system taken by Voyager 1.
The spacecraft acquired a total of 60 frames for a mosaic of the solar system from a distance of more than 4 billion miles from Earth and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic.
From Voyager’s great distance, Earth is a mere point of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” - Carl Sagan
Both spacecraft will continue to study ultraviolet sources among the stars, and their fields and particles detectors will continue to search for the boundary between the Sun’s influence and interstellar space. The radioisotope power systems will likely provide enough power for science to continue through 2025, and possibly support engineering data return through the mid-2030s. After that, the two Voyagers will continue to orbit the center of the Milky Way.