I have made mention before that I didn’t appreciate the blatant use of sex in order to add depth to female characters who should have enough depth to them before. It was in reference to a J.J. Abrams’ quote in Playboy about how Star Trek should be sexy, and the fact the one of the two promotional images of Carol Marcus was this:
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, this screenshot of Dr. Marcus in her underwear was from a scene where she was changing into a different outfit and asked Kirk to turn around. Not surprisingly, Kirk did not stayed turned around, and what we get is Dr. Marcus, in her well-toned and undeniably sexy glory, asking Kirk to turn around again. The point of the scene? To titter at what a woman-lover Kirk is. Oh, and because it’s not an action movie without a half-naked girl…
Now, if you think that scene sounds a bit gratuitous, then you’re right. Fortunately, the writer, Damon Lindelof now agrees.
I could be very negative here and say that it’s too little too late, and that his Twitter followers aren’t exactly all the people his apology should be directed to seeing as most people who watch the movie may not even be aware that this scene has serious issues with female representation. I could be, but I won’t. This is a good thing. I wish he realized it before they filmed the scene, or before they stuck it in the movie, but at least he gets it now.
Or at least, I think he does. Unfortunately, the tweet “We also had Kirk shirtless in underpants in both movies. Do not want to make light of something that some construe as mysogenistic” speaks to false equivalencies. Firstly, there isn’t quite the sex stigma associated to dudes running around in their boxers. One need only walk around a college co-ed dormitory to know that being clad in only underwear is just another outfit to most guys. Compare that to a girl walking around in her underwear in a co-ed dorm, and it’s scandalous. I would like to say that Star Trek has moved past that point, and both men and women can equally wear their underwear in public without worry, but the very fact that Dr. Marcus needed Kirk to turn around so she could change with dignity nullifies that argument. Clearly, that gender dichotomy still remains in this universe, and so it should and can be addressed as such.
Still, Lindelof is not going to be off our media radars anytime soon, especially now with the second Star Trek movie being such a success, and that’s on top of his Lost credentials. The man is destined to write and produce more things that will meet a widespread audience, and apology via Twitter is a sign that people are starting to pay attention to representation in the shows and movies we watch.
That is a good thing and I thank Lindelof for having the stones to realize that.