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John Paul
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 9:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Not a good episode but the Essentialists are absolutely right and if I were unlucky enough to live in the 24th century (though it's already pretty unlucky being born in the late 20th UK, rather than the 2nd century BC Rome or 17th century France ) I'd certainly join them.
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Sebastian
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 5:57am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

The main plot lives off the idea that a 20th century guy/hippie can reconstruct 29th century technology superior to 24th century technology within the confines of the 20th SL century. Just by examining the ship, he (alone or with an invisible army of scientists), Over the course of 1-2 decades, can build transporter tech, force fields, scanning jammers, hack into Voyager from an Earth computer, etc. Why even the best of Starfleet's engineers in the 24th century need years of study to build on 24th century knowledge, this guy learns it all from a crashed 29th century 1-person ship.
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Fenn
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 10:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

I love how the pacing's done here. The investigations reach full throttle in practically the last five minutes of the episode, and it's the very force of Satie's blind passion that brings them to a halt.

It's established that the explosion was an accident early on, and so the tension of the episode is not in whether Tarses is guilty, but in how Satie -- in such a position of power, and determination to use it -- can be stopped. It's a relief that the crew of the Enterprise are clear enough of mind to see through her in the end, and do not get further caught up in her viciousness for its own sake. Forcefulness and strong stances, whether substantiated or not, can be terrifyingly persuasive.

Also I have to say I was mildly amused by the extent of Admiral Thomas Henry's role in this episode: to sit in a chair, and then leave the room. Is that all you have to do as an admiral? Sign me up!
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 8:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

Hello Everyone!

My thought was if, for example, the Borg assimilated an entire planet or species, some of the ladies would be with child. The maturation chambers would then be used to bring up the children.

Oh, and they'd assimilate children as well, down to the wee bairns.

I don't figure they'd bother with making their own babies, unless they were stranded without enough drones, or something...

Regards... RT
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Booming
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ William B.
That one gets it. :)

@ Omicron
Sorry, too tired to react in the way your comment deserves.

"whether you're just arguing for the sake of arguing to elevate your boredom."
It's not boredom. It is worry.
This is a nice diversion and I appreciate the input of most people here. I really do and I hope none of this comes off as condescending.

"It’s fine that you think Crusher’s bland, but *the show* does presents her as intelligent and capable in more ways than just motherhood. "
That is why I at this point am able to say that I always say that TNG was fairly ahead of it's time but not much more. ;)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 3:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@Chrome

Where did you get "Omni" from? It's OMIcron Theta after the greek letters (and Data's home planet). There's no N in there.


@Booming
"I meant it more in a way that the motherly role was a pretty standard role for women on TV back then so TNG wasn't really pushing boundaries but stayed somewhat within them."

Only after reading your last comments, did I realize that TNG deserves high praise for giving us a woman character who (a) happens to be a mother and (b) isn't defined by that trait.

It's certainly more impressive (and more natural) then giving us some kind of "strong woman archetype" character.

"Come on... she is the chief medical officer and the show had 178 episodes."

Exactly. Not only Crusher had - indeed - saved the ship and/or solved the episode's mystery in multiple occasions, but she also holds such an important role that you actually *expect* her to do these things.

Not exactly a point in your argument's favor, is it?

Though I'm beginning wonder if you even *have* a serious argument at all, or whether you're just arguing for the sake of arguing to elevate your boredom.

When you write something like this:

"More debate, silly! :D"

or

"Do we have to make an analysis about how many times women saved the ship and how many times men did? And then correlate that with how many times women almost destroyed the ship?? Will this madness never end?! :D"

It becomes increasingly difficult to believe that you're discussing the issues in good faith.
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Booming
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 11:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ Chrome
It wasn't my intention to imply that mothers are either always weak or strong. I meant it more in a way that the motherly role was a pretty standardl role for women on TV back then so TNG wasn't really pushing boundaries but stayed somewhat within them.
On DS9 the fatherly role was the more prominent one. Sisko, Siskos father,O'Brien even Worf tried to undo a little of the damage he had already done. What I mean is that we didn't need a positive depiction of a motherly role. There were plenty, positive father figures on the other hand were still fairly rare.
I personally liked it a lot that DS9 was bold enough to show the captain in the parental role who was caring, warm and understanding. It provides men with more modern role model.
I hope that makes it a little clearer what I mean. Sorry English being my second language and all :(

@Jason R.
"Wesley is almost an adult when TNG starts while Alexander is a young child. Apples and oranges."
Ok, but there were quite a few younger children on the Enterprise.

"And Worf sending Alexander away was one of the biggest controversies in the show - hardly something that was just fluffed off as being okay or expected."
I did not know that but I find it also quite telling that Wesley stayed with his mother, not his father. Another absent father (before he died).
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Jason R.
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 8:15am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"It is probably no coincidence that Crusher is the only active parent on the show, while the only father on the show (Worf) immediately sent his son away which is never really portrayed as wrong. "

Wesley is almost an adult when TNG starts while Alexander is a young child. Apples and oranges.

And Worf sending Alexander away was one of the biggest controversies in the show - hardly something that was just fluffed off as being okay or expected.

But yes, Beverly was bland as heck.
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Booming
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 5:17am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@Chrome
"than anything nefarious."
As mentioned I think it was more timidity than anything else. As you said the viewers liked a motherly character like Crusher. It is probably no coincidence that Crusher is the only active parent on the show, while the only father on the show (Worf) immediately sent his son away which is never really portrayed as wrong. I guess that is another reason that we not only got more stronger female leads in DS9 but also a positive portrayal of an active male parent. Let's be honest Worf kind of forked that up.

If Wes was to be the character with which the average viewer was supposed to identify (didn't work but I believe that was his original intent) then Crusher (caring, conflict free) is the mother figure and Picard is the father figure (rational, emotionally closed off) and I guess Riker is the cool uncle. So Pulaski certainly was no motherly type. Saying that the writers and the viewers didn't like her (I read the memory alpha article, too) makes sense if you see how the role of female doctor was intended (caring and motherly). I ,as others, liked Pulaski more than the rather bland Crusher character. We also should take the statements of writers and actors with a grain of salt when it comes to employment. Two grains.
We had two female characters who were classical female archetypes (caring, harmonious, warm, understanding) and two female characters who weren't and both characters who weren't following classically feminine roles only lasted one season. Coincidence? :)

" They highlight many of Crusher’s best moments and I think that’s made me realize how important she is to the show and to the fans."
But if you have to be reminded how good a character was then that character maybe wasn't really that memorable.
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Booming
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 2:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@Chrome
That is kind of my point. They weren't against stronger female roles but still a little timid which then lead to DS9 and Voyager. They could have replaced Tasha with another woman and even though according to Berman: Pulaski "never quite worked" whatever that means they could have gotten another actor with a little more spunk than mother goose Beverly. I have a hard time remembering anything about her. I would even say that she was the least memorable doctor of all star trek show including *gasp* Discovery. Your point about her saving the ship a few times. Come on... she is the chief medical officer and the show had 178 episodes. Do we have to make an analysis about how many times women saved the ship and how many times men did? And then correlate that with how many times women almost destroyed the ship?? Will this madness never end?! :D

I'll give you Guinan, though. ;)
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Thunderchild
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 12:42am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Relativity

Why was Carey hitting on Seven? In “Prime Factors” he states he has a wife and children waiting back home.
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Jason R.
Mon, Dec 2, 2019, 6:43am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

"The episode was always about sexual assault. If you read any article about it, when the writers came in to clean up the pitch and make it a story, they have gone on record as removing the 'sexual' elements, but it still seems like an allegory so, they changed the wording but the subtext is resoundingly clear (especially with the 'violation' "

I will take your word for it on what the writers intended.

But for those that don't know or don't remember, in the 90s there were several high profile cases where individuals were convicted of terrible crimes (childhood sexual abuse mostly) based on memories recovered in therapy - memories that turned out to be false in all likelihood.

In the Ramona v. Isabella case (1994) out of the UK, one of the falsely accused recovered $500,000 in a civil claim against one such therapist who implanted false memories of abuse in his daughter. There were a string of such civil claims in the years leading up to the airing of this episode (1998).

Given that the episode literally concerns recovered memories solicited by a doctor (acting as a therapist), we could be forgiven for assuming that this was the topic the writers were going for and not the Weinstein variety you allude to.
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VanzeSpleen
Mon, Dec 2, 2019, 4:11am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: A New Hope

Re: Geekgarious on audio version of ANH - I concur wholeheartedly on how good it is to just listen to audio of a beloved and much watched old movie. I used to enjoy listening to Leonard Nimoy narrating his ST movie on saving whales whilst on long drives, until in-car cassette players were superceded by CD players. (not looking forward to driving the all electric car minus CD player next year - what we have to sacrifice to drive emissionfree!).
I am binge watching the entire 8 movies again, and it strikes me how scifi productions are tending towards youngling's audience and their taste for computer games. ANH series was purely story telling of space sagas for families going to the movie to be entertained, full stop. Hence the distinctly different movies in the I-VIII Star Wars series. Still, I am looking forward to December's Rise of Skywalker.
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Brendan
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 3:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

For some reason, I like this episode, but can't help but think this was a writer making fun of all the idiotic plots of Voyager past.

This is the time that stupid thing happened to us; oh, this is the time that idiotic thing happened to us; this is the time that A TELEPATHIC PLANT attacked us.
What a wacky set of adventures we've been on these past few years.
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Booming
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 3:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ Jason
And Whoopie Goldberg was only on the show because she really wanted to. They didn't plan that.

@Omicron
"In other words: What would be the actual *point* of such an exercise?"
More debate, silly! :D
One could argue that on one hand there are far less female leads on the show, both of them work in care work, traditionally a field dominated by women and that the writer found no other way to distinguish women as individuals then by letting them mostly (?) talk about romance. That means that TNG was not that ahead of it's time or they maybe thought that they couldn't challenge the audience much more.
I think the cast of DS9 (first officer and science officer female) and maybe even more Voyager (Captain and chief engineer female even though they kind of forked that up somewhat with Jery Ryan) are a reaction to that. In DS9 we had a black captain, a female first officer and a sudanese (Alexander Siddig's actual name is: Ṣiddīq aṭ-Ṭāhir al-Fāḍil aṣ-Ṣiddīq ʿAbd ar-Raḥman Muḥammad ʾAḥmad ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Mahdī) as chief medical officer and where did we have the first heterosexual white man. the Chief who wasn't even an officer. DS9... more like SJW99. D K was right all along! ... ... There was Admiral Ross though but have we ever seen him with a women or as Americans would say a girl?!
Case closed.

Where was I... yes...as rightfully divided as people are about Discovery a similar pattern applies. the fact that TNG, DS9 and Voyager did not feature any kind of regular lgbt character lead to the gay couple in Discovery. They of course then fell in the "kill the gays" trap then tried to rewrite that.
Barely coming back to your actual question.... phew... we would have even more evidence that the late 80s and early 90s still struggled with portraying women and so did TNG.
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Smuggins
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 2:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

This is terrible episode for many reasons, but the biggest is that the message is "Women shouldn't make accusations against men". I might add some superfluous wording about "unless they have 100% proof", but its a chicken and egg device to stop any accusations. For how can the victim have the burden of proof? They would need assistance to get it (police, detectives, lawyers, etc.), but if they can't make the accusation, they can never get the proof.

The episode was always about sexual assault. If you read any article about it, when the writers came in to clean up the pitch and make it a story, they have gone on record as removing the 'sexual' elements, but it still seems like an allegory so, they changed the wording but the subtext is resoundingly clear (especially with the 'violation' phrasing).

This is basically a Harvey Weinstein defense piece before the truth came out. Considering how long that abuse went on, it really seems like this is propaganda directed at women, to let them know they should never make any kind of fuss about assault, otherwise, it will literally kill the man and it will be their fault.

The fact that a fairly impartial process leads to the death of an 'innocent' man (c'mon, who runs and kills themselves if the are totally innocent) seems to be pushing propaganda for abusers.

STNG already did a very good episode about how different people remember things (maybe even having false memories). The one where Riker is accused of murdering a scientist developing a power source, used as a weapon. There, the accused was a main character, so we know that he is innocent. If the writers wanted to do a false memory episode, it should have followed that format.

This episode was just a poorly written (not unusually so, but Voyager is usually smothering itself with plot holes). Why did Tuvok not mind meld? Why didn't they scan for that guys DNA on Seven? Why couldn't the Doctor find damage to Sevens neck? Why was the Doctor so amazingly incompetent? Voyager is pretty much garbage and this episode is just exhibit #99.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 1:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@Booming

"At this point I realize that I write all this just to not do any actual work"

Ah. A noble cause, I see. ;-)

"The empirists have basically won the battle for the soul of the social sciences which means that sociologists and political scientists avoid making value judgements. So no good or bad."

Fair enough.

But my question was less about a making a moral judgement, and more about reaching ANY kind of meaningful conclusion.

I mean, what could an empiricist say here, besides "the analysis proves [with a confidence level of - say - 99%] that the men in the show talk more/less about romance than the women in the show"?

In other words: What would be the actual *point* of such an exercise? If we already know in advance that the numbers won't really tell us anything meaningful, why even bother?

@Jason

Sorry, I thought you were ranking the characters in order of importance and put the two women at the bottom.
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Jon R
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 12:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

I have always been of the opinion that the Borg are not a species. They are collective of kidnapped victims who have been brainwashed to serve their captors. And they are forced to assume the purpose of destroying and/or kidnap more victims. At least thats the best way I can think to frame it.

I do realize that some Borg are born within the collective rather than assimilated, via maturation chambers (are they clones? Is there a default biological species they use when they create their own young?) But I would compare those children to the children born inside a cult. They are still victims and being exploited by captors.

While I would still question the ethics of sending a virus to kill ALL Borg, it's not because I view them as a species. Its because I view many of them as innocents. They are all individual beings who are victims of a system which robs them of their individuality. No single Borg has committed any crime under it's own will because it is not allowed it's own will.

And it always bugged me that Star Trek never acknowledged this elephant in the room. Whenever they tried to put the Borg into any sort of context, it was always "They are a species" or "Who are we to judge their way of life". Well are they to impose their way of life on the countless people they have turned into mindless drones? THAT'S WHAT THE BORG ARE, NOT A SPECIES. A CULT!

In the end I'm not saying Picard made the wrong choice. I agree that it would be unethical to kill all Borg if an alternate option is available. All I'm saying is they keep trying to frame it in the wrong way. They needed to acknowledge that the Borg contained thousands (possibly millions or billions) of KIDNAPPED SLAVES.

They needed to at least entertain the idea that these people needed help.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 12:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

It was the hippy ideal.

This is also why the Enterprise-D could do a saucer-seperation: You could get the civilians to safety in the saucer while the stardrive section enters the thick of the action.

Unfortunately TPTB quickly found out that (a) they can't afford showing a saucer-seperation in every second episode and (b) it was too cumbersome to work as compelling TV on a regular basis.

So the whole thing was mostly dropped after the first few episodes, even though the children and families remained. Hence the crazy situation we've ended up with, where a starship that goes into battle every Tuesday is doing it with hundreds of civilians onboard.
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Jason R.
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 12:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"Picard, Data and Worf get most of the attention because they are the most interesting characters. And I certainly don't agree with your claim that Geordi or Wesley are more important characters than Crusher or Troi. They are all secondary characters. Heck, I'll argue that Guinan - even if she gets less screen time - is a more important character than Geordi."

I never claimed that Geordi and Wesley were more important than Crusher and Troi. I was simply listing the Male lead characters on one side and the female leads on the other side to show that it was skewed 6:2.

And Guinan is not "more important" than Geordi. Maybe in universe she is - but we are talking about the show and its character makeup. Geordi is a lead character. Guinan is an occasional guest character. No comparison.
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Booming
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 7:55am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@ Omicron
Sorry this is all far too long.

I actually have a hard time remembering when men talked about matters of the heart on star trek so I just picked them but I distinctly remember an aerobics scene with Troi and Crusher which was probably named "Hey girl!" in the script.
So back to my point I meant a comparable pair of men not Riker and La Forge specifically.

"Secondly, let's say we did such a comparison between all male/male conversations and all female/female conversations that ever occured in TNG. What would it prove?"

Debatable if it "proves" anything. For once, we will not find good pairings. What male relationship is comparable to Troi's and Crusher's. How do we quantify that? Minutes Talking? Intensity of the conversation (what does intensity mean)? topics (how do we typify that?) discussed? And so and so on.
Let's say we find acceptable answers to all those questions and we actually find that women "talk romance" far more significantly often than men. Then we have to ask ourselves why do they talk more? At this point we have two diverging roads one goes down the the Film studies road and the other sociology path.

--- At this point I realize that I write all this just to not do any actual work---

So Film studies would probably go in the auteur theory or feminist theory direction. No idea.
In sociology I would maybe go with socialization and social constructivism which means that the writers grew up in a society where it is perceived as more normal for women to talk about their emotions than it is for men which in turn encouraged them to write stories that perpetuated these perceived behaviors which then creates a reality in which the viewer thinks it is normal for women to talk about their feelings while it is not normal for men to talk about them. This would then have to be contextualized like how were shows in general during that time in their portrayal of female and male conversations. (Actually the empirical part comes after theory, contextualization/problem and hypothesis )

--- The texts I have to read are actually fairly interesting for example "Voter databases, micro-targeting, and data protection law: can political parties campaign in Europe as they do in North America?". If that doesn't water your mouth then you must be crazy! Still I'm procrastinating :( ---

Well back to it, then. The last part would then be about what this could mean for society and where future research could focus on like men will be less likely to talk about their feelings with friends which lets them ignore mental instability and then not go to a psychologist leading to higher suicide rates. You know mental health is girly stuff. Or you know... whatever. :D

"What would your conclusion be this time? There's still a big difference between the numbers, but now it's in the other direction. So is that good or bad?"

The empirists have basically won the battle for the soul of the social sciences which means that sociologists and political scientists avoid making value judgements. So no good or bad. What leads from A to B. Period. Deciding what is good or bad is what philosophers and politicians are for... or this enlightened group of star trek enthusiasts. ;)

By the way, why do Americans say boys or girls when they talk about sexual relationships between adults? Creepy guys... very creepy. :)
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Booming
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 6:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

@ Omicron
I didn't really read through all his texts but assumed that there were other bombshell revelations about how women controlled the USA in the 1980s. :D
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IkesNephew
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 6:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: When the Bough Breaks

Why do the Aldeans even need children specifically for repopulation? Why not ask young adult crew members if they'd like to be the heirs of an entire planet by having sex and using godlike technology on a hidden Eden? I'm sure they'd find a few takers.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 5:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

Rough stuff?

Gotta say, I can't help but laugh whenever someone "accuses" Star Trek of going the Social Justice route, or starts whining about strong women that are giving men orders. Seriously, did this guy live under a rock in the past 50 years, that he doesn't know what Trek is all about?

From a 24th century perspective, this "rough stuff" is just laughable. "Hey bro, what's a primitive guy like you doing on our shiny starship? Oh, and by the way, welcome to the 24th century" ;-)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 5:38am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@Jason R.

"In no conceivable way can this be called 'balanced'."

True, but is this due to TNG's attitude toward women? Or simply due to the nature of a show as a (mostly) non-ensemble show?

Picard, Data and Worf get most of the attention because they are the most interesting characters. And I certainly don't agree with your claim that Geordi or Wesley are more important characters than Crusher or Troi. They are all secondary characters. Heck, I'll argue that Guinan - even if she gets less screen time - is a more important character than Geordi.

(I also disagree with the notion that Riker is more a important character than Crusher or Geordi. Sure, he is the ship's first officer, but as a TV CHARACTER he is no more important)

Now, let us be perfectly clear: I'm not pretending that the "big three" being all males is just a coincidence. I'm perfectly aware that the general view of female TV roles in the 1980's played a part in this decision.

But my point is, that you could never deduce that just from what we see on screen. Crusher may be a less important character, but the material she gets is mostly well-rounded. She participates in away missions, solves science problems, and does all kinds of other things that lay rest to the claim that she is anything but an equally capable member of the Enterprise's crew.

And again, TNG gives us plenty of female guest characters who also serve to strengthen the idea that the inequality in numbers in the main cast is just a statistical fluke in-universe. We've seen plenty of female captains and admirals. We've also seen women participating in pretty much every cultural role under the sun, both in the Federation and on alien planets.

So when you take all this into account, I think TNG aged quite well in this respect. At least for the most part. I won't go as far as claiming that TNG's attitude toward women is 100% perfect, but it certainly isn't as bad as some people here claim.

@Peter
"Just from my anecdotal and maybe skewed memory, I seem to definitely recall a couple of 'girl talk' scenes between Troi and Crusher about romance, and I just don't remember any about anything else. If there were some then they were forgettable in the sense that I literally forgot about them"

Of-course they were forgettable. What would you expect?

They were discussions about the situation on the ship, or medical problems, or other things like that. IOW they were conversations of the most routine and ordinary kind imaginable.

Isn't that what people are usually after, when they complain that women characters are only given "girly" stuff to discuss?

I suspect the Troi/Crusher girly talks would have also been forgettable to you, had you not immediately flagged them as a problem. I confess that I couldn't remember a single one of those scenes before I did my search. I was actually surprised to see that there were as many as six of them over the show's run.

(I did remember the Ogawa/Crusher ones, and I have absolutely no problem with them)

@Booming
"I would like to have a look at your method. ;) First what search terms were used or did you go through all the conversations and the really interesting comparison would be between a female and a male pair."

I looked through them all (searching for "TROI:" and "CRUSHER:" and "OGAWA:") and counted the "talks about boys" manually.

"If the percentage of romantic conversations between for example La Forge and Riker is as high as between Troy and Crusher then we really have something."

This is a pretty silly comparison.

First of all, you're going to be hard-pressed to find ANY kind of intimate conversation between La Forge and Riker. They just aren't that close as friends.

Secondly, let's say we did such a comparison between all male/male conversations and all female/female conversations that ever occured in TNG. What would it prove?

Suppose we've found that the women talk about boys 22% of the time, and the men talk about girls only 7% of the time.

What conclusion would you reach from that? Perhaps we need more macho talk about women to balance the numbers out? ;-)

Now think of the reverse:

Say we found that men talk about girls 22% of the time, but the women talk about boys only 7% of the time.

What would your conclusion be this time? There's still a big difference between the numbers, but now it's in the other direction. So is that good or bad?

There's little point in doing a statistical test which isn't going to teach us anything meaningful either way.
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