Star Trek: Discovery

"The Sanctuary"

2 stars

Air date: 12/3/2020
Written by Kenneth Lin & Brandon Schultz
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Maybe I'm getting to that point in the season where my enthusiasm starts to taper off, but "The Sanctuary" really didn't do much for me. It's ... meh. Although there are some good things spread across the ensemble here, the core of it is the epitome of mediocrity. Even though it fell short, last week's "Unification III" at least tried to be an ambitious Star Trek episode with compelling dialogue. This week's episode doesn't seem to be trying to do anything at all, except recycle generic action sci-fi scenes.

Let's start with the main plot. While I appreciate the attempt to do some world-building in this century outside the immediate orbit of Starfleet Headquarters, the concept of the Emerald Chain, the evil Orion crime syndicate, is an off-the-shelf bore led by an off-the-shelf boring villain. After his labor camp was liberated in "Scavengers," Tolor (Ian Lake) has fallen into ill standing with his syndicate boss/aunt, Osyraa (Janet Kidder), who promptly feeds him to a large creature — because if you want your villain to read as Real Bad, make sure they kill one of their own for failure. Yawn.

Discovery enters this plot to travel to Book's homeworld, Kwejian, which is under the thumb of Osyraa's unit of the Emerald Chain because she supplies a repellent that keeps at bay a swarm of glowing, flying jellyfish that would otherwise eat all the crops. Without the Emerald Chain, the crops would be ruined and they would starve. We're supposed to be amazed by the beauty of Kwejian, but I was unimpressed; it mostly looks like a basic forest processed through a lot of color correction.

There are various standoffs between Discovery and Osyraa's ship, and even some Plot Thickening, where it turns out Book's brother Kyheem (Ache Hernandez) is actually reluctantly allying with Osyraa to betray Book and Burnham, such that his village (or continent, or planet, or however widespread this would-be famine would be) survives. (What does Osyraa get out of this? I don't remember, or honestly care. Something having to do with commerce control or whatever — because crime syndicate.)

The standoff eventually leads to a firefight in orbit, and various fight scenes and bombings on the ground, with predictably routine results. Discovery is disallowed from directly engaging Osyraa, which means Book's ship has to be the one to attack. But it needs a pilot, which leads us to How Keyla Got Her Groove Back. Detmer's problems since arriving in the 32nd century have been bubbling for a while, maybe even forever, and here they're (apparently, and I hope finally) solved with her getting back in touch with her inner hotshot with some Millennium Falcon-style pilot action. This is fine and good and pays off a long-simmering subplot, and is probably about on par with How B'Elanna Got Her Groove Back via banana pancakes and saving the day in "Extreme Risk."

Other ongoing plot threads start to wear out their welcome and feel like they're dragging themselves out needlessly. Culber tries to get to the bottom of what's wrong with Georgiou (in addition to mental issues, there are physiological ones as well), and he's good at standing up to her endless verbal assaults. But despite the cleverness of some of Georgiou's cutting one-liners, the one-note nature of this character who does nothing but insult everyone trying to help her is really starting to wear thin. Michelle Yeoh appears to be having fun, but this character's inability to grow or adapt is becoming a waste of everyone's time. Meanwhile, the question of what's actually wrong with Georgiou continues into next week.

As character threads go, probably the best was Stamets continuing to take Adira under his wing, something that continues to find the right notes of friendship. Anthony Rapp makes a good nice guy, and Adira's struggle to become balanced as a joined Trill continues to be worth exploring. What's disappointing, then, is the heavy-handed way the show addresses Adira's pronouns, when Adira corrects Stamets and asks to be called "they" rather than "she."

Apparently, it's been something Adira felt even before being joined, and the only person they'd admitted it to in the past was Gray — prior to being joined. That the writers don't use Adira's multiple Trill hosts to frame their statement within a sci-fi story feels like a missed opportunity. Isn't this an extremely 21st-century interpretation of what's supposed to be a 32nd-century character? Is being non-binary still stigmatized on Earth after 1,100 years? We don't know, but the implication seems to be there. At least when Sisko was troubled by the sanitization of racism in Vic's holosuite program in "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang," it was framed in terms of his discomfort with revisionist history. Here, not only do the writers miss the obvious sci-fi opportunity, they play the whole idea as far too contemporary.

"The Sanctuary" isn't terrible, and the episode does a decent job of spreading things around and making it an ensemble piece, but the generic action and fights really kind of grind things to a halt. And it's hard to get too worked up about Osyraa, the Emerald Chain, the potential famine on Kwejian, or a bunch of CGI jellyfish. This is just too boilerplate.

As pioneered in The Matrix, bullet time:

  • Saru and Tilly testing out Saru's potential make-it-so catchphrases was fun. Saru settles on "Execute."
  • Ryn the Andorian plays into the plot (mostly as potential bargaining chip since he escaped from Osyraa's nephew's prison camp) but it's so much on the periphery that it barely registers. If you're going to have all these guest characters, it'd be nice to find something memorable to do with them.
  • One thing that's going to get tiring really fast is the variant on the opening scene where Saru has to convince Admiral Vance that they can go on a mission since the spore drive is too important to be sending around willy-nilly.
  • The Federation's civilian seat also resides at this same starbase. When will we get to see that?
  • I've wrongly believed until now Book was a human with special abilities. My bad.
  • The same music that different people hear appears to be connected to the Burn, and provides us with another location lead — to a nebula filled with weird sci-fi properties. I wonder if the song is a 32nd-century version of "All Along the Watchtower."
  • Within some of this episode's dialogue there seems to be an interesting question: What does it mean to be a part of today's Federation? People scoff at the name and hold it in low regard, and yet it feels like Discovery's actions here amount to something of an image rehab. I'd like to know more about what this means. Also, it seems likely the Emerald Chain is going to have a major beef with the Federation after what happens here.

Previous episode: Unification III

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355 comments on this post

Cody B
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 2:32am (UTC -6)
Filler episode. Only thing we learned was Adira’s pronouns
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 7:58am (UTC -6)
Better than last week, but still not quite what I would call "great." Particularly given we're heading into the end-run of the season and this is still fundamentally a relatively low-stakes, episodic adventure.

So, really there were three plots this week. The A plot on Book's homeworld, and then little mini B/C plots dealing with the decipherment of the Burn signal/whatever the hell is happening to Georgiou. The main issue with this for me is they didn't really share any common thread thematically. They all just happened because they needed to at this particular point in the story. I actually think all of them would have worked better if they were teased apart into different episodes (or at least shunted into episodes they worked better with). Yet at the same time the B/C plots didn't really do much of anything? Georgiou still has some mysterious illness, and while a bit more of the Burn mystery is teased out, it's still nothing satisfying.

I am not entirely sure how I felt about the guest actors this week. Ryn was good again. But Book's "brother" felt unconvincing until the end of the episode. I understand that the script - and direction - called for unrelenting hostility, but made the supposedly fraternal relationship not feel...real. He just seemed like this dude who was really, really angry at Book. And Osyraa didn't have the needed gravitas for a recurring villain, IMHO. Indeed, she seemed a bit campy and corny. I'm also just not liking how Discovery is depicting Orions in general - the makeup just looks really cheap.

On the other hand, as has been the case with much of this season, I'm happy with the episode from a character standpoint. Book has made a full transition to Starfleet true believer to such a degree that even Michael looks askance. Detmer has what I would presume would be the conclusion to her PTSD arc. The Adira/Stamets scenes continue to be sweet.

Discovery is undoubtedly a much better, more consistent show now than in the first two seasons. Nothing has fallen apart yet into a dangling mess of hanging plot threads, characters feel like real human beings, etc. At the same time, the core story elements are pretty...bland I guess? Things we've seen 100 times over? The result is a show that has been nearly consistently somewhere between "fine" and "pretty good." It's good there are no real stinkers, but I'm still hoping the season has another Forget Me Not at some point. As it is I'm starting to get a serious Voyager vibe out of this.
Luiz Castanheira
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:00am (UTC -6)
The ship inside The Nebula = Calypsos Discovery
Mertov
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:29am (UTC -6)
Very much enjoyed this one, very balanced episode with plenty of character growth moments for some regular and recurring characters.

Last week, I criticized Tilly's promotion and that still stands. Jammer mentioned that doing good stories with the sudden change would be one way to sell this contrived development. For me, it will be an impossible sell, but the earnest nature of the conversation Saru has with Tilly in the beginning of the episode alleviates some of the sting, showing that he feels more comfortable discussing all matters, including personal ones, with Tilly than with anyone else. This is also where Mary Wiseman is at her best, I feel, in these types of one-on-one support and friendship moments. The scene gives an insight, for what it’s worth, to why Saru had Tilly in mind as bonkers as the promotion remains. He trusts her, simple as that, and it’s not as if he hadn’t told this directly to Tilly before.

Ryn's back in the picture here, and in a meaningful way. He is also sticking around in a way that he could continue to be used in a meaningful way if writers choose to do so. Not killing him at the end of "Scavengers" is one of the better decisions of the season by the writing room. He is who Osyrra is looking for, along with Book. We are also introduced to Book's ‘brother’ Kyheem and their "home" so to speak, a good background storyline for Book. Through this storyline, the viewer is introduced to Osyraa whose name we heard before. Janet Kidder who played an important character in Continuum, a show I enjoyed a lot many years ago, not sure if anyone else remembers, plays Osyraa here and it's a good choice of casting. She has the face to sell such a character and does it well here with some key dialogues with Saru and Kyheem, I remembered her from Continuum which was a show from many years ago that I liked a lot.

These storylines felt engaging, enhanced by good performances by the actors playing the recurring characters, and by Jonathan Frakes's directing (the space battle scenes and the nature scenes on Kwejian are stunning), that comprise the crux of the bottle nature of the episode. Book, his brother, Ryn, and Saru were all at different times faced with tough decisions to make and teamwork was used to overcome calamitous circumstances, and not without good and/or bad consequences, one of which Saru will have a difficult time explaining to Vance when back to the Federation.

Detmer gets 15 minutes here too, mainly to showcase her piloting skills, but I still maintain that she is underused, especially considering that Emily Coutts as an actor has an impressive presence when on screen and delivered in the couple (or few) scenes, dialogue-oriented or action, where she was in the forefront this season. She delivers well here too.

The episode also contains long-arc-related developments, notably with Georgiou, Culber and Pollard discover new information, and it sounds as if next episode will be the culmination of Georgiou’s storyline, though I cannot be sure. There is also a mention of a Federation ship distress signal coming from inside some nebula.

As I noted above, I only have a couple of nitpicks. For example, I could have lived without a couple of lines by Georgiou, and Ryn keeping Grudge too long on his lap during Detmer’s flying. But those are nitpicks. I found this episode to be well-written and well-directed overall, with stories that hold well together, and a good mixture of a bottle episode and long-arc developments. It included some genuine friendship dialogues between Stamets and Adira (Blu del Barrio performs extremely well in this episode in my view), which is a relationship that I see as one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. Book and Michael continue their good chemistry. I also welcome any amount of time spent with Culber at the center of ship scenes. Cruz is great in my opinion. Not sure how Jammer will see it, but for me it’s up there with the best couple of episodes of the season.
AMA
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:46am (UTC -6)
Another okay, but far from great episode. Culber is perhaps my favourite member of the Discovery crew at this point and Wilson Cruz was again effective in the role. I'm also enjoying Saru's continuing turns as a diplomat, and the scenes of him trying to land on a catch phrase were charming. The threat of Osyraa and the Emerald Chain was underwhelming, perhaps because not enough has been done to establish the scope and power of the alliance. Multiple episodes now have also hinted of an era in which the Federation acted in an ethically questionable manner and it would seem worthwhile to clarify some of their perceived wrongs. Lastly, I'm still not particularly interested in Empress Georgiou as a character, and I'm not looking forward to the prospect of one-two episodes that focus on her. Again, another okay outing.
Nick
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
It was an ok episode, 2 stars from me:

- Saru, realizing that Tilly is completely unqualified to be first officer, assigns her one task she is capable of, finding a cool catch phrase for him. I loved all these scenes, easily the best part of this episode.

- I didn't really understand why the admiral ended up letting Discovery go to Book's planet. It went from "it's not important" to "OK, I will send my most valuable asset".

- I also didn't understand why only Book's ship could fight the Orion. The original premise seemed to be so the Federation could somehow avoid being blamed but his ship flew right out of Discovery's shuttle bay and started attacking, and at the end the Orion blamed the Federation anyways. I'm always a sucker for a space battle, and at least they used it to try and develop Detmer a bit, but it seemed unnecessary for Discovery to just sit back and do nothing the whole time.

- So far I find the Orion woman unimpressive as a villan. I also don't feel like I know enough about the Emerald Chain to be very invested in the story. It would have been nice if they did more setup here.

- It's interesting that they are doing some not-so-subtle foreshadowing about the Federation not always being completely on the level, I'm curious where they go with this.

- The solution to Book's planet's problem seemed a little convenient, 2 empaths + starship beam = solution for 100 year problem? I'm willing to let it slide though, as stuff like this is pretty standard Trek.
Mertov
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
Nick, just a few thoughts to address your points.
I agree with you completely on your Tilly-Saru comment.
On your second point, I thought Michael, Saru, and Book did a good job of selling the idea to the Admiral and the actor playing Vance portrayed well that authority figure who gets convinced slowly as the conversation went on. I didn't have a problem with that.
On your third, it's true that it seemed Osyraa would blame the Federation anyway, I am thinking Saru was caught in an impossible situation (I liked how that was set up) and figured at least he would some retort to offer Vance so he, in turn, can use it in future talks with the 'enemy' so to speak, no matter how flimsy it may sound.
I agree with you on the insufficiency of knowledge about the Emerald Chain, good point.
Nick
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 2:30pm (UTC -6)
@Mertov I will go back and re-watch the scene w the Admiral, I may have not picked up on all the convo.

On the starship battle, I think there are reasons to have only Book’s ship attack. Maybe the speed of Books ship combined with the inside knowledge of exactly where to attack gave it tactical superiority over the bigger slower ship. Or maybe Discovery was staying back so they could jump away and protect the spore drive in case things went south.

I just thought the reason given on screen was silly. But I guess the Orion will be ok with it as long as Detmer is disciplined (lol)? I mean, the idea came from Tilly which reinforces the idea that she doesn’t know what she’s doing, but why did Saru go along with it? Maybe he had a reason that wasn’t mentioned on screen.

At the end of the day I liked the space battle, but I do wish it was setup a little better.
Norvo
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 2:47pm (UTC -6)
And they said having 10 episode seasons meant no more filler... An okay enough outing, though the sea locusts and Osyraa were less impressive a threat than whatever awful accent Book's brother was supposed to have.

Speaking of accents: it was especially tough to follow Georgiou's dialogue this episode. As fantastic a screen presence Michelle Yeoh is, her pronunciation isn't the greatest in some scenes.

But it's great they're showing more of Georgiou. Discovery does so much better when characters like Detmer, Culber and even doctor Pollard get a time to shine. Speaking of which: where did Jett Reno disappear to? She should have been part of the team investigating the origin location of the Burn. And yeah, it'll probably be the Calypso Discovery inside the nebula...

As for Adira... I get why the show made a moment of their pronouns. It's important for audiences today, but by making it a (bit of) an issue, the creators also say gender is still a thing in the 23rd or even 31st century. And that's a little depressing.
Chris Lopes
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 3:13pm (UTC -6)
"It's important for audiences today, but by making it a (bit of) an issue, the creators also say gender is still a thing in the 23rd or even 31st century. And that's a little depressing."

At the risk of entering into an argument I'd rather not have, gender is still a thing in the 31st century for the same reason it's one in this century. It reflects the reality most (if not almost all) people experience. Yes there are exceptions. That's why people have to sometimes be told what pronoun others prefer. But to pretend that biological reality stops being a thing because we are more enlightened is simply foolish.
Booming
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 3:30pm (UTC -6)
I think gender is about the cultural or social component of this issue, while sex refers to the biological components. A species that is sexually dimorphic as is ours some problems could persist quite long.
Chris Lopes
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
@Boomer
I think what you are referring to is gender roles. Those are quite fluid and in the 23rd century (let alone the 31st) such roles are non-existent. Anyone can be an act anyway they want. Starfleet uniforms are unisex (especially compared to the TOS era) and no distinction is made between men and women beyond pronoun use.
Booming
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 3:53pm (UTC -6)
I basically quoted the Oxford dictionary:
gender" the fact of being male or female, especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences, not differences in biology."

sex" either of the two groups that people, animals, and plants are divided into according to their function of producing young"

I haven't seen the episode so I really don't know what it meant in the episode.
Chris Lopes
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 4:43pm (UTC -6)
@Boomer
Understood. In the episode, it's actually in reference to being more than one person (of various sexes and/or genders) wanting to be called "they". Since that pronoun fits with the reality of the character, it is reasonable enough.
MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 6:35pm (UTC -6)
This is pretty rote Star Trek plotting, but it does carry things a step or two in the right direction.

Ex. 1 - When Osyrra doesn't get what she wants she starts carpet bombing the planetary defense system. Simple, ruthless, and I can't believe this doesn't happen more often in these kinds of shows. That is a good way to show villainy and at least suggest some real stakes at hand here.

Ex. 2 - The idea of the planetary defense system being what blocks transporters/communicators is a very tried Star Trek trope being subverted; this time this was intentional; they don't actually take chances on this planet. It's really been handwaved away of being "too much interference" hundreds of times over the course of the series. This at least couches the reasoning for it behind a serious explanation.

But yeah this is kind of your boilerplate meet the villain episode. And I'll say this about Georgiou: they'd better have something on her in the next ep or this is bordering on becoming interminable. It isn't that she's a bad actress or the character isn't being done the way I would expect, it's just that I don't enjoy her one-dimensionality; she hurls insults almost the entire time she's on screen this season. There's got to be some other lines she can say that don't include her being an asshole to someone directly. That's getting alarm-clocky. It's droning on one note over and over and nobody likes that. I can't imagine Michelle Yeoh, a highly trained actress (and martial artist) being very interested in playing that again and again.

Do something with her character; her plot armor is down to 27%.
Miles
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 7:15pm (UTC -6)
@Chris Lopes
"it's actually in reference to being more than one person"

I don't think that's right. They said "I've never felt like a 'she' or a 'her'." and, "I've never told anyone but Gray". It doesn't strike me that they're referring to a new gender identity that they've gravitated toward since being joined, but rather a life long or at least long term one.
Quincy
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 8:48pm (UTC -6)
Damn. WTH were they smoking with this episode? It was all over the place. There were two main plots and two more subplots. I bought almost nothing in this episode. Saru disobeying direct orders. The suggestion that Osyraa can't blame the Federation if a ship that just left their
shuttle bay attacks her was ridiculous. Though the second half was slightly better then the first, they could've kept it all. It really went off the rails.

Just remembered Osyraa was one of those green aliens from TOS, the Orions. She was annoying at first, but became more tolerable as the episode wore on. The actress did a decent job with what she was given. I know they're popular in cosplay, but why make them the big bad?

Jesus Georgiou. These crap lines they keep giving her. All the prior toning down went out the window this episode. Kill her off already. Her behavior makes no sense.

Worst episode of the season by far.
Nick
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 9:58pm (UTC -6)
@Quincy I agree with you on Georgeau, I thought her character was pretty good in some of the previous episodes but this one was just awful. I think her corny lines are fine here and there but this episode was saturated in them and it was way to much. As far as what’s happening to her, I have two theories:

1) That old guy fixed that biological difference he was talking about between Terrans and Human’s effectively turning her from Terran to Human and causing some issues along the way.

2) The old guy did something to her in an attempt to access the mirror universe (since it’s so far away now) for some unknown purpose.
Mertov
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:10pm (UTC -6)
Like Nick, I agree with Quincy on that too. I forgot about that when I wrote my first post above. The worst part of this episode for me too, one-note liners by her. Nick, you may be right, or at least close on one of those. David Cronenberg dude (I don't know his character name, does he even have one?) is due back next episode and it appears like the main plot will center in her. Let's see, I guess.
The Queen
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:40pm (UTC -6)
Most everybody has already said what I would say. I liked the fatherly aura Stamets had toward Adira (and the actor said in The Ready Room that they think of Rapp and Cruz as their "dads"). I did wish Dr. Culber would tell Georgiou, "You're not in your universe now, get over it!" Nick, the preview in The Ready Room for next week explained what's up with Georgiou; I won't spoil it for others, so take a look if you want.

I thought this was a satisfying episode with only minor flaws (Saru's search for a command phrase seemed silly to me). Not top of the line, no major turning points, but solid and "feels like Star Trek." I mean, they solve Kajain's problem with a little help from Disco, they fudge their orders creatively and effectively, and best of all, Detmer and Ryn become people.

The one thing that bugged me was something that this entire franchise has done forever, but in this show 1000 years from today, it seems even more unlikely. When you're in a tight spot as a pilot, you can't depend on the autopiloting any more, you have to go to manual. This blows my mind. It's like turning off the computer when the calculations get too complex, and just doing it with our brains. Come onnnnnnnnnn. It was fun to see Detmer so revved up, though.

I don't think the Calypso's Discovery is the mystery ship. Where would it have come from? If it was some magical copy of Disco left behind when it jumped into the MU, wouldn't it have been mentioned when they came back? And it can't be from after they reached 32nd century Starfleet, because that's 1031-A and the Calypso ship doesn't have an A. I really hope it's some other species' Federation ship - though I expect that's asking too much of the writers.

The "Federation summer camp" scare tactic made me groan. Nobody anywhere has ever scared their kid with threats of summer camp.

So, not bad overall, I'm relieved to see Burnham following the chain of command and - shockingly, LOL - being allowed to go on her mission.
Atymiss
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:50pm (UTC -6)
SPOILER!!!!!!!

Just saw the trailer for next week's episode in which David Cronenberg does bonkers and deeply unethical things to Georgiou. Saru pontificates 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few' - I'm rapidly going off you Saru.

@Mertov
I think the DC character's called Kovich.
Rahul
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Felt like a season 1 or 2 DSC episode -- largely action based with little depth, cutting between a few subplots and I'm not sure if the adventure on Kwejian is meant to be a one-off or how it could be tied into the whole burn mystery. I liked the moments with Adira and Stamets again. Tilly as Saru's No. 1 came up with a good idea and the showrunners are determined to make her shine in the role in her own quirky way -- which is unrealistic as hell to me. The mystery of the music from the Federation distress signal in the Verubin Nebula and how Grey and the Barzann family were playing it -- intriguing, and I hope there's a good sci-fi explanation to it when all's said & done.

The Georgiou medical exam subplot was largely forgettable and irritating -- what progress was made from what was previously known? I've just about had enough with her character. Thought the character had its usefulness in being direct, reading other people well, and kicking a$$ when needed, but now her visions/brain trauma are just another mystery being milked for what it can and I'm tired of it. Is Yeoh really a good actress? I'm not so sure.

Also wasn't a fan the Star Wars-like scene with Detmer and the Andorian on Book's ship disabling Osyraa's ship -- the idea made sense within the plot but these kinds of pew-pew scenes don't do it for me. That's been the case even with DS9's big starship battle scenes which actually had a terrific story arc to back them up.

Book and his "brother" getting rid of these sea locusts -- another ho-hum aspect. In true TNG style the Discovery is able to enhance their empath-ness and get the job done. Just arbitrary stuff here. And there has to be the contrived happy moments with the little son coming on board...

But it would seem we haven't seen the last of the fearsome Osyraa and the Emerald Chain -- so 900 years into the future the Orions are on top with their ways of treachery? Great message to send about the distant future Star Trek...

2 stars for "The Sanctuary" -- nearly good enough for 2.5 stars but this episode was a bit of a mess and may be mostly unimportant in the grand scheme of things -- who knows. Felt like it was supposed to be somewhat of a self-contained standalone episode, but it wasn't that good although it didn't make any big errors like "Unification III" did. There were some nice moments (like Saru trying to come up with a saying "Hit it"), Stamets/Adira, but overall, felt like a regression to prior seasons. DSC has shown this season that it can do much, much better.
Mertov
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
"Nick, the preview in The Ready Room for next week explained what's up with Georgiou; I won't spoil it for others, so take a look if you want."

What on earth??? Now I don't know if I want to watch The Ready Room or not, ugh, because I truly enjoy the program, Wil Wheaton and his guests, but I don't like significant spoilers like this. Thanks for the warning The Queen. And Artymiss, thanks for the info!
jaxemer11
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 12:49am (UTC -6)
Really didn't like this episode. Pure filler and the dialogue was terrible. This lovey dovey crap between Burnham and Book needs to go away. I like both characters, but I'm really getting tired of them together. And why put in the stuff about the ship lost in the nebula if you are then going to spend the rest of the episode on some nonsensical hunt for the Real Wicked Witch of the Alpha Quadrant (or whoever she was). She looked like one of those obnoxious faux-rich middle-aged women from a Bravo series. I hope she doesn't become a recurring character.
Z
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 1:23am (UTC -6)
Another bang-bang space shoot'em up and poorly done as you'd expect. Not Trek filler. In one ear and out the other.
John Harmon
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 2:45am (UTC -6)
Does it seem ridiculous to anyone else that it took the Discovery showing up for the Federation to finally be interested in figuring out “the burn” (I really hate that name)? And since it affects ships across the galaxy, wouldn’t countless species from other worlds have a vested interest in figuring it out too? You’re telling me nobody tried anything this whole time? Is this the writers forgetting how big space is again?

Also I can’t help but feel like every season of Discovery could be condensed down into really good 2 part episodes. That’s what these seasons feel like, stretched out 2 parters.
Artymiss
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 3:08am (UTC -6)
Big improvement on last week and I enjoyed watching it. Osyraa is a bit of a rubbish one dimensional villain though, seems to have strayed in from the MU.

Given all this medical advancement can't they regrow Ryn's antennae???

Prediction: San is MU Michael's mother and Georgiou's bestie who she ends up killing and wishing she hadn't although as a Terran she can't acknowledge her regret.

@Jaxemer11
What "lovey dovey crap between Burnham and Book"? I didn't notice anything objectionable. Seemed quite restrained to me.
Ryan Talbot
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 6:14am (UTC -6)
Great... Adira is now a "they" which is most the ridiculous way to describe a singular person. You could feel the script writers and the woke management masturbating at the "moment" they had created in the camera work on Stamets when Adira "came out".

Over dramatic, over emotional and yet so very shallow .... I literally spent the entire show shopping for a new couch, the billions of dollars they spunk up the wall on effects is wasted when there isn't a story worth telling. Why can I rewatch a TNG/DS9 and god forbid VOY episode I've seen a dozen times ... yet can't be bothered to focus fully on a fresh episode of DSC?

If only Ira was more people savvy and could grab a 2-3 season run out of them to give us an alternative to bullshit (Discovery), more bullshit (Picard) and the rest of the utter tripe these folks are churning out.
Dreubarik
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 7:13am (UTC -6)
I am VERY bothered by the fact that they had Adira come out in this episode, and that it all happened in an akward manner in which the characters had to explain themselves (rather than it being assumed as status quo). It goes against everything that Star Trek is supposed to be (like most of Kurtzman Trek).

The people writing these shows still haven't understood that the ideological conquests of Trek are all about building gramscian cultural hegemony on screen (ie showing a future in which social conquests are the status quo), and then debating the social issues du jour via the "others" (alien races). These writers, in their attempt to dangle their progressivism in front of viewers' faces, are cheapening the very same message they purport to defend.
Chrome
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 7:27am (UTC -6)
A competent ensemble episode which works mostly because the small side-stories not related to Burnham are pretty decent. Of the subplots, the Detmer material was probably the strongest, giving the character some meaty scenes that actually serve the season's purpose of building a bond with the Andorian, Rin. Also, the Adira material was low-key and sweet and it's hard not respect Culber's patient handling of a belligerent Georgiou. In contrast, the main "Shoot 'em Up" planetary rescue and continuing Burnham romance storyline felt like it was simply coasting through familiar waters.

Despite Frakes adequately juggling all these plots and subplots, the episode feels like it runs out of steam around the 20-minute mark, The problem is the main story which should be the driving force of the episode just isn't that interesting. At least the pyrotechnics were pretty and the absurdity was cut to a minimal.

Ryan wrote:

"Great... Adira is now a "they" which is most the ridiculous way to describe a singular person. You could feel the script writers and the woke management masturbating at the "moment" they had created in the camera work on Stamets when Adira "came out"."

The inner grammar nazi in me agrees that "they" sounds absurd for a singular person. If you can believe it, my 80s grammar studies informed me that "it" was an acceptable pronoun for nongendered people. However, the writers are pretty clever here as "they" actually makes literal sense in Adira's case because they are a person made up of multiple people. It's a thoughtful turn of phrase and a pretty good use of the already complex Trill identity in a meaningful humanitarian way.
Ubik
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 8:08am (UTC -6)
See, here's the problem with the Adira "they" scene - she clearly states that she has "never" felt like a "she," and this is obviously meant to mean BEFORE she joined. So, in fact, it is not the joined-Adira-Trill who thinks of herself as a "they" (which would be fine, since the literal "they" of the Trill could be used as a metaphor for non-binary "they") , but the human host herself, Adira-alone, who thinks of herself as "they." This, to me, seems to miss the point entirely of having the character be a Trill.

People have long misunderstood how metaphor functions in Star Trek. Fans have long prided TOS on "sneaking" important social messages past the sensors by disguising those messages in metaphor. Now, that may be so, and perhaps it was necessary at the time, but here's the other side of that coin: metaphors are better storytelling. Just because a social message CAN be literal and on-the-nose today doesn't mean it SHOULD. Science fiction, as a genre, is by design a metaphorical genre. Everything is metaphor. So, using a Trill as a metaphor for non-binary people of the present - great. Lots of room for exploration and analysis there. But having a non-binary human represent....a non-binary human? I feel lectured at, talked down to. I feel the message hitting me on the head.

That's what literature is for. That's why it's a fictional story, and not a speech. Metaphors are better storytelling techniques, especially in science fiction.

All this could have been fixed if Adira had simply said something like, "Ever since joining, I don't really feel like a she. I prefer they." That would have been cool. It also would have opened lovely story possibilities. As it was delivered, it just fell flat, and as a storytelling device, it's a dead-end.
Maq
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 9:22am (UTC -6)
Filler episode ti was said. Nothing really happened ?

In the episode S1:E8 Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum also really noting happened. Comparing these there is day and night between them. Trying to keep to many subplots runing in paralell? Perhaps but I do accept and enjoy them.

They for Adira? I am probably to old for really appreciating and understanding this LBGT (right order of the letters?) thing. As I understand some people beleive or wish to be something else than to what they where born. ( I here exlude all the quite few apperances of peopel with extreme hormon levels and medical Hhermaphrodite. ) To 50 % I feel this is compeltely bonkers, to 50 % I find it OK that it gets its place in Star Trek. It is not the first time where boundrys are broken here. I hope no one gets offended by this clear statement.

And I liked this episode, acting and side storeis.
Austin
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 11:13am (UTC -6)
This was a 2/2 episode if I’ve ever seen one. It’s not bad or offensive, but it’s also not good or interesting either. The A plot was pure filler. I can’t say I’ve really cared less about a planet, and the arrival of Osyraa felt contrived. I think for her to be as menacing as they make her out to be, they probably could have shown her misdeeds a little more in the weeks running up to this episode, rather than a mustache-twirling “feed my nephew to worms” prologue.

I liked the Tilly/Saru moments. I would love him to say “pedal to the metal”, but that’s just me. As far as Georgiou, I do agree with previous posters who tire of this one-liner factory, but I think they did enough to keep me interested and flesh out how people are really trying to help her even as she pushes them away.

Adira and Stammets probably have the best acting chemistry on the show. However, and I’m sure this is going to be an unpopular view, this whole “she/them” issue just reeks of the writers saying, “Look how progressive we are! We don’t just have the L, B, and G, but now we got the T, Q, and I !!!” Its hard not to see this and feel like they’re just pandering.
Miles
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 11:55am (UTC -6)
@Ubik

I'll grant you that metaphor was important for cases where something did have to be snuck by the networks, but that was almost always done in the context of a single episode pushing the envelope. NOT when it came to actual representation and diversity wins in various Trek Shows. Uhura wasn't a metaphor for a black woman, Janeway wasn't a metaphor for a female captain, Stamets and Culber aren't metaphors for gay men, the list obviously goes on. Adira is simply the latest in that long line of steadily expanding representation (both of characters and cast), which is just as much a core part of Trek as using metaphor to push the envelope further than the current times allow.

If the presence of a non-binary character (and actor) feels to you like being lectured or talked down to, I don't know what to say. The fault lies in your reaction, not the writing or the casting.
Chrome
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 11:58am (UTC -6)
I'm impressed the writers got a such a rise out of people over a 30 second conversation about pronouns. Either they succeeding in stirring the pot or they're pandering simps. Six or one.
Yanks
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 12:05pm (UTC -6)
Well, this was interesting.

I enjoyed the Culber/Georgiou exchanges... from the Culber point of view. He is my Garak of Discovery. Every scene he is in is better because he is in it. He never backs down to her. I'm totally tired of the asinine quips and barbs that Georgiou keeps spouting out. The writing here is tiresome and Yeoh can't deliver them. Thank goodness we are going to get to the bottom of this next episode. I'm hoping Phillipa will break and become more like Captain Philippa Georgiou as a result of all this. She is dying I guess. I'm sticking with my "it's the sunglasses" prediction.

Saru and Tilly trying to figure out "his" execute command was sort of funny. This was a good Tilly performance. That still doesn't change the fact that she in no way should be filling the #1 position.

I'm a Book fan, so I was going to enjoy this at some level, but I had to watch the damn thing twice to figure out what the real dilemma was on the planet. The actor that played his "brother" was horrible. The fight scenes on the planet seemed forced and not very well choreographed.

Osyraa seems menacing enough, I just wish we knew more about the "Emerald Chain". Vance has made the point they are bad, but that's about it. I'm not a fan of the Orion make-up. I much prefer the Orions from Enterprise. The only thing we really got out of this was that they are running out of dilithium.

Saru's plan and decisions on the bridge were fine. Some here seem to think that his actions by agreeing to Tilly's master plan was to protect the Federation from Osyraa's wrath. That wasn't it at all, it was to be able to justify Discovery's action to ADM Vance upon their return.

I guess this is Detmer's "I'm fine now" episode. Nice to see her be confident in her actions although going to manual to maneuver at those speeds and close proximity is stretching it. I found the space fight with the cruiser hard to follow visually. At times it was good and others just a meaningless blur. Boy, Books ship packs a lot of firepower... that doesn't bode well for an indicator of how strong the chain is. This battle scene reminded me of the Millennial Falcon. (can't remember which movie)

I loved Saru's comment to Osyraa... "Seems your ship has been damaged..." haha.

I really didn't feel anything between Book and Michael in this episode. They tried to sell it a couple of times but it didn't work for me. I didn't think SMG's performance was very impressive here either.

I really love Adira. I think the actress is really performing well and giving us a very unique and wonderful character, but the "woke" writers really screwed the pooch here. "I never really felt comfortable with she/her" and then admitted she had only revealed this to Gray does nothing but reinforce exactly the opposite of what they are trying to sell. 1000 years in the future and this pronoun thing still has a stigma to it? That can only mean that "gender-neutral" is a baseless and empty claim. They aren't even smart enough to be woke correctly. Still, all the scenes with her and Stamets are very enjoyable. It will be interesting to find out why Adira isn't hearing Gray.

In the end, Discovery saves Kwejian(?) - completely putting to shame all the planet's best scientists (how long were they working on this?) by amplifying the Betizoid like "signal" created by Book and his brother. I think Saru should have had to ask the computer for a solution here and we should have gotten another computer glitch (sphere data) with a solution. (the fix was too easy) I'm not even really sure what the solution was. They convinced the sea locust to go out to sea, but what's keeping them from returning to land? I don't know.

"The Burn" progress was made. We now know where it originated. Our "tune" comes into play again and I guess we'll see where this leads next episode. I don't have any guesses on this one.

A filler episode I know, but not Discovery's finest moment. Not horrible, but not good either.

2 stars from me.
Ubik
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 12:29pm (UTC -6)
@Miles

I'll ignore the implied, unnecessary, and completely unjustified accusation that I am prejudiced aside from my reposting it...

"If the presence of a non-binary character (and actor) feels to you like being lectured or talked down to, I don't know what to say. The fault lies in your reaction, not the writing or the casting"

...and respond to the rest of your past. Yes, you are right that Uhura was not a metaphor for a black woman, but a black woman, and that Stamets and Culber are not metaphors for gay men but gay men, but there is one significant difference: no one talks about the fact that Uhura is a black woman on the bridge. No one goes out of their way to note Culber and Stamets' gay marriage ("Oh, that gay couple over there is so wonderful...") - they just exist in the world, and for that reason, I believe Stamets and Culber are among the very few great successes of this television series so far. Their relationship is a high point, very much more honestly and authentically written than most of the characterization on the show. If the purpose of their marriage is for the sake of representation rather than to explore a concept through a metaphorical science ficton lens, than that's fine. It works.

Deep Space Nine, for its part, had the blackest cast of almost any other television series from the 1990's, and aside from one single episode (Far Beyond the Stars, which is so brilliantly done, it doesn't hurt anything), that fact is never once commented on. Imagine if Kira, in Episode 3, had said, "You know, Commander Sisko, I just want to say how proud I am to be serving under a person of colour." That would have been awful. It would have been the writers communicating a message directly to the audience, rather than merely letting the story communicate its message, indirectly, which is how, at its best, storytelling works.

In this case, having Adira expressly ask to be referred to as "they" was okay, I guess. The crew could have just referred to her as "they" all the time, since she entered the show, and we could have assumed that little conversation happened off-screen, and I think that probably would have worked better, but whatever. It didn't quite pull me out, and it was alright. But then, at the end of the episode, Culber and Stamets spend an entire minute referring to her as "they" over and over and over again while she pretend to sleep for no reason other than for the writers to communicate directly to the audience the importance of calling people "they" when they ask for it. That pulled me out completely. Instead of being invested in the universe, I was suddenly aware of the writers and their intentions, thereby losing my suspension of disbelief, and that's never good for fiction.

My point is, there are effective ways to insert social messages into fiction, and there are ineffective ways. Subtlety, metaphor, indirection, these are in the toolkit of the science fiction writer. If the show really wants to explore what being non-binary means through the science fiction tool of metaphor, then Adira could have claimed she became a "they" went she joined. If the point, however, is representation itself, then I think it would have been more effective to simply have everyone refer to them as "them" without comment, just as Uhura existed as a black woman on the bridge without comment, and just as Stamets and Culber exist as a gay couple without comment.

Just my opinion.
Austin
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 12:44pm (UTC -6)
@Miles I respectfully disagree. I have no qualms with representation of gender and sexuality. But this is blatant misrepresentation. It’s estimated that throughout history, about up to 5% of our population has been LBGTQ (more conservative estimates put it at about 2%). The writers of Discovery would have you believe it’s about 1/3. BUT if you look at the crew members this season that we actually know their sexual preferences we have: Burnham (straight), Booker (straight), Tilly (straight, *I assume) Stamets (gay), Culber (gay), Adira (non-binary), Reno (lesbian), Georgiou (bi). Detmer, Owsekun, Dr. Pollard, Rhys and Bryce have all not been addressed, and Linus and Saru presumably have alien physiology.

In short, in season 3, a whopping 70% of crew members that have had their gender/sexuality addressed are not straight. This is not “representation” as you say. This is either
A. The writers having an agenda of some sort, or
B. The writers arbitrarily ticking off boxes in the name of being “inclusive” or “progressive” or “woke” or what have you.

This misrepresentation in the name of diversity I believe is what leaves a bad taste in peoples’ mouths. The problem I believe is in the writing, not in our reaction.
Q-less
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 12:57pm (UTC -6)
More a comment on the entire season: I am getting more and more frustrated with the lack of depth the show is showing. Discovery simply has too many main characters that it cannot possibly service sufficiently in 10 – 15 episodes per season. Did Saru actually have a story this season? Stamets, Culber, Reno? So many characters are sidelined while we get a rehash of Burnham feeling out of place. I didn’t need the introduction of Book. How about telling us more about the more seasoned characters? We get bits and pieces about everybody all the time, but never a dedicated story. I don’t have ADD; I can handle a story in one piece within 60 minutes.
More related about the they/them C-story: Those lines about “they” and “them” wasn’t even a story. That dialog sounded like coming straight from a deck of my HR department.
What was good? Detmer having fun flying. That was a great moment. Could have become a real story. But even those two minutes were fun to watch.
Cody B
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 1:17pm (UTC -6)
It’s getting to the point where I’m having a hard time believing the crew of Discovery could be competent at all. Michael and Gieorgio are the only two who are in any way capable of pulling off and winning any hand to hand combat. No one on the crew has a real backbone. I’m pretty confident the crew would stop trying to find the source of the burn and end it and instead have a group hug and discussion of everyone’s preferred pronouns if one of the crew started crying. To be blunt and maybe uncouth the whole crew is a little soft for what their jobs and I suppose now entire destinies call for. Picture the discovery being boarded by Klingons or Jem Hadar. I can’t even see any of the crew being able to pull the trigger let alone physically fight except Michael or georgiou
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
Maybe the Burn was caused by lack of proper pronoun use. About as plausible as the mushroom star drive.
Mertov
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
"This misrepresentation in the name of diversity I believe is what leaves a bad taste in peoples’ mouths. The problem I believe is in the writing, not in our reaction."

'Our' reaction as in today's viewers..
How does one even know what gender is what percentage in the 32nd century and thus claim the crew-gender distribution is a misrepresentation?
DSC gets criticized for not adapting to 32nd century in many aspects. And then it gets criticized because it misrepresents 32nd-century demographics that we assume are the same as today? Can't have it both ways.
Yair
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 1:47pm (UTC -6)
This is an OK episode which could have been far better. The main thread sets up an interesting and impossible situation for the planet-side people. Book's brother has to choose between his son and his brother. Osyraa - the episode's villain, which starts of very cliched but gets a bit better later - has to wonder what the Federation is doing there at all ***. Saru has to search for a way to balance his orders and demands he cannot morally tolerate.

This has the makings of a tragedy. Showing that or an a more optimistic outcome - which still had the acknowledge the possibility of a tragedy to avert it - could have worked. But this is wasted by a passable action resolution, a technobabble solution for the planet's problem and not properly focusing on the characters.

Instead, we get Detmer, not Michael, to save the day - which is fine! But there were ways to make that more important to the character, maybe we'll see some of that in future episodes - and a really annoying thread with Georgiou, a one-note character which should just die die die already. Making a good impression of an aggressive patient is just barely enough to not completely make that thread unwatchable. Aside, there's a really poor CGI for the sea locusts, the showrunners should have saved on money and not showed them at all.

This is a pattern for S3 DIS - it sets up interesting premises, but cannot properly and fully exploit them. It is focused only on a few crew characters. It is restricted to a too short length (perhaps save on bad CGI a bit?), and still has some of the action addiction of S1/S2, though not so anywhere as bad here as in Scavengers. Its serialization often brings it down rather than improve it.

We should have seen more in Unification III of the Vulcans, more of Earth in People of Earth and a more complicated resolution here.

*** 'Observe'. Right. Osyraa, a ruthless crime boss, really believes that the Federation is risking its rare dilithium supplies (Osyraa may not know about the Spore Drive) or an irreplaceable warship (if she does know) just to 'observe' her.

Perhaps the Federation is making a move on their transwarp worm supplies? (The episode seems to imply that these worms can move through warp, but require feeding first...). If the episode didn't just go for an action resolution, or if it were a 2-parter, this should have been an obvious consideration for her to make.

Speaking of plot and worldbuilding, why do so many people despise the Federation, and all the main home worlds have seceded? Hopefully we'll see some payoff for that, rather than it being ignored in favour of some a technobabble Burn/Music-related plot.
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 1:50pm (UTC -6)
"And then it gets criticized because it misrepresents 32nd-century demographics that we assume are the same as today? Can't have it both ways."

A really daring scifi show would actually integrate gender issues into the universe building, along the lines of Octavia Butler's Left Hand of Darkness. You'd see through the story how 32nd century humans really are fundamentally different in more ways than just having starships and replicators...

Bwahaha who am I kidding? Let me take a wild guess and say that's not what DSC writers were going for.
Booming
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
This was an ok episode. It had really nice scene. When they said locust I was expecting horrible creatures and chase scenes but instead they turned it into a beautiful moment when we are shown these animals. The solution to this problem is sadly overly simplistic but still making the locusts beautiful and then try to save them that is a nice twist on what we would expect when we hear locust. The starvation stakes are fairly nonsensical, though. Are there no food replicators anymore?

The trans scene was alright. I was expecting to cringe after reading the stuff here but I didn't. I guess gender fluid people are to the trans community what bisexuals are to homosexuals.

Even Burnham worked in this. If they would use the character like this all the time I think people would find her far more sympathetic.

I also understand that many here like Culber. He is the most trekkian character on the show. Rational, determined, kind, idealistic.

The bad guys or gals this time are just bland. It is almost ironic that we are introduced to the new baddy by killing the old baddy who was introduced by also killing someone. It feels lazy. It would be nice to have more multilayered antagonists.

The space battle scenes again looked more like from the star wars prequels.

But while better than the last two weeks certainly not enough to save the season for me. It feels like a big battle is coming between the orion people and Starfleet.
Maq
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 3:05pm (UTC -6)
@Cody B

" Michael and Gieorgio are the only two who are in any way capable of pulling off and winning any hand to hand combat. No one on the crew has a real backbone. "

Did you watch this an other episodes?

Second episode Saru and Giorgiou has quete a good joint fight in the Bar.
Tilly, although probably not the best physical ffighter has on several occasions showed that she can say no and cover it with fire if needed.
Detmer also showed some sort of backbone in this episode suppose.

I agree that the action scenes peformed by Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh are well conducted but for me only a bonus.

I like to watch star trek because it shows another ways to progress and solve problems than violence. I genuinly also beleive that a diverse group can solve problems better than a very homogen group.

And as you mention Jem'Hadar. In "the siege of ar 558" three "quite soft" persons Ezri Dax, Bashir and Nog took up the fight when Worf had to stay on the ship.
Leif
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Did anyone else LOVE THE SEA LOCUSTS as a neat ORIGINAL SCI FI SPECIES and wish the whole episode had been about exploring themand other unique species or properties of Book's homeworld? But they squandered it like they squandered them like they squandered the Crepusculans in the first episode..Anyone agree?
Cody B
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
@Maq

Sure violence should be avoided when possible. But the Federation has a military structure and there will be known conflicts. I have a hard time seeing most of the Diecovery crew fighting tooth and nail or even just shooting someone
Booming
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 3:28pm (UTC -6)
@Leif
Yes, dive into the culture of the planet, debates about the problem and then some solution that works or not, maybe some little twist like sending them back to the sea would mess up the oceans. That would have been great. Maybe just dealing with this would have been too boring for many.
Caoimhin
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 4:03pm (UTC -6)
I'm finished with this season of Discovery. Mainly because watching Michael saving the galaxy again, is akin to watching someone else roleplaying commander Shepard in Mass Effect. It's just a chore. Honestly I enjoy the reviews and discussions more but will not comment going forward.
Dave in MN
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
It's been a long 2 and a half seasons, but I've slowly worked my way though the 10-step grieving process. I've now accepted that this show's writers are nuts and the Trek universe is now a cheesily violent unscientific place populated by cringey stereotypes....

.... so I'm rather bummed that this episode was so BORING. If the showrunners aren't interested in philosophy or ethics anymore, I guess I can (grudgingly) accept that, but in the least, don't bore me!

I'm not going to bother nitpicking what amounts to filler. (Well, one nitpick: the Orion lady is such a cardboard villain that she creates no tension or interest. I don't find evil-for-the-sake-of-evil characters to be compelling.)

I can only go with one ⭐
Miles
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 5:36pm (UTC -6)
@Austin

When I talk about representation in media I'm not arguing for a cast aligned with precision to real-world demographics. I'm talking about explicitly including people who are usually excluded, historically excluded, and otherwise marginalized.

Intentionally representing human diversity on-screen (or in the workplace for that matter) is absolutely an agenda. I'd argue it's a critically important one, a powerful one for those who get to see elements of themselves onscreen.

It's the exact same kind of thing as Whoopi Goldberg's story about seeing Uhura on TOS, telling her family about it,

"I just saw a black woman on television; and she ain't no maid!"

It's THAT representation that's so important. Giving those moments to all kinds of marginalized groups who still don't get enough of them.
Luis Dantas
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
This may well turn out to be the weakest episode of this season. It was enjoyable, but it made some very poor creative decisions.

One is making an X-Wing pilot out of Detmer - and just because, no less. This was very noticeable and a serious danger to suspension of disbelief.

Till and Saru taking such a direct rogue approach was unexpected and very disappointing. This better have consequences back in Starfleet. I am starting to wonder if Discovery even has a place in Starfleet in the 32nd century.

On the plus side, Stamets and Adira and the doctor keep being handled well.

I also liked the ongoing advancement on the Burn / music plot.

However, the main plot was perfunctory. It could really use some characterization and breathing space. And Empress Georgiou is unbelievably flippant by now, to the point that I have to doubt her emotional balance. This is one character that can't go away fast enough.
Cody B
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 6:06pm (UTC -6)
@Miles

Those issues have to be handled delicately. The best way to represent those marginalized people and to also make people who haven’t been exposed to them understand them, is to write realistic and just plain GOOD stories. Discovery has yet to do this and I would call their attempts pandering before I would call them wholly well intentioned attempts of humanization. There aren’t going to be any future Whoopi Goldberg’s for Discovery.
Mertov
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -6)
@Miles
I just wanted to say that I agree with you on the overarching point you're making. It should indeed be an agenda, a critical one as you say, for the reasons you point out. Whether Discovery succeeds in that exercise or not (Cody for example believes not) is subject to everyone's own opinion, but I certainly appreciated reading your point of view.
Miles
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 6:22pm (UTC -6)
@Cody

Tell it to the non-binary folks in my circles (both online and off) I've seen already expressing how they're thrilled to see themselves represented in Trek and are happy with how it's been handled so far.

None of that's to say YOU have to believe it's being handled right. But your opinion there isn't the only one out there.
Nick
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 8:02pm (UTC -6)
So as soon as they started talking about the pronouns in the show, I knew it would generate at least 50 comments on this thread.

I agree with Cody here in that I would like to see a sub-plot that tells the story of a non-binary person. An immersive storyline that's executed in a thoughtful way can help audiences to connect and relate to something they may not be familiar with.

The pronoun thing was probably dropped into the script because it's a trending topic right now, but it feels like a "check the box" mentality on diversity and inclusion. That's not to say that I had a problem with it in this episode, I just hope they follow it up with something that has a little more substance to it.
Quincy
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 8:25pm (UTC -6)
Exactly. Just contrast this episode with that conversation she had with Kovich. It's night and day.

I thought so too. However, after that incident in the scanner where she's almost coming apart, it seems like something more fundamental is going on. Why would she be coming apart at an atomic level like that?

We've been given two clues: the existence of a Terran misbehavior gene and the growing distance to the Mirror universe. One of these I feel is a red herring, but I'm not sure which one. If Kovich did something to her, did he dope her body with programmable matter, nanites, or something else at an atomic scale?

Another thing occurred to me. Imagine if something wiped out the timeline of the Mirror universe that she's from (that could be what's responsible for the increasing divergence between the two universes). Does she remain unscathed by virtue of having escaped to a different universe, or, is she still dependent on its existence? Meaning, if the timeline that spawned her no longer exists, she soon won't either?
Maddy
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 11:50pm (UTC -6)
To all the people (who presumably aren't trans themselves) who are arguing about what was literally a thirty-second scene in which one character said "Hey, I'd prefer if you called me this instead of that" and the other chacter said "Okay!" and that was the end of it...

Please just let us have this. It means a lot to us, and it costs you nothing.

Signed,
A Non-binary Trekkie
Dr.Franklin A. Booze
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 12:26am (UTC -6)
This episode sucked.

1. I also hate the phrase “The Burn”.

2. I hate that Burnham goes on every single away mission. In fact, this character is overexposed. I’m not saying she needs to be written off the show, but definitely less of her would be better. They could spend the time developing the bridge crew, which would be preferred.

3. Georgiou on the other hand needs to be written off the show. Her character sucks. Discovery needs to realize they screwed up with her and move on. They never should have killed the prime universe Georgiou if they wanted the character so badly on the show.

4. Reno wasn’t in this episode again, which is a good thing. Her character also sucks. All she does is deliver sassy one liners.

5. Why isn’t the blond lady first officer? She is always sitting in the captain’s chair when Saru is not on the bridge.
It's me
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 12:42am (UTC -6)
@Maddy - good to hear your voice here, as I was going to say that it would be interesting to hear from a non-binary person and see what they thought of it. My thought was that, while important, the scene as delivered landed with a thud; it was non-organic and artificial, and that is the writers fault. And the use of "they" that has some people bummed out, well, that stems from the poverty of the English language when it comes to pronouns - outside of he, she and it, you're pretty much limited to they or them or us. English lost the neuter centuries ago, but German still retains it. Would love to hear what the non-binary term is in German.
dave
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 1:41am (UTC -6)
Making our non binary character a Trill is actually quite clever. It allows viewers who are uncomfortable or unable to use "they" in an automatic way on a singular person to apply it to a multi lifetime Trill. Makes it easier and more relatable to get used to saying "they". I think it helps in that sense, because I have dated non binary people twice in my past and I messed up using ' she" without thinking, at times , because that is how i viewed the person through my eyes and their physical appearance. Conditioned responses are not easy to switch off, it takes time. It is a re programming of decades of societal oppression and centuries of trying to define the human experience in a binary way. Human identity and sexuality has never been binary, but we have sure had religion, culture, etc put all its might behind trying to make it binary and marginalizing everyone who isn't.

I think this can help with the respectful terms. Its hard to undo an entire life of thinking "they" is only plural. So, a Trill, can help with that. I think!

It doesn't hurt the actor is compelling and impressively good. I hope they give Blu more material and more screen time into Season 4. Tremendous talent there.
dave
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 1:45am (UTC -6)
Georgiu----

how big are they going to make her mustache so she can twirl it? FFS I was saying " can't you just have an off switch in the BS for 10 minutes so the doctor can do his thing".

This is all coming to - time travel, red angel suit, mirror universe, starship in the nebula sending out a signal (a version of discovery? Defiant from mirror? etc_)

And everyone's favorite solver of all things will find a way to deal with it. Thanks in advance Miss Burnham :)
Cody B
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 1:58am (UTC -6)
@ Nick
@ It’s me

Yes exactly. A couple people have said they were glad to see the “them/they” discussion in the show. I respect that. I know I have seen some things in shows or movies that really hit home and touched on subjects I’ve dealt with in life and I can tell when it’s done with real heart and speaks to me deeply or when it’s....rushed and a little empty. It’s too early with Adira but thus far Discovery hasn’t really gone hard hitting or deep with the storytelling.
Tim C
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 2:38am (UTC -6)
Another fairly generic action-adventure episode (that makes four for the season by my count, not a great number) that's elevated by some decent character stuff. I don't really have much more to say about this one, except that I still hate Tilly as first officer, but found every scene with Saru working on his new catchphrase to be downright hilarious. I loved it. Had a real Lower Decks vibe and I was on board with it.
Booming
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 2:39am (UTC -6)
@it's me
Germany has no magical trans word. This whole prounoun debate hasn't really reached us when it comes to non binaries. I find them and they a little clunky. Maybe inventing an entirely new word would have been better but on the other hand everything new feels strange at first.

@Dave in MN
My comparison between bisexuals and non binaries was just a thought. I noticed and I don't know if that is still a thing that some homosexuals had problems with bisexuals in a "make up your mind" sense. I also noticed that homosexuals have their own form of intolerance, different from the heterosexual intolerance, towards transpeople that is quite significant. If I would have to summarize that in a sentence I would call it "ok... if you have to...". When I hear homosexuals talk about this they often have this aura of being slightly annoyed. There is sadly no substantive research, so this is a purely personal observation. What you wrote sounded a little like it. My personal hypothesis about this is that homosexuals have almost reached acceptance and now they have to fight for the transpeople who are still hated by significant parts *I just read up on it on wikipedia and there seems to be a divide between homosexuals and bisexuals/transpeople in the LGBT community*.

And about your problem with gender as a construct. I think there is some misunderstanding for many people here. Gender is a construct because science defined it as such. It just means that gender is about the cultural and sociological aspects and sex is about the biological parts. I can understand your uneasiness with this because we don't really know where attraction is situated. Considering that there are many parts in USA where "conversion therapy" is still practiced (it is illegal in Germany) I would probably feel concerned, too. Homosexuality (and transgenderism) occur quite often in nature so they are definitely natural. So yeah just a science thing to separate biological and sociological aspects when you write about it.

I hope I didn't insult you and if I did then I want to apologize. I have a tendency to talk very openly about things which people in direct conversations seem to really enjoy but on the internet often sparks conflict and hurt feelings. :(

The USA are also the most transphobic country in the western world. Around a third believe that transpeople have a mental illness and only 51% believe that they should be better protected (Ipsos global study from 2018). The most tolerant country is Spain where only 9% consider it to be a mental illness (Western Europe and central Europe are more accepting in general). So we shouldn't be surprised to see this is sparking debate.
Booming
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 2:55am (UTC -6)
I want to add a few things. People who write about this show not representing demographics. This is debatable. While on this show minorities in respect to current demographics are overrepresented, when you look at all shows then they are probably underrepresented. More importantly seeing yourself on screen if you are part of a discriminated minority can have significant influence on suicide rates and more. That is a good thing.
Cody B
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:05am (UTC -6)
@Booming

“Germany has no ‘magical trans word’ “

“homosexuals had problems with bisexuals in a "make up your mind" sense...If I would have to summarize that in a sentence I would call it "ok... if you have to...". “

“The USA are also the most transphobic country in the western world...So we shouldn't be surprised to see this is sparking debate.”

I’m sure that all will make a non-binary person from the USA feel nice and welcomed. As for your conversion therapy spiel which you’ve said a couple times before, your source clearly states that “conversion therapy” related to any therapy whatsoever dating all the way back to I believe the 1950s. This means conventional talk therapy and family counseling. Your source even made note of it. So if parents of a gay child took them to family therapy in 1956 out of sheer fear of what the world would be like for them in the 1950s but did so lovingly, you’re counting this as “conversion therapy”. I can tell you I went to public school in a major US city with every race and religion there is and I never not one time even heard s rumor about someone going to “conversion therapy”. Does anyone here that lives in the US know anyone who went to conversion therapy? I would be very curious to see a more reliable and accurate study, one that isn’t using near 70 year old and blatantly disputable data, that has the numbers of people who went to one of the “real” conversion therapies. I’m confident it would be relatively low. Certainly so when compared to the study you talk about.
brian
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:31am (UTC -6)
well, if discovery is a roller coaster, seasons one and two went off the rails quite spectacularly killing many people. Season 3, the car just stopped in a flat section. Call the maintenance guy, because were boldly going nowhere. Does anyone smell a rip roaring, rushed few episodes to finish out this remarkably inoffensive and boring season?
SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 5:34am (UTC -6)
That wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was probably one of the top five or six episodes of the series. 2.5 stars.

I told you guys Adira was a “they”! But boy oh boy, did they ever have to awkwardly tie themselves in knots to arrange opportunities to refer to them in the third person in their presence. It was so blatant, the seams really showed on the writing.
Booming
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 5:50am (UTC -6)
@Cody
"I’m sure that all will make a non-binary person from the USA feel nice and welcomed."
That might surprise you but suppressed minorities often know that a lot of people are intolerant.

I don't know what source or study you mean but if you would have taken a gay child to a therapist in 1950 he would almost always told the parents that it the child is mentally ill and what they could try to change that.

I don't know if you mean the UCLA study that one is from 2018 and the respondents were between 18-59. They also write in the study:"An estimated 57,000 youth (ages 13-17) across all states will receive conversion therapy from religious or spiritual advisors before they reach the age of 18.48 This includes approximately 38,000 youth (ages 13-17) who will receive conversion therapy from religious or spiritual advisors, but not a licensed health care professional before they reach the age of 18."

"and blatantly disputable data,"
Why is the data blatantly disputable?
Red D
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:05am (UTC -6)
I really hope this illness of Georgiou's really is terminal and she dies soon, preferably next week. Mirror Universe characters have always been fun and interesting yet Georgiou is just absurd. I don't think I've loathed a character as much as this in any Trek series before. She is an absolute joke, I cannot believe people are being paid a lot of money to write such a ridiculous character. It truly is stupefying.
Jason R.
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:09am (UTC -6)
"I think this can help with the respectful terms. Its hard to undo an entire life of thinking "they" is only plural. "

Yes a lifetime of using basic English grammar can be a tough habit to break.
Dreubarik
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:15am (UTC -6)
@Maddy I totally respect that this inclusion was very important for you, and perhaps we must all remember that any form of attempt to depict a minorized collective in fiction has a positive impact relative to the counterfactual in which they are not depicted at all. Back in the day, for example, the inclusion of Apu on The Simpsons was broadly welcome by the Indan-American community, even if it has since then become a much more controversial portrayal due to its stereotypical nature.

But I also think that we must analyze the effectiveness of Star Trek's use of inclusion as its own thing. If TOS had featured a very stereotypical Indan-American like Apu and all the characters openly remarked upon the fact that person was Indian-American, it may have still been better than nothing, but in my opinion it would have lost part of what makes Trek's inclusion powerful: the notion than in the future nobody is minorized anymore.

This is what happened in this episode. It's not, as some people have pointed out here, a throwaway comment (which, to be truly throwaway should have happened right of the bat when Adira was introduced and, ideally, before they were properly joined as a Trill). The episode depicts it with the same moment of awkwardness that would likely happen today when a non-binary person comes out to their tolerant colleagues. And then spends another scene remarking the "they" thing many times over.

To sum up: I do appreciate that doing it this way may be better than not doing it. But in my view it is worse than doing it the real Star Trek way: assume that non-binary people are just a common thing in the future and that people always ask for preferred pronouns right off the bat. Judging by how social themes are usually handled by the writers of STD, this strikes me as yet another iteration of them preferring to hit viewers over the head to flaunt their own progressiveness rather than using the full power of science fiction to enhance the message.
Cody B
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:22am (UTC -6)
@Booming

The data is blatantly disputable because it goes back to the 1950s (which you are making the link as if current times are the same) as well as very clearly stating that it considers any form of a religious leader hinting in any way that the person should attempt to be straight is worded in the study as “conversion therapy”. They also frequently talk about “rounding up to the nearest thousandth”. If you would like to from now on when you bring this up word it as “x number of people were in some way talked to by a religious figure and/or had talk therapy or family counseling dating back to the 1950s” I wouldn’t dispute it. If you could find some numbers on the amount of people who are forcibly sent to conversions camps yearly in our current times I would be open to taking a look at that. I believe that same study also says only 8% of people who identify as religious agree with conversion therapy.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:54am (UTC -6)
“Back in the day, for example, the inclusion of Apu on The Simpsons was broadly welcome by the Indan-American community”

But Apu is very plainly a negative stereotype, which was part of the joke behind the character. He has a low-level job and has a tenuous grasp on American culture. In what way is Adira a negative stereotype of nonbinary people? They are handy at engineering and have an impeccable music talent. As far as I can tell, that is not stereotypical of nonbinary people.
Booming
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:59am (UTC -6)
@Cody
If you do not have a background in statistic then you will not understand the complex math and I have no time to look into it for you.

I also gave you a quote:" An estimated 57,000 youth (ages 13-17) across all states will receive conversion therapy from religious or spiritual advisors before they reach the age of 18.(48; edited by me, this is a citation number) This includes approximately 38,000 youth (ages 13-17) who will receive conversion therapy from religious or spiritual advisors, but not a licensed health care professional before they reach the age of 18."
This quote means that this is going to happen.

"If you could find some numbers on the amount of people who are forcibly sent to conversions camps yearly in our current times I would be open to taking a look at that."
You have to research that yourself.

" I believe that same study also says only 8% of people who identify as religious agree with conversion therapy."
246 million Americans are religious. 8% as you quoted are pro conversion therapy. 8% of 246 million is around 19.7 million people. Let say that means 10 million children, 5-10% are homosexual trans or bi, ergo between 500000 and a 1000000 could be sent to conversion therapy if they are open to their parents. And that isn't even counting people experimenting with homosexuality during puberty which is if I remember correctly around a third of all people.
John
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 7:59am (UTC -6)
It's hard to fathom just how little imagination goes into making this show. 900 years into the future and it's still one of greed, cynicism, violence, mistrust, from all the races we meet. Book's planet looks like a European forest, modern 21st century house included, with a few floating CGI jellyfish. Aliens acting like mob bosses. Space battles and ship designs looking like Star Wars to the degree I'm surprised George Lucas hasn't sued. Musical wallpaper that never lets up for even a second. It's all rather boring.
Henson
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 8:26am (UTC -6)
@Mike C

This is a rather off-topic, but Apu did not have a low-level job, he owned his own business. I don't believe he had a tenuous grasp of American culture either: in one episode, an immigration officer quizzes him "what caused the Civil War", and he goes on to name a litany of socio-cultural phenomena, only for the immigration officer to interrupt with "just say 'Slavery'." Apu is clearly a stereotype, just like everyone on that show, but it's highly suspect whether that stereotype is supposed to be negative.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 8:53am (UTC -6)
@Henson

"he owned his own business"
"Apu is clearly a stereotype, just like everyone on that show, but it's highly suspect whether that stereotype is supposed to be negative."

He doesn't own it, he's a franchisee at best. Also, franchising a convenience store isn't considered a great career in the United States, which is often why immigrants get stuck with it. Regardless, I agree that Apu's case is more debatable, but my point was that Adira is *prominently depicted positively* as a nonbinary character.
Dreubarik
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 9:26am (UTC -6)
Apu is clearly meant to be a positive character from the onset and to make the viewer sympathize with Indian-Americans. But the point is that this inclusion is done by underscoring his Indian-ness. Then, later in the show, his struggle as an immigrant is focused upon to raise sympathy for

Star Trek's method of inclusion has always been different. The struggles of present day are always depicted as metaphors that affect alien species, not dealt with explicitly, because it wants to present a future in which we as the human race have overcome such issues. This is a tremendously powerful message that can only be delivered within science fiction. The moment that Adira has to explain herself to other 23rd century humans you are debasing this power.
Yanks
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 9:34am (UTC -6)
@Dr.Franklin A. Booze

"5. Why isn’t the blond lady first officer? She is always sitting in the captain’s chair when Saru is not on the bridge."

I've said this from the start. They've seemingly gone out of their way to give her more screen time. The Tilly promotion still baffles me.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 9:49am (UTC -6)
“Star Trek's method of inclusion has always been different. The struggles of present day are always depicted as metaphors that affect alien species, not dealt with explicitly”

Sure, like Sisko, the metaphorically black Starfleet captain or Katherine Pulaski, the metaphorical female Chief Medical Officer of the 1980s.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -6)
@Mike C It is very odd to imply that TNG and DS9 depicted those characters as having to overcome any struggle for being black or female while living in the 24th century. Obviously they are , but the show assumes that by then humanity will have progressed to the point that no prejudice will be applied to them. Just as I wish they had done with Adira.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -6)
@Whoever

I’m really flattered you like my username, but maybe you could use a little more creative and less confusing one?

As to your second point, I don’t think for example Sisko is supposed to be fully past the historical difficulties of black people. There’s a whole episode where he’s upset about black stereotypes from 1960s Las Vegas — a subject that was extremely relevant to black people of 1990s. None of this was hidden, or metaphorical. Perhaps DS9’s writers thought that even in a post-racism future we wouldn’t totally forget about difficulties of the past? It’s never been cut-and-dry how inclusion should be handled but the general idea in Star Trek is that because it’s the future it will push the envelope in inclusion beyond other shows currently airing. Star Trek does this literally, symbolically *and* metaphorically.

To that end, nonbinaries are not commonly depicted in 2020s television, and perhaps just having them be normal people like Pulaski was a normal career woman is inspirational to those people.
Daya
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 11:45am (UTC -6)
Isn't it the universal translator's mistake if pronouns get transmitted wrong? How do we know that Stamets/Culber's natural languages, and Adira's natural language, which are languages from eras 900 years apart, are even similar enough that a meaningful discussion about a specific part of speech can be engaged in? I would assume that the further apart the languages are, the more the universal translator translates by context, and the UT would translate the hundreds of pronouns in hundreds of languages into Adira's preferred pronoun in Adira's language (which we heard as "they").

Also, from Metamorphosis (TOS) we learn that the UT is capable of not only detecting gender identity from neural signals, but making translation decisions based on that gender identity. Of course, Discovery's UT is not the exact same version as Spock's. It is either 900 years more advanced, or 10 years more primitive.
Dreubarik
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 1:02pm (UTC -6)
@Mike C But it is always framed as looking at the struggles of the distant past! In this case, the awkward situation was in the present. That is precisely the point.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
@Dreubarik

Actually, Sisko’s dilemma was a present one because in the present an officer of his was acting out a white-washed time period he didn’t feel comfortable with. He didn’t have to deal with the problem until he was invited to Bashir’s program, and that brought the present dilemma (that stemmed from past historical events) to a head.

The case with Adira is similar. Despite misunderstandings about identity of nonbinaries probably being resolved in an idealistic future, they understand that people slip up from time to time. Adira obviously wasn’t mad at Stamets, no more than Sisko was at Bashir, but being called a “her” brings back memories of intolerance and Adira felt they needed to speak up. It’s a very simple scene which may have been too clumsy to address with pure metaphor.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

Why does it seem like straight people are so quick to judge people that aren't?

No offense, but you were born like the vast majority of the population and you have NO IDEA what it is like to wrestle with something profoundly personal that's disapproved of by others. You have it easy.

Try being picked on in school for a decade and getting disowned by your family before you cast aspersions on me.

No where did I say that I don't have empathy or solidarity with trans people: I just don't accept the notion that gender is a construct.

There is a reason why some people feel they should be the opposite gender and it's not because their feelings are the result of a sociological concept. Gender is literally at the core of their struggle.

I do feel like there is an innate quality to be being born with male biology and being attracted to males. That experience should not be dismissed as some kind of ignorant observer bias. Being gay is real and tangible.

I'm not attracted to guys because I'm hung up on gender ... it's literally what I'm wired to like. And why is that? Because gender is real, demonstrable and definable ... and the gender I like is male.

What I'm not cool with is someone erasing a defining characteristic of my personality to convince others to be more accepting. Gender is real and orientation is reall. Don't tell me being male is some artifical notion.

I also don't feel anyone should be FORCED to use the language someone else desires.

Iif I told you that I find pronouns to be dehumanizing and offensive to me and not to use ANY in my presence, would you comply? If you didn't, would you be disrespectful of my wishes?

Why should I have the right to tell you how to speak?

I'm all for trying to be nice and not trying to offend someone, but don't dictate to me which pronouns I use in a third-person discussion.

And If I'm taking directly to a trans person? The only pronoun I'll be using is "you". Kind of a moot point to complain about pronouns I'll never use in their presence.

Also, what happened to "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"

Does "words" include pronouns?

If I got this offended over every little comment someone made about my life, I would never be where I am today.

People need to stop being so fucking sensitive.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

Some of that was me making a generalized point, I didn't mean to direct all my ire at you. No offense intended.
Booming
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
I have nothing but sympathy for your struggles and knowing in what ways society discriminates often makes me deeply sad. But on the other hand attitudes towards homosexuality, and coming from a lower level towards transpeople, have changed for the better quite a bit. That's good. :)

"No offense, but you were born like the vast majority of the population and you have NO IDEA what it is like to wrestle with something profoundly personal that's disapproved of by others. You have it easy."
You don't know that. ;)

" Gender is real and orientation is reall. Don't tell me being male is some artifical notion."
To some degree it is culturally constructed. Clothing or hair styles are examples. Also and maybe that didn't come across clearly (second language and all) but science defined it in a certain way to use it in studies but then journalists and later general society get their hands on it and that is normally the part where scientists start grinding their teeth.

Journalism and science have a difficult relationship. A scientist writes a 10 to 500 page definition for a concept and a journalist understands 20% and picks 5 half sentences to make some point. Also gender being a construct doesn't mean that it isn't real and some aspects of our societies and culture directly sprang from our human nature. But we still don't fully understand how attraction develops, I think. Not my field. Problem is that for a long time scientists stayed away from attraction and sex. Maybe they have made some discoveries during the last 10 years.

"Iif I told you that I find pronouns to be dehumanizing and offensive to me and not to use ANY in my presence, would you comply? If you didn't, would you be disrespectful of my wishes?"
That is a little different, isn't it? While I find it ok if a person decides how that person wants to be addressed, that is quit different from demanding that nobody should use it when they refer to each other.

"People need to stop being so fucking sensitive."
Well, transpeople still have very suicide rates, as did homosexuals not so long ago.
MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
"To all the people (who presumably aren't trans themselves) who are arguing about what was literally a thirty-second scene in which one character said "Hey, I'd prefer if you called me this instead of that" and the other chacter said "Okay!" and that was the end of it...

Please just let us have this. It means a lot to us, and it costs you nothing.

Signed,
A Non-binary Trekkie "

@Maddy

Well said. And yes please, shut it about these new inclusivity measures. You do know what Gene Roddenberry was on about yes? You watch Star Trek yes?

The fandom has always had these people, who are resistant to any new direction the franchise wishes to go in. It is partially due to Gene Roddenberry spending the better part of the 1970's stirring up the fanbase tremendously about his "vision for the future."

I think Zefram Cochrane said it best: "You wanna know what my vision is? DOLLAR SIGNS. MONEY. I didn't build this thing to usher in a new era for humanity!! I don't even like to *fly*! I take *Trains*! ... I want to retire to a tropical island full of ... naked women."

Riker then shoots back: "Somebody once said, 'Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgements.'"

It then segues into a gag about how it's Cochrane who ends up saying it years after that conversation takes place, but I've always found it a relevant quote about Star Trek in general.

It's true that Roddenberry's constant preaching about his vision of a future in which the human race has put aside its petty squabbling and scrambling for every last dollar they see, and have opened up their horizons into space as a result, was just his way of trying to ply his trade; everybody's gotta make a living.

However, these beliefs are hardly a large bar for entry into watching/enjoying Star Trek, being that they by their nature are about inclusivity. That said, not everyone who watches Star Trek agrees about the nature of that vision or what it means to the show, but in a way, that is perfectly logical and to be expected. "Inclusivity" means *everybody*. And when everybody gets together, they tend to disagree.

However, I feel like these kinds of hopeful views toward the future serve as more than just a call to "build an interplanetary starship and that'll fix everything," and I think it would be naive to presume such, as naive as presuming that it will fix nothing. I feel that this idea of inclusivity and not just galomphing every dollar you see, and things of that nature, are a positive and productive thing to try to talk about doing... It would at the very least be a big time saver (just think... a whole day where you don't have to be outraged about 20 things the Political News said... that sounds relaxing to me).

And of course, it is the right thing to do, though there isn't much I can type about that without getting into a deeper topic than I think a discussion forum warrants.

The point is that Roddenberry, among just about any other pseudo-philosophical wack job that came out of the 60's, managed to actually inspire a lot of people to do great things, and that is a valuable thing to have.

I fully embrace whatever 'left-leaning' 'socially liberal' whateverman viewpoints this show will throw at me; it's really nothing new. I've been at this Star Trek thing a long time.

What bugs me is that they aren't really going full refinement on the writing and direction. This lightweight approach only goes so far with me. I think hiring a genuine old-school hard sci-fi writer for an upcoming season or two might be a wise consideration to make for this show; its soft sci-fi is showing, badly, both in the technological department and in its storytelling department.

Every season so far has basically amounted to one long locked-room mystery, with Discovery serving as the "Room" for better or worse.

Picard was a planet-hopping action packed mystery. Every new show has to have a running mystery through the bang bang shoot-em-up laden plot...

Old Star Trek didn't always do this; it had battles sometimes, sure but not *all the time.* Reveals, sure, but they weren't always central to the plot. Star Trek is always at its best when difficult moral dilemmas on a large scale are in play, and can prompt (hopefully well-written) discussions on these matters, which are applicable and meaningful outside of their given context (in the plot of whatever episode they are appearing in). That (difficult moral dilemmas on a large scale) is kind of the hallmark of a good Trek Episode if I may say so.

But as far as the show stopping for a second to do small vignettes about the characters, yes please. This is how a show builds its world.

I would say, that they should maybe try for less intensely personal vignettes... You can only milk so much drama out of the drama goat guys. What about "Data's Day?" The most dire consequence of that episode that a Romulan Spy escapes...mostly it's just about Data learning about weddings.

I was thinking something along the lines of saying *why* Jett Reno is so acerbic to everyone she meets. Perhaps learning why Owesekun is so shy around people. Something. Do an episode about these other character in their own mini-ensemble, why not?

You can breathe sometime... Modern (CBS) Trek is stressing the Structural Integrity Fields of Star Trek as a whole by pacing itself like a bolt of lighting seeking the ground. This is supposed to be a thinking person's entertainment, guys.
Trent
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 2:49pm (UTC -6)
This is the eighth episode of the season. I'd say the Kurtzman co-written premiere was weak, but that the season then launched into four very good episodes - "Far From Home", "People of Earth", "Forget me Not" and "Die Trying" - which put some decent effort into fleshing out the Discovery crew, and reversing many of the bad aesthetic choices seen in the first two seasons.

The show's also done decent work sketching a post-ecological-collapse view of the galaxy. Here some kind of event has triggered the sudden eradication of the galaxy's main "fuel source", leading to the disintegration of subspace, the isolation of planets, various climate catastrophes, the shifting of ecosystems, the collapse of superpowers, and the rise of refugees and warlords. This all seems like a grand metaphor for our contemporary climate crisis, and where it's likely to lead. Whether the Burn was caused by Federation callousness (the abuse of warp drive?), or the act of a benevolent super-being (Q? The Organians?), we still don't know.

So on the level of political and philosophical allegory, this season is leaps and bounds better than season 1 and 2. Its Mystery Box has a sense of purpose and a desire to say and be something, even if this drive is still being sabotaged by the show's need to also be ALEX KURTZMAN ACTION SCHLOCK.

This episode - which comes after the overly emotional"Unification 3", and the decent-but-generic "Scavengers" - is a return to some kind of form. The action scenes are still unnecessary, the characters still too cutesy, the emotions still overplayed, subtlety still non-existent, BUT there's some kind of Trek soul here. Mostly that's thanks to characters like Saru, Adira and Culber, who Michael mercifully takes a backseat to in this episode.

And so "Sanctuary" has four arcs. In the best arc, Stamets and Adira quietly bond, with Adira functioning as Stamets' surrogate kid (Culber points out that Stamets and he are too busy to have kids of their own in the conventional sense). Adira is likeable, and has always brought out the best in Stamets, so these scenes have a beautifully relaxed quality.

Also good is the revelation that Adira prefers the pronouns them/they, a facet which the symbiotic nature of Trills primes the audience to accept. Still, a better writer would have gone for a more original set of pronouns and invented a whole new form of gendered language; they/them etc feels far too contemporary.

The episode's briefest arc sees Mirror Phillipa treated by Dr Culber for her recent psychoses. It's an okay, inoffensive arc, at its best when highlighting Culber's skills and competency as a professional Federation officer (take notes Michael!).

A more interesting writer, however, would have treated this material differently. According to "Discovery", Mirror Universe inhabitants are biologically predisposed toward being evil, so why not milk such material properly? Phillipa's an alien from another universe. A universe which exists to corrupt life, and to ensure that this life is statistically predisposed to think, do and believe at all times the most evil, vile, violent, horrible crap possible. Phillipa should be treated with absolute fear and horror. She's the antithesis of everything Roddenberry. She should be followed by guards at all times. Culber should be terrified. She should be slitting throats left, right and center.

Then we have a little Detmer arc. She basically "gains confidence as a pilot" while flying the Millennium Falcon across a Star Destroyer's hull, shooting stuff and dodging lasers like Han Solo with a ponytail. It looks glossy, and does well to give heroics to someone other than Michael the Messiah, but it also contains an unbelievably long and self-reflexive speech in the middle of a battle, and is mostly generic space action. The limited budgets of TOS and TNG forced writer/directors to cook up much more interesting, and idiosyncratic, battles.

Then we have the main arc, which sees Book and Michael beam down to a Green Peace planet filled with Space Hippies who "love nature" and dress like Darth Maul and carry guns and who forged an alliance with a Evil Villain Green Lady in order to stop Space Locusts from destroying their Animal Sanctuary. The arc also involves a family reunion, in which Book is betrayed and then saved by his Space Latino brother after fisticuffs in the forest and...JESUS CHRIST MAN.

It's amazing how totally nuts all of this stuff is - the angry brother subplot should be dropped, the action scenes purged, the Evil Villain made into less of a caricature, and Saru's stand-off treated more like an intellectual battle of wits - and yet it plays reasonably well. It flows well. Michael spares us another meltdown. The crew get stuff to do. It's nice to see Saru do captainy stuff. The idea of a Sanctuary planet is nice.

Objectively, it's hard not to argue that this is cheesy stuff delivered in a very obvious and conventional way, but there's a certain vibe to this season that makes it work for me. I like the ecological themes, and I like the vibe Saru imparts over his little Attention Deficit Disorder crew (nobody has time for space travel on Discovery, it's all insta-spore jumps and personal transporters!), the guy like some kind of Totally Fed Up With Yall alien Space Grandfather presiding over a tribe of OTT crack addicts.
SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
Am I still the only one who thinks Owesekun and Detmer are in some kind of relationship?

@The Queen: "I thought this was a satisfying episode with only minor flaws (Saru's search for a command phrase seemed silly to me)."

For me that was one of the redeeming features of the episode!

@Ryan Talbot: "Adira is now a 'they' which is most the ridiculous way to describe a singular person."

Really? I am middle-aged and I have been hearing people do this for decades, long before anyone talked about "non-binary". Like:

PERSON 1: I was so annoyed by what my teacher said to me this morning.

PERSON 2: Oh yeah? What did they say?

It was always technically supposed to be "What did he or she say" but hardly anyone ever actually said that.

@Yanks: "Some here seem to think that his actions by agreeing to Tilly's master plan was to protect the Federation from Osyraa's wrath. That wasn't it at all, it was to be able to justify Discovery's action to ADM Vance upon their return."

Fair point, but it hardly seems fair to Detmer to screw up her service record like that.

@MidshipmanNorris: "I think hiring a genuine old-school hard sci-fi writer for an upcoming season or two might be a wise consideration to make for this show; its soft sci-fi is showing, badly, both in the technological department and in its storytelling department."

Cosigned!

@Trent: "Phillipa should be treated with absolute fear and horror. She's the antithesis of everything Roddenberry. She should be followed by guards at all times. Culber should be terrified."

Right? It's so weird that they just constantly handwave this away.

"The arc also involves a family reunion, in which Book is betrayed and then saved by his Space Latino brother after fisticuffs in the forest and...JESUS CHRIST MAN."

LOL! Yes, why does he have an accent while Book does not?
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 3:47pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

If someone is going up kill themselves because they were referred to by the "wrong" pronoun in a third-person discussion they weren't present for, they were going to kill themselves anyways.

Also, assuming that trans people are predisposed to suicidal ideation is kind of offensive , if you think about it. The majority of trans people are not suicidal.

I don't like when people apply gay stereotypes to me ... and this kind of seems like a stereotype.

"Oh, odds are they're mentally ill and have a fragile ego. Never say anthing that might upset them, especially the wrong pronoun" isn't much of a defense for compulsory language policing.
Quincy
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
@MidshipmanNorris
"You can breathe sometime... Modern (CBS) Trek is stressing the Structural Integrity Fields of Star Trek as a whole by pacing itself like a bolt of lighting seeking the ground. This is supposed to be a thinking person's entertainment, guys."



You do understand that DSC has half the episodes in a season that TNG did? You think that at least partially might have something to with it?
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:03pm (UTC -6)
Also, Booming, I know English is your second language so you might not be aware, but calling gay people "the homosexuals" is kind of clinical and okd-fashioned. It's a phrase you don't hear people under 50 ever use.

I'm not offended (and even if I were, that's not YOUR problem, that's mine).

I'm not going to tell you what to say or shame you because I don't like your word choice. Feel free to use language as you wish, I just thought you should know how your language selection might come across.
The Queen
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:05pm (UTC -6)
Midshipman Norris - I will sign up for your "genuine science fiction writer" petition too. And you're my hero for this:

"I was thinking something along the lines of saying *why* Jett Reno is so acerbic to everyone she meets. Perhaps learning why Owesekun is so shy around people. Something."

Oh, please, yes! Would it be so hard? (Apparently it is. Sigh.)

I gather from certain comments that there was a scene at the very end where Culber and Stamets threw around "they" a lot? I didn't see that because CBSAA cut off for me a few minutes before the credits, insisting on showing me little tiny boxes of all kinds of other shows, while Discovery continued in its own little tiny box. Don't know what was up with that, but maybe that's why I thought the nonbinary issue was handled well and others didn't.
Booming
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
I do not know what you mean with your first sentence. To the second which I also not completely understand (ideation) but I think it means that you think that I'm implying that transpeople are more suicidal because they are trans no matter what society does. I think the very high suicide rates are more or less completely related to intolerance. To quote from another UCLA study "The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), which is the largest survey of transgender people in the U.S. to date, found that 81.7 percent of respondents reported ever seriously thinking about suicide in their lifetimes, while 48.3 percent had done so in the past year. In regard to suicide attempts, 40.4 percent reported attempting suicide at some point in their lifetimes, and 7.3 percent reported attempting suicide in the past year."

""Oh, odds are they're mentally ill and have a fragile ego. Never say anthing that might upset them, especially the wrong pronoun" isn't much of a defense for compulsory language policing."
Some things are ok and some things are not. Personally I don't think much of the American free speech fanaticism. You know when Germany had the least restrictions on free speech? 1933.
Booming
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:19pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
I somewhat knew that with gay people but I still find it a little strange that a description for homosexual men has now become the term for all homosexuals. I hope Lesbians and Bisexuals are fine with it.

But no insult intended on my part.
Tom
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:58pm (UTC -6)
"I feel that this idea of inclusivity and not just galomphing every dollar you see, and things of that nature, are a positive and productive thing to try to talk about doing"

Yeah, well, at best we can say that Star Trek has been 'late to the game', and at worst, downright intolerant. Over the years we've seen intolerance of greedy people and people who like money (Ferengi), anxious and awkward people (Barclay), dishonorable people, criminals and psychopaths, people who don't like to work, people who won't follow orders, arrogant people, unemotional people, sad people, unintelligent people...

Maybe the public perspective is at the point now, as it was with the various other groups Trek has come to 'accept' that trans people can be tolerated without being a drain on the economy. But that still leaves a whole bunch of other groups who aren't tolerated, who don't fit in, who aren't even recognised as a minority and so can't even claim the privileges that being part of that group entails.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

You didn't understand my first sentence so let me phrase it another way.

If someone is teetering on the brink of suicide, any triviality could push them over the edge. If something as minor as using the wrong pronoun in a third -person sentence is enough to make them pull the trigger, then so would any other minor setback (a glance in their direction they didn't like, someone in customer service being rude, etc).

As far as your word choice, I think most gay people don't like the noun "homosexual" applied to us because it reduces us to only our sexuality (and historically, that word was used with a negative context). At least with the adjective "gay", it is followed by the word "person". "Gay" is a modifier, not the be-all- and-end-all of our existence.

As far as your claim that Germany is somehow freer/better despite prosecuting people for their opinions?

I don't agree with that assessment at all. Fining or jailing someone because you don't like what they're saying is anathema to me. It's barbaric, imho.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:01pm (UTC -6)
But thanks for being diplomatic, Booming. 👍

It's nice to have a rational give and take on such a hot button issue.
Trent
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:45pm (UTC -6)
Rahul said: "In true TNG style the Discovery is able to enhance their empath-ness and get the job done. "

lol, that scene had me cracking up. They literally resurrected TNG's cheesiest trope...

CAPTAIN: How do we stop the space locusts?

ENGINEER: If we reconfigure the deflector array to transmit along empathic frequencies we may be able to magnify Books' neurowaves.

CAPTAIN: How long to reconfigure the array?

ENGINEER: Five or ten minutes, depending on how much MAGIC I CAN PULL OUTTA MY ASS.

___________________


Jexemer11 said: “This lovey dovey crap between Burnham and Book needs to go away. I like both characters, but I'm really getting tired of them together.”

I find Burnham way more tolerable and relaxed when Book's around.


John Harmon said: “Does it seem ridiculous to anyone else that it took the Discovery showing up for the Federation to finally be interested in figuring out “the burn”

And why doesn't Starfleet put contemporary personnel on the Discovery? This is your most prized possession, your most important ship, crewed entirely by people with no knowledge of your time period.

Starfleet should immediately put a high-ranking officer on the bridge, and slot experts into other key departments. You don't need to remove Saru as captain, or separate the Discovery's crew, but you must have people you can trust on what has become the Federation's most prized asset.

Austin said: “In short, in season 3, a whopping 70% of crew members that have had their gender/sexuality addressed are not straight. This is not “representation””

It's not "representation". It's an artistic "reaction".

You just had a US President who bashed minorities, women and tried to roll back LGBT rights. The most powerful man in the world systematically picked activist judges with a specific anti-gay agenda, tried to re-instate the ban on transgender people in the military, rescinded federal guidelines supporting civil rights for transgender people, argued in court against civil rights protections for gay and bi people, issued "religious liberty" guidelines to federal agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people, fired the entire presidential advisory council on HIV/AIDS, enacted new regulations in DHHS creating a new "religious liberty" agency for protecting medical workers using "religious liberty" as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQ people... etc etc etc.

You have to put "Discovery" into the context in which it was made. "Discovery" is best thought of as Minority Pride Trek ("Pride suits you" Culber literally tells Stamets in this episode), at a time when certain people feel specifically targeted. Like the wave of blaxploitation films in the 1970s, it's an unconscious response to a point in history. A kind of return of the repressed: "we're here, we're queer and we're now flying spaceships! Deal with it!"

And of course the show's chief showrunner is now a lesbian, and a number of this season's writers and directors, selected by her, are gay men and women, making this the gayest Trek ever. You can't stop artists making art that reflects them and their concerns.

And in truth, this new team have written the crew's gay characters much better than Kurtzman's team did. This season is the best Stamets has been written. And Culber is mercifully not stuck in a mirror universe and covered in space moss to dodge mushroom ghosts prior to being reincarnated as man-bark.

Ubik said: "Culber and Stamets spend an entire minute referring to her as "they" over and over and over again while she pretend to sleep for no reason other than..."

I think this scene was less about Adira, and more about Stamets and Culber. They've got paternal/maternal desires, and so find themselves tucking a kid to bed while lovingly looking down at Adira like a couple of parents at their child's bedroom doorway. Stamets even praises Adira like a proud father ("Their work has been nothing short of stellar!").

So the scene is less about lecturing the audience on "gender pronouns", and more about trying to evoke (and subvert) a common domestic scene traditionally given to heterosexual couples.

Jason R said: "A really daring scifi show would actually integrate gender issues into the universe building, along the lines of Octavia Butler's Left Hand of Darkness."

"Left Hand of Darkness" (where androgynous aliens develop sexes randomly only prior to mating) is by Ursula Le Guin. But your typo does mention another great writer of weird sexiness. Octavia Butler (possibly trans or gay in real life; she seemed genuinely confused, and had nobody to turn to for help) wrote about so much weird psychosexual alien stuff, her best probably being "Lillith's Brood", which has aliens which colonize you by redesigning your chromosomes, race, body and gender; a kind of genetic colonization.

But that kind of stuff is way beyond "Discovery". Adira's "pronoun reveals" are about as good as a show like this can do. It's low key, Stamets readily accepts her without batting an eyelid, and its framed in a way (the symbiont) that allows even transphobes to rationalize what they're seeing.

Some of the criticisms by commenters above are interesting, but surely it's a leap to suggest that, just because Adira didn't feel a need to "come out of the closet" earlier, that this means that the future is still prejudiced against transgender people? How old is Adira supposed to be? I can buy a 15 year old or less being hesitant to share this information, even in a super advanced future. Is Adira a teenager still?
Jason R.
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 6:49pm (UTC -6)
""Left Hand of Darkness" (where androgynous aliens develop sexes randomly only prior to mating) is by Ursula Le Guin."

Doh!
Skye Francis-maidstone
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
I'm struggling to understand anyone's first sentences.

Was this the worst episode yet? Why am I still still watching?

Maybe and because there isn't much good sci-fi on tv and I'm a massive Star Trek fan.

So much stupid. Why don't they hire a fan as an advisor? Seems like it's really not written by anyone who knows Star Trek or who can write vaguely good sci-fi.

Largely really dull. I was interested in the Georgiou plot but that's been semi spoiled already and I was hoping it was going somewhere more interesting.

Some random thoughts:
- Less SMG didn't really improve the episode that much weirdly. It was too dull to matter I guess.
- Still no new security chief?
- Tilly is so far a better first officer than Burnham. Not munitied or caused a war. Ridiculous as it is.
- However why was Saru talking to the admiral with Michael and not Tilly? She's first officer, acting or otherwise.
- Those photon torpedos really sucked. TNG had quantum torpedos.. no new torpedoes in 900 years? 3100 weaponry continues to be terrible.
- The doctor sure caught up on 900 years of missed medical advances fast. Scotty didn't fancy catching up on 80 years of engineering. I guess Kulber and Stamet are young and fast learners. Can you imagine going to a doctor who is using 900 year old techniques? What even is that? Pre-leeches and bleeds? I dunno.
- Execute sounds familiar. Did some other captain use that already? Sounds good. Especially if you want someone killed too.
- If people in 3100 are still bothered by pronouns I'll be amazed. I'll be dead, but amazed.

Sigh.. 1 star.. I guess.. no idea what for really. Ok 1 star for developing Detmer a little even if it was by putting her in Star Wars.

Why can't the blonde girl be first officer? She takes the captains chair a lot. She even had a line. What was her name again? Oh yeah, that's probably why.
Trent
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -6)
Dave in MM said: "Fining or jailing someone because you don't like what they're saying is anathema to me. It's barbaric, imho. " and "Never say anthing that might upset them, especially the wrong pronoun" isn't much of a defense for compulsory language policing. "

You seem to believe in several common myths regarding what hate speech is, how hate speech laws function, and you seem to have bought into unfounded conspiracies about "language policing".

Read slowly. In the major western democracies:

1. Everyone has free speech.

2. Hate speech laws exist.

3. Hate speech laws inherently limit free speech (If an employer repeatedly uses the N word when addressing an employee, and a court finds him guilty of hate speech, this limitation of free speech is deemed by civilized society a "good thing")

4. Courts decide on an individual, case by case basis whether "free speech" tilts over into "hate speech". The threshold for what constitutes hate speech is incredibly high, and because the burden of proof is very high, "hate speech" is rarely proven in court. Courts and judges are also incredibly protective of free speech rights, and such cases rarely make it to court anyway, as purported victims have to pay high fees to take their cases to court.

5. The sheer cost of a claimant filing charges against a harasser means these things never go far. A harassed transgender person thus either gets support by a legal group which does activist work, which is impossible to get if you have anything but an airtight case, or forks out tens of thousands of dollars to do things privately (unlikely, as contemporary transgender people tend to have little resources). ie - financial pressures act as a screening or vetting process.

6. You have been operating under hate speech laws for decades. These laws previously applied to white workers, women, homosexuals, minorities etc. You were absolutely fine with all of this. You were fine with being "barred" from repeatedly saying the N word, or "kike" or "fag", or using countless other racist/sexist/etc slurs in the workplace "at a level which the law considers hate speech". Now that these laws have expanded to include transgender people, it is hypocritical to freak out.

7. Most "hate speech laws" in "democratic nations" apply only to government employees. And most of these laws (in France, Canada, UK etc), do not define gender identity, expression or sex, and are purposefully vague so as to leave local courts with legroom to defend free speech.

8. Here's B. Cossman, a legal expert: "I don’t think there’s any legal expert that would say that misgendering would meet the threshold for hate speech [...] Our courts have a very high threshold for what kind of comments actually constitutes hate speech, and the nature of speech would have to be much more extreme than simply pronoun misuse. If one advocated genocide against trans people, one would be in violation, but misusing pronouns is not what [these laws] are about. The threshold for a conviction under these laws is extraordinarily high."

9. The most famous "they want to police our pronouns!" law in the west is C16, which is widely mischaracterized, and which explicitly says that it only applies to, quote, "the intent to promote hatred or knowledge of the substantial certainty of such, and is also strongly supported by the conclusion that the meaning of the word 'hatred' is restricted to the most severe opprobrium”. The words must also constitute hate proven in court to have been pushed to a point the law deems "severe, persistent and beyond workplace pervasiveness".

10. In other words, no one will be fined, jailed or policed for saying "nigg**", "sweetheart", "kike", "they", "he/she" etc. But federal employees may be fined for using the N word in cases where it can be proven that the word was used to discriminate, with "persistence" and/or with "the intent to promote hatred and violence" and with the understanding that "the word 'hatred' is restricted to the most severe opprobrium". Same applies to Jewish slurs, anti-gay slurs, anti-white slurs, anti-Christian slurs, anti-male slurs, anti-female slurs, sexist slurs, heterosexual misgendering for the purpose of harassment, and transgender slurs and/or misgendering. Nobody is compelling you, or policing you, or stopping you from calling your effeminate gay black Jewish transgender buddy a Congo tranny homo kike sweetheart. Nobody is taking these words from you. But if a court can prove with certainty that you're behaving a certain way to discriminate against someone in order to cause extreme harm, then you may be fined (though in the most famous hate speech case, R. v. Keegstra, in which a guy was teaching literal kill-the-Jews stuff to kids, the perpetrator was not sentenced or fined but rather given community service).

11. To quote Alexander Offord, who goes into detail on such laws: "these misunderstandings of the law rests on his misunderstanding of the legal phrase "breach of peace". [...] “Breach of the peace” has a specific legal meaning which has been determined by decades of juridical precedent. We find the salient definition in Frey v. Fedoruk et al., a 1950 Supreme Court case in which the presiding judge, Justice Kerwin, defined a “breach of the peace” with reference to the 10th edition of Clerk and Lindsell on Torts: 'a breech of peace takes place when actual physical assault is committed on an individual, or wider public alarm and excitement is caused. Mere annoyance or insult to an individual stopping short of actual physical violence is not a breech of peace.' This is, of course, an extraordinarily high burden for any accuser to bear. Moreover, it puts [those fearful of pronoun policing] in a rather uncomfortable conceptual pretzel: in order to prove that hate speech laws lead to the kinds of censorship oft described, one has to prove that the refusal to use particular personal pronouns carries a probable risk of physical violence against trans people and the gender-nonconformist; then, in order to defend the position one began with, one needs to demonstrate that this violence is preferable to the curtailing of free pronoun-use."

So the fear of "language policing over trans pronouns" is a modern hysteria (weaponized for obvious aims, and spread by propaganda). You will find hundreds of news articles about people walking on eggshells due to trans pronouns, but when it comes to actual court cases, the truth is different. Free speech laws are robust and robustly defended.
grey cat
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 7:46pm (UTC -6)
Lt Nilsson. They should get more screen time in general.

Talking of they. Adira isn't projecting the air of someone with 1000 years of memories at all. I realise the actor's is young but Trill are supposed to be a blend of the previous hosts. As depicted in that awful episode with pools. She is human of course but all we've really seen is the boyfriend. I hope they do more than just an empty gesture with the introduction of non-binary and trans actors.

Midnight Edge's in one his scathing DSC thingies pointed out that they're keeping the gay/trans crew segregated. I'm not sure that's entirely true but we have had quite a few culber, stamets, adira scenes. So what tbh? They're so damn dull. I don't watch Star Trek for sexuality lgbtqia+, straight or any other letter. Personally I just want to watch good stories and good characters.

I don't think I've given an episode 2 stars yet this season. 1 for this one. Dull.
grey cat
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 7:47pm (UTC -6)
My first sentence was @skye francis sorry.
It's me
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 9:20pm (UTC -6)
@Booming: "Germany has no magical trans word."

That's interesting, as Old English did have the Third Person singular pronoun in the neuter: "Hit". So "hē", "hēo" and "hit".

Hit is the origin of the modern English word "it" (which still functions as the neuter third person singular), but the modern word operates both as a pronoun (for an object) and a personal pronoun (for a person who is neither male or female). So my question was more does German have 2 different words for the pronoun and the personal pronoun in the neuter? Sometimes adopting a word from a different language can overcome barriers in acceptance.
SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 9:45pm (UTC -6)
@Trent: "Starfleet should immediately put a high-ranking officer on the bridge, and slot experts into other key departments. You don't need to remove Saru as captain, or separate the Discovery's crew, but you must have people you can trust on what has become the Federation's most prized asset."

Agreed. I don't know if there's a trope equivalent to "plot armor" like "plot logic" (not Hitchcock's "fridge logic"), but it's clear that the actual answer to your question is "none of those characters are already in the main cast".

But I really strongly disagree with you about "hate speech" laws. I was watching a BBC series (won't say which one to avoid spoilers although if you really need a cite I can try to give spoiler space or whatever) in which a Black man's coworker said to him when they were alone together "If I call you a bastard, that's one thing; but if I call you a Black bastard, I would be in really big trouble. You're a Black bastard." Cut to a scene of the Black guy pulling the phone out where he had been surreptitiously recording him. It's a fist pump moment: she has been bullying him at work, and now he is going to be able to get her fired. Sure enough, we see the voice file being emailed to the boss. But then in the next scene, she arrives home, kisses her husband, and picks up her small children to cuddle them. The doorbell rings, and it's the police. They are there to take her away for "hate speech" in the workplace. The cinematic language was such that we as the audience were clearly supposed to find this another fist pump moment. But I as an American was HORRIFIED by this. The idea that you could get arrested for calling someone a bad name (I don't care what name it is) is absolutely anathema to me. Ruined the whole series.

Are you familiar with John Stuart Mill? He is my hero.
Sen-Sors
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 10:15pm (UTC -6)
Slacker, do you believe people's employers and co-workers should have the right to denigrate them based on their race/sex/religion etc. in a workplace setting? If so, why?

Is what she said not that bad because she didn't call him a n***** and she cuddles her kids? Still seems like cut-and-dried racism to me.

If you don't mind I'd like a citation on this docuseries. Trent's post was grounded in facts and law; documentaries can be highly manipulative. I'd be curious to know the details of this incident and/or how UK hate speech laws work.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 11:07pm (UTC -6)
I believe people have the right to be themselves. And yes, that does include the right to be a jerk.

No, you don't have the right to physically threaten others or yell fire in a crowded theater, but I believe every person has a voice and should be allowed to express themselves however they choose.

If we went by what the majority thinks is hateful/proper, we never would have had any social progress. And why is that? Because hate speech is in the mind of the beholder.

Who gets to decide what is hateful?

Where in the Constitution or the definition of "free speech" does it say you aren't allowed to express anger or unpopular thoughts?

Your goal seems virtuous, but aren't you Isn'tt trying to legislate away a part of the human condition?

How is punishing people for thinking thoughts you don't like noble? That sounds like oppression and tyranny to me.

Besides, we also have dictionaries being successfully petitioned to change the definitions of words themselves.
If language is now built on shifting sands and supposed dogwhistles, than anyone who uses phrasing someone dislikes will be sent to the online Inquisition.

Is this the proper standard or environment to weigh someone's virtue?

How much mobility can there be in stifling "hate speech" when we live in a culture where people can be accused with the flimsiest evidence? The current cultural paradigm has more in common with the Sslem Witch Trials than anything else.

Also, I seem to recall a guy in England being jailed for dressing up his cat like Hitler for a comedic video. In the interesr of applying the law blindly, they are willing to prosecute satire.

What about the fuzzy line between satire and unpopular speech?

Why should a satirist or a comedian get to say something the rest of us can't?

Who decides what's hate and what's comedy?

And how far does this go? Slippery slopes do happen: Almost no one was accused of being a bigot over pronouns twenty years ago. Today? A different story.

How long is it until we start banning personal insults? If I say you're fat, ugly and stupid, how is that any less hateful than mocking your minority status?

By your logic, painful words are bad, right? Why shouldn't THOSE be banned too?

I have the same issue with a "hate crime".

How is killing someone because of minority status any worse than killing for profit or for jealousy?

If no one can read minds, then why do we have more severe punishments for those committing crimes while thinking un-PC thoughts? The whole idea is dumb.

Punishing someone for "hate" seems silly, especially when you factor in how hateful it is to control everyone else's thoughts.

But wave those Big Brother flags proudly, fellow users! I'm sure your benevolent overlords will think you're doing double plus good work.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 11:28pm (UTC -6)
@ Trent

And the fact that pronoun usage has repeatedly gone into the court system (as you so helpfully pointed out) disproves your point.

Yes, it hasn't been codified yet, but more than one person has had to hire lawyers and go through the judicial ringer just to establish their innocence. And in order for them to be defending themselves, someone else had to make the accusation and find a judge that thought it had merit.

To pretend as if this is some kind of bulletproof firewall against a slippery slope is silly. Eventually, someone will win a case.
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 12:00am (UTC -6)
@ Sen-Sors

The workplace argument doesn't fly.

When you sign up for a time-for-money contract with a private corporation, the employee agrees to abide by the workpkace behavior rules set in place by the employer.

You're at work to work, not to argue about religion or politics or social issues. They have every right to limit extraneous conversation (especially the controversial kind).

However, I don't believe that an employer should be allowed to be fire someone for something saying unpopular they said off the clock. Committing a crime, yes. Embarrassing the company by doing something in uniform when they aren't working, sure.

But simply stating an opinion on your off time shouldn't be enough to get you canned.

If freedom of speech is guaranteed, then no one (be it an individual, corporate entity or government) should be allowed to infringe upon it.

The practical result of blacklisting isn't pretty either.

Putting someone in a state of economic and social desperation is not likely to result in a positive outcome, especially if children and families become collateral damage.
SlackerInc
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:07am (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN and I often disagree about politics, but I strongly cosign his posts about free speech and hate crimes. People have the right to be jerks on their own time without getting into legal trouble for it. They can of course pay a social penalty if no one wants to be friends with them.

@sen-sors: “Slacker, do you believe people's employers and co-workers should have the right to denigrate them based on their race/sex/religion etc. in a workplace setting? If so, why?”

It depends on what you mean by “the right”. They certainly don’t have the right to keep their jobs. I thought I was very clear that I was quite glad to see this character get fired. But do they have the right to denigrate co-workers on these bases and not be arrested? Absolutely they do, or they should! As I said, it was stunning to me that this was not universally understood, at least in a “sister country” like the United Kingdom.

“Is what she said not that bad because she didn't call him a n***** and she cuddles her kids? Still seems like cut-and-dried racism to me.”

Sure it is. I never said it wasn’t “that bad”. If she said the most hateful racist things imaginable, and did not cuddle her kids or didn’t have any, she should still have the right to be a hateful racist and not be arrested for it.

“If you don't mind I'd like a citation on this docuseries.”

It was not a docuseries, it was a fictional drama. But everything about it was presented in a realistic fashion, so it was clearly meant to be understood that this would be the normal expectation in 21st century British society.

But sure, I will tell you the name of the show. Spoiler warning!

It’s called STICKS AND STONES and it came out in 2019. It was quite a good series until that horrifying ending.
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:11am (UTC -6)
Dave, you brought up alot of things that we weren't actually discussing (slippery slopes, satire, blacklists, what is comedy) but you never answered the question. Do you believe an employer or a co-worker has a __right__ to harass or discriminate against their employee/co-worker over their race/gender/religion/sexual orientation? I'll even leave out the pronoun thing for now. If you believe it is your boss's right to call you a slur at work, I think that's pretty crazy and I'm glad that U.S. hate speech laws do not agree with you. It is but one area that the free market has proven that it cannot be trusted to self-regulate.

"However, I don't believe that an employer should be allowed to be fire someone for something saying unpopular they said off the clock."

"Unpopular" is doing alot of work here, but even so, is that the situation we're talking about? Slacker's post did not make that clear. I read it as the employees having this exchange at the workplace. That's why I asked for a citation.

We're not talking about Twitter cancel culture or "what is comedy?" We're talking about hate speech laws in general and specifically hate speech laws in the workplace. As Trent pointed out, the standards that must be met to actually violate these laws are rather high, and these laws mostly exist to protect people from being abused by people who hold power over them in the workplace, because before these laws were enacted such abuse was common enough to warrant legislation. If your boss finds out you're gay and insults you for it day in and day out, that's fucking illegal. He doesn't have the right to do that. He shouldn't have the right to do that. And no, "you can just quit" is not a satisfactory alternative. Is that really true freedom for you as an employee? Who's got the lion's share of freedom there, you or your shit-heel boss?

Yeah, there's limits on free speech. No, it's not a slippery slope to 1984 because you can't call your employees the gay F-word.

I'd like to point out that discussions about personal pronouns often take this turn when they are dominated by non-binary people. It starts out with a small group saying "hey can you call me this instead of that" and it ends with a whole lot of other people saying "What, now I'm going to get fired and/or arrested if I mess up a stranger's pronouns!?" It's a ridiculous leap and it's based on nothing. There is no legislation that even comes close to that. It's a persecution fantasy. The most famous law that deals with this, Canada's C16, is not there to slap an employer who occasionally misgenders his employee by accident. It's there to slap the employer who is told what their employee's personal preference is and __repeatedly__ and __deliberately__ misgenders them in order to demean them. It adds gender identity to the other protected classes (race, sex etc) in hate speech law. Nothing more, nothing less. You are not being victimized by this.
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:12am (UTC -6)
Slacker, it was fiction?

OK then.
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:13am (UTC -6)
"

Thanks for the heads up, Slacker. I'm not going to watch a show that promotes sick dystopian ideals.

How long until the Reeducation Camps open?
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:13am (UTC -6)
Also fuck, I meant "discussions often take this turn when dominated by binary people".
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:19am (UTC -6)
@ Sen-sors

I'm not trying to be cheeky, but I thought the context of the conversation was very obvious. I was merely trying to vary what word I selected (as a sentence subject) as to not sound repetitive. Sometimes specifity must be sacrificed for the sake of prose and paragraphical organization.

And yes, I'm going up examine an issue from multiple practical angles regardless if others have brought them up. That's how every conversation here functions.

I think you can easily comprehend my words and my analytical methodology if you give it another go.
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:28am (UTC -6)
@ Sen-Sors

In America, we have laws against workplace harassment. You will either be demoted or fired if just cause can be established.

My opinion coincides with the law and my perception of contractual workplace behavior. No workplace promote
es usage of profanity or slurs. Such terminology is not conducive to professional environment and usage of it is contrary to the goal of having a harmonious workplace where controversial things are left at the door.

If you're asking me if a person should be arrested for saying a bad word at work, then my answer is "Hell no."
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 1:37am (UTC -6)
I have personal experience with being part of a minority treated with open hostility when I was young.

I think I have a pretty good understanding of being misgendered for someone's amusement.

And guess what? It's just words.

In a non-work setting, If someone won't respect a personal request to be addressed in the third person a certain way, then you are free to dislike them or even call them out on it. At work, you can get them in trouble.

But I don't think hauling them off to the gulag is anything like a solution. That reaction seems draconian and abusive.
Booming
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 3:32am (UTC -6)
@It's me
The German language is very old and many things in it make zero sense. For example articles, English only has one while German has three der (male), die (female), das (neutral) but they are used in ways that often make zero sense. The sun is female, the moon is male and the light is neutral. Then we have our version of it which is "es" but using it for a transperson would be very insulting, that is a thing transphobes like to do because you only use "es" for things.

Dave in MN
Yeah the US view on free speech is quite the unique cultural peculiarity. No other country does it like that, of course. In Germany for example most of it is build around what is called "streitbare/wehrhafte Demokratie" which translates to battle ready/well fortified democracy. Basically everything Nazi is forbidden. There was a famous case a few years ago where the constitutional court (highest German court) decided that if it is obviously meant to make fun of Nazis then that is allowed. But if you are a Nazi and give out Swastikas or make the Hitler salute then you will be fined and at some point jailed. Any extreme anti democratic behavior aimed at violently overthrowing the democratic order is forbidden too but Nazis get the full treatment, signs, gestures and more.

We do this of course because of WW2. 50 million dead, first industrial genocide and also not unimportant the -->complete destruction
Booming
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 3:35am (UTC -6)
ok the side cut half of it becaue of the arrow. Damn oh well, condensed now.

Point being. Germany lost all it architecture, art and more so limiting the freedoms of Nazis isn't that big a sacrifice for Germans all things considered.

You say slippery slope we say "Wehret den Anfängen" Resist the beginnings.
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 4:11am (UTC -6)
First I want to apologize to Slacker because I am an idiot, you did not ever claim the *SPOILERS* Sticks and Stones series was a documentary series which I clearly misread. I should have double-checked and that's my bad.

Dave, I respect the fact that you're gay and I'm not and you have way more insight into that subject than I do. That said, neither I nor anyone else in this thread has ever called for someone to be hauled into a gulag, even for bigoted language. For the record, I think someone losing their job because of bigot shit is deserved and warranted. I think arresting someone for bigoted language is a bit extreme. But the only example brought forth for that was fictional. The actual laws that have been cited are based in reality.

"It's just words" that's true, but enough words can lead to action, no? Harmful action. Words matter. Some people can brush off words no matter what, especially if they are exposed to horrible words with frequency. That makes them strong, but it doesn't make those more affected by words weak. Do you really not agree that words cannot be powerful things?
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 4:13am (UTC -6)
CAN be powerful things? Fuck!
SlackerInc
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 4:28am (UTC -6)
“I think arresting someone for bigoted language is a bit extreme. But the only example brought forth for that was fictional.”

But everything else on the show was super realistic. I find it hard to believe they just totally made that up, if it’s not something that is actually what would be expected to happen in the UK.

Anyway, I’m glad you at least agree that it’s too extreme. We are definitely getting very far off topic here!
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 4:46am (UTC -6)
Yeah. I feel bad because I've seen alot of really insightful and well-written discourse about Star Trek on this site, so much that I don't even bother to comment on alot of threads about classic episodes because I couldn't possibly add more to what's been said. But when I look at some of my own posts I feel like sometimes I contribute to political shitstorm tangents that won't age particularly well. Not because I'm not right, because of course I'm right, but you get what I mean.

Then again, one of the biggest strengths of Star Trek is it's ability to deal with real-life issues in a fictional, often-metaphorical framework. It's only natural that long-term discussion of the series will lead to some form of debate about real life political topics. That's not necessarily a bad thing. While I feel like I've said all I have to say about this particular topic, and I think it's important to try and relate discussion to themes pertinent to the episode, I don't feel like it's a grave sin to end up talking about real-life stuff when it's obviously something an episode is focusing on.
Booming
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 4:51am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
That is not even close to realistic. The independant called it "Sticks and Stones, review: A bonkers thriller just as far-fetched as Doctor Foster"
Janey
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 5:58am (UTC -6)
I come back see if anyone else had anything interesting to say about the episode but no walls of irrelevant from the usual 3 or 4 people. You guys should use discord or something. It's getting hard to find anything related to the episode. I think the last comment was about 20 comments back that had anything to do with DSC. I don't care about the political systems of.your various countries. And we don't need to ask each other to read slowly or educate ourselves. This isn't Twitter (at least the speeches would be shorter and you could mute people).

You're pretty much doing this every week now.

My 2 cents is that it was a fairly boring episode with a couple of entertaining scenes (Tilly and Saru). The locusts were ok but the green lady was a poor actress. 1.5 stars from me.
Jason R.
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 9:23am (UTC -6)
"That said, neither I nor anyone else in this thread has ever called for someone to be hauled into a gulag, even for bigoted language. "

They won't call for it, they'll just do it. Plenty of examples in the 20th century- and most of them were Marxist offshoots as it happens (like critical race theory and its relatives)

Incidentally, Trent was both right and wrong in his post on this subject. Hate propaganda laws under Canada's Criminal Code are almost never prosecuted. So jail time for hate speech is far fetched, at least for the time being. (I am certain it is coming mind you, but not through the CC hate propaganda laws - they are way too onerous)

But the provisions of the Canada Human Rights Act and its Provincial variants provide a quasi civil remedy against offenders including in hate speech scenarios. And while jail is not a remedy, monetary damages are. And these tribunals will pay the Bill's of claimants so Trent is also wrong that the cost of the complaint is a deterrent.

Indeed, the claim that no one can be subject to a HRC claim for misgendering is probably the most laughable thing I have ever heard. If you have even a passing familiarity with this topic you'd know that it's a nonsense claim. It may or may not have happened yet, but I can imagine 1,001 scenarios where this would be plausible.
Jason R.
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 9:28am (UTC -6)
"Refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity, or purposely misgendering, will likely be discrimination when it takes place in a social area covered by the Code, including employment, housing and services like education. The law is otherwise unsettled as to whether someone can insist on any one gender-neutral pronoun in particular."

http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/questions-and-answers-about-gender-identity-and-pronouns
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -6)
I'm glad Jammer tolerates our little sojourns through topics episodes touch on.

I've learned more about Canadian and German jurisprudence in the last day than I did in the previous 40 years.

Again, thanks to everyone who explained their positions with tact and intelligence! This website has the best reviewer/moderator and the best users, bar none.
Skye Francis-maidstone
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 11:19am (UTC -6)
Shame the episode itself wasn't remotely deep or meaningful enough to warrant this level of discussion (relevant or otherwise)
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 11:22am (UTC -6)
@ Janey

I think it's hilarious when someone who never contributes to the conversion pops in to critique it.

If you haven't learned by now how to skim through a comments section, bitching at us to feed you digestable chunklets isn't going to make a difference.
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 11:25am (UTC -6)
@ Skye

I was bummed this last episode was filler snooze. I've come to expect STD scripts that feel like they were written by Nicholas Cage on a bender and this installment had none of that insane scenery-chewing quality.
Chrome
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 12:30pm (UTC -6)
A couple things:

1. There is no federal law against hate speech in the United States - quite the opposite, hate speech is protected speech under the First Amendment. The only hate speech that's criminalized under U.S. law is when it leads to a criminal act like battery which falls under the Supreme Court's jurisprudence under incitement. (see Snyder v. Phelps)

2. Another wrinkle here is that when you sign to work for a company you agree to certain speech restrictions and while on the job you're obliged to follow the contract or face discipline. This is much different than your right as a private individual speaking out on the street or in your own home or whatnot. This is typically considered breech of contract and is a civil offense. This might be closer to Adira's case in the episode. But I don't know, ask a lawyer.

Hopefully this adds something to the discussion. Like others, I appreciate the thoughtful comments in this section as well. :-)
Skye Francis-maidstone
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN

Never dis the Cage.
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
"Indeed, the claim that no one can be subject to a HRC claim for misgendering is probably the most laughable thing I have ever heard."

In some countries you absolutely can if you do it deliberately and antagonistically. Will there be a rush of bad-faith employees suing their bosses for slipping up once or twice as an honest mistake? Will the courts side with them? I guess time will tell.
Tomalak
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 7:59pm (UTC -6)
Personally I thought the writers wading in on the modish pronouns debate was just pathetic of them - why didn't they also talk about whether the 2020 election was stolen and the Pfizer vaccine? But I mainly just agree with Janey that it's a shame these boards are being hijacked by political debates on woke issues, week after week. If I watch an old DS9 episode I will easily find 30 or more insightful comments on the episode, and that is often a joy. If I watch a Discovery episode I'll be lucky to get even 30 comments on the episode, and all will be interspersed with hundreds of comments that are just the usual woke identity politics debates.
Booming
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 2:27am (UTC -6)
@Tomalak
This is the very first episode ever which included a transperson and a few issues connected to that. Of course people will discuss those issues. Dismissively calling a debate about trans issues those "usual debates about woke identity politics" as if that is all the struggles of transpeople are is a pretty bad thing to say. This is an open discussion board, nobody has to cater to your likes and dislikes.
grey cat
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 5:39am (UTC -6)
Wasn't the first trans actor in Forget Me Not? This one had the "Pronouns for Dummies" scene in it though so was bound to attract more comments. I do feel this kind of stuff will date as badly as the hippy episode of ToS. I guess it would require vaguely subtle writing to make it more allegorical.

incidentally DSC is still the only Star Trek series t not pick up a single 1.5 star rating (or below) in it's first 3 seasons. A few episodes to go of course.

Does that make it the best Star Trek series ever?
Booming
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 6:18am (UTC -6)
@grey cat
"Wasn't the first trans actor in Forget Me Not?"
Yes, the actor was trans but this is the very first episode were an actor portrays a transperson.
Artymiss
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 6:28am (UTC -6)
@greycat

There's a British trans actor (Rebecca Root) in a couple of episodes of Queen's Gambit. (music teacher at the orphanage). She was also the main character in a BBC2 comedy series Boy Meets Girl which I enjoyed. Worth finding if on YouTube.

I just mention it in passing for anyone who's interested.

Personally I found the Discovery scene initially ok but it just went on and on and on, and I also found Stamets and Culber on the verge of patronising. It wasn't subtle that's for sure.

I've wondered why some or most Trills aren't just a 'they' usually. Perhaps we can blame the Universal Translator.....
Artymiss
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 6:29am (UTC -6)
Just to add the character in Boy Meets Girl is trans. This was from 2015.
Artymiss
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 6:41am (UTC -6)
@Booming
Oh there's a Discovery episode Forget Me Not and you meant that. I can't even remember the episode titles! (or the names of the bridge crew... not sure if it's my brain or the writing).
Booming
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 6:56am (UTC -6)
@artymiss
Don't worry. I had to look the name up, as well. The only thing I remember about the episode titles is that they were super pretentious in season 1. But I even have a hard time remembering the title of his weeks episode. Suspension? Susceptibility? hair spray?
John
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 7:04am (UTC -6)
Yeah, me too. I'm not even sure what the "sanctuary" part refers to. Is it Book's home planet? Sanctuary for whom? And sanctuary from what?
Atymiss
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 7:34am (UTC -6)
@John
Maybe it refers to the Andorian character (whose name I have forgotten) who is given sanctuary from his Orion pursuer when Saru won't hand him over?

Or the sea locusts???
Booming
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 8:19am (UTC -6)
I think it is about the planet but didn't pay enough attention to be sure.
Yanks
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:12am (UTC -6)
I believe Book referred to the shielded Forrest as "The Sanctuary" when he and Michael first beamed down.

To the whole pronoun thing, this is why I'm having a problem taking it seriously.

"Since, according to the system of etiquette I was raised with, it is already rude to refer to someone in the third person when that person is present, how would I need to know someone’s pronouns when I am speaking to him/her/them/zer? Will s/he/they/ze even know what pronoun I use outside of zis/her/his/their hearing?"

Not my wording, but it pretty much sums up where I'm at.

But then again, I'm one that doesn't see the need for swearing in Star Trek so...
Henson
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:16am (UTC -6)
@Artymiss

"I've wondered why some or most Trills aren't just a 'they' usually."

I had always thought that the host personality was the dominant one, and so notions of gender for the host would persist even after the joining. Jadzia does mention in one episode (season 2, I think) that being joined requires a 'strong personality', probably because someone without a strong personality would be overwhelmed by the amalgamation of memories.
Peter G.
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:21am (UTC -6)
I don't know if you guys teach, or work in an office, or anything where there is a regular need to discuss other peoples' work, but you can't get away with just thinking "you" will be the only term you need. Whether in a school setting or any other place where people are being referenced as part of the work, you will need to take a position on pronouns, or else go really far out of your way to watch what you say to avoid sentences that have pronouns.

e.g:

"Now that we've heard Marissa's presentation, are there any questions we would like to ask her?"

"David has done a great job. Let's give him a round of applause."

"Peter did very well on his examples of pronoun awkwardness. Peter also displayed an aptitude for coming up with sentences that are obviously constructed to avoid pronouns, while Peter was also careful to be sure that admitting that while it is possible to do it will also be clear it is what you are trying to do. Peter would note that this will say a lot to people as they will get what's going on."

Avoid all pronouns is technically possible, but you will find yourself running every sentence through your head prior to speaking if that's your plan. It won't be fun. And the one time you slip up and are corrected you will have to make a snap decision of what to say - don't give the wrong answer!
Dave in MN
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 11:06am (UTC -6)
All of the sentences you used as an example would be just as natural to state utilizing their natural form of address (which is their name) or some other manner of linguistic arrangement.

" Now that we've heard Marissa's preesentation, are there any questions for the presenter?"

"David's good work deserves a round of applause." *starts clapping*

Anytinng that can be said with a pronoun can jusr as easily be said without,
grey cat
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 11:17am (UTC -6)
@Yanks

"But then again, I'm one that doesn't see the need for swearing in Star Trek so..."

I didn't really notice it but actually they made a big thing of barely knowing what it even was in Star Trek IV (Save the Whale). Spock and Kirk tried to use it badly.

DSC is in the same period yet they sort of talk like people from 2020 although mostly horribly unnatural script anyway).

It's fine Star Trek making allegories of real world, current day problems but if you talk like a Twitter post about pronouns it really takes you out of 3100 and back to 2020 rather yarringly. And of course since we live to better ourselves and have moved beyond the need for personal gain (or something along those lines as Picard/Jake said) you'd think pronouns/gender/identity wouldn't really be an issue either.

I was in a casino (pre-covid) and I wasn't sure if my blackjack dealer was male or female. Not being nasty - I genuinely didn't know. I can't remember the name badge. Something like "Nic". Ambigious too. But since I didn't have to refer to them by pronoun I guess it didn't really make any difference. If however I'd accidently called them a her and they were a ze or him or something I'd just say sorry and then use the right one. Isn't that the end of it?

If someone kept deliberately calling me the wrong pronoun I don't think I'd call the police or even be offended. I'm not trans however so perhaps it's different.

Most times I venture out into the world I meet 1 or more idiots anyway. Nothing related to pronouns.
Tomalak
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 11:26am (UTC -6)
"This is the very first episode ever which included a transperson and a few issues connected to that."

28 years ago The Next Generation had one as the main guest character. It's not a new idea at all - just one handled with characteristic lack of deft by the Discovery writers.

"Of course people will discuss those issues. Dismissively calling a debate about trans issues those "usual debates about woke identity politics" as if that is all the struggles of transpeople are is a pretty bad thing to say."

The episode suggests the exact configuration of 2020's transgender politics, with people asserting their pronouns to colleagues in a heartfelt way, will be in place in 3188. Depending on your politics you can think that in 1,168 years it would be way too small a deal for anyone to even need to mention it in this way. Or perhaps you think that we're in the grips of a barmy fad, complete with puberty blockers for children, that has zero chance of continuing for 12 years let alone 1,200 years. But what seems ridiculous as others have said is inserting a 2020 political anachronism into 3188. Star Trek has historically done this stuff much better: e.g. Chekov was a proud Russian but didn't indulge in Cold War rhetoric that would soon have dated the show. Even at the time it would have seemed utterly implausible that things would be so similar in 1968 and 300 years later.

"This is an open discussion board, nobody has to cater to your likes and dislikes."

As I've suggested before, if someone could read a post here and not even know it was discussing a Star Trek episode/the Star Trek universe then it's gone way off topic and should be brought back on topic. Jammer has said he agrees. Far too many posts above don't keep to that rule. Obviously those of us who come here for discussion of Star Trek episodes can't force you to play ball, and Jammer has made clear he doesn't have the time to either, but I'm certainly going to encourage people to remember what this site is for, and give a nod of appreciation when people like Stacy do so too.
Tomalak
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 11:43am (UTC -6)
(Janey not Stacy.)
Booming
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 12:27pm (UTC -6)
@tomalak
If you are referring to the episode the outcast that is not really about transsexuality because the species is androgynous (and several other reasons) but I guess it is about gender identity to some degree.

Frakes argued that they should have used a male actor #swingingRiker but the studio was against it.

And "Rick Berman tried not to let perceptions of what the public would find acceptable "influence us too much" in the choice of Riker's opposite, adding "but having Riker engaged in passionate kisses with a male actor might have been a little unpalatable to viewers.""
Yikes. 1992 sure sometimes sounds very far away...

And to your other points. The debates goes where it wants, who is to say what people enjoy. We had more than a dozen people who participated in some form and two people who wanted it to stop (after it had already run it's course).

I also have doubts than anybody apart from North Korean political prisoners will (have to) watch this show in 20 years. Same goes for the forum. It will be as forgotten as the new Star Wars trilogy. Sure people remember that they have watched it but nobody remembers what it was about.
Chrome
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
@Tomalak

I assume you're referring to "The Outcast" but please excuse if you mean a different character. You got me curious about the reception of the episode and I found this description by Jammer:

"There's a fundamental flaw in the conception of "The Outcast," which is that it's so obviously an allegory about the discriminatory issues facing gays, and yet, in the 24th century, there apparently is no such thing as homosexuality. Riker and Soren have lengthy conversations about sexuality and human sex roles (and these discussions touch upon only the most conventional of sexual and gender roles, ignoring the rest), but there isn't so much as a word that homosexuality exists — or ever existed in human history. The writers dance around the subject completely, as if afraid to offend their audience. Maybe if this episode had aired in 1967 as part of TOS, I could forgive the tap dance. But airing in 1992, this strikes me as gutless. (Might it have been more of a challenging choice, for example, to have Soren be played by a man instead of a woman?)"

So, it sounds like it missed the mark. At least, I've never heard anyone put this episode on a top 20 TNG list or simply praise it for it breaking barriers.

Like you and others, I agree that allegory is great for telling controversial stories but sometimes allegory can go too far obscuring the issue, or simply sweeping the issue under the rug.

That's not to say this episode was great or anything, but I think we can give the writers credit for not shying away from the topic they're addressing with Adira.
Artymiss
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
I've just remembered there's a they character in Enterprise. The episode is Cogenitor (season 2, episode 22). Jammer was keen, he gave it 4 stars!
Peter G.
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
The super weird thing about The Outcast, though, is that Soren is actually cured at the end. The story arc ending that way means that our interpretation is so open-ended that it could mean anything or nothing. It could be about:

-Homosexuality and how people are forced (back) into the closet wrongly.
-Homosexuality and how it can be cured. (!)
-Gender dysphoria and how it's a medical problem.
-Gender dysphoria and how it's poorly understood and so maligned unfairly.
-Any kind of arbitrary social norm and how individuals are repressed.
-Any kind of arbitrary social norm and how it really does feel better to fit in. (!)
-A truly alien society that really doesn't map onto humanity at all.
-How Riker is confusing his own values for what's best for Soren, when in reality he doesn't know what's best for Soren. So a quasi-imperialism message.

It could be anything. From my viewings it's probably closer to being about nothing. Or maybe about civil liberties. Or about sexuality with aliens have consequences. Who knows.
Artymiss
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
Cogenitor - Jammer refers to this character as a 'she' but I don't think this character has a gender. Maybe I'm misremembering.
Booming
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 2:44pm (UTC -6)
@Peter G
Gender Dysphoria is only in parts about behavior, the more significant part is the physical. So actual change of the body. What you mean is gender nonconformity, I think. I don't think that Soren wanted to change her body.

I just read that twin studies have shown statistically significant results pointing to a strong genetic component in the development of gender dysphoria/transsexuality. Fascinating.

@Dave in MN
I wasn't sure. Should I have said that I also enjoyed the quality of debate? :)
Peter G.
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 2:56pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming,

Doesn't really matter, you might as well call it "something something gender", it doesn't really matter exactly what aspect of it we're referring to in terms of what the episode itself shows. My point is that the episode is not pointedly about any of the things I listed, so it is *possible* to read into it any of them or none of them. At that point it's a grab bag of which gender-related aspect you might want to superimpose into that script.
Dave in MN
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 3:18pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

Haha, you can if you like.

I just felt like poimting out how nice it is to discuss sormething controversial with this many people without personalitoes becoming the focus.
Booming
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
@Peter G
Ah ok I understand.

@Dave in MN
Yeah that was nice :)
MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 4:25pm (UTC -6)
@Janey
------------
"You guys should get a discord, and stop writing walls of text that I don't feel like reading, and do a plot summary and hot take each, in the exact format I would like it, then I would like you to compose a poem for me about the episode, and it should have the following rhyme scheme: ABBABBACCA"
------------

Do you often barge into people's places of meeting and discussion and start barking orders? This seems like something you expect will be effective, based on how you worded it.

... There's a sort of running theme through Star Trek of literary depth... lots of Sci Fi Fans read, and write, you know.
Dave in MN
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
@ Midshipman Norris

LOL! 🤣😅
Mike
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 6:17pm (UTC -6)
The pronoun subplot still feels like a missed opportunity. It's definitely a worthwhile message, but the advantages of dramatic presentation is you get to do more than give a lecture.

Sine Adira is in engineering for the episode, why not have Reno be the bully? She's always vocal and insensitive anyway so it seems like the perfect opportunity to grow her character too. We could see the deleterious effect that using the wrong pronoun has on Adira, giving us a real glimpse of what it's like for people in her position. Then we could have the speeches and maybe Reno learns something too, and this would be more dramatically effective than Adira saying "I don't like this" and Stamets replying "OK".
Jammer
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 9:48pm (UTC -6)
"As I've suggested before, if someone could read a post here and not even know it was discussing a Star Trek episode/the Star Trek universe then it's gone way off topic and should be brought back on topic. Jammer has said he agrees. Far too many posts above don't keep to that rule."

Let me clarify: I would never discourage reasonable discussion (and this is a great one!) that grows from issues presented in the episodes themselves, even if they might eventually only tangentally be related (which this one is more than that). So let's not assume something that doesn't reference the episode itself is no longer relevant, or necessarily "off topic" and that I disapprove.
Janey
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
@Midshipmannorris

"Do you usually make perfectly reasonable and polite requests of a few people who've gone waaayy off topic for 20+ posts and are ignoring Jammer's reminder of the guidelines an episode or 2 back?"

Why yes I do. (Since you like to misquote to say whatever you want).

No barking of orders happened. It's just a little tedious when 2-3 people take over the comment section with walls of irrelevant text.
Anonymous
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:09pm (UTC -6)
Basically STFU Janey. LOL.
grey cat
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:14pm (UTC -6)
@Jammer Did you realise you're on track for rating this the best first 3 seasons of any Trek ever? A few episodes to go.

I guess you like it a lot more than I do. I'm dragging myself through it. But no a single episode below 2 stars?

It certainly isn't consistent either across shows or seasons either but no Trek has been to be fair (TNGs first, ToS s3 etc).
Dave in MN
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
@ grey cat

I remember Siskel and Ebert having a blowout fight because Siskel was trying to equate Roger's ratings for serious adult movies with those for kiddie fare. I might be wrong, but I get the impression it's a similar thing here.

I think Jammer uses a sliding scale: I get the impression he judges the shows for what they are, not how they compare. For example, TOS's entire 3 season run is (in my opinion) light years better.
Jammer
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 11:24pm (UTC -6)
The star ratings always get me into trouble. Consistency has never been a thing (or a goal). It's just kind of a useful guide.

Do I think Discovery is a bad show? No. Do I think it is great? Definitely not. Do I think it is better over its first three seasons than all the other shows? Definitely not. If the stars indicate otherwise, they are not telling the whole story. Someone once compiled all my ratings into a spreadsheet. It was fun and interesting but it also doesn't really tell a real story. I don't believe you can quantify the value of these series with numeric data analysis.

(And have I mellowed in my middle age? It is possible.)
brian
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 12:59am (UTC -6)
just wanted to say, these comment sections are getting ridiculous. this isn't reddit, people. Post your review and move on. if you want multiple side threads, go to reddit! Its much easier to navigate than this site. Im tired of sifting through hundreds of posts just to find reviews.
Booming
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 2:04am (UTC -6)
@brian
" Im tired of sifting through hundreds of posts just to find reviews."
Just go to the top of the page. I promise that at least one review will be there. :D

And I didn't realize that people had such a hard time scrolling past things. confused BabyBoomer or ADHD Vine-generation???

Jammer's star rating. I have to say is not a scientifically sound system. No scientific framework, no coder reliability, not even a coding scheme! (unbelievable), the list goes on. Jammer, would you be willing to hire half a dozen research assistants? Machines, work space, social security, OF COURSE. Would barely cost more than 20k per month, 50k at the most. Or we just accept that Jammer is in a good place and maybe a little kinder in his ratings. :)
Jason R.
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 4:08am (UTC -6)
"I guess you like it a lot more than I do. I'm dragging myself through it. But no a single episode below 2 stars?"

Serialized writing is safe. It is harder to be great but also harder to be truly terrible.
grey cat
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 4:27am (UTC -6)
@Jammer

You're not in trouble haha. It just dawned on me the other day that I didn't remember seeing a low rated DSC episodes yet. It's your site, give whatever review rating you like.

@Jason R.

I find many of the episodes truly terrible. But weirdly after watching I can't even remember them well enough to say what even happened to make them truly terrible. Maybe DSC is bland enough to always seem at least ok after you watched it because it doesn't even make enough on an impression.
Jason R.
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 7:25am (UTC -6)
"I find many of the episodes truly terrible. But weirdly after watching I can't even remember them well enough to say what even happened to make them truly terrible. Maybe DSC is bland enough to always seem at least ok after you watched it because it doesn't even make enough on an impression."

That's a feature of serialized writing not a bug. When you look at say TNG season 1 the stinkers like Code of Honour are memorable because all that badness gets compressed into a short 45 minute format. Each is concentrated and self-contained in a standalone story.

Whereas with serialized stories you get alot of filler and very long arcs play out over multiple episodes. How many reviews does Jammer tell us something non-commital along the lines of "we'll see where they are going with this" - we can't judge a story too harshly until we have seen the big picture. And by the time you reach the end, you may not even remember what happened before well enough to retroactively condemn it. That is why so many of Jammer's reviews fall in that mushy 2 1/2 star range.

Even glaring continuity errors and sloppy writing get smoothed over in a serialized story with season 1 of Picard being a perfect example. I mean half the audience probably never realized that entire plot threads were abandoned or went nowhere (why was Maddox "on the run" if the android colony was perfectly safe and happy? Wasn't there reference to his lab being destroyed implying that he had nowhere to go? Why did Soji have amnesia? What was her mission anyway?) but it doesn't much matter when most of the story is obscured over an entire season.

Another advantage of serialized stories is that it keeps you tuned in each week even if you are only marginally entertained. Most people want to see the end of the story even if it isn't a very good one. Very few people in my experience will walk out of a movie and a serialized story is like a very long movie.

Another big advantage that comes of all this is that because it is harder for critics to see the big picture and because this evens out the reviews in a relatively safe range, terrible critical response is less likely and a show can kind of coast along without triggering too much of an audience or critical backlash.

The down side of this kind of storytelling of course is that there is almost no rewatchability. With shows like TNG the episodes would live on in syndication forever with fans rewatching them multiple times over decades. Also it was easy for new fans to jump in. But the latter is less relevant to a streaming business model where anyone is free to watch the first episodes and catch up.

But my feeling is that CBS sees the serial structure as being more consistent with their goal of getting a good base of subscribers on their streaming platform. They don't much care if people are going to rewatch Picard or Discovery five years from now. It makes no real difference if there are classic episodes a la Yesterday's Enterprise or Measure of a Man. Those event type episodes are not needed to fulfill CBS's primary goal: fast subscriber growth for All Access.

What is important is that they subscribe and stay subscribed as long as possible over many months - which a serialized series is perfect at ensuring. Once someone is subscribed and being auto billed a small monthly fee, they will probably say subscribed and there is a certain inertia that takes over. Along with Netflix or Disney it becomes just another streaming service you pay a small fee to. It doesn't need to be great television, just good enough to get people paying the monthly fee over an extended period and then inertia (and an occasional new Trek series) does the rest. I have seen this phenomenon play out in my own household as we very gradually subscribe to new services and yet don't bother cancelling the old ones even if we rarely watch them. The truth is streaming is sooooooo much cheaper than our old cable plan that we could subscribe to pretty much every major streaming service and still end up paying less than we used to with cable or satellite.
Jason R.
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 7:44am (UTC -6)
I might further add that CBS (actually ViacomCBS), as a publicly traded corporation, has tremendous pressure to perform and its streaming platform has to be where most investors are looking for growth given its otherwise fuddy duddy image. Adding subscribers in the short term has to be a top priority and I'll bet is steroids for the stock price. With streaming services popping up left and right, driving those growth numbers and locking in subscribers (before the market inevitably gets saturated) has to be a massive priority. Streaming is basically a gold rush for these companies and mystery box serial storytelling is the perfect device to capitalize on it.
Ubik
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 9:50am (UTC -6)
@Jason R

Your last two posts bring up a very good point. Is it a fact that Star Trek shows are either great or prevented forever from being great due to behind-the-scenes realities that have literally nothing to do with the creative decisions or people that drive the show? For example, it cannot be a coincidence that TNG and DS9 are exceptionally good television while Voyager and Enterprise are largely bland, formulaic, and safe, while TNG and DS9 were in syndication and Voyager/Enterprise had a network breathing down their necks.

So - are all the modern Trek shows doomed to mediocrity and safe, formulaic platitudes merely because of who is producing the shows? (Form dictates content, the medium is the message, take your pick.) In that case, it may very well be that the writers themselves are not necessarily bad writers or without imagination (Michael Chabon, for example, is often a truly excellent writer), but rather that CBS is producing the shows, and as long as that is true, we will never get another TNG or DS9.

I'm just thinking out loud.
grey cat
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 10:49am (UTC -6)
Some good points Jason.

And very true about the cost. Netflix + Amazon + Disney is vastly cheaper than my old satellite tv package with endless channels full of stuff I never watched.

The quality of the shows is vastly better on the whole too.

So many it is kinda fair to put DSC in the middle. It never truly shines but is never truly awful enough (or maybe memberable enough) to keep me coming back.

The Expanse is just another level of brilliance compared with DSC and is very rewatchable (I think i've rewatched it 4-5 times at least and some episodes like "Doors & Corners" more times).

Serializable CAN be very rewatchable I just don't find DSC to be (I did rewatch New Eden - the only episode that resonates with me in DSC's run so far).
Lee Broxson
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
Oh goodie. Transphobic comments here from the "englightened" Trek fans who, of course, are frothingly angry about all new Trek. Surprise surprise.

Gender =/= sex. It's not that hard. You don't determine how others choose to identify, and it ultimately has 0 effect on you and infringes upon your rights exactly not at all.

Eat shit, Chris Lopes.

Re: Tomalak and others--The Outcast was an allegory for homosexuality more than gender identity (at the time), even though the character was androgynous. The character in that ep identified as a woman, but was biologically neither, so it isn't quite the right fit for the real-world example for Adira.

I think part of the gender identification here, while hamfisted, was a way for them to speak to it, though I am surprised that Disco introduced a non-binary actor as a character who identified as female, only to then have them self-identify in the ep as non-binary. The more evolved way to do this would have been to have them just be non-binary from the beginning and have everyone just naturally refer to them with they/them pronouns, as if it isn't anything to make a deal of at all.

And no, as someone mentions above, it isn't about them being a Trill and having many hosts. No Trill we have ever known has been this way. When Kurzon Dax was Kurzon, he was a male. When Jadzia Dax was Jadzia, or when Ezri Dax was Ezri, they identified as female. This was specifically speaking to Adira's character's self-identification as non-binary.
Peter G.
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 1:49pm (UTC -6)
@ Lee Bronxson,

I'm going to quibble about this point you made:

"And no, as someone mentions above, it isn't about them being a Trill and having many hosts. No Trill we have ever known has been this way. When Kurzon Dax was Kurzon, he was a male. When Jadzia Dax was Jadzia, or when Ezri Dax was Ezri, they identified as female. This was specifically speaking to Adira's character's self-identification as non-binary."

I do not think it is accurate to say that Jadzia "identified as" female. She was a female biologically, and to the extent that there was ever a reference to "being a man or a woman" it was with no doubt a reference to the biology. There is just no way that the writers or actors had in mind they were talking about how Jadzia saw herself or felt her personality. And in fact if we want to be really specific there are a lot of masculine traits Jadzia portrays, especially after the Curzon in her comes out a lot more in S3-7, but the issue of how she identifies is simply never brought up. To be frank, we could more properly say the issue simply did not exist since it wasn't in the nomenclature of that time and milieu to even know that there was such a thing as identifying as other than your own biology.

So for Trills we had an open-ended area in the area of gender, where we don't really know from DS9 alone how it 'feels' to have memories of multiple lives and whether that affects what we now call gender. All we know is that Jadzia *was* a woman. We don't know how she inwardly thought of herself in terms of her masculinity or femininity.
Booming
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
I also thought that Jadzia was a gender bender of sorts. Sisko calling her old man, the Klingons accepting her as Curzon, being sex positive. It wasn't trans but it definitely played around with gender norms
Dave in MN
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Do the symbionts also have genders, or are they unisexual?

If they share a genetic and evolutionary lineage wthe hosts and can "fuse" with them, doesn't it seem likely they also have two genders?

Yes, I'm aware of parthenigenesis on Earth, but it's a very tiny percentage of multicellular life. Most life on a scale larger than a cell has remained gendered through a billion of years of evolution.
Booming
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
It really depends how they procreate. Sexual reproduction has obvious genetic advantages. So I would assume a highly developed species like them would have sexual reproduction but if that translates to different behavior is another question entirely. Mammals like us have pronounced sexual dimorphism which can lead to different behavior patterns. Another important question would be if and how the symbionts cared for their young. All questions that will probably never be answered.
Jammer
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 5:14pm (UTC -6)
Review now posted.
Jason R.
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 6:07pm (UTC -6)
"Oh goodie. Transphobic comments here from the "englightened" Trek fans who, of course, are frothingly angry about all new Trek. Surprise surprise."

Not alot of fearful or "phobic" seeming comments thus far. Maybe you're the one with the neurosis?
John Harmon
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 6:50pm (UTC -6)
“Here, not only do the writers miss the obvious sci-fi opportunity, they play the whole idea as far too contemporary.”

Yeah, these are bad writers. Have been from the start of the series.
John
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 7:14pm (UTC -6)
I admit it. I have a phobia, not of trans people but rather what Jammer said - of important issues being shallowly explored in wasted opportunities. Adira's deeply felt burdens brought up and tossed aside in a short conversation, Detmer's PTSD (or whatever she has) resolved in a video game space shooter sequence. I haven't lived with either, but if I did I imagine I would be upset at how superficially they are treated, with the show refusing to give them the depth they deserve.

I don't think saying it's better than nothing, and at the same time admitting it could have been a lot better is out of order.
Dreubarik
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 7:35pm (UTC -6)
Since someone complained about this turning into Reddit: I posted my first comment here also on r/StarTrek and it was removed by moderators after less than 10 minutes. I certainly didn't think I was being offensive when I expressed my disappointment at how the Adira moment was handled. Since Jammer included similar thoughts in his review, I'm going to say that my point was at least worthy of being discussed.

Just to remark that it is good this site offers a bit more leeway.
Omar
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 10:49pm (UTC -6)
No such thing as being "non-binary". You are either male or female. It's not complicated.
John Harmon
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -6)
@Omar shut up
Artymiss
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 11:41pm (UTC -6)
@Omar
This in untrue. Apart from anything else what about intersex people?
Dave in MN
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 1:02am (UTC -6)
Just wanted to mention that androgyny has been a thing forever and does have cultural cache: hence the career peaks of people like Marlene Dietrich, David Bowie, Shirley Manson, Boy George etc.

I don't think you have to accept it as a separate gender to acknowledge that some people gravitate to expressing themselves in his manner. I'm sure it's a smaller number than those that seek to flip their biological gender, but it does exist.
Booming
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 3:55am (UTC -6)
We had half a dozen or so more or less transphobic comments but Omar's was the first one that is really convincing. There are no nonbinaries because there are no nonbinaries. That's brilliant. Don't worry binarypeople I have already informed the nobel prize committee.
Ubik
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 7:25am (UTC -6)
My only problem with the "non-binary" label is that it confuses me. When it comes to intersex people, people who legitimately have physical parts of both sexes, absolutely. Those people are actually and literally non-binary, and that doesn't confuse me at all.

But that isn't generally what people mean when they say it. A large part of the trans movement, I understand: when a person born a woman says they actually feel like a man, and they become a trans man, that's fine, it seems sincere, there is very likely some chemical or genetic or biological cause to that "feeling" that one day, hopefully, scientists will discover, and if that person wants to change their name to a traditionally more male name, and go by "he" the rest of their life, that's fine. That in no way conflicts with my understanding of logic or reality. The same goes in the other direction. If a person born a man says they "feel" like a woman, and they want to live the rest of their lives as a woman, there is probably some scientific basis for that feeling, entirely fine, and entirely consistent with my understanding of reality.

My difficulty is when a person does not "feel" like a man OR a woman, and announces that they are, really and truly, neither. They are not physically intersex. They are "non-binary." But what are they talking about here? Not sex, I assume, but gender. Right? But what IS gender? Gender is a social invention, no? Dogs don't have genders. Horses don't have genders. Not as far as I know, anyway. The evidence seems to suggest that gender is an entirely human concept, invented by societies and civilizations, basically consisting of a set of "markers" that dictate how women and men IN THAT SOCIETY are meant to act. Societies have often appealed to "nature" to explain these markers, sure, but those explanations were usually just forms of control and oppression. There is nothing "natural" about guys liking G. I. Joes and girls liking Barbie. That is entirely socially created. (I have two daughters who are polar opposites in most things, so my notions here come from personal experience.)

So: when a person claims they are "non-binary" in their gender, that just means they don't feel like they have the "markers" of gender dictated by their society, no? Or they have markers from both sexes. And what some "binary" people may get defensive about, in that case, is the implied accusation that all people who do not consider themselves non-binary DO in fact connect emotionally with those markers. This further suggests that "binary" people are perfectly happy just accepting what society tells them to be, while the "non-binary" person is a free spirit, not tied down by socially imposed labels. I'm not saying this is what the non-binary person is trying to communicate - only that the logic of the claim seems to imply this. And this implication, I think, rubs people the wrong way and is also, of course, nonsense. There are many women who gladly possess traditionally socially-imposed markers of manhood, and many men who gladly possess traditionally socially-imposed markers of womanhood. And that's fine - those markers are products of socialization anyway. If you are a biological man with most of the markers of femininity, that's great, and so is the opposite - that is the product of decades of successful feminist and other progressive movements. We should all applaud that.

So, this "non-binary" thing feels, to me, like a step in the opposite direction, to before the feminist movements of the 60's and 70's. It feels like a belief that those gender markers ARE "natural", that men "naturally" ARE aggressive, etc, while women "naturally" ARE passive, emotional, etc, and if a person possesses some of both categories, or doesn't fit into those categories neatly, then hey, they must be non-binary, instead of being....just like everyone else.

I dunno. No offense is intended in any of this, and I am not CERTAIN of any of my claims. I am just explaining how I currently see it and feel about it, and I am entirely open to the possibility that my knowledge is based on insufficient information.
Keith R.A. DeCandido
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 7:32am (UTC -6)
It's not at all fair to say that Kwejian looks like a Vancouver forest, because Discovery films in Toronto. So it totally looks like a Toronto forest, dangit!

(Then again, all Canadian forests look alike, and they all look like alien planets, thanks to television.....)
Booming
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 7:50am (UTC -6)
@Ubik
This isn't really answering your question, I don't have an answer for that one, but I thought I'd mention that it isn't uncommon for nonbinaries to transition ergo becoming an "ordinary" transperson. Being trans when it comes to behavior has two main stages. First liberating yourself from behavior patterns that are typical for gender a that is seen not as the right one, but after that comes an even more complicated step, choosing what is the a fitting behavior/identity. As you pointed out there are genetic and hormonal triggers for transsexuality, there also seems to be a connection to brain structure. So maybe nonbinaries are just hesitant to choose a new identity after having freed themselves from another? Sticking the head out to look how people react?

In the end a non binary person has to answer that or a scientist of the dark arts (gender studies; not my words, a friend who studied it calls it that because they are now the scientific punching bag for everybody).
Jason R.
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 8:11am (UTC -6)
@Ubik expecting logical coherence on this subject is a fruitless aim.

The simple explanation is that "non-binary" is what a person who calls themself non-binary is.

It's an entirely unfalsifiable, untestable proposition. There is no "scientific" explanation of this phenomena because it is not a proposition that can be addressed through the scientific method except tangentially.
Chrome
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 8:21am (UTC -6)
@Keith R.A. DeCandido

"It's not at all fair to say that Kwejian looks like a Vancouver forest, because Discovery films in Toronto. So it totally looks like a Toronto forest, dangit!"

For that matter, Vancouver only has one "forest", and it's Stanley Park.
Booming
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 8:58am (UTC -6)
@Jason
"There is no "scientific" explanation of this phenomena because it is not a proposition that can be addressed through the scientific method except tangentially."
Man, I'm trying to wrap my head around this sentence. So there is no "scientific" explanation because it cannot successfully be researched but tangentially? What?

Let me come up with a few other explanations why there is no scientific explanation in quotes or otherwise. It's very expensive to find out. Why? Because you need a huge amount of cat scans, also blood counts, an army of therapists, data scientists and so on.

It is new, until fairly recently gender differences between men and women weren't researched at all. For example medical research normally used men and then treated women like small men which, as some might know, they are not. With transpeople the picture only changed during the last 10-20 years, before that science knew basically nothing about it because it didn't really look into it.

To give another example how complicated it is to find something when you only know that it exists but don't know where it originates. Rheumatism. Even though millions and millions of people have that and billions are spent on research we still have no real understanding why it happens. What could it be. Diat? environmental poisons? genetic degradation of the Chromosomes? Something else genetic? Reptilians?

And what does tangentially researched mean??? Like the uncertainty principle???
Peter G.
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 10:23am (UTC -6)
@ Booming,

I suspect Jason R. didn't mean quite what you thought. He wrote:

"There is no "scientific" explanation of this phenomena because it is not a proposition that can be addressed through the scientific method except tangentially."

You wrote:

"Let me come up with a few other explanations why there is no scientific explanation in quotes or otherwise. It's very expensive to find out. Why? Because you need a huge amount of cat scans, also blood counts, an army of therapists, data scientists and so on."

I think the issue is more that if being non-binary is a scientific "fact" (i.e. observable though repeatable methods) then it is not anyone's personal choice but something coded into their genes, and maybe to an extent developed through their experiences. But at the point in time they feel non-binary it would have to be a physical reality than scans (or an army of data scientists) could record and verify independently of the person's testimony. But rather, if the idea is that one's trans status is entirely one's own choice, and not subject to exterior or objective criteria, then by definition it cannot be scientific in the sense of being verifiable through repeatable methods. That doesn't mean it's not true, but does mean it's not scientific in the technical sense. Maybe that's what Jason R means? Because as far as I know the current claim is that trans or non-binary status is entirely self-decided rather than being a reflection of an objective set of physical facts.
Chrome
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 10:33am (UTC -6)
Peter wrote:

"the current claim is that trans or non-binary status is entirely self-decided rather than being a reflection of an objective set of physical facts."

I don't claim to be an expert but I have transgendered friends who described the feeling as a longing they've had all their life. There's also something called gender identity disorder which is a real scientific thing that can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist.

It's also why I think that Trill-joining doesn't really work as an analogy to transgender. A Trill joining is somewhat of an affliction (ex: Ezri gets regular space sickness after joining) and if she had her symbiant removed (in time) she would not be space sick anymore. Trans isn't really an affliction or even a negative thing at all. It's just something that occurs with people in nature and now we have some (though not perfect) methods to make those people feel better.
Booming
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 10:53am (UTC -6)
@Peter G
hmmm one thing while repetition is important, it is only meaningful in a scientific sense if a leads to b in other words causation. Another problem is inference.

"Because as far as I know the current claim is that trans or non-binary status is entirely self-decided rather than being a reflection of an objective set of physical facts."
I'm no expert but from a quick lockeroo I gathered for transpeople there is now fairly solid evidence that it goes far beyond a personal choice. It has probably a genetic and hormonal component. The genetic part has been shown through twin studies (monozygotic twins are 15x more likely to be both trans than dizygotic twins), then there are certain brains structures that transpeople have, even before hormone treatment (after hormone treatment the brains are almost identical to the identified gender), certain similarities that they shouldn't have. While the twin study strongly indicates that there is a genetic component, there is probably also a hormonal, during pregnancy. But these things are hard to test because trans people normally show signs not before 7-8. So far it is hypothesized that it is somewhat similar to intersexpeople. Intersexuality is, I believe, caused by hormones given to the baby by the mother at the "wrong" time. But again hard to test which mother would let her baby be tested during pregnancy and have her own hormone levels be monitored all the time.
Jason R.
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 11:04am (UTC -6)
To clarify I was addressing "non binary" specifically and not trans in general.
Dave in MN
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 11:10am (UTC -6)
We are programed to replicate ourselves. It only stands to reason such a complicated process might end up with "switches flipped".

We also have anecdotal evidence from thousands of people (including myself) that didn't choose what they're attracted to.

And as Booming and others have pointed out, there is some data from twins and from epigenetic surveys.

Whilst we haven't narrowed down precise causes for variance in reproductive health, there IS some scientific data. We aren't operating in a total vacuum.
Peter G.
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 11:11am (UTC -6)
@ Chrome,

"I don't claim to be an expert but I have transgendered friends who described the feeling as a longing they've had all their life. There's also something called gender identity disorder which is a real scientific thing that can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist."

The issue Jason R. raised was whether being non-binary is falsifiable or non-falsifiable. This really is a binary issue (if you'll pardon the expression) because it is either the case that you can tell a trans person they're wrong, or it is not the case. If you could do a brain scan to verify that the person, despite having the body of one sex, is the opposite gender (or no gender) then it would be a falsifiable claim (meaning rooted in a physical set of traits). If it's non-falsifiable then it can't be called scientific, although that doesn't mean it shouldn't be respected. It's possible for something to be non-falsifiable, non-scientific, but also something that we should respect if asked to. Just as an example, when someone tells you their name you aren't going to ask them if that name is "objectively theirs". In that context it wouldn't make sense to do so, and even if technically their driver's license shows a different name it wouldn't matter, call them what they want to be called (unless it's T-Bone). So that is both 'non-falsifiable' but also totally legit and shouldn't be subjected to objections.
Dave in MN
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 11:30am (UTC -6)
The same verification argument could be used to discount any individual's experiences.

It's not "I try to think as you do, therefore you are", it's cogito ergo sum. Barring some kind of video evidence, we can only verify our own personal experiences.

We can't literally become someone else, so either we can trust that they are relaying their experiences truthfully or we do not. Anyone with curiosity would be doing themselves a philosophical disservice to write off such vast amounts of anecdotal evidence.
Peter G.
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 11:43am (UTC -6)
@ Dave in MN,

"The same verification argument could be used to discount any individual's experiences."

Well, yes and no. If someone claims an experience 'made them happy' then I don't know that there is anything to do but accept it. Maybe in 10,000 years we'll be able to verify even that, but right now...not. Whereas if someone says they went somewhere yesterday, and you can prove they didn't, that experience can be refuted. This line can be blurred, especially in events further in the past, such as can be seen in eyewitness testimony when honest reports can be factually incorrect. When it comes to what that person is *feeling* in the immediate present, then yes, verification would seem to be harder (although the issue is whether it's impossible or not).

"We can't literally become someone else, so either we can trust that they are relaying their experiences truthfully or we do not. Anyone with curiosity would be doing themselves a philosophical disservice to write off such vast amounts of anecdotal evidence."

I think for people who object to the pronoun thing, the issue isn't respecting that someone says they feel a certain way, but rather being told they have to alter their speech and keep track of each person's preferences. Historically I think there was a kind of standard whereby you only need to respect facts that the group agrees on; what a woman is, what a man is, what words mean, etc. If there is a new standard being proposed, that the group's recognition is irrelevant and that in fact the group will be subject to the individual's chosen word meaning, that is a radical departure from anything before. Without offering any judgement, I would say it's pretty obvious why people would object to this.
SlackerInc
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 9:50pm (UTC -6)
The star ratings thing is interesting. I can see how it would be easy for it to sort of become individual for each show. Personally, I would try to make it standardized across time and space, lol, but after a quarter century I can see how that would be tough. Add in the fact that for instance Voyager was reviewed week by week as it came out, complete with commentary about the promos for the next episode, while other shows like TNG were reviewed much later, presumably after seeing them for at least a second time.

On serialization and quality: for me, the serialized storylines have been some of the worst parts of the show.

@Lee Broxson: "You don't determine how others choose to identify, and it ultimately has 0 effect on you and infringes upon your rights exactly not at all."

Okay, but isn't this also true of "misgendering" someone? Like, it's rude to purposely go against someone's preference, but ultimately it doesn't really have any real impact.

"I am surprised that Disco introduced a non-binary actor as a character who identified as female, only to then have them self-identify in the ep as non-binary. The more evolved way to do this would have been to have them just be non-binary from the beginning and have everyone just naturally refer to them with they/them pronouns, as if it isn't anything to make a deal of at all."

Yeah, some may remember that I was the first here to mention their being nonbinary and correct people who referred to them as "she", so I was surprised when it turned out that was not a settled point in the show.

@John: "Detmer's PTSD (or whatever she has) resolved in a video game space shooter sequence."

Yeah, that was really lame. Also, didn't it look like they were saving money or something by repeating the same trench pass over and over? Kind of like how the original BSG did with their Viper launch sequence, lol.

@Ubik: "This further suggests that 'binary' people are perfectly happy just accepting what society tells them to be, while the 'non-binary' person is a free spirit, not tied down by socially imposed labels. I'm not saying this is what the non-binary person is trying to communicate - only that the logic of the claim seems to imply this."

I think you are definitely onto something here, but I'm not sure I follow you to your conclusion. There's some merit to expressing skepticism about those "socially imposed labels" and all the implications that come with them, but it might be better to express that globally rather than making it a question of personal identity.

I can see how a lot of people would definitely find "nonbinary" ideology threatening--and not just straight/straitlaced folks. Isn't there also a logical implication here that there's really no such thing as being gay? Which would I think make a lot of gay people uncomfortable.
grey cat
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 10:51pm (UTC -6)
If everyone was bi-sexual and non-binary we'd just be left with people with randomly assigned genitals.

If I prefer girls but there is the odd guy that I find attractive combined with being male not a manly macho type.. I could say I'm non-binary and also queer or bi/bi-curious maybe?

When I grew up I hung around with kids who were boys but a bit girly and girls who weren't very girly (Is tomboy an offensive term now?), I don't remember anyone caring. My point is.. how is gender non-conforming or non-binary a new thing? Just a new set of labels or even the latest fashionable thing? Neurogenders (Cloud/cat/tornado gender etc), I'm not sure they're all meant to be taken that seriously are they? Aren't we all somewhere on a male-female sliding scale and always have been?

Whoever that idiot was who said something about frothing at the mouth and ranted about transphobia is exactly why people can't talk about this stuff too very easily. The slightest misstep and you're transphobic. I'm probably now transphobic in fact.

I wonder if weapons from 3100 will still suck next episode.
Booming
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 2:56am (UTC -6)
@grey cat
"Whoever that idiot was who said something about frothing at the mouth and ranted about transphobia is exactly why people can't talk about this stuff too very easily."
It seems no matter what the topic you always have a few people who just attack others for this or that opinion. I found a comment from Sasha Baron Cohen quite interesting. He said something along the lines of "It is far scarier what people ignore then what people say." Meaning many people are often more annoyed with people calling other people out for intolerant behavior then they are angry about the person who behaves in an intolerant way.

In light of that statement, we should also keep in mind that the "everybody is a transphobe" comments are not as numerous as actual transphobic comments. It has also been my observation that the implicated groups like transpeople are of far sterner stuff as to nail you to the cross for one misstep. They have to considering the amount of intolerance they face. That creates a pretty tough shell.

About sexuality. Problem is that this is hard to test. For example when they made face to face interviews people and especially men would admit far less often that they had same sex experience. 20% admit to having had some form of same sex experience (in online surveys), the actual number is probably higher. it would be interesting to let people watch sexual content and scan their brains but this is also not easy to do for numerous reasons.

"I wonder if weapons from 3100 will still suck next episode."
Jammer mentioned that he is starting to tune out and I must say that I don't really care anymore. Only if they really hit it out of the park in the last few episodes will I comeback to this very mediocre show. They had a completely new setting and what did they do with it? Barely anything.
Gooz
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 7:08am (UTC -6)
Van Halen had a rider in their contract while on the road: X numbers of bags of M&Ms had to be stripped of brown M&Ms and displayed in a bowl. This wasn't because they hated the brown M&Ms or they were just being A-holes. It was just a quick way for the band to see how closely their contract was followed. After all, their rig was big, complex, and heavy and they wanted to make sure the stage was safe for them.

My brown M&Ms are non-binary characters. When one shows up in a show, I quickly know that story-telling and character development have taken a back-seat to moralizing.

Surprised anyone is still watching this show, which has missed multiple opportunities to kill Keiko.
Robert
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 7:24am (UTC -6)
Heaven forbid Star Trek attempts to teach us morality lessons.
Jason R.
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 7:57am (UTC -6)
"Heaven forbid Star Trek attempts to teach us morality lessons."

Depends on whose morality it is.
Tomalak
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 9:06am (UTC -6)
People don't take kindly to baseless accusations that they are foaming at the mouth ranters with a phobia. Funny that. How baffling it all is.

Number of posts by Booming on this site: Hundreds
Number of threads on this site without Booming accusing people of white supremacy, transphobia etc.: 0
Booming
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 9:19am (UTC -6)
Oh Tomalak not for a second did I wonder while you chose to name yourself after a lying, cheating bastard.

So please continue to personally attack me, if you feel like it. I think it is the third unprovoked insult post by you in two weeks. There must be great pain in you. Hug! :)
Tomalak
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 10:02am (UTC -6)
Huh? Bastard is a matter of taste but when did Tomalak lie or cheat?
Peter G.
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 10:07am (UTC -6)
Yeah, don't talk about G'Kar that way.
MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -6)
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 10:09pm (UTC -6) comment was not posted by me and I'll thank people not to sock puppet my screen name.

I don't even have the patience to come up with a further comment on such immaturity.
Chrome
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 10:13am (UTC -6)
@MidshipmanNorris

If it helps, I didn't think it was you. Your comments are usually very thoughtful and entertaining.
Booming
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 10:20am (UTC -6)
Have you watched Star Trek?!
Jason R.
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 10:41am (UTC -6)
Tomalak should steal Booming's car and display it's broken hull in his front yard. That would be truly inspiring.
Booming
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 10:48am (UTC -6)
I always knew that you were pro Romulan... and jokes on you, I don't have a car! HAA!!
Yanks
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 11:40am (UTC -6)
"Saru settles on "Execute.""

He did? ... man, I guess I missed it.

Personally I think "GO" would work.

"I've wrongly believed until now Book was a human with special abilities. My bad."

No need for an apology... I thought that forehead stuff was there by technology, but I guess not.

Great review as always.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
@Tomalak
"People don't take kindly to baseless accusations that they are foaming at the mouth ranters with a phobia."

Really?

Because it seems to me that the people here are overly accepting and forgiving when they encounter this kind of abuse. Even when it is done by a repeated offender who promised to change their ways just a week or two ago.

Shall I remind you how this community reacted, when I dared to suggest that these kinds of personal attacks would be moderated?

Well guys, you reap what you sow.
SC
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 6:29pm (UTC -6)
It seems like Jammer is slowly becoming bored with Discovery and writing the weekly reviews is a chore. I can't say I blame him. I gave up a few weeks back and don't regret it. There is A LOT of TV and film choice these days, too much to watch mediocre sci-fi.
Jeanne
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 9:46pm (UTC -6)
So I'm trans, and have been watching the show with two other people who are trans. All of us agreed that we loved Adira's pronoun reveal not having anything to do with them being joined, or any SF reasoning. I think all of us were deeply dreading that, that the showrunners would have felt the need to give some "explanation" for what's a pretty ordinary identity, and I give the show major props for going out of its way to create the opportunity to do that, then pointedly decline to take it. FWIW?
SlackerInc
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 12:20am (UTC -6)
@Jeanne, thanks for sharing your perspective. I agree that it's better not to dress it up in sci-fi cover. But I also think it would have been nice if the writers had come up with a way not to awkwardly shoehorn it into the dialogue in an unrealistic way. Unlike Dave, I do think there are natural points in conversation when third person pronouns come up. The ones used in this episode were not among them.
Mike
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 2:19am (UTC -6)
@Jeanne
"So I'm trans, and have been watching the show with two other people who are trans. All of us agreed that we loved Adira's pronoun reveal not having anything to do with them being joined, or any SF reasoning. I think all of us were deeply dreading that, that the showrunners would have felt the need to give some "explanation" for what's a pretty ordinary identity, and I give the show major props for going out of its way to create the opportunity to do that, then pointedly decline to take it. FWIW? "

Thank you - it's worth a lot to me, and I was one of the 'missed opportunity' people. Sometimes things are simple and should be presented that way, and I'm happy to give the show credit for that, and helping us to see things differently. I don't know if humanity will ever reach the stage where everyone understands everyone else completely, but it's something Star Trek has always aspired to.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 2:39am (UTC -6)
I just happened to catch a snipped of the said dialogue on another Trek forum.

It's absurd. No person would actually talk that way. The closest thing in real life I could think of, is people who sarcastically overuse a pronoun to emphasize their dislike or disrespect towards another person.

What happened to using a person's first name? Or rank? It would have actually made the point more powerful, if the nonbinary pronouns were used as sparsely and as naturally as we'd expect any other pronoun to be used in such a conversation.

Another thing that hurts the message, is the way they make such a big deal of it in-universe.

But that's Nu Trek for you. They care more about ticking boxes of virtue signalling, then about showing us an actual hopeful future.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 9:03am (UTC -6)
@Jason R.

"The simple explanation is that "non-binary" is what a person who calls themself non-binary is.

It's an entirely unfalsifiable, untestable proposition."

By your own definition (which is 100% correct) it's easily testable: if a person calls themselves nonbinary, then that's what they are.

It's nothing more and nothing less than a question of personal identification. Science has nothing to do with it. Insisting on "scientific proof" that a person is nonbinary makes about as much sense as insisting on a scientific proof that they are Christians or Trekkies or Green Bay Packer fans.

Of-course this goes both ways. The fact that gender identification is a matter of personal experience is precisely why 99% of the discourse on the topic misses the mark. The only reason it's an issue, is that we live in a society which obsesses about fitting people into tidy little boxes with a certain role printed on them. It's a matter of people that society squeezed into the "male" box, who realize that this box isn't a good match for them.

Which raises the question: why force ourselves into boxes in the first place? What is so wrong with just being "me"?

Society, of-course, tries to tell us otherwise. If you don't fit into one of the neat little boxes, you'll get shunned and persecuted. That's the current sad reality, and this situation should be fought against in any way we can. But you know something? Adding more boxes with labels such as "trans" or "nonbinary" doesn't do sh*t to solve this underlying problem. Having *new* boxes to stick people in (whether we do it to ourselves or to others) is hardly cause to celebrate.

What we really need is to get rid of the boxes completely. Why can't people just accept every person as a unique individual? Why can't we just respect the myriad quirks and oddities that make humanity such a diverse species?
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 9:14am (UTC -6)
"It's nothing more and nothing less than a question of personal identification. Science has nothing to do with it. "

We agree. That was my original point.
Booming
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 9:18am (UTC -6)
I just want to point out that trans is not a "new box". Even Mohamed already wrote about Transpeople. That is why a country like Iran financially supports gender reassignment surgery and has legal protections for transpeople. Buddhism has more than two genders. Hinduism has three for almost 4000 years, the third is for intersex and transpeople. Before the British made all that illegal transpeople could reach high offices in India.
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -6)
@Booming if I had to point to the thing that bothers me most on the trans file there would be basically two items:

1) I think giving kids puberty blocking drugs and/or surgeries is an atrocity; and

2) Forcing us collectively and individually to believe that self identification trumps sex in determining gender.

The first item is self explanatory.

As to the second, in our culture gender is derivative of sex, absent highly unusual circumstances (hermaphrodites etc...)

I see no reason whatsoever why anyone should be forced to see it differently. Sex is a perfectly valid, understandable and justifiable marker for gender. It has the advantage of being objective, easily discernible and straightforward in the cast majority of cases.

I take no issue with science purporting to show how trans brain chemistry differs from non trans etc... I just don't accept someone's right to force me to believe that self-identification is the metric and not sex.

This is not a scientific question but an ideological one.

Why not just go along with it? Why is it skin off my back if someone claims to be a woman despite being biologically male? Well for one, language belongs to everyone. Pronouns belong to everyone. Others don't get to force our language to change to privilege their own feelings. And see 1) - I find the trans agenda vis a vis prepubescent children to be ghastly and overtly harmful.
Booming
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 11:04am (UTC -6)
@Jason
to your first point. That is obviously a tough one. I disagree that it is an atrocity, I find that a problematic choice of words. On one hand most transpeople start to experience gender dysphoria around the age of 7-9 and if you don't block puberty then that makes life for transpeople a lot harder, on the other hand can we not guarantee that some of those children might regret their decision later on. I haven't come to a clear opinion on the matter. It would of course make things a lot easier if we would find those genetic markers. But that is a Herculean task and an expensive one.

To your second point, as I explained it very likely goes far beyond self identification. There is statistical evidence that there is a genetic component to it. So it is not like feeling trans but being trans because of genetic components and realizing that. Another thing is hormones and brain structure.

"I take no issue with science purporting to show how trans brain chemistry differs from non trans etc."
No. The brain structure, especially after hormone replacement, is basically identical to the identified gender. There are other things, like hair structure, bone density, health risks and so on who change from one sex to the other through hormones.

You are saying that the most important factor is phenotype, I think it is brain structure.
Brain trumps genitals.
This video from Harvard University explains it best.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEC7FK0xVTQ&ab_channel=djoosf

"Why is it skin off my back if someone claims to be a woman despite being biologically male?"
You are probably in an age group in which gender identity was far more rigidly enforced. That could be a reason. I don't know. Aren't you Jewish, didn't that teach you a few things about intolerance and that is often not logical?

Not wanting to shut down the debate but I'm not overly interested in discussing this even more exhaustive then we already did. I hope you are not to cross with me when I will only give very short answers about any of those topics.
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -6)
"You are saying that the most important factor is phenotype, I think it is brain structure.
Brain trumps genitals."

I take no issue whatsoever with your link or any evidence speaking to the brain issue.

But it's purely a matter of opinion whether "brain trumps phenotype" as you say or vice versa. How a society chooses to look at gender is not a scientific process.

I suppose we'll see. If as you say, my viewpoint comes from my upbringing and younger people will have a different view then that will be and my objections may prove irrelevent in the long term.

Who knows, one day medical science may even advance to the point that a truly seamless gender reassignment is possible and not the Frankenstein hatchet job our current methods permit. In that scifi scenario my feelings would be truly irrelevent because practically speaking, it would simply be impossible to tell the imitation from the genuine article.

But in the here and now 1) really is foremost on my list of practical worries because I do feel that young people are being manipulated and encouraged to take dangerous life altering drugs at earlier and earlier ages for, frankly, political reasons.

I do think that some of the doctors involved in this are, in a best case scenario, exposing themselves to huge civil liability in the future. In a worst case, some of them really are behaving in a manner that I would call criminal in its implications.

The nightmare here as a parent is that your child wants to transition, including drugs and surgery and any attempt at sober second thought or hesitation over frankly ruinous harm to the child's body are brushed aside in the name of faddish ideology. This is not a hypothetical scenario anymore.
Booming
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 11:57am (UTC -6)
I don't know the process for Canada so I can really not comment on that but in Germany it depends on the maturity of the child. And what faddening ideology? Like being pressured into being trans or something??

"I do think that some of the doctors involved in this are, in a best case scenario, exposing themselves to huge civil liability in the future. In a worst case, some of them really are behaving in a manner that I would call criminal in its implications."
On what is that thinking based? Do you have any proof for willful malpractice on a wider level? There will always be a few bad apples, obviously.
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 12:39pm (UTC -6)
"On what is that thinking based? Do you have any proof for willful malpractice on a wider level? There will always be a few bad apples, obviously."

The malpractice would be willful blindness to any explanation for gender confusion *other than* being trans. A prominent doctor at one of our gender identity clinics was fired a few years back for methodology that involved encouraging children to be comfortable with their biological sex. Note this doctor was not against medical intervention for genuinely trans individuals but he disputed the knee jerk "affirm no questions asked" mentality and got sacked for it.

Lately, I've started to hear the argument pop up that any attempt to encourage a child to be at peace with his/her biological sex (rather than uncritically accept their professed identity no questions asked) is akin to "conversion" therapy. So the second a child says he/she identifies differently, no matter the age, we are on a road potentially leading to drugs and /or surgeries.

And ya, administering puberty blocking drugs to a prepubescent is appalling. The claim that you can drug someone to stop or even delay puberty and that this is a harmless thing to do is outrageous.
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 12:46pm (UTC -6)
https://www.thecut.com/2016/02/fight-over-trans-kids-got-a-researcher-fired.html

In case you are interested Booming the background of the case is described above.
Booming
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
I wouldn't have thought that you read something like the cut but alright. :D (it is a women's fashion magazine)

That guys seems to have some controversial ideas. Considering that he got public funding and his views have become out of step with the medical views and guidelines. He also, as an editor, knowingly published a study that advocated gay conversion therapy (it was recanted later by the scientist). The doctor also stated that he is generally against affirming the gender identity of a trans teenager and some other things that seem to be behind the times or questionable. Medical professionals reviewed it and came to the conclusion they came to. He got 500k for breach of contract. Everybody wins.

"And ya, administering puberty blocking drugs to a prepubescent is appalling."
Nevertheless, I guess you are alright with cutting off parts of the penis of a child, aren't you? ;)

Let's not continue this. Ok. :)
Spock's beard
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 3:07pm (UTC -6)
A couple of good columns on this whole issue.

t's now easier for a teacher to decide your little girl is a little boy than it is to give them aspirin! In a vital new book, DOUGLAS MURRAY reveals how transgender rights have become one of the most toxic issues of our age https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7464157/amp/DOUGLAS-MURRAY-reveals-transgender-rights-one-toxic-issues-age.html

JK Rowling calls for end to 'climate of fear' around trans debate after being sent 'heart-breaking' letters from women who had irreversible gender reassignment surgery https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9034385/amp/JK-Rowling-calls-end-climate-fear-trans-debate.html
Trent
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 6:26pm (UTC -6)
Spock's Beard said: "DOUGLAS MURRAY reveals how transgender rights have become one of the most toxic issues of our age..."

Douglas Murray, who believes in the White Genocide Conspiracy, compares immigrants to the AIDS virus, worries about "rising Islamic birth rates" and "white Britons becoming a minority", spreads the "Great Replacement" conspiracy, advocates discriminatory policies against Muslims, is awash with Koch Industries dark money, has financial connections to far right groups and think tanks (Gatestone, Generation Identity etc), pimps for the English Defense League, the racist Pegida movement, the PragerU propaganda network, publishes climate change denialism, thinks that racist spree shooters might have "had a point", tweets quotes by Mussolini/fascist admirers and thinks that authoritarians, and wackos like Viktor Orbán, are better sentinels of "European values", is scared of transgenders?

Gee I wonder why.

Spock's Beard said: "JK Rowling calls for end to 'climate of fear' around trans debate after being sent 'heart-breaking' letters from women who had irreversible gender reassignment surgery"

If anyone's contributing to a "climate of fear", it is undoubtedly Rowling.

A study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6212091/) of surgeons performing trans-related care found that of a combined total of 22,725 transgender patients, 62 reported transition-related regret. This is under 0.3% of patients who seek trans-related surgery. This number also included patients who regretted transition because of social ostracization, medical complications, etc. Only 22 reported a change in identity/desistance. That's 0.1%.

There is no conspiracy to turn your kids transgender. There is no conspiracy to "police your speech". There is no conspiracy to "make you say pronouns". There is no conspiracy to "give kids puberty blocking drugs" and "make them irreversibly turn transgender". There is no "climate of fear" about discussing transgender issues. These are paranoid delusions. And when folk with delusions come up against reality, they tend to develop persecution complexes.

Notice too that transphobic ("We're not haters, we're just SKEPTICAL! and CONCERNED!") people are always ignoring experts and alluding to "anonymous letters", vague stories, hunches and isolated incidents to boost their paranoias (as though experts and scientists aren't already second, third, and forth guessing themselves to hell. As though science itself doesn't have, like a submarine sonar, its own self-correcting ping-effec).

We've seen this all before. People thought "teaching kids about gays" would cause "gayness to spread". They thought homosexuality was a choice. They thought homosexuals were faking it ("It's all in your mind!"). A civilization-ending aberration! Political correctness gone mad!

Similar paranoid hysterias surrounded the end of segregation, the end of anti-miscegenation laws, and the emancipation of women. It's always the same old arguments, the same old fears, the same old rhetoric.

And always such fear-mongering rhetoric is used to erect obstacles to things like transition care. You'll never find such folk advocating for things like ensuring that high-quality and comprehensive information are provided to all patients. They'll never call for the destigmatizing of exploring one's gender identity, so that people exploring their identity do not feel locked into making decisions before they're ready or even at all (which doctors and medical counselors are trained to do).

Why? Because people like Murray and Rowling don't actually care about trans people. They'd prefer all trans people be barred care if there's a chance that even a single cis person might mistakenly transition. Or in Murray's case (a gay man no less), prefer if trans people didn't exist at all.

Anyway, the "Trans Debate" has been won long ago. A few people may find themselves kicking and screaming as they're dragged into the 21st century, but they will fade.

Ubik said: "So, this "non-binary" thing feels, to me, like a step in the opposite direction, to before the feminist movements of the 60's and 70's. "

Yes, and it's an interesting argument put forth by many TERFS (trans-exclusionary radical feminists). The belief that transgender people shouldn't adopt traditional gender tropes (masculine/feminine tropes, social codes etc), because such things either propagate gender stereotypes, or undermines the concept of a "trans identity" itself.

But such things are a kind of intellectual dead end. You can't police how transgender folk think, what they yearn for, and how they interact or are shaped by society. They're free to do what they want. And given how hard it is right now to do what they want, these kinds of questions often get read by them as attacks

It's an interesting topic though. Whenever I ask trans people about this stuff, they say's its a kind of rude topic, but that they can nevertheless see these kind of questions being wrestled with in the future, when trans stuff is a bit more normalized.
Jason R.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 6:39pm (UTC -6)
""We're not haters, we're just SKEPTICAL! and CONCERNED!""

I never claimed not to hate.

I don't hate trans people mind you. But the activists who advocate for them I don't just hate but loathe. Anything to spit in their faces. Whatever they hate I love.
Peter G.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 11:06pm (UTC -6)
@ Trent,

"The belief that transgender people shouldn't adopt traditional gender tropes (masculine/feminine tropes, social codes etc), because such things either propagate gender stereotypes, or undermines the concept of a "trans identity" itself.

But such things are a kind of intellectual dead end. "

There are many angles to the question of what is best for society, for individuals, for group success, for individual liberty, and all that. I think it's reasonable to take a position if one feels strongly about it, and even for that position to be a revolutionary one. Just a few years ago, for instance, it was practically unheard of for anyone to support the idea of a UBI, but now at leas the concept has been normalized to a large extent (ironically thanks to Covid-19) and it's not quite so radical. So the new position can become relatively mainstream, and finally accepted as obvious. In the case of UBI I'm speaking as a Trek fan, hoping one day for the Federation utopia.

But regarding your quoted comment, while you may or may not be right to take the position you're taking - I suppose history will be the judge - just remember that the position you're attacking has been more or less the standard feminist position since the 60's until quite recently. Not that one has to maintain that position, but it's not exactly a reactionary idea like you're making it sound like, to suggest that male/female gender norms have been a problem in the past and should be dissolved. Whether or not I agree with that (or with your position) it should at minimum be understood that the position you're advocating for as 'obvious' is extremely new and essentially a flipping of the narrative that pushed women's rights advocates for many years. Maybe they were all wrong (and that is totally possible), but I wouldn't be flip about it. If they were wrong, it's a big deal. At minimum I would suggest that if two generations of activists you wrong it is probably appropriate to give it a generation before denouncing people not in with the new system. That's how these things work, people don't just flip on a dime from lifelong convictions.
Peter G.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 11:08pm (UTC -6)
Typo above: "...if two generations of activists WERE wrong..."
Booming
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 2:39am (UTC -6)
@Peter G
Jason said that Transpeople makes his skin crawl and that he hates anybody who fights for transrights. Any comments on that?

If I would say that when I see a Jew I want to vomit and that I despise anybody who fights against antisemitism. Would you comment on that?
Jason R.
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 6:23am (UTC -6)
"Jason said that Transpeople makes his skin crawl"

Absolutely false.

"and that he hates anybody who fights for transrights"

I despise trans "activists".

"If I would say that when I see a Jew I want to vomit and that I despise anybody who fights against antisemitism. Would you comment on that?"

Haha. I'm an atheist you know. Not sure where you got the idea that Judaism was a big deal for me or that I'm hung up on Jewish identity.

But maybe we've gone a notch too far on this thread, both of us.

Sorry. Trent always triggers me.
Jason R.
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 6:50am (UTC -6)
Really sorry guys. Gonna dial it back here.
Booming
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 7:36am (UTC -6)
@Jason R
"Absolutely false"
Doesn't this "Why is it skin off my back if someone claims to be a woman despite being biologically male?" mean the same as "makes my skin crawl"? If not then my bad. Metaphors and all, tough to grasp sometimes. I thought your sentence meant that you have a strong negative reaction just when you see a transperson.

"I despise trans "activists".
and these are different from people fighting for trans rights?

"Haha. I'm an atheist you know.Not sure where you got the idea that Judaism was a big deal for me or that I'm hung up on Jewish identity."
I don't think that antisemites care about how you define yourself. See what I did there?! I switched it around. :D
Robert
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 7:51am (UTC -6)
@Booming

It’s clear Jason R. doesn’t want to discuss this anymore. Just leave him to his Parler account where he can freely discuss with non-woke people The White Man’s Burden.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 10:51am (UTC -6)
@ Jason R.

If that's how you feel, that's how you feel ... own your statesments.

I won't condemn you, but I'd take a long look in the mirror if I were you. Despising someone is a very strong emotional reaction to have.

@ Robert

Vonservatives are not automatically evil so can we move away from this simplistic condemnation dichotomy?
Jason R.
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 11:04am (UTC -6)
"I won't condemn you, but I'd take a long look in the mirror if I were you. Despising someone is a very strong emotional reaction to have."

Agreed. It's unpleasant. Never used to feel that way about anyone.
Booming
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 11:23am (UTC -6)
@ Jason R
"Agreed. It's unpleasant. Never used to feel that way about anyone."
Your statements about Black Lives Matter sounded somewhat similar. With all the upheaval and Covid chaos that can have very negative effects on peoples minds. I said this back then but maybe get some support. Knowing that we here will go into a hard lockdown soon... I am as we say in Germany "Reif für die Insel" which could be translated to I'm ready for the funny farm. Now I'm giggling about the ready for the funny farm sentence, which probably means that I am. :)
Peter G.
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 11:24am (UTC -6)
@ Booming,

Just a couple of English clarifications (since I think understanding each other is important in any conversation):

"Doesn't this "Why is it skin off my back if someone claims to be a woman despite being biologically male?" mean the same as "makes my skin crawl"? If not then my bad. Metaphors and all, tough to grasp sometimes. I thought your sentence meant that you have a strong negative reaction just when you see a transperson."

The phrase "no skin off my back" is a colloquialism meaning "doesn't cost me anything", and is usually used to mean "it doesn't bother me." It can sometimes mean something like "I am neutral on this subject."

One other one:

""I despise trans "activists".
and these are different from people fighting for trans rights?"

Usually the term "activists" can mean anything ranging from bloggers to protesters, but I suspect that 'activism' in this context is meant to mean "people who like to tell other people what to do." I have myself spoken with members of the LGTBQ community who have a problem with 'activists' in the sense that there are some who create intense hostility and conflict rather than dialogue. But obviously they are very happy in general for the movement supporting their lifestyles. So if I'm right Jason R. means the term activism in the way it's sometimes used, as referring to the hostile or dogmatic crowd.
Booming
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 11:26am (UTC -6)
@Peter G
hmm ok. Thanks for explaining.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
@Booming
" I just want to point out that trans is not a 'new box' "

I'm fully aware that trans as a whole is an ancient idea.

I was talking about western society and the current situation, which is obsessed with defining people by their gender.

You said this yourself:
"Being trans when it comes to behavior has two main stages. First liberating yourself from behavior patterns that are typical for gender a that is seen not as the right one, but after that comes an even more complicated step, choosing what is the a fitting behavior/identity"

The starting point of this entire process is the notion of "typical" male/female behavior. So I ask again: What's so wrong with just being ourselves? Why this obsession with definitions?

By the way, there's something wonderfully ironic in the fact that the extremists on both side of this debate actually agree on the same wacky premise:

Both sides believe that male brains and female brains are fundamentally different, and that each type is somehow hardwired to behave in the "appropriate manner" for their sex.

Both sides are also eager to ignore reality when it slaps them in the face. There are millions of people who don't fit the mold. One side says "they're mentally ill/criminals/sinners/abominations" and the other side says "they are not really male/female but something else". Both sides are f***-ing insane.

Here is a radical idea:

How about we leave the archaic idea of "male brain/female brain" to armchair chauvinists like Archie Bunker, and instead acknowledge the vast diversity of the human race?
Jason R.
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
"I said this back then but maybe get some support. Knowing that we here will go into a hard lockdown soon"

Thanks lol about the "skin off my back" thing. Didn't even realize you misinterpreted my statement. Now I get it.
Booming
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 12:43pm (UTC -6)
@Omicron
Not to drag this out much longer but I would argue that Western society, in fact all societies have always been obsessed with defining gender. At least I cannot recall a single time in history were men and women were treated equal or that people could just be who they wanted to be.

And there are a few significant physiological differences between male and female brains. You can change this differences through hormones from female to male and vice versa. What that means for behavior is of course another question entirely and one we here certainly cannot answer.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 12:46pm (UTC -6)
“How about we leave the archaic idea of "male brain/female brain" to armchair chauvinists like Archie Bunker, and instead acknowledge the vast diversity of the human race?”

This sounds good, but it kind of dodges the conflict. A nonbinary person doesn’t feel good as a he or she and prefers another pronoun. The English language has no natural nonbinary alternative so they’re stuck with the closest best which is the awkward “they/them”.

On the one hand we as a society could blame these people for wanting to be free of conventional pronouns. The other side of the coin is that English-speaking society has some responsibility in the shortcomings of its language. And really, the shortcomings of living language are not static, we adapt new words and drop old ones every year.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
@Trent

I find your complaints of "fear-mongering" to be downright hilarious, when 70% of your last post was nothing except fear-mongering.

Here is a tip for you:

Accusing pretty much everybody of being a conspiracy alt-right racist homophobe nut is not doing your views any favors. If you want people to take you seriously, you might want to stop doing that.
Yanks
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Jeeesh guys.... there is a new episode out.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 2:25pm (UTC -6)
@Booming
"Not to drag this out much longer but I would argue that Western society, in fact all societies have always been obsessed with defining gender. At least I cannot recall a single time in history were men and women were treated equal or that people could just be who they wanted to be."

No argument there.

My point is that this obsession is a problem. We should strive to eliminate it, rather than of creating more instances of it.

"And there are a few significant physiological differences between male and female brains."

Yes...statistically.

But human beings are not bits of statistics. They are individuals.

If (say) 90% of the males exhibit similar brain patterns while 10% don't, this doesn't mean that those 10% suddenly require an entire new gender to explain their behavior. It simply means that they are different from the majority.

Of-course, Western Society is just as obsessed with "conforming to the majority" as it is with gender. But I think we both agree that this - too - is a problem.

@Mike C.
"On the one hand we as a society could blame these people for wanting to be free of conventional pronouns. The other side of the coin is that English-speaking society has some responsibility in the shortcomings of its language."

There are already alternatives like "xe/xir". If these aren't in the dictionary already, they will be shortly.

And I'm not really sure why this has to be so complicated. I don't see any difference between a guy preferring "xe/xir" over "he/him" and a guy named Robert who intensely dislikes it when people call him "Bob".

Both are personal preferences. If a friend asked me not to use a certain nickname his dislikes, or prefers "Cal" to "Calvin" then I would respect his wishes. If another friend told me xe prefer "xe" over "he", I would respect xir wishes. Heck, I just did, and that guy... gal... person (what's the gender neutral word for guy/gal?) isn't even real!

On the other hand, demanding complete strangers to match their language with our personal preferences is quite childish. Asking is fine. If it sticks - wonderful. But demanding it and then pouting that the other person is a transphobic bigot when they say no - that's not okay at all. If people are unwilling to change their basic usage of English to accommodate your sensibilities, that is certainly their right.
Mike C
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 3:11pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

“If a friend asked me not to use a certain nickname his dislikes, or prefers "Cal" to "Calvin" then I would respect his wishes. If another friend told me xe prefer "xe" over "he", I would respect xir wishes. Heck, I just did, and that guy... gal... person (what's the gender neutral word for guy/gal?) isn't even real!”

Great points all around and I highlighted this portion for emphasis. It’s easy to get stuck down in the trenches of Free Speech or Inclusiveness, but I’d like to think that in real life most of us would honor a simple request by someone we see regularly on how to call them. Is that hopelessly optimistic?
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
Here's my feeling on resistance to codifyjng pronoun usage:

People (or at least American people) don't like being told they have to speak a certain way. Threatening reprisals over words covered by the Constitution isn't going to make anyone more sympathetic to the cause. It just creates resistance and a lack of inertia towards social acceptance.

I do think it amusing that no one would accept a company punishing someone for exercising their religious rights or the employee's right to protest, but free speech rights are somehow subject to a myriad of exceptions.

To state it plainly; .Just because someone expresses views disliked by the majority isn't enough justification to stifle their right to speak or deny them jobs or business opportunities.
SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks, don't you prefer this discussion stay in an old thread rather than migrating to the newest, current one?

@Booming (quoting @Jason R): "'And ya, administering puberty blocking drugs to a prepubescent is appalling.'
Nevertheless, I guess you are alright with cutting off parts of the penis of a child, aren't you? ;)"

You may have caught Jason in an inconsistency there, but for myself I believe both circumcision (absent the very rare medically necessary exceptions of course) AND administering puberty blocking drugs to a prepubescent are appalling.

@Trent: "If anyone's contributing to a "climate of fear", it is undoubtedly Rowling."

Pffft. I'm largely with Rowling, and the TERFs, on this. Although I don't know how they feel about women's sports. In most areas of life, I think it would be good if we stopped being rigid about gender in general. Just let people be people. But if we erase all boundaries, you can no longer have genuine set-asides for women's sports where there is big money on the line. Winning the Wimbledon championship will net you more than $3 million. Not bad for day's work (or, I suppose, two weeks' work). The male and female champions each get the same amount. But there are thousands of men who could defeat any current member of the Women's Tennis Association, so with that kind of huge financial incentive it becomes very important not to say anyone who feels like a woman can simply declare themselves one and be treated as such in that realm.

I agree with @Mike C that it's rude not to honor someone's request as to what pronouns to use in referring to them. However, I also agree with @Dave in MN that it's wrong for someone to face legal consequences for being rude outside the workplace. That goes in most cases for career consequences as well, with the exception of situations like working for GLAAD or something like that, where it's reasonable to expect someone to be committed to the cause if they want to work there.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 8:09pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN

"It just creates resistance and a lack of inertia towards social acceptance."

You have no idea...

I'm quite an accepting person. As a person who frequently encountered prejudice in their own life, I have always been careful to never deal the same bitter pill to others. I'm also a big fan of Star Trek's dream of a world where people just accept one another for who they are.

And yet, these PC warrior types drive me completely crazy. Whenever I encounter them, I suddenly feel the need to repeat the mantra "not all LGBT people are like these aggressive kooks" 27 times just to keep my sanity in check.

So yes, I'll say that these guys have a serious problem.

@SlackerInc (in regard to Trent's claim that Rowling is 'fear-mongering')
"Pffft."

Man, that's just the perfect response to anybody who dares accuse J.K. Rowling (of all people!) of fear-mongering or intolerance in general. Pffft indeed.
Trent
Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 1:38pm (UTC -6)
Jason said: "I don't hate trans people. But the activists who advocate for them I don't just hate but loathe. Anything to spit in their faces. Whatever they hate I love. "

I don't hate desegregation, just those big city folk who push them blacks on us! If they want to integrate, let them do it on their own terms!

I don't hate gays, just the egg-head libruls that keep parading them about! They'd stay quiet and out of sight if others didn't dangle 'em about in everybody's dang face!

I don't hate trans folk, just the big city folk who keep...

etc etc etc. We've seen this all before. The excuses and rationalizations are always the same.

Peter said: "I think it's reasonable to take a position if one feels strongly about it..."

Yes, but you don't go up to a black woman the day after she's been given the right to vote, and diss her for marrying a white dude ("SISTER, YOU DON'T NEED MEN!"). A trans person yearning to be "normal" all their life, and who yearns for a kind of acceptance and assimilation, is going to react badly to being told they're "bad" and "wrong" for wanting the things they're now suddenly allowed to have.

There's a time and place to push for certain things. Heteronormative people can barely tolerate such gender questions, and you're going to push that on trans people now, in 2020? Talk to them. They view this as persecution.

Peter said: "Just a few years ago, for instance, it was practically unheard of for anyone to support the idea of a UBI, but now at leas the concept has been normalized to a large extent (ironically thanks to Covid-19) and it's not quite so radical."

Yeah, but a lot of "radicals" pushing the "trans folk should make their own genders!" stance are genuine reactionaries. It's a lot of Christian and women's groups trying to protect old conceptions of maternity, womanhood and marriage. They feel their little protected spaces, distinctions and taxonomies breaking down ("Trans women aren't real women!").

And meanwhile you have a subset of radical feminists who place an ingrained hatred of men onto trans women ("You're just another deceptive man!"). It's hard to find actual feminists who both recognize, say, trans women as women, AND who advocate for all folk to reject traditional gender norms. Most have ulterior motives. And surely a real gender abolitionist would embrace the subjectivity of socially constructed notions like Man and Woman anyway.

And so when people who tend to hate you, and who don't recognize your existence, are coming at you constantly with these arguments ("Hey trans folk, you don't need our gender constructs! Nobody does!"), you're going to understandably reject these arguments outright.

Peter said: "That's how these things work, people don't just flip on a dime from lifelong convictions."

Yeah, paradigms mostly shift when people start dying off, or when forced by laws. I think trans people will reject the aforementioned arguments, then rediscover them themselves in a couple generations time.

Omicron said: "I find your complaints of "fear-mongering" to be downright hilarious, when 70% of your last post was nothing except fear-mongering..."

You are misreading. 70 percent of my post was fear-mongering, because I was quoting the beliefs of idiots. Murray is an idiot. And an alt-right racist and transphobe. Anyone uncomfortable with how their own personal anti pronoun, anti activist, anti trans, anti puberty blocking beliefs aligns with Murray should either not cite Murry as an example, or mount less ridiculous defenses of their views.

Omicron said: "Accusing pretty much everybody of being a conspiracy alt-right racist homophobe"

Quit saying i'm alt-right! Yes, I know you didn't say I'm alt-right, but quit making me infer it! Also, watch as I label everything I hate as creeping authoritarianism and watch as I casually demonize and stigmatize everyone as alt-leftys and sneaky radicals! Grrr, those damn activists! They're making me hate good people! Grrrr!


Dave said: "Threatening reprisals over words covered by the Constitution isn't going to make anyone more sympathetic to the cause."

Nobody is legally threatening reprisals over wrongful pronoun use. You are wildly misunderstanding how free speech laws work. These laws have been applied to you, and your gay identity, for decades, and you did not bat an eyelid.

Dave said: "It just creates resistance and a lack of inertia towards social acceptance."

The science says the precise opposite. Laws enshrine and hasten forms of social acceptance. You make it legal for women to drive, and society accepts women drivers. You make it illegal to segregate schools, and society accepts mixed schools. You make it illegal to abuse animals, and cruelty becomes stigmatized. You close tax loopholes, and dodging becomes more unacceptable. You implement sexual harassment laws, and sexual harassment goes down. You implement climate laws, and nature is respected more. You extend hate speech laws to trans folk, and you protect trans people.

Conversely, you do not mandate that schools be desegregated, and segregation goes on. You do not abolish slavery, and the south maintains its slave plantations. You do not extend hate speech laws to trans folk, and you make it easier to harm them, or pass legislation persecuting them etc etc etc.

Those who hide behind this rhetoric - "stop telling me what to do! It only makes me hate you more!" - are rationalizing an aversion to a position they were never interested in, or would never have held.

And the cartoonish little "trans folk are coming for our pronouns" and "activists are using pronouns to implement some kinda gender dystopia!" scenario they believe in, exists only in their minds. Like every other hysteria.

Dave said: "I do think it amusing that no one would accept a company punishing someone for exercising their religious rights or the employee's right to protest..."

You've got things back to front. We regularly mandate that companies don't use "religious rights" as an excuse to persecute customers, and the folk in countries like the US or Australia who are pushing through laws (the Religious Freedom Bill, the Fairness for All Act etc) allowing religious folk to persecute customers along religious lines (LGBT, trans or, in the past, black people), are the same folk who don't want to talk about trans people and their pronouns, and who don't want employees, especially trans employees, to have a right to protest and protection.

Dave said: "Just because someone expresses views disliked by the majority isn't enough justification to stifle their right to speak or deny them jobs or business opportunities. "

You do not understand how free speech laws work, you do not understand how hate speech laws work, and you do not understand the criteria necessary for a court of law to curtail one's right to free speech. This is a paranoid fantasy.


Slacker said: "AND administering puberty blocking drugs to a prepubescent are appalling."

This is the same absolutist thinking common in those opposed to abortion. We know banning abortions leads to more abortions and more problems, we know legalizing abortion leads to less abortion, and every sensible person knows killing babies is wrong, but that this must be nevertheless balanced with a woman's rights, a parent's rights (if the mother is underage), various medical criteria and so on; and so the setting up of term limits for abortions, and various planned parenthood departments etc, is a kind of nuanced, balanced approach to the issue.

In a similar way, absolutist thinking plagues thinking about trans people. Yes, forcing a kid to "wrongfully take puberty blockers" is bad, but a transgender kid being forced to go through puberty is equally devastating (depression, suicide, anxiety, low education performance, self harm etc), treatments are reversible (you fully reverse within 2 years of stopping the blockers, and the process can be cut down to mere months if you take hormone boosters), less than 0.1 percent of people regret them (about 3.9 regret them in the sense that they're socially persecuted for the decision), puberty blockers are not the same thing as hormonal therapy (which is not typically prescribed to kids), and kids must meet strict criteria and testing by counselors, psychologists and doctors before being approved for blockers, so that the experts involved are as sure as possible that gender incongruity is present. And these things aren't rushed. It takes years to be approved.

A kid begins to form its gender identity by 3 or 4 years old. These are not naive, confused little things that magically figure themselves out by 18. And scientists are not trigger happy ideologues itching to pump kids full of drugs and trans up the world. Nor can they do this stuff without parental consent.

The fear of legions of kids "transed up" against their will is the same fear of legions of kids "gayed up" by teachers talking about homosexuals. It's a non issue. Experts are hyper-critical of what they're doing.

Slacker said: "Pffft. I'm largely with Rowling..."

Rowling says stupid stuff, lies a lot, believes in the "rapid-onset gender dysphoria" conspiracy, and routinely cites bad science (data harvested from people surveyed on anti trans sites) . She doesn't consider trans women real women, and her chief schtick is the following silly argument: she thinks making it too easy to identify as a woman will lead to men claiming they're trans in order to enter women's bathrooms and abuse them. She’s taken one possibility, inflated it to a strawman, and used it to justify being wary of all trans people, whilst also ignoring how anyone can dress up as a woman and enter a woman's bathroom anyway.

It's interesting that all the major young Harry Potter actors publicly condemned Rowling for the stuff she's been saying over the past four years. It's a generational thing. Older people, and religious folk like Rowling (the "rapid-onset gender dysphoria" theory she promotes originated from a single Christian researcher from rigged data) , just tend to be more scared (BUT ACTUALLY CONCERNED!) of trans stuff.

Slacker said: "Although I don't know how they feel about women's sports."

That's a different issue and a legitimate concern or problem. Sports have started to employ strict rules regarding the amount of hormones you have, to make it harder for trans men or trans women to just roll up in a tournament and out class everyone else.

Slacker said: " However, I also agree with @Dave in MN that it's wrong for someone to face legal consequences for being rude outside the workplace."

That's not how laws work, as I explained some days ago. Hate speech must meet very specific, legally established criteria, for a court to back away from one's right to free speech. This is a false issue and kind of paranoia.

Omicron said: "As a person who frequently encountered prejudice in their own life..."

Murray is gay. Black people can be deeply homophobic and sexist despite facing extensive racism. Encountering prejudice doesn't make one immune from instinctively adopting other forms of prejudice.

Omicron said: "I'm also a big fan of Star Trek's dream of a world where people just accept one another for who they are....And yet, these PC warrior types drive me completely crazy. ..aggressive kooks.... etc"

Case in point. This kind of visceral reaction is wildly out of proportion with reality. There is no pronoun policing SJW armada flocking to Clockwork Orange your brain and feed your puberty blockers.

Omicron said: "the perfect response to anybody who dares accuse J.K. Rowling (of all people!) of fear-mongering or intolerance in general. Pffft indeed."

Rowling, who coincidentally writes under the pseudoname of the guy who pioneered gay conversion therapy, who willfully lies about a court case (Maya Forstater), who's buddies with Magadalen Burns (a woman who describes trans people as "black face actors" faking it for "dirty f**king perversions"), who lies about science, who promotes the "rapid-onset gender dysphoria" conspiracy, who cites a single paper derided by the scientific community to promote her views on "desistance", who thinks kids "fake being transgender because they're mentally disturbed" or "want to be trendy", who thinks "trans women aren't women", who thinks trans women are a threat to cis women (again, the science says otherwise: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pon.0016885), who mis-cites a paper to prove that "transitioning makes people suicidal" which led to the researcher of the study releasing a paper explaining why she's wrong etc etc etc, is your go to expert on trans issues, and not Ron, Hermoine, and Harry Potter, who thinks she's an aggressive kook? Okay then.
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
@ Trent

If you want people to read what you write (and take it seriously), you might want to consider dropping the condescending attitude.

I'm not going to engage someone that's begins their statements with "you don't understand" multiple times. You aren't trying to converse, you're lecturing.

Not interested.
John
Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: The idea there's "nothing new to talk about in sci-fi anymore". That's always going to be the view - people were probably saying that before Asimov, before Dune, before TOS and HG Wells.

This current focus on trans issues just highlights for me the potential around the discussion of identity. How much we define ourselves based not only on gender, our bodies, but what we do, what we perceive ourselves to be. How about an episode about that? How about giving us a future in 900 years where we aren't still using stale old notions of "what I am" based on my employment, my upbringing, my body, my past, OR my gender. I imagine those legendary sci-fi writers of the past would have seen the current trans issues as the first step to envisioning a new way of perceiving ourselves, and be willing to explore that deeply.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 11:19pm (UTC -6)
@Trent

Thank you for providing yet another example of everything that's wrong with your PC-cult.

Special thanks for your character assassination of J.K.Rowling. Her case is a classic example of a PC-based witch hunt. A mob attack against a person who - while not perfect - is definitely not the kind of monster you're trying to paint her as.

Let's go over the actual facts here, shall we?

"Rowling, who coincidentally writes under the pseudoname of the guy who pioneered gay conversion therapy"

Sounds bad, doesn't it?

Until you realize that:
1. There are at least 4 historical figures that share the name in question.
2. The gay conversion dude was apparently such a minor figure in gay conversion history, that he isn't mentioned in the "Gay Conversion" wiki article at all. This is despite the fact that this article has a very extensive "history" section which mentions dozens of names.
3. If you have enough names to choose from, you could find a match for anything.
4. The guy's name isn't even an exact match. They had to use his middle name instead of his last name for it to work.
5. Gays and trans are two different things. While Rowling's relation to transpeople may be complicated, she showed nothing but full support for gays. The very idea that she deliberately chose the name of a (very obscure) gay conversion therapist is absurd.

In short, there's absolutely nothing to see here.

Moving on:

"who willfully lies about a court case (Maya Forstater)"

6. Try as I might, I could not find any evidence of Rowling lying about that court case (or about anything else).

I did find forum posts that say "Rowling continues to spread her lies", which referred to her opinions on the issue at hand. Is that what you call "willful lies"? Because if it is, then that's... well... a willful lie on your part.

7. Googling Maya Forstater's case, I see that she's been fired from her job because hse stating that "sexes are absolute and unchanging". Not for campaigning for this claim, mind you. Just for stating it on twitter, and discussing it with a few co-workers.

Funny, didn't you say that this kind of thing never happens? That the idea of people being fired for such things is nothing more than paranoid delusions?

Man, your credibility is falling lower and lower by the minute.

8. Rowling expressed her horror that such a thing can happen. I agree with her 100%. Forstater's statement may have been unfortunate, but in a democracy people shouldn't be fired just because they made an unfortunate statement.

Shame on you, Trent, for striking this against Jo.

9. Sifting through Rowling's comments about the topic, it is a bit difficult for me to gather her exact stance on it. But if Rowling is in fact guilty of anything, it is nothing more than ignorance.

That's no reason to demonize her the way you and your lot do. Especially when... well, I'll get to that a bit later.

"Who's buddies with Magadalen Burns (a woman who describes trans people as 'black face actors' faking it for 'dirty f**king perversions')"

10. I'm not even going to bother fact-checking this one, because it's irrelevant.

Now you're demonizing Rowling just because she (allegedly) has a transphobic *friend*? Boy, are you desperate to find trash on this woman.

"who lies about science"

11. What a marvelously vague statement that sounds ominous yet means absolutely nothing (and therefore impossible to defend against).

"who promotes the 'rapid-onset gender dysphoria' conspiracy"

11. Sounds really terrible, doesn't it.

But what does it really mean? What did Rowling really say?

I actually bothered to check.

What she said is that teenagers are sometimes affected by their peers when it comes to trans decisions. That society plays some role in these choices. And that if these topics are being endlessly pumped out on social media and elsewhere, there will be bound to be kids who get crazy ideas into their heads and later suffer for it.

And to be blunt: That's obviously true. Claiming that such a thing *never* happens is absurd. Even if I accept the idea that "real transgenderism" is 100% genetic (I personally have no idea whether that's the case) there would still be tons of false positives. Teens are susceptible to peer pressure. They sometimes do the most foolish things for the stupidest of reasons.

We could argue about how common this phenomenon is, but... wait, strike that. We *can't* argue about it, can we? Anybody who does that is automatically labelled as a transphobic monster.

I really wonder: how you guys expect anybody to learn anything useful under such conditions? Is it really fair to blame people for being ignorant, when you guys refuse to have an honest conversation? You constantly defend lies, deny obvious truths, and generally confuse the heck out of people.

How on earth do you expect to make any kind of progress in this manner?

At any rate, this is getting tiresome. I've already spent a few straight hours on this (including online research) and so far everything you've written on Rowling was either completely misleading or a gross exaggeration.

Is there really any point in going on? Somehow, I doubt the rest of your accusations will fair any better than those I've already checked.

So let's stop here. Thanks again, Trent, for giving us such a vivid demonstration of what the sane (and mostly quiet) majority has to fear.
Dave in MN
Mon, Dec 14, 2020, 11:01am (UTC -6)
@ John

Check out Alice Sheldon, who wrote secretly under the pseudonyms James Tiptree and Raccoona Sheldon. Practically every story she wrote examines these issues in some manner.

Also, avoid reading anything about her actual life until you've read most of her stuff.
CaptainMercer
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 7:29am (UTC -6)
Jammer's point in the last couple of full paragraphs is dead on. The Adira thing needs to be addressed. I just imagine this scenario..
I join a Trek group or message
Let's be hoenst with how this would go:
Imagine me joining this group.. and saying, as my first post,.. "the new season is ok.. but I think Adira sucks as a character." Then I press enter and wait for responses. I guarantee you you and I both know how well that would go over and the kinds of names I'd be accused of being.
Yet back in the 90s I got on a similar board and said "I like the new season . But Ezri sucks as a character ". Totally different.

This is because there is so much political baggage attached to every aspect about this show.. and the show uses this to protect itself from criticism.. it forces those that might lodge a legitimate complaint about the show to actually add a bunch of qualifiers ("I have nothing against non-binaries" or "I have nothing against POS") before they can even get to the core of their complaints.. and this HAS to make someone happy.. but it softens things way to much.
Mike C
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 7:57am (UTC -6)
@CaptainMercer

You can be sympathetic to nonbinaries and still think this show is terrible or Adira is terrible. Is that your position?
CaptainMercer
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 8:10am (UTC -6)
@Mike C
I like Adira I suppose (particularly before the scene in this this episode) .. so no it's NOT my actual position. I was just saying that the show has set itself up with so much baggage.. so many eggshells someone has to walk .. so many word games people have to play.. to make sure no one is offended before they can just state how they might feel.
Booming
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 10:25am (UTC -6)
@CaptainMercer
Quite a few people have written that they dislike Stamets and none of those prefaced that with an essay about how much they love and support the LGBT community and they were nevertheless not tarred and feathered.
Oh and many more voiced there displeasure with Burnham and still most came out of it alive. Myself included. I guess these eggshells are filled with hard boiled eggs.
Peter G.
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 10:33am (UTC -6)
"Oh and many more voiced there displeasure with Burnham and still most came out of it alive."

That's pretty disengenuous, considering that people here have been accused of sexism and misogyny multiple times for expressing dislike of Burnham.
Booming
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 10:56am (UTC -6)
But only a few times and in such a general way that it was self defeating.

The rest you can file under life is tough. ;)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
@CaptainMercer
" I was just saying that the show has set itself up with so much baggage.. so many eggshells someone has to walk .. so many word games people have to play.. to make sure no one is offended before they can just state how they might feel. "

While I agree that the show sets these eggshells up, I don't agree that we have to walk on them.

The situation is simple, really:

The show is using virtue signaling to manipulate you into feeling guilty for criticizing it's characters. It also using the same technique to manipulate others into getting offended when you criticize those characters.

So why walk into this obvious trap?

By the way, most people here don't get offended that easily. Booming is right about that.
Dave in MN
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 5:42pm (UTC -6)
Perhaps if director had removed some of the awkward dramatic pauses in the Adira pronoun scene and muted the syrupy nonstop soundtrack for a minute, it would feel less like they were being preachy manipulation.

IImagine this scene on DS9: ot would have been a passing mention in a dialogue-filled scene and it wouldn't have French Horns echoinh in the background.

The way the scene plays as it was aired, there does seem to be a lull in storytelling just to get on a soapbox.
Dave in MN
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 5:43pm (UTC -6)
^ awful typos on my part

*preachily manipulative
*Imagine
*it
* echoing
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 9:57pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
"Imagine this scene on DS9: It would have been a passing mention in a dialogue-filled scene and it wouldn't have French Horns echoing in the background."

DS9 would probably manage to do both: Keep the conversation natural yet still manage to make a poignant point.

Perhaps something like this (I'm no writer, so treat it as a very rough draft for a better scene that what we've actually got):

Stamets: She is fast.
...
Adira: "They" are fast.
Stamets: Hmm? [the other shoe drops] Ah. I'm sorry. I forgot some joined trills...
Adira: [casually] Not in my case. It's just that I've never felt like a "she" or "her", so...
Stamets: [awkwardly] Got it. Sorry.

Needless to say, this version of the scene would have no melodrama, no french horns, no grinding-the-entire-cosmos-to-halt-just-because-we-are-about-to-make-a-point.

In-universe, it's just a simple misunderstanding. Yet to a present-day viewer, that simple exchange would mean much more (you can also have fun trying to figure out what worldbuilding choices I've made that let to the above dialogue).

By the way:

I've actually watched the original scene before posting this. Man, I hate doing my homework, sometimes... ;-)
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 2:56am (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
I'm not a big fan of the term virtue signaling because the moment a black women or a gay guy and now transpeople are included people start shouting it, especially in video games. Which scene do you mean? The scene in the next? episode where Stamets and Culber talk while Adira sleeps feels preachy but I thought her coming out in this scene was pretty low key. Adira says what pronouns they prefer and Stamets says ok and that is it. It's not super sophisticated but alright, I thought.
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 3:34am (UTC -6)
I have to add a little story for our US American frenemies which behave these days more like the villains in this episode. In US Media the vaccine is always called the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer didn't develop the vaccine, a German company did (founded by a Turkish immigrant no less). In March and April the US Government tried to buy German companies to basically steal the vaccine programs, so that only US Americans would get the new vaccines and the German government had to intervene.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tozinameran
https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-confirms-that-donald-trump-tried-to-buy-firm-working-on-coronavirus-vaccine/

There is a German saying: With friends like these, who needs enemies.

I guess your mainstream and right wing and left wing fake news media didn't tell you that. :)
Noname
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 5:11am (UTC -6)
Wrong. It’s called the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Germany is mentioned in nearly every article where it’s relevant. Speaking of relevant, why are we talking about this?
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 6:17am (UTC -6)
@Noname
This episode is about withholding a cure for a problem. In the US articles I saw, it is always Pfizer and they had as much to do with the development as Fosun Pharmaceuticals which is nothing. I just found it amusing that the USA are so insecure that they have to claim a vaccine for themselves with which development they had nothing to do. The Moderna vaccine was developed in the USA.

A few quotes: New York Times: "The Trump administration is negotiating a deal to help Pfizer produce more doses of its vaccine in the first half of next year."
USA Today: "First in the US receive Pfizer's Covid vaccine."
Chicago Tribune:"The immunizations came a day after the state received 43,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that federal regulators recently approved for emergency use."

Hahaha oh man. :D
Noname
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 6:40am (UTC -6)
BioNTech received hundreds of millions for its mNRA vaccine candidates and their stock is soaring now. I doubt their feelings are hurt if a few U.S. news outlets don’t mention them in every sentence.
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 7:20am (UTC -6)
That was not the point. The point was that the current US government tried to steal the vaccines and then only give them to their own people while we would have continued to die which is actually even more evil then what the villains in this episode did.
That the USA after trying that still pretends like they invented the vaccine they tried to steal a few month ago is quite amazing.
Noname
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 7:33am (UTC -6)
BioNTech did not have the distribution power of Pfizer, so it was a collaborative effort between companies and governments. That you're trying to politicize something so important to the world shows more than a touch sadism.
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -6)
Yeah the truth can hurt. In that sense my comment might be sadistic.

You can go back to your shining city on a hill now.
Noname
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 9:58am (UTC -6)
But I’m in a valley. :D
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 10:16am (UTC -6)
Probably hill adjacent. :)

Joking aside it was actually really serious here in Germany. In the politico article they quoted the leading health expert for the governing SPD party who said:" The American regime has committed an extremely unfriendly act." If they had succeeded then tenth of thousands or maybe even several hundred thousand Europeans more would have died.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 10:49am (UTC -6)
@Booming
"The scene in the next? episode where Stamets and Culber talk while Adira sleeps feels preachy but I thought her coming out in this scene was pretty low key."

Kinda surreal that I'm the person asking you this, but... are you actually watching the show?

Both scenes are from this episode.

And the problem with the scene between Adira and Stamets is not in their words, but in the over-the-top way it was filmed.

You write this:

"Adira says what pronouns they prefer and Stamets says ok and that is it. It's not super sophisticated but alright, I thought. "

Which would have been perfectly fine. But that's a simple 10-second scene, and this isn't what we got.

What we've got is a scene that's padded to 3 times the length, with overdramatic awkward pauses and overemotional music. You might want to watch the scene again. It was anything but "low key".
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 11:58am (UTC -6)
@Omicron
I thought you didn't watch the show.
I guess we have different thresholds for overdramatic, didn't feel like that to me and 30 seconds for the first coming out scene in Star Trek doesn't seem excessive to me.

"Kinda surreal that I'm the person asking you this, but... are you actually watching the show?"
I'm asking myself that every time when I try to remember stuff.
Dave in MN
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 12:42pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

The plaintive brass soundtrack and the dramatic pauses push it into maudlin terrotory for me. It's the film equivalent of using italics, bold face and all caps.

Compare this scene to the TOS episode where Lincoln called Uhura a Negress.
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 1:06pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
It's far more on the nose in that TOS episode, I thought. I guess you are right about the music but that is such a staple of Discovery. You could literally pick any scene and say that it is bold face and all caps because that is what Discovery is, the opposite of subtle. For Discovery it was pretty low key. It wasn't a great scene or subtle but again I thought it was alright.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
@Booming
"I thought you didn't watch the show."

I don't.

But I watched these two specific scenes we've been talking about here, in order to be able to talk intelligently about them.

"You could literally pick any scene and say that it is bold face and all caps because that is what Discovery is, the opposite of subtle."

I get that when Discovery wants to do drama, it looks like this (or even worse).

But there's another seperate issue, which is the fact that the writers felt the need
to play this specific scene for drama at all.

Why? In-universe it makes absolutely no sense for the exchange to be dramatic, and that's why I call it virtue signaling. It's shoehorning a contemporary issue into a situation were it doesn't belong. And as often is the case with such misfires, it sends out a message that's the exact opposite of what was intended: That nonbinary people are so doomed to being stigmatized, that they still have these issues over a thousand years in the future.

I don't know about you, but I personally find this implication to be depressing.
Booming
Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
@Omicron
The fact that you know so little about the show is unfortunate because Earth isn't part of the Federation anymore.
After the Federation collapsed and Earth turned into this militaristic state who knows how certain things are handled. If this was 24th century Federation I would agree but it isn't.
SlackerInc
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 1:17am (UTC -6)
On DS9 allegedly being so much better, while I do agree it was a better show overall, it featured far too much of characters stopping everything and sitting there dishing to each other about their feelings, like it was a soap opera. That stuff really ground the show to a halt and is why I don't revere it the way so many of you do.

@Booming, it's not just the scene where she told them about her pronouns, but the one later in the show when they used a lot of tortured grammatical acrobatics to say "they" as many times as they could shoehorn in. It was SO awkward.

@OTDP: "What she said is that teenagers are sometimes affected by their peers when it comes to trans decisions. That society plays some role in these choices."

Yup. My eldest daughter's stepsister (my ex-wife's current husband's daughter) declared a couple years ago that she was now a he, changed her name and everything. That lasted about a year...and then she was like "oopsie, never mind". It was a phase, a case of a confused teenage girl jumping on a fad. That told me a LOT.

@Trent: "The science says the precise opposite. Laws enshrine and hasten forms of social acceptance. You make it legal for women to drive, and society accepts women drivers. You make it illegal to segregate schools, and society accepts mixed schools. You make it illegal to abuse animals, and cruelty becomes stigmatized. You close tax loopholes, and dodging becomes more unacceptable. You implement sexual harassment laws, and sexual harassment goes down. You implement climate laws, and nature is respected more. You extend hate speech laws to trans folk, and you protect trans people."

No. John Stuart Mill was right about this:

--------
Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.[...]

Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being "pushed to an extreme;" not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case. Strange that they should imagine that they are not assuming infallibility, when they acknowledge that there should be free discussion on all subjects which can possibly be doubtful, but think that some particular principle or doctrine should be forbidden to be questioned because it is so certain, that is, because they are certain that it is certain. To call any proposition certain, while there is any one who would deny its certainty if permitted, but who is not permitted, is to assume that we ourselves, and those who agree with us, are the judges of certainty, and judges without hearing the other side.[...]

We often hear the teachers of all creeds lamenting the difficulty of keeping up in the minds of believers a lively apprehension of the truth which they nominally recognise, so that it may penetrate the feelings, and acquire a real mastery over the conduct. No such difficulty is complained of while the creed is still fighting for its existence: even the weaker combatants then know and feel what they are fighting for, and the difference between it and other doctrines...But when it has come to be an hereditary creed, and to be received passively, not actively—when the mind is no longer compelled, in the same degree as at first, to exercise its vital powers on the questions which its belief presents to it, there is a progressive tendency to forget all of the belief except the formularies, or to give it a dull and torpid assent, as if accepting it on trust dispensed with the necessity of realizing it in consciousness, or testing it by personal experience; until it almost ceases to connect itself at all with the inner life of the human being.
--------

"we know legalizing abortion leads to less abortion"

No, that's false. There were not enough back-alley abortionists in the 1960s to engage in the number of abortions we saw after Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade dramatically reduced birth rates, especially among Black women, teens, poor women, and women 35-44: https://econofact.org/the-impact-of-roe-v-wade-on-american-fertility#:~:text=Based%20on%20these%20calculations%2C%20we,of%20Roe%20across%20demographic%20groups. In fact, many economists believe this drop in births was responsible for the dramatic drop in crime we saw in the 1990s.

"The fear of legions of kids 'transed up' against their will"

Straw man. I'm not saying it's against their will, I'm saying they shouldn't be allowed to choose it. No matter how desperately they want it, no matter how they beg and plead, no matter how satisfied the vast majority are with it years later.

"Hate speech must meet very specific, legally established criteria, for a court to back away from one's right to free speech."

I don't care how specific or legally established they are. I have the right to be a hateful asshole, and say hateful asshole things. The law has no business punishing me for doing so, nor do businesses have the right to punish their employees for doing so on their free time, any more than they have the right to punish them for holding some other radical belief they don't like (such as favoring socialism or "defunding police").
Amber
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 1:23am (UTC -6)
“I'm not saying it's against their will, I'm saying they shouldn't be allowed to choose it.”

Right, so instead of transgenders you’d prefer transvestites. Good thinking.
Booming
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 2:08am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
Yeah the second scene is a little too much. My eyes started to roll.

"No matter how desperately they want it, no matter how they beg and plead, no matter how satisfied the vast majority are with it years later."
This is an opinion you can hold, luckily the medical establishment in almost all countries in the Western world doesn't share your views. And you can of course then believe that these highly trained professionals have just decided that lightly or that they were forced by one of the least powerful minorities to do so. The arguments in this remind of how climate change denier argue.

" It was a phase, a case of a confused teenage girl jumping on a fad. That told me a LOT."
It really didn't, though. It told you something about that specific person. You are just generalizing a singular personal experience. The numbers Trent gave you were correct. Very few people who undertake these proceedings regret them later. Having only around 1 in a 1000 regret a medical procedure afterwards. That's pretty good compared to many other procedures. What you are effectively saying is that you would rather let 999 people suffer to not let 1 person suffer. After that you go on quoting John Stuart Mill?! Is this some elaborate 15 dimensional joke about utilitarianism? The need of 1 is more important than the need of the 999???
grey cat
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 5:07am (UTC -6)
SlackerInc Wrote:

"I'm not saying it's against their will, I'm saying they shouldn't be allowed to choose it. No matter how desperately they want it, no matter how they beg and plead, no matter how satisfied the vast majority are with it years later."

I agree with SlackerInc on this one.

You're not considerated responsible enough to drive a car or have childen or own a house or drink or smoke at various ages (mostly 16+) in the western world. So why on Earth should you be allowed to change something as fundamental as your sex before 16? I realise that's post puberty (so renders puberty blocker useless I guess) but the point stands.

If society doesn't consider you responsible enough to handle any of those things then you clearly don't have enough wisdom to make considered choices yet.

Unless we think kids are evolved enough now to responsibly drive at age 5 now. I mean it's not difficult to drive at all.

Personally I'd say most 16 year olds (UK law) don't seem responsible enough to be parents but that's another story.

@Booming
"luckily the medical establishment in almost all countries in the Western world doesn't share your views"

That doesn't seem very true. I see lots of evidence both ways on that one. Many doctors disagree with it. I just using Google and looking at articles/news/papers etc. I have no figures to back it up either way.
Booming
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 5:48am (UTC -6)
@grey cat
"That doesn't seem very true."
It nevertheless is. I meant the various national psychological associations like APA or the British Psychological society. in the UK it is relatively high for Europe (17; 16 in Scotland).
My general point was that the medical establishment will make an informed decision on the matter based on medical research and what we normal schnucks think is pretty irrelevant. Just to give an example. A certain amount of people who get vaccinated die but far more lives are saved. Children get vaccinated without their consent.

"Many doctors disagree with it."
There is no debate in science where 100% agree. I always wonder why people pull out some doctor and say:" This guys said this." If you had data that showed that 60% of psychologists disagree with it then you would really have a point.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
@Booming
"It really didn't, though. It told you something about that specific person. You are just generalizing a singular personal experience. The numbers Trent gave you were correct."

The numbers that Trent gave may have been correct for the era in which that survey was taken. So?

That was an era when "transitioning" wasn't a fad pumped by the media, teenagers weren't encouraged to "ignore their doubts" whenever the subject arises, and prepubescent children weren't regarded as valid candidates for hormonal treatments.

Do you seriously believe that these massive social changes won't affect the regret rate? That these changes won't result in countless youngsters flocking into the clinics for all the wrong reasons, and later realizing that they've made the mistake of their life?

You're a social scientist. You, of all people, should realize the magnitude of this disaster.
Booming
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 5:28pm (UTC -6)
@Omicron
This is just something you don't understand. Believe what you must.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 11:00pm (UTC -6)
Let me ask you two questions, Booming:

1. Say you are witnessing a discussion where everybody is making good points, and then suddenly one person would flippantly tell another "This is just something you don't understand. Believe what you must." without any explanation or reasoning.

What would you think about the situation?

2. Same as #1, but this time it is you - personally - who is the target of that flippant statement.

What would you think about the person who made that remark? Will you find it convincing? Impressive? Or just the opposite?

Food for thought.
Booming
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:01am (UTC -6)
1. That person doesn't want to alleviate your fears anymore. You are obviously 100% convinced of your opinion so discussing this any further is pointless. It is fairly similar to the 1990s where parts of society were worried about how now everybody would become gay because of positive depictions of gay people. Or why Russia forbids depicting LGBT people in any way. Also what did the SlackerInc example tell us? In the end only one thing, a child tried living that way for a year and then stopped that. Does that mean the child isn't trans? We don't know. There are numerous reason why somebody would stop being open about that. Most transpeople aren't. The child didn't start hormone replacement therapy. Isn't that process SlackerInc described how it is supposed to go? You might think that being trans is the easiest thing and everybody now is super supportive, actually even pushes you to be trans but reality is so far away from that. It is the old tale. Being accepting towards group (insert minority here) is a danger to the children.

2. I often react to these debates because I think that maybe the few trans people who come here feel a little better because they see that science is on their side and that somebody stands up for them. And that a few of the "Trans scare" people maybe reconsider their views. Still this is just me talking to a small number of people in a very remote corner of the Internet. This here is a nice often somewhat silly diversion and nothing more.

I have no interest in discussing this any further. For quite some time now actually. Have a nice day.
SlackerInc
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 8:47am (UTC -6)
@Amber: "Right, so instead of transgenders you’d prefer transvestites. Good thinking."

That's not really where I was going with it, but...what's wrong with being a "transvestite" (I assume you mean a cross-dresser)? What I think would be better is if people would just be gay, lesbian, bi, whatever floats their boat, and stop worrying about gender so much. If you were born with a fully functioning penis and testicles but what really turns you on is muscular guys who have those organs as well, just be a gay dude. Simple. No reason you have to become a "transwoman", although if you like to wear dresses and high heels for some reason, be my guest.

This is, more than anything, I'd like the woke/PC crowd to understand. There are definitely prudish/straitlaced/religious conservative people out there who really just wish everyone would stick to narrowly defined gender roles and be straight. But there are others of us (like Rowling) who look askance at a lot of the trans activism from a different angle, who absolutely embrace gay and lesbian sexual orientations but are a little skeptical of the whole idea of transgender, particularly when it gets into the area of taking hormones or having surgery.

You are of course still free to think people like us are totally wrong on the merits, but at least do us the courtesy of not lumping us in with the first group who just wants everyone to be "normal" (i.e., straight and gender-conforming). That's not me at all, and I've seen a number of others in this thread it doesn't describe either.
Kat
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 1:16am (UTC -6)
The amount of transphobia in this thread is astounding. Looking in on the outside can and never will give you the same perspective as living it. That being said I do not wish to discuss this as I’m in no mood to try and change anyone’s mind.

I do agree that Adria coming out could have been one quicker bit of dialogue though.

- Another nonbinary trekker
SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 3:39am (UTC -6)
I just learned that only a couple weeks ago, the British high court hit the brakes on puberty blocking hormones for kids under 16, a triumph of common sense.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/dec/03/puberty-blockers-ruling-curbing-trans-rights-or-a-victory-for-common-sense-
Booming
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 5:03am (UTC -6)
Ok SlackerInc we get it. After your "can all those trannies not just be gay or put on a dress or something" post, now this. Again old story. Not so long ago people would say that gays are just confused heterosexuals or that Lesbians just haven't found Mr. Right yet. The updated version is transsexuals are just confused gays but gays themselves are fine. I guess that is progress. I wonder what minority will just be confused in 30 years?

Can you stop now, please? Pretty please?
J-Dogg
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 5:57am (UTC -6)
@kat

Hardly surprising since pretty much everything is transphobic.

It's become a topic no one can even talk about without someone throwing that word in. This is a healthy discussion. If you actually want it to be accepted then you should stop looking for transphobia everywhere or you will keep finding it.
J-Dogg
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 9:01am (UTC -6)
@kat

Hardly surprising since pretty much everything is transphobic.

It's become a topic no one can even talk about without someone throwing that word in. This is a healthy discussion. If you actually want it to be accepted then you should stop looking for transphobia everywhere or you will keep finding it.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 1:32pm (UTC -6)
@Booming
"I often react to these debates because I think that maybe the few trans people who come here feel a little better because they see that science is on their side and that somebody stands up for them. And that a few of the "Trans scare" people maybe reconsider their views."

If those are your goals, then react intelligently.

Most of the people here that you label "transphobic" (including myself):

1. Have absolutely nothing against nonbinary people and are fully accepting of nonbinary people.
2. Disagree with you (and the PC crowd in general) on certain points.
3. Are willing to change their minds about #2 if you provide a compelling argument.

The trouble is that your arguments, so far, are terrible. Or worse: Ad hominems that aren't arguments at all.

Saying things like "you understand nothing, believe what you must" is not going to convince anyone to change their views in your favor. Lumping intelligent accepting people with religious nuts and ultraconservatives isn't helping your cause.

In fact, it is doing exactly the opposite. It makes your stance look dogmatic and cultish. Do you realize that?

"I have no interest in discussing this any further. For quite some time now actually."

Then stop.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"If you were born with a fully functioning penis and testicles but what really turns you on is muscular guys who have those organs as well, just be a gay dude. Simple. No reason you have to become a "transwoman", although if you like to wear dresses and high heels for some reason, be my guest."

It's not that simple.

Being gay and being trans are two completely different things. The fact that the two are lumped together is - indeed - part of the problem (by people on both sides of the argument).

True transgender means that a person feels that THEIR OWN BODY is wrong for them. It has nothing to do with who you are attracted to or what you like to wear.

So for a true (adult!) transgender, undergoing a sex-change operation may be the right thing to do. From the research I've done, there are many instances where it actually makes a person happier. So if it makes a person more comfortable in their own skin, why not?

The problem, these days, is differentiating between people who would actually benefit from the change, and those who got the idea into their heads for the wrong reasons.

Another problem is the widely-held belief that these things are absolute and unchanging, and that they are somehow determined by medical tests. They are not. They are determined by the subjective experience of the person in question, and this can change over time.

In short:

It is a complicated and delicate topic and people have many misconceptions about it.
Kat
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 3:08am (UTC -6)
@J-Dogg

To be fair, that’s a strong word yeah, I don’t like seeing *skepticism* but most of what I’m seeing here is somewhat balanced.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Hence why I waited multiple years to come to a decision on my own. I was worried either side of the issue would pull me in one direction or the other.
SlackerInc
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 3:14am (UTC -6)
And if people feel uncomfortable in their human body, and want one more like a dolphin?

As I say, I draw the line at altering a healthy body. (And despite the attempt at "gotcha" by Trent or Booming or whomever it was, I am a staunch anti-circumcision activist, so no inconsistency there.)

@Booming, you're barking up the wrong tree. Thirty years ago, I was a teenager who was very progressive on gay rights. I considered the Supreme Court decision Bowers v. Hardwick, legitimizing state laws against "sodomy", appalling. 25 years ago I lived in New York and hung out with theater people, a heavily gay crowd. I still hold the same views I did then, so I'm not guilty of what you are accusing me of, trailing along reluctantly three decades behind the vanguard.
Sen-Sors
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 3:56am (UTC -6)
Omicron your posts might be more persuasive if they weren't 60% argument and 40% rhetorical preening and posturing. It's like you can't go three sentences without saying "your credibility is dropping by the second" and "how do you expect to have a reasonable conversation with people? Thank you so much for proving all my points!" It's just corny dude. I feel like I'm reading a bargain-bin Ben Shapiro.

And yeah, J.K. Rowling is a known transphobe. She consistently retweets, platforms and engages with people who are transphobes. Having one or two associates or friends with problematic views is not damning, but when you consistently spread anti-trans rhetoric and bad-faith junk-science then that's a problem. Rowling has hundreds of trans and non-binary fans who are desperate to share their stories and experience with her but she is too busy endorsing "sudden-onset gender dysphoria", a theory that is rather hotly contested in mental health circles and not endorsed by any major mental health organization. Surely you can see how the trans-community would take a theory that states their identity is mostly just a fad as a bad faith argument.

You and others keep pushing this idea that medical doctors are eager and incentivized to throw teens onto a conveyor belt to the puberty blocker factory the moment they utter the word "dysphoria". This is also something Rowling harps on and yes it is transphobic because it is not based in reality, it is based in disgust and ignorance. It's been explained to you that this is not at all how that process works but that never seems to stop you from pushing on with it. Yes teenagers are easily influenced and go through phases, yes not all teens who express discomfort with their gender will (or should) end up transitioning. From what I understand from listening to real medical professionals, their role is to guide a vulnerable teen through an identity crisis; perhaps it is just a phase and perhaps it is not. They help them either way; it is not a process that begins with puberty-blockers as the end goal. This is evidenced by the extremely low reported incidents of expressed regret in transitioning referenced by Trent earlier. It is important for teens in that position to have someone to go to for help considering how many families react rather.... poorly to their child coming out as trans or non-binary. This also helps explains why there are more teens coming out as trans and non-binary than in the past; the stigma is lessening.

It's similar to how many claims were made in this thread that society choosing to respect people's preferred pronouns will result in a slippery slope of people being arrested and hauled off to the gulags. It was pointed out that there is no legislation close to this in existence or even in the works and still people here darkly intone that it will happen anyway and I saw a TV show where a nice racist lady got arrested. Whatever.

Maya Forstater lost her job at a think tank whose stated goals are reducing global poverty and inequality. Considering that the trans community has historically experienced inequality through disproportionate harrassment, murder, suicide, homelessness and familial abandonment, I'm not surprised that the CGB took a dim view to being associated with a person who expressed skepticism towards the foundation of transgender identity. I have no problem with her losing her job; comments made on social media are public and there can be consequences if your employer sees them and decides they are incompatible with their organization.

If I'm working as a cashier and my boss finds out I'm participating in KKK rallies on my free time, do you think they would be justified in firing me? What if I'm just expressing my support for the KKK on my Facebook page? Do you think they'd be justified? What if my boss was black? Would you be fighting the good fight on my behalf to spout bigotry in public and be shielded from any and all consequences?

"Thanks again, Trent, for giving us such a vivid demonstration of what the sane (and mostly quiet) majority has to fear."

And that's you, right? That's always you. Trent pointed out that JK Rowling is a transphobe because she is and now you are grasping for victimhood. It's similar to the comment from J-Dogg bemoaning how "everything is transphobic". Trans people aren't the ones being victimized in society, __I__ am being victimized because some people call my views transphobic!

Well. Are they?

Pushing the idea that pronouns lead to gulags and the trans community is hell-bent on converting as many teenagers as possible is indeed transphobic. Saying "I despise trans activists and everything they hate I love" is bizarre as well as transphobic. Trans-activists hate transphobia. Therefore...?

Omicron you say you are not transphobic, and I believe you. You have certainly been peddling transphobic talking points and "being with" JK Rowling is not a good look, but I believe you. It is a messy, confusing topic and ignorance doesn't always equal malice. I think Rowling passed that point awhile back, but whatever.

Trans and non-binary people are slowly becoming less stigmatized. We're seeing them represented on the teevee. They're starting to be included in workplace harassments laws. They are getting more access to medical professionals who are there to guide them through a difficult period when they may have no where else to turn. As a sane person you have nothing to fear from any of this. You are not being victimized by any of this and neither are the children.
Booming
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 4:43am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
Transsexuality is something that is recorded in Humans for thousands of years and it also happens in a lot of other species. But yeah transsexuals are the same as people who want to be dolphins. A very good and not at all transphobic point.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yje8IYAmnl4&ab_channel=NatureSounds

And the "gotcha" was about Jason not you.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 5:22am (UTC -6)
@Slacker Inc
"As I say, I draw the line at altering a healthy body."

When it comes to my own body, I would agree with you.

But other people may feel differently. And as I said before, many people who undergo a sex change operation end up vastly happier then they were before.

Can you really say that they've made the wrong choice? Or that it is our business to forbid them from doing so?

I think not.

Indeed, I firmly believe that a person should be free to pursue happiness in whatever way they please, unless they are hurting others.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 5:58am (UTC -6)
@Sen-Sors

Your own post might have been more persuasive if:
1. It didn't open it with a personal attack.
2. You haven't been caught lying and spreading misinformation many times before.
3. You didn't see bigots everywhere.
4. You haven't made that comparison between an ordinary person and KKK supporters.

As it is, you sound just like any other PC extremist who has gone over the deep end. You act like them, too.

So no offense, but I don't see any point in either listening to you are having a conversation with you.

Oh... and if you want to me to stop saying things like "your credibility is dropping by the second" and "how do you expect to have a reasonable conversation with people?", then I suggest you work on becoming more credible and more reasonable.
Dave in MN
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
@ Sen-Sors

I think the issue wasn't doctors pushing minor children to "convert", but rather the parents.

Some parents meant well, of course, but there was also a statistically significant element of cases that were actually Munchausen-by-proxy type situations. Not all parents are virtuous or operating in the best interest of their child.
Booming
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 2:05pm (UTC -6)
@Dave In MN
"a statistically significant element of cases that were actually Munchausen-by-proxy type situations."
Could you elaborate or even better give the source/paper that found this out?

Just to clarify my view on underage transition. Both sides have good arguments. On one hand a person younger than 16 (the age at which you can make medical decisions on your own in many countries, if I'm not mistaken) has often not the mental capacity to understand the ramifications of what a hormone replacement means, this can be offset with the help of a sperm/egg bank, and many effects are reversible but trying to have a child with in vitro fertilization can be quite costly as is freezing eggs/sperm (not all have a reduction in sperm count/reproductive system and for some it goes back to the levels it had before treatment). But sex is free and some changes after years of hormone use like in the gonads/ovaries are basically permanent. Some even lose the ability to procreate after a few month. You will need some form of medical assistance for the rest of your life.

On the other hand most transpeople know well before 16 that they are trans often around the age of 8. Gender dysphoria often starts to begin around that age. A very painful affliction. Forcing a child to through this for up to 8 years is torture for that person which is cruel.

I'm certainly happy that I do not have to decide that one. Let's hope that medical research finds a way to give a very high amount of certainty when this process is started.
J-Dogg
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 7:00pm (UTC -6)
Sen-Sors Wrote
"It's similar to the comment from J-Dogg bemoaning how "everything is transphobic". Trans people aren't the ones being victimized in society, __I__ am being victimized because some people call my views transphobic!

Well. Are they?"

I'm actually not sure. I agree with whoever said about how children choosing to change sex at age 5 aren't responsible enough to make that decision (since they can't drive, have kids (obviously not relevant), drink, own a house etc) and should not be prevented from reaching puberty with drugs.

If that doesn't actually happen ever then fine. It's just overly dramatic media crap. Which would make me uninformed rather than phobic.

If that view is considered transphobic then I can live with it tbh. (Not meaning to quote Sisko justifying getting someone killed btw).

I have no problem with what any adults do with their bodies, sexuality etc. I do have a problem when it related to children. And that's what I'm talking about here.

Incidentally why is the T in LGBTQ+ even in there? It doesn't seem like a sexuality.

I also often think if you add enough letters you might as well just add S (straight) and be fully inclusive. At times (especially on Twitter) it almost feel like there's something wrong with being straight.

(I'd describe myself err straight I guess with a couple of experiments - whatever label that gives me. Not that anyone cares I'd imagine, I'm not overly interested in most people's sexuality either).
SlackerInc
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 11:00pm (UTC -6)
@sens-sors "I saw a TV show where a nice racist lady got arrested"

She wasn't nice. Quite the contrary. She was an awful bully. But that's exactly my point: I STRONGLY believe you should never be arrested for simply being "not nice", nor should you lose your job if your non-niceness was not at the workplace (on the TV show, it was at the workplace, so she definitely deserved to be fired). You should be able to think and say horrible, ugly, appalling things with no penalty other than a social one, as long as you aren't slandering anyone.

"If I'm working as a cashier and my boss finds out I'm participating in KKK rallies on my free time, do you think they would be justified in firing me?"

Definitely not justified.

"What if I'm just expressing my support for the KKK on my Facebook page? Do you think they'd be justified?"

Absolutely not.

"What if my boss was black? Would you be fighting the good fight on my behalf to spout bigotry in public and be shielded from any and all consequences?"

Yes! I would even contribute to a legal fund to help you if you sued your employer. But I would also denounce you as an awful person. Does that answer your question?

@OTDP: "Can you really say that they've made the wrong choice? Or that it is our business to forbid them from doing so?"

Yes on the first. On the second, yes for sure if they are underage. If they are adults, it's murkier but people are sometimes declared incompetent to decide their own affairs if they pursue self-harm.
Aswold
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 3:24pm (UTC -6)
I am not sexist racist anti gay etc., but the more I watch this , it is just another show that is pushing the gay, no gender girl power agenda, As a white hetro male I will be told I don't understand but enough is enough, the only group that is legally allowed to be dibrominated again is straight white me. This show has no substance but this agenda
Booming
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 4:14pm (UTC -6)
Totally, showing gay people is obviously discriminating white heterosexual you.
Rahul
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
@Aswold

DSC's basic comprehension of how Classic Trek has previously portrayed diversity and inclusion is completely messed up. A deeper issue I have is the broken moral compass of the show runners, which is always going to result in inferior Trek.

It is clear to me that DSC will almost exclusively portray human white heterosexual males negatively. Classic Trek didn't systematically "demonize" (a bit of strong word on my part) a race/gender/sexual orientation combo in the name of some enlightened vision of diversity or being progressive (or whatever the DSC show runners have in the back of their heads -- I suppose it is championing any other race/gender/sexual orientation combo).

I vaguely recall a post (I think by Peter G.) who suggested the Classic Trek way to champion a gay character would be to have him/her work on a problem with a MAGA white heterosexual human male and jointly come up with a solution with the straight male showing some kind of appreciation of the gay person's technical skill etc. That to me would represent one example of what Classic Trek stood for. DSC, however, would never do something like that. DSC is more likely to have the gay character blow the brains out of the MAGA white hetero human male and find the solution himself/herself and then be lauded for taking the appropriate actions.
Booming
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 2:51am (UTC -6)
Ok, sweethearts. No straight white male was every humiliated by gays, blacks or anybody. You just think that not including them in one season is the same as demonizing them. That is such a weird leap that I don't even know how to take that seriously. It also shows such a blindness and questioned a little about for example how Asian men have even less screen time on Discovery then they had on TOS people who believe this come up with the weirdest of explanations like the show has to portray the racial make up of the current USA (none of the Trek shows did that, by the way) and if it doesn't then it discriminates against straight white males.
SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 3:00pm (UTC -6)
Sometimes you just have to laugh at the evolution of "woke" language on this topic. I just heard on the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour a description of a character on a show as follows: "a nonbinary character who uses she/her pronouns". Okay...whatever that means. Sure sounds like what used to, in those long ago days of 2014, simply be called a "transwoman".
Rahul
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

"Sometimes you just have to laugh at the evolution of "woke" language on this topic."

Here you'll get no arguments from me. Absolutely.

It's as if coming up with new terminology to describe themselves only serves to alienate others as not woke. It gives the woke crowd more reason to lash out at those who seek to understand when they inevitably don't get the terminology right. Like for how long has "cis" been in the vernacular?
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
@ Rahul

Not to open up a can of worms, but isn't calling someone cis-male or cis-female also misgendering someone?

Take me, for example.

I am biologically a male. I feel like a male. I'm attracted to other males with biology and feelings to match. I am a male, not a cis-male.

My identify is not a social construct.

To put an asterisk and/or prefix on my gender is to put an asterisk and/or prefix on my orientation. I find that rude and VERY nervy. I'll even use the dreaded O word: "Offensive".

I do not personally accept someone else's prolix addendum to how I perceive myself.

If we're using personal offense as our barometer, why should a "woke" person get carte blanche to misgender (and offend) me? (The answer, of course, is we shouldn't codify personal offense, but that isn't stopping the current paradigm).

We see the same with the media/ social push to adopt "LatinX" even though almost all Spanish speakers view that term as repellent PC English Colonialism on their language and identity.

This current wave of revisionist linguistics is rife with hypocrisy.
Rahul
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 9:42am (UTC -6)
@ Dave in MN

"Not to open up a can of worms, but isn't calling someone cis-male or cis-female also misgendering someone?"

I honestly don't know. I only heard/learned about "cis" like a few months ago when I saw it on Shatner's Twitter feed, which I think speaks to your comment on "revisionist linguistics". And it makes sense to me that it is "rife with hypocrisy."

I understand that I am a cis-male, given that I'm born as male and am heterosexual. Is that how it works? Is that all there is to it?

As for woke, adding on to my prior comment, this to me seems to be just another way for such people to blame others for any perceived injustices toward themselves. It's almost as if they want to be the victim so that they don't have to take responsibility for themselves, their actions and circumstances. Very convenient to be able to blame others for everything.
grey cat
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
The cis thing is utterly ridiculous. If trans people want to transition to male or female then they become male or female.

People who were born male or female don't suddenly need to start a prefix cis- to differentiate. Surely the whole point is not to differentiate?

Is it possibly so trans people can still be in the LGBTQ community (while straight "cis" cannot unless they are an ally - utterly ridiculous concept in itself).

Promoting inclusivity by creating more divides doesn't seem like a smart way forward.
Elliott
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Sweet Jesus, people.

The least you could do is some basic etymology before wading into transphobic territory.

"Cis" means "on this side of," and all it means is that one's sex and birth-assigned gender match.

Let's use a Star Trek example.

Lal was born without a gender ("neuter" in the episode's terminology). Had they chosen not to assume a gender, they would be considered Cis-neuter. Since she chose to be a woman, Lal is a transgendered woman, having transitioned from neuter to female.

Being Cis or Trans is not a value judgement, whatever Shatner was ranting about, it is simply a way of making a necessary distinction and classification.

Here, please be educated: https://youtu.be/F1vW0afYATo?t=652
Peter G.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 2:24pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliott,

"Being Cis or Trans is not a value judgement,"

I think it would be more accurate to say that it's not *necessarily* a value judgement, and *can* be merely descriptive, because as we know many terms are frequently used in derogatory ways even while the users claim that they're merely descriptive. It's a motte and bailey cover for passive aggression. In the case of "cis" you are surely right that some term or other is needed to make this type of distinction, however in practice when I have seen it in use the context almost universally makes it clear that there's a derogatory connotation. I suspect a similar thing happened way back when referring to black people in America, where the common terms of use, which were obviously meant as insults, nevertheless filled the niche of there having to be a term of some sort to distinguish between white people and black people at the time. That the terms in use tended to also be used to carry insult probably made it difficult for people at the time to refer to black people and be clear that there was no insult intended. Not that I'm a history scholar, so I'm only supposing about the linguistic landscape in America in 1850, but in our current landscape let's just say people don't tend to be too concerned about being insulting in certain cases. When people pick up on that it's no surprise that there's backlash against, as you say, there simply being terms to refer to things that need referring to.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 5:45pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliot

I am a man and want to be perceived and referred to as such. I am a male, not a cis-male.

Will you tell me I don't have the right to define my gender? Tell me I'm not a "male".

Will you tell a man that was formerly a woman that he is not a "male", but rather a "trans-male"? How does creating new linguistic division further acceptance?

If someone is transitions to the other gender, then they are other gender, right? Isn't ditching the prefix the whole point?

It's not transphobic to assert your gender, nor is it transphobic to dislike the divisive terminology you're advocating for.
Booming
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 6:06pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
While saying that we should do away with the prefixes and accept whatever reality exists is an admirable notion. Nonetheless a difference exists, therefore people have a word for it. A word, not an insult. Nobody would suggest that you are not a man, dear Dave, and if you are a cis man, then you are a man. If some body is a transman, then that person is a man, as well. Even thought at the beginning it might have been different.

I hope you excuse my forthrightness. I'm watching the costume drama Bridgerton and it seems to have had quite the affect on me. Oh my... fetch me my fainting couch!
Dave in MN
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 6:13pm (UTC -6)
The term "male" has a built-in assumption about biology behind it. Cis-male is a needless redundancy.

The push to accept transpeople as the opposite gender was all about making the term "male" more inclusive and flexible, at least as I understood it.

I'm sure plenty of people who've switched to the opposing gender are offended that they'll always have a prefix attached to them (by their "allies", no less).
Dave in MN
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 6:15pm (UTC -6)
You're fine, Booming.

If it helps, I'm still watching Another Life and I think it's eroding my IQ, so there's that
Booming
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
"If it helps, I'm still watching Another Life and I think it's eroding my IQ, so there's that"

While it might appear that Another Life is slowly suffocating ones grey matter, I can assure you the effect is very likely only temporary. Considering current realities a little less grey matter might even prove advantageous. :)

I wish you a pleasant evening, Lord Daveston
Elliott
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN

You and I, as Cis-males, don't face systemic persecution on the basis of our gender. It is not up to us to curate language discourse on behalf of the trans community or anyone else.

"The term "male" has a built-in assumption about biology behind it."

Yes, exactly. Until those assumptions disappear, we must work towards anti-discrimination. The thing is, trans people do not want to pretend that their transition never happened, to "fool" people into believing they were born the same gender as they currently identify as. The whole point is that "male" and "female" are insufficient terms based on our current understanding of what gender is *for everybody*, cis and trans. Cis and trans are more accurate because they tell a more complete story.

@Peter G

"because as we know many terms are frequently used in derogatory ways even while the users claim that they're merely descriptive"

Well of course, there are many spaces where labelling someone as racially white is an automatic negative. And there are reasons for that, but that has nothing to do with the necessity or accuracy of identifying someone as white. The term is neutral, regardless of how it might be used by certain people or in certain spaces.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliot

Actually, I have experienced plenty of discrimination for being gay and I have been misgendered for the amusement of others. I guess I missed out on all those "benefits".

I am a male and I like other males. There is an intrisic masculine quality that defines what I am and what I'm attracted to.

I didn't go through all of that struggle so a straight "ally" can affix modifiers to my gender and orientation. Frankly, you don't have the right to redefine me or dilute my experience to make others comfortable.

I think human language already possessed all the language necessary to discuss these topics, and I don't believe it's fair to dismiss my viewpoint as ignorance because I won't adhere to some third wave talking point.
Booming
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 8:43pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
"Frankly, you don't have the right to redefine me or dilute my experience to make others comfortable."
If I may. Nobody is doing that. Cis is just a way to categorize the ones that are not trans. Your status has in no way changed, nor have your masculine qualities. :)
Dave in MN
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:03pm (UTC -6)
But it does.

There is an implication (in using cis-) that my gender is learned behavior that happens to align with my biology, vs. some innate quality that is unchangeable. The same implication follows for what I'm attracted to. I don't accept that. I know me better than others do and there's no voluntary aspect to my gender or orientation. It's innate. Nothing needs a prefix.

Don't misgenderer me or define what I'm attracted to on my behalf, it's that simple.

Why advocate for using divisive verbiage that separates people back into categories? Doesn't this defeat the whole purpose? This isn't offensive but using the wrong pronoun is?

I'm trying to restate my incredulity at these apparent incongruities in the hopes that someone will explain them away. If no one bites this time, I'll let the subject drop.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
If someone told you they were poly, would you correct them and tell them they're actually bi?

Just because you prefer specific terminology doesn't mean it's okay to project it onto others and expect them to adopt it.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:11pm (UTC -6)
That was more a general point, not @ Booming.
Peter G.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:32pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliott,

"Well of course, there are many spaces where labelling someone as racially white is an automatic negative. And there are reasons for that, but that has nothing to do with the necessity or accuracy of identifying someone as white. The term is neutral, regardless of how it might be used by certain people or in certain spaces."

The analogy doesn't hold, because "white" has a long history of not being an insult - in fact one of the premiere issues in the activism movement is the very fact of whiteness and related terms having being establishment controls. It's not reasonable to compare this to a brand new terms that is IMO predominantly used to insinuate some combination of lack of understanding and privilege. As I mentioned, it is a reference to something that needs to be referred to, so obviously this is a niche that must be filled. My point was that in my fairly broad experience of reading views on both sides, it's not a term that is typically used in a neutral fashion. As a new term its common usage will in fact define its meaning. What it should mean or could have meant is not really relevant, unfortunately. It's been widely used in a similar way to "normals", which is a sort of derisive term that's been alternatively used by geek movements, or other subcultures to designate the subculture as being superior and normal people as being boring, or sheep, or whatever. It didn't have to be like that, but it seems to be. So this is not a neutral term, and therefore again no one should be surprised at pushback against it. That this is also the chief way of describing a thing that needs describing is unfortunate. Spoil the well, and no one can drink...
Snitch
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 10:45pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN
@Elliot
@Booming

Since all of you have gathered in this thread, let me voice my appreciation for all of your perspectives and contributions to this message board.



@Dave in MN
@Elliot
I enjoy your perspective on the issue of Gender identity. I assume it has been a bigger issues in your life than for straight people and it is interesting to see your view on the Cis and transgender modern interpretations.


@Booming You often remind me of the young Elliot. He was for my taste a bit too edgy and angry, but well educated with a lot insight.

I really appreciate Elliot's recent entries, they are well thought out and not concerned with winning discussions and I value yours and his contribution to this board.

I am a German political scientist living in the US for 20 years, so your political perspective and feedback on Discovery (from a German political scientist in Germany) are quite interesting. I often are tempted responding to your political tangents, but I feel this medium is not good enough to discuss the nuances of American politics and where your German perspective might be off.

Maybe some other place?
Elliott
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 2:53pm (UTC -6)
@Snitch

Thanks for your kind words. Getting older is not all bad.

@Peter G

"It's not reasonable to compare this to a brand new terms that is IMO predominantly used to insinuate some combination of lack of understanding and privilege. As I mentioned, it is a reference to something that needs to be referred to, so obviously this is a niche that must be filled. My point was that in my fairly broad experience of reading views on both sides, it's not a term that is typically used in a neutral fashion."

I can't argue with your experience, but I do think it's presumptuous to think that whatever you've read, however diverse, gives you a perspective so broad as to be able to arbitrate language in this way. The trans community, as an activist group, is pushing for the normalisation of the prefixes for specific sociological reasons that I support. It's reasonable to ask a trans person why they believe (again, as a group) that these options are better than what might seem like reasonable alternatives to you, but it's not okay to police the debate. This issue is extremely asymmetric, as is always the case with minority rights; you would have to demonstrate that the harm inflicted on cisgendered folks for having a new term applied to us is in any way comparable to the systemic oppression faced by trans folks. I'm nearly certain you can't.

@Dave in MN

"I didn't go through all of that struggle so a straight 'ally' can affix modifiers to my gender and orientation. Frankly, you don't have the right to redefine me or dilute my experience to make others comfortable.

I think human language already possessed all the language necessary to discuss these topics, and I don't believe it's fair to dismiss my viewpoint as ignorance because I won't adhere to some third wave talking point."

1. This isn't the identity oppression olympics. You and I are both gay men and have faced discrimination that folks of other orientations have not, but we don't get to minimise the experience of other people with our own.

2. "Cis" is not a modifier to your identity or experience, it describes the experience and identity you have in a way that is more complete. You were born male and identify as male, correct? No one has changed that or called it into question. "Cis" simply describes a truth about yourself that you don't dispute, as far as I understand what you've described.

3. "Human language," as you put it, already expanded and adapted a few different times to accommodate our sexual orientations. The words "homosexual" didn't exist until the mid 19th century, even though gay people have existed, you know, for ever. It seems pretty selfish to deny a further expansion on behalf of a community facing marginalisation that we have largely overcome over the last several decades.
Booming
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
@snitch
"but I feel this medium is not good enough to discuss the nuances of American politics and where your German perspective might be off."
I'm never wrong but sometimes truth and fact need a little bit of time catching up to me. :)

"Maybe some other place?"
Sadly I must decline. Nevertheless thank you for your kind words.

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