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< Memory Alpha:AOL chats | Ronald D. Moore

Date: Tue, Jul 14, 1998 20:10 EDT
From: RonDMoore
Message-id: <1998071500105600.UAA03824@ladder03.news.aol.com>

<<Will Bareil (mirror version or otherwise) be seen again in the 7th season?
>>

We have no plans to see any version of Bareil this year.

<<Someone suggested that the new Dax should be the one to kill Dukat.  How 
do you feel about this idea? Will Nog ever have a love interest?  Will 
Major Kira ever find Illyana Ghemor?  Also, are either of her brothers 
still alive?>>

I can give an unqualified "Maybe" to all of the above.

<<It's been a long time since a good Garak story.  Any plans for him next
year?>>

We are working on some Garak stories right now.

<<Will we see the NEW Dax's first steps onto the Promenade of DS9 or will 
this happen off camera before the first Episode next season?>>

You will see her arrival on DS9.

<<After DS9 wraps, are you or any other members of the DS9 writing staff
planning on submitting scripts for VOYAGER?>>

I think we all see this as the end of our careers at Star Trek and no one 
has any plans at the moment to move on to Voyager.

<<Any plans on showing any holocommunicators or Dominion super battleship 
seen in "Valiant"??>>

We've talked about both showing up this year.

<<I realize that Ron Moore and others have taken exception to the complaints
issued on the Dabo Girls, and the more recent complaints on Vic Fontaine's
sexist language, and treatment of the "girls" in his program, so I thought 
I'd start from the beginning of the 6th season and work my way through the 
first half of the season to point out the consistant, and insipient sexism 
that exists in casting the show, and all areas regarding what genders
consistantly play what roles.

A Time To Stand
Cast= two women
Guest Cast= 8 men no women...

Rocks and Shoals
Guest Cast= 7 men 1 woman...

Sons and Daughters
Guest Cast 5 men 2 women...>>

This is how you want to examine the issue of sexism in Trek?  By counting 
the number of male and female guest stars?  What about context?  What about
characterization?  What about (rounding out the "c"s) content?  This kind of
analysis is one step above counting the number of lines or adding up screen
time to determine some kind of bias.  

For example, I will grant you that there were more male than female guest
roles cast in "Rocks and Shoals" (which, by the way, had three female guest
stars, not one), but I would hasten to point out that one entire storyline
grapples with Kira (a woman) and her difficulty in living under Dominion 
rule and that her principal opponent in this tale was Vedek Yassim (another 
woman). Are you really suggesting that this story is inherently sexist 
simply because it has more speaking parts for men than women, regardless of
 the fact that it features very strong roles for Kira both and Yassim?  
I find that kind of reasoning unpersuasive at best.  

<<...Ziyal, a poorly conceived character, for her identity was not as 
herself, but her affect on others.  She was never Ziyal, but always Dukat's
half Cardassian, half Bajoran daughter.  Instead of being given a separate 
agenda and identity of her own, she was defined through Dukat, Kira, and 
Garak, this does not a character make.>>

Let's set aside the numbers game for the moment.  Ziyal may not have been 
the best character we ever developed, but are you really saying she was 
poorly developed because she was a woman?  That's a bit of a stretch, don't 
you think?  Isn't it simpler to just realize that we never brought the 
character into focus and that changing Ziyal's gender wouldn't have made 
much difference, except to land us on the wrong side of your male/female 
guest star tally?

<<The Female Changling: Started out a really interesting character, and I 
hope we see more of her.  I realize that the writer's were attempting to 
show Odo's importance to the Founder's by having her ignore the war and 
concentrate on Odo and the Great Link  However, in this instance, I  almost 
wish she had been a he, for then maybe it wouldn't have looked like her job 
was that of Changling Seductress, and the Link might have been more richly
explored.>>

Welcome to Catch-22.  Cast a woman in the role and she's decried for being a
"seductress."  Cast a man in the role and he's decried for taking roles away
from women.

<<Sirella, yet another female charcter who's existance is defined, 
inexorably through her husband. >>

Since Sirella was in exactly one scene with Martok in the entire episode, 
I'm a little mystified as to how she was defined "inexorably" through her 
husband.

<<The reasons I object to the women with Vic is not because I deny they
existed, or men  such as Vic spoke of them like that, I just don't see their
purpose in Trek  Let's put it this way, I just saw Gone With the Wind, I 
loved it, but I can't see you  choosing to put a Southern Gentleman on the 
holodeck accompanied  by his slaves, and realistic treatment of them.  There 
are too few women in trek as it is, to be inundated by ancient, antiquated, 
and offensive characters who's sole purpose is to look sexy and be 
called names.>>

You've got to be kidding.  You're drawing an analogy between black slaves in
the 1860s and two adult women in the 1960s?  People held in bondage are not
analogous to a couple of ladies out on the town for a good time.  This is 
the kind of overwrought, over the top argument that does nothing to advance 
the cause of sexual equality and does a lot of harm in the process by making
the entire argument look ridiculous.  And what exactly was so "ancient,
antiquated, and offensive" about two women whose only crime seems to be 
their willingness to go out on a date with Vic and Odo and possibly engage 
in consensual sex (egads!)?  

<<Although there have been female characters, very few of them are well-
developed and they get significantly less screentime than the men. For
example, compare Kai Winn with Dukat - both are similar kinds of characters
(complex villains), both played by strong actors, both with important status
in terms of the DS9 story (Bajoran religious leader, ex-Cardassian leader).
Dukat appeared in 9 episodes this season, Kai Winn only one. Compare Female
Changeling with Weyoun - both interesting characters with important roles to
play in the story arc. Weyoun was in at least 7 episodes, FC in 3. And if 
you look at the rest of the supporting cast, the men are generally very well
developed. The women are basically one-dimensional. Kassidy only appears as 
a love interest for Sisko. Keiko only appears as O'Brien's wife (remember 
the first season, when Keiko used to have a career and storylines of her 
own?). Ziyal - poorly written and dead. Add the fact that Kira and Dax were 
ittle more than romantic interest this season, and you've got a pattern of 
sexism in the treatment of female characters - they are being written as 
though they are less important, less central to the story, and less worthy 
of development than the men.>>


Kai Winn didn't show up as often as Gul Dukat, so that's sexist.  Weyoun was
seen more often than the Female Shapeshifter, so that's sexist too.  And 
let's forget that Kasidy Yates is a freighter captain in her own right that 
once went to prison for her beliefs, her portrayal is sexist too.  Oh, and I 
guess that Kira and Dax were in those sexist romantic stories all by 
themselves; Odo and Worf certainly weren't there along with them.  

Come on.  Doesn't it matter at all that Worf (the man) was willing to
sacrifice his career, his honor, and his mission all in the name of love,
while Dax (the woman) kept her wits about her, soldiered on in the face of
pain and was willing to die to complete the mission?  Or that Odo (the man)
was the one thrown into a tizzy because of an affair of the heart while Kira
(the woman) figured out her own feelings rather quickly?

Can we do better?  Absolutely.  Have we erred in not portraying enough
diversity in the alien cultures encountered on DS9?  Of course.  But can you
actually find an episode or a scene anywhere in the show that suggests women
aren't as capable as men or that women are held back in any way by our heroes?
I doubt it.  Aren't the fundamental ideals of sexual equality inherent in the
Federation are still upheld week after week?  Definitely.  

<<Has any woman ever died heroically in Trek?...Now, let me define 
heroically. It cannot be a sacrifice for love or children.  Meaning any women
who died for Kirk, or Riker or Picard, Worf Data, Spock etc., if any, don't 
count.  I haven't watched a lot of Next Gen, so help me out here, but I 
personally can't think of any woman to die, "saving the world"  her ship, 
crew  or a large number of people.>>

Now why is it that one cannot die "heroically" for love or children?  What
kind of thinking is that?  The only heroic death is one in the name of King
and Country?
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