Why would anyone send me this link?

It’s to a site called “Bounding Into Comics”, which I’ve never read before, and it’s to an article titled “New Star Trek Comic Disgusts Readers With A Vulcan Lecturing The Crew On Gender Pronouns”. I’m not linking to it, if you really must see it I’ve given enough information to find it, but really, it’s not worth the effort. Here’s the “lecture” from the comic.

It’s not much. I could see how a literal-minded Vulcan might think calling a ship a “she” is illogical (it is!) and would favor a gender-neutral pronoun, but it’s one sentence. It’s inoffensive, as is the naive Andoran saying “ships are girls”…that’s just silly. Yet here the author of the article is claiming, without evidence, that it disgusts Star Trek fans.

I was never that big a fan of Star Trek. I definitely enjoyed it and begged my parents to let me stay up late to watch it, but that was because it was one of the few SF shows on television. I’ve watched the movies for the nostalgia, not because I’m a dedicated fan, and while I can understand all the people who are really into it, I’m not one of them.

But here’s the thing: even as someone on the outer fringes of fandom, I know that the majority of hardcore fans of the franchise would not be disgusted at all with that little exchange. They’d approve of it. The author of the article (oh, it’s Jon Del Arroz — I know of him, he’s an asshole) might be disgusted by it, but he’s a weirdo who doesn’t speak for comic readers. He just gets increasingly strident about it.

The Star Trek franchise has become one of the most mocked properties on the internet in recent years, mired with controversies because of the identity politics constantly pushed by the show, books, and comics.

In a recent IDW comic, the writers perpetuated the franchise’s woke content by lecturing its readers on gender identity by using Vulcan characters as a vehicle to gaslight readers who aren’t obsessing over pronouns.

Again, that’s what the majority of the fans of the show want. I’ve attended Star Trek panels at large SF conventions, and every time the audience is a swarm of the most “woke”, liberal fans you might imagine. Where does this delusion that Star Trek fans are repelled by tolerance and gender fluidity come from? As evidence, he presents accounts of other incidents:

The decline of Star Trek’s popularity among fans began with Star Trek: Discovery, which first flaunted racial divisions and an explicit on-screen homosexual relationship before pushing even further to the bottom of the identity politics barrel when they introduced a Trill character who, despite obviously being a woman, lectured her crewmates and audience on how she wanted to be called “they/them.”

In novels, Star Trek author behavior turned off several fans to their TNG-era continuation series, with long-time Trek writer David Mack canceling his guest of honor appearance at MidSouthCon. He did so to taunt the state of Tennessee, which had a law that prevented employers from coercing their employees into taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Mack wrongfully stated that his action was “because Tennessee state law makes proof-of-vax requirements illegal.” The law did not impact the convention, which could have required proof of vaccination to attend, but they chose not to.

Oh no! They had homosexuals on the show, a character who was played by a woman who said she was gender neutral, and a novelist canceled a visit to a state over their bad policies on COVID. Therefore, “several fans” were turned off. That’s it.

Mysterious reader who sent me the link, I don’t know what you were trying to do. Were you trying to demonstrate that my views on sex and gender, which are pretty close to that of the Vulcan in the comic book, are “disgusting” to the anti-“woke” hordes who used to be fans of Star Trek? Or were you just bringing on incredibly stupid article to my attention so I could laugh at it? It would help if you’d send me the link with a sentence or phrase to tell me what you thought of it.


  1. sqlrob says

    Somebody is really pushing BiC, this is the second time today I’ve seen them. They showed up in one of my feeds as a suggestion, looked at the front page and immediately blocked them. I didn’t notice this particular article, but their front page is completely full of baloney like this. The article in my feed was “Youtuber [snip name, not granting google hits] Uses Concept Art to Argue that ‘Black Adam’ has a Woke Agenda’

  2. seversky says

    As a Trekkie since ToS first aired in the UK (and I couldn’t care less about the Trekker/Trekkie taxonomic tribble-ation) I suspect John del Arroz is actually a Ferengi.

  3. says

    I would like to know how PZ and Commenters think about the way I and my organization have always treated sex/gender. We posit that we should minimize the importance of sex/gender in any serious setting so as to treat all people as equally as possible. We cite how we strongly support the concept that for many, many decades serious music auditions and contests would put the player behind a screen so the audience would not be influenced by their sex/gender, ethnicity, physical characteristics, etc.

  4. raven says

    Why would anyone send me this link?

    Because they are brain dead bigots and haters.
    That was easy to answer.

  5. says

    One other point. I love good science fiction. But, (shades of the silliness of big bang theory) why are people so worked up about comic books. There are enough other serious problems and valid entertainments in this world.

  6. wzrd1 says

    @seversky, naw, he’s obviously a Romulan agitator. ;)

    Still, he forgot the Vulcan proverb: Only Nixon could go to China.
    From a film transparently an allegory on US/Soviet relations at the time. As was much of ToS (along with the controversial race relations in the US).
    Talk about missing not only the messages, but missing the entire point of Star Fleet!

    An interesting side note, Russians gender their ships male.
    Never made sense to me, as ship’s and women are complicated, men are simple.
    I’ll just get my coat…

  7. hemidactylus says

    Didn’t Star Trek push the boundaries of the time with an interracial kiss? That was 60s era “wokeness”.

    Antiwoke has poisoned the discourse so badly people bend over backwards to find fault in storylines.

    I was never a rabid Star Trek or Star Wars fan, so I could just enjoy a show or movie at the surface level without too much investment. I do think bratty whiny Anakin became too much to take. It was his downfall. Vader was a snowflake.

    I do love the Dalek tshirts with “Omg It’s R2 D2 I Loved Him In Star Trek”. Triggers rabid fans of 3 franchises.

  8. lanir says

    I’ve heard comic fans argue about wokeness before. I don’t know enough of them to tell if they slant towards smoking weird flavors of kool-aid and using nonsense logic as a group or if I’ve just met a few who are okay with mysoginy, racism, and similarly ridiculous views.

    I agree that thinking Star Trek just got woke in 2022 is worthy of a vulcan eyebrow lift. It’s like they just don’t even know what they’re talking about because they never watched any of it. It predates me but I’m pretty sure even the original series pushed a lot of boundaries.

  9. microraptor says

    People complain about Star Trek being too “woke” because they don’t remember how controversial it was to have a Russian and a Japanese man as main characters in a TV show in the 60s or how far TNG pushed the boundaries of portraying queer-coded characters on TV during the AIDS epidemic.

  10. says

    Thinly veiled social commentary has been a Star Trek staple going back to the original series. First thing that comes to my mind is “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.”
    Actually, if anything has really pissed off Star Trek fans, it’s the Picard series, which, by Trek standards, is dark and dystopian. The Federation is not clearly the good guys, and shows a lot of prejudice toward Klingons, which is also nothing like new.
    Sorry, I should have written this in my nerd voice.

  11. Allison says

    Y’know, if you think about what “woke” actually means, it’s pretty obvious that being “anti-woke” essentially means being overtly racist.

    “Woke” is a word that African-Americans came up with to mean being aware of the many ways the society they live in is disadvantaging and oppressing them. To put it more simply, being aware of the many racist aspects of our society.

    So being “anti-woke” means trying to suppress people’s awareness of the racism built into our society. Which is to say, knowingly maintaining racism. So when someone says they’re “anti-woke,” they’re basically saying that they consciously support racism.

    However, I notice the people throw that word around are people we already figured out were openly and proudly racist, so it’s not like saying “anti-woke” tells us anything we didn’t already know.

  12. silvrhalide says

    Umm… what?!
    Star Trek in all its iterations has always moved the Overton window towards the left.
    The original Trek had the first interracial kiss on American TV.
    It had an international and multiracial cast at a time when TV was largely white as the driven snow.
    The premise for the entire show was that Earth had gotten its shit sorted and was now, as an entire unified planet, exploring the cosmos on both a scientific and diplomatic mission and was busy making allies with other species. Racial issues are so 300 years ago.
    As far as the fans go, the first slash fanfic was Star Trek fanfic.

    Gene Roddenberry had a fine sense of what would fly on American TV and what wouldn’t. He wouldn’t allow a gay character on the original ST because the series would have been canceled. (George Takei asked and was told that American television, and more to the point, TV censors would not let that pass.) Roddenberry pointed out to Takei that he could either be part of a series that was making liberal ideas approachable and palatable to a larger audience or he could be the out-of-work gay actor responsible for the rest of the cast and crew being out of work too. Instead, Star Trek did a lot of coded and not so coded episodes and series and eventually had out and open gay/bi/nonbinary characters and relationships.

    Not sure what “Star Trek fans” Bounding into Comics is talking about. Because yeah, the Trekkers and Trekkies are pretty far to the left.
    Maybe it’s the same two “concerned” idiots that were worried that UM Morris was too “diverse”?

  13. sqlrob says


    Y’know, if you think about what “woke” actually means, it’s pretty obvious that being “anti-woke” essentially means being overtly racist.

    See also SJW being used as in insult. They seem to tell on themselves a lot.

  14. Allison says

    Also, the idea that most Trekkies would be turned off by progressive ideas cropping up in episodes seems really far-fetched to me. Star Trek from the very beginning pushed the limits of what progressive ideas could be portrayed in network television, and was as I recall the only television series at the time which presumed that humanity would resolve many of its social problems.

    I see this guy as just an example of how every fan base includes loud-mouthed bigots.

  15. moonslicer says

    It’s amazing how instinctively these cretins get things backwards. Their attitude is, “Look, we’ve erased you for a long, long time. You’re being a right nuisance to us if you won’t allow us to continue to erase you. Who do you think you are?”

  16. brucej says

    Given that Trills are hosts to symbionts and both the Trill and the Symbiont are aware of each other, isn’t ‘They/Them’ factually correct?

  17. Chaos Engineer says

    Since ships are inanimate and have no gender, surely the logical thing to say is “…the Theseus and its crew”.

    (Or if “Theseus” is the name of the ship’s on-board AI, then it’s logical to just ask Theseus what their preferred pronouns are.)

  18. leerudolph says

    Feralboy@10: “Sorry, I should have written this in my nerd voice.”

    It’s okay, you did.

  19. flange says

    “Woke” has been hijacked by Republicans to malign or scorn anyone who is compassionate and cares about other people.

  20. felixmagister says

    What I don’t understand is how anyone could think that social justice as a theme in Star Trek was something new. I am aware that ““it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it,” but, even if one did not know that the original Enterprise crew was intentionally chosen for diversity, I really can’t see how anyone could watch (for example) “Let This Be Your Less Battlefield” and fail to notice that a (fairly clumsy) allegory about racism was being performed.

  21. whheydt says

    My late wife was an early, and intense Star Trek fan. She compiled the first two seasons worth of the the “Star Trek Concordance” (later finished by Bjo Trimble). She wrote fanfic in collaboration with Astrid Anderson. She wrote a fanzine article constructing a Vulcan grammar (she had a degree in Linguistics) that is the basis for pretty much all the current Vulcan conlangs. She coined–and defined–the term “ni’var” which has been used as both the name of a ship and the name of a planet in Hollywood productions in the universe (though, alas, uncredited…but the fan sites have noted the connection).

    She would laugh and consider the quoted comic to be entirely appropriate, both from the Vulcan and the linguistic standpoint. She was all to aware that languages change over time.

  22. silvrhalide says

    Knew I’d find this somewhere.
    Central Park birdwatcher.
    Not just a comics and Star Trek fan, but a writer for the former too!

    “And in his writing he created the first gay human character in Star Trek history, Yoshi Mishima, for the series “Star Trek: Starfleet Academy”

    Take note BiC. And whatever mouthbreather concern trolls are writing this drivel on for your website. May it die of loneliness in the dark faded edges of the internet.

  23. unclefrogy says

    I laughed out loud when I read his complaint about trills! Trills! they have from the very first pushed that aspect, of course they are a they when they are “joined”. Comic fandom are filled with lots of demented wackos who only want their particular interpretation of stories and characters to be true as well.
    Is this some more of the same thing as the “gamer gate” thing a while ago? such a bunch of babies.
    the world is not just the simplistic thing their stilled dreams imagine it to be and there is not enough force in the world to make it so.

  24. larpar says

    Chaos Engineer @ 17
    “Since ships are inanimate and have no gender…”
    Depends if the ship has a docking bay or not. ; )

  25. moarscienceplz says

    I can’t believe I am the first to point this out in this thread, but Star Trek: Lower Decks (which, even though it is animated, is absolutely considered canonical) has as its main character a Black human woman who is in a same-sex relationship with an Andoran.

  26. says

    Nichelle Nichols wanted to leave Star Trek and it was only Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who convinced her to stay because of the importance of seeing a Black woman on the Enterprise bridge every week. But please, do tell us about how Discovery “flaunted racial divisions.”

    Then there is getting the actual facts of the series wrong when whining, they introduced a Trill character who, despite obviously being a woman, lectured her crewmates and audience on how she wanted to be called “they/them.”

    The actor, who is non-binary in real life but is AFAB, plays a human character. It was a big thing in the series that they were able to successfully bond with the Trill symbiont in order to save the symbiont’s life, but the character is still human. They were in a relationship with a Trill though, the one who was supposed to get the symbiont, but he died (and is alive now, that’s a whole other thing) before that could happen. He is played by an AFAB actor who goes by both he/him and they/them but has been referred to as he/him for the entirety of the show and has never asked otherwise.

    I had to look some of this up just now, but that he got the character’s species wrong from the start I had to make sure I didn’t get anything incorrect when describing just how wrong he was.

  27. microraptor says

    unclefrogy @23: Gamergate was an incident where a dishonest dudebro spread a lie about his ex-girlfriend to encourage other dudebros to attack her after she dumped him, which then morphed into a general all-out attack on any woman who was connected to the gaming industry. Not really the same thing though both are based on the toxic entitlement held by more or less the same crowd.

  28. says

    Jon Del Arroz? Sigh. Dude is a confirmed member of the alt-Reich, and appears to believe that cosplaying as a major fucking asshole is a sure-fire career-boosting move for an author. Flaunts his Hispanicness at all opportunities, and does not appear to recognize that the fuckwads he’s allied himself will happily feed him into a woodchipper if they ever actually achieve their political goals.

  29. whheydt says

    Re: cubist @ #28…
    And his claim the be the first, or most important, hispanic SF author fall flat if one knows about Lester del Rey.

  30. says

    Trek has also been pretty good about disability representation, too. Still took too long to see a regular (background) character in a wheelchair. Finally happens in Discovery.

    Yes, Picard is darker and edgier, and the Federation is kinda sus, but it shows that even the Federation isn’t perfect.

  31. Oggie: Mathom says

    whheydt @21

    She wrote fanfic in collaboration with Astrid Anderson.

    Is that Astrid Anderson Poul’s mother? If so, I met her back in the mid-1970s at Grand Canyon. At the time, she was the oldest person to hike South rim to North rim to South rim in one continuous hike (time out taken, of course, for meals and sleeping). I only managed rim to rim once at age 10. Anyway, if it is the same Astrid Anderson, she was a really neat person.

  32. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m absolutely certain that by “Star Trek Fans” he just means his basement-dwelling online gaming buds who hurl racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs at their opponents via voice chat.

  33. Matt G says

    Yeah, playing identity politics, because white, male, straight and cis isn’t an identity, I guess….

  34. whheydt says

    Re: Oggie: Mathom @ # 32…
    No… It was Astrid Anderson, Poul’s daughter. And, yes, the senior Astrid was a neat person. The name she used in the SCA was Astrid of the Two Towers…because her favorite beer was Tuborg. She used to maintain that Poul didn’t pronounce his own name correctly.

  35. hemidactylus says

    Star Trek TNG cast LaVar Burton as iconic character Geordi La Forge. As a kid I recall Burton from Roots (a movie that should cause chronic discomfort to America…hence Woke), so that crossover has significance. He got instant nerd cred from that role. Sorry though but his head gear reminded me of a hot rod air filter/cleaner thingy. His nerdish legend carried over to appearances on Big Bang Theory and Community. His appearance on the latter sends Donald Glover’s character Troy into a humorous tailspin. That was perhaps before Gambino and definitely well before Atlanta.

  36. Oggie: Mathom says

    whheydt @35:

    That makes more sense. I remember Astrid (the mother) as being really old when I met her. Of course, I was ten, so anyone over 25 was really old.

  37. Oggie: Mathom says

    Sorry for the derail. Sparked a good memory of being around ten years old and I had to grab it. Not too many good memories from that age.


    And I agree with those who are surprised that people don’t realize that Star Trek has been progressive from day one. I’ve been watching the original series and am amazed at what they got away with back in the uptight sixties (I know the sixties have the reputation for being wild (if you can remember the 60s you weren’t there (and all that)) but the ‘powers-that-be’ — TV censors and networks, for example — were (most of them) so uptight they starched their underwear). Same for the stuff (drug humour, for example) that Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In got past the censors(though Laugh-In’s racial inclusion tended more towards stereotypes and punching down the power curve).

    By-the-by, if anyone notices an ellipses shortage, I had nothing to do with it.

  38. Oggie: Mathom says

    hemidactylus @36:

    Sorry though but his head gear reminded me of a hot rod air filter/cleaner thingy.

    Thanks to two older sisters, and , later, Wife, I always thought of
    1980s-90s hair clips such as these. Just picture them painted silver and the hinge disguised.

  39. StevoR says

    FWIW. I’m a fan of Star Trek and have been since TNG premiered on TV when I was a boy. Personally, I am disgusted – that regressive bigots are using a beloved fave progressive SF series as weaksauce supposed “ammo” against the Left wing, progressive, non-tranphobic, non-racist, non-bigoted people showing their total lack of understanding of what Star Trek has always been and remains.

    I also wonder what huge Star Trek fan & analyst youtuber Steve Shives :


    ..makes of this? Hmm .I see he has an upcoming “Ask him questions” show coming up. Maybe someone should ask..

    As for the title question : why-would-anyone-send-me-this-link? Two words :

    Shit stirrring. a.k.a. trolling.

  40. chrislawson says


    Star Trek in all its iterations has always moved the Overton window towards the left.

    Well, that was pretty much true until ST: Into Darkness repackaged right-wing 9/11 conspiracy theories as a plot device.

  41. chrislawson says


    I have heard several stories about Poul Anderson’s friends never being able to pronounce his name to his satisfaction, so it adds a layer that his mother felt the same way about him!

  42. unclefrogy says


    Not really the same thing though both are based on the toxic entitlement held by more or less the same crowd.

    exactly what I was thinking
    that same crowd are always making some it is the end of everything deal about stuff like that. such juvenile attitudes they have

  43. birgerjohansson says

    The German TV sibling of Star Trek, Raumpatrouille which debuted just nine days after the first ST episode, was also progressive.
    The crew of the Orion space cruiser was multinational with both genders, and the admiral on the Hydra sister ship was a woman.

  44. says

    This idea they keep pushing and repeating that “Star Trek is in decline” is almost comical at this point. There are five Trek shows in production right now, with more waiting in the wings for one of the current shows to end, since Paramount has said they want to limit it to five to keep it from getting too expensive and saturated.

    I’ve been on a big, big push lately to comb through used bookstores and the like to pick up old Trek books published stuff, especially the esoteric things you could only find at cons or the like. Reading through them, and about the fans, only really tells me that Trek is exactly as it has always been

  45. hemidactylus says

    @45 Ridana
    The air filter looks to have played into the original mockup of the visor, but the inspiration more heavily relying upon the banana hair clip. Looking at the closeup in your informative link I see that now. But the frames resemble the outer edges of those chrome air filter housings popular on hot rodded cars of the 70s-80s. The site also highlights Burton’s character as representing someone with a disability. Roddenberry wanted also to have La Forge be gay.

    They pulled his parents from Roots too. Did not realize that either.

    @46- dWhisper
    The example of The Walking Dead franchise shows saturation could lead to viewer burnout. The best thing was the disappearance of Rick though for switching to other less dominant characters. Plus say what you will, but Walking Dead Universe has pushed the diversity envelope in a positive direction. There have been quite a few gay and lesbian characters, though I cannot recall any transpeople. One of the current characters is deaf and they accommodate by learning ASL. Daryl’s brother Merle was a bigot, but Daryl has transcended that background. One could almost call TWD woke. But Star Trek was much further ahead of the curve.

  46. Ada Christine says

    TNG S5E17 “The Outcast”

    Star Trek was talking about the gender binary 30 years ago. The episode was not entirely free from problematic plot points (the Tragic Trans trope), but the message of the episode and later comments from Jonathan Frakes are very much unambiguous. Anybody who claims to be an erstwhile fan of Star Trek and now driven from the series by “identity politics” or “excessive wokeness” are not only liars but fucking liars latching on to the latest culture war fad.

  47. says

    This isn’t the first time BiC has pissed and moaned about “woke” IDW comics:


    IDW comics seriously pisses off a ton of the whiny paler fuckbois. I’ve had to endure the howling of the wannabe fanbois because of:

    -Megatron no longer being a villain.
    -Arcee, a female Autobot actually being transgender.
    -Multiple gay and lesbian pairings between giant, shape shifting alien mechanics.

    Keep up what you’re doing, IDW comics. You’re pissing off all the right people and I am here for it.

  48. Connie Collins says

    I’d put 50¢ on someone hoping you’d fillet Del Arroz having linked you. Well done, BTW, and no, I wasn’t the sender.

  49. whheydt says

    It occurs to me, with all the furor over pronouns, to make note of what Graydon Saunders has done in his Commonweal series. In those books he and she are used in intimate address. They is used outside of that context. It’s rather like the German distinction between du and Sie.

  50. DanDare says

    A Trill is a humanoid body being driven around by a warm like symbiont inside it. I would say gender neutral is appropriate.
    In Deep Space 9 Captain Cisco gets joy out of calling the female bodied Trill “old man” since he firtst knew the Trill in a male body.
    /End fandom geekiness.

  51. Tethys says

    Jon del Arroz sounds like a joke name. I suspect Jon of Rice is not actually Latino.

    Star Trek has always been diverse and woke.
    It’s also had its own share of problematic story lines, sexism, and the racist ( and plainly weird) depictions of 70s Klingons vs Worf and TNG versions.

  52. milesteg says

    Star Trek: Discovery is a disgrace to the Star Trek franchise, but not because of the inclusiveness. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bigoted idiots that obsess over it, and plenty of people that pretend that any criticism of the show is really just a complaint about the inclusiveness.

    The only issue with its gender and sexuality inclusiveness is not that such concepts are present, it’s that it’s treated as still surprising or unusual in the Star Trek Universe. There’s a big thing about the transgender crewperson having to laboriously explain (to one of the gay characters none-the-less) about pronouns.

    This is stupid, not because of the the inclusiveness, but because it goes against the concept of the universe being a place where humanity has figured its shit out and got over bullshit like bigotry toward people that are different. There’s no chance that any character (especially an LGBT aligned character) would need a lecture about transgenderism or pronoun usage.

    No one had to explain why it was not weird to have a Black woman or Japanese man on the bridge, it was just how it was. No one had to explain why it was totally fine for a white man and a black woman to kiss, it just was. In all those cases the inclusivity was presented as a matter of fact which makes it more powerful because that’s how society should be.

  53. StevoR says

    @ ^ milesteg : So how it is worthy of being described as a “disagrace” then? I get your point about maybe it shouldn’t need explaining as much as happens but “disgrace” seems a pretty overly strong word for that here to me.

    Also of course the TV show is designed or intended or based on the world we live in now whilst the future will be, well, the future.

  54. John Morales says

    StevoR, I’d have said it’s because the show is nothing whatsoever like the milieu Gene envisaged.

    That noted, the answer already given to you is: “The only issue with its gender and sexuality inclusiveness is not that such concepts are present, it’s that it’s treated as still surprising or unusual in the Star Trek Universe.”

    DanDare, you are wrong. The Trill is the humanoid, and the symbiote is something that finds its host in the Trill, and it’s not in control of the host — it’s a symbiosis. Your geek is weak.

    (Are you thinking of The Puppet Masters from Heinlein? Those did take over)

  55. says

    I thought maybe I was misremembering the episode, because I recall it as them pretty much saying “I use they/them” and everyone else being, “Okay.”

    So this being the internet, I was sure there had to be a clip and sure enough… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNTGwWypUDs

    That’s the “big lecture,” the “laborious explanation.” A young person explaining to their superior officer that he is getting their pronouns wrong so they’re a little nervous as any young person would be correcting an authority figure.

  56. John Morales says

    Yeah, Tabby, but what milesteg wrote above.

    Also, what sort of superior officer doesn’t know the gender pronoun for one of their staff members whose expertise they laud?

    (Just clumsy expository writing, that is)

  57. Prax says

    All I know is, Bashir didn’t bring Garak to Christ through earnest prayer and contemplation of supply-side economics so that Star Trek could end up all queer and stuff. Simply appalling.

  58. chigau (違う) says

    milesteg #55
    The laborious explanation is for the audience, not the other character.
    It used to be called “narrative exposition”.

  59. jenorafeuer says

    As someone who’s been following the whole GamerGate/Rabid Puppies/ComicsGate/etc mess for a while… I read ‘Bounding into Comics’ with a groan. Yeah, they’re somewhat infamous for crap like this. The comics side of this never reached the sort of fever pitch that the games side did; partly due to comics being a smaller field to start with, I expect, but also partly due to having a lot more in-fighting. GamerGate started with one ‘leader’ and a whole lot of mob, with the harassment campaign being pretty much all of it; ComicsGate started more along the line of Sad Puppies as primarily a marketing campaign with several leaders trying to make money off of it (including del Arroz) and that resulted in lots of fighting between them over who ‘owned’ ComicsGate.

    The whole ‘Star Trek is going Woke’ argument was one of the claims from the Sad Puppies when they started almost a decade ago, and people were laughing about the absurdity of it then, too.

  60. says

    “Also, what sort of superior officer doesn’t know the gender pronoun for one of their staff members whose expertise they laud?”

    The kind who doesn’t know they use different pronouns. Even in a much more equitable far flung future unless we switch to a single set of pronouns for everyone, non-binary people will still have to tell people theirs. There are binary people who present very androgynously, there are non-binary people who present as their assigned genders. Granted, this isn’t meeting someone at a party so an organization like Starfleet should be asking this at enrollment but I’m not going to fault some TV writers for not thinking about that.

    Also, as Chigau stated above…

  61. milesteg says


    It’s a disgrace because it engages with the source material in bad faith as a way to capture the built in Star Trek audience. Discovery is a wild departure from its predecessor’s core themes and story telling.

    All of the previous Star Trek shows shared the same core qualities. Those are:
    — Showing humanity in an optimistic light. The show focused on characters who succeed because they do the right thing, cooperate and follow the rules. Only in extreme situations were “grey” areas justified. (see: In the Pale Moonlight).
    — Having an ensemble cast built out of people who were the best of the best at what they did. No one character was ever the solution to all or even most problems. Almost all problems required most if not all of the characters cooperating and contributing in non-trivial ways.
    — Conflicts are almost always resolved through knowledge & skill.
    — Conflicts were almost always external to the core crew/cast. Star Trek has never been about melodrama. If there were internal conflicts they were nearly always due to external influence. If Geordi was acting against the crew, it was because he was mind controlled. It was rare where a character had to resort to deception and “go it alone”. When a crew member experiences something crazy or has an unorthodox idea they are taken seriously. They are taken seriously because they are highly professional, highly skilled people.
    — The core focus of all the shows was philosophical, character driven stories. Should we obey the prime directive? Should we save the Ocampa from oppression at the cost of being stranded? Should we kill that horta or try to understand it? Should we try to work with that dastardly Shran? Most episodes contained this type of moral dilemma. Often the “problem” was how to resolve a fairly trivial situation made complex only due to ethical concerns. These types of issues were not just sprinkled in, they were the core drivers of most episodes and even the series themselves. Most of Voyager is Voyager and crew passing up various benefits (including easy tickets home) due to a moral dilemma.
    –Enough respect was given to the “science” part of the story to appeal to intelligent people. The common technology was at least loosely based on reality. Matter/Antimatter reactors are theoretically possible. Spore drives operate how? That technology had designated limits and never operated as magic or mystical (compare a transporter to “programmable matter”)

    There are, of course, exceptions to all the the above in all the previous shows and Discovery sometimes includes some of them, but Discovery is a show that is not built around those core themes. It takes an entirely different approach.

    It’s primary focus is:
    — Inter-personal drama (the shows starts off with a straight up mutiny!). The crew is constantly at odds with each other.
    — A maverick main character who frequently goes it alone and always is the key person to resolve a conflict. Everyone else is just window dressing.
    — Resolutions to conflicts that are primarily about personality and relationships and emotion and more often than not resolved with violence.
    — The stories rely on visual spectacle rather than being character driven.
    — Plots are usually about black & white conflict with no ethical dilemma. The mirror universe is pure evil. Control is pure evil, etc. (The resolution to the burn was an exception).
    — Technology that is treated indistinguishably from magic (see: the burn arc).

    It’s a completely different kind of story that wraps itself in a Star Trek costume.

  62. milesteg says

    @Tabby Lavalamp

    I have not explained well. The issue is not that they had to communicate preferred pronouns, it’s that the dramatic presentation made too big a deal of it (implying that it was still unusual or unorthodox). Adira is nervous about it, and Stammits is made to seem unaware of the existence of non-binary people and preferred pronouns.

    The right way for this scene to play out was:
    Stammits: She does great work.
    Adira: I actually use they/them.
    Stammits: My apologies, they do great work.

    In the context of the story, Adira is new to the ship and fem presenting so it’s understandable that Stammits uses she. What is not understandable is that Stammits seems initially confused and/or amused by Adira’s request and views it as novel. And it’s not understandable that Adira is nervous about informing him.

    The Star Trek future is supposed to represent a society that has cast aside bigotry and intolerance (it’s a theme espoused in great detail in all the previous series). It would be an extremely powerful message to show that people who are outside gender or sexuality norms are not novel (in universe), just like it was a powerful message to show that a black woman on the bridge of the Enterprise was not novel (in universe).

    The way it’s done in the show is clumsy/lazy writing that implies that non-binary people are still novel in the Federation, which in my opinion undercuts the message.

  63. Ruana says

    So, a mild, “I never felt like a girl, please say they not she,” is a lecture? Transphobes just can’t stop telling on themselves. To Jon Del Arroz, it seems, people who don’t fit the gender binary are behaving badly if they assert their preferences at all.

    Now, to get my nerd on – I don’t think it’s outrageous that Stamets doesn’t already know Adira’s preference. The Discovery crew have a lot on their plate, and their recruitment was a bit unorthodox. I’m sure the regular crew members all have their pronouns duly recorded. Certainly it’s a lot less absurd than the bit about Ensign Ro’s name back in TNG, but that’s a rant for another day.

    Nor does Stamets come across to me as confused about the matter. He just doesn’t immediately get what Adira means by “They’re fast,” and accepts it at once when they clarify.

  64. StevoR says

    @65. &66 milesteg : Okay, those are fair points and I see where you are coming from. Thanks for elaborating.

    Personally I still think calling Discovery a “disgrace” is too harsh and goes too far though. I also agree with Ruana (#67) above although I’ve forgotten what the deal with Ro’s name was. (I do remember that cool first major Bajoran character & basis for Kira in DS9 though.)

  65. says

    “Adira is nervous about it…”

    They’re young and they’re correcting their superior officer. Of course they’re nervous. I’m not that young and I get nervous if I have to correct my boss. Adira isn’t an arrogant character, the nervousness was that right way to play that scene for the reason I stated.

  66. John Morales says


    StevoR, you gotta get used to being on the internet.

    I just highlighted that bit from the comment, right-clicked and selected ‘search’, and in a new tab the first result was:
    “When she first joins the crew of the Enterprise-D during the course of “Ensign Ro”, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) addresses her as “Ensign Laren”. She corrects him, saying that Laren is her given name and Ro is her family name. She is then referred to as “Ensign Ro”.”

    Super-easy. Took like 2 seconds, max.

  67. milesteg says

    @Tabby Lavalamp

    Then tension shown is most definitely about Adira being nervous about revealing their non-binary status not just “oh no I have to correct a superior officer on something”.

    The whole point is it shouldn’t be a big deal. The Star Trek universe is supposed to be the kind of society we aught to strive for — one that doesn’t have any racism or misogyny or any other kind of bigotry. It’s a core theme of the show.

    The right way to show it was for Stammets to not need an explanation of non-binary/pronouns (because the character should already know full well what those things are and it’s dumb for him to be written as not knowing) and for it to be an entirely tension free exchange. That would properly show non-binary people as being a normal part of society in the Star Trek universe and that’s thematically important because that’s how our society should function.

    The exchange we see makes much more sense in a show set in contemporary time with our own society that has a lot of work to do to become like society Star Trek tries to depict. Supergirl did a similar storyline with a trans character, and that worked very well precisely because Supergirl depicts our contemporary society (more or less, hah).

  68. says

    I know that the majority of hardcore fans of the franchise would not be disgusted at all with that little exchange. They’d approve of it.

    Yeah, that’s because “Star Trek” has always been very liberal, ground-breaking and progressive, literally from first series, day one, season one, episode one. Everyone who watched it knew that, and that’s why their fans became fans in the first place. (My own basic civics lessons came from three sources: junior-high school, “Star Trek,” and “Mad” magazine.)

    …they introduced a Trill character who, despite obviously being a woman, lectured her crewmates and audience on how she wanted to be called “they/them.”

    Even within rigid gender binaries, that would still make sense: a cis female of one species would not necessarily identify as “female” relative to the females of other species, if those two species had different gender roles and ideas of what is “female.” So maybe a female Trill, working on a ship full of Humans, would not want to be considered, coded or thought of as “female” according to Human gender-norms, and would not necessarily want Humans to address or speak of them in any way that would implicitly peg them on either side of the Human gender binary.

    I’m a cis man and I expect other Humans to refer to me as “he/him.” But if I were to find myself among an advanced civilization of, say, sentient cats, insects or spiders, I would NOT necessarily want them to address or think of me as being within THEIR definition of “male.” Especially if their females ruled over or ate the males. They call me “they/them” and I won’t violate the Prime Directive on their gender-roles, thankyouverymuch.

  69. says

    “Youtuber … Uses Concept Art to Argue that ‘Black Adam’ has a Woke Agenda”

    Uh…yeah…Black Adam WOKE UP after being buried for thousands of years, saw some unjust shit going on, and responded to it. That’s his “Woke Agenda.” Then some people who didn’t like “wokeness” put him back to sleep, but he had to get “woke” again to fight a very evil person who wanted to put people to sleep in huge numbers.

    Wow, this has to be the least ridiculous use of the “woke” epithet I’ve ever heard…

  70. John Morales says


    Point is that (thanks for the video link, Tabby @58) it’s damn well established that no lecture occurred — in the show.

    But the claim is about the featured comic, not the video.
    Nonetheless, the adduced panels similarly are unequivocally not a lecture, either. Implication is that, had those panels existed where a lecture actually occurred, they would have been the ones featured.

    It follows that the claim is not just unsubstantiated, but actually mendacious.

    Shitposting, in other words.

  71. John Morales says

    Raging Bee, I think you’re overthinking it.

    …they introduced a Trill character who, despite obviously being a woman, lectured her crewmates and audience on how she wanted to be called “they/them.”
    Even within rigid gender binaries, that would still make sense: a cis female of one species would not necessarily identify as “female” relative to the females of other species […]

    A much simpler explanation is that there are two entities in symbiosis — it’s a collective, not an individual.

  72. says

    John: Thanks for the correction, I didn’t know any of that because I don’t really follow “Star Trek” anything like I used to.

    So this fool’s objection to a Trill’s chosen pronouns is even more moronic than I’d understood it to be. I find that kind of embarrassing…

  73. says

    @12 silverhalide

    The original Trek had the first interracial kiss on American TV.

    Second, actually. Though it was far more famous than the previous, and WAS the first interracial kiss between a black person and a white person on American TV. The first was on ‘The Wild Wild West’ very shortly beforehand, and was between a white man and an Asian woman.

    Just as an interesting point of trivia. I of course agree entirely with the actual main thrust of your comment.

    (For those who might be wondering, the first interracial kiss worldwide was on a British soap opera years before. I researched this one time for a trivia show I was running.)