Star Trek & Gender Sterotypes Essay

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The Star Trek television series was truly a groundbreaking show not just for its plot lines and ideological messages, but also for its revolutionary cast. Two of the main actors were Jewish, one main actor was a gay Asian, and of course, one was a black woman. Uhura was one of the first main black characters on a television show – and of course, her kiss with Kirk was the first interracial kiss ever on television. For a show in the 1960s, Star Trek broke many barriers across religious, racial, but most significantly gender lines. From television to film, from music to advertising, men are often portrayed as strong willed and powerful, while women are often shown as submissive, powerless, and sexually promiscuous. Particularly in American…show more content…
It seems that the film breaks out of traditional gender stereotypes. However, looking a little deeper one will see that in all the fight scenes, Uhura plays no part in giving out commands or taking initiative, which perpetuates the stereotype that women don’t take initiative. The women officers are shot with the camera from the top-down – rather than from the bottom-up as the men are – which emphasizes the physical size difference between the men and the women officers and belittles the power of the women officers. Although the film appears to show strong women, the women in fact are weak and are depicted as mostly useless – the women also don’t break out of any traditional gender stereotypes.
Despite, the apparent strength of Uhura, the film eroticizes Uhura through camera angles, her romantic action toward Spock, and her costume. At the end of the film, the camera darts back and forth between the main characters aboard the Enterprise. All of the men shown are siting up straight, and shot from the bottom-up to assert their strength and physical size. When Uhura is shown, her entire body is shown – while the men’s bodies were only shown from the chest up – she puffs out her chest, rests her hands on her legs, and puts her legs together – all signs that the film is trying to establish a sexual appeal with Uhura’s character. In addition, the
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