Star Trek


I have been watching some of the Star Trek series as of late Next Generation, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. First Enterprise is under appreciated as a series and after it gets going it is very good but finishes weak. But beyond that I have a central question. How do they deal with those on the trans spectrum? For instance in the first season of Next Generation they have men in skirts, which is very progressive but then later in a different episode Dr. Crusher mentions how women wear makeup and nail polish while men don’t. Now obviously this series was written in the 1990’s when views on gender were much less flexible and it did not evolve much even through the run of Enterprise. But the hypothetical intrigues me.

In the Star Trek universe that they are capable of either changing the body to incredible levels and that changing ones sex would be a fairly simple procedure all things considered. They are able to cosmetic surgery to make themselves look like other alien races so we can assume that the cosmetic aspects would be fairly simple. So that part is easy enough and we can also assume that they could also change the primary sex characteristics pretty easily, perhaps even allowing for those who go through it to reproduce. This of course would be pretty awesome.

Though there is the second option, they also seem to have the ability to do very precise brain scans and surgery. It is not unreasonable to assume that they would also be able to “fix” the gender dysphoria that way. Now this would seem much more disturbing for many of us. Though This would only be a problem if it was forced. Which takes us to the social aspect.

The society in Star Trek is positioned as a very accepting of differences between people, assuming you are of the same species at least. We can assume that there would have been massive social changes between now and then but it is not easily possible to assume which way it could go between now and then. It is also possible the “Issue” would have been identified while I was int he womb and it may have been corrected one way or the other then.

Well there is my ethics of Star Trek thought process.

4 thoughts on “Star Trek

  1. I would say ‘fascinating’, but that would be a cheap gag to a top first science officer 😉

    “…series was written in the 1990’s…”

    I remember a book review years ago, where a line saying something like science fiction is mostly about today, was rolled out. That and Russell T David saying that whatever you write, it’s going to date. 🙂

    With those in mind, I guess writers and possibly the audience they write for are of a time. Funny, watching shows (Glee, Buffy, etc) via streaming with my daughter, the LGB (rarely T until much later) elements that seemed brave at the time, now feel somewhat tame by modern views.

    PS: if we’re talking about the very far future and gender, can we skip into Banks’s Culture series? 🙂

    1. If we go back to C. Wright Mills he said that we should try to analyse the actions of those in the past based upon the society in which they lived. This applies to his work as some in academia say that since he only used he and not he/her he had issues with women. It was 1955 so he was the key point. His body of work as a whole also indicates he was very much in favour of women’s rights, or at least not content with their position in society.
      So yes science fiction while looking forward is really about today.

      1. Indeed. As much as we look back and wonder what it might have been like for folk living then, I wonder: what is it we do now that would be looked on from those in the future?

      2. Well 100 years ago they were just coming out of a global pandemic. So let’s hope 100 years from now they aren’t dealing with the same thing.
        Though it is always a bit funny to think that at some point we will be way back then. We will be old times and backwards. Or that 100 years ago or 500 years ago the technology was the most advanced they could imagine. Even looking for back at Star Trek the pads they had, one pad per file? Really? My tablet is more advanced.

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