Thanks, casual sexism—I guess I won’t be watching Star Trek with my kids.

My kids are getting to the age where I thought it might be fun to start watching Star Trek: TOS together. Seeing as it’s on Netflix, I figured I would screen an episode or two myself just to confirm it would be appropriate. It has been a good number of years since I have watched anything from that series, and I have learned the hard way that it is a good idea to know what kinds of questions my kids might ask before they start asking them.

About fifteen minutes into “The Man Trap”, I had my answer, and was ready to turn it off. A bunch of wink-wink nudge-nudge innuendo about Dr. McCoy’s ex-girlfriend? Check. Various crew members leering at Lt. Uhura? Check. Every second male on the Enterprise casually joking about getting in Yeoman Rand’s pants? Check.

I get that this show was quite progressive compared to most of the other stuff on TV in 1966. For that matter, it was pretty progressive compared to most of the stuff on TV when I first started watching the show in the late Seventies.

Nonetheless, this kind of stuff kind of wrecks the show for me now, even if I weren’t thinking about watching it with the kids.

  1. @petebrown so let’s close them all out, pull down the statues, apply 21st century thinking and morals to 18/19/20th century actions … and pretend it all didn’t happen?

    Or treat it as a learning moment .. recognize that history is what it was and learn lessons?

    We all have a choice.

  2. @JohnPhilpin No worries. The internet, man—it angries up the blood.

    In all seriousness, though… having to think about what I feel is helpful or constructive to watch/listen to/etc. with my kids has led to a lot of heavy reconsideration of media and entertainment that I have liked and loved myself. It’s not always a comfortable internal conversation, which is as it should be (for me, anyway).

  3. @petebrown I know what you mean. I’ve been rewatching the show myself lately, and have been thinking about when it might be appropriate to expose my own kids to it. It’s unfortunate Discovery isn’t really appropriate for them either. Unless something fitting comes out of Kurtzman’s expanded universe, I might have to fall back to TNG, dated though it is.

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