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Retro Review: Looking for Par’mach In All the Wrong Places

Posted by Michelle - 30/08/13 at 08:08 pm


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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season: 05 Episode: 03 (s05e03)

Original US airdate: 10/14/1996

Worf helps Quark court Grilka, Quark’s former Klingon wife on whom Worf has developed a crush.

Plot Summary: When Worf sees Grilka, who has come to the station to ask her onetime husband Quark to help with her House’s finances, he is immediately smitten, then devastated when Grilka’s adviser Tumek tells him that because of his House’s dishonor, Grilka rejects his company. Thus when Quark asks Worf for help courting Grilka, who has invited him to dinner, Worf agrees to offer suggestions, though he laments to Dax that he is so unappealing to Klingon women that even a Ferengi has better luck. The date goes very well, so Worf and Dax take Quark to a holosuite to act out the horrific battle that led to the marriage of Kahless. Quark impresses Grilka with his knowledge of Klingon culture, but Grilka’s bodyguard Thopok is furious to see a Ferengi pursuing a Klingon and challenges Quark to a duel. Knowing that to refuse is to look the coward and to fight is to be killed, Quark despairs until Dax rigs a device so that Worf can control Quark’s body during the combat. Meanwhile, Miles O’Brien’s efforts to help a pregnant Kira relax causes the two to become attracted to each other, a fact to which Keiko is oblivious. Worf is able to help Quark gain the upper hand in the duel, but damages the device with his bat’leth, making it necessary for Quark to stall, which he does by making a speech about his passion for Grilka. Meanwhile Dax helps Worf repair the device and suggests that he find someone more fun than a traditional Klingon woman. When Worf takes control of Quark’s movements again, he knocks Thopok down, allowing Quark to win the duel and costing Thopok his job. Both Quark and Grilka and Worf and Dax then succumb to passion so violent that it puts all of them in the infirmary. Meanwhile Kira tells O’Brien that she is going to Bajor without him and leaves him to come up with a cover story for Keiko.

Analysis: I disliked “Looking for Par’mach In All the Wrong Places” so much when it first aired that I put the details out of my mind for nearly 20 years. Yes, I know, ha-ha, all those couples and all that romantic comedy and so much cluelessness, hee-hee, and I am the first to admit that Worf/Dax ended up being a wonderful couple both in terms of their personal chemistry and for all the ways the pairing changed the dynamics among the senior staff. But as a study in interspecies or cross-species sexual dynamics, mostly what I get out of this episode is all the ways the desire to possess and control women is considered universal by the Star Trek writers. When they have a Klingon ritual begin with a line stolen from the incredibly misogynistic Vulcan tradition of men fighting to own their brides – “Challenge has been given and lawfully accepted; let no one interfere” – it isn’t just a reflection of Ron Moore’s lack of creativity and reduction of sophisticated social interactions to his own limited set of expectations; it’s a reflection on the part of the entire production staff about their impression of masculine honor and macho values, a theme that recurs again and again, whether it’s Klingons or Vulcans or Cardassians or shapeshifters at the center of the story. Over and over, the narrative focuses on men as players and women as objects of great value, to paraphrase both Quark and Worf here in talking about Grilka. If there’s a certain amount of hope for Worf, who could have had a relationship with Dax months earlier if only he’d seen her as a complete person instead of ignoring her as a potential mate precisely because of her greatest strengths, there’s really none for Quark, who at the height of passion can’t stop thinking of intimacy in transactional terms.

As much as I like Worf and Dax as a couple down the road, I loathe the way they get together – and I could say the same thing about Kira and Odo. There’s a fine line between creating an homage or a pastiche of expected romantic cliches and buying right into them, and in both cases, there’s a complete lack of scripted irony as the writers take a strong, independent woman and flip her professional and personal life around for the sake of her sex life. Dax is a truly fantastic character, the smartest and best-educated person on the station, with a wry sense of humor and the ability to get along with pretty much everybody all of the time. There’s a certain comfort in the fact that both Sisko and Worf seem oblivious to how knock-out gorgeous she is because she has so many other qualities to recommend her. Nevertheless, they both often seem to forget that she is also a young woman of deep feeling, Worf in particular. Her wit is never sharper than it is with Worf, and despite her long background with Klingons, she evidently relates to his position as an outsider. It’s quite entertaining to watch her roll her eyes rather than get angry or mopey as she watches him crush on a Klingon woman way out of his league. But I’ve never been clear why she likes Quark so much, let alone why she’d help Quark add Grilka to his collection of valuables; even if she doesn’t buy Quark’s crass equation of lovemaking and possession, I’d expect her to believe that if Grilka can’t see Quark’s worth on her own, then Quark deserves better. Okay, it gets Grilka out of Dax’s way to get to Worf, but isn’t she also demonstrating that Grilka is in her own way as unconventional and therefore intriguing as Dax herself?

I’ve always tried to be careful in talking about Klingon sex because I don’t want to sound like a prude; as a rule, there is far too little sex on Star Trek rather than too much, and most of what there is gets written like Miles and Keiko who after many years of marriage act like high school students. But the ending of “Looking for Par’mach” in the infirmary leaves me very uncomfortable. Of course different cultures have their own standards for what sex should be like – whether it’s about mating or purely for recreation, whether it’s more focused on power or pleasure – so I wouldn’t expect Klingons as a rule to pause before lovemaking in order to talk about things like contraception, even though Worf got a previous mate pregnant without meaning to. But these are non-traditional Klingons making love with very non-traditional partners, so even if they think they’re being safe, sane, and consensual by their cultural standards, I find it disturbing that there’s no discussion of the risks. In fact, a few weeks hence, Worf will try to break up with Dax because he’s afraid he might kill her during ordinary rough Klingon sex, something I would think might occur to him before any sex takes place. I’m willing to be persuaded that Worf figures the Curzon side of Dax knows all about what to expect, but it’s still discomfiting that it takes him so long to realize that he could badly injure her. And Quark is usually a total wimp when it comes to pain. The ending of this episode is written to be comic, so we’re meant to believe he’s oblivious to his black eye and broken ribs, but I find it more repulsive than amusing. Consensual or not, if one of those ribs had punctured a lung and he’d died, I’d expect Odo to bring Grilka up on charges. Hasn’t Quark lived among humans long enough to have heard of a safeword?

I’m of a double mind about Kira and O’Brien. On the one hand, TV writers so rarely acknowledge that pregnant women can be sexual beings that I want to applaud; here’s a woman so pregnant that every part of her body is sore, so pregnant that Keiko can’t seem to talk to her about anything but the pregnancy, yet Miles doesn’t want to stop touching her and Kira responds to him. I’m not comfortable with O’Brien’s proprietary attitude toward the body of the woman who’s carrying his child, something they argue about until they realize that proximity is creating other problems, so it boggles my mind that Kira starts to fall for someone so possessive no matter how good his backrubs are and it’s no wonder Odo mocks her about it, though there’s a mean edge to that conversation that doesn’t make me like Odo at all. Kira’s psychology here could be incredibly complex, but we never learn whether she’s becoming attached to the fetus she can feel moving now, nor whether that factors into how she feels about Miles and Keiko, if it draws her closer to them or makes her resent that she’ll have to turn over the baby to this couple. No wonder Keiko’s interactions with Kira are entirely baby this, baby that, getting to remind Kira with every word of her claim. Yet when it comes to Miles and Kira’s feelings toward one another, Keiko looks oblivious to the point of either being stupid, which we know she’s not, or willfully blind, which would be worth exploring – one minute she wants to have sex with her husband, the next she’s too concerned about the mother of her unborn child to care about her husband except as a protector of that woman and the baby – but Keiko and her needs are not of interest to the writers, so in the end she becomes a mere obstacle, something Kira and Miles need to work around.

Sisko is barely present this episode, either as station commander or friend of all these senior crewmembers, which is too bad because he always has great perspective on the excesses of Klingon macho posturing, Ferengi greed, and human craving for companionship. Since it’s a comic episode, I won’t ask questions like why Dax and Worf aren’t obligated to report that a Klingon has challenged someone to a fight to the death, something Sisko has expressly forbidden on the station before, nor will I wonder why Odo doesn’t go to Sisko to complain that O’Brien’s work is suffering from his complicated personal life, which is why Odo and Kira start talking about Miles in the first place. No one has ever adequately explained whether or when Starfleet has fraternization rules – why Archer thought he had to keep his hands off T’Pol and Kirk off Rand, why Picard shied away from relationships with Starfleet officers while Troi dated Riker and Worf – but when professionalism is being compromised, as it appears to be with both the DS9 couples (imagine a Dominion attack while Dax and Worf are in sickbay after a bout of too-hot sex), then it becomes the senior officer’s business. At the very least, using and damaging Starfleet equipment to help a Ferengi cheat to win a Klingon woman – something I’d think Worf would believe went against Klingon honor – seems kind of problematic to me. Maybe at the core my issues with this episode can be explained away as too many plot holes rather than too much icky characterization, but I’m still not laughing, and I find Cyrano de Bergerac more progressive than this futuristic version.

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  • ra_phi

    Excellent analysis.

  • Mike

    I just don’t understand what Michelle doesn’t get. The aliens in Star Trek are supposed to be mirrors for our baser instincts. That aliens within Star Trek do objectionable things IS THE POINT. But she raises it here like she’s done some research and drawn a shocking conclusion. Well, yes and no… Drawing the conclusion from Star Trek that was the point of Star Trek, namely that humans have a long way to go, just look at how we’re representing THEM with ALIENS? Not shocking. That she misinterprets that entire setup as somehow the writers feeling the way the aliens feel? Just PLAIN STUPID.

    There are a lot of capable, smart women out there. Michelle is not one of them… obviously. She’s like the ones that can’t keep up and want preferential treatment, only to turn around and talk about the “sacrifices” made to get said special treatment… No thanks.

  • SJStar

    Most of this quite crazy review makes little sense, nor does it seem at all relevant. All I see it a points of view that reflects badly on the idiosyncrasies of a clearly biassed reviewer. If I was a clinical psychologist, I could perhaps delve into this Jewess’s seemingly titanic and distorted obsessions with sex and love, or even basic or common relationships between ordinary people (let alone presumably alien cultures), etc. Really. There is enough source material here for a whole 1200 page textbook on the subject!

    Truly. Can something actually be FUN or even ENTERTAINING for the sake of it, without the need for the in-depth incessant psychobabble of who is doing what to whom or as to why? This story episode is based on life’s main driving force: to love and be loved.

    As Quark says; “You know, it’s attitudes like that that keep you people from getting invited to all the really good parties.” Perhaps this is why Michelle here is writing confusing or distorted sci-fi Star Trek reviews instead of knowing, as the French say, vrais moments et expériences de la vie à la saveur; I.e. Knowing the real moments or experiences of life to savour.

    Perhaps she should also read something like Stendhal’s (Marie-Henri Beyle) non-fiction work De L’Amour ‘Love’ (1822) , and his so-called crystallization process when falling in love, which might be far more informative. (English translations are around, some on-line.) It is one of the books often used as a guide in television melodrama/ drama and production.”

    As he says; “Love has always been the most important business in my life; I should say the only one.” Quark here would no doubt agree.

    Note: Cyrano de Bergerac seems quite irrelevant in this story, IMO. It is more like the love triangle in Stendhal’s “The Red and The Black.” — being high on the recommended reading for Michelle I’d say…

    Q: Has Michelle read and enjoyed romance novels like Jane Austin or the Bronte’s I wonder? If she has, this review betrays her views here quite conclusively!

  • Enterprise1981

    This episode was cringe-worthy on so many levels, I’ll grant that. And where was Sisko during all of this if he wouldn’t approve of any battles to the death happening on his station? Maybe there never was going to be a battle to the death what with that telepresence device Dax whipped up and Worf’s resolution that didn’t involve spilling any blood. And I sure could’ve done without the O’Brien family subplot.

  • Enterprise1981

    This episode was similar to Cyrano de Bergerac in terms of Dax helping Quark try to win over Grilka. Still, I’ve seen better Cyrano parodies.

  • Theragen Derivative

    These Retro Reviews would be a lot more fun if they could find somebody not completely effin’ insane to write them every once in a while.

  • Theragen Derivative

    Pretty much. It never ceases to amuse me, how the Trek fans who most vocally promote the concept of “IDIC” don’t actually believe in it at all when the rubber hits the road.

    As for Michelle, every review she writes leaves me with the mental image of a lady huddled in the corner of a room with an ice pick as her 72 cats mill around the rest of the house. Whether you’re looking to read about blackface routines in routine espionage plots, a celebration of the secret gay love affair between Bashir and Garak (or Bashir and O’Brien, or Bashir and half the male population of the station), or a fuming analysis of the misogynistic overtones of one of the fluffiest, dumbest DS9 episodes, Michelle never disappoints when you’re in the market for some serious weapons-grade Crazy.

  • thereader

    Why does anyone allow this woman to keep writing reviews? This frustrated person seems to know a few words apart from “macho” and “masculine”. If you, Michelle, are so capable of critizing everything the writers do (or don’t), why aren’t writing for TV shows? Why do you spend your time writing reviews instead of great TV shows where all the oh so masculine machos get killed by the dozen?

  • Mike

    I don’t for a second want to give the impression that I think this was a great episode with great characterization or anything like that. There’s plenty to pile onto this episode with and for… but none of those things were remotely raised by Michelle’s review… and that’s the biggest problem here. This isn’t a great episode, and it would’ve been great to actually dissect it. Unfortunately, it has been dissected by someone who shares a very tenuous relationship with sanity, it would seem, as she’s greatly detached from it, seeing male fantasy attacking her from behind every corner and shadow.

  • Enterprise1981

    I never got that impression. But anyway, I may not be in full agreement with the analysis above, I agree to with the overall underlying premise. After seeing the cultural idiosyncrasies of the Klingons and the Ferengi enough or few instances of two men fighting to the death for a woman as if she’s a prize to be acquired, it does kind of get old after a while.

  • Mike

    It’s because they don’t actually understand what IDIC meant prior to the bastardization of the 1960′s and the co-opting of Star Trek by multiculturalists… Now, what they want you to believe and what they will tell you is that Star Trek has always been about multiculturalism and the embracing of the multitude… and they’ll suggest that all multiculturalism wants to do is lift up everyone into one great realm of equality… sounds very Roddenberrian, but it’s not. Gene Roddenberry envisioned a future where the culmination of white western civilization was a post American world that had been entirely Americanized, writ large. Roddenberry was a proponent of the melting pot… not of a multiculturalism agenda designed to make western civilization the only aspect of our culture not worthy of saving and preservation… which is what the liberals have co-opted it as… it was never that. So, when confronted with something they should tolerate because of IDIC, they use IDIC as a weapon to try to suggest we, or others, should conform to their actions/beliefs… but ask the inverse? Not a chance… the inverse is clearly racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc… Evil ascribed to the motivations with no evidence therein of said malice. It’s classic leftist propaganda at its finest.

  • Mike

    I actually agree with most of what you just said… But there was one thing that really stopped me in my tracks:

    “If I was a clinical psychologist, I could perhaps delve into this Jewess’s seemingly titanic and distorted obsessions with sex and love”

    Jewess? Really? Wow.

    Anti-Semitic much?

  • Mike

    Well, to some extent that’s what a reviewer does, they evaluate a piece critically. I don’t expect her not to look at the episodes critically. I would simply hope that she could wake up from this malaise of fempowered stupidity.

  • Mike

    Well, isn’t it about execution? Within the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome up through medieval literature, the winning of the hand of a woman through some form of contest/combat is quite longstanding… even among humans. In truth, the modern notion of feminism is quite far from how women have been treated for the VAST majority of our history. Yes, Star Trek looks upon this with a wink and a nod that it’s outdated thinking. That’s what they think is funny. They know the modern audience won’t connect in the same way as, say, someone 3000 years ago would’ve viewed the same story. The point isn’t to enjoy the notion of women as objects to be possessed, it’s to deride that notion by the pure idiocy of it… and, the fact that Grilka is quite capable, just like Quark’s Moogie, is the actual point… Their society believes them to be lesser, but the people that actually know them, know that to be wholly untrue. At no point is the winning of a woman presented as something the actual then-current society watching on tv should’ve been looking to aggrandize. It simply wasn’t. But Klingon culture and Ferengi culture are what they are. That modern American culture rejects certain notions doesn’t mean the Klingon and Ferengi would… again, that’s my point: The aliens of Star Trek are the true mirrors for us to think about ourselves. And yes, in our culture, we don’t fight over women in contests explicitly like this… but there are plenty of stories from our myths and legends that do tell of contests for the hand of a maiden, etc. I could rattle off 5 right off the top of my head… I won’t as it would be kind of boring, but suffice to say, Michelle should have been upset over the actions of the Klingons and Ferengi, however, she should not ascribe the feelings of the Klingons and Ferengi to the writers who were trying to elicit said emotional response. When the guy wrote Schindler’s List, when he wrote the segments involving Ralph Feinnes killing Jews, are we supposed to think the writer supports torturing and killing Jews? Or, was he writing what the Nazis did, not to support it, but to decry it? Similarly, are the Klingons and Ferengi written approvingly? Or are they written in a way that decries their actual beliefs? What it seems Michelle wants is for the writers to write the Klingons and Ferengi as Star Trek humans……… which completely misses the point.

  • SJStar

    See http://www.jewfaq.org/sex.htm

    Nothing to do with anti-semitic views, just sexual hang-ups.

  • Mike

    Right… I’m not suggesting you’re an anti-Semite for pointing out that she’s Jewish… although you are, in that there’s no actual value in the pointing out of it… But, I see the problem here: You don’t realize the term Jewess is inherently bigoted. It is. So, you can post all the links to all the justifications you want, the term Jewess is offensive and has always been meant to be offensive. Furthermore, to go after her on the basis of being a Jew, either by religious affiliation or ethnicity is just plain wrong… You want to call other people bigots and xenophobes… well, asshole, I think we all see where the truth now clearly lies. Jewess, indeed. Moron.

  • srhadden

    Michelle, I’ve been reading TrekWeb’s retro-reviews for years. This is the first time I’m posting. Indeed, I created an account to post this. I just wanted to let you know that I, for one, very much appreciate and value your reviews. I’ve been a trek fan since I was 14. Though I never recognized it at the time, it has become increasingly clear that the writers unconsciously write their sexism and heteronormativity into the cultures of Star Trek. It’s not an ‘agenda’ they have — they’re just flawed men and women (as we are we all) who take for granted their privileged status. (The idea of men fighting over women is so “normal” that they can’t imagine an alien culture that doesn’t do it). But my love of Trek has often prevented me from seeing the problematic aspects of Trek. And more generally, as a male, I’m largely inured against these sorts of portrayals; your critiques help drag the problematic aspects of these episodes into the light.

    *Please* continue doing what you’re doing. You have my support. As for the negativity you’ve been subjected to here, the rudeness of the other comments speak for themselves. Apparently, pointing out sexism and racism makes you “stupid”, “insane”, “crazy”, “a Jewess” (??), and your views as “fempowered stupidity”. It’s like Mad Men in here. I can think of no greater vindication of your critiques than being subjected to this sort of sexist response.

    I have installed an app that will block all comments from TrekWeb (and from YouTube, as well as other sites). So starting now on I won’t be reading the comments here anymore.

    Keep up the good fight.

  • Guest

    You really shouldn’t accuse someone of being anti-Semitic for using the word “Jewess” when it is you yourself who are revealing your ignorance of modern Judaism by doing so. There has been an ongoing effort to reclaim the word “Jewess” for some time and to refuse to let anyone bigoted own its meaning. An example is in the title of the national nonprofit Jewish women’s organization “Jewesses with Attitude.” Perhaps you should address your angry screeds to them?

    You seem almost excited to get to declare someone anti-Semitic, but no dice. If you don’t support the reclamation effort on the word, which has been an active issue in the community since at least the mid-90s, it is you who are “bigoted.”

  • Guest

    …and the Privilege Olympics have now begun to ruin Trek fandom. Had to happen eventually.

    Now I’ll play, too: the above poster srhadden is OUTRAGEOUSLY offensive for simply describing himself as male rather than checking his cisgendered privilege at the door by citing it. He is thus perpetuating the anti-trans agenda, is a bigot and almost certainly a racist, has perpetuated a gender-normative rape culture in public and should be destroyed.

    I just pulled ahead in the Privilege Olympics!

  • Mike

    lol, I really hope you’re kidding, but somehow, I don’t think you are. You’re also not being intellectually honest about what has transpired here. You’re pretending his use of the word Jewess was done without context or with a benign context… and it wasn’t. He was using the word, not to reclaim it, genius, but as a slam against her. By your rationale, because black people use nigger by some accounts to reclaim it, that no person could use it as a racist term… and that’s stupid. Clearly, some people use Jewess in the means of reclaiming the word from anti-Semites. This was an anti-Semite trying to use the word against someone. There is a context for the word, and the context here was to denigrate her. Not every use is to reclaim it, sometimes bigots are just being bigots.

  • Mike

    Careful, sarcasm is often misunderstood here… Not like heteronormative misunderstood, whatever the fuck that is, but misunderstood, nevertheless.

  • Guest

    Nigga, please—we can use these terms whenever we want, and if one can say it, another is free to without being judged, else we be judging speech by the race of the speaker rather than semantic or syntactic content

    PS of course I was kidding, “genius.” (You’ll never win the Privilege Olympics this way!)

  • Theragen Derivative

    OH MY GOD. ISWYDT AND I AM NOT AMUSED. I AM INSTALLING AN APP TO BLOCK ALL HETERONORMATIVE HATE IMMEDIATELY SO THAT I NEVER HAVE TO LOOK AT ANYTHING THAT OFFENDS ME EVER AGAIN.

    In fact, if this “app” of mine works out well I’m going to install it on my mailbox so that I never have to look at anything distressing from that either, like credit card statements.

    Hot damn, I may even put this “app” on my car so that I never get cut off in traffic again.

  • Mike

    lol

    But seriously for a second… Have we actually gone so far as a culture to really be so delusional as to say that heterosexuality isn’t the normal cultural behavior? Since when? And why? I don’t remotely hate homosexuals in any way, but I wouldn’t want homosexuality to be presented as equivalent to heterosexuality. The people equal? Sure. But their sexuality cannot be viewed as equivalent. Homosexuals aren’t that prevalent, and if there’s no agenda to confuse children who could be bisexual into a life of homosexuality, that’d be one thing… but there is. When they present to young kids the notion that homosexuality is, in no way, a choice, then, if the kid is a bisexual, who could live a perfectly happy, healthy life as a heterosexual, why not encourage that as the social norm, when, in fact, it is? And no amount of bullshit new age mumbo jumbo like heteronormativity is going to change that unless we just say, whatever. At which point, we are allowing a gay lobby to indoctrinate children that can choose a life of heteronormativity into a life of homoabnormality. The answer is to accept gay people and to not discriminate against them through social institutions and the like, but it isn’t to hand the society over to them and make gay glamorous.

    Now, I know what I just said is going to offend a lot of people, and I don’t mean to offend anyone therein… I don’t hate people because of who they want to have sex with, but I do love the culture and religion that has led us to the pinnacle of western civilization, and this sort of thing is in direct opposition to that. It doesn’t make me evil, just consider that.

  • the reader

    You are right re the fact that criticism is an essential part of a review. But I get the impression that in her opinion the writers, producers and everybody else never do anything right. If all these things were true the show would never have survived the first three episodes.

  • Oswald Carnes

    Fuck you and your “civilization.”

  • Mike

    Can’t argue with that…

  • Mike

    You folks are trying… every day.

  • SJStar

    “If I was a clinical psychologist, I could perhaps delve into this Jewess’s seemingly titanic and distorted obsessions with sex and love,”

    “I’m not suggesting you’re an anti-Semite for pointing out that she’s Jewish…

    “…although you are, in that there’s no actual value in the pointing out of it… ”

    “This was an anti-Semite trying to use the word against someone.”

    “There is a context for the word, and the context here was to denigrate her.”

    Sorry, you must have a few brain cells twisted, or you don’t have a clue about comprehension or logic.

    So according to you I’m not anti-Semite, my statement has not actual value, but I am an anti-Semite for using a word, which is context, according to you, now denigrates the reviewer? Eh? You’re plainly nuts.

    As Michelle here also says in her, “RETRO REVIEW: BODY PARTS” http://www.trektoday.com/content/2013/07/retro-review-body-parts/

    Speaking as a Jewish fan, attempts to make Ferengi-Jewish parallels have always bothered me. Yes, I know that many of the writers and actors involved with the creation of the Ferengi are Jewish, and no, it isn’t as creepy as the Jewish overtones to certain incarnations of Batman‘s Penguin, but when DS9 does something as explicit as rewriting The Merchant of Venice, it’s hard to pretend that I’m only seeing my own fear of stereotypes and not something explicitly built into the franchise. The fact that Quark in essence converts to a kinder, gentler version of his religion and is helped by good Samaritans at the end doesn’t make me feel any better. Of course, it’s possible to interpret the episode without any of that – to take the Ferengi as the comic relief for which they typically serve, to assume that the vision of the Divine Treasury is Quark’s way of letting himself off the hook psychologically for wanting to live outside Ferengi law, to put Quark along with Odo and Worf among the collection of aliens for whom the DS9 writers have created vibrant cultures, only to have them decide they prefer human values (which is also a big philosophical problem for the series, but a separate one). It’s not hard to read Quark’s storyline as symbolic of that old axiom about how your real people are the ones who love you, not the ones to whom you are related by blood. But then what’s it doing paired with a storyline that suggests exactly the opposite, that biological ties are so strong that people from different races, cultures, even planets, who previously shared mutual respect but not deep friendship, can become instant family by virtue of sharing a physical connection to an unborn baby?

    Here she admits her Jewish heritage, and again shows some of the distorted religious and relationship bias, which is probably based on that same heritage.

    Of course the real clincher, is what is said on female Klingons stated in this article is equally contradictory. What about Martok’s wife, the Lady Sirella, being probably the most feminist Klingon this side of the galactic core. (Featuring in the DS9 episode “You Are Cordially Invited”)

    Martok says to Wolf;

    “We are not accorded the luxury of choosing the women we fall in love with. Do you think Sirella is anything like the woman I thought that I’d marry? She is a prideful, arrogant, mercurial woman who shares my bed far too infrequently for my taste. And yet… I love her deeply. We Klingons often tout our prowess in battle, our desire for glory and honor above all else… but how hollow is the sound of victory without someone to share it with? Honor gives little comfort to a man alone in his home… and in his heart.”

    R.D. Moore clearly sets out a different role for Klingon women, that he says in the DS9 companion as;

    This was something Moore was keen to rectify in this episode, and as such, he determined that if men rule the Council, then women rule the Houses, and that the mistress of a great House wields unchallenged power in terms of the functioning of that house, thus restoring a degree of balance to Klingon gender roles.

    This directly counteract the wrong statement here by Michelle;

    “When they have a Klingon ritual begin with a line stolen from the incredibly misogynistic Vulcan tradition of men fighting to own their brides – “Challenge has been given and lawfully accepted; let no one interfere” – it isn’t just a reflection of Ron Moore’s lack of creativity and reduction of sophisticated social interactions to his own limited set of expectations; it’s a reflection on the part of the entire production staff about their impression of masculine honor and macho values, a theme that recurs again and again…”

    The question remains why Michelle continues on this peculiar and twisted notions regarding relationships, sex and love in Star Trek. I content some of this might be to her own religious background, where the traditional rituals / taboos in Judaism are at significant odds with the modern views of feminism and gender roles. (Most religions screw up these issues, as their beliefs and actuality in the modern world lead to no simple answers — hence the twisted ideas. I.e. Exampled in the link I gave into the Jewish ketubah (marriage contract) and ideas like “…a husband’s consistent refusal to engage in sexual relations is grounds for compelling a man to divorce his wife.”

    Hence, why I say as an explanation that the “seemingly titanic and distorted obsessions with sex and love” might possibly come from her Jewish religious upbringing.

    That is not anti-Semetic, that is a likely based on a true fact.

    (Unlike you, which you never seem to open your mind to a contrary opinion, and who criticises anything that does not comply with your narrow little set of values being often displayed in your regular twisted vitriolic rantings.)

    I do not intent to be lectured by the biggest xenophobic bigot who posts comments here, who calls me as being anti-Semitic, when the evidence is against them. I.e. Using the n-word just to prove a esoteric point. Your detriment here is clearly yourself.

  • Just a guest

    My favorite Cyrano pastiche is the movie Roxanne with Steve Martin.

  • Tony

    “so I wouldn’t expect Klingons as a rule to pause before lovemaking in order to talk about things like contraception, even though Worf got a previous mate pregnant without meaning to. But these are non-traditional Klingons making love with very non-traditional partners, so even if they think they’re being safe, sane, and consensual by their cultural standards, I find it disturbing that there’s no discussion of the risks.”

    1- According to the same episode where Alexander was conceived, the reproduction between a Klingon and a Human needs some medical help. So, a one-night stand with a non-Klingon woman is not risky as a half-Klingon for pregnancy.

    2- Spontaneous unprotected sex is still pretty frequent on TV and movies in 2013.

    3- Klingons are not an educationnal model, so they’re not the good fictionnal people to warn the youth about STDs.

    “Over and over, the narrative focuses on men as players and women as objects of great value, to paraphrase both Quark and Worf here in talking about Grilka.”

    1- You can’t deny Grilka is a strong woman who’s not easily impressed by men, including her bodyguard.

    2- Klingons are a patriarchal society and Ferengi…it’s even worse. None of them are supposed to be good models about the way of treating women.