I can’t win.
Here’s what I posted in response to some anon hate earlier about why I dislike the new Uhura. Enjoy.
Abrams had a chance to do something special with Uhura. Throughout the original series, she commanded respect without needing to put anyone down. She had her own voice - she was independent and strong-willed. Sure, she sometimes flirted, but it was always for fun or to get something she needed (such as in the Mirror, Mirror episode). When she flirted with Spock in the first season, it was quickly followed up with her criticizing him for not reacting to Kirk’s possible injury or death. She had her priorities straight.
Enter Abrams. It seems he saw that one episode and thought, “well, let’s modernize that 30 seconds of Uhura right there.” And he did so poorly. He introduced her not as a character, but as a body. Kirk came into a bar and lusted after her. A fight started because he and a number of other men wanted to sleep with her. She does nothing to prevent this.
Later, she strips to her underwear for no particular reason before chasing Kirk from her room. She then proceeds to blackmail Spock into letting her onto the Enterprise (because she feels entitled to it), where the only useful thing she does is distinguish between Vulcan and Romulan and reference a transmission she overheard - but only when prompted by Kirk.
She makes out with Spock after the death of his mother, when he’s vulnerable and doesn’t need emotions being thrown his way (hello? Touch telepath, anyone?). Then she makes out with him again before he infiltrates the enemy ship - in front of the entire command team - and lets it be known that she is emotionally compromised as well. She’ll be monitoring his frequency - but who else’s?
She’s a shell of the Uhura I grew up loving. She literally blackmails her way onto the Enterprise by basically threatening Spock with letting people higher up know they’ve been having an unprofessional liaison against regs. She serves no purpose but to hammer a wedge between members of the crew, and when she’s useful it’s only at the behest of a male crew member.
I live for characters like Zoe or Kaylee from Firefly, or characters such as Captain Janeway or B’elanna Torres from Voyager. I love women in science fiction - but they have to be done right. If a character is created for no purpose other than to be a female character, I’m not going to support her. If her sexuality is the most important thing about her, I’ll probably dislike her. And if I find she doesn’t meet my standards, I’ll almost definitely complain.
I’m not a misogynist because I don’t like certain fictional women. That just makes me a person with opinions.
I’d rather have no Uhura than an Uhura who is basically treated as a sex object, is only useful when men direct her, and who is so obsessed with appearances that she refuses a posting on a great ship (trivia fact! The ship she was originally assigned to in the movie was Kirk’s first assignment. They worked together and impressed enough people that Kirk was made Captain and Uhura was recognized as one of the best xenolinguists in the ‘fleet!) in favor of blackmailing someone she supposedly loves to get onto the newer one.
I loved the original Uhura. Thanks for assigning me the label of “racist” because I don’t like the new Uhura.
Fuck all of this.
ToS Uhura was criminally underutilized, often used as a plot device for the parade of mostly white men around her, and was hypersexualized when the plot called for it. This notion that Nuhura is a radical departure from ToS is ahistorical and, more importantly, hypocritical if you ask me seeing as she has an expanded role in the new franchise. I’m not entirely pleased with how Abrams & Co. wrote and utilized her character. But, don’t think I didn’t notice that even though every single character in nu!Trek has an almost entirely different characterization from ToS, that people are calling for erasing Uhura while not saying the same for the rest of the cast. Don’t think I didn’t notice that you all also fail to leave out the horrendous racism and sexism to which Nichols was subject while you fondle the balls of ToS. I see you.
I also see your racism and misogyny. I see it in your victim-blaming when you chastise Nuhura for failing to prevent a fight between a group of hypermasculine white men, one of whom sexually harassed her, rather than chastising Kirk, supporting her and marveling at the smooth way she handled the situation. Or maybe breathing a sigh of relief that she wasn’t harmed by any of these men.
I see it in you chastising Nuhura for changing her fuckin’ clothes in her own fuckin’ bedroom after a long day of academy without ever chastising Kirk for leering at her and not making his presence known (and sexually harassing her again) as if Nuhura is doing something wrong here.
I see it in your characterizing Nuhura as “blackmailing” Spock to get on the Enterprise without ever noting that Spock is her Commander, her instructor and coded as a white male and so has all of the power in this relationship. She feels “entitled” to serving on the Enterprise because, as she and Spock noted, she fuckin’ earned it by being one of the best in her field. But, because Spock wants to save face he tries to undercut her, a woman she supposedly loves. But, somehow she’s the bad guy here? Moreover, that “only useful thing she does” set the entire goddamn plot in motion just in case you missed that and also helps convince the captain to allow Kirk to stay on the Enterprise after he’s been discovered.
I see it in your characterizing Nuhura as emotionally compromising Spock. Because moving to comfort your significant other after the traumatic genocide of nearly his entire species and the death of his mother somehow makes HER the asshole? What in the actual shit? She asks him point blank what he needs from her, and he tells her. Later, he clearly reciprocates when they say goodbye before he and Kirk beam out.
I see it in you saying that you’d rather erase her character, the only woman of color who is a main character, completely rather than having her not written to your bullshit racist, misogynistic standards.
So, nah, fuck all this noise. You can cry about people coming at you for “having opinions” but your “opinions” are offensive, oppressive and serve to further marginalize WoC both in mainstream media and in sci-fi fandom. So, congratulations on your Outstanding Racism. You’ll go far.
White fans, I’ma need y’all to do WAY better than this and critically think about the shit you’re spewing and reblogging and how it might make fandom an unsafe and hostile space for PoC. That is if you give a shit.
Literally just bolding all of trollny-stark’s commentary. THIS. Come right on over to my inbox if you disagree and have horrible oppressive bullshit to say.