Social Equality Effort – Fandom, ur doing it wrong?

July 24th, 2009 by sidewinder Leave a reply »

So there’s a group calling themselves the Social Equality Effort causing a bit of a kerfluffle in Star Trek fandom right now. It seems they’ve begun a campaign called “SEE Trek Love”, the main focus of which is to promote the idea of making Kirk/Spock a canon couple in the new Trek film series. They’ve got a petition going and have been promoting their efforts on various forums and messageboards throughout the fandom but with pretty mixed results so far.

Mainly, they seem to be causing a great deal of Fail by taking a cause that many do support – seeing more recognition and positive portrayal of queer/non-heterosexual relationships in the official Trek canon – and going about it in all the wrong ways. As multiple individuals have quickly pointed out, their emphasis on Kirk/Spock over the possibility of other characters and pairings (either new or already part of the film canon universe) seems to reek more of fangirl privilege and slash-fen wanting to see their OTP acknowledged officially than an effort truly geared towards promoting visibility and equality. Their posting to the newtrekslash community on LiveJournal caused considerable wank and fail in the comments, where it seemed they managed to aggravate many fans and groups including Spock/Uhura shippers and lesbians who felt they were being dismissed as “not important”. There’s even been a healthy dose of race wank in the discussion as one of the campaign supporters made dubious statements such as “if Star Trek hadn’t broken the race barrier, I might not even exist (I’m mixed, black and white)”.

All in all, this entire situation looks like it’s just going to end very badly. Which is a shame because for decades, many fans have actively tried to promote for recognition of alternative sexualities in Star Trek and done so in ways that managed to garner great support both within the larger fandom and to some extent from the actors and powers that be as well (see the Voyager Visibility Project). The Social Equality Effort instead seems to be angering too many of the fans they should be courting to get behind their cause, by putting their emphasis in the wrong place and not responding constructively to the criticisms being raised about their efforts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they become the victims of a metamob at this rate, as the voices in protest and slamming them are already rising quickly.

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    They actually changed their focus. To be honest, I would have been happy to have main characters in any major action sci fi show be gay since it would be an idol for young children and help the next generation be less screwd up than this one. And frankly, I'm not a fan of Kirk/Spock. I watched the original series, so every time the thought crossed my mind I just get this image of the really old Shatner and Nimoy, which is creepy, as they are the same age as my granparents. So despite the fact that yes, at times it reeked of fangirl, I'm pretty sure not all of them were going after getting an OTP canonized.

    Just thought you should know, though- the SEE Trek people have changed their focus, and they now want any character on The Bridge to be gay. They don't care, as long as it's a main character as apposed to some random redhsirt who dies five seconds after kissing his boyfriend or something.

    And... well, to be fair to the lesbians who felt they weren't being represented enough, there's really only one main charcter girl. Two if you count Chapel, and I don't think they're adding Rand. And they'd have to be bisexual, because both of them have the hots for Spock.

    Unless Spock is secretly a girl. Hell, someone should start up a Spock-is-a-transvestite campain.

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