Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: “Lineage” s7e12
What is it about season 7 that’s failing the women so badly?
I remembered this episode. Vividly. And the last time I watched it was 10 years ago. If I remembered it that vividly, surely it must’ve been baaaaa….
B’Elanna and Tom are expecting a baby. Cue all the pregnancy tropes you can think of. Still, they were very restrained with the “snatch food/alcohol out the preggy lady’s hand” (they didn’t), and B’Elanna was all “bitch please, Imma gonna work until this baby is born then go back to work”, and Chakotay (mwah!) said “it should be up to you to choose the baby’s name” and Tom (omg, when did he turn feminist?) said “fuck em all, we’ll bring our child up OUR way”.
And I had to snerk a bit at Echeb’s “there’s a parasitic being inside her!” line as a nod to Alien. There was something very meta in that being said in 7s presence.
Still, that’s best of it. There was a hefty dash of racism.
Oh, but you can’t say “the r word” in Star Trek land (unless you’re Avery ‘Badass’ Brooks), sorry, so it’s all victim blaming.
Fer srs. B’Elanna’s reasoning for wanting to genetically change her baby to look more human was the bullying she endured as a child (no, the implications of culturally imbedded white washing were not examined. That would require the writers to actually have some sort of fucking sensitivity to the issues at hand). Cue: flashbacks! Kid puts a worm in her food “Awww, but it was just a joke” (I facepalm). Flashback! Mr Torres is giving the standard good dad pep talk “But I was bullied too! For falling asleep in class” (bitch, wut? how is that analogous to racism?) “Just ignore them…and really, you need to STOP BEING SO SENSITIVE.” (I throw the cat at the TV)
Hey, thanks dad for calling kids out on their shitty racism! Jesus, this episode was like The Best of Derailing For Dummies.
Wait, there’s more. Flashback! B’Elanna overhears dad confessing he didn’t really know what he was getting into with a relationship with a Klingon woman (why, hello exoticism), and now there’s TWO of them…and B’Elanna is a preteen and she’s so MOODY (why, hello, not bothering to understand your daughter’s mixed race heritage, let alone why teenage girls may feel culturally treated like shit!)
And yet, and YET…at the end B’Elanna talks up her dad’s leaving her and her mother as “not his fault” because he was a “great and loving dad”. Thank god at least Tom was a tiny voice of reason in all that bollocks when he said “it wasn’t your fault and he had issues he obviously never sorted through”.
Yeah, post-racial Star Trek land, wooo *weak fist pump*
Oh, and let’s not forget the fetishizing of pregnancy and motherhood. There was all the usual jokes about the usually volatile B’Elanna being extra hormonal (oh whoppee, more scope for the “angry feminist” trope), and B’Elanna having a melt down/attempt to do genetic modifications were posited as SILLY PREGNANT LADY YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR RIGHT MIND stuff. She very clearly stated what she wanted, and The Doctor refused to do the procedure. Really? Even by the 24th century they STILL haven’t figured out the moral implications of genetic modification? I call bullshit. This whole episode was about imposing 20th century (not even 21st century) morals on a 24th century problem.
I was literally SCREAMING at the TV in rage by the end of the episode because as the last touchy feely “awww effry ting is gonna be ok” scene, AT SEVEN WEEKS B’Elanna felt her baby kick.
I turned to my SO and said “You do realize how big a baby is at seven weeks?!”
He said “*sigh* Yeah.”
Even accounting for the short time frame of Klingon pregnancies (30 weeks), if B’Elanna was feeling kicking, she would at least be showing. NUP.
So what we have here is a) body policing (pregnant women shouldn’t show/be fat) b) something bordering on abortion propaganda (7 weeks kicking. RLY?) c) Baby brained ladies r all emoshunul so don’t listen to their silliness.
Fucking hell *rub eyes*