In Star Trek Into Darkness, Captain Kirk and his team take on a new foe, travel to new planets, and generally do new, sequel-y stuff. Also: New girl Alice Eve (who plays Dr. Carol Marcus) is shown in her underwear. Many (or at least a few) viewers found the scene exceptional for the way that it undercut the character’s other abilities. If she’s a super-smart scientist, why is she stripping out of her clothes for no apparent reason? Into Darkness co-writer Damon Lindelof touched on some of these concerns in a spoiler chat with MTV (warning: very spoiler-y).
He also tweeted about it:
Okay y’all, but really? Alice Eve’s character is a brilliant, capable scientist who is also a woman — a fact that, yes, in the Star Trek pre-boots, makes her other attributes trickier to pull off. Neither film has been incredibly deft with its female characters. It’s too busy making them females. I love that Uhura and Spock have a thing; I love less that Uhura’s plotlines tend to grow out of that.
That deserves an outcry. But this isn’t that: Like Lindelof said, Chris Pine writhes around in his underwear, too (and looks stupidly hot — emphasis on both adjectives — doing it). If the newest Star Treks have found a sex symbol, they’ve found it with him, his pouty lips, and his very body-conscious Starfleet uniform
Eve isn’t in her underwear because she’s a woman in a Star Trek movie. She’s in her underwear because she’s a hot, relatively young adult in a franchise built around relatively young, hot adults in space. But hey, Pine is also the star. He doesn’t just get to be ogled — he gets to fight bad guys, save his friends, and save the galaxy. Not so much with Eve.
So! Keep on noticing, highlighting, and kvetching — especially about all the different things both genders do and don’t do while wearing clothes. But at least when it comes to not wearing clothes, the men and women of Star Trek may already be equal.