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Friday, September 05, 2008

Star Trek promotes bestiality

In the Star Trek universe, we keep meeting half-human half-alien beings but we never think about what it would have taken to produce them. There are a plethora of mixed-species characters, such as Mr. Spock, one of those most beloved of the original characters (a Vulcan/Human mix), Deanna Troi (Betazoid/Human) and B'Elanna Torres (Klingon/Human).

Intelligent life in the Star Trek universe evolved separately on their home planets from primordial ooze. [1] Even if all the aliens evolved from the same ooze as us [2], the genetic differences between us and any other space-faring species would be so large that we'd have a better chance of conceiving a child with an oak tree (they're genetically closer). [3] The Chicken Lady is more probable than Mr. Spock.

Ok, this is all science fiction. We don't have faster than light travel either, and it doesn't detract from the story. What does it matter? Fiction is fiction. Made up. Not real.

Warning: NSFW image to follow

What I find interesting about this isn't the content of Star Trek itself, but the public acceptance of the underlying assumptions to this; something the public at large would normally not accept in a different context. In this case the underlying assumption that generations of people have accepted without further thought is that inter-species sexual play is acceptable. If it's OK for people to have sex with a hot bodied vulcan (see image below), a totally unrelated species, where do we draw the line? Is it OK for people to have sex with more closely related species like oak trees, elephants, or octopuses? Where is the line of bestiality?

Figure 1: Sweet sweet non-human massage

We generally don't accept that it's OK for people to have sex with any old living thing they want. The difference between all these aliens and any living thing is that the aliens ostensibly have intelligence and can consent to the activities [4]. If that is our metric, then hamster sex is definitely out. That doesn't solve all the problems, though. There are plenty of similar enough intelligent and consenting cases right here on Earth.

Dogs are somewhat intelligent, and have been known to be sexual partners of humans [5]. To clear debate about consent, it is easy to find videos where male dogs willingly and eagerly insert themselves into human females. Have you ever had a dog hump your leg? It's worse than that. This specific canine-sapient sex a good example where the animal has given "consent" by acting of their own volition, and human-level intelligence is not required for it. Most of us think this is wrong.

Dolphins are believed to be reasonably intelligent, and in fact have bigger brains than humans and arguably similar cognition. Unfortunately, I've also found a website where a man describes his allegedly consensual dolphin sex. If this hasn't already crossed the intelligent/consent line for when nonhuman-human sex is OK, then we're perilously close to it. I'm still disgusted.

If we're prepared to accept Star Trek alien sex, we should also be prepared to accept tentacle sex. I'm of the belief that aberrant sexual relations between consenting adults is just fine. As long as you're an adult and everybody consents, knock yourself out. I can't say that I like the idea of my neighbor having a sexual relationship with something that lives in his pond and has thirteen eyes, but if I don't want to be a hypocrite I must support xenophilia. Otherwise, how would I get to do that hot vulcan?

Burton MacKenZie www.burtonmackenzie.com

[1] Well, almost. There are other immortal omniscient beings like Q. Who knows where they're supposed to come from.

[2] As we all did in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Chase".

[3] Internet rule 34 says that some people are already arborphilics. I suppose the webpage about it says it, too.

[4] We're not talking about a legal definition of consent, here. Animals have no ability to give consent under the law. I am talking about a definition where a bunch of people would say "yeah, the animal clearly wanted to do that".

[5] I'm not going to give you any links to this - google it yourself, but caveat emptor. Things can't be unseen. I'm doing you a favour by not providing a link.

9 comments:

Albert Bannatyne said...

This, This Post Is Destined to Become a Classic in the Mythology of Our Time!

Great work, you've outdone yourself and set the bar higher for all other bloggers out there.

I'm going to see how often I can work reference to this blog post into my conversation this week. Except not at home, that could result in more questions than I care to answer (e.g. so what blogs exactly do you read when I leave you alone in front of the computer? :-)

Millie Sasparillie said...

My comment isn't exactly pertaining to inter-species sexual relations, but about the image you provided.

It shows, I'm assuming, a male human being giving a massage to a female vulcan. I haven't seen the movie so I'm not sure. But I was struck by the fact that the woman is covering her breasts. Why is this logical?

Aren't vulcans above such prudish affectations of modest behavior?

burton mackenzie said...

millie - the logic probably went "if I show this human my breasts his mind will shut off" :-) Either that, or the american tv networks don't allow that on prime time tv.

burton mackenzie said...

albert - did you get to work this topic into conversation last week? :-)

Millie Sasparillie said...

Burton Mackenzie said:
the logic probably went "if I show this human my breasts his mind will shut off" :-) Either that, or the american tv networks don't allow that on prime time tv.

Then that explains it. I was assuming that it was taken from a movie, not a television show. It would not be allowed on prime time.

In the interest of continuity among the races in the star trek universe however, the writers should have had the woman wear clothes, or presented her as other than a vulcan. I just don't believe they would act that way.

your first reason was a valid point also. I have firsthand experience dealing with this phenomena and I can assure you that it occurs :D

One last thing, for a different take on inter-species relationships, try reading the short story "Man of steel, woman of kleenex" by Larry Niven.

burton mackenzie said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Millie - I read "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" about 20 years ago on suggestion from a friend. (I went on to read all of Larry Niven's stories, too. :)

Annie said...

For those that want to "see" how interspecies beings are created Where No Man Has Gone Before, there is now a way to satisfy the overly curious.

You can visit either Starfleet Headquarters.....or.....the Star Trek Museum in Second Life and just ask who is sleeping with who.

Dryvus said...

"Intelligent life in the Star Trek universe evolved separately on their home planets from primordial ooze."

Nope. All humanoids are from worlds seeded by a previous humanoid race that didn't enjoy the luxury of having similar-looking beings to interact with throughout the galaxy. What exactly was your source for the above statement?

Star Trek Wiki:
http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Humanoid

burton mackenzie said...

@Dryvus: I don't think you read this post correctly.