T’Pol and Stigmatizing the Victim

Posted: May 31, 2018 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sub-Commander T’Pol: I have Pa’nar Syndrome. It doesn’t make a difference how I contracted it.

Captain Jonathan Archer: It makes a lot of difference. You’re not a member of this minority. He forced himself on you, you said it yourself.

Dr. Phlox: He’s right, T’Pol, you should tell them.

Sub-Commander T’Pol: He is not right. If I used that as a defense as a way to keep from being taken off Enterprise, I’d be condoning their prejudice, and in the process indicting every member of the minority. I won’t do that.

-Star Trek Enterprise episode “Stigma

Star Trek lore has always been written as part western, part space adventure, with a strong under current of prophetic social commentary. It is a dualistic story, one of an open, loving consensual open-polyamorous marriage with Phlox and one of his wives who wishes to get to know Charles Tucker better, and another that shows what happens when consent from adults is removed over time. That is addressing the imposed stigma a survivor has on their lives through the character of Sub-Commander T’Pol.

In Season 1’s episode “Fusion” the crew encountered a radicalized Vulcan faction using mind-melds to better bring their logic and emotional selves to fruition. But it was not a meld of choice, as T’Pol was attacked and melded with… the repercussions were not a quaint one-off story, but rather stayed with the character throughout the show as it became the allegory of trauma-survivor-healing for someone who has been raped. For her mind, her logic, the essence that made her Vulcan was violated. In fact, her government wanted her to come back to Vulcan for treatment because the after effects had compromised her neurology with an affliction. Imagine, shunning and hiding away the victim?

Dr. Yuris: [referring to T’Pol] The mind meld was performed against her will.

Dr. Oratt: Can you verify this?

Sub-Commander T’Pol: Why? So you can perpetuate your double standard? Condemn the infected when they meld by choice and sympathize with them when they don’t?

-Star Trek: Enterprise “Stigma”

The challenging of one’s culture’s norms is bravery. Too challenge the norm not only for those in your situation, but also because the norm itself is wrong is the height of heroism. We exist in a province where an official opposition refused to shop up to work rather than go officially on the record for their beliefs, that have allowed policies to be openly debated and discussed in regards to vaccinations being child abuse; and outing children. We have persons with disabilities living barely above poverty, unless x to the y to the z is addressed.

Yet we state we are inclusive.

We state we have progressed.

We state we are enlightened.

Captain Jonathan Archer: “You Humans are too… volatile, too irrational, too narrow-minded.” That’s what I heard for years – from every Vulcan I met. But we don’t hold a candle to you when it comes to narrow-minded. We got rid of bigotry nearly a century ago. We’re not afraid of diversity. We don’t persecute it, we embrace it. If you call yourselves enlightened, you have to accept people who are different than you are.

Star Trek: Enterprise “Enigma”

The #metoo #churchtoo #timesup #Pride #Disabilitypride #MMIW #TRC and many other movements of healing and accountability to decent humanity towards one another.

Then cue  rabid response of alt-right; Religious Right, Neo-Nazis; and Incels (and other extremist groups out to exert their power and authority over other people–and yes in religious circles this does include Quiverful and Complementarian ethos).

T’Pol was a character on a television show over a decade ago, and yes there were many characters before, but where the stand was made and the line was drawn in the sand was simple.

You cannot hide away evil. You cannot let darkness win. You cannot let a double standard exist where this behaviour is okay because of “G”. Rather, you must make a stand that says, this is wrong, call it out as such. Call out whatever innuendo or other b.s. is propping it up.

Her story rippled throughout the series.

Why?

When someone takes away your ability to feel safe within your own sacredness it is not an easy fix. The journey takes time. It involves grieving, anger, medical and psychological interventions and aides. Sometimes they work, sometimes they work only sometimes, and other times you have to find another way.

For in the after effects one needs to discover their new truth. Their new centre. It was a journey up to that moment before the abuse, before the trauma, before the harassment, before the rape…before you questioned if you could have stopped it (and what a double standard that the victim would even entertain the question)…

to the now, and the journey that will take time to the new you.

Sub-Commander T’Pol: Maybe this incident will encourage others to speak out.

Captain Jonathan Archer: Let’s hope so.

-Star Trek: Enterprise “Stigma”

Through the support of professional circles of support, eventually overgrown by new and (healthy) enduring circles of support the voice you discovered to speak the truth of what was robbed from you… will emerge to speak who:

The YOU—YOU ARE–Truly are.

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