spock: break down these walls

That was a surprise

After defaulting on all of my challenges this summer, I promised myself I wouldn't take a prompt at the Uhura fest. I respect Uhura as a strong, well-written female character, but I haven't felt much attraction to write her. The truth is, I'm kind of holding that comment about Jim fucking farm animals against her. I too have been extremely mean to jerks who hit on me in bars, so I can't blame her for that. I just hate that stereotype of rural people from my part of the country so much. Every time I see the movie, I hear that line and think, "oh no you didn't!" and I want to give her the talk to the hand gesture. All of which is silly and oversensitive, but I remember how much I hated New Yorkers making fun of my country accent, and I can't get past it.

But anyway, I took a Spock/Uhura prompt: Spock wants to date Uhura, but she turns him down for whatever reason. Spock is forced to present a logical argument to change her mind. It is much shippier and cutesier than my usual fare, but for whatever reason, it is now half-written. Well, maybe a quarter written once you consider that the writing itself needs a lot of editing. Still, it is exciting since earlier today, I was considering making a post about how I am overwhelmed with RL and might be switching my fannish involvement to administrative things like polls and commentfic fests for awhile. I guess there is at least one full-length fic in me after all!
I just hate that stereotype of rural people from my part of the country so much.

I never really thought about it from that angle, hmm. I'm from Ohio, and when I went to school in Philly people used to make snarky comments like that all the time, not to mention sneering whenever I said 'pop'. It used to make me really hurt/pissed. But tbh it didn't register on my radar this time around, I think because Kirk was already being obnoxious to the point of using unwanted sexual innuendo and at that point, all bets are off in my book. Or maybe I'm just willing to accept her snottiness as one of her character flaws. hmmm.

(on a meta level, it's because I know hollywood made that script and in their heads, rural folk are either a)noble and struggling or b)ignorant)
Yeah, I can't really say I expect anyone else to get pissed off about it. It just seems like prejudice against rural, blue collar, or "redneck" people is acceptable, and that bugs me (probably because it's one of the very few types of prejudice I've had to deal with in my life). What we will tolerate in a character and what we will not is such an individualized thing though.
Or maybe I'm just willing to accept her snottiness as one of her character flaws.

Pursuant to Discussion Elsewhere, that gives me an idea (not least because city-girl snottiness is one of my character flaws, which I've been working on since a college friend gave me a look for making fun of her Tennessee accent and I realized it was the same look I gave people for telling pot jokes about Jamaica, and that I had earned it exactly as obnoxiously as they did. So I apologized to her, and have been thinking about that since. Maybe here I can write about it...)
Ooh, ooh, excellent news! I love your writing! Will you post a link when done? *hops*
Of course I will! I am way too much of a comment whore to post it in the comm and leave it at that :)
Huh. You have a point about that farm-animals line. I kind of feel bad for not realizing it before, but I'm going to pretend that it's because I assumed that she was using any weapon in her arsenal to get him to go away.

It's even a two-tiered system: City people from the coasts (not always, but often) seem to think that everyone in the middle of the country grew up on a farm, and city people from the middle of the country (again, not all) look down their noses at people who actually did grow up on farms. *sigh*

Blasted -isms.
(I'm of the opinion jokes/comments like that about particular groups of people don't come out of nowhere and it's not 'just the alcohol talking')

I agree with this completely. Maybe she said it because of the alcohol, but she might have thought it without, probably because she really does have some city girl conceits about country people.
Oh, I feel your pain. I'm from Texas. I went to college on the east coast and had to deal with some real assholes, especially people who assumed that because I was not in Texas at the present moment/was a liberal I must hate it and would thus be fine with whatever massively offensive generalizations they wanted to make about my state.


RE: Uhura, I read that scene as, like, the fifth time she had been hit on by a dude that night, she's a few drinks in, and she's pissed and just wants to order her drinks and get back to her friends. But I see what you're saying; there are so often little throwaway things that really color my overall impressions of characters. There's something almost harsh about her characterization in Reboot, I think--I sort of attribute it to editing/limited screen time, but I think there is sort of a brashness to her. I read them all as so young- I think I let the characters get away with a lot in the movie because of that, and then adjust for my headcanon/fanon. "My" Uhura is still kind of figuring things out sometimes, I think. But you know, people write Reboot Kirk as an asshole all the time- he is one, and a redeemable one, for better or worse. And I think that's okay for female characters too.

Anyway, tl;dr, we can write awesome Uhura(s) that are flawed, you know? I don't think you necessarily have to make peace with what you didn't like about her in the bar scene. And I'm really happy your fic is flowing!
I do completely see your point, and I remember when watching the movie I hissed and went, "Oh, honey, why do you need to go there?" But honestly, the key thing I remember about that scene is how, at the beginning, she was sending out definite "not-interested vibes"--how she avoided eye contact, how she tried not to give him an opening, and how, honestly, Kirk kept pushing it until she had to push right back.

I'm not saying this as an excuse but I guess I just...try to put it into the proper context, I suppose. Like other people, I mostly viewed it as her having a few drinks in her, being cranky, and I've always characterized her as being the sort of person who just doesn't respond well to Kirk's brand of cockiness. And like jouissant said, I tend to read this Uhura as somewhat young and brash--I see nearly all of the Reboot characters like that, actually. They just haven't been...tempered yet.

But honestly, at the end of the day, as much as I love the movie, there are certain things I wish the writers had done/hadn't done, and I suppose I make allowances for that when I'm writing.
What we wish writers had/hadn't done is an interesting question, isn't it?

It can be a springboard for fic -- I wrote a couple of stories that were "scenes I wish could have been in the movie, even though I know realistically they couldn't've been for various reasons" -- and it can be a thing to work around -- I am always surprised when I watch the bit in barfight scene when Kirk lands on Uhura and semi-accidentally gropes her, because I mentally edit it out of how I recall that scene for fic-writing purposes. For another example, my personal fanon McCoy is... unlikely to call someone a 'green-blooded hobgoblin' or any other race-based epithet even though such a characterization is a bit OOC and irresponsible of me, but I just can't bear to write someone sympathetic saying something like that. Come to think (to refer to the post that began this) I'll have to think about that awful 'farm animals' line, because I *have* referred to Kirk's wittily self-depricating reply.

I'm thinking as I write this because (as you know, Bob Mardia) I've been in a couple of other recent discussions about Uhura and what she means and who she represents and thus some extra difficulties in characterizing her in fic, and also because this is much more interesting than the work I should be doing.

Edited at 2010-08-17 01:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know there's a good explanation for it, which is part of why it's silly for me to not let it go. Probably what it really says is that while our society has recognized certain kinds of prejudice are unacceptable, prejudice against rural people is still funny, and the writers chose to play it for laughs. And yet, my grudge is there, and I can't quite get over it.
Having replied to just about everyone else in the discussion, let me just cheer you on! *cheers*