Ron D. Moore Q & A from AOL’s Message Boards
Dated 9807.14

Q: Will Bareil (mirror version or otherwise) be seen again in the 7th season?

A: We have no plans to see any version of Bareil this year.

Q: Someone suggested that the new Dax should be the one to kill Dukat. How do you feel about this idea? Will Nog ever have a love interest? Will Major Kira ever find Illyana Ghemor? Also, are either of her brothers still alive?

A: I can give an unqualified “Maybe” to all of the above.

Q: It’s been a long time since a good Garak story. Any plans for him next year?

A: We are working on some Garak stories right now.

Q: Will we see the NEW Dax’s first steps onto the Promenade of DS9 or will this happen off camera before the first Episode next season?

A: You will see her arrival on DS9.

Q: After DS9 wraps, are you or any other members of the DS9 writing staff planning on submitting scripts for VOYAGER?

A: I think we all see this as the end of our careers at Star Trek and no one has any plans at the moment to move on to Voyager.

Q: Any plans on showing any holocommunicators or Dominion super battleship seen in “Valiant”??

A: We’ve talked about both showing up this year.

Q: I realize that Ron Moore and others have taken exception to the complaints issued on the Dabo Girls, and the more recent complaints on Vic Fontaine’s sexist language, and treatment of the “girls” in his program, so I thought I’d start from the beginning of the 6th season and work my way through the first half of the season to point out the consistant, and insipient sexism that exists in casting the show, and all areas regarding what genders consistantly play what roles. 

A Time To Stand 
Cast= two women 
Guest Cast= 8 men no women… 

Rocks and Shoals 
Guest Cast= 7 men 1 woman… 

Sons and Daughters 
Guest Cast 5 men 2 women… 

A: This is how you want to examine the issue of sexism in Trek? By counting the number of male and female guest stars? What about context? What about characterization? What about (rounding out the “c”s) content? This kind of analysis is one step above counting the number of lines or adding up screen time to determine some kind of bias. For example, I will grant you that there were more male than female guest roles cast in “Rocks and Shoals” (which, by the way, had three female guest stars, not one), but I would hasten to point out that one entire storyline grapples with Kira (a woman) and her difficulty in living under Dominion rule and that her principal opponent in this tale was Vedek Yassim (another woman). Are you really suggesting that this story is inherently sexist simply because it has more speaking parts for men than women, regardless of the fact that it features very strong roles for Kira both and Yassim? I find that kind of reasoning unpersuasive at best.

Q: …Ziyal, a poorly conceived character, for her identity was not as herself, but her affect on others. She was never Ziyal, but always Dukat’s half Cardassian, half Bajoran daughter. Instead of being given a separate agenda and identity of her own, she was defined through Dukat, Kira, and Garak, this does not a character make.

A: Let’s set aside the numbers game for the moment. Ziyal may not have been the best character we ever developed, but are you really saying she was poorly developed because she was a woman? That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think? Isn’t it simpler to just realize that we never brought the character into focus and that changing Ziyal’s gender wouldn’t have made much difference, except to land us on the wrong side of your male/female guest star tally?

Q: The Female Changling: Started out a really interesting character, and I hope we see more of her. I realize that the writer’s were attempting to show Odo’s importance to the Founder’s by having her ignore the war and concentrate on Odo and the Great Link However, in this instance, I almost wish she had been a he, for then maybe it wouldn’t have looked like her job was that of Changling Seductress, and the Link might have been more richly explored.

A: Welcome to Catch-22. Cast a woman in the role and she’s decried for being a “seductress.” Cast a man in the role and he’s decried for taking roles away from women.

Q: Sirella, yet another female charcter who’s existance is defined, inexorably through her husband.

A: Since Sirella was in exactly one scene with Martok in the entire episode, I’m a little mystified as to how she was defined “inexorably” through her husband.

Q: The reasons I object to the women with Vic is not because I deny they existed, or men such as Vic spoke of them like that, I just don’t see their purpose in Trek Let’s put it this way, I just saw Gone With the Wind, I loved it, but I can’t see you choosing to put a Southern Gentleman on the holodeck accompanied by his slaves, and realistic treatment of them. There are too few women in trek as it is, to be inundated by ancient, antiquated, and offensive characters who’s sole purpose is to look sexy and be called names.

A: You’ve got to be kidding. You’re drawing an analogy between black slaves in the 1860s and two adult women in the 1960s? People held in bondage are not analogous to a couple of ladies out on the town for a good time. This is the kind of overwrought, over the top argument that does nothing to advance the cause of sexual equality and does a lot of harm in the process by making the entire argument look ridiculous. And what exactly was so “ancient, antiquated, and offensive” about two women whose only crime seems to be their willingness to go out on a date with Vic and Odo and possibly engage in consensual sex (egads!)?

Q: Although there have been female characters, very few of them are well-developed and they get significantly less screentime than the men. For example, compare Kai Winn with Dukat – both are similar kinds of characters (complex villains), both played by strong actors, both with important status in terms of the DS9 story (Bajoran religious leader, ex-Cardassian leader). Dukat appeared in 9 episodes this season, Kai Winn only one. Compare Female Changeling with Weyoun – both interesting characters with important roles to play in the story arc. Weyoun was in at least 7 episodes, FC in 3. And if you look at the rest of the supporting cast, the men are generally very well developed. The women are basically one-dimensional. Kassidy only appears as a love interest for Sisko. Keiko only appears as O’Brien’s wife (remember the first season, when Keiko used to have a career and storylines of her own?). Ziyal – poorly written and dead. Add the fact that Kira and Dax were little more than romantic interest this season, and you’ve got a pattern of sexism in the treatment of female characters – they are being written as though they are less important, less central to the story, and less worthy of development than the men.

A: Kai Winn didn’t show up as often as Gul Dukat, so that’s sexist. Weyoun was seen more often than the Female Shapeshifter, so that’s sexist too. And let’s forget that Kasidy Yates is a freighter captain in her own right that once went to prison for her beliefs, her portrayal is sexist too. Oh, and I guess that Kira and Dax were in those sexist romantic stories all by themselves; Odo and Worf certainly weren’t there along with them. Come on. Doesn’t it matter at all that Worf (the man) was willing to sacrifice his career, his honor, and his mission all in the name of love, while Dax (the woman) kept her wits about her, soldiered on in the face of pain and was willing to die to complete the mission? Or that Odo (the man) was the one thrown into a tizzy because of an affair of the heart while Kira (the woman) figured out her own feelings rather quickly? Can we do better? Absolutely. Have we erred in not portraying enough diversity in the alien cultures encountered on DS9? Of course. But can you actually find an episode or a scene anywhere in the show that suggests women aren’t as capable as men or that women are held back in any way by our heroes? I doubt it. Aren’t the fundamental ideals of sexual equality inherent in the Federation are still upheld week after week? Definitely.

Q: Has any woman ever died heroically in Trek?…Now, let me define heroically. It cannot be a sacrifice for love or children. Meaning any women who died for Kirk, or Riker or Picard, Worf Data, Spock etc., if any, don’t count. I haven’t watched a lot of Next Gen, so help me out here, but I personally can’t think of any woman to die, “saving the world” her ship, crew or a large number of people.

A: Now why is it that one cannot die “heroically” for love or children? What kind of thinking is that? The only heroic death is one in the name of King and Country?

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