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A controversial moment in this year's Star Trek Into Darkness was a scene with James T. Kirk and Carol Marcus getting ready for an away mission in a shuttle. As Carol, played by Alice Eve, was changing into a mission uniform, Kirk turns around and we see Carol in her underwear. It was a brief shot that has gone on to be criticized as exploitative, and an unnecessary sexualizing of an otherwise strong female character.
Today at the Creation Star Trek convention, Alice Eve was on hand for her first Star Trek panel, and the very first question she was asked was whether she agreed with the criticism the scene. Alice said that she didn't feel it was overly-sexualizing the character or inappropriate, and she reminded the audience that in the first and second films, Captain Kirk (played by Chris Pine) is shown having sex with women and with his shirt off. The question Alice posed is, is that exploitative of men?
An interesting comparison that Alice made was Michelangelo's famous statue of David, which clearly sexualizes a man. Alice said that, at the time, the male body was the one that was considered something that could be sexualized. Ultimately, like how David was also strong, Alice said that her character is resourceful and clever, and she is shown as a smart and intelligent woman. Alice said that she’s fit, so showing off the beauty of the female body in a strong character doesn't take away her power or strength.
This is an interesting point too when you consider that there are scenes in the two films that were purely sexual; in them, the alien women that Kirk has sex with are not strong or powerful as characters, and are only depicted in a sexual way. If any female character could have attracted controversy because of those depictions, it sounds like Alice would say it was the characters with Kirk, not Carol Marcus.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!