La Forge, nice guys, and racism

After my last video about Star Trek, where I talked about consent, I decided there was another topic I needed to explore in more depth: Next Generation’s chief engineer Geordi La Forge. In particular, his unfortunate creepiness and “nice guy” qualities in two Trek episodes, “Booby Trap” and “Galaxy’s Child.” Both these episodes focus on La Forge’s lack of success with women and his relationship to Dr. Leah Brahms, one of the main designers of the Enterprise’s warp engines. A relationship that was… pretty creepy, and pushed La Forge into stereotypical “nice guy” territory.

Steve Shives, who makes terrific Trek videos, does have a great one about how La Forge was treated unfairly by the writers in those episodes. I personally think there needs to be a take on this from someone who’s been in Dr Brahms’ position, though. I don’t think I’m the only one who watched this and was extremely uncomfortable with La Forge’s behavior because they’ve been in that position before. I like LeVar Burton as an actor (heck, I show my US history class clips from his performance in Roots), but the way the writers portray his character in these episodes is just… not good. I have a lot of opinions on this topic, on consent and flirting, and I also won an award for a #metoo article I wrote— if you’re wondering why this topic is close to my heart.

When I say “nice guy,” I don’t mean men who are actually kind and considerate. I’m referring to a certain type of man who thinks that if he acts friendly toward a woman, he therefore deserves either sex and/or a chance to date her. You can see plenty of examples of this on the sub reddit /creepypms, and blogger and freelance writer David Futrelle has long kept tabs on the creepy men of the internet, from “nice guys” to incels.

The problem with this “nice guy” behavior is on one end, you have awkward text messages, and on the other, you have men who turn violent when women turn them down.

So: there’s a content warning on this whole episode, for series spoilers for Deep Space 9 as well as frank discussions of sexual harassment. In addition, I’m also going to talk about racism and the way pop culture has a difficult time showing black men in romantic relationships. 

Let’s take a look at the episodes themselves. “Booby Trap” is from the third season, and begins with a horribly uncomfortable date on the holodeck with a crewmate named Christy Henshaw. It’s awful. The drink Geordi tries to give her is called “a coco no-no.” I’m sorry, La Forge spent days designing this program… and the best he could come up with is frou-frou drinks, a generic beach, and a violin player that escaped from a touristy Italian restaurant?

Worse, after the excruciatingly awkward date, La Forge goes to Ten Forward to stare intently at a random woman at the bar. Better than getting girl drink drunk, I guess. 

This leads to him talking to Guinan who, in both episodes, acts like the voice of wisdom and reason she very often is. La Forge asks her why he doesn’t have any luck talking to women, and she points out that he’s talking to her. He laughs it off— she’s different!

LAFORGE: It’s like I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to say. 

GUINAN: You’re doing fine with me. 

LAFORGE: You’re different. 

GUINAN: No, you’re different. 

LAFORGE: But I’m not trying now. 

GUINAN: That’s my point.

This line is so important. On the holodeck date, his behavior is awkward and it feels hard to look at him. He’s spending more effort trying to impress his date than he is trying to get to know her. Of course, he asks Guinan what she finds attractive in men.

When Guinan replies that she likes bald men, La Forge doesn’t get it: what people find attractive is wildly subjective. Despite all the articles in women’s mags or listicles about how to pick up women written by bros, there isn’t some magic formula to attracting people. It’s not like you wear a certain shade of lip gloss, or say a certain set of phrases, and boom! People start swooning at your feet. Romance isn’t magic.

Meanwhile in the episode, the Enterprise is exploring an ancient battleground when they discover an intact ship. Picard and an away team beam over. However, the Enterprise discovers that they can’t leave; they’re caught in the same booby trap that caught the ancient ship.

Picard orders La Forge to find a way out of the trap, which leads La Forge to looking for the original plans of the warp engines. He finally asks the computer to create one of the drafting rooms at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on the holodeck, so he can get hands-on with his attempts to test his engine modifications. The voice-over is one of the engine designers, Dr. Leah Brahms. At one point, he asks the computer for some information, and the computer replies that the information is restricted. How Geordi reacts is so telling.

Computer: Access denied. Personal logs are restricted. 

La Forge:  Great. Another woman who won’t get personal with me in the holodeck.

Oh, come on, Geordi! That’s not a woman. That’s a computer.

However, at one point, he asks the computer to show him something— so the computer creates a holographic version of Dr. Brahms. She looks young and pretty, and this happy, tinkly music plays in the background. 

(This isn’t the first time the holodeck got cheeky and created something not directly asked for. In “Elementary, Dear Data,” the holodeck gave us a sentient, intelligent hologram after being asked for an adversary that could defeat Data.)

While Dr. Brahms is pretty, she’s also fairly stiff and robotic, so La Forge asks the computer to give her a personality. The computer does so— a personality based on personnel logs and other information on file. Which is… kinda weird that the computer has this function. (The tinkly music plays again when she gets a personality.)

The episode quickly descends into cringe territory. La Forge obviously develops a crush on holo-Brahms, who is all too happy to be any engineer’s dream woman. She is happy, attentive, kind, very responsive to all his suggestions. They do argue, but… the line “you know me inside and out” kinda makes me want to die.

La Forge: I know my ship. Inside and out.

Brahms: Well then you must know me inside and out. ‘Cos a lot of me is in here.

Gross. At one point, she starts to massage his shoulders and offers to make him fungili, an Italian dish. As we learn in another episode, though, she has a husband. Why would the computer think a married woman would do this? The ending lines are just awful, and again, make no sense when you realize that Dr Brahms is married and probably monogamous.

Brahms: We made a good team. 

La Forge: Maybe we can do it again some time. 

Brahms: I’m with you every day, Geordi. Every time you look at this engine, you’re looking at me. Every time you touch it, it’s me. (they kiss)

La Forge: Computer, exit holodeck. End programme.

If you’re like me, you spent the last part of this episode hiding under a blanket while biting back anger. At least he realized he had to turn the program off…? Which is also how he gets the Enterprise out of the trap: by switching the engines off so Picard can safely fly it out.

Things get worse with “Galaxy’s Child.” In the fourth season, the real Dr. Brahms visits the Enterprise, and things are just as awful as you’d expect. Strap in.

The episode opens with Picard telling La Forge that Starfleet Command is sending someone to inspect the impressive modifications he’s made to the engines. That someone is none other than Dr. Brahms. La Forge is super happy about this, to Picard’s slight confusion. Picard asks him if wants to greet her in the transporter room, and he quickly agrees. He later gushes to Guinan about how excited he is. That’s the first sign of trouble, for me. This is how he describes their relationship:

La Forge: Yeah, but not an ordinary computer-simulated female. I mean, she was brilliant, of course, but warm, you know? Friendly. It was like we worked as one. I would start a sentence, she’d finish it. What I didn’t think of, she did. It was just so comfortable. Okay, I know it was just a holographic image but the computer was able to incorporate personality traits from her Starfleet record. 

Guinan: You know, Geordi, everybody falls in love with a fantasy every now and then. 

La Forge: No, no, Guinan, see, you’ve got it all wrong. I’m not necessarily expecting anything romantic here. It’s just I know whatever, Leah Brahms and I are going to be good friends.

“Good friends.” Please remember that the last time he saw an image of Dr Brahms, he made out with that image. And keep the word “friend” in mind.

When La Forge meets Dr Brahms in the transporter room, things don’t live up to Geordi’s imagination. She greets him by saying that he’s the one who “fouled up her engine designs.”

Remember: her whole reason for coming is to see his modifications. Which leads me to my first major complaint about Dr. Brahms: everything about her exists in relation to La Forge. She’s not a foil for him, in the traditional sense— she exists purely to teach him a lesson. Something like a decency barometer.

That’s part of what makes this episode so… unnatural. The events happen because the writers wanted them to work in a certain way. Why is she so nasty to La Forge in the beginning? Because it was in the script. Why does she later decide to relax and work with him? It was in the script. Why does La Forge think it’s a good idea to invite her to his quarters, pretending to go over an agenda for her visit, while actually tricking her into a Surprise Date?

Because that’s exactly what happens. La Forge finds his best sweater, then fiddles with the lighting and music before Dr Brahms walks in to find an elaborately set table in his quarters. She points out the weirdness of this situation, but is very gracious: she doesn’t run away screaming. Instead, she admits she was harsh when she first met La Forge, explaining that she’s just protective of her engines. She then excuses herself and leaves. Which is a very nice way to handle this, in my opinion. 

The way Geordi gets grumpy reminds me of the “bitch eating crackers” meme. I get it, putting yourself out there just to get turned down stings. But I wish he’d just take her soft “no” for the obvious polite rejection that it is.

Why is a Surprise Date a problem? Because the writers make the same mistake that a lot of men make: that of purposefully confusing the words “friend” with “person I’m romantically interested in.”

Surprise Dates are a bad idea, and we see why a few scenes later. First, we get to hear La Forge explain the Dr’s designs to her:

Brahms: The first thing I’d like to do is inspect the power transfer conduits. 

La Forge: You realise the only way to inspect them is to crawl inside. 

Brahms: I designed them, Commander. I know what’s involved.

Ooof. Off to a great start. Mansplaining is sure to impress. The next scene gets painfully awkward, as Brahms  slowly starts to realize the reason Geordi is interested in her:

La Forge: And I’d like to think that we could become friends. Maybe good friends. 

Brahms: I thought you knew. I mean, you know everything else about me, but Commander, if I’m hearing what I think I’m hearing, then you should know that I’m married.

I’ve been in this situation before— and it’s not fun. Not only do you have to turn someone down, but you need to figure out that you need to turn them down in the first place. Remember, La Forge never actually asked her out. He went on about wanting to be “friends” with this woman to Guinan. And after he finds out about her marital status, he winds up back in Ten Forward complaining to Guinan. I find it incredibly telling that he’s more upset about her being married than her brusque, dismissive behavior at the beginning of this episode.

LAFORGE: Hoped? Guinan, the woman is about as friendly as a Circassian plague cat, only cares about her work, hates what I’ve done to her engines, and to top it off she’s married. Computer never even told me she was married. 

Dr. Brahms didn’t get married “at” La Forge— her marriage has nothing to do with him. Yet, in this episode, he very much makes her marriage about him and his feelings. 

GUINAN: You saw exactly what you wanted to see in the holodeck. Sure, the computer made it look like her, gave it personality, but when it came to the relationship. La Forge, you filled in the blanks. And you had a perfectly wonderful, marvellous little fantasy. until the real Leah showed up and ruined it. She’s probably done the most horrific thing one person can do to another, not live up to your expectations. So I’d take a good, hard, long look at her, La Forge. See her for who she is, not for what you want her to be.

He does seem to listen to Guinan’s point, that the only thing Brahms has done wrong is to not be the person he wants her to be. Which isn’t something “wrong” at all. However, he completely forgets this a few scenes later, when Brahms stumbles across the holodeck program with her doppleganger. With good reason, she reacts in anger, saying she’s been violated.

How does La Forge react? Does he apologize, and own up to his weird, semi-stalking behavior and reading all about her? Does he admit he’s been trying to corner her into dating him?

No. He reacts like any stereotypical “nice guy” would: he gets angry at her.

La Forge: All right, look. Ever since you came on board, you’ve been badgering me and I’ve taken it. I’ve shown you courtesy, and respect, and a hell of a lot of patience. Oh, no, no, no, wait a minute. I’ve tried to understand you. I’ve tried to get along with you. And in return, you’ve accused, tried, and convicted me without bothering to hear my side of it. So, I’m guilty, okay? But not of what you think. Of something much worse. I’m guilty of reaching out to you, of hoping we could connect. I’m guilty of a terrible crime, Doctor. I offered you friendship.

No. No you fucking did NOT offer this woman friendship. You were interested in her romantically, and instead of being honest and simply asking her out, you tried to trick her into a date. Worse, you made it her fault. When she got upset and tried to leave, you blocked her from leaving. And also: La Forge is a liar in this scene.

If Data were coming by his quarters, would La Forge have spent any amount of time fussing with the lighting or finding the right music to create a good atmosphere? Had Dr Brahms been a man, would Geordi have acted this way? Of course not. It’s completely disingenuous for him to say that he wanted to be “friends” with her. He literally made out with her hologram. Unless La Forge is super okay with open marriages and multiple partners, and is also someone who can easily make the switch from friend to lover, he’s lying to her— and to himself. He did not want to be her friend.

I hate media like this because it punishes women who say no. And I hate stories like this because it normalizes this kind of behavior. It’s a trap: since there isn’t an explicit invitation, no official date, saying “no” becomes a loaded word. I’ve been in Dr. Brahm’s situation— and it sucks. A guy is trying to ask you out, while not being too forward. If you’re not interested in dating him, you’re stuck with two options: say no, and deal with him demanding to know why you don’t want to be “friends;” if you’re feeling mean, say no, call him out on his romantic interest, and then deal with him either insisting he wanted to be friends, or insulting you. I get it, it’s a defense mechanism, but I’ve seen this behavior a lot: a woman tells a man no, and then he insults her looks or her weight. 

Don’t believe me? Head over to Reddit and take a look at r/creepypms. There’s plenty of screenshots showing exactly what happens when a woman tells a man no. Don’t even get me started on the violent way that some men react when turned down. 

That’s why I hate what La Forge does. He makes it impossible for her to say no. Because saying “no” turns her into the jerk, and instead of acknowledging that she has the right to not be interested in him, he makes this about “rejecting” friendship. You can take that idea and fuck right off with it.

La Forge’s behavior is depressingly common. There’s plenty of memes out there, pointing out the problems with being a “nice guy” like La Forge. For example, thinking that being “nice” or wanting to be friends will help win someone over romantically. Being nice to someone isn’t fucking special. It’s what people do. Being nice to someone isn’t enough to win someone over; and being “nice” to someone who’s already in a relationship isn’t going to change that the other person is in a relationship.

And Dr Brahms recognizes La Forge’s talk of friendship for exactly what it is: a way for him to ask her out.

Also, I dislike the term “friend zone.” You don’t want to be stuck in the so-called “friend zone?” Then don’t hang around someone, pretending to be their “friend” when you actually want to be their partner or lover. 

To make it clear: this isn’t about dealing with unwanted dates. It’s sadly common for some men to get angry when turned down, and this anger festers online on forums for incels, or involuntary celibate. Here, men come together to blame feminism and women being mean for their lack of dating success, and to encourage violence against women. For an extreme example of this, mass shooter Elliot Rodger described himself as an “ideal magnificent gentleman” and couldn’t figure out why women didn’t want to sleep with him. To me, making angry outbursts like La Forge’s seem like acceptable behavior only encourages violence from men.

And yes, this topic gets under my skin. For a lot of reasons. One, I’m single, which means I still sometimes have to deal with this behavior. It’s not fun: like La Forge, I’ve never been great at talking to women. And I’m still not good at figuring out what men want or when they want it.

Also, I’ve spent far too much time trying to be gentle with men’s feelings, to let them down gently, or to avoid being asked out in the first place. I mentioned #metoo in the beginning of this video— for a reason. I think this “friend zone” nonsense has something in common with some kinds of sexual harassment: it’s all a bunch of suggestions and hints. Nothing is directly said, but lots of things are implied— meaning that it’s up to the person being pursued to figure out what’s going on and get out of that situation.

This episode follows that formula: Dr Brahms has to figure out La Forge is interested in her. Then, after he gets angry with her, she suddenly decides that she’s the one that has to apologize. Which is what she does. I’m so disappointed: this is not the enlightened humanity of the future we’ve been promised. This is the same shitty way some men act in this century.

There’s also something else about this episode. Returning to Shives, whom I mentioned at the beginning of this video, I have to agree: I think La Forge deserved better. While Next Generation is a bit more straightlaced than most other Trek series, the main characters did have romantic interests. Data and Yar hooked up in the second episode; Picard and Crusher burned up the screen in The Big Goodbye; Worf had a fling with K’Ehleyr; Riker and… more women than Captain Kirk; Troi had some unfortunate dating choices before marrying Riker. Even Wesley Crusher got a kiss in the fifth season. But there was one main character who, very noticeably, had no luck with dating.

Levar Burton himself suggested there might be a racial aspect to it. In an interview with the Nerdist in 2012, Levar talked about this. This is from an interview on The Nerdist in 2012. Content warning for the interviewer, Chris Hardwick, who’s been accused of abusive behavior. But here’s the exchange:

Burton: Pretty much. Except for Geordi! And I never understood that. Geordi never, never got the girl.

Hardwick: I wonder why that was?

Burton: You know what? I’ll be… Honestly?

Hardwick: Yeah.

Burton: I honestly, I don’t know, but, um, I believe that the writers did not know how to deal with black male sexuality.

Hardwick: Really?

Burton: Everybody had sex on the ship, including the android.

This seems very likely. Hollywood has a long history of issues surrounding African American men and their sexuality— either portraying them as predatory rapists that white women should be afraid of, or fetishing them. I’ve linked to an article about this, titled “Why Pop Culture Just Can’t Deal With Black Male Sexuality.”

Heck, even the two worst examples of minority characters who are mistreated by the entire series— Ensign Kim on Voyager and Ensign Mayweather on Enterprise— have girlfriends. We meet Kim’s girlfriend Libby when he’s pulled back in time (Non Sequitur S2E5) and Merriweather’s ex girlfriend, who works as a reporter, at the end of the series. (Terra Prime, S4E21)

The one explanation I can find for why the writers treated La Forge this way is Michael Piller saying La Forge is like a guy in love with his ‘57 Chevy. Which is strange to me, as there’s one Trek character who seemed to be in love with his ship… and he was the total opposite of La Forge in the romance department. Scotty may have loved the Enterprise, but he didn’t get drunk and talk to it like Kirk.

Let’s contrast how La Forge is treated to two other black men in Trek: Sisko from DS9 and Tuvok from Voyager. A big part of Sisko’s character and story arc are connected to his family and his relationships. At the beginning of the series, he’s a widower dealing with his grief over losing his wife Jennifer and raising his son Jake as a single dad.  I like this exchange between Odo and Sisko in the second season, which is the first time Sisko tries pursuing a woman romantically in the series: (Second Sight, season 2)

Odo: Well, what can you tell me about her? 

Sisko: Let’s see. I’d say she’s about one point six metres tall. Brown skin, dark hair. And the last time I saw her, she was wearing… she was wearing red!

Here, the writers aren’t afraid to show a man with passion. In the latter half of the series, there’s the long-running relationship with freighter captain Kasidy Yates. Their relationship develops over several seasons, and in the last season, Sisko proposes to her and she becomes pregnant.

Trek writers being more comfortable writing about black men and romantic relationships was likely helped because Avery Brooks, who played Sisko, was fairly outspoken about how his character was portrayed, especially in regards to issues of race. 

For example, in the series finale, Sisko was supposed to be taken into the wormhole permanently, and thus never get to see his unborn child. Brooks objected to this, pointing out the implications for a black father to leave behind his wife and child. So at Brooks’ request, the episode was rewritten.

On Voyager, Tuvok stands out from the other crew members for having a wife, T’Pel, and children waiting for him at home. He mentions them often, both about missing them and about their importance in his life: (VOY Innocence S2E22)

Tuvok: My attachment to my children cannot be described as an emotion. They are part of my identity. And I am… incomplete without them.

I do have to fault the series for the way the writers glossed over Tuvok’s pon farr in the last season of Voyager. Since the show is seven seasons long, we all knew this episode was coming. But, instead of getting to explore either Vulcan customs— is it possible to mediate out of pon farr? This cannot have been the first time a Vulcan was separated from his partner during the mating cycle— or exploring Tuvok’s relationship with his wife, it’s a subplot in another episode. The EMH has made Tuvok a medicine to contain the symptoms,Tom Paris makes Tuvok a holographic version of his wife, and that’s that. There are some nice nods to the original series here, such as the hand caresses from the Enterprise Incident to the marriage vows echoing the ceremony in Amok Time.

T’PEL: As it was in the dawn of our days, as it will be for all tomorrows. To you, my husband, I consecrate all that I am. 

TUVOK: T’Pel, my wife. From you I receive all that I am. 

T’PEL: As it was in the beginning, so shall it be now. 

TUVOK: Two bodies, one mind.

Tim Russ, who played Tuvok, pointed out the lost possibilities about this episode, both in terms of exploring Vulcan customs and relationships, as pon farr has long been a source of curiosity for fans, and how the writer’s could’ve explored Tuvok’s character and his bond with his wife, T’Pel.

I still feel the writer’s really missed the boat with La Forge— not just because of his bad luck with women, but also with the way both Booby Trap and Galaxy’s Child was handled. For one, the issue of the computer creating a person from their files is just sort of breezed over, and isn’t presented as any kind of violation, or something that the computer shouldn’t be able to do. Brahms may have gotten angry, but she later apologized to La Forge for getting upset. 

For some context, the other episodes that show us holographic versions of crew members fall very neatly into two categories: either men being creepy, or training programs. On the creepy side, there’s Lt Barclay’s version of the bridge crew in “Hollow Pursuits.” In Deep Space 9, there’s Quark trying to film Major Kira for a sexy holodeck program. 

On the training side, there’s Troi trying to take the bridge test in season 7; (Thine Own Self E16) on Voyager, the Doctor trying to teach Seven of Nine small talk, with hilariously unsuccessful results; (One 4X25) and on Lower Decks, there’s “Crisis Point,” where Ensign Boimler uses the holodeck to practice an upcoming job interview. When Ensign Mariner rewrites the program, she also creates a new category for holodeck use, mainly “chaotic evil.”

In other episodes, holo-versions of real people are a big taboo. It’s clear that Barclay’s versions of the Enterprise crew is not ok; Tuvok has to be talked into a holo version of his wife, as he’s concerned it’s cheating; and the Bajoran Militia is smart, and doesn’t have holo-versions of any of their officers.

The only other time La Forge is seen pursuing a woman, it again has pretty creepy undertones. In the sixth season, the Enterprise is investigating the apparent death of two crewmen on a space station. La Forge goes through one of the assumed victim’s rooms and personal logs— which is a legit way to do investigations. However, La Forge starts to fall for her— because of course he does. Because being attracted to multiple women based only on their personal logs isn’t a worrisome pattern. Then it gets weirder when it turns out she wasn’t killed, and then she and La Forge start pursuing a relationship. Throughout the episode, It’s heavily implied that she is the killer— and it’s incredibly unprofessional of La Forge to be involved in her investigation. Again, patterns. There’s also this scene where she takes off his visor and they have telepathic sex— consensual for once. And at least in the end, she isn’t the killer. I just wish that just once, La Forge could’ve gotten to know a woman without obsessively Googling her first.

Things weren’t a complete washout for La Forge. It’s true that the same season as the bad first date on the beach in Booby Trap, La Forge got up the courage to ask Christy Henshaw back out on a date. (Transfigurations S3E26) But most of the romance occurs offscreen, and she isn’t mentioned after that episode. Worse, it’s strongly implied that La Forge’s success with her isn’t his own doing— it’s a combination of a healing energy being on board the ship and Worf “teaching” him about women.

Circling back to “Galaxy’s Child:” at the end, we see La Forge and Dr Brahms, laughing about the holodeck misunderstanding in Ten Forward. Then Brahms gets a transmission from her husband, and she leaves La Forge looking out at the stars. I find this ending really unsatisfying— that Brahms had to be the one to apologize to him, and that La Forge didn’t seem to learn much from this episode.

Also, I find it very sad, and very telling, that a Facebook meme group named after La Forge— Geordi’s Warp Core Posting— is full of gross and sexist memes. The group is public, so anyone can go look. But here’s an example. 

To me, this shows what happens when gross behavior is normalized. You get a group of men that think they’re somehow entitled to a girlfriend, and worse, it’s ok to get angry when a woman says no.

After looking back at these episodes, I’m of two minds. While it’s nice to see that not all men in Starfleet are Captain Kirk or Riker, when it comes to success with women— I don’t know why the character to represent that had to be a black guy. I do think Levar Burton is right— I think La Forge’s race likely played into this decision. And I think it’s really unfortunate that the main black character in Next Generation not only had his romantic development affected by racism, but was also given the unfortunate reputation of being very weird with women. With Sisko, the Trek writers got over their issues of writing black men in relationships… but it does leave me wishing they had written Geordi a little better.

Sure, we all get rejected. We all get turned down. It’s part of life. But, the writers missed not just a chance to tell a good story with this episode— they missed a chance to talk about the way men react to getting rejected. Especially when sci fi and Trek have the reputation of being a genre for men. 

Women are often expected to be very aware of men’s feelings… and I think it’s time to ask men to be aware of how women feel.

About La Forge’s lack of success with women, a follow up to my last video, “Consent in Trek.” https://youtu.be/n-aH4C7HKk4

Links

Intro music by Uncarnate, “Dragon Eel.” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYGg3gIZwHto-8h6R0e0ohg

I do not own Star Trek. All rights belong to Paramount, CBS and Paramount+. All screenshots from: https://www.trekcore.com/

Girl Drink Drunk belongs to Kids in the Hall.

Sources:

Why Geordi La Forge Actually Deserved Better:

David Futrelle and “nice guys” https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/?s=%22nice+guy%22 

Creepy PMs:

https://www.reddit.com/r/creepyPMs/

Incel subreddit banned:

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-41926687

The interview:

http://nerdist.nerdistind.libsynpro.com/le-var-burton 

Another source for La Forge’s comments:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-one-thing-about-geordi-that-levar-burton-wishes-sta-5925015

Why Pop Culture Just Can’t Deal With Black Male Sexuality

La Forge is like the guy in love with his ‘57 Chevy:

Tim Russ on Tuvok’s pon farr:

http://www.littlereview.com/getcritical/trektalk/russ.htm 

The issues of how black men have been portrayed in Hollywood films: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3299085?seq=1 

https://www.ladyscience.com/essays/davis-dr-leah-brahms

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