Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Star Trek: Mudd's Women

This article was first posted on August 17, 2010. It is presented in its entirety with some minor changes.

Like The Enemy Within, Mudd's Women reflects the mores of the era in which it was written. In this case, the mores in question deal with the characteristics of the ideal wife; apparently, back in the 1960's, the ideal wife was someone who looked as if they could have been cast from the same mold as Marilyn Monroe or Mamie Van Doren with the ability to cook and sew being desirable perks.

I'm not making this up!

Besides the rather quaint image of the perfect wife presented by this episode, it seems that not only have values come full circle (or come many circles) from the 1960's to the 23rd century, but the business of providing of mail order brides to wealthy and desperately lonely men seems to be alive and well in the world of Star Trek. Women are bought and sold or, in this case, traded for dilithium crystals, and no one seems to bat an eye. Kirk seems more upset that the owners of the dilithium crystals are striking a hard bargain rather than the fact that what they're bargaining for is the right to marry the eponymous Mudd's women.

"Harry" Mudd, 23rd century matchmaker...or 23rd century human trafficker

As with many of the earlier episodes, Spock, displays a scandalous (for a Vulcan) amount of emotion, smirking mischievously as he observes the effect that Mudd's women have on the Enterprise's crew; because of the Venus Drug that the women have ingested, every male member of the Enterprise crew ends up being so hypnotized by their ass-ets that they practically need to be hosed down with cold water to break the spell the women have on them.

Mudd's women showing off their assets