Episode 104: “Retrospect”

Seven in a flashback in "Retrospect"Tackling one of our most-requested topics, our crew discusses the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Retrospect,” in which Seven of Nine believes she was “violated” by an alien arms dealer. We cover the 1990s cultural context of the episode as well as how it ties in to rape myths and the challenges survivors face reporting assaults.

Content Warning – If you have experienced a sexual assault and need support, please visit www.rainn.org or call their National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or seek out a similar resource in your area.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

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Hosts: Jarrah, Sue and Grace

Editor: Jarrah

Download Transcript: PDF or Word

Transcription: Rebecca – @carolinalady

References:

  3 comments for “Episode 104: “Retrospect”

  1. I want to say how grateful I am to Women at the Warp for this podcast.

    I’m a gay man currently in the middle of long process that is reporting to the police that I was raped by another man.

    Discovered Star Trek during lockdown on Netflix and have been working through the seasons of Voyager ever since. I know it may sound silly to attribute this kind of dependency on fictional characters but Janeway and the crew had been a huge support to me during the most difficult time in my life in recovering from being raped. When this episode started I thought “Oh God I don’t want to watch this” but I kept hoping that they would find the man guilty. That last look of Janeway to Seven was absolutely gut wrenching. As I tried to sleep last night having just watched it your podcast helped me realise that many others struggled with this episode and that I am not alone. Thank you so much for taking the time to put together such a well thought through response to such a troubling episode of Star Trek.

    I’m not sure whether I can bring myself to watch Star Trek Voyager again (at least not for a long time) as to be honest as crazy as this sounds I feel betrayed by the writers that something which has been so wonderful could be suddenly produce such a offensive, disturbing and actually in my case HARMFUL episode.

  2. I just watched this episode after not having watched Voyager since it was on air. Boy did it leave a foul taste in my mouth. thank you for your thoughts on this, this really helped digest how awful it really was on so many levels. I appreciate it a lot!

  3. I really appreciated the cultural context of this episode. I did find that you spent much of the time discussing the current political/social situation with respect to sexual assault accusations, instead of the episode itself. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    I was surprised at the lack of praise for the first half of the episode where pretty much everyone is supportive of Seven. Tuvok is being Tuvok, but he’s also not taking the alien dude’s side. Janeway, the Doctor, and B’Elana are automatically on her side. When she’s flinching from the Doctor’s initial examination, I was happy to see that he reacted immediately instead of arguing. E.g. when she said “release me” from the exam table, he just said “I will” and did it, instead of questioning. I think these scenes are worthy of praise.

    My answer to the question “what could have made this episode better” is: if the voyager crew (minus Seven and the Doctor) found that there was insufficient evidence to convict the alien dude, but still believed Seven. The alien society could have still zealously convicted the alien dude and everything could have ended the same way, but the whole feeling would be different. The audience (& Tuvok) would be left uncertain about the truth, the crew would be frustrated at not having the chance to actually prove the guy was guilty, and Seven could have experienced a weird revenge-satisfaction-but-whatabout-the-proof feeling instead of guilt.

    Thanks for discussing this episode.

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