Iconic actor William Shatner, renowned for his role as Captain Kirk in the legendary science fiction series “Star Trek,” has taken a firm stand against ‘presentism’ – the application of contemporary values to interpret past events.
This comes in the wake of criticisms aimed at one of the most famous lines from “Star Trek.” Shatner’s response was triggered by a broader movement that seeks to revise historical content deemed inappropriate by today’s standards.
The actor took to Twitter to express his dismay, highlighting the absurdity of judging historical works, including “Star Trek,” without considering the context of their times. He argued that if such a trend continues, it could lead to the reevaluation of foundational documents and literary works like the Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s plays.
“Why start at Trek? Isn’t it better to start at the beginning and redo foundation material such as the Magna Carta, religious writings, works of Shakespeare before worrying about a silly TV show opening that reflects social commentary of the time?” Shatner tweeted.
😳👇🏻Presentism at work yet again. Why start at Trek? 🤨Isn’t it better to start at the beginning and redo foundation material such as the Magna Carta, religious writings, works of Shakespeare before worrying about a silly TV show opening that reflects social commentary of the… pic.twitter.com/P0okn5rYca
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) January 29, 2024
His comments come in the wake of a report from The Sun, which discussed the European Union’s decision to ban gendered phrases and iconic quotes.
EU leaders are advocating for the prohibition of gender-specific language, insisting on retaining the iconic Star Trek phrase, “To boldly go where no man has gone before,” intact. However, they suggest altering “no man” to “no one”.
The phrase, popularized by Captain Kirk (Shatner), is marked with a red cross in a 61-page guide on gender-sensitive communication from the European Institute for Gender Equality. This EU agency cites it as an instance of “where women may be subject to invisibility or omission”.
I loved the episode where Spock reamed out the silly diplomats. Classic. pic.twitter.com/F6sZPfSYWQ
— Keith Dorschner (@keith_dorschner) January 29, 2024
Unfortunately some don't understand that Man is an all inclusive term when used as a plural term, a short form for mankind.
When used as a gender specific term the plural of a man is men.
The opening does not say to go where no Men have gone but rather mankind. We can only… pic.twitter.com/Kx3HUZK3L2
— Dave The Retro Hexican Nerd. (@Ate_Bit_Dave) January 29, 2024
They might also want to brush up on their etymology since "man" in that context would refer to all human kind, not just males.
— Jasconius (@JasconiusGames) January 29, 2024
These are people trying to make themselves important by “correcting”problems that don’t exist.
— HKT (@HiramTaylor6) January 29, 2024
This is what happens when we take the easily offended seriously. They will revise all of history so they feel better. Once that happens, we ended up repeating history because no one is able to learn from the past.
— Carbon Copy Man (@C6CopyMan) January 29, 2024