As a woman, I was intrigued by the subject of this episode: the valuation and role of women. Kamala, a woman who has no identity of her own, no center of self, if you will, is given to a man as a highly prized peace offering. She is Woman objectified – a woman who is given to a man, just as one would purchase, give or trade chattel. She is Woman without identity – a woman who is raised to suppress her own identity and self so that she may later conform to a man’s identity. She is Woman as sex object – physically gorgeous, seductive and highly bed-able. Ultimately, she is Woman sacrificed – a woman who foregoes her own self-determined future and happiness so that a male-dominated world may continue.
What I find odd is that Star Trek would present such a woman as “the perfect mate.” (I assume the writers were being facetious.) This woman is not her own person, and is not in any way her mate’s equal. She is merely an extension of his ego and identity. When a child is born, he initially views everyone else around him as extensions of himself... in relation TO himself. Mom is not a woman, a wife, a worker, or a unique person with her own wants and dreams; she is only a mother, the child's mother. Dad is not a man, a husband, or a person with his own needs and desires; he is only a father, the child's father. At some point, the child realizes that he is not the center of the universe. He realizes that everyone, including Mom and Dad, has a unique center of self, and that these other centers of self do not revolve around him. If, indeed, Kamala is the perfect mate, what does that make the men who fall under her spell? children who have yet to realize, respect and appreciate the identities of others? of women?