This week, we’re putting Trek on trial for its treatment of female characters! Star Trek is supposed to be a humanist utopia, but how close does it get to actually offering equal opportunity and genderblindness? We go through the magic pregnancies, the impractical costumes, and the horrors of the TNG show bible to ask: “How actually feminist was early Trek?” Jarrah Hodge is on hand to run the numbers and to point out that female creators mean female characters, to examine Trek’s depiction of women in power, to deconstruct the “harridan” trope and the “Keiko effect”, to look at revealing episodes like “Turnabout Intruder” and “Remember Me”, to posit that Troi suffered more than O’Brien, and to revisit once more the “Myth of the sexy Kirk”!
Admiral Nechayev is my spirit animal!
Follow Jarrah on Twitter and check out Women At Warp!
Check Jarrah’s math with her research on women in Trek!
Learn about the origins behind your favorite Trek episodes on BackTrekking!
Take our internet radio survey and listen to JET Radio!
Join our crew on Patreon and get access to our live episodes, DS9/VOY recaps and more!
Click through our Amazon link on enterprisingindividuals.com to support the show!
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for Trek news and updates!
Listen to “Season 4, Episode 13.5 Trek’s Feminist Report Card with Jarrah Hodge” on Spreaker.
At first, I disagreed with Jarrah that Satie was an example of the unhinged woman trope. Most people would get triggered by someone mentioning a parent. Satie mentioned that her dad was a huge part of her identity, which of course, magnifies the issue. But now that I think about it, the problem comes from the fact that there are so few women in The Drumhead. If there was more female diversity, Satie would have been someone who happened to be triggered by Picard instead of an emotional woman stereotype. That’s why there’s always a lot riding on the only (insert demographic) in the room.
Don’t worry Aaron. Even as a woman and feminist, there were some sexist/problematic things about Trek (especially ENT) that went over my head for years. I credit Jarrah and Women at Warp for opening my eyes to these things. They’re very good at cranking out those red pills. It never feels good to see something you love ruined. But to paraphrase Adam Conover, it’s always better to know.
That’s a great point about the dearth of representation of women characters. When Jack Nicholson explodes in a courtroom scene, it’s righteous fury, but if it’s a female character it’s interpreted as something weaker and more personal.