In the Blog

Women and Star Trek

May 30th, 2009     by Michelle Schwartz     Comments

I have mixed feelings about the new Star Trek movie. While I quite enjoyed it as an adventurous space romp, my nagging issues with the original series re-emerged in spades.

I grew up on the later series, so I’ve always found it difficult to enjoy the terrible special effects and campiness of Kirk’s bridge. I also hated the lack of women, except as girlfriends for Kirk, and the fact that female officers would wear miniskirts and go-go boots on the bridge. In what universe would that be practical?

I was much more invested in Captain Janeway, Major Kira, and my favourite female characters in the Star Trek Universe: the sexy warrior Klingon co-captains, the Duras Sisters.

Don’t mess with the best.

So let’s just say I was a bit peeved that J.J. Abrams’ new movie cut the female cast from two to one and that Uhura was once again wearing a miniskirt. I expect a bit more from the man who gave the world Felicity, Sydney Bristow, and Olivia Dunham. I was genuinely surprised that he could not do better than this new Uhura, a woman who spends the whole movie bickering or staring meaningfully at a not-very-logical Spock.

Ellen Lawrence, in her article for Playtime Magazine, perfectly summarizes - in the light of Roddenberry’s original vision - exactly why it was so illogical to make the future sexist. Although I may take slight issue with her positive reading of the “equality” in the later series (no one will ever be able to convince me that Troi, with her low-cut leotards and her “emotional” job description, was cool), I think her criticism of this new movie, which had a chance to create an entirely new Star Trek universe, is spot on.

What did you think of the new Star Trek? What would be your hopes for a sequel?

Tags: film reel

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