Feminism In Star Trek

Good Essays
September 8th, 1966 on NBC at 8:30pm, the United States got its first look at what was to become an american phenomenon. That night when Star Trek debuted america changed and has never been the same since. Three years is all that Star Trek lasted on NBC, only to be canceled and to return under a syndicated network. It was only then that the series gained the recognition that it so deserved. Comparing Star Trek to series such as Space: 1999, or Battlestar Galactica of the 80’s is hard because Star Trek is more than a out-and-out science fiction program, it’s a science fiction program that is reflecting political and social climate in the United States during the 1960 's. Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator, is quoted during one interview saying,…show more content…
The latter part of the 1960’s saw the beginnings of the contemporary feminist movement. However major progression of this movement was still years off as it was opposed by the backwards reactionary ideas that defined the time. The attitudes towards women in Star Trek were meant to be very progressive from the get go. The circumstances of the time however did not allow the progressive attitude that the women of the series were full equals to their male counterparts and instead only allow the series to embody the status quo of women and their role during the 1960’s. Star Trek backed down on their unique opportunity to have women play characters in a position of authority and instead opted for the traditional female characters of the time, simply reaffirming traditional roles of women during the 1960’s. Karen Blair states that, the female characters in Star Trek are shallow, femme-objects that can be gotten rid of at the end of every episode.…show more content…
The U.S.S. Enterprise’s was a multicultural crew because "The ship had to be multicultural because it had represent all of mankind, and how can the human race ever hope to achieve friendship with alien races if it can 't even make friends with itself?" (Gerrold 152). Star Trek had two major American minorities that were quickly becoming a larger part of american society. Mr. Sulu, played by George Takei, in his first appearance in Star Trek very few lines, lines that will not representative of the “adventure loving... individual that he would later become” (Compendium 18). Having a Japanese-American, one that it being put in Japanese internment camps during World War II nonetheless, was a great progression for Japanese-Americans and all Asian minorities in the United States. However resentment towards Japanese-Americans and other Asian minorities were still prevalent throughout the 1960’s(Stine 160). George Takei along with all the other minority actors in Star Trek had to push very hard for his character to have lines and actions the he was happy with. From the start Sulu was never meant to just be in the show to appease asian viewers and at the time everybody was against Roddenberry, who insisted on having Sulu play a major role in the series (72). Lt. Uhura, communications officer of the Enterprise, and another regular minority cast member of Star Trek. It must be said that having a Black character in a television show in a position of importance like Lt. Uhura
Get Access