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The best Trek for its portrayal of women

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Created by: jaycee.caramsalidis


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Report this Aug. 04 2012, 7:02 am

The post of Female/Male uniforms from TOS got me thinking of the role of women in the Star Trek universe. Women have been portrayed with some differences with regards to uniforms - and their roles - on the different Trek offerings.  Which do you think did the best to portray women in a positive light?

"Fear exists for one purpose: To be conquered" -- Kathryn Janeway


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Report this Aug. 04 2012, 7:25 am

Realized I never answered my own question!  I will have to dismiss TOS as the female uniforms were ridiculuous for Starfleet to have adopted.  Corrected in the movies at least and a result of network requirements, but I don't like them.  But, of greater importance, the women of TOS did not participate in being the movers and shakers of that time.  Uhura, Chapel, and Rand were just not that important in what happened.  Granted, having Uhura there at all - a black woman on the Bridge - was BIG for the late 60's and that cannot be understated, but for the 2260s, that just isn't enough.

For the most part, the women that came afterward were vital to the series.  TNG saw very few miniskirts and those mostly on the Counselor.  TNG saw women on the bridge contributing to the success of the mission.  A pair of series saw female First Officers who were very critical to their roles on Enterprise and DS9.  But one series has to stand out in my mind and that is Voyager.  A female captain.  A female chief engineer.  A female former  tertiary adjunct of unimatrix zero-one.  Was there a Trek that better embraced positive roles for women?  Some might say that Jeri Ryan was added for the eyecandy role and admittedly that was true and I would have preferred she adopt the standard Starfleet uniform but ratings - just as in the 60's - are still important.  Trek has always had attractive women on each series and that is undoubtedly to change.  But Seven was just not another pretty face.  Her entry to Voyager helped to advance the stoiryline, her character development was interesting, she contributed in many ways (esp. against the Borg) and was well played by Ms. Ryan.  That outweighs any issues re: attrire.  

Only one women gets to sit in the big chair all the time and that is Captain Janeway.  Whether it was integrating Maquis with Starfleet, interacting with the Q, or defeating the Borg again and again, Janeway was up to the task, ON HER OWN, and even up for the destruction of technology - more than once - that woud bring her crew home.  No better representative of women in Starfleet and I have tio give to my vote to Voyager.

"Fear exists for one purpose: To be conquered" -- Kathryn Janeway


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Report this Aug. 05 2012, 9:17 am

I agree: Voyager. Add in Kes, Seska, and the Borg Queen, and the cast starts to look pretty diverse as well. It would have been easy for them to have Captain Janeway commanding a ship of all or mostly men -- which is basically the case on TOS, Enterprise, and even DS9 -- but instead they had nearly as many women as men.

Second place is TNG, but they made a mistake by killing off Tasha and not doing enough with Ro. That left them with two women, plus Guinan, and while they were good characters there wasn't much of what I'd call variety.


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Report this Aug. 05 2012, 10:27 am

For me, it's easily Deep Space Nine. 

Voyager tried too hard, which made it appear forced and stereotypical as opposed to belivable and intersting. TNG was better than TOS, but not by much.  

DS9 had the best-realized female character in the franchise, which wsa Kira Nerys. Dax was a strong, feminine role-model type character as well. Kai Winn was one of the most effective, hateful villians in the franchise, and the only highly effective female villian (the Borg Queen was NOT effective in my opinion...not by a long shot). 

Many of the female guest characters were also very good. Quark's mother, Cassidy Yates, Zeal,  Keiko O'Brien...all were intersting and well-developed female characters. 


DS9 gets it, hands down. Well-written, well-balanced, and well-acted female roles all around. 


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Report this Aug. 05 2012, 12:37 pm

I feel it was Voyager as well. You had Torres as the chief engineer. You had Kes who never wore the uniform and learned to help the Doctor. You had a strong female captain that easily fit in the boys club. And then you have Seven. Yes she was used as sex appeal BUT she was extremely intelligent and awkward at the same time having been brought up as a Borg. 

Though ENT is my favorite Trek, Hoshi was more scared in the beginning than anything else and though T'Pol was smart she was used clearly as a sex symbol from the beginning.

TNG would be a good example but not as good as VOY imo. Crusher, Pulaski were great doctors. Troi was good and eventually went on to even command at night. But she was a bit ditzy at times. Yar was a strong model, perhaps too hard at times. Ro Laren was fantastic but too short lived as well as Commander Shelby

TOS they were used more as sex symbols I think but they did have a  purpose on the ship. Sign of the times imo

DS9 had some good strong women too. Jadzia was fantastic and Kira...though it seemed like she was in love with someone new each week. There is Kassidy and to a degree Jennifer Sisko. Bring in Ezri and even Moogie. 

Having said all that, I still think that VOY had the best and strongest women characters. 

"Reed Alert, that's not bad"...Malcolm Reed


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Report this Aug. 05 2012, 2:47 pm

I really liked Voy for this reason because it felt natural that there were a lot of smart and powerful women on board. A future that was supposed to be equal has never quite felt that way since I saw Voy. And compare the eyecandies 7 and T-pol.. I mean 7 was never displayed so untastfully naked all the time like T'pol was. 7 felt more like a respected character that had more than a sexy body. That is also why I forgive this one only exception to gender equality in Voy.

-I never realised yout thought of me as reckless, Tuvok. -A poor choice of words. It was clearly an understatement.


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Report this Aug. 05 2012, 8:30 pm

VOY had the most, which at times seemed like it was overdone or overcompensating, but TNG and DS9 both had a fair amount of main/secondary/guest characters who were women that did something besides being damsels in distress, eye candy, or background button pushers. For the time period it was written/filmed in, TOS did fairly well. The women (although more eye candy than anything) were at least displayed as reasonably capable and intelligent. The only female that sticks out to me on ENT is T'Pol, course I didn't get into it as a series except for the 3eps Augments arc with Brent Spiner as Arik Soong.

"They like you very much, but they are not the hell your whales."


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Report this Aug. 06 2012, 4:55 am






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Report this Aug. 06 2012, 8:08 am

From a male point of view i would say the "portrayal" of women was at its best in TOS.

DS9 RULES!!!!!


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Report this Aug. 06 2012, 9:20 am

That's pretty much what I was gonna say, Hugues!

Ahh, Kirk, my old friend. Do you know the Klingon proverb which tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It's very space.


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Report this Aug. 06 2012, 12:39 pm

Voyager was second-best, in my opinion, but Dr. Crusher from TNG rules!  (Not to mention Dr. Pulaski, the Duras sisters, the Trois, Keiko O'Brien, Vash and Shelby.)

Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."


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Report this Aug. 06 2012, 6:31 pm

Admittedly, back in the day, I found her to be quite fetching!


"Fear exists for one purpose: To be conquered" -- Kathryn Janeway


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Report this Aug. 07 2012, 12:17 am

I realise it's kind of an extension of TOS, but it might have been worth listing TAS seperately, as it did actually give some of the female enterprise crew more freedom - Uhura in particular but also Christine Chapel got planetside and got the men out of some sticky situatuions.

"There are always alternatives" Spock

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