[x] Gates McFadden on the role of women in Star Trek (1993)
Worf: Deanna, how do you know so much about this period in Earth’s history?
Deanna: My father used to read me stories from the Ancient West when I was a little girl. I must admit, I always wanted to play the part of the Mysterious Stranger.
Star Trek, pitched to the netwok as “Wagon Train to the stars!”, getting back to its roots thanks to yet another stupid holodeck malfunction (clearly, OH&S just isn’t a concern in the 24th Century).
Christopher: A woman?
Kirk: A crewman.
OH LOOK AT THAT THE 1960S
AND SHE’S IN COMMAND GOLD FUCKERS.
She’s not in Medical blue, a caretaking, feminine role.
Those in Gold were either OFFICERS, NAVIGATORS, PILOTS, TACTICAL OFFICERS, or WEAPONS SPECIALISTS.
Guess what, Niners?
Here we go. Meet
Chief Molly O’Brien
Dr. Juliet Bashir
Lt. Cmdr. Worf
Lt. Cmdr. Jadzen Dax
Captain Bethany Sisko
Major Kira Noren
I know, I left some people out. Of course I left some people out. It’s Deep Space Nine. Damn thing’s bigger on the inside.
The best part of this was coming up with Garak and Quark’s ludicrous outfits. The costume design, you guys. Trek would not be the same without it. Team Bajor and Team One-Liners totally beat Team Starfleet on sheer quantity of colors used.
Speaking of Team Gets All The Best Lines In the Show, here’s a little bit about Quark (if Gaila is a male name, I see no reason why Quark can’t be a female name, even if it probably wasn’t the one she was born with.)
Quark was born a businessman. The fact that she was also born a female was Ferenginar’s problem, not hers. Of course, the FCA wouldn’t see it that way, so, with a pair of fake ears in one hand and the seventy-fifth Rule of Acquisition in the other, she set out across the stars to seek her fortune. Somehow, this landed her on a flying waste extraction unit way out in Bajoran space, where putting up with the Cardassians and keeping her stupid brother out of trouble quickly outstripped her gender on her list of problems. When the FCA inevitably found out and revoked her business license, Quark decided that, after surviving the Occupation, the Federation, and that time when all the Dabo girls caught the Ankaran flu at the same time, a little thing like excommunication from the Ferengi Alliance couldn’t do a damn thing to hold her back. She had nothing left to lose. So she sold the fake ears at a 175% markup, sent Odo the full Vulcan Love Slave anthology as thanks for keeping her mouth shut all these years (because of course that damn shapeshifter had known all along, of course), and resumed gouging customers, rigging tables, watering drinks - in other words, business as usual. She was no activist; she was a businessman, and she had a bar to run.
…fem!Quark sounds about 100% more interesting than canon Quark.
What if TOS had 900% more central female characters?
(Since I don’t want to stretch your dashboards any more than I have already, I’ve written some thoughts about the characters and the process that went into making the graphics under the cut.)
Nichelle Nichols frequently tells a story of getting into a dispute with director Marc Daniels over the filming of this episode. As it had already been established that Uhura’s first language was Swahili, Nichols believed that, after her mind was erased, Uhura would revert to her first language. However, as Nichols herself did not speak Swahili, Daniels wanted Uhura to just speak English. Nichols refused to, telling Daniels, “Nichelle Nichols doesn’t speak Swahili, but Uhura does!” Gene Roddenberry was eventually brought in to settle the dispute, and he sided with Nichols. A linguist specializing in Swahili was then brought in to write the few lines of Swahili that are spoken in the episode. (Memory Alpha)
A peek at the first seven pages of Star Trek #29 via startrek.com with my interiors. Out January 29th from IDW!
I want this to be the basis for the next movie.
[x] Gates McFadden on the role of women in Star Trek (1993)
[ Image: An onset publicity photo of Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura from the classic series of Star Trek, an african anerican woman with very 60s hair, wearing the stockings-and-one-piece miniskirt female uniform of the era. She holds a tricorder and offers the viewer a no-nonsense expression. ]
“Uhura” comes from the Swahili word UHURU meaning “freedom”. Uhura was pretty much the first ever black main character on American television who was not a maid or a domestic servant in 1966. TV network NBC refused to let Nichelle Nichols be a regular, claiming Deep South affiliates would be angered, so Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry hired her as a “day worker,” but still included her in almost every episode. She actually made more money than any of the other actors through this workaround, and it was kept secret from the other actors, but it was still a humiliating second-class status. The network people made life hard for Nichols, constantly trying to pare down her screen time, purposefully dropping racist comments in her presence and even withholding her fan mail from her. This deplorable state of affairs led Nichols to make the decision to quit after the 1st season, but then she happened to meet the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. who pleaded with her to stick with the show because as a Black woman she was portraying the first non-stereotypical role on television.
RE-BLOGGING AGAIN BECAUSE TODAY IS THE 46TH ANNIVERSARY OF STAR TREK AND UHURA IS A BABE AND NICHELLE NICHOLS IS AWESOME!
- after Star Trek was cancelled, she volunteered for a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency
- those recruited include: Dr. Sally Ride (the first American female astronaut), United States Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford (the first African-American astronaut), Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair (who both flew successful missions during the Space Shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster), Charles Bolden (current NASA administrator), and Lori Garver (current Deputy Administrator).
- she flew aboard NASA’s C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed the atmospheres of Mars and Saturn on an eight-hour, high-altitude mission
Sometimes you fight with things other than weapons.