50 Years of Confident Women in Star Trek

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The Star Trek franchise turned fifty this year, which is a milestone for anything but most certainly a television series that was cancelled after three years of low ratings. A series that barely made it on the air in the first place, and required massive letter writing campaigns to make it to those three years. But also a series that has since spawned five more series, plus one coming next May, and thirteen major motion pictures. Star Trek has also had a huge cultural impact — inspiring countless astronauts, scientists, inventors, doctors, actors, linguists, marketers, academics…anyone who considers themselves a ‘Trekkie’ can probably link the franchise to their personal and/or professional life. President Obama is a Star Trek fan and Hillary Clinton invited Kate Mulgrew, then starring as Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager, to a symposium for women in science held at the white house during her husband’s tenure. She and her daughter, Chelsea, watched Voyager together, and Hillary recognized the impact of a woman in command beaming into American homes every week.


I grew up with The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager and while my mother gave me an early foundation of confidence, the women of Star Trek, and particularly these three series, provided cinematic role models — someone to aspire to be and to be like. And often, permission to not only be bold (and go boldly!) but to be difficult, bossy, sassy, loud, angry, and all the other things girls and women “aren’t supposed” to be.

So in honor of fifty years of wonderful women role models, I made a a fanvid:

Anika Dane works at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She is a writer of words. A dancer of dreams. A pop culture blogger. A feminist and a fashionista. A Social Justice Klingon Warrior Princess who fell in love with the Skywalker family when she was seven years old. Mother of girls. Secretly a dragon.

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