PART XVI: ONE FOR THE LADIES

These girls are wearing the most conservative outfits in all of TOS

What’s interesting in watching through all of Star Trek is you actually get to see how women are thought of in society change before your eyes. I had read that during The Original Series (TOS) Nichelle Nichols had thought of leaving the show, citing she felt she had too small of role. She was convinced to stay aboard, as Lt. Uhura was more important to the civil rights and women’s rights movement than she was a character on the show. Being that she is after all a Lieutenant, and to have a woman of color in a leadership role on television was unheard of in the sixties. Truth be told as communications officer, she was little more than Kirk’s secretary. Yet still, this was seen as a great moment for women. If any woman, even a woman of color were to be given the role of Uhura today it wouldn’t be thought of as anything, let alone revolutionary. Sure, if it weren’t Uhura it would have been someone else, but in the end it was Uhura. The rest of the TOS universe shows just how women were portrayed on television; as objects of desire. Lately, as I watch through what is quickly becoming my favorite in the Star Trek series, Voyager (VOY), I find myself marveling at how much society can change its view of 51% of the population in just a few decades. Continue reading