When you hear the phrase Star Trek, in a sentence, it means one of three things:
2. Making fun of someone who is a Trekkie.
3. You just watched JJ Abrams reboot film Star Trek
Usually its 1 or 2. A Trekkie being a socially awkward, stereotypical nerd. But here are my thoughts as a girl who grew up on Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Stargate SG-1, and X-Men.
I did not grow up too awkward to be able to function in society. Nor do I fantasize about blowing stormtroopers to pieces with my blaster (or do I…) Rather the books/films helped to teach me, as a girl, that I could stand up for myself, without having to lean on someone else. Unlike a certain popular vampire novel series… Yes, Im looking at you Twlight people.
I’ll admit it, I read, and own, the Twilight novels. But something about them always seemed a little off to me. Number one I could read the entire 400+ page book in less than three days. I am a fast reader thanks to my many English classes, but no book should read that fast. I knew something was rotten in Denmark. It was actually my friend who pointed it out to me when he said something like “The character of Bella is so empty that any adolescent girl can fit herself into the role and ‘become’ Bella.” As many times as I think he’s wrong, this time, he was totally right. Bella is so lost without Edward she throws herself off a cliff just so that she can “see” him. Now that’s EXACTLY what I would want my daughter to do if her boyfriend left her. Go jump off a cliff. Seriously, you’ll be fine. It worked for Bella right? Edward came back! Come on Stephanie Meyers! Sure Bella sort of becomes her own person in the end, but she still has to become a vampire to do it. Stupid.
And WHY do women/girls like Twilight so much? Because there is a plethora of handsome/hot men in the films. But most of them sparkle. Seriously. They sparkle. Real vampires dont sparkle.
Although I can appreciate Meyers’ attempt to change/shape the genre into something more accessible to young girls, Twilight is too much. Its basically emotional porn. Not science fiction.
In the next few blogs, starting with this one, I plan to analyze my argument further, citing some of the strongest female characters in the genre. (and not rip the ones in the Twilight movies/books apart. That’d be too easy)
First, I’ll start with an easy one:
Star Trek Voyager
The three women in the very menacing picture (I say that with sarcasm) are from left, 7 of 9, Captain Katherine Janeway, and B’Elanna Torres.
The premise of the series, the only Star Trek series to feature a woman captain, is simple: An energy wave blasts them more than 70,000 light years away from earth, now they have to get home. I’ll start with Captain Janeway.
Janeway is feminism at its best. She’s tough, she’s smart, and she doesn’t need a man to drive her to be her best. She isnt the Trekkie favorite of Captains, I think that award would go to Picard. When it came to dealing with the arch nemisis of the Federation, the Borg, she showed she could be one of the boys with her ingenious plans. She does of course require, and rely on the help of her crew members, who are mostly male. But because Janeway doesn’t ever take a love interest, it makes her stronger, not weak. Her number one priority is to get her crew members home safely, she doesn’t need any emotions getting in the way. And I can pretty much guarantee that if Janeways man left her, she wouldn’t jump off a cliff.
Almost everyday in middle school I would come home, do some chores, and maybe a little homework, before Voyager came on at 5pm. The stories always captivated me, and Janeway was always a good example. She made mistakes, but she wanst afraid to own up to them. Oh and also she took on the borg, and showed them who was boss. The borg leader was a woman, their Queen, who was the creepiest woman ever, and she pretty much hated Janeway. I personally would’ve loved to see Janeway punch her in the face. But Janeway didnt need to, she had more style than that. Instead she blew up the hive mind (or something like that), sacrificed herself, and saved the Alpha Quadrant. By herself. As a woman. Take that Bellacriesalot.
Janeway is a great example to girls because she exemplifies being both just and compassionate towards others. She doesnt need to be sexual to be respected, she is respected because she earns it.
Someone get this woman some coffee.
Peace, Love, and Warp speed,
P.S. Brown dog has no idea why there weren’t any dogs on Voyager. Obviously they would’ve gotten home faster if there had been.