Posted 12 hours ago

Nichols felt the character of Uhura had been underappreciated [in Season 1]. In an article for the July 15, 1967 issue of TV Guide, entitled, ‘Let Me Off at the Next Planet,’ she complained, ‘My problem is being a black woman on top of being a woman.” Elsewhere in the article, she said, ‘The producers admit being very foolish and very lax in the way they’ve used me — or not used me.’

In her book, Beyond Uhura, Nichols told how she was denied respect. Case in point: she recalled discovering that someone in the Desilu mailroom had stopped the delivery of the bulk of her mail. Two workers from the department confided to the actress that most of her mail was being held back and told her, ‘Yours is the only fan mail that matches Shatner and Nimoy’s.’

'Days later I saw for myself the boxes and bags of mail from all over the country, from adults and children, all colours, all races,' wrote Nichols for her memoir. 'To say I was stunned does not even begin to convey how I felt. It was 'just' fan mail, but to those who had ensured that I worked without a contract, who seemed at every turn to remind me that I was dispensable, this was the ultimate humiliation.' (127-2).

From These are the Voyages - TOS Season 2 by Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn.

Cushman also cites an interview Nichols did where she argued NBC was partly responsible for her not having more to do, since they were afraid southern network affiliates would drop the show. Cushman then somewhat calls Nichols’ observations into question, saying, “It could be argued that Nichols was stereotyping NBC the same way she felt NBC was stereotyping her.”

He cites Herb Solow and Bob Justman’s book Inside Star Trek, in which Solow wrote that no one at NBC cared about Nichols’ race and stated: “NBC executives…were unanimous in their desire to feature and protect all minorities, including women.”

I don’t have any way of knowing what really happened in every back room at Desilu and NBC, but I’m inclined to believe that Nichols, as the only woman of colour involved, was more likely to notice and appreciate the meaning of microaggressions and other racial tension. Also worth noting Nichols has a reputation (link fixed!) as someone who does not take airing dirty laundry lightly.

I definitely wish Solow hadn’t been given the last word on this.

Posted 1 day ago

Talking Women in TOS with FirstTimeTrek

I first heard of Andi and her First Time Trekker project to live-tweet her spontaneous first reactions to all the episodes of Star Trek when she was interviewed on All Things Trek. When I heard she was a fair ways into watching TOS (she started with TNG), and knowing she’s a feminist, I wanted to chat with her about women in TOS and why that’s important to look at. Here’s our chat! You can follow Andi and read her amazing and often hilarious episode tweets at @FirstTimeTrek and she’s also on Tumblr at firsttimetrek.tumblr.com

Jarrah: Hey, Andi! Thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your project and where you’re at currently?

Andi: Hi! So, I’m Andi and I’m a geek. I had a lot of geek fandoms before this but had always resisted getting into Star Trek. Basically, I knew I would love it too much. Plus, I have this contrary nature, so the more people would tell me to watch Star Trek the more I would resist! Because I had resisted it for almost 12 years, when I finally decided to watch it, I felt like I had to make it special. So I decided to live-tweet it because I know how fun it is to watch your friends watch something you love for the first time, and to hang on their every expression. I honestly thought I’d do it a few episodes and lose interest, but the reaction was surprisingly positive and the live-tweeting made it so fun that I just kept going!

Jarrah: It’s super fun to read, too!

Andi: Awww, thanks! And now, much to my constant surprise, people actually ask me to talk about Star Trek, which is surreal but awesome.

Jarrah: Cool. So where are you at now with your project?

Andi: I am about halfway through The Original Series. I just finished “A Piece of the Action,” which was super enjoyable. 

Jarrah: So I wanted to talk a bit about TOS. From reading your tweets and listening to a couple of interviews you’ve done, it’s clear that you’re interested in how women are portrayed in Star Trek. Did you have any expectations about how things would be for women in TOS?

Andi: Creeping dread? My followers know extremely well how feminist I am and when I went to go to TOS I got a lot of tweets from followers I trust that basically amounted to, “BRACE YOURSELF. MISOGYNY IS COMING.” So I had a good idea that it was going to be painful.

Jarrah: I know I wasn’t really as ready for the sexism when I started doing my feminist re-watch. I hadn’t noticed it when I was a kid, so what I remembered was how Trek values diversity, and I didn’t realize some parts were going to be so awful. *cough* “Mudd’s Women” *cough*

Andi: Yeah, there were a few episodes that legitimately upset me. Like, not just “Ugh, that was terrible, oh well,” but genuinely emotionally difficult.

Read More

Posted 1 day ago

Angel One

firsttimetrek:

Had an awesome chat with Andi (First Time Trekker) today and will be posting it in the next couple of days. She’s watching all of Trek for the first time and live tweeting it. Here’s her glorious reactions to “Angel One” for you to enjoy.

Posted 2 days ago

Quotes from fans signing the petition for CBS and StarTrek.com to implement a comments policy on the official Star Trek Facebook page, to hopefully stem the tide of sexist, racist and homophobic comments.

Help us get to 1,500 signatures. Sign the petition now and share far and wide. 

Posted 3 days ago

startrek-365:

What do you sense Deanna?

Now I totally wish we’d gotten a Deanna Troi Die Hard on the Enterprise episode!!!

Posted 4 days ago

2014′s GeekGirlCon Was a Much-Needed Home For Diverse Geeks

My recap of Geek Girl Con 2014, along with pictures of some of my favourite cosplay.

Posted 1 week ago
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Posted 1 week ago

Photos from our panel at Geek Girl Con: “A Woman’s Place is on the Bridge: Trek Women in Charge.” Will post a recap in the next couple of days! At top is Grace Moore from All Things Trek, me, and Tanya from Geekquality. In the middle picture at right is our fourth panelist, Jamala Henderson.

Top photo by Sarah Corn. Bottom two photos by Dakota Sather.

Posted 1 week ago

My custom Borg Queen Funko Pop! Vinyl joins my L’il Janeway.