Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26th. That is the anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in elections. That initial step in 1920 has since led to a flurry of civil rights measures that have worked to provide fair and equal access and representation to all.
As our eyes fall on the universe of Star Trek as depicted in television shows and movies, we see a galaxy that increasingly has been represented as a galaxy of equals. It is a place where anyone can attain power and authority based solely on merit. Many women have featured prominently in positions of authority and power — (unfortunately) forward-thinking for our time, but treated as commonplace in the universe of Star Trek.
Kathryn Janeway, depicted on-screen by Kate Mulgrew, is a sterling example of a woman entrusted with power. She served capably as the commanding officer of the USS Voyager and later was promoted to admiralty. Janeway was a force to be reckoned with that could stand toe-to-toe with the Borg and managed to return her crew safely from being stranded at the other end of the galaxy. She is a fan favourite which is perhaps why the character is set to return in the upcoming series Star Trek: Prodigy.
Doctors Beverly Crusher and Katherine Pulaski, performed by Gates McFadden and Diana Muldaur respectively, provided role models for many youths. You never got the impression that either would fail to speak their mind or act in an assertive manner when needed. Crusher was even tasked with leading Starfleet Medical for a year, a testament to her skill and ability.
The long list of other powerful women in Star Trek is extensive. From Admirals Nechayev and Cornwallis to scientist Carol Marcus and the villainous Romulan Sela, we see women filling every role available in the universe — true equals, as they should be.
Who is your favourite Star Trek woman in power?