It seems inconceivable to imagine a world with no borders, no discrimination regarding skin color, gender, or sexual orientation, where individuals are judged solely on their merits. Gene Roddenberry envisioned this idea when he created the influential television series, Star Trek in 1966.
Since the original television series, there has been many other shows based on the original and they all share this same theme and idea, one in particular sticks out. Star Trek: Voyager not only shares Roddenberry's legendary vision of the future, but exceeds it with the way in which it represents women, generating an ideal template for other television shows to follow.
In 1966 Gene Roddenberry put his vision of the future into the most influential of television shows, Star Trek. From the beginning, Star Trek reflected the social and economic events that were happening at the time. Race segregation, and the Vietnam war were the major events among others. Roddenberry used his show to criticize these events and show not only alternatives, but the potential implications of our actions if we continue the self destructive behavior. John F. Kennedy's “moonshot speech” to congress in May of 1961 brought about a huge interest in space exploration and no doubt influenced Gene Roddenberry's vision.
While the entire film industry was dominated by white males, Gene Roddenberry enlightened the world to a different approach in the way a show could be cast. The original series featured a multicultural cast, which included a Russian man and a Black woman. Multicultural casting was unprecedented at that time. Russians were unpopular in the states with the cold war at its peak, and race segregation headlining the news daily. The character Lieutenant Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols, was a huge step forward in the way not only blacks were portrayed on television but also a huge step for women as well . Even though Uhura was ahead of her time she remained a stereotypical female character. The same idea was expanded upon in the scholarly article by Mia Consalvo “ Borg Babes, Drones, and the Collective: Reading Gender and the Body in Star Trek” in the article Consalvo references Ferguson, Ashkenazi & Schultz, 1997; Henderson, 1994; Projansky, 1996 claims. “ Other researchers have echoed these findings, suggesting that even as women characters have progressed beyond the “space receptionist” role of lieutenant Uhura, they must still adhere to traditionally feminine ideals of beauty, and are continually relegated to subordinate status.” (Consalvo, Mia)
Eighteen years passed and society changed when the next incarnation of Gene Roddenbery's vision, Star Trek: The Next Generation, was created. Once again, The Next Generation, followed suit with many firsts in television. One of the subtle changes made in the opening credits was the iconic phrase, “to boldly go where no man has gone before” to “to boldly go where no one has gone before.” This change has gone...