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July 22 2024


An archive of Star Trek News

New 'Hailing Frequencies' Column

By Amy
December 30, 2000 - 4:38 PM

Michelle Erica Green over at Mania Magazine has posted the latest edition of her weekly 'Hailing Frequencies' column. This week she looks at the mirror universe novel 'Star Trek: Dark Passions Book One', Jeri Ryan's love life and the rumours currently making the rounds.

So how come I am thinking nostalgically about "Resolutions" instead? Partly it's because of the excruciating sexism of the previous two Q episodes. In "Death Wish," Q keeps suggesting that Janeway's gender is a weakness. True, it's Q's job to be a pest, but he has always preyed specifically on the insecurities of his victims. When Q suggests that Janeway's deepest insecurities center on her gender and the tenuousness of her femininity as a woman captain, he undermines her authority as such. Then, to make matters worse, he returns in "The Q and the Grey" to suggest that her highest calling in life could be to bear his child. Even though Janeway rejects his proposal, the fact that Voyager's writers would even suggest that a 24th century woman might respond positively to such an idea makes me furious.

It's annoying that the Q have acquired fixed gender on Voyager, in contrast to Q's suggestion to Picard that he should have come to the Enterprise captain as a woman. These omnipotent beings fall into stereotypical human sexual cliches--just like Janeway, whom we have seen alternately pigeonholed as a condescending mother figure to her crew, a sexualized yet timid female preying on holograms and a resourceful, intelligent captain whose "femininity" is entirely sublimated to that role. I miss the days when Janeway and Chakotay went head to head as something akin to equals. He was serving as her subordinate, but he had been a commander in his own right, and he didn't shirk then from ideological arguments. For a short time, they were the closest thing to a perfect match that I have ever seen on television.

If Janeway is to have another romance, I wish it could be with someone who could truly face her as an equal. Despite being an evil dictator, Kashyk in "Counterpoint" met her as such, which is probably why he has attracted such a fan following among women. I hate the idea of Janeway paired with a man who's inherently superior to her. And I hate the idea that Janeway's traditional feminine attributes might be what wins her crew a trip home, regardless of whether it's her sexual allure for Q Senior or her maternal relationship with Q Junior. Hopefully this future Q episode will be just another lark, with consequences only for the galaxy at large, rather than for Kathryn Janeway's image as a captain, a woman, and the rarified dual role.

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