I am allegedly a woman, and that lends itself to maternity, to compassion, to warmth, to a lot of qualities which our culture has encouraged in women. Men, of course, enjoy them and reveal them as we do But I think that women are encouraged to reveal them and express them. This will take the character of Janeway into greater dimensions, I think, emotionally as a woman than perhaps a male captain would feel free to do.Kate Mulgrew, quoted in Captains’ Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, 1995.
I like how Mulgrew notes that these “feminine” characteristics like compassion aren’t restricted to women but it’s the being encouraged by society that cultivates them. I would hope by the 24th century we’d have less of that scripting happening so a male captain could feel totally able to express these traits, but it’s I think another example of that ongoing tension between the future we want to present and the audience we have now.