My name is Jarrah Hodge. I live in Ottawa, Canada and in addition to running this blog (which originated on Tumblr), I’m also one of the hosts of the podcast Women at Warp, and I’ve spoken on representations of women in Star Trek on several other podcasts, as well as panels at Geek Girl Con and Star Trek Las Vegas.
The first episode of Star Trek I remember watching was The Best of Both Worlds, Part I. I was not quite five years old but I wanted to watch whatever my older siblings were watching. I sat on my sister’s lap in the living room and could not take my eyes off the TV screen.
When the away team beamed to the Borg cube and found Picard’s uniform in a drawer, it scared the pants off me.
I had nightmares for weeks, but I was also hooked. Over the next couple of decades I would watch many classic episodes, every Star Trek movie and every episode of TNG, DS9 and Voyager, some repeatedly.
The women characters were my role models. I wanted to have the compassion of Troi, the strength of Kira, and the smarts of Captain Janeway.
I’m not a little kid anymore, but my office is still filled with Star Trek books and memorabilia, including a drawer full of action figures in case I need to take time on my lunchbreak to act out a scene or something.
But in addition to being a huge Star Trek nerd, I am a feminist activist and founder of the blog Gender Focus. For clarity and transparency, the definition of feminism I operate on is from bell hooks: “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression.” I believe this is intrinsically interconnected with struggles to end racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and classism.
I’d always felt many of the principles manifested in Star Trek complement feminist principles, but could the Star Trek universe we see on screen be called a feminist utopia? What lessons do we learn from Star Trek and how do those relate to how we think of women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized groups?
Those are the questions I’m exploring on this blog.
I’ll be recapping the episodes I’m watching, in no particular order, lovingly poking fun at some of them and shouting out others. I have a list I’m working through but you’re welcome to submit requests. I’ll also be sharing other related resources for anyone else who really wants to geek out with me on Star Trek and feminism.