Gender Roles In Star Trek Next Generation





Gender Roles In Star Trek Next Generation
In 1966 a series called "Star Trek" was created. It\'s creator, Gene Roddenberry, did not create the show to be a science fiction series. The series was much deeper than that. It wasn\'t just about discovering new planets and civilizations. It was about controversial issues. Even though the series\' take place in the 23rd and 24th century the issues struck with the times and related current issues. Through each series, The Original, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, there has been progression with the times and the issues. The issues that surround the episodes of Star Trek include race, religion, sexuality, the depiction of science and gender roles. The central focus being talked about in this paper will be gender roles. Gender roles in Star Trek deal with leadership and sexuality.
Men and women have had different roles in Star Trek as well as different progressions. Men in Star Trek have always had a leadership role. In the original series the four main characters are men. The captain, Kirk, the second in command, Spock, the doctor, Bones or McCoy, and the head engineering officer Scotty are all men. In the Next Generation series there is Captain Picard, the second in command, Riker, and there are others engineering roles played by Warf and Data who are all men. In the Deep Space Nine series Captain Sisko and the head engineer is male. In Voyager the second in command, Chakotay, as well as Tuvok, a Vulcan Spock like character, and Neelix, the cook are all men. Women in Star Trek have made a real progression, at least more then Men have. When men are already at the top having leadership roles there\'s no place to go but down. This isn\'t necessarily there work performance or merit is going down but the women\'s performance, merit and acceptance going up. The women of Star Trek started at the bottom and could only go up. The original series did have one woman in a starring role. Uhura was the head communication officer, however her role was really more of a secretary and didn\'t really have many lines and if she did they weren\'t very lengthy, nothing much more than, "Yes captain." In the Next Generation series the women started to move farther up the leadership ladder. The women starring roles were Beverly Crusher, the doctor, and Diana Troy, the counselor. In Deep Space Nine, the second in command was female, Kira Nerys. The Voyager series was a big step for women in Star Trek. There was the captain, Janeway, Kes and Seven of Nine. This series brought women into leadership roles. The progression of women in Star Trek has been appropriately timed and has even pushed a little bit past the time. Even though Uhura basically played the role of a secretary her role still pushed the envelope for the time because of her race. She was a black actress during or right after the civil rights movement. She even thought of quitting the role because she felt that she wasn\'t used enough for her role in the series. However, after Martin Luther King, Jr. talked to her and told her how important it would be for her to stay on the show, she did. Women in Star Trek have progressed from a secretary type, to a doctor and counselor, to the second in command and eventually the first in command or the captain. Their progress allows them to be more influential.
Let\'s talk more specifically about the Next Generation series. The Original series showed the four starring male roles to provide everything for the crew. This is not the case in Next Generation. Next Generation is more like a family with a father, a mother and children. But who were the biggest members of the family? There are four characters, which give the presence of a family on Next Generation.
First, you have the father. This is actually quite simple. You have Captain Picard who plays the father. He is much older than any of the other crew seen on the series and therefore has seniority as well as he is the captain of the ship. For the time, when thinking