Episode S1: Voyager’s Impact on Women’s Roles – STLV

If it wasn’t for Janeway, B’Elanna, Seven and Kes, would there be a Katniss Everdeen, female Starbuck, or the women of Firefly? How did the women of Voyager influence characters in fandom today? Recorded live at Star Trek Las Vegas, Mary Czerwinski hosts a panel including Women at Warp co-host Jarrah Hodge and previous Women at Warp guests Amy Imhoff and Kayla Iacovino.

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Panel Host: Mary Czerwinski

Guests: Jarrah Hodge, Kayla Iacovino, Amy Imhoff

Audio Editor: Jarrah

  2 comments for “Episode S1: Voyager’s Impact on Women’s Roles – STLV

  1. Want to say thank you for sharing this panel! It made my unpleasant Saturday afternoon of cleaning my oven much better. And I appreciate the sound quality — a lot of convention panels turn out to be un-listenable on podcasts and I had zero issues here.

    The whole thing was very interesting. As someone who grew up a little later and didn’t start watching genre tv until the last couple of years (in my early 20s), I always enjoy hearing perspectives of people who were young adults when Voyager, The X-Files, Buffy, etc. were airing.

    One thought I had while listening was in regards to the comment that Voyager’s characters were not reduced to their romantic relationships. I agree mostly. However, I feel like Voyager went in an unfortunate direction in later seasons with B’Elanna in this respect. It’s not the in any way have a problem with having a character who gets married and has a child — that’s a great thing to include. But I felt like this arc occupied the majority of B’Elanna’s episodes and episodes like “Parallax”, “Prototype”, and “Dreadnaught”, which were pretty much entirely about B’Elanna’s engineering skills fall by the wayside. B’Elanna does get a number of episodes later in the series about her Klingon heritage — and while these are interesting and well done, I am still bothered by the extent to which they are tied into her romantic plotline. It was often Tom pushing her to embrace this aspect of herself and I felt that he did not give proper consideration with her own legitimate discomfort with past experiences or her prerogative to choose the aspects of her culture that she does or does not embrace. I thought the whole thing was driven a lot by the “white man’s redemption arc” they had going on with Tom and not necessarily by legitimate desire to explore B’Elanna’s point of view.

    Long story short: I felt like Voyager largely dropped the ball on badass engineer B’Elanna in later seasons. I am hoping/assuming WaW will be doing a B’Elanna episode at some point and so I hope you address this.


  2. What a great panel! That was awesome to hear so many different perspectives about such an amazing thing like voyagers womens roles.

    On of the things said was, that the show entirely is mostly about the women and their characters. Honestly, when I watched it the first time, I was probably too young and simply not aware of the importance of such things to really care about it. When I watch it now, of course I’ll notice that far more easily. For Voyager, I think that is really a good thing, that they decided to rely on mostly women. Especially for their time where it really did a big part in establishing that in television.
    What I just think is important, that it never felt like there was anything to compensate. Now that is difficult to describe without making it easy to misunderstand. What I mean is: I think it is very important that janeway was a woman in captains position, because she was a brilliant scientist, because she had a great character, was a great leader and was simply competent enough to do that. These are the qualities a captain has. It never felt like anybody in starfleet said “hey guys, we need to make janeway captain now, because we need to compensate how many male captains we have so that nobody feels offended.”

    When I think about an utopian or at least a brighter future for humanity, I really hope that there will no longer the need to activly support equality, feminism or anything in that regard, simply because we finally managed to make it possible for everyone to achieve and do everything without having to worry about anything there were born with or they decided to do with their life.
    With that in mind, I am not sure if I’d say the next step is to nescessarily put someone who recognizes as transgender or similar. Well, it would be great to see that role, but I think they really would need good writing and a good introduction, to not make it seem like a simple production pattern they went with to go through every single problematic role. Not because I doubt the good intentions, but simply because I am not sure how good theyd be able to handle that after some of the struggles janeway had.
    then, on the other hand, maybe exactly those struggles should be one more reason to do exactly that, to overcome those struggles and proof one more time that it can work.

    Well, I guess that’s one reason why I’m happy to not sit there in an important position. I find it hard to decide such things. In the end I just want to agree that, if they decide to make another star trek series (or, because I am optimistic: When the next star trek series comes), they really should try to go foward again and do some things that aren’t yet that present in TV and on netflix & co.

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