Women who love ‘Star Trek’ are the reason that modern fandom exists

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
News Media Commentary
Title: Women who love ‘Star Trek’ are the reason that modern fandom exists
Commentator: Victoria McNally
Date(s): September 8, 2016
Venue: online
Fandom: Star Trek
External Links: Women who love ‘Star Trek’ are the reason that modern fandom exists, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Women who love ‘Star Trek’ are the reason that modern fandom exists is a 2016 article by Victoria McNally.

It was written, in part, to commemorate Star Trek's 50th Anniversary.

It contains images from Spockanalia, photos from old cons, some publicity photos, and more.

one of the images from the article, this one is a photo by Stuart C. Hellinger taken at an early con

Some Topics Discussed

Some Points

  • ""Star Trek" fans are responsible for the first — and most successful — letter writing campaign to a TV studio."
  • ""Star Trek" enthusiasts also defined modern fanfiction and fan culture."


These days mainstream media has embraced “geek culture,” mostly because it makes a boatload of money for TV and movie studios.But there’s still one TV and movie franchise that still tends to evoke the stereotype of the pedantic, socially adjusted nerd living in his mom’s basement: “Star Trek.” Sure, J.J. Abrams tried to make it cool in 2009, but let’s face it: If you have an opinion about whether or not Kirk or Picard is the better leader (it’s actually Sisko, fight me), then most non-Trekkies will still assume that you need to — in the infamous words of Will Shatner himself — “get a life.”

That stereotype doesn’t hold true, of course, and not just because many “Star Trek” fans are productive members of society (some are even scientists and astronauts themselves) — but because unlike the classic male nerd archetype that most people tend to picture in their heads, the quintessential “Star Trek” fan is a woman. Long before becoming part of a fandom was as easy as starting a Tumblr account, female Trekkies (or Trekkers, as some older fans of the series prefer) not only dominated the “Star Trek” fan community but helped to create that community in the first place.

As Rosenstein recounted at Star Trek Mission this weekend, the two conceived of the idea while exchanging film for their “Star Trek”-themed slideshows. “For some unknown reason I turned to her and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to have a science fiction convention for just ‘Star Trek?’ and she turned to me and said, ‘Yeah,’ we could invite 500 of our most intimate friends,’” she explained. “If she’d said that it was a terrible idea, none of this would have happened.”

At the time, “Star Trek” fans were looked upon dismissively within the science fiction community, which was more literary-leaning and less interested in media like television and movies; the pair figured that a convention specifically geared towards show would do a lot to bring fans together. In the summer of 1971, a group of young people (including “Spockanalia” creator Devra Langsam) who knew each other from Lunacon and from high school began to coalesce, and under Winston’s leadership, they set about trying to make their convention idea a reality.