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Of all of the Star Trek movies and spin-off series, “Star Trek: Voyager” boasted the only woman Star Trek Captain. The role of Captain Janeway was played by Kate Mulgrew for seven years. A big victory for women at the time, Star Trek has not had a female Captain since the show ended in 2001. Sisters, what happened and where are we now?
In a recent Huffington Post article by Maddie Crum, Kate explains:
“The choices that I was forced to make as that Captain were very strong, very bold, very powerful choices,” Kate says. “I forewent motherhood, I forewent intimate love. That was the ultimate sacrifice, and I think that was a necessary component for great leadership: that essential loneliness.”
Is it really necessary for women leaders to sacrifice so much and doom themselves to a lonely existence?
Kate seemed to be speaking not just for the Captain, but for herself, as well. The mother of two boys, the actress explained in her book, Born with Teeth, “I played Captain Janeway in the era that had not resolved the conflicts surrounding mothers and work.”
That era is in the rear view mirror and women are now influencing all aspects of media, especially television, on all levels. In 1995, there was no Shonda Rhimes, Cookie, or Supergirl. Having children, a lifestyle choice, is no longer a deal-breaker. Today, actresses with children often work while their children play on the set.
“It’s a new day in television,” Mulgrew confirms with Maddie.
“It’s slow-going. I’m not gonna be foolish about it. It’s still a boy’s club. But this must change, out of necessity.”