Inspiration – Sexism


It may seem like an odd thing to get inspiration from. But I have! Perhaps better words are urgency, or compulsion. And so I write about my experiences of sexism in my life. And then I take them to extremes.


Sexism hates you

Sexism hates you (Photo credit: rrho)

As a child of the later sixties (I remember 1967, although very little about why it and 1968 and 1969 were truly important) and seventies, I well recall the flap about women calling themselves Ms. Or about whether it was appropriate for my female schoolteachers to wear slacks. Of course no one kept their maiden names then – what are you, nuts?

I practiced law in the 1980s. And I was repeatedly confused for the court reporter. This was despite wearing suits and carrying large briefcases. When I wed in 1992 (and hyphenated my surname), a male friend pulled me aside and asked me, “Are you sure your fiancé will allow that?”

What year is it, anyway?


I first addressed the ultimate price of sexism in a story called There’s Something About Hoshi.  The execution was not very good (I was very new to Star Trek fan fiction writing then). I played a lot of it or comedy. However, the essence of the story was, I think, abundantly clear. If you blame women for all of your problems, you might want to get rid of them all. And if you do, be careful what you wish for.

I recently updated the story a bit. This was mainly to accommodate some names that show up in the E2 stories. And I realized how telling I think it still is. It was also written, at the time, to address complaints I saw about slash fiction. This is where people objected to it on its face. It was, I felt and still feel, thinly veiled homophobia. This was in contrast to reviewing and appreciating it on its merits. It’s one thing to object to characters undergoing changes beyond recognition (or getting into pairings in ways that make no sense). It’s another thing to think that no one in the Trek Universe will ever, ever love someone of the same gender.

The symbolic slash, used to separate the two n...

The symbolic slash, used to separate the two names in a romantic pairing, from which slash fiction takes its name. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course they will. Hell, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, they already have. And now they have in Star Trek: Discovery as well.

The Daranaeans

The sexism angle for story-telling truly hit its stride with The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. In that story, it becomes clear that Daranaean women have few rights. Even the top caste (Prime Wives) don’t get too much meaningful education. They are appeased with trinkets.

Take Back the Night amps up the sexism to the extreme, as a third caste female is killed for refusing to take part in sexual relations. This is a thing that, in The Cure, is illegal for her to do.

After a couple of more family-oriented Daranaean stories, I was ready to tackle sexism in that society again, and presented Debate. What’s the debate about? Whether Prime Wives will be granted the right to vote.

Finally, more Daranaean sexism comes full circle, and the reader can see a bit of why at least some of the women stay – in Flight of the Bluebird. In Bluebird, things are less black and white. And I wanted to acknowledge that the men might be a part of the society finally reforming itself.

My plans are to eventually begin to cross over into other canon series. Hence the reader can expect to see the TOS Enterprise encountering Daranaeans in some fashion.

There is also the possibility of tackling sexism at some point in some other context. This is possibly under the guise of time travel.


In the tradition of Trek stories begin about contemporary social issues, under the guise of science fiction, I like to comment on any number of societal problems. But it’s sexism that, I think, speaks to me the most.

Posted by jespah

Shuttlepod pilot, fan fiction writer, sentient marsupial canid.