“Unlike the classic male nerd archetype that most people tend to picture in their heads, the quintessential Star Trek fan is a woman.”
“It redefined the classic nerd to be much more inclusive. There were more women involved. The entire show was diverse in many ways, including the people that worked on the show. You had women writers and women story editors, and that wasn’t as common back then. A lot of different areas were opened up because of Gene [Roddenberry]’s vision, and a lot of the fannish community took that to heart, which is a very, very good thing.”
"Star Trek fans span the globe and span every walk of life, every age group, and every mainstream cultural or ethnic group. Star Trek fandom is a phenomenon like no other, it has been going strong nearly 45 years, and is certain to continue for many more. Starting with the first letter writing campaign to save the original series, fans have always been inspired to take action. Their inspiration? Why Star Trek of course! As made clear throughout this survey, fans are educated, informed, and active citizens. They have taken the meanings in Star Trek and have applied them in mainstream culture. They have certainly individualized the myth, but share a group ideology that binds fandom together, and across cultural lines. Star Trek fans are by their own definition open minded, community oriented, and accepting people. They may not always agree on what Star Trek is or what terms they prefer to identify one another, but this only adds to the diversity within the group, and it certainly is diverse."
"Who are Star Trek fans? They are not simply teenage boys who live in their mother’s basements as the stereotype goes. They are not the glimpses of costumed characters the media airs when the Trekkies come to town. They are a diverse and vibrant cultural entity. Star Trek fans are educated, with as many, if not more, female fans as male fans, and come to fandom from a broad spectrum of age and demographic. This phenomenon of fandom stems from the fan attraction to the meanings in the mythos of Star Trek. Myths are value-laden discourse that focus on the examination or explanation of the human condition, therefore Star Trek is indeed a powerful myth that has acted as the basis for the formation of the fandom culture. Star Trek represents modern/progressive myth, and as such it legitimizes fan participation in numerous activities. Myth explains the meaning which fans have assigned to both Star Trek and the archetype characters it has created. Star Trek acts as a secular myth for contemporary times by providing cultural symbols and meanings that serve as a model for the formation of a distinct culture. (...)
Now onto women in fandom! Yes indeed, 57% that took this survey reported being female! That means 43% were males. That was not expected, but it was close. This data does support the history of Trek fandom, the current trends in fandom, and the rumors that have buzzed about since the 2009 film came out about how it brought in not only new fans, but more female fans. Women have held a strong presence in science fiction both as professionals and as fans for decades. Fanfic has been dominated by the female fan, and over the past several years, participation by women in fandom has been increasing. The data also demonstrated a correlation between age and sex, further supporting the idea that more women are entering Trek fandom due to the recent 2009 film. Of those females responding, 13 % were between 21-30, overall that age group accounted for 21% of respondents, the second highest age group following the 41-50 year olds, of which accounted for 34% of those responding to the survey in general, 19% were female. From Bjo Trimble and the original letter writing campaign to save the original series to Shirley Majewski (known fondly as the godmother of fandom), women have been a real driving force in Trek fandom. Various reports from the 1960’s and 1970’s rated female involvement in ranges between 17 and 80% at times, most especially in examining fanfic and clubs which were both female dominated areas in fandom and continue to be today."
Daryl G. Frazetti, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
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