I’ll be frank. This review has been difficult for me. This podcast was recommended to me by Travis McElroy, host of MBMBaM, Adventure Zone, and Bunker Buddies. When a host of three podcasts I love recommend another podcast, I will give it a listen. So I boldly went where I’ve never been before.
First, the facts: Women at Warp is a podcast “where four women talk about Star Trek, its representations of women, contributions of women behind the scenes, and other fun Trek topics.” The hosts Andi, Grace, Jarrah, and Sue started their podcast March 22, 2015. They release new episodes twice per month. Episodes cover a variety of topics, including discussions of various characters, episode reviews, women’s issues in various Star Trek races, and Star Trek movie reviews. The show discusses all the Star Trek franchises and movies.
Now for the tricky part. I very much disliked episode 1. I loved the most recent episode (episode 28). Everything in the middle was a journey for me. A very personal, introspective journey through a perspective very different from my own.
First Impressions: At first, I did not understand why these angry feminists were taking time out of their busy schedules to discuss a show they so hated. They would pay lip service to “loving” the show, from 1966 to the most present JJ-verse, but would criticize it for the next hour. Discussing rape culture, skirt length, chauvinism, and what it means to be feminine are not topics that come up very often for me. My first impression was quite negative. I thought the hosts hated all the male characters, loved all the female characters, hated all the writers (except D.C. Fontana), hated anytime Kirk or Riker “got the girl”, and most importantly hated Harry Mudd.
Inspiration / Introspection: You see, I am a white, suburban, reasonably educated male living in Indiana, U.S.A. I also grew up watching TOS during Labor Day marathons, and TNG the rest of the year. I was introduced to the show from my hero, my father. And these women were attacking MY childhood when they were finding flaws in Star Trek.
I made the decision to continue listening to more episodes. And I am glad I did. What I learned as I continued to listen more is that these hosts have a very different world view than I do. The more I listened, the more I started to see the world through the host’s eyes.
Perhaps I do not fully understand how the hosts view the world (or an episode of Voyager). However, I feel as though I am far closer to understanding women’s issues than when I began this show. I thought I was listening to a podcast about a sci-fi show, but I was really finding a common subject (Star Trek) to learn a whole new way of thinking. That is astonishing to me. Great job, Women at Warp! I heartily recommend this podcast.
p.s. I apologize for calling the hosts angry feminists. This was my honest first impression, and this opinion has evolved as I continued to listen.