I’ve just started re-watching Voyager from the beginning again, and when I came across this scene I had a great flashback to my thoughts the first time I saw this episode, and I couldn’t help feeling the same excitement and happiness.
One of the reasons I love Voyager is its portrayal of women. And no, I don’t just mean because it has a female captain and 3 other women in its main cast. You can throw as many women into a show’s main cast as you like, but if those characters are handled in a bad way there’s no more empowerment in that than if they weren’t there at all.
It’s surprisingly hard among popular TV shows and movies to find conversations between just women, unless the main characters are primarily women, and even if that’s the case, it’s still hard to find ones where the conversation isn’t about men or romance or shopping or their family life…. Ever heard of the Bechedel test?
Anyway, so this is the second ever episode of Voyager (I’m counting Caretaker 1&2 as one episode) and here we have two strong intelligent women, the only women in a meeting of the senior staff, having an intense conversation about a complex scientific topic that only they are familiar with.
Everyone else in the room just stays silent, they have no idea what they’re talking about, none of them are familiar with Temporal Mechanics, and god forbid they try and get in the way of those two brilliant minds who’ve taken complete control of the situation in the room. They’re head-strong women in powerful positions on a meaningful mission.
The rest of the episode pretty much follows this line too, B’Elanna and Kathryn get shit done AND make it back to Voyager AND save the whole damn day. And you know what? They do it time and fucking time again for the rest of the series, and they cry and they laugh and they both at some point fall in love, and yet they just keep having more deep, intelligent conversations and adventures together. But, as a first time viewer seeing this episode….
I could not be more damn proud to be a woman.