Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura, on the bridge of the Enterprise, Star Trek the Original Series

Diagnostic Girlhood Crushes

Karin Kallmaker Favorite Things 0 Comments

Smart. Competent. They talk back. They wield magic both figurative and literal. They dance and sing, and know how to defend themselves. They’re classy, stylish, and I truly, deeply, wanted to be their besty bestest friend.

I fell hard for them all at an impressionable age, and they all spoiled me for life. They’re the reason why I always knew that women were the heroes of their own lives.

  • Secret Agent Emma Peel made her own decisions and rescued herself, more often than not – I even named a character after her.
  • The down-to-earth, supports herself, and always right Della Street who never tolerated disrespect. When her boss was super busy solving murders who did all the lawyering? She did.
  • Superhero Batgirl (the purple motorcycle and spandex version) who was a librarian and made her own crime fighting agenda. Though she was sometimes rescued by some guy in a cape, most of the time Barbara Gordon rushed into danger and saved herself in the end.
  • The ultimate subverter of mansplaining Mary Poppins. My adoration started very young.
  • The technologically competent, linguistic genius, musical Nyota Uhura. Nobody ignored her rank a second time. When her equipment broke, she fixed it. A favorite moment isn’t from the original series, though. It’s in The Search for Spock when a cadet who’d belittled her experience and age ends up stuffed into a closet.

        My discovery of Star Trek and Lieutenant Uhura was a little later than the others, but early enough that I accepted and believed that the visuals of integration and equality I saw in most episodes was the way the world really was. We should be so lucky.


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