I found these reddit posts that I thought gave great insight into what it was like for women in the 1960s who enjoyed Star Trek. Very eye-opening, in my opinion. I hadn’t realized the extent to which women enjoying science fiction was frowned upon. Source: X
[–]Aynielle 6 points 11 months ago: I often wonder if our mothers pined away for members of the og star trek crew like this? William Shatner was a fine man, back in his day. http://www.culch.ie/images/Shatner001.jpg
I went to a private girls’ high school in the mid-late 60’s. I was already a geek, though that wasn’t a term we used. Anyway, I’d already watched the first season of ST by the time I got to school, and was freaking out a bit, ‘cause the dorms had only one TV per dorm; each dorm had about a hundred girls in it.
Star Trek was on Friday nights, so I figured there was no way I’d ever get to see it (it was not as popular at first as everyone seems to say it was). I found out, though, that the first person to sit by the TV after dinner got to say what would be watched! It wasn’t really as much of a race as you’d think, because before Star Trek came on, there was Wild, Wild West, and Robert Conrad with those very, very tight pants (Conrad). Everyone watched that! Actually, it wasn’t till I showed up that anyone bothered leaving the TV on after that.
I watched Star Trek alone for the first couple weeks, then a couple girls stayed with me, then more, and soon it was everybody settling in for two hours of quality coughcough TV.
By sophomore year we had it down to a science: who would make the popcorn, who would bring the drinks, and we would sit there with our hair wrapped around juice cans and coffee cans to get just the right amount of straight vs. curl, in our robes and bunny slippers to watch the best looking guys on TV run around, hopefully without shirts on.
Sophomore year brought us an additional student who was really good at writing. She could write phenomenal satires on whatever literature we were reading, and could translate them into Latin or Greek while she was doing it. Her stories always got passed around (remember, no computers, she wrote them out longhand, then typed them with two sheets of paper and a carbon in between. Some of the stories were a hundred pages or more.)
This girl did a full-length take-off on The Rape of The Lock by John Donne, (which is already a satire) that had us all in stitches, ended up being read by the staff (and it was about them…). We could hear the teachers laughing from rooms away!
Anyway, this is the girl that started writing the Star Trek fanfic. She wrote one for herself and asked me to proofread it (we were roommates), and I begged and begged for one about me till she finally gave in and wrote it. Then another girl found out, and another, and then someone else started writing them. And yes, they would make the rounds, so everybody got to read them all. All written longhand, then typed, collated, stapled, and hopefully treasured by the recipient. I wonder sometimes how many of them still exist.
By the way, when I was at home (school in New York State, home in the Chicago area), I never met another girl who watched Star Trek. Science Fiction was so frowned upon as reading material or watching material for girls, you have no idea. My parents were very upset when they caught me reading my brother’s copies of Asimov, or Clarke. Yeah, I had to hide them under the mattress during the day and read under the covers with a flashlight at night. Even at college, it was rare for me to find another girl who liked science fiction.