I first heard of Andi and her First Time Trekker project to live-tweet her spontaneous first reactions to all the episodes of Star Trek when she was interviewed on All Things Trek. When I heard she was a fair ways into watching TOS (she started with TNG), and knowing she’s a feminist, I wanted to chat with her about women in TOS and why that’s important to look at. Here’s our chat! You can follow Andi and read her amazing and often hilarious episode tweets at @FirstTimeTrek and she’s also on Tumblr at firsttimetrek.tumblr.com.
Jarrah: Hey, Andi! Thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your project and where you’re at currently?
Andi: Hi! So, I’m Andi and I’m a geek. I had a lot of geek fandoms before this but had always resisted getting into Star Trek. Basically, I knew I would love it too much. Plus, I have this contrary nature, so the more people would tell me to watch Star Trek the more I would resist! Because I had resisted it for almost 12 years, when I finally decided to watch it, I felt like I had to make it special. So I decided to live-tweet it because I know how fun it is to watch your friends watch something you love for the first time, and to hang on their every expression. I honestly thought I’d do it a few episodes and lose interest, but the reaction was surprisingly positive and the live-tweeting made it so fun that I just kept going!
Jarrah: It’s super fun to read, too!
Andi: Awww, thanks! And now, much to my constant surprise, people actually ask me to talk about Star Trek, which is surreal but awesome.
Jarrah: Cool. So where are you at now with your project?
Andi: I am about halfway through The Original Series. I just finished “A Piece of the Action,” which was super enjoyable.
Jarrah: So I wanted to talk a bit about TOS. From reading your tweets and listening to a couple of interviews you’ve done, it’s clear that you’re interested in how women are portrayed in Star Trek. Did you have any expectations about how things would be for women in TOS?
Andi: Creeping dread? My followers know extremely well how feminist I am and when I went to go to TOS I got a lot of tweets from followers I trust that basically amounted to, “BRACE YOURSELF. MISOGYNY IS COMING.” So I had a good idea that it was going to be painful.
Jarrah: I know I wasn’t really as ready for the sexism when I started doing my feminist re-watch. I hadn’t noticed it when I was a kid, so what I remembered was how Trek values diversity, and I didn’t realize some parts were going to be so awful. *cough* “Mudd’s Women” *cough*
Andi: Yeah, there were a few episodes that legitimately upset me. Like, not just “Ugh, that was terrible, oh well,” but genuinely emotionally difficult.
You get a little moody sometimes but I think that’s because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.