1. Emperor Georgiou and Female Masculinity in Star Trek: Discovery

In this introductory episode, Janine Engelbrecht discusses Star Trek: Discovery’s Emperor Georgiou as a feminist character. Specifically, she looks at the Season 3 episode, “Terra Firma”, and shares some fun Star Trek facts in-between.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
1. Emperor Georgiou and Female Masculinity in Star Trek: Discovery

What’s in episode 1: “Emperor Georgiou and Female Masculinity in Star Trek: Discovery”?


Janine introduces herself and her brand new podcast.

She also gives some background on the topic of this episode, which is Emperor Georgiou from Star Trek: Discovery.

Background on representation in Star Trek

Janine discusses the ways in which female characters have been represented in Star Trek in the past.

Lieutenant Uhura, Deanna Troi, Dr Crusher, Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine are the main topics of this discussion.

Representation in Discovery

Janine briefly gives an overview of the diverse cast and crew of Star Trek: Discovery.

She explains how Discovery is the first Star Trek show that features so many minority characters in main roles.

Michelle Yeoh

“Michelle Yeoh is one of my favorite actresses” Janine says.

She fangirls over Michelle for a while and lists all her favorite movies featuring Michelle Yeoh.

Main argument

Janine explains how she totally disagrees with an imperialist reading of Emperor Georgiou.

She also lets viewers know where to learn more about postfeminism.

Background on the Emperor

“I am extremely wicked, even for a Terran” is a quote by the Emperor that Janine thinks is funny.

Janine tries to explain how Captain Georgiou ended up becoming Emperor Georgiou.

The Mirror Universe

Janine goes on to talk about the role of the infamous Mirror Universe in Star Trek.

She explains what some theorists have said about female rulers from the Mirror Universe.

Emperor Georgiou and Imperial feminism

The brothel scene, in the Star Trek: Discovery episode “Will You Take My Hand?”, is a good example of Georgiou’s Imperial feminism, for Janine.

Janine talks about how Georgiou uses sex, manipulation and violence to achieve her goals.

Imperial feminism and postfeminism

Sex, manipulation and violence makes Georgiou not only an Imperialist, but also a postfeminist character according to Janine.

Janine briefly touches on negative Asian stereotypes in Japanese Anime as well.

Terra Firma

Janine quickly recaps how the Emperor came to the Prime Universe.

The main argument that Janine puts forward is that Georgiou’s crossing allows her to become more than an imperialist/postfeminist character.

Janine then briefly gives a recap of the events in “Terra Firma”.

Discussion of Terra Firma

Georgiou’s changed attitude in “Terra Firma” is the next topic of discussion. She gives a few examples of how Georgiou is a changed woman in “Terra Firma”.

The first example is that Georgiou tries to save Mirror Burnham instead of executing her for mutiny.

Janine digresses a bit. She talks about her second watching of season three of Discovery, and how Georgiou’s change is not out of character.

The second example is that Georgiou saves Mirror Saru by not culling him.

“Emperor Georgiou not only takes Kelpian off the menu”, Janine says, “but she also tells Saru that the Vaharai is not the end”.

Georgiou’s redemption

For Janine, these two examples show that Georgiou is no longer a postfeminist/imperialist character. Instead, there is a greater emphasis on Georgiou’s feminine qualities.

Because of this, Janine thinks that we should reconsider the way in which we see Georgiou.

Thank you for listening

Janine is happy to hear your comments and feedback on this episode.

She also encourages listeners to send her names of characters that they would like her to talk about.

Episode Credits


  • Janine Engelbrecht

Small Print

The theme music is "Dashboard Light" by One Two Feet, and is licenced by Holosuite Media through Epidemic Sound.

This podcast is a fan production. All views made are that of the individual(s), and may not represent that of the podcast, or the Holosuite Media network.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
1. Emperor Georgiou and Female Masculinity in Star Trek: Discovery