A few of you mentioned Janice Lester. Frankly, I'd be just as happy if they just retconned it so that women could always be captain - and Janice couldnt be captain because she was NUTS, not because she was a woman.
after all, we saw women captains in the movies.
I just don't think we've seen enough (if any) women Captains in this universe to prove JL wrong.
In TOS including the movies I remember just one woman captain and that was well after the time of JL.
- Regardless of the original intent of saying women couldn't be starship captains, Janice Lester's remark can easily be read as ambiguous and could also refer to starship captains not being able to carry on lasting romantic relationships --in this case with a woman. This fits Kirk's problem in prior relationships (Carol Marcus) and later ones (Antonia). Look at the context of the remark. It's about their romantic relationship, so it's easy enough to retcon the captain remark to also be about that as well.
Dr. Janice Lester: I hoped I wouldn't see you again.
Captain James T. Kirk: I don't blame you.
Dr. Janice Lester: The year we were together at Starfleet is the only time in my life I was alive.
Captain James T. Kirk: I never stopped you from going on with your space work.
Dr. Janice Lester: Your world of starship captains doesn't admit women. It isn't fair.
Captain James T. Kirk: No, it isn't, and you punished and tortured me because of it.
Dr. Janice Lester: I loved you. We could have roamed among the stars.
Captain James T. Kirk: We'd have killed each other.
Dr. Janice Lester: It might have been better.
- Lester was crazy, so she's an unreliable witness.
- There were female captains prior to the TOS era (Erika Hernandez), soon after the TOS era (the female captain in STIV and the female captains/flag officers in the Starfleet conference in STVI), and in the alternate universe TOS era (there are at least six women present in the Daystrom conference of captains, XOs, and flag officers in STiD). Then you have Number One from The Cage
. If women weren't allowed to command, it wouldn't make much sense to give them the XO position either where you're constantly filling in for the captain anyway, and would take over in the event of his death or incapacitation.
- It's such an anachronistic and sexist remark that it's best to just forget about it and not try and incorporate the gender hangups of the 60s into modern storytelling.