Imagine a bizarre and terrifying planet in which women rule, and men are second-class citizens, or worse…slaves.
Yep, it’s either one of the most sexist tropes in all of sci-fi TV history, or one of the cleverest.
The hypothetical matriarchal culture in this brand of story is supposed to be representative of an “upside down” kind of culture that needs fixing.
But by the same token, the ridiculously sexist aspects of such a culture also point out sexist aspects of our real life culture, don’t they?
So these stories often walk a knife’s edge.
In one sense, they point out the stupidity of discrimination based on sex.
On the other hand, they often pander to male sex fantasies about being dominated by Amazonian females.
So please make note too, how in these supposedly female-driven cultures, the women actually wear the skimpiest, sexiest of clothing.
Because those outfits are comfortable, right? Not because men like ogling women in them.
Without further prologue, then, here are the eleven craziest “female dominated” societies of cult-TV history.
1.“Sigma Draconis VI,” (Star Trek: “Spock’s Brain ).
The women of this distant planet are known as Eymorgs, and dress in colorful go-go boots and mini-skirts.
Although they lord it over the men of their world (Morgs), they don’t actually possess superior intelligence. Instead, a computer called The Teacher runs their society.
However, the Eymorgs are known by the Morgs as being bringers of “Pain and Delight.” Nothing sexist about that description, right?
2.“Taurus II,” (Star Trek: The Animated Series: “The Lorelei Signal” )
In the Taurean solar system, the men of the Enterprise hear the irresistible “siren” call of a race of psychic female vampires, who survive by draining the life and potency out of male starship crews.
Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) takes command when the men are incapacitated and rendered docile by the life-force-draining female vampires.
3.“The Confederacy of Ruth,” (Planet Earth).
In this post-apocalyptic pilot/TV-movie from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, hero Dylan Hunt (John Saxon) attempts to rescue a physician from “The Confederacy of Ruth.” The matriarchal culture is ruled by the dictatorial Marg (Diana Muldaur), and all men — known as “Dinks” — are considered mere property.” The men are also routinely drugged by the women to make them compliant and untroubled by their status as slaves.
4.”Medusa,” (Star Maidens).
In this short-lived German/British series created by Eric Paice, the rogue planet Medusa drifts in space, and its inhabitants dwell in an underground Utopia. There, women rule, and men serve as domestic servants. Two slaves, Shem (Gareth Thomas) and Adam (Pierre Brice) decide they are tired of being taken for granted and make a run to nearby Earth.
Their female masters pursue, but are troubled by the fact that Earth is ruled by men. Indeed, the Medusan mistresses claim such a set-up is in “violation of all common sense.” Considering the Earth a “great disappointment,” the Medusan Matriarchy sets out to retrieve Shem and Adam. If they fail, a new, illegal “men’s liberation movement” could take hold on Medusa, overturning the apple cart.
5.“Betha,” (Space: 1999: “The Last Enemy” ).
Wandering Moonbase Alpha encounters a solar system where the war of the sexes has taken on a new dimension. The planet Betha seems to be populated solely by women, and is locked in a perpetual war with a planet called Delta, inhabited solely by men. One female commander from Delta, Dione (Caroline Mortimer), plots to use the lost moon as a gun platform.
6. Entra,” (Space: 1999:“Devil’s Planet” ).
In this second season episode of Space: 1999, Commander Koenig (Martin Landau) is captured by Elizia (Hildegard Neil), the warden, governor and ruler of the prison colony of Entra. The prisoners incarcerated there are all men — political dissidents who spoke against female rule, apparently — and are now guarded by cat-suited Amazon women who wield whips.
7.The Bermuda Triangle, (The Fantastic Journey: “Turnabout” ). In this episode of the short-lived NBC TV series set in the Bermuda Triangle, Queen Hayalana (Joan Collins) tires of her brutish husband and his stupid men and with the help of a powerful computer called “The Complex,” transports all the males of the province away to a null zone, or pocket universe.
Promising “an end to male domination,” Hayalana then captures the series’ heroes, Varian (Jared Martin), Dr. Willaway (Roddy McDowall), Scott Jordan (Ike Eisenmann) and Dr. Fred Walters (Carl Franklin), and plans to keep them as “breeding stock.”
Hayalana’s plans come crashing down however, when none of the women in the province are capable of controlling “The Complex,” a computer built by a man. D’oh!
8.”Xantia,” (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: “Planet of the Amazon Women.”)
Buck (Gil Gerard) is captured by gorgeous alien slave traders and auctioned off to the highest bidder in this first season episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
All the men of Xantia have either been killed in one of their incessant wars, or are being held prisoner by the planet’s enemy: the Ruathans. Thus the women of Xantia need some company, not to mention some strong backs to perform all the physical labor. Put on auction, Buck is stripped down to his chest, and the women “bidders” gasp over his manly physique!
9.”Adore” (Otherworld: “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”)
In this episode of the 1985 cult favorite Otherworld, a militant female society rules the roost in the province of “Adore,” founded by a female Zone Trooper commandment, Livia. The men in “Adore” do not even know how to read, and the “gender stratification” laws discourage marriage. A “gender patrol” walks the streets, maintaining order, and girls ogle slave men in the popular magazine, “Available Hunk.”
And, of course, there’s the Gender Arcade, the marketplace where men are greased up, stripped down, and sold to the highest bidder.
When the patriarch of the Sterling family, Hal (Sam Groom), objects to the status of males as second-class citizens, a woman in power reminds him to: “keep in mind that this is a conservative part of town and will resist compromise.”
And when Hal’s wife, June (Gretchen Corbett) sticks up for him, the same women sneers: “Oh…I understand…you’re progressives.”
10.”Angel One,” (Star Trek: The Next Generation :”Angel One.”)
In this first season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Enterprise D visits the Matriarchy of “Angel One” in hopes of finding out if survivors of a freighter, the Odin, landed there. They find out that a group of men did survive, and are making trouble for the rigid female leadership.
Mistress Baeta (Karen Montgomery) — or “the elected one” — pronounces the death sentence for the survivors of the Odin and any women unwise enough to attempt to alter the peace of Angel One’s female-dominated society.
Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) steps in to argue against the death penalty. Ultimately, he is persuasive…perhaps because Mistress Baeta still remembers the space stud in his colorful, open-chest blouse and earrings…
11. Earth (Sliders: “The Weaker Sex” )
Hillary Clinton is the President of the United States of America on an alternate Earth in this early episode of Sliders. On this parallel planet, men are believed to be the weaker sex, and Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) attempts to strike a blow for men’s lib by running for office.