Gene Roddenberry received a lot of fan mail from Star Trek fans eager to show how much they loved the franchise. Some wanted his autograph, and others just hoped for a response from the the Great Bird of the Galaxy. But there was one fan who had more important reasons for sending a letter—she wanted to help Roddenberry improve Star Trek, and one of her main points was the women’s uniforms.
The Facebook page, The Trek Files, offers images of Amy Foller’s correspondence dated June 27, 1975, and she starts with telling Roddenberry how much she appreciates Star Trek, going into great detail about the impact the show has had on her life. On page two of the letter, Koller tells Roddenberry that the episode “Who Mourns for Adonais” offered one of the worst examples as to how women are portrayed aboard the Enterprise and in Star Trek altogether. She suggests that one thing Roddenberry could do to improve the believability factor of Star Trek as well as the status of women in Starfleet was to “change the women’s uniforms to pant uniforms like the men’s.”
Foller shared the practical reasons for the change, one of which was being the different climates of various planets, some of which might be harsh. She also added that pants were more sensible aboard the ship, especially if the women were crawling under the panels and working with corrosive material in the science lab. Then she added on the socio-political side that the present uniforms (mini-skirts) made it clear to women officers, including Lt. Uhura, who “really wears the pants aboard this starship.”
She closes her letter by telling Roddenberry that she “would consider it a rare privilege to help out in any manner that I am able.” This letter arrived before the 1979 movie which showed women in uniforms much different than those of The Original Series. Whether or not Amy Koller’s letter had an impact, there was a definite change in the women of Star Trek after The Motion Picture aired.