In addition the lack of intersectional identities in Girls, the
show represents a move away from a feminist discourse that
focuses on the social, economic, and political structures that
oppress women and a move toward freedom and choices for
individual woman, particularly women who are operating from
positions of privilege. In these ways, the show is not unlike HBO’s
early 2000s hit show Sex in the City (1998-2004). Linder and Dalton
(214) argue that Sex in the City’s focus on individual empowerment
through consumerism (think of all the shopping), rather than the
social, political, and economic advancement that liberal feminism
seeks, limits its usefulness as a text to combat misogyny born of
patriarchal systems. Girls suffers from this limitation as well. In
fact, the pilot episode of Girls makes explicit reference to Sex in the
City when Shoshanna claims that she moved to New York City
explicitly because of her love for the show.
While Girls celebrates the complexity of the human
experience as it relates to the individual woman, the benefits of
dynamic female representation in the lead roles are undermined by
the narrative detachment of the individual from the systems of
society. Moving forward, I will use postfeminism as a lens by which
to uncover the detrimental effect of Girls (and similar media texts
and discursive threads) on efforts toward social justice and reform
that art from a self-proclaimed feminist should support (either
directly or contextually through critical readings). To describe
something a text, a culture, a moment as being “postfeminist”
is, in a way, exactly what it sounds like, a perspective that comes
after, or exceeds, feminism. In other words, the term describes an
expression of womanhood that assumes the social advances of
Second Wave Feminism of the 1960s and 70s as a given, presenting
women who have seemingly moved past a need to acknowledge
systemic oppressions (Kissling). To describe a media text as
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