Hannah is not the only woman “saved” by a man on Girls.
Jessa, in the episode “Female Author” from the fourth season,
pleads with Adam for his continued friendship after getting herself
into yet another disciplinary situation—this time trouble with the
police for public urination. She says to him, reluctant yet dejected,
“I really need you to be my friend right now.” Jessa’s female
friendships are not sufficient, especially with Hannah gone to Iowa
for graduate school, and much like Hannah during the second
season finale, she needs to lean on Adam for support. This is a
continuing pattern throughout the first five seasons of the series
with all four of the primary characters being saved from themselves
by a boyfriend at one or multiple points along the narrative. It is
the classic, white-knight trope. These women, though they flirt
with independence, are represented as being in desperate need of
a man to complete them and to fulfill the happiness they seek.
More important than their function as markers of
postfeminism, these tropes highlight the continuing need for an
organized and collective feminist movement. Even a show that
depicts women who transcend the classic gender constraints of
traditional sitcom like motherhood and monogamy depends
on and subtly reinforces more misogynist stereotypes than may be
obvious at first glance. The so-called feminism of Girls is
undermined when women are represented holding unfulfilling jobs
and in need of a man to put them back together after trying to
“have it all” (Orr Vered and Humphreys). Continued feminist
critique is clearly necessary; as Vered and Humphreys argue, the
existing post-feminism seems impossible in light of the
pervasiveness of these misogynist tropes (158).
The Free Woman
The postfeminist woman is also marked by her expression
of what it means to be liberated, particularly that liberation is
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