No, New Republic, Broad City is not “post feminist”. It is, in fact, FEMINIST AS $#%&. Let this rant (a probably poorly written one at that) ensue.
It has been a common tactic for people to pass off various forms of media as post-feminist in recent decades. This comes from an idea that we live in a society that has reached gender equality, which is just not fucking true (and these are just instances from North America). By calling something post-feminist, this New Republic writer is, intentionally or not, telling viewers that if they find empowerment from this show, they’re wrong. I’m just really not a fan of that.
Now, for those of you who haven’t watched Broad City, YOU SHOULD, but I don’t know how you can because they took it off of Hulu (cough cough project free TV cough). Here’s a summary: Broad City was created by two hilarious female comedians, who also happen to star in the TV show. The first season follows the antics of these two women in New York City, as Ilana and Abbi struggle to establish the lives they want after college. They date/have sex, smoke weed, and just try to live their lives. Ilana is a free spirit while Abbi is more grounded in trying to be successful. Their friendship is the central focus of the series, and I personally love it because it has great representation of female comedians
This show is overflowing what I would call “everyday feminism”. Here are 7 reasons why it’s feminist:
1. Well first of all, the creators are feminists. Though they didn’t create Broad City to be a feminist comedy, it just kind of happened through osmosis (is that a correct science analogy? Whatever).
2. Amy Poehler produces this gem of a TV show, and she is a very prominent advocate for the feminist movement. Plus, she guest stars in my favorite episode of the season (“Last Supper”)
3. This is a TV show that focuses on positive, uplifting, female friendships. Now, other shows like Sex and the City do that as well, but I find Broad City to be more realistic and relatable. The central premise isn’t dating or sex (though it’s a theme), it’s the friendship between Ilana and Abbi.
4. The financial struggles that our lead characters face are realistic of 20-something women who just graduated college, and class differences are often pointed out in a comedic fashion.
5. “Sometimes, you’re so anti-racist that you’re actually really racist” -Abbi to Ilana. These friends will call each other out on issues if need be, but again, in a way that doesn’t hit you over the head.
6. Sex is addressed from a woman’s point of view, which is so not prevalent in the porn-y media we consume. In “Stolen Phone”, Ilana hooks up with a guy who seems to prefer when ladies go au naturale, and who’s main goal is giving her sexual pleasure. Now, that is NOT common in so many popular TV shows.
7. The women’s appearances are rarely used as comedic crutches. Instead, Ilana and Abbi uplift each other pretty consistently, and compliment one another’s appearances.
To sum it all, there’s no way you could classify Broad City as post feminist, when it confronts so many feminist issues, but in a covert way. Also post feminism isn’t even a real thing since we still live in the patriarchy. Anyway, the success and hilarity just shows that when women break through the comedic glass ceiling, wonderful things happen.