Analysis Of Grace And Frankie

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A Third Wave Feminist Textual Analysis of “Grace and Frankie”: The Intersection of Age, Gender, Race and Class This paper utilizes a third-wave feminist lens applied through a textual analysis of the first season of Netflix original series: “Grace and Frankie”. The show’s two older protagonists provide a narrative of marginalized women, based on the intersection of multiple identities and their social positions, also known as intersectionality (Carastathis 2014). The paper will review the character’s multiple identities as thematic focuses contributing to the larger construction of each character. In the context of third-wave feminism, “individual narratives” and “intersectionality” are prioritized as third wave theory attempts “ account…show more content…
However, intersectionality originates separately from its current application. As a development from Black feminist thought, intersectionality originates from Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, a Black feminist legal scholar (Carastathis 2014, p 304-305). Yet, the notion of multiple oppressions was not created with intersectionality or even third-wave feminism but in the 1970’s as Frances Beal’s “double jeopardy” as well as several other iterations of the concept through Black feminist thought, as explained by Carastathis (2014, p 305). The application of intersectionality in cases of age, sexuality, and class is an extrapolation of “double jeopardy” which was originally created to address the experiences of black women. In current scholarship, intersectionality is utilized as a theory, methodology, or tool to discuss how identities are never independent, monolithic experiences (Carastathis 2014, p 307). Rebecca Ann Lind writes in an introduction for Race/Gender/Media: “The variety of social groups noted above raises an important issue: Each of us is a product of a combination of experiences and identities, rooted in a variety of socially constructed classifications” (2004, 5). Applying double jeopardy and intersectional concepts to the protagonists of Grace and Frankie without acknowledging its origins to measure race exhibits poor scholarship and erasure of Black…show more content…
Diane Gibson discusses how the generally negative examples of older women in media is due to the reflection of actual societal values that disenfranchises women in the real world, further reinforcing these negative images (Gibson 1996). Jodi Brooks acknowledges the marginal roles that are relegated to older women who not only carry their physical age but their social age, burdened to represent themselves in their prime while trying to inhabit the present (Brooks 1999). Some of these negative media representations commonly include: the invisibility of older women, the sexual ineligibility of older women, the aversion to older women, and the tendency to turn these older women into villains (Dolan 2003). The invisibility of older actresses can be understood as Josephine Dolan describes: “...the pattern of refusing to cast older female stars in significant roles, or casting them as marginal characters or as pathological figures,” (Dolan 2003, p 343), Dolan explains the exclusion of older women in lead roles as the combination of male gaze and youthful gaze, expecting both mainstream femininity and “natural” youthfulness. Older actresses often seek surgery and procedures that alter their appearances to preserve youth and flaunt a “successful aging” by defining what it means to age (Dolan

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