The Negative View of Feminism Given Off by Gossip Girl

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Feminism has without a doubt changed over the past hundred years. What started out as a fight for equal civil rights turning into a term with many different opinions and definitions. There are multiple approaches on how to define the feminism movement. Today, television and the media play a large part in how the public views feminism. How television interprets feminism is, for the most part, how the rest of the public will as well. Since television plays such a large part in influencing the public, this paper will aim to see if specifically the television series Gossip Girl has an attitude that gives off a negative view of feminism.
In order to examine this question there must be an understanding of what feminism is. Since feminism has changed so much over the years, the three different waves need to be looked at. Secondly, it needs to be clear what anti-feminism representations would be, along with post-feminism representations. Then, there needs to be an examination of how women have been portrayed in television and media in the past couple of decades.
These three factors will help establish a basis to further examine the negative messages of feminism that Gossip Girl gives out. This paper will look at two episodes of Gossip Girl and more specifically the character Blair Waldorf to see what and how negative views of feminism are being shown.
Part I: Feminism and its Three Waves
It is difficult to have just one single definition of what feminism is. Sally Scholz states that a very general definition of feminism would be “equal rights for women” (1). She goes on to say though that feminism “looks at all aspects of life to identify those elements that might be oppressive and suggests alternatives” (1). Susan Loui...

... middle of paper ... 5 years of having Blair go back and forth in relationships. It goes back to the idea that “girls are more valuable if they were desired by boys” (Myers 8). There are hardly any episodes where Blair is a single woman. This gives off the impression that Blair simply couldn’t be successful if she didn’t have a man by her side.
Feminism will always be around with changing definitions and different meanings. Feminism represented in television will also be constantly changing, given the fact that it has already changed so much in the past 40 years. The series Gossip Girl has further helped the understanding of representations of feminism in television and media. This show displayed what kind of anti-feminist messages are given off to the public. It showed how it interpreted feminism which is likely how it was interpreted by the shows fandom as well.
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