Mindy…Postfeminist?

I think the Mindy Project opens the door for an interesting conversation about postfeminism. The author of the blog writes, “The recent trend in television features women in a different light, which is an attempt to differentiate how they were portrayed decades ago. Both of these shows [the article also discusses the The Good Wife] demonstrate the supposedly new, modern portrayal of women in current television – even though the same, antiquated gender roles and ideologies are echoed.” Like we discussed in class, the notion of postfeminism implies that we live in a world that has no need for feminism–because the goals of feminism have already been achieved. So, in theory men and women should be equal and can both be professional, etc. But I’m not entirely sure where the Mindy Project fits into the idea of postfeminism. I feel like the fact that men factor so greatly into her life suggests that men and women are not equal and therefore feminism is still “needed.”

I feel like it is still safe to assert that there is still pressure for women in their mid-twenties to early thirties to “find the right guy and settle down.” After watching the Mindy Project, I’m not sure if the show affirms or rebuffs this expectation. In the episode, Mindy is on a first date which seems to be awkward but not going horribly until she gets a phone call that forces her to leave her date and deliver a child. In a way, I feel like this illustrates that she (and the show) are moving past the expectation that a woman must find a guy and settle down; however, the rest of the show seems to be very focused on her dating life and less on her as a professional. Upon her arrival to the hospital, she begins her transformation from beautiful woman to professional woman. Is it too much of a stretch to say that the contrast between the professional and beautiful/attractive suggests that professional women cannot be attractive? Or, is it simply that her scrubs are an equalizer that strip her of any gender and allow her to just be a great OBGYN?  

The author of the blog raises similar concerns, “Though these shows display a new view of women – being independent, strong, developing their own code of ethics and personalities and having their own careers – there exists an underlying factor that is concealed. Mindy, though quirky and independent – is always referring to how she is single, and is constantly searching for a man, or redefining her relationships with the men in her life (in particular her coworkers).” So, even though Mindy has a successful professional life; there is still something missing––she has not yet met a man and that seems to be the thing that would make her life “perfect.”

http://youcankissmysass.com/because-youre-scholarly/post-feminism-in-fall-2012-television/

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2 thoughts on “Mindy…Postfeminist?

  1. I really like your point that you make about her transition from date-Mindy to doctor- Mindy. The part of that scene that sticks out the most is the changing of her underwear. She changes from the extremely girly and sexy underwear to the bland and less attractive. I think that it gives the viewer the understanding that you can’t have both, a great job and great social life. While she is a successful OB/GYN, her personal life is mostly in shambles. And her hooking up with another co-worker is just making her feel worse about herself, almost like she is taking a stand against the traditional relationship, but yet she since it makes her feel so terrible, she just wants to find a man to make her life “perfect.” And unlike Sex and the City that uses sex to show their girl power, her casual sex is actually making her feel less.

  2. Tremendous points in both the post and in your comment, Meleeya. We’ll talk about this in class today, but I wonder if The Mindy Project offers a hint of the more dystopic elements of postfeminism — Mindy was RAISED on postfeminist ideals in the form of the rom-com; now that she’s an adult, she finds herself so dissatisfied….

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