Publication Year



Feminist Media Studies, "Girls", Sex Wars, Feminist Television, Sexuality


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Film and Media Studies


This essay analyzes the HBO series Girls (2012-) from a feminist media studies perspective. Through an in depth analysis of the history of feminist television, this paper claims that Girls takes a pro-sex feminist stance on issues of sexuality and identity and therefore progresses the timeline of depictions of feminism in prime-time television. A discussion of the socio-political debates between feminists during the Women’s Liberation Movement, known as the “Sex Wars”, serves to anchor the series to a specific feminist discourse. Ultimately Girls utilizes its coming of age and sex comedy narrative to discuss the uncertainty that comes with exploring one’s sexual identity during early adulthood. The series’ dealings with expressions of conflicting sexual identities, discussions of reproductive justice and themes of complex female friendship furthermore connect it to programs from past decades that were, just as Girls is now, feminist landmarks of their time.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Media and Visual Culture Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License