Date of Completion

5-1-2022

Thesis Advisor(s)

Kathy Knapp

Honors Major

English

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Film and Media Studies | Social Media | Television

Abstract

On-screen and literary works have increasingly represented a new, digital-age wave of postfeminism: dissociative feminism, which rejects happy-go-lucky, sex-positive fourth-wave feminism, instead embracing nihilism. Fleabag, the titular character of the hit BBC miniseries Fleabag (2016–9), embodies dissociative feminism, though she ultimately comes to reject this darkly relatable perspective. However, social media largely ignores this latter, essential aspect of her character arc and has taken to romanticizing Fleabag’s feminist ideology, effectively constructing a harmful and dangerous virtual echo chamber of dissociative feminism. Participants in this online discourse should instead turn to the HBO limited series I May Destroy You (2020) for guidance on exiting the dissociative feminism echo chamber, and to Fleabag for guidance on wholly abandoning the movement in favor of a more hopeful feminism: individualized feminism.

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