Summary: In this video from Feminist Frequency, the trope of the "Straw Feminist" is discussed and deconstructed using examples from a variety of films and TV shows. The video explains the Straw Feminist by pointing out the recurring introduction of a character who is identified as a "feminist" but which exists primarily to propagate and reinforce broad and frequently offensive stereotypes of feminists/feminism, and thereby to undermine the issues that feminism seeks to address. The video also discusses how the explicit separation of otherwise strong, well-realized female characters from "feminist" characters serves to encourage viewers to identify themselves as supporters of women's rights and equality--while at the same time to insist that they are not feminists. This is a good way to open or augment a classroom discussion of common popular (mis)conceptions of feminism and women's rights activists, including where the conceptions themselves come from, and what the consequences of their spread might be. Click here for additional resources from Feminist Frequency on the Straw Feminist.
Two additional clips from The Sociological Cinema that would pair well with a class discussion on the Straw Feminist include posts on the Powerpuff Girls and Lady Gaga's disavowal of feminism.
Submitted By: Sarah Wanenchak