Raucous feminisms in neoliberal times
disruptive potential and the language of unruliness on Broad City
Keywords:neoliberalism, multimodal critical discourse analysis, media
There is no shortage of media representations that reinforce the neoliberal order, emphasise individual freedom and self-regulation and downplay structural inequities and systemic oppression. The current paper analyses an alternative representation that works to dismantle the dominant social order. I interrogate the disruptive potential of the ‘unruly woman’ on Broad City by exploring two discursive themes that present robust alternatives to a neoliberal feminist agenda: transgressive representations of female sexuality and desire and the visibility and normalisation of ‘unfeminine’ behaviours. Multimodal critical discourse analysis reveals how these themes highlight the tension between women’s will to act freely and the structural binds that keep groups oppressed beyond any freedom individuals may enjoy. As white women, Ilana and Abbi’s racial privilege is central in scaffolding their gendered freedom; however, self-reflexive critiques and inclusion of diverse, non-tokenised representations show a path
forward towards a collective and liberatory intersectional feminism.
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