Amazon Prime’s limited TV series, “Fleabag,” became an instant hit when it first aired in 2016.
Centering around a dry-witted woman whose name isn’t revealed and is simply perceived (not even referred to, since, in the entire series, no one addresses her name at all) as Fleabag—the titular character of the show—the series focuses on the collective experiences of women in their early to late 20s.
Fleabag is sexually liberated, sarcastic and humorous in an obnoxious way that the people around her, especially her family—her sister, Claire, their stepmother who is only referred to as “The Godmother” and her father—find it exhausting to be around her.
Fleabag has tendencies to be self-centered and only thinks of the ramifications of a situation as a direct consequence of how it would affect her. She is the textbook definition of an antihero—a character archetype that veers away from the conventional heroic attributes a main character possesses.
The TV series is a nuanced feminist narrative. It doesn’t showcase in-your-face themes of feminism.
Fleabag doesn’t even pride herself as an overt feminist. Her one-liner in the second season proves this, “I sometimes worry that I wouldn’t be such a feminist if I had bigger tits.”
This singular line points toward modern feminism as a conditional phenomenon. Some women turn to feminism because they think it sets them apart from other women (much like Fleabag) more so than participating in the movement to abolish the patriarchy. Fleabag’s statement suggests that she thinks women who are ideally attractive physically are not feminists. It’s not a necessity for them. Physicality is their weapon against patriarchy.
Fleabag has a difficult time forging relationships with women around her. She incessantly argues with her stepmother and her sister and, in the last episode of the first season, it was revealed she slept with her best friend’s boyfriend which consequently caused her accidental death.
“Fleabag,” ultimately explores the different facets of feminism. One of the stumbling blocks of modern feminism is painting women to be infallible, do-gooders who are empowered by being “girl bosses” and having their life together. Sure, that’s one way to paint feminism.
However, “Fleabag,” showcases the messy, gritty, everyday life most women in their mid to late 20s experience and live. It doesn’t make you less of a feminist if you don’t have your dream job or have everything figured out in life.
The feminine experience is a complicated one. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the producer and Fleabag herself, encapsulates this in the show. It is a light-hearted, sometimes gut-punching drama-comedy that puts emphasis on the importance of female companionship and there should be no clear-cut, foolproof way to approach life.
September 25, 2022
- A A +
SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce, or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.
Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!