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Shrill: Fake Feminism Is Way Worse Than No Feminism


Well, I binged hard on the second season of Shill last night. And it was good, to be honest. For the most part it gave the vibe of a sophomore slump, but I can safely say that the second season was overall enjoyable, fun and hilarious at times.

Some of the characters were nicely developed, and there were nice new themes that were explored and presented. One of those themes was the FEMINISM. Yeah, I know. Everybody keeps telling me that they’re feminists, but very seldom they actually mean it. And precisely that is the biggest problem among the feminists. No, not the hate against feminism. The pretend feminism. Very few of us are genuine and sincere in calling themselves feminists. I get that. Maybe it has to do with the upbringing or the societal pressures to comfort and relent to the patriarchy, but feminism these days is nothing more than a label. It’s sad but it’s true.

What was once a whole movement for liberation, women’s rights and equality, now is just a marketing tool to exploit women. Just a regular noun without real meaning. A fake label that does more harm than good and that whole ordeal was beautifully depicted in the second season of Shill. The 6th episode of the second season is a true marvel in that respect, and I cannot recommend that episode enough. Directed by the genius that is Natasha Lyonne, the “WAHAM” episode of Shrill is a true TV masterpiece.

What was “WAHAM” all about? Well, as the title of this post suggests… Fake feminism. Aidy Bryant’s character Annie will attend a “WAHAM” conference (a female empowerment type of conference), in order to write an article for the news outlet that she works for. And that’s all fine and dandy, until she goes to the actual conference and actually meets the women that identify themselves as feminists. Let me tell you up front. They’re anything but feminists.

When Annie asked Justine – aka the keynote speaker of the conference (played by fellow SNL alumni Vanessa Bayer) why the tickets cost 300 dollars, she mentions that she sponsors plenty of unfortunate ladies  (you know… from the low income families) and they’re welcome to attend the conference free of charge… but no woman from the low income families was ever present because…. You’ve guessed it… They couldn’t get off work in order to come.

So, this high end conference was just for the rich, white women who are just there to sell you 150 dollars vibrators or 100 dollars snake oil bottles. WAHAM has taught us that apparently feminism these days is very much fake and very much monetized. Everybody will flaunt your feminism card in your face, but as long as they can get something out of you. Money, social validation, social promotion or whatever it may be.

In another great and poignant scene, Annie attends Justine’s keynote address, and she’s given a pretty pink T-shirt that is just 2-3 sizes too small to her body. When she asks the usher lady for a bigger size, the woman says, “We have a very generous medium. It’s like a dress on me.” Yeah… add thin to the rich, white feminist ladies of today. Because god forbid if you’re stick thin you’re somehow not worthy of anything nice. Like a T-Shit.

So… Yeah… The 6th episode of Shill really hit me in the stomach. It showed us how fake feminism is worse than no feminism at all. The mask, the deception and the delusion of having equal rights is the one that gets me. But I’m glad and thankful that someone is speaking about it.


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