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Elaine as one of the boys.

Friends cast. Girls cast.


Relationships Elaine has many relationships over the course of the series. In fact, it seems like she’s dating a different guy with every new episode. She goes through boyfriends like Kleenex, and like Jerry, breaks up with them for very petty reasons (Worth 32). It is very common to see the main women in television shows ending up with someone by the end of the series. However, that is not the case with Elaine. She ends up with no one and is completely okay with it. She does not need a man to be happy: she has a job, she has great friends, and she likes the life she is living.. However, I will argue that, in contrasting two shows that represent women as so-called feminists, Seinfeld more accurately portrays Elaine as a feminist that women should look up to. Those two shows are Friends (1994-2004), and the current hit series, Girls (2012-present). This is not the case in Friends. Men are a very vital part of the women’s lives in the show, especially in the case of Monica and Rachel. Monica and Chandler end up getting married, and Rachel and Ross, the show’s star couple, end up together as well (Huffington Post). In the final episode, Rachel is offered a job in Paris, which she ends up denying so that she can stay with Ross (10.18). This ending suggests that, to be happy, a woman needs a man in her life. Rachel turned down her dream job to be with Ross, and while that is very romantic, it is not necessarily believable. Lastly, Hannah from Girls, has a relationship with her friend, Adam, which is somehow framed as a representation of a good relationship, when, in reality, is just not the case. As said before, Adam is very degrading when he has sex with Hannah. He is commanding, says very strange things, and

never lets an ounce of romance in on the event. He “jokes” one time that he is going to anally penetrate her without her consent, which, when said in other circumstances, is usually deemed as rape (Scott). On top of that, it seems like the only reason he sees her is so he can have sex with her. Although this show’s realism is refreshing to see on television, this relationship puts Hannah in a terrible light, and women should really not be looking up to her as a role model. If you’re not sure what to write, make a list of “what we do” and then a list of “why our products or services are the best.” Use that information to create your proposal. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here. Continue proposal text here.

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Hannah and Adam apparently having a romantic moment.

Rachel and Ross, the on-again/off-again lovers of Friends.


Conclusion It is hard to say that television has no influence on its viewers. It is an effective medium, and that is why so many people watch television shows. They become attached to characters and find themselves mirroring their actions in real life. That is why it is important that there are positive representations of women on television. Although the actions of Hannah from Girls may be realistic, some of her decisions are very degrading to her sex and put all women in a negative light. Elaine Benes is a nice big breath of fresh air in comparison to the Friends women and Hannah. She is independent in all ways and is happy about it. She is telling women that it is okay to be single, successful, and sexual, and all of that without a man’s influence. And while she is not the perfect person, she is realistic and a great role model for women. Hopefully more and more television characters like Elaine will be made for the adolescents out there who are looking for someone to look up to.

Works Cited Heyman, Jessie. "'Friends' Characters Sex Life Breakdown: Joey Comes In First, Chandler Last." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 July 2011. Web. Scott, Catherine. ""Girls" Is Not Diverse, Not Feminist and Not Empowering." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. “The Contest.” Seinfeld. NBC. 18 Nov. 1992. Television “The Last One.” Friends. NBC. 6 May. 2004. Television “The One with the Football.” Friends. NBC. 21 Nov. 1996. Television “The Sponge.” Seinfeld. NBC. 7 Dec. 1995. Television “Vagina Panic.” Girls. HBO. 22 Apr. 2012. Television

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Worth, Sarah E. "Elaine Benes: Feminist Icon or Just One of the Boys?" Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book About Everything and Nothing (n.d.): 27-38. Print.

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The series finale of Seinfeld. Looks like the only men Elaine will be with for the rest of her life are these three.


Girls has girls of all shapes and sizes, but there should be more aspects of feminist perspective in it.

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Just one of the many mundane reasons Elaine has broken up with someone over.

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