The famous show FRIENDS will never get old with ten seasons, 236 episodes, and six relatable characters. American sitcom FRIENDS is set in Manhattan and was first aired in 1994. This show gave the viewers major relationship and friendship goals. Its famed jokes are still used as references in casual conversations. Not just that, its funny sequences always won our hearts. As one of the most-watched TV series in all of history, FRIENDS had a feminist core. The show was quite progressive, and that is why we are here to point out some major points to show that FRIENDS is discreetly feminist. Let’s begin:
1) Challenged The Stereotypes
In the iconic show FRIENDS, there were several scenes that challenged the widespread stereotypes. For instance, Rachel makes Ross realize that it is totally okay to hire a male nanny for their daughter, Emma. Then we also saw Monica get down on her knees to propose to Chandler. In the 90s and even now, people are quite conservative about some professions. Babysitting is one of them and it’s still considered to be a female-only job. However, hiring a male nanny in the show challenged the stereotype that only women can be nurturing enough to babysit the little ones.
Now, if we talk about Monica getting down on her knees to propose to Chandler, it is another big stereotype in society. Even though Monica was unable to finish her proposal, initiating it was the big step for a show to feature that part. It is always said and believed that only a guy should get down on his knees and propose to a girl. But, truly it shouldn’t be like that. If you love a person, you should show that love to that person, no matter if you are a guy or a girl. This scene definitely encouraged women to confess their love and propose to a guy like themselves.
Some other scenes that broke the stereotype were when Ben plays with Barbie dolls, Monica considered sperm bank to have a baby, and Ben having two moms. These are some other scenes that tried to change the thought process of the entire society.
2) Wholesome Friendship Among Female Cast
Through this classic show, female friendships too received the limelight they deserve. There are various instances in the show which prove that women do not need men to have fun. When it comes to the favorite scene that showed the strong friendship among the female cast, then it is none other than the one where they sit and drink beer in wedding gowns. In a society where it is believed that women can only be bitchy about each other, they really gave women some major friendship goals. That scened showed that female friends have also got each other’s back, no matter what.
The other scene that showed the strong bond between the female cast is when Rachel and her childhood friend, Mindy gang up on Barry to confront him for his cheating habit. Unfortunately, Mindy still got married to Barry. But, it really showed that Rachel was there to support her when Mindy needed her the most. In the changing world, women are supporting each other instead of talking behind their backs. They love each other and also got each other’s back. FRIENDS showed this dynamic beautifully and surely succeeded in changing a little bit of perception for the world.
3) Different Kinds Of Motherhood
From surrogacy, adoption, and single motherhood, FRIENDS shows that every form of becoming a mother is respectful, no matter what you choose. Phoebe becomes the surrogate mother to her brother’s triplets. Without any assistance from a man, she takes care of herself without complaining about it. On the other hand, Monica and Chandler adopt the twins at the end of the series when they found out that they would not be able to conceive a child naturally.
Finally, when Rachel accidentally gets pregnant with Ross’s baby, she decides to keep the baby and become a single mother. When Ross asked her to marry him, she denied it because she did not want to marry just for the baby. Also, Carol and Susan, the lesbian couple successfully raised Ben as their own. In an era when it is considered that pregnancy should only happen naturally and with a man in life, FRIENDS showed us that having a baby is beautiful, no matter how you have it and for whom you have it.
4) Female Cast Were Career Driven
FRIENDS often made it clear that the female cast was completely focused on their careers. Several plots show that women should choose a career over everything else. For instance, when Chandler has to move to Tulsa, Monica decides to stay in New York for her job. Also, the series started with Rachel cutting her dad’s credit cards and finding a job at Central Perk cafe. Undoubtedly, Rachel’s growth in the entire series is commendable and no less than inspiration. She was even ready to move to Paris for her job until Ross finally confessed his love.
When it comes to a career, people often think that a man’s job is more important than a women’s job. But, FRIENDS showed us that the importance of both jobs can be equal and people can still lead a happy life. The show makes us feel that it is okay to have career-oriented women in society. Not just that, it also encouraged women to focus on their careers before anything.
5) Busting The Women Being Powerless Stigma
Do you remember the time when the six main characters played football on Thanksgiving for the Geller’s cup? And also that how Monica took everybody down single-handedly? Well, if you remember the episode, you know that Monica completely busted the stereotype of women being powerless. She had this chief element incorporated deeply in her personality. Also, she was relentlessly competitive with everyone about everything.
It is believed that women are emotionally strong and men are physically strong. But, this scene and Monica’s character from FRIENDS showed everybody that it is not entirely true. Women can be physically strong as well and they can take down any person they want. Some other scenes that showed women are strong too include the one when Monica wrestled with Ross and won. Also when Monica took down Rachel to give her the eyedrops showed us women can be really strong. So Kudos to all the women out there!