Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English


Liberal Studies

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 59 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Sarah Cohen

Committee Members

Sarah Cohen, Charles Shepherdson


Cindy Sherman, Female Subjectivity, Irigaray, Lena Dunham's Girls, male gaze, Post-feminism dillema, Television and women, Women on television, Feminism

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature | Theory and Criticism | Women's Studies


The inequality between genders is an idea still endorsed in everyday life throughout media, political discourse, and relationships. Gender discrimination spurs feminists to strive for equity and has become the motivation for the changing and progressive message in their writings and artworks. Lena Dunham’s HBO TV series Girls is such a work and is distinctly unique when compared to Hollywood’s presentation of the standard image of women, and thus, has been used as an initiation into the study of post-feminism and the contemporary media. Dunham’s attitudes and ideas shown in Girls has the same vigorous feminist movement resembling the rebelliousness of Cindy Sherman and Carolee Schneemann. My thesis demonstrates whether Lena Dunham’s Girls merely follows previous feminist’s ideas or if she is actually building on them, advancing and modernizing feminism. In examining Dunham’s feminist spirit, I studied Dunham’s artistic discourse in Girls, her interviews, and the similar ideas between Dunham and other feminist artists. This exploration further looks into the main incentive behind the post-feminist identity.