The myth of feminist perfection

The capitalism of International Women’s Day

Some lauded 2023 as the year of the feminist fable, thanks in part to the hit movie Barbie, however it was also a year of ideological backlash. Many claim such movies or celebrities are not feminist enough. For this International Women’s Day, Dr Jessica Ford urges us to recognise the limits of these pop-culture narratives and think more expansively, and critically, about feminist forms.


Feminism and popular culture a have a complicated situationship. Feminism is both a lens through which popular culture is examined and an ideology that is spread through films, TV series, music, podcasts and other media. As such, critics have long been preoccupied by the intersection between feminism and popular culture, insofar as particular characters, authors and genres have been identified and theorised as “feminist.”

There is a critical desire to label film, television, music, and celebrities catering to women as “feminist.”

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