Caroline Connolly | Staff Writer
For the past few months I have spent a good amount of time binge-watching Friends on Netflix. I had watched the show whenever reruns would play on TV but I had never watched it fully all the way through. And as I have been watching it, I have noticed a lot of feminist themes presented in the show.
The double standards of what women and men can do in dating is questioned and challenged in this show. We see this especially with Ross and Rachel after they break up. If Ross can move on and date other people, then why can’t Rachel? There shouldn’t be a double standard.
Monica is a strong-willed woman. She is organized and competitive. She is competitive with playing sports and games with her squad, and she almost always wins. Who says girls can’t be good at competitive stuff?
Monica is the boss at the first restaurant we see her working at. Her colleagues fear her, but they know to respect her. Don’t be afraid to be a boss, ladies.
Phoebe is unconventional. She is quirky and funny. People who say girls are not funny are wrong because Phoebe is a hilarious woman. Yes she’s a fictional character, but there are a lot of funny women in real life out there.
People might think that Rachel is a dumb, rich girl and isn’t the smartest person, but she works hard at her job at Ralph Lauren. She is also an awesome single mother. Yes, her and Ross co-parent but still she is a good mom who doesn’t need to be with a man romantically. She can be a single mom to Emma all by herself.
Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel are such supportive friends. It’s great to see women not pitting against each other, but instead supporting each other through friendship.
There is a lot of girl power on Friends, and there’s a lot of typical masculinity in the guy characters that is changed up a bit. Typical “bro” masculinity is challenged. We see the guys: Ross, Joey, and Chandler go through difficult times and get emotional and there is nothing wrong with that.
Chandler, Joey, and Ross are bros but don’t have a problem talking about difficult things that they are going through. It’s okay to talk about emotional things even if you are a guy. Guys can be in touch with their feminine side.
Chandler has a lot of daddy issues, with his parents divorcing and his father leaving his mother for another man, when he was a kid. This makes him a bit more emotional than most guys, and that’s okay.
We see Joey go from a typical player or serial dater to falling in love with Rachel but not wanting to say anything about it for a while, because he knows she probably does not feel the same and we really see him struggle with this.
We see Ross struggling in dealing with his first wife Carol leaving him for another woman, Susan and him be emotional about his feelings for Rachel before they are dating and while they are dating.
Props to Friends for being an awesome 90s TV show that still remains relevant to this day. Challenging gender norms and girl power is what it’s all about!