Jessie Spano ruined feminism

Lately, I’ve been thinking about writing a feminist deconstruction of the hit ’90s show, “Saved By The Bell.” I remember watching this show as a ten-year-old and feeling so annoyed with the character, Jessie Spano. I remember thinking to myself, “God, I never want to be a feminist!” She made it seem so whiney (plus I was ten at the time). Of course, I now know that her character was obviously developed by a man who knew little about feminism. I feel like other young women (and men) must have felt annoyed with Jessie’s character as well. She shared many stereotypical traits that are placed upon feminists: she wasn’t any “fun”, she couldn’t take a joke, she was a bit of a prude, etc. The show consistently mocked feminism. Anytime A.C. Slater (horrible hair) made some sexist quip, the audience laughed and even Jessie would make a face to show it was all okay. No one took her (or the subject matter) seriously. Take this quote for example, Jessie: “Slater, haven’t you heard of the Women’s Movement?” Slater: “Sure… put on something cute and move it into the kitchen” (cue audience). Of course, the viewer sides with the beefy, latin chauvinist. Oh, and here’s another good 1950’s-esque sexist quote, Jessie: “Slater, since we’re together I think we should share the household chores.” Slater: “Sure, you cook and I’ll eat.” 

For now, I’ll leave it at that. What does everyone else think?

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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