If you know Kimmy Schmidt, you know that despite the challenges she has faced in her lifetime (read: being kidnapped, trapped in a bunker for 15 years, and forced to create a new identity for herself in one of the world's largest cities, to name a few), she believes in the power of positivity and change — her upbeat demeanor packs the perfect punch for her jokes, many of which have an appropriate feminist undertone that the show is known for. Speaking of which,
Season 4 of that deliver, and while some aren't as light-hearted as others, they all have good intentions. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is full of feminist jokes Spoilers ahead for Season 4 Part 1.
You have to admit, after the last year's news cycle, including the controversial political happenings within the Tump administration and the many, many
women who have come forward with sexual harassment accusations against men in power in contribution to the #MeToo movement, it's kind of difficult to maintain a light-heartedness when it comes to current events and feminism. However, Kimmy does her best.
The feminist jokes of the first half of Season 4 are sprinkled throughout — some more blatant than others — and many are anchored by the battles feminists continue to fight today, including harassment and assault, gender equality, slut shaming, and the other intersections of oppressed society that feminism encompasses.
Some may see these jokes as insensitive, and yes, some of them are pretty raw. But they're addressing reality in a way that makes people laugh, but also makes them think about the bigger picture. So while you may not share all of these jokes at the dinner table, they're worth a read, a watch, and maybe a laugh.
1 "It’s Not Like I’m A Weinstein, Or A Spacey Or The President.”
Yep, she went there. The first episode of the season jumps right into the #MeToo references when Kimmy is asked by her new boss at a trendy tech firm, Giztoob, to fire a guy who's always late to work. She says she wants to do it without embarrassing him, so she brings him into her office for a chat, a back rub, and a smoothie. ("This thing isn’t going to suck itself!") She tops it off with exposing herself (yes, that verbiage was used, and it was used intentionally) in an effort to show him that everyone does embarrassing stuff sometimes.
Needless to say, the employee files a sexual harassment complaint against Kimmy, and she doesn't understand why. She says things like he "took everything the wrong way" and “it was a misunderstanding.” Sound familiar? While it's a little upfront and sharp, it makes viewers realize how obvious the issue would be if the roles were reversed in workplace sexual harassment cases that exist today.
2 “I Can Tell You As A Woman, It’s Not Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Covergirl!"
Kimmy desperately wants men to understand how women deserve to be treated, so she tries to convince the "head of the snake," so to speak, of what's on her mind. That person is Fran Dodd (Bobby Moynihan), Founder and CF-Bro of the Innocence
Broject. And while Fran tirelessly groans on about how hard men have it in today's women-positive society, Kimmy belts out this Covergirl reference, and it's worth a cackle. And it's the truth, isn't it? 3 "I Didn’t Realize The Beast Was Such A Creep."
"What’s the message here?" Kimmy asks, watching an unauthorized adaptation of
Beauty & The Beast. "Take a girl prisoner, tell her what clothes to wear, and then she’ll fall in love with you just because you didn’t straight up eat her?"
In true Kimmy fashion, she weasels her way into the role of "Adult Villager 1" in Titus' directorial debut, a school play titled "Beaudy An' The Beest," which parodies the age-old fairytale of the French bookworm who falls in love with a monster.
In watching rehearsals, Kimmy has an epiphany about how most fairytales are well, problematic, and that they don't teach boys how to treat women with respect. So, at her curtain call, she feels compelled to make an announcement. “For any little boys in the audience, you kids are still learning stuff in your gooey brains, including how to be human beings," she says. "And The Beast is not a model for how to treat girls. Sure, he gave her delicious soda to cure her milk poisoning, but he also locked her in a cage, and he’s like, the best of princes. Cause what do those other guys teach you? Kiss girls while they’re sleeping? Climb their hair whenever you want? Bust into ladies’ houses and force them to put on a shoe you found? I always knew this fairytale stuff was lousy for girls, but it stinks on ice for boys too."
4 "If You Think You’re More Important Because You Can Pee Standing Up & Drive A Car In Saudi Arabia, Don’t Believe It.”
Jacqueline really comes through here. She helps Xan get revenge on her ex-boyfriend who spread slut-shaming rumors about her with this patriarchy-smashing proclamation, and she announces it in a room full of college boys.
5 "I'm Gonna Treat These Women Like They're Human Beings."
How nice, right? That's the joke. In the second episode, Kimmy embraces the New York City girl inside of her and takes Titus out for brunch and a mani-pedi, her treat. In a jab at white feminism, she realizes how horribly another white woman is treating the Korean pedicurists, and she decides that it's wrong. She learns about her white privilege, that despite her troubled bunker-dwelling past, the world still sees her for what she is — white. So she tries to use her privilege to uplift the staff at the nail salon rather than put them down. How well that works is another story.
6 “If We Don’t Take A Stand Now, We’re Her-story ... They’re Gonna She-stroy Everything!"
Fran meets with Kimmy's kidnapper, Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (who viewers find out to be DJ Slizzard), in jail to conspire about how to put women back in their places. Of course, it's all satire. And their conversation is ridiculously punny.
7 “Masculinity Is Being Criminalized In This Country & I Want Something Done Did About It.”
This one comes from Fran Dodd. It's funny because it's grammatically incorrect — which pokes fun at the fragile, and often times uninformed, justification behind the sentiments of anti-feminists like Fran.
8 “As A Privileged White Woman, You Have Many Options.”
A classic Jacqueline line. She blurts it out when her ex-stepdaughter, Xan, runs to her for advice when she thinks she's pregnant. This, again, pokes fun at white feminism and has some truth to it, too. Although her options for Xan include keeping the baby as an assistant and shipping it off to another country. So maybe not.
9 “Young, Hot, Not-Real Mommy Is Here.”
Although Jacqueline never really sheds her shallow self-absorption, she does try to be there for Xan during her pregnancy scare in a very feminist way. She realizes that Xan came to her in a time of need, and wants to support a fellow woman.
10 “Why Are Men So Believed?”
Retweet. That's a great question — which is why it's such a funny line. And it's one of the only lines that comes from Xan's ex-boyfriend in response to being called out for spreading nasty rumors about her. He doesn't have a better excuse than the truth.
Whether or not the gags in the first half of Season 4 are your cup of tea, they definitely hold some weight in light of of what's going on with feminism today. And that, my friends, is unbreakable.