Even though Kimmy Schmidt was held prisoner in a bunker for many of her formative years, she knows that women should be equal to men. So it makes sense that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt would include some wise — and hilarious — words of wisdom when it comes to the pursuit of gender equality. The feminist jokes in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3 echo the theme song's message of "Females are strong as hell," but also are pretty scathing when it comes to how feminism has evolved over the years. The Netflix comedy series from Tina Fey is no stranger to controversy and while some feminist viewers may be insulted by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's portrayal of feminism in Season 3, these jokes aren't anti-feminist. Instead, they are designed to make you laugh at this important issue and maybe make you think a bit too.
Beyond making some Hillary Clinton jokes, the fifth and sixth episodes of Season 3 — "Kimmy Steps on a Crack!" and "Kimmy Is a Feminist!," respectively — are the most focused on making observations on feminism and how women are treated in society. After telling Gretchen in Season 2 that she doesn't need a man to lead her, Kimmy's bunker buddy (OK, "buddy" is a strong word) takes it to the extreme as she attempts to become a female cult leader in "Kimmy Steps on a Crack!" Turns out, even cult leaders can face discrimination because of their gender. And in "Kimmy Is a Feminist!" Kimmy discovers that although college-aged women may use terms like "gender-normative" and quote Simone de Beauvoir, it doesn't mean they still don't fall prey to the gender roles that patriarchal society has established for them. After all, as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so knowingly mocks, is it really a woman's idea to be grinded upon while dancing?
While these feminist jokes not be everyone's cup of tea, at her core, Kimmy Schmidt is herself a feminist. And hopefully you can laugh at these feminist jokes from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3 as she learns more about what feminism means to her.
1"Now You're The One In Control."
While I wouldn't advise taking feminist advice from Jacqueline, she makes a good point in "Kimmy Gets Divorced?!" that Kimmy has some control over the Reverend now that he wants her to sign the divorce papers.
Who better to channel than Beyoncé when you're getting your feminist on like Titus did in "Kimmy's Roommate Lemonades!"?
3"I Would Never Speak About Another Woman That Way."
In "Kimmy Can't Help You!," she meets the woman that wants to marry the Reverend, Laura Dern's Wendy Hebert. While Wendy's statement about how women treat women is all well and good, she has other misguided stances. And Kimmy ends up treating her with respect by doing the most selfless thing she can think of — staying married to the Reverend to prevent Wendy from making a terrible mistake.
4"It's 2016. Women Can Run Cults."
Although Gretchen says this to prove Kimmy wrong — after all, it's 2017 now — Kimmy does learn that Gretchen is being treated differently as a cult leader because she's a woman in "Kimmy Steps on a Crack!"
5"Women Can Do Anything A Man Can Do. Even Pee Standing Up."
"Sure, it makes a mess, but that's the cleaning lady's problem. And guess what? She's a man."
6"It's Not Your Fault That Boys Don't Learn How To Cook."
Gretchen deals with things the Reverend never had to, like making her child husbands peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while the mole women always made their own food.
7"Because Of The Tear Gas!"
The FBI doesn't want to approach Gretchen because they assume she is crying because she's an irrational woman — not because they just used tear gas on her. As Kimmy says, "You can't treat her different just cause she's a woman."
8"Gretchen, You Have To Be A 'Bonorcaphant.'"
Kimmy figures out that Gretchen shouldn't be doing things (aka running a cult) like a man — she should be doing things like a female (specifically a female bonobo, orca, or elephant). Because as the nature documentary says as it quotes the Kimmy Schmidt theme song, "In the wilds of every continent, females are strong as hell."
9"You'd All Be Like, 'Ooh, Look At What A Great Male Kimmy That Is, Picking Up His Titus.'"
Kimmy takes what she learned about inequality from how the FBI treated Gretchen to tell off the judgy people at Artie's Big Naturals grocery store.
10"Oh, Brother. Help Me!"
Kimmy learns about seventh-wave feminism in "Kimmy Is a Feminist!" from her fellow Columbia University students and struggles with using gendered words like "guys," "man," "boy," and "brother."
11"I'm Taking 'Power, Gender, and Marginalization In Contemporary Yogurt Commercials' This Semester."
One can only hope that former Activia spokeswoman Jamie Lee Curtis is a guest lecturer for Xan's class.
12"That's So Your Butt Looks Good — For You."
Kimmy discovers that being empowered is painful — and cold — when Xan's roommate dress her up for her first college party.
13"I'm A Feminist. I Think We Should Get To Vote"
This quote from Jacqueline proves that it's not just college students who are confused about what feminism means.
14"OK, When A Man Has Sex With His Brother-In-Law, He's A Stud, But If A Woman Does It ..."
I'm pretty sure Xan's roommate are getting their double standards mixed up.
15"Are You Walking In A 'Give Up The Night' Rally?"
According to this Perry quote, college feminists have moved beyond "Take Back the Night" rallies (which are protests against violence on women) and are now giving the night back.
16"Call Me A Feminist, But I Think Women Can Handle Just As Many Drinks As Men."
Although the other Columbia students think Austin is woke, he clearly has his feminist messages a bit mixed up even if he is all about consent.
17"A Woman Crashed Her Car Into The Mayor's House This Morning."
As part of Kimmy's efforts to teach people that "women can do anything," she uses this unorthodox example to Miss Clara in "Kimmy Goes to Church!"
While Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt skewers modern feminism at times, Kimmy's journey is still one of female empowerment — and with that journey comes some seriously funny observational humor.