”We will be seen and heard!” The New Woman of the 1990’s in Swedish Television Series Glappet (1997)


Heta Mulari

In this article, I analyze the debates about the New Woman of the 1990s in the Swedish television series Glappet and situate the series in the context of Swedish third wave feminist thinking and cultural production. Glappet describes two 16-year-old girls, Ella and Josefin, and their Manifest, a guide to life as ”New Women, who are seen and heard”. Glappet discusses several third wave feminist topics, including beauty pressures, sexualized media culture and feminist generations. The most central theme is how to become a New Woman in a society where gender equality is taken for granted. Gender equality is questioned, most importantly, through criticism of beauty pressures and consumerist girl culture. According to Glappet and several feminist guidebooks, becoming a New Woman in consumerist girl culture means self-making through consuming and making the body a project that needs constant attention. The series argues that feminist independency can be achieved only by recognizing the oppressive beauty pressures. Finally, Glappet ironically states that every feminist generation consists of ”new women” – Ella and Josefin have to face the same problems as their mothers.