Rejecting the Collective: Unorthodox and the Problem of Individualist Feminism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Although viewers might want to see a story about a self-liberated woman as a “feminist” tale, by privileging Esty’s individualist behavior above all else, the Netflix series Unorthodox (2020) paradoxically closes a door on a central tenet of feminism: collective activism. Because collectives are figured almost unwaveringly as negative, the heroine, and the series, imagine the “struggle for individuality” as a struggle against collective power, even that of the oppressed. Thus, unlike The Handmaid’s Tale, the individualist-feminist series Unorthodox both relegates to the periphery the systemic oppression of women and fails to call for the collective action necessary for systemic change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJewish Film and New Media
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Sept 2024


  • feminism
  • Haredi
  • Jewish
  • Unorthodox
  • individualism


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