Pushing the boundaries: Weeds, Motherhood, Neoliberalism and Postfeminism
University of Western Australia
Place of Publication
Clarke, K., & Bartlett, A.
School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Weeds (2005-2012) ran for eight seasons. It is a U.S television comedy-drama which centres on Nancy Botwin, who is a mother, widow and drug dealer. Dealing in drugs can be seen as a departure from her life as a stay-at-home mother which removes her from the conservative, patriarchal suburban norms of middle-class suburbia, and its expectations of women and mothers. Throughout the seasons there is a dissident portrayal of motherhood as Nancy through her willfulness, entrepreneurial plans, overt sexuality and feminine tactics becomes a successful businesswoman. Weeds deals with taboo issues related to gender, sexuality and morality. I consider how in Weeds, Nancy’s transgressive nature situates her within a postfeminist neoliberal discourse. Weeds presents a world in which a woman can achieve success by embracing masculine, capitalist, individualistic endeavours whilst still adhering to feminine behaviours.