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Stranger Things Is Great at Subverting Toxic Masculinity

There’s been some understandable criticism of the flawed portrayals of women and girls in both seasons of Stranger Things. The first season was critiqued as using women as little more than plot devices, and a recent review of the second season referred to Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Nancy (Natalie Dyer) as “one-note characters.” There is certainly evidence to back up those claims. But while the way Stranger Things portrays women could be more nuanced, the show’s powerful deconstruction of toxic notions of masculinity makes it a decidedly feminist—though still arguably imperfect—piece of television: