Girls

not coming of age:

…there’s an important difference between Apatow’s work and Dunham’s, and that is that Apatow tells and re-tells stories of growing up, while Dunham shows a group of women who stubbornly refuse to do so. Apatow shows characters learning the importance of responsibility and morality, while Dunham’s characters are largely devoid of the former and uninterested in the latter.

The show’s main character, played by Dunham herself, embodies all of this. In the first scene of the pilot, when her parents tell her they won’t be paying her bills any more, she loses it, and informs them that instead of pushing her out of the nest, they should be grateful she isn’t addicted to pills. Her friends are equally appalled by the prospect of a 24-year-old paying her own phone bills, and, for the most part, they’re equally reckless. For instance, in the second episode, one of them misses her abortion appointment because she’s busy having sex in a bar. And their romantic relationships — unsurprisingly — come in about every possible iteration of dysfunction.

…You can almost argue that Lena Dunham sees President Obama as the perfect surrogate for everything missing in her characters’ lives: He’s their gentle lover, supportive parent, and empathetic friend. He’s special. He won’t let them down. He’s Prince Charming. And that kind of defeats the purpose of feminism.

You’d think the feminist elevation of agency would result in women who take pride in being responsible for their own bodies. You’d hope that telling women that they can do whatever they want would imply that they’re responsible for what they do. You’d think serious feminists would argue that true empowerment is something you lay claim to, not something the federal government dispenses in all its benevolence. But for Dunham, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Because feminism was hijacked by the left back in the seventies, despite the fact that campus leftists were some of the biggest male chauvinist pigs around.

11 thoughts on “Girls

  1. Thales

    This comes as no surprise given the popularity of the modern sexist fairy tale disguised as “empowerment” known as The Hunger Games, almost as if there were a huge disconnect between modern feminist dogma and what the female id genuinely craves…

  2. Brock

    This is what happens when you raise a generation on the idea that they have intrinsic personal worth, that they don’t have to do anything to earn respect, and there’s nothing they can do to lose it. They let their basest instincts take the wheel.

  3. Brock

    “Every generation, Western civilization is invaded by barbarians – we call them ‘children.’” – Hannah Arendt

    And if the barbarians aren’t civilized, civilization collapses into barbarism when the barbarians take over. Just ask Rome.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      Sorry, but that’s not true. If one looks as a history of feminism, its original goal was to throw off the shackles of the patriarchy, not to become wards of the state.

  4. Mike James

    Perhaps we’re not using similar definitions. My memory of the Women’s Movement dates from the late sixties, early seventies, when I first remember reports about “Women’s Lib”. I recall it as being very much Leftist in nature, at least if the street theater and disruption tactics they used are anything to go by. Several of the movement’s leader’s, a prominent example being suburban communist Betty Freidan, spouted Leftist claptrap pretty much nonstop. Notice how, today, there is obedient silence from institutional feminism regarding the manner in which Muslims residing in this country, or any other, treat women–all of a piece with the ethos of trying to tear down the West. That was the sort of thing I had in mind.

    “Shackles of the patriarchy”? Forgive me, please, but have you memorized a lot of those? I was under the impression that any unshackling was mostly accomplished by the Industrial and Scientific revolutions, and it was overwhelmingly men who did that, and I doubt anyone was thinking about tearing anything down, as for example a “patriarchy”, while the tide of human achievement was rising.

    Whatever feminism’s goals are, I have a hard time regarding feminism as being anything but opportunistic. Not much feminism in desperately poor countries, is there? Doesn’t feminism have to have a rich, prosperous environment in which to thrive?

Comments are closed.