Does HBO’s Girls reflect a feminist dystopia?
Some think so. With the fall of patriarchy the world changed … but nobody knew what to do next. And Girls reflects the disjoint. So writes Ross Douthat in the New York Times.
Prophylactics and graduate degrees and gender equality are supposed to lead smoothly to health, wealth and high-functioning relationships. (Yet) the characters’ sex lives were not remotely “safe”; they were porn-haunted and self-destructive, a mess of S.T.D. fears and dubiously consensual incidents and sudden marriages and stupid infidelities.
The problem is feminism? Or a failure of complete equality? Read the rest of this entry
Dunham points out that numerous cultural cues press women to take on non-emotional, non-connected, “empowered” sexuality. Read the rest of this entry
HBO’s “Girls” is an exploration of young women’s sexuality today, so I was struck by a scene that the New York Times’ Frank Bruni described as being all about what “he” wants “her” to do:
(“Hannah’s”) back is to her boyfriend, who seems to regard her as an inconveniently loquacious halfway point between partner and prop, and her concern is whether she’s correctly following instructions.
‘So I can just stay like this for a little while?’ she asks. ‘Do you need me to move more?’
Downton Abbey and HBO’s Girls seem to be talking to each other, says Anand Giridharadas in a New York Times piece.
The early 20th Century world of Downton’s British aristocracy knew “there is a way to do everything, from cleaning spoons to dressing for dinner.”
But then World War I unleashes its chaos, confusing notions about who is independent and where one stands. Thus,
The family driver, believing in equality and marrying for love, runs away with the family daughter; thus the men wear black tie instead of white to dinner one night; thus a new generation of servants is less servile, more willing to question.
HBO’s Girls yields the fruits of that push a century later — and it isn’t pretty, he says — as four young women navigate the stresses and opportunities of New York City: a world that “says you can be anything but does not show you how.” Read the rest of this entry