About HBO’s Girls…

So what’s the deal with that HBO show Girls? It’s getting a lot of attention as a great new feminist tv show, but Julianne Escobedo Shepherd over at AlterNet isn’t quite so convinced:

I appreciate the fact that when a TV show like “Girls” or movie like Bridesmaids is released, it can feel like a revelation. We’re so used to seeing ourselves portrayed in basic, often degrading ways, that when a developed, woman-written female character emerges, it feels like we’re able to come up for air. Lena Dunham is certainly admirable for her willingness to exhibit her non-model-esque body on film, a very welcome counterpoint to the unrelenting deluge of unrealistic body standards we are expected to aspire to. But it also seems like we might be so desperate for images of ourselves that are even mildly realistic, we give certain films and shows a pass in other arenas.

Read more on why Girls may not be a feminist godsend.

Author: has written 89 posts for this blog.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

6 Responses

  1. miga
    miga April 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

    It’s funny- I graduated from the same school as Lena Dunham, and when “Tiny Furniture” came out everyone was obviously psyched to see it, and hailed it as kindof the “voice of our generation”…except me.

    See Dunham and I might have the same goals in life but the difference is I’m not white, no one in my family is rich (we’re barely middle class at best), I’m not from NY (tho I and some other WOC friends just moved here). And that makes a lot of difference to me, because from what I heard about Tiny Furniture seemed like an experience that was not typical for me or many of the people i grew up with was touted as typical and SOOO TRUE. It really emphasised the differences in socioeconomics and race between the “typical” student at my school, the “typical” post-grad portrayed in film/cinema, and myself. It makes me feel like there’s no room for myself or my story.

    So no offense to Dunham, but i’ll be wishing her good luck from the sidelines. I’m too poor to afford a TV right now…

  2. mim
    mim April 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

    i just read a really great interview with dunham who openly oposed being labeled as a voice for a generation, for many women or even for some women. she said she doesn’t have enough experience to have any of those titles, and i really appreciated hearing that. i think her voice has a place in the tv world, and hopefully, the show will open the doors for more interesting, varried portrayals of women’s lives from all socioeconomic classes on tv.

  3. BWooster
    BWooster April 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm |

    We’ve come far, I guess, but not far enough that we admit that women’s experience isn’t typified by young, white and rich urbanites.

  4. Athenia
    Athenia April 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm |

    I just finished watching it. Incredibly irritating as one would expect it to be…I found Lena Dunham to be very likable in Tiny Furniture, but she lays it one thick in the first episode. I’m not sure if I’ll end up liking her character.

    I do like the look of the show and how it’s more “realistic” than Sex and the City.

  5. Ashley
    Ashley April 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm |

    I didn’t perceive the characters in this as meant to be people we identify with. I thought they were meant to be repellant and privileged with a few sympathetic elements, sort of like a version of the Don Draper character. And I absolutely don’t perceive those characters to be the kind of people who would have meaningful relationships with people of color. They’re spoiled rich white girls. They hang out with other spoiled rich white girls. They are oppressed on the basis of their gender, and they are entitled and bratty and racist in that willfully ignorant and self-involved kind of way that many hipsters are. That is true to life. What’s interesting to me is the way many white feminists have resisted this representation, as if the accurate reflection of the racism and entitlement of so many young white women is too uncomfortable and shouldn’t be represented at all.

    More disturbing to me is the fact that many white women reviewing the show are actually saying they identify with the characters, with no sense of how problematic that is.

  6. Tasha
    Tasha April 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

    I thought the same thing, Ashley. I thought the show was meant to be funny in the same way The Three Amigos was: As a joke on clueless, oblivious, privileged idiots. I didn’t think – until I read other reviews – that people were actually supposed to identify with, relate to or empathize with the characters! That’s crazy, these kids are pathetic.

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.