There’s this show called “Girls” which won some awards at the Emmys this year and which I’ve luckily been unable to watch because I don’t subscribe to cable. Some people I like are on it, but whatever, I don’t really care because the content of the program doesn’t appeal to me as far as shows about generational issues are concerned. I am 24 and pretty much a child of the 90ies, but I feel out of my generational loop. To be frank, I kind of think those kids are crazy.
Case in point: Girls. The latest HBO phenomenon which I proudly profess to know absolutely zilch about, other than that Lena Dunham is apparently some kind of hero now or something. I came across this article regarding the latest episode I didn’t watch, in which apparently some pretty revolting things happened to Shiri Appleby. After reading bug-eyed through the article, and even then seeing what Bitch Magazine (yes, I read that on occasion) had to say about it, I proceeded to see what the consensus was among commentators. This particular, from the THR article, struck me to think a little bit about whether or not I was being kneejerk in my reaction to the description of what transpired on the show.
“This scene revealed so much about who Adam is, who he was trying to be, and how his behavior and impulses can shut him away from other people. Sex is an intimate act that can be simultaneously used as a way to experience closeness but at an arm’s length. Adam routinely does this on the show, and his self-implosion was indeed a dark and sad. It was important in expressing this about his character that we see exactly what it is he did to this poor girl, who was an innocent bystander to a complicated and troubled man’s unraveling.”
It occured to me that I could write this exact same passage in relation to a film about war featuring graphic depictions of death and gore. So in that light I’m willing to concede the commenters point. But on the other hand, what I desperately wish to know is why do we care who this asshole Adam is at all? He clearly needs therapy or a prodigious smack upside his fat head. The character is a person of inferior moral and psychological character who can apparently only feel something when he is using another human being as his own personal Kleenex tissue. Why would I bother to waste my time on a creature like that, who does not seem to want help, or particularly care for it? And as to the person who is allowing themselves to be used as his Kleenex, as to their character, I am quite sad and reluctant to speculate.
At the core, it continues to confound and disturb me that there are women and men in existence who allow other human beings (?) to humiliate them psychologically, without defending their dignity or putting up a fight against obvious malicious mental and physical assaults. We were created with a beautiful, bright mind capable to of so much. We were created with hands capable of balling into hard fists. We were created as individuals, with minds, souls and feelings of our own. I truly believe that we all, male and female, have the power to reach inside of our quivering mortal coil when we are faced with cretins such as are depicted on this show, and say, “SCREW YOU, ASSHOLE, GO FUCK YOURSELF.” Not very eloquent, but applicable in this, and many, cases.
I hear many voices defending Girls as an important and thoughtful narrative, and I question why…but apparently I can’t question it enough to really put the effort into watching the show. The character repulse me. I find their lack of self-esteem bizarre and horrifying. My feathers are ruffled by the sight of sexual assault. Had I been Steig Larsson, as he so claimed, I would have kicked the raping freak of nature in his face, head and nuts instead of passing by quietly and then out of guilt, writing an amazing novel making a hero out of the victim I could have saved. That’s how I am, and unrealistically, it’s how I believe all people should be. I won’t be a bystander, I won’t be shat on and I won’t call violent or demeaning sex acts on my television meaningful or art. To borrow from my ranty Facebook post, it seems like the quest for actual, tangible intellect and knowledge of things other than the worldly world has taken a back seat while the sexual revolution — masquerading as feminism — has come simply strides in the past few decades. Feminism, as I understand it, was borne out of the desire to find equality in the workplace, in places of law and business, to transcend the kitchen and to rediscover — perhaps even re-invent — the Mother As Warrior. It seems that somewhere along the way, feminism became about burning bras, showing your tits and not getting yelled at for it. To be frank, I don’t know what feminism is supposed to be anymore, which is why I balk at labeling myself as a feminist. People assume because I advocate for female empowerment in a lot of the things I write and the art I create, that I am a feminist, But I’m not by conventional standards. I believe in psychological empowerment for women and for men, and the triumph of the spiritual, creative, literary and thoughtful woman. I don’t believe in the selfish and fluffy, carnally oriented women of Brave New World’s dystopia, I believe in the educated, brave and stalwart woman of Austen and Dickens’ novels, who transcended tragedy and despair and — for the most part, on the heroines’ parts, mainly — never lost sight of who they were. The women of Girls are the women of Brave New World, mindless in servitude to their desires, tools for the people around them, aware of the worldly but not of the world. ““Hug me till you drug me, honey; Kiss me till I’m in a coma.”