Miss Dunham, What Kind of Girl Are You?


Guest Commentary
Antoinette Cea
Class of 2017

In season one of Lena Dunham’s HBO show “GIRLS,” Dunham quotes, “I don’t want to freak you out, but I think that I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice, of a generation.”

I only watched about two and a half episodes of “GIRLS” before I knew I didn’t have to anymore. It became apparent that Dunham’s inspiration flowed from reruns of “Sex and the City” coupled with multiple norms of contemporary millennial society. The characters were obnoxious, and attempted to be younger, poorer versions of Carrie Bradshaw and her friends.

I’ll admit, I am a fan of “Sex and the City.” However, I would never beg for Bradshaw’s life. Being in your 40’s living alone in Manhattan without the basic understanding of balancing a checkbook or a relationship seems miserable. Sure, Carrie has a lot of fun and Mr. Big is certainly handsome, but it’s not always all roses and kisses. Mr. Big is horrible to Carrie, and, frankly, comparable to Christian Grey for his lack of empathy to his female counterpart.

Dunham took Bradshaw and her friends and allowed them to breed with the cast of “RENT,” resulting in young and promiscuous hipster women who cannot bear to be sellouts, despite being physically hungry. If Dunham’s character is the voice of the women in my generation, Donald Trump for president is one of the least of our worries.

There is nothing appealing about young women who cannot get their lives together. It’s one thing going to school and facing hard times while trying to discover your interests. It’s entirely different when you’re catching STI’s and getting pregnant, heartbroken, being poor, and becoming depressed because of horrible decisions. The character’s of “GIRLS” are not to be admired, but rather pitied.

Personally, Dunham’s character disappoints me because she studied English Literature in college and uses her degree as an excuse for not wanting to be a sellout. If life after studying English Literature in college is as Dunham portrays, I’m writing to my professors very soon and changing my major to biomedical engineering. Further, in her real life, Dunham studied Creative Writing, and actually became a sellout by having her television show. Dunham contradicts the life she portrays on television.

Even as a regular, breathing human being, Dunham disappoints. In her 2014 book, “Not That Kind of Girl,” Dunham not only admits to molesting her kid sister when she was an infant, but she also accuses a man who has never met her of raping her while in college. After asking Dunham to edit her book, she refused. Her campaign for Planned Parenthood is nothing short of risqué. What posing naked with tape on your nipples does for the pro-Planned Parenthood movement is unknown to me.

Following the model for life Dunham portrays through the characters in “GIRLS” is a horrible idea. She is constantly disappointed by everyone around her, is nasty, disagreeable, and boring. Even as a feminist, Dunham disappoints. There is nothing empowering about the life she leads, or the show she writes.

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