Friday, June 07, 2013
Quote of the Day
"I get so tired of having to cry out 'misogyny,' but that’s what’s going on in this situation. People questioning the idea that a woman could sleep with a man who defied her lot in the looks bracket hews so closely to these really outdated ideas about what makes a woman worth spending time with. Really? Can you not imagine a world in which a girl who’s sexually down for anything and oddly gregarious pulls a guy out of his shell for two days?"
-- Lena Dunham on those who say that a man who looks like Patrick Wilson would never stoop to having sex with a woman who looks like Lena Dunham's Hannah Horvath character on Girls, as he does for an entire episode last season
Trust me, Lena, there are plenty of us who are just as tired of hearing you cry out "misogyny" over every little goddamned thing, too.
I did actually see the episode she's talking about, the one in which her character comes on to a doctor played by Patrick Wilson -- an intelligent, established, seemingly normal guy, as opposed to the insufferable shitheads who populate the Dunham-centric view of Brooklyn where most of Girls takes place -- and the two wind up screwing and basically playing house for a couple of days. I didn't find the premise at all hard to believe because, what the hell, she made it clear she was completely willing and he obviously didn't have anything important to do that weekend.
Notice, though, that the two of them never left the house. In other words, he didn't go anywhere he could be seen with her -- certainly not someplace he might run into friends who'd ask, "Who's the dumpy little hipster troll and can you get her to stop talking?"
I think I hear Lena Dunham crying out again.
Adding: I got an e-mail response to this post that I just have to share. It's pretty much spot-on:
"What a baby Lena Dunham is. A big, whiny, stupid, baby. She wants all of the plaudits and credit for being 'daring' but she wants ZERO criticism. For her to cravenly cry 'misogyny' -- just because the idea of her obnoxious doughball character hooking up with a hot doctor is considered laughable to all sensible humans -- shows just how much of a coward she truly is.
I laugh at the idea that she's any kind of a hero. She's not brave in any way. Yeah, she takes her clothes off on film, but we're not allowed to have an honest reaction to her body. And I think we both know that she couldn't handle 1/100th of the criticism an actual non-famous ugly girl has to deal with on a daily basis. Normal ugly girls are just stuck being ugly and having to deal with it. They don't get to have makeout sessions with handsome actors.
I also don't think she's unfairly maligned due to her gender. If anything I think she gets a substantial amount of kid-glove treatment because she's a woman. Imagine if a male writer/actor did what she was doing. Imagine if, say, Jonah Hill wrote a series about himself as 'the voice of his generation' and had scenes of him banging Jessica Alba. He'd be laughed out of Hollywood. Jezebel would devote a week's worth of articles to him, roundly mocking him for the adolescent jerkoff fantasies he'd written.
But Lena Dunham is a visionary.
Here's the most revealing quote: 'Can you not imagine a world in which a girl who’s sexually down for anything and oddly gregarious pulls a guy out of his shell for two days?'
But see, a guy like that wouldn't be in his shell. He's a handsome doctor in New York, you really think Hannah Horvath is the best he can do on a random weekend? See that's the kind of shit that reveals how delusional Lena really is. She sees nothing fraudulent or self-indulgent in this little fantasy she's concocted. 'What man wouldn't want to spend an uninhibited weekend (probably with anal) with little old me? I'm so witty and free. Down for anything!'
I just don't think she gets that she's writing a character who's NOT on TV. She's not writing about her ideal self. She's writing about a normal, dumpy schlub of a girl who lives in a city where dumpy girls don't talk hunky doctors into bed for two days. That ain't how it works.
Here's the sobering truth that Dunham doesn't understand, the truth that none of her friends or handlers will tell her, the truth I'd like to tell her personally: this is life in the big city. You don't have the options you think you do. Maybe in Mobile, Alabama you're an 8 1/2, but here in NYC you're a 3-4 at best. I don't care what you're 'down' for. Because here in the big city a guy can find smart, funny, sexy, ballsy, hard-drinking, down-for-anything girls who are also drop-dead gorgeous or at least not trollish and irritating. Because it's the fucking city. Sorry to blow your mind, honey.
Lena Dunham the famous actor/writer probably can land a hot guy. Hannah Horvath the obnoxious shitty writer who lives in a crappy NYC apartment and ISN'T FAMOUS, cannot.
That's actually a terrific point: While I actually do think there are guys in New York City -- and everywhere else -- who'll sleep with just about anybody who offers, the arrogance in creating a character played by yourself whom a gorgeous guy way above the character's station falls for completely is just breathtaking. And I've heard the theory that the entire episode is a fantasy in Hannah's head, but Dunham's snotty defense would seem to cast doubt on that possibility. Also, yes, remove the sexual component from the mix -- in other words, make Hannah a schlubby, talkative, badly dressed doof who isn't immediately making it clear that she's willing to put out -- and watch how quickly that scenario would go from laughable to impossible. M. Night Shyamalan was pilloried for being so egomaniacal as to cast himself as a writer whose work was going to change the world in Lady in the Water, but Lena Dunham casts herself as a chubby manic hipster dreamgirl who beds a really hot doctor -- helping him learn to live again in the process -- and she's a genius.