logo from the HBO series 'Girls': The word GIRLS in teal lettering on a black background

So, everyone on the planet (apparently) has watched the new HBO series Girls, which is definitely a show about young straight white women produced by Judd Apatow. (Whooooooops?) It is written, however, by its star, Lena Dunham, who is a female person, if actually a woman rather than a girl, except in the specific context where "girl" is being used in that "there is no female equivalent for dude" kind of way.

But I digress! The point is that (so I'm told) everyone on the planet has watched Girls and then written about it. Except for me!

I was too busy reading all the things that everyone else has written about it! And there have been some very smart observations made about this show, like: All of these girls are white; all of these girls are straight; all of these girls are cisgender; all of these girls appear to be able-bodied and thin and traditionally pretty; all of these girls are, in real life, the daughters of famous people; it stinks when you want to be able to celebrate women's stories getting told, but you feel like barfing because OMG the privileging of privilege again, and we need this show because LADIES and simultaneously we really don't need this show because PRIVILEGED LADIES; this show bears some resemblances to, and is yet different from, Sex and the City; and other things.

I have also read Lena Dunham's responses to some of these smart observations, like how she didn't want to stick some token woman of color into the group of friends in the show she writes, because she wanted it to be authentic or whatever, and on the one hand, I'm like, "Yeah, tokenism is terrible," but on the other hand, I'm like, "But why don't you have any friends of color, Lena Dunham? And if you do, then why would it be inauthentic tokenism to have cast a woman of color as one of your friends in a show that takes place in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world?"

I mean, I basically live on a farm with a strip mall on it in Wherethehell, Midweststate, and I couldn't spend an afternoon with three of my friends in which all four of us were straight cis able-bodied thin white women, because there is too much diversity among my circle of friends to accomplish that feat of exclusion! And also I am not that thing! But even leaving me out if it, I can't find three of those Platonic Ideals of Privileged Womanhood in my address book.

(It's like a rotary phone, but on paper.)

I have watched the show now, all of the episodes. Leaving aside the problematic elements inherent to the premise and casting, there are things I like about it, and things I don't. (Controversial!) I don't really relate much to the women in Girls, which might just be down to women not being a monolith and all that, but I also remember Judd Apatow saying the show allows "guys to get an insight into realistic females," and I realize that maybe the reason I'm failing to relate to the characters is because they're just the same old kyriarchetypes used to enforce complicity by way of positioning as "real" that which most closely conforms to tradition, dressed up as hipsters.

I also suspect that the people who find the show "important" tend mostly to be people who don't bother seeking out or listening to women's stories unless they're told paired with naked titties on a cable show they read someone else call "important."

Which doesn't necessarily mean the show isn't important, in some genuine way. But if it is, it's important primarily by virtue of its cavernous void of peers.

If the entertainment industry was filled with fabulous feminist and womanist women of every stripe and shape and color and age and sexuality and gender and ability and philosophy, whose ideas and projects and opinions were everywhere, as ubiquitous as the ideas and projects and opinions of misogynists, if that's the world in which we lived, I don't think I'd be writing a post about Girls.

Which isn't really Girls' fault.

Anyway! After I finished the last episode, I texted Deeks: "The most amazing thing about Girls is that I just saw Peter Scolari's wiener. That is definitely one wiener I never imagined I'd see."

Please consider that my official contribution to the ENORMOUS CONVERSATION that has been taking place online about Girls.


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