If I Were To Talk About GIRLS (Mailbag Time)

I guess my feeling about the whole situation there is that sometimes being outraged is the best way to get control of a conversation, especially for women, especially for women on the internet, because women particularly are socialized to apologize for everything, which ends up meaning that playing the victim or demanding an apology is the cheapest way to get your power back. 
So a show like Girls, which — for me at least — is unnervingly true to life, but is also written by a 25-year-old privileged white girl about situations you could easily write about yourself… Either you admit that she’s a talented young person, or you recoil from the whole situation because it’s taking away your power. I think it’s sad, but it happens a lot with TV of all kinds. Ultimately there’s never been a TV show that was about so many nuclear things at once: Women, women’s bodies, money, writers, hipsters… Each of which create tons of pointless bullshit and infighting every day on their own. Combining them into a perfect storm? Ha! 
Not to mention the style of the comedy itself, which can be hard to get your head around if you’re not expecting to see people take accountability for their own stuff, because you can’t imagine doing that in your own life. It’s easy to see the self-indicting comedy in something like Superbad or Knocked Up (easy, that is, if you haven’t already decided to be outraged by those things in turn) — but nobody’s going after Apatow about it, because they’re not seeing the Apatow touch, because they’re unable to separate themselves from the artifice of what’s going on: 
It’s not a story about girls who are assholes, it’s a story about girls by an asshole, because you can’t even imagine a woman having that much control over her story.
So then for those reasons, and others I assume, you’re cornered into a place where you HAVE to come up with a way to be outraged by it, and that puts you back in control of the conversation. It’s fake feminism, but it’s what the internet has produced at this point in its infancy. Outrage as unquestionable control.

I don’t find that offensive, I think it’s ultimately very understandable and I feel compassion for it, but I do personally think it’s pretty pathetic, in an “I will raise my daughter to be a feminist that isn’t also an entitled asshole” kind of way. I mean, there’s no surer sign of privilege than getting upset on behalf of a hypothetical Other.

…I guess is what I would write about Girls, if I had time this week, heh. But honestly, the controversy seems to be mostly over at this point. It’s a good show, which is all it’s really called upon to be. For me, the controversy lies in the fact that because of the Girls shitstorm, nobody talked or is talking about Veep, which is just as good or better.
Thanks for asking, that’s very flattering of you to think of me.

2 thoughts on “If I Were To Talk About GIRLS (Mailbag Time)

  1. I definitely agree that Veep was oftentimes better and oftentimes overshadowed. Girls started a little weak, but man did I enjoy it as the season progressed. Still haven't seen the last episode, but that's because I lost HBO access.

    It's a bummer that enjoyment of Girls was so limited by people's kneejerk, weird reactions to it. Maybe next year they'll focus more on actually watching it.


  2. Thanks for the post. I'm most interested in the female creator asshole concept. That a woman can be an utter ass, not a bitch or any of the other words we use to describe girls who say things we don't like, is startling because it is startling. Because why not?

    To be an asshole requires a very specific disregard for what is expected of one because it has to be careless to the point of nearly going below the notice of the asshole in question.

    Thanks for the heads up about Veep, too.



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