Has it occurred to anyone that Lena Dunham is not actually fat?
When I’m critical to the trite response the media has to the nudity in her work, people attack me for not supporting “someone who doesn’t look perfect”.
Which means a couple things:
1) They think I have a perfect physical appearance and cannot relate, in which case, thanks I guess.
2) Actual fat people still getting ignored, abused, and hated on while someone who’s what, barely a size 10, gets all the cred for being brave.
Also, as a writer, I very much take issue with the idea that one cannot write for any characters that don’t share my genetic background, and that doing so only results in “tokenism.” This is why we have so very few non-white characters in the first place, because people like Lena Dunham treat them like they’re this specialized niche that she cannot in any way relate to. Well, that’s what the TV executives think too.
Here’s the secret: Black, Brown, Hispanic and Asian people grow up privileged and have “first world problems” in America too (I know I went to school with LOTS!). And if you don’t know that, you deserve to be criticized, no matter how funny your show is.
However, that a female-driven show with such cringe-worthy moments even exists is supposed to get my feminism all atwitter, and it does. I just wished I enjoyed it a lot more.
I’m a huge PP supporter, but I am also a defacto supporter the so-called “Rhythm Method.”
I have a genetic blood disorder that make birth control pills too dangerous for me to take, and I am also allergic to latex. These things combined mean I have very few birth control options. So I track my cycle, test my fertility and use non-latex barrier methods when needed. It works for me. So I am bothered by the idea that it’s “progressive” to act like women’s bodies are SO MYSTERIOUS that only a trained professional is qualified to assess them. They’re not. If you are lucky an have a moderately regular cycle (between 26 and 32 days), $40 for a fertility microscope and patience, you can learn your bodies’ cycles too. Of course the medical establishment looks down on this, because there are so many variables involved, it would be hardly responsible to treat it as a cure all. Not to mention, no one makes monthly profit from telling patients to track their own cycle.
I find that most people don’t have the patience to learn to do this for themselves and I have an apperently preternatural comfort with my own body (I’ve used a DivaCup before!), but I think it’s the type of thing we should teach girls. If they have outlying factors that prevent them from using it as a reliable method of birth control, then so be it, but every woman deserves firsthand knowledge of her body. Shouldn’t the basics of how the human fertility cycle works be common knowledge for everyone?
I disagree with most of this. Making a funny presentation about how you were treated like the town pump doesn’t strike me as empowerment, or at least not the kind of empowerment any women I know want.
While I, myself, wouldn’t feel particularly empowered by this sort of attention, your use of “treated like the town pump” is telling of the fundamental sexual double standard that exists. She wasn’t “treated like the town pump,” which to me implies a lack of sexual agency, akin to the stereotype of a sad woman-child working out her daddy issues by being passively, self-destuctively sexual. No, this girl’s power point reads more like a fairly self-possessed and self-aware girl making crude and raunchy jokes about her numerous sexual exploits in college. Something, it goes without saying, men enjoy doing fairly often and openly.
1. The two things you said (sad woman-child vs. self-aware girl) aren’t mutually exclusive. They’re two caricatures that, when combined, become what in my experience is more like the real thing. And that real thing is a slut.
2. This double standard spiel is trite and out of place. Nobody said it’s acceptable for men to be promiscuous. Nobody questioned female agency. Whether she enjoyed being used - which the PowerPoint suggests she frequently didn’t - or was using the guys in turn doesn’t change that she was used (often in degrading fashion) by a group of guys who all knew each other.
I do think saying that she was “used like the town pump” does imply you think she lacks agency, you’re literally making her a passive object in the hands of men. I’m not just trying to trot out some tired feminist cliche here. Would you ever describe a man as being an object passed around?
So what is your exact definition of a slut? Is it the “slovenly/promiscuous woman” or simply “a saucy girl” (both are in the link you privided)?
The word “slut” has a negative connotation, and is specifically feminine, which to me is a pretty clear display of the fundamental double-standard I’m referring to. What do we call a promiscuous man (regardless of whether or not we happen to believe it’s “acceptable”)? Perhaps in the modern world we’d say “manwhore,” or in the olden days perhaps a “cad,” but nearly all of these terms carry with them the jovial idea that “boys will be boys.”
So, because you feel she was “used” by “a group of guys who all knew each other” that’s what defines her as explicitly slutty?
[Are we really questioning whether, in American society, women who sleep with a lot of people are generally judged as worse than men who sleep with a lot of people? ]
This is a young person simply being cavalier about her sexual exploits in college, which is nothing new. I’ve personally known several men who, in college, coldly quantified and analyzed the performance and bodies of the women they had slept with, and freely shared their assessment with anyone who’d listen.
This is so controversial is because this is a woman who is light-heartedly crude about the men she’s slept with, and she wrote it down in an easily-spread format. Frankly, women are often this candid amongst themselves about sexual endeavors. Brutally so. And lots of women quietly sport-fuck their way through college, just like boys do. I don’t see her antics as EGREGIOUSLY slutty, considering what the American college experience is really like. But women are expected to take sex very seriously, while men are damn near encouraged to be flippant about their sexuality. (People like Tucker Max have made entire careers off of it!)
So what’s the part that really makes her slutty? The sheer amount of men she slept with? Is it because the guys knew each other? Because she wrote it down and bragged about it?
All I’m saying, some women are raunchy, crude, and don’t think sexuality is particularly precious, and should be afforded some compassion for youthful indiscretion. I’m looking at this woman the same way I’d look at a man in this situation, and I don’t think it’s particularly outlandish to point out that theres a double-standard at play, specifically in the way the story has been covered.
October 11, 2010
Where I get my tumblr on, reblogs galore, tho I'm too old for this. I'm a comedian, but I mostly use this tumblr for Greek fellowship. My comedy is on BunnyComedy.Tumblr.Com