the voice of a generation?!

I don’t do this blogging shit to be epic or anything. I don’t even think “epic” is cool anymore — I remember reading somewhere that it was Decidedly Not, in fact. So obviously I am not in this to win anything. But I am in this to speak for myself, so I’m a little miffed that apparently Lena “Girls” Dunham is the voice of my generation or something. Yeah, I know, the character who said it was high at the time, but all these journalists who seem to be taking it seriously — what are you smoking?

Most of my generation can’t even afford HBO, for starters. Could IFC not have funded this series, if we were really all supposed to watch it and identify with it? For those of us who are blessed with cable, anyway, that would’ve been great! Which a great chunk still aren’t, come to think of it, so I’ll bet there’s a whole lotta bootleggin’ goin’ on.

A good chunk of my generation is composed of people of color, omitted entirely from Season 1. I understand there is one black man in Season 2, set up as a foil/romantic interest for main character Hannah. Was this move always in the cards, or is it a response to the perceived racism and ensuing backlash? Seriously, you only have to Google “girls racist backlash”, and Google is forever.

I don’t get why a strong, young feminist voice needs to be amplified by that of an older white man. Judd Apatow is seven years younger than Eleven, and I am never shy about Eleven being twice my age (until my next birthday, anyway). As far as I can tell, he makes movies for people who like to watch other people doing embarrassing things. Oh, that’s the connection. Because from what I can tell, that is “Girls”: people doing embarrassing things. And that is Dunham’s upcoming book deal: a person doing embarrassing things, then writing about them. Does she ever worry that she’ll grow up to be Elizabeth Wurtzel?

Mind you, I’m not talking about Dunham baring all for the camera, though frankly it would be braver if she had anything to lose by doing so. She gets naked, she wins a Golden Globe. I get naked, I may be putting the kibosh on a career in social work. Which brings me back around to where I began, doesn’t it? Privilege.

Dunham is, by all accounts, at least upper-middle-crust. This is not a crime. I promise. If you, too, have money, I hope you live long and prosper and all that. I also hope you remember that you are something of a lucky minority. The subject matter of “Girls” really is a younger “Sex and the City”: four women (you are a woman at that age, sorry to say) who don’t have to care about matters of survival because their parents set them up with trust funds. So they can have madcap adventures, dress in fabulous, if sometimes ill-fitting, clothes, and waste what youth they possess.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting to hear about that Medicaid, which is the only health insurance I can afford. Can’t move out on a salary of nil. Can’t get a job with several disabilities going untreated. Can’t make a living wage without a B.S. or better. Was unable to finish that B.S. in the socially acceptable four years because… well, I had several disabilities going untreated. Now there’s a demographic I’d like to see represented — or not, because I don’t want it to wind up as another foil, or a token, proving how ~*awesome*~ Dunham really is.

And if the characters on “Girls” aren’t sure how they feel about sex, shit, at least they consented. I guess “girls” don’t get raped or experience domestic violence. “Girls” don’t get told that the people who hurt them are essentially too big to punish. “Girls” don’t hear, from the police, that if they make one more call regarding their personal safety and potential violations thereof, said call will be treated as a nuisance and the “girl” herself will get in trouble.

“Girls” experiment with drugs; girls get hooked on them with disastrous results. Some go to jail. Some wind up as Faces of Meth. Some reuse needles because apparently people have been arrested outside exchange programs. I wonder if “girls” get AIDS? Girls do.

“Girls” live in a small, sanitized part of a big, posh city. Girls live around the world, in shelter where “girls” wouldn’t keep their dogs.

So let’s be clear, journos. “Girls” speaks for a select portion of women my age. Not me. Not the women I know. Not the women I’m likely to meet. It’s not for me, so a. quit acting like it is and b. show me where I’m represented. If I’m represented at all.

edited because I used “seriously” twice in a row. now that is embarrassing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s