What a Girl is For

I haven’t seen all of ‘Girls,’ because I’m about 20 years past the target market, because squick humor generally isn’t my thing, and because Lord God I watch enough TV already. But something about Lena Dunham and/or her work makes people who are not otherwise unintelligent start spouting the most ridiculously sexist bullshit*, and I dig that about her, hard:

Girls producers went on the defensive Thursday evening in response to a question during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour about the show’s nudity.

But that’s putting it mildly.

If you ask exec producer Judd Apatow, who addressed the incident after the panel, the wording of the reporter’s question itself, directed to creator and star Lena Dunham, was not only “offensive” but “sexist” and “misogynistic.” (For the record, here it is verbatim: “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show — by [Dunham] in particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about all the nudity onGame of Thrones,’ but I get why they do it. They do it to be salacious and titillate people. And your character is often nude at random times for no reason.”)

“That was a very clumsily stated question that’s offensive on it’s face, and you should read it and discuss it with other people how you did that,” Apatow said, speaking to the reporter who asked the question. “It’s very offensive.”

I’m not a huge fan of nudity in general. God and Christian Dior gave us clothes, I live in a cold climate and I didn’t grow up in a naturist colony. But hey, to each his own, enjoy yourselves. Where I take issue is the presumption that the nudity on Girls is “for no reason.”

Because what are the reasons YOU are naked, in your daily life? Taking a shower, getting dressed, just don’t feel like stuff yourself into jeans that day? Walk around in a short dress, a T-shirt, have to pee by the roadside because there are no bathrooms for miles? Having sex? Getting ready to have sex, laying around after having sex? Sleeping? Those are all reasons (from about two eps I caught on re-runs last night) for characters on the show to be naked.

They’re just not reasons that involve looking inviting to men. They’re not “for” anyone besides the naked person.

And that’s the difference between the blatant pleas for attention that take place on Swords & Titties (WHICH IS COMING BACK APRIL 6 OMG), and the nudity on a show like Girls. This guy doesn’t find the latter sexy, and after all, naked chicks are supposed to be sexy, right? They’re supposed to only be naked if they’re titillating you.

Otherwise, cover up.


*See also Taylor Swift. Shut up.

3 thoughts on “What a Girl is For

  1. Personally, I like “Game of Swords and Titties”, but I’ll give you nod in the future Jude.

  2. I watch “Girls” and I am WAY past the target market. You know why I like it? Because the experiences of the characters in their 20’s are just like my experiences were in my 20’s. I marvel how in many ways, NOTHING has changed. I like that Lena Dunham gets naked because she doesn’t have the Hollywood perfect body and it’s great to see a real female body on TV. Which is why all the critics are squicked out–they CANNOT deal with the idea that a)a chubby girl, without breast implants, no less is naked RIGHT THERE ON THEIR TV; and b)that chubby girl without breast implants is having sex. With a man. With lots of men. Who are not chubby. Lena is right: that is their problem and they need to get over it. Because guess what? People who don’t look like Hollywood stars or models ARE having sex and getting naked. EVERYWHERE. Maybe even you, Mr. TV critic…

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