April 18, 2012
Should ‘Girls’ just get married?
A recent spate of pop culture depictions of vapid, loveless sex has some convinced feminism has failed.
William Bennett, a CNN contributor and the author of “The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood” has decided he is an authority on women.
On the “disheartening and dismal” portraits of “liberated sex” offered up by popular culture nowadays he wonders: “[H]ow could women be happy with what is described in “Fifty Shades of Grey” and [Lena Dunham’s HBO series] “Girls”?
“Girls” paints a grim portrait of general ennui and loveless sex, but as Porochista Khakpour points out, what’s appealing is that it’s real.
She knocks “Sex and the City” for imposing layers upon layers of aesthetic flourishes on its women, a resentment not quite tied to envy but exhaustion. Who should want to dress to the nines just to go to Whole Foods? But you must look your best in case he might be there. Dunham’s “Girls” are too bored with their wussy boyfriends to bother.
“And so the world discovers the big secret, that we women are funny and smart and, without a ton of makeup and couture, we actually have appeal.”
We actually have appeal!
But all Bennett sees is the vapid, demoralizing sex and it’s enough to convince him that feminism has failed. If only we skipped “Sex in the City” and read real literature like “Middlemarch,” then we’d learn, home is where the heart is.
I agree with Eliot; not with Bennett. Because while the best love is the truly, madly, deeply committed kind, anyone who’s ever been hurt knows a casual encounter can go a long way in helping heal a broken heart.