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A Biblical Feminist Confronts the Girls Goddesses, Part 1

Parts 1 and 2 of an ongoing series on Sundays at PJ Lifestyle dedicated to analyzing the rebirth of an ancient cult into today's popular culture.

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

Bio

June 9, 2013 - 2:00 pm

heartgoddess

I struggled with trying to love Girls. If you’re Jewish (check) and from the New York area (check), pop culture dictates that you’re supposed to idolize Lena Dunham. Her success as an ingénue (or perhaps inge-not is more apropos) is impressive, although not totally surprising: Judd Apatow has launched many a young star’s career. Yet to the critics she is the goddess of cutting-edge media. Dunham is a prophetess to the Cult of Hip, calling forth her own good fortune through her Girls character Hannah Horvath’s self-defined “voice of a generation” declaration.

In all fairness, Dunham is riding the wave of praise being thrown at her. While she may be reveling, Hannah Horvath and her compatriots are unraveling. In fact, this reluctant viewer was pleased to find the hidden appeal of Girls lies in the stark contrast between the critical glorification and the truly inglorious nature of the characters for whom they rave. These women (and men) are not heroes. In fact, they are as painfully human as is their creator. Yet, according to the critics, these women have a major responsibility to goddess culture. For the PC-mongers, Dunham has failed in her role of earth mother to the more tan among us:

It’s not enough because there are people who are alienated, who routinely experience erasure of their own experiences for the sake of a joke or to set up a plot. There are those that would say it is her own right to write about whatever she wants, to exhibit characters in whatever way she desires. That’s true. But if we don’t evaluate our own privilege as white females than what are doing? How do we move forward? …What it comes down to for me is this. If feminism isn’t intersectional, it means nothing. Am I implying that all shows must be perfect reflections of diversity? No. But at the very least, they should not promote or play into trite racial or ethnic stereotypes.

While for the “We Have Arrived” Bitch crowd strutting in their slut walks, Dunham’s show is a vehicle for the salvation of our culture:

Despite the ups and downs of the season, Girls remains one of the most interesting and emotionally resonant looks into the inner lives of women and allows for discussion of our personal experiences. Through this season, we’ve had discourse on female friendships, bisexuality, mental illness, rape and consent amongst so many other issues and these are all extremely important conversations that can illuminate what we need more of in our media and culture and what desperately needs to change.

At a glance, these are dichotomous critiques, yet both share a core belief feeding the goddess mindset: the demand for self-sacrifice on the altar of the culturally defined greater good. Whether Dunham is using her white privilege to lift up minorities, or exposing the painful realities of her OCD to focus attention on mental health issues, the expectation is the same: Dunham is the promised lamb to be sacrificed on the altar of Girls.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Perhaps because, like any popular show, it reflects aspects of our society that need examining.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It took some struggle, but years ago I gave up being a fiction writer. The reason was, I just don't give a crap about other people's lives. Especially the lives of people like Lena Dunham's characters.

See that pic of Lena in her ugly underwear? That's what fiction writers are expected to be fascinated by. That's what Lena's fascinated by, evidently. Slobby, depressed young women whoring around and being totally clueless about it.

Why would anyone want to watch such people for entertainment? Why would writers want to create such people and spend hours, days, weeks thinking about them - letting them roam around in their minds?

I'd rather be fishing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
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It was Ishtar that was worshipped in Babylon , not Aphrodite.
She is a completely different goddess with different attributes. For sure Aphrodite was worshipped in Cyprus as it was (and is) a Greek colony.But Cyprus and Babylon are apples and oranges.

Im sorry but this is just sloppy work. And bad sources like Herodotus is not an excuse
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually the point is that Ishtar and Aphrodite are the same goddess. They're both the prostitute goddess.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As if the term "Biblical feminist" wasn't a boner killer enough, you had go ahead post images of fats chicks,clay and flesh

Thanks a lot. A few more of these articles and Im ready to join a monastery
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks for this Susan, It's great to see these topics being seriously considered! I thought it would probably be more useful (to those who are really interested in these topics) to link some things which I've found thought provoking, rather than merely commenting. So here's my list of recommendations:

1. Virginity and Value: When did it suddenly become cool to be promiscuous*?
The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating Part 3: Designer Sex http://goo.gl/AsTgL

2. From Working Moms to Non-Moms:
To Die For – Success: http://goo.gl/k3lLk

3. Girls or boys, who really “wears the pants”
The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating Part 2: Gentlemen’s club http://goo.gl/60AGt

4. How deeply does the cult of goddess feminism impact our understanding of the individual woman?
To Die For – Beauty: http://goo.gl/1nNql

5. Postmodern art*:
Sex and the End of Loneliness: http://goo.gl/la9Z3

6. Conclusion: Pop Culture, Polytheism, and Postmodernism.
The Search for Values: http://goo.gl/Jw2pp

Entire series here: http://goo.gl/waTzb

I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts!

*original words weren't allowed by the "comment guidelines"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't watch the show. So I didn't see that scene pictured above with Lena Dunham in her underwear.

Wow.

It's something no heterosexual male should have to witness.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My theory is the people that watch these shows want to see other peoploe having sex. Big Love, the L word, Sex in the city to some extent, they are all 45 minutes of tedious dialog, and about 5 minutes of watching sex.

The only difference with porn really, is an attempt at a plot and no closeups of genitalia.

It's been my experience that men I know, including me, avoid these kind of girls at all cost, usually. It's what they settle for if there's no one else available. Especially Lena Dunham. I know of only one guy that went there and his line to her the next morning said it all - "Please don't tell anyone what we did".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life......."

It wasn't enough that aphrodite was a bitçh-goddess, she had an insecurity complex as well. Here is a goddess who demands of each woman an act of devotion that insures than none would be her equal. Compare to a G_d of Love that allows each woman a piece of sacredness within her, to give at her will and at the time she chooses.......
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It took some struggle, but years ago I gave up being a fiction writer. The reason was, I just don't give a crap about other people's lives. Especially the lives of people like Lena Dunham's characters.

See that pic of Lena in her ugly underwear? That's what fiction writers are expected to be fascinated by. That's what Lena's fascinated by, evidently. Slobby, depressed young women whoring around and being totally clueless about it.

Why would anyone want to watch such people for entertainment? Why would writers want to create such people and spend hours, days, weeks thinking about them - letting them roam around in their minds?

I'd rather be fishing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Once early civilization gave up "Earth Mother" religions, the pace of civilizational progress increased dramatically. The male-oriented sky gods religions buttressed more dynamic and effective civilizations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem with the idea of revering the "goddess" is that in order for there to be a true worship or reverence for a goddess you have to revere both aspects - her feminine sexuality and her feminine fertility. Feminists just wanted to unchain her sexuality in the sexual revolution. They ignored her fertility and mother figure aspects as you can see by their insistence on being rabidly pro-choice and anti-mother by their attacks on motherhood as part of the paternal oppressor patriarchy.

So, really it seems to me that all feminists actually want is the perceived freedom of the endless hedonism of their own unchained lusts and they attempt to personify in goddess worship, but it's really a much darker thing than any actual goddess would ever be. There's also very little real reverence in it. That would imply some restraint and discipline in the act. Feminists have none.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree. Look at the image many of the "goddess" girls use... the Venus of Willendorf, the fat sculpture that was found in Germany that is pictured at the top of this article. No one actually knows what that little sculpture represents-- if anything-- but it is often revered as The Goddess.

Whatever its original meaning was, it is clearly the image of a PREGNANT woman.

Further, using an image from the low Paleolithic (ie: "cave men" era) is so backward-looking, its use as a "modern" image is preposterous. They want to go back to the "cave man" era? Fine... let them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why must you take a TV show of questionable quality and of little value and turn it into a serious view of our society worthy of deep, probing analysis? It's really not necessary. Shows like this do not 'lead', they 'follow' what is going on in society. Mush of the feminism of today is the excess overflow from the '60s, just as affirmative action has become depraved and ill-spent that even the politicians can see the writing on the wall.

Like all ill-considered movements with unintended consequences, feminism will end up eating its children.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"feminism will end up eating its children"

I has been doing so, legally and with enthusiasm, since 1973.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bother. That should read, "IT has been doing so..."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps because, like any popular show, it reflects aspects of our society that need examining.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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