girlssex1

Check out the first three installments of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s series:

June 6: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1

June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls

June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?

*****

 ”I once told a guy to punch me in the chest and then come on that spot so I’d know what that felt like.”

To Hannah Horvath, that was an experience worth asking for, living through, and writing about. To the critics, disturbing sex scenes featuring a range of pornographic behaviors, including role-play lingo with a pedophile twist, are “realistic” depictions of Millennial relationships. These discomforting sex scenes aren’t just the show’s trademark. They’re reflective of a larger trend in pop culture, one that favors the kind of dominant male/submissive female dynamic railed against by previous feminist generations. Lena Dunham has become a hero for portraying sex like it is: unenjoyable, humiliating, and at times enslaving. By disenfranchising women in the bedroom, she has become a goddess feminist icon.

Dunham and the critics who praise her are not alone in viewing pornography and pornographic imagery as tools for female empowerment. According to feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino:

Images of dominance and submission are not anti-feminist in and of themselves. … Feminist pornographers don’t want to do away with sexual power dynamics; many of us want to explore them in an explicitly consensual and more diverse, nuanced, non-stereotypical way.

Girls, with its raw, unromantic view of sexual relationships and power games, is anything but stereotypical and invites one to take a closer look at the intersection between pornography and pop culture in terms of power and art. In terms of power, how has the proliferation of porn culture transformed the sexual dynamics of modern dating? How do secular goddess values differ from biblical values in balancing the masculine and feminine in monogamy and marriage?