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Girls on Boys: The Body Politic of Goddess Feminism

Raydog

If the male characters on Girls seem like nothing more than sexual animals, Dunham is not solely to blame. The critics whose focus remains completely geared towards the sex of the show, who refuse to see these characters in relationships outside of the bedroom, are also responsible for predicating the goddess feminist myth that we are nothing more than physical creatures designed for sexual pleasure.

King David is the ultimate masculine role model in the Bible. A warrior king, he reeks of machismo. He spends his young life hiding out in the desert with a rag-tag band of criminals that he's assembled into a vigilante army. He is both intellectually driven and emotionally motivated: As faithful as David remains to God and His promised Kingship, David cannot take Saul's life in order to gain the throne. When he finally does become King of Israel, David dances in praise to God during his coronation parade and manages to flash the onlookers more than once. (Underwear wasn't hip in those days.) Did I mention David was a rather runty guy with red hair and not much to look at? When his wife gives him a rather good tongue-lashing for being nude in public it is God who punishes her - for interpreting David's innocent praise as guilty perversion. The act wasn't about sex, it was about God; just as the story of David wasn't about a physically gorgeous man, but an emotionally and intellectually sensitive human being.

By inserting Ray and Charlie into the equation, Lena Dunham gives evocative food for thought when it comes to modern masculinity. If valuing men as nothing more than sexual objects has forced us to devalue their humanity in terms of emotion and intellect, what characteristics have women devalued in themselves? Why are our modern role models, whether they are Kim Kardashian or Hannah Horvath, valued for their physicality in spite of their awful character and horrendous choices? Goddess feminism has re-framed the discussion on sex in terms of a woman taking control over her own body. But if her own body remains the sole reason for admiration (or idolization) has she truly achieved the equality she's been promised? If not, how can she possibly treat her male counterparts as equals in their own right?