Lena Dunham, the director, creator and star of “Girls,” offers a perplexing take on all things feminine in her HBO series. With Dunham and actors Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet revealing their bodies without shame and Dunham’s unglamorous portrayal of post-graduate life, it seems “Girls” is riding the feminism train all the way to equality. What really burns the fire of judgment under the critics is how much the viewers hate characters that they are supposed to root for.
Dunham creates a group of girls that frustrate viewers every time they fall into the trapdoor of their own ignorance. This looks like a condemnation of womankind for allowing itself to succumb to these vices. But maybe it runs much deeper than that.
The female protagonists of “Girls” refuse to pander to praise. They are who they are, and they probably will not change for a long time, no matter how much viewers will them to from their couches. These are not the girls next door — they are confrontational, bringing up problems most viewers, both male and female, do not want to acknowledge in their own lives.
For better or worse, Dunham has given the audience a group of women who are ripe for criticism. “Girls” is about four women in Brooklyn, but it can often act as a unifying force for both women and men, and it proves Lena Dunham might be one of the inventive feminists of all.
Email Mary Ann Odete at [email protected]