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Comments: Week of April 9, 2012

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1. With HBO’s Girls, which debuts this month, the precocious filmmaker-­showrunner-writer-actor Lena Dunham may finally be giving twentysomething women the searching, personal television they deserve, Emily Nussbaum wrote in a profile of the 25-year-old (It’s Different for Girls, April 2). “If you’re going to read one review of HBO’s Girls, make it this one,” wrote Hallie Cantor at Splitsider. “It admits to the ‘unstable blend of worship, envy, and disdain’ that we all feel toward wunderkind Lena Dunham … and doesn’t shy away from discussing the entitlement of the characters—the ‘rarefied white hipster thing,’ as Dunham calls it.” Commenters at nymag.com didn’t shy from discussing it either. “If Dunham’s a voice for a new ­generation, then we’ve failed our ­species,” one wrote. “There is probably no group more undeserving of getting more representation than twentysomething honky hipsters who whinge because they are not rich and famous as everything in their universe told them they, in their superduperspecialness, deserved to be,” wrote another. “In fact, if there was a total blackout on this concept across Real Media, Old Media, Social Media, and every other form of human communication, we’d all be better off.” Another reader struck back: “She may not be the voice of your generation, or any generation, but already I can tell she is the voice of me,” she wrote. “My parents aren’t well-off or famous, but I’d still probably be considered a ‘privileged white girl’ on your terms. Doesn’t mean I have a clue how to achieve my career. Doesn’t mean I haven’t had a ton of awful relationship/sexual experiences. Doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a TV show that stars a normal-looking girl who talks about my problems in an honest and hilarious way.”


2. In an essay on the Republican Party’s “war on women,” Frank Rich argued that conservatives’ recent fight over contraception reflects ideology more than mere ­campaign-season rhetoric—and that “whatever happens in November, there will be no Republican retreat in this war” (Stag Party,” April 2). “There are days reading Frank Rich when you want to make him a national icon or at least find a way to clone him,” wrote David Mixner on his blog. “Excellent article,” agreed one commenter at nymag.com. “It should be printed and handed out to ­every woman in this country who’s old enough to vote. This is what we are up against, we are hated. Obama could have done better, but these goons on the right are pretty much guaranteeing him a win come November.” Others were quick to point out liberals weren’t blameless, either. “If Democrat men were any better, we wouldn’t still be having this discussion in 2012,” wrote one commenter. “America is one nasty hairball of misogyny and women know it.” Another argued that Rich was dismissing the many women who support the Republican platform. “Apparently to Rich, the 40 percent of women who vote Republican aren’t ‘real’ women. After all, if you’re a woman and don’t adhere to the Steinem feminist platform, you are either (a) a moron or (b) utterly powerless to think for yourself. It can’t be that you have a different, legitimate view on things.”

Send correspondence to: nymletters@nymag.com


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