Lena Dunham Deserves Every Ounce of Derision She is Going to Get

Lena Dunham Deserves Every Ounce of Derision She is Going to Get October 27, 2012

Dorothy L. Sayers would slap Lena Dunham’s face so hard her head would be on backward. The reduction of feminism to this sort of brain dead appeal to sex isn’t insulting to women. It’s insulting to humans. Sayers wrote a fantastic feminist manifesto called “Are Women Human?” Now post-modern feminism has offered its reply: Woman are animals driven by hormones who can’t even vote without confusing it with sex. What a massive insult this clever ditz has offered to women like Sayers. Nice to see some intelligent women offering a well-deserved rebuke to Dunham’s embarrassing ad. I wonder how many women’s vote that ad lost for Obama? I wonder how many women of intelligence are chuckling at this ad?

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  • J

    That was as good as Steven Crowder’s parody. I think that stupid ad was totally worth it for the hilarious responses it’s generated — and the fact that, if it has any electoral effect at all, it’s more likely to lose Obama votes than to gain them.

    • kath

      As a woman, I’m biased, but in my opinion this was even better than Steven Crowder’s parody.

  • Scott

    There was a time not long ago that a candidate, seeing an ad like this run on their behalf would be appalled and have it immediately pulled. But this ad was right from the Obama campaign itself. That should tell you exactly what they really think of women. Pathetic losers.

  • Kirt Higdon

    The problem with the Crowder parody is that the original ad itself looks and sounds like a parody. Does the Obama campaign really think that its female supporters are that air-headed and ditzy? Or is this somebody’s idea of light-hearted fun? If that is the case, it’s very uncharacteristic of the Obama campaign this season, which in general has been very serious and running scared.

    • J

      My experience is that most females who support Obama *are* that air-headed and ditzy, and indeed all they care about is maximum access to free birth control (as if they didn’t have it already).

      • J

        I guess I should say they already have access to CHEAP birth control, but apparently that’s not good enough. “Why spend $9 a month on my birth control prescription when Obama will give it to me for nothing??”

  • Rosemarie


    >>>”I compared women’s participation in the political process… to sexual intercourse!”

    Yep. Susan B. Anthony and the other Suffragists must be spinning in their graves.

  • This was hilarious! I know it’s a serious topic, but this parody of the original “joke” was hilarious!

  • I think that’s a bit harsh. I disagree with everything the first woman (the Obama supporter) said in her video but she was obviously just playing on a stereotype as a comic device. Nothing wrong with that in itself.
    Even thousands of miles away I am getting scorched from the heat radiating from America right now!

    • kath

      I think you’re giving her far too much credit.

  • Stephen J.

    I personally plan to deliver Lena Dunham the most stunning rebuke I can give her: I am not going to watch anything she ever does. Ever. (Something made fortunately much easier by the fact that her series GIRLS strikes me as one of the most boring storylines I’ve ever heard even before her politics come into it.)

    I would refuse a single cent to the entirety of HBO if I could, but while I have no intention of ever getting the channel, my wife and I are big *Game of Thrones* fans, so we do at least invest in the DVD sets. I think that’s remote enough not to count as formal cooperation with evil, but it occurs to me now I should probably make sure.

    • Kirt Higdon

      “Game of Thrones” has had me completely hooked since one of my daughters recommended it just on the basis of seeing the last episode of Season One. I got Season One from Netflix and by now have watched it twice. Season Two is in my Netflix queue and meantime I’m up to near the end of the 4th book of the series. Martin is way better than Tolkien.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Martin is way better than Tolkien.

        I’ve been enjoying reading the Game of Thrones series as much as the next guy, but Martin wouldn’t even exist without Tolkien.

        • suburbanbanshee

          The Game of Thrones is the HBO version of the Wars of the Roses: the actual war wasn’t bloody enough, didn’t include enough kinky sex, and had nothing to do with magic, so Martin added all that stuff in, while getting rid of the real issues behind the wars, the medieval mindsets, and any semblance of common sense or honor.

          On the other hand, Tolkien wrote an epic fantasy.

        • Kirt Higdon

          “Martin wouldn’t even exist without Tolkien.”

          I agree and I think Martin would too. He has certainly remarked more than once on the debt he and other fantasy writers owe to Tolkien. But that does not mean he has not far surpassed Tolkien. His characters and many interwoven plots are far more complex than those of Tolkien. His descriptive writing is far more vivid. Tolkien, as one critic pointed out, presents an essentially atheist society. There is good and evil and magic, but no God or gods or religion. With Martin, religion (actually several religions) deeply influence many of his characters. And honor probably plays the most important role in the series. I’ll agree on the lack of common sense on the part of many characters, but one doesn’t read fantasy literature for common sense.

          • J

            I read most of the first Game of Thrones novel and thought it was so bad I haven’t touched anything Game of Thrones related since. Wholly gratuitous sex, most of the characters were immoral jerks I couldn’t bring myself to care about at all, the few who weren’t were idiots instead of being jerks, absurdly unnecessary verbosity (edit it down to about 1/3 the length and it would have been at least a somewhat better book), plot didn’t feel like it was going anywhere at all. Hardly even noticed there *was* a plot, really.
            Not even close to the level of Tolkien.

          • Andy, Bad Person

            I’ve loved the series so far, but I’m still not sure I trust Martin enough on his plot arc. So far, there’s a bit of a Lost feel to it, like he’s just making the entire thing up as he goes along. I need to see where this whole large story is going.

            I have to agree with J as far as the gratuitous sex, rape, and brutality of pretty much everyone but the handful of heroes. It’s a wonder Martin’s society hasn’t imploded into complete anarchy before the series even began, given the behavior of, well, everyone.

            That said, I agree with you with the interwoven stories. Where Martin and Tolkien differ, though, is that Martin has told stories. Tolkien created worlds. It makes them completely different authors in that respect.

          • Rosemarie


            >>>Tolkien, as one critic pointed out, presents an essentially atheist society. There is good and evil and magic, but no God or gods or religion.

            What about when Frodo invokes the name of Elbereth for protection against the Ringwraiths?

            Surely the Silmarillion presents a thoroughly theistic background to the trilogy. No God? What about Eru Ilúvatar? No gods? What about the Valar and Maiar? Elbereth is actually Varda one of the Valar, and Gandalf is basically an incarnate Maia. Sauron serves Morgoth, a fallen being that corresponds to Satan.

            • J

              Yeah, there’s a deep and universal theology behind Tolkien’s world. Even if the characters in LotR never explicitly mention religion, the influence of the theology comes through practically every word. Good and evil are real forces in Middle-earth.

              Vivid contrast to GoT, where there might be explicit mentions of religion and characters “influenced” by their religions, but the world of GoT is such a moral craphole that it feels like a far more atheistic universe, bleak and dreary with no underlying good or higher purpose. Night and day to how LotR feels.

          • Mark Shea

            “Tolkien, as one critic pointed out, presents an essentially atheist society. ”

            That critic is astonishingly illiterate.

          • Ted Seeber

            How do you get that Gandalf wasn’t influenced by religion? Or the Hobbits by Tradition? Or the Elvish culture by religion?

            I’d admit the Dwarves were a bit materialistic, but just about every other character in Tolkien had deep myth and legend behind them- so much so that J.R.’s son was able to come out with several background books from his father’s papers explaining the history.

  • Nate

    I love the fact that this Dunham ad is so pathetic that it can’t even sustain the attention of the commenters, who have dived into an (interesting) argument about the merits of Game of Thrones vs. LotR.

    I love this blog.

    (BTW, I take the side of Tolkein here, and think suburbanbanshee at 7:31 gets it more or less right. That’s not to say Game of Throngs isn’t totally cool…)

  • Kirt Higdon

    The critic who referred to the atheism of Tolkien’s world was referring specifically to LOR, not the Silmarillion. I don’t know if he had read that; I haven’t and don’t plan to. I agree that LOR has one great over-arching theme which at least so far I don’t detect in GOT and its sequels. Maybe that’s because Martin is more subtle and complex or maybe he just doesn’t have one and is acting simply as a vivid story teller. That would put his work as compared to Tolkien’s in a position comparable to the Mahabharata compared to the Iliad. As far as the “gratuitous” sex and violence is concerned, that seems to me like the history of a fallen race; i.e. our own.

  • J

    “As far as the ‘gratuitous’ sex and violence is concerned, that seems to me like the history of a fallen race.”

    Being a cynic, I will grant that the moral wasteland of the setting is realistic.

    I suppose my issue is that I don’t need to be reading semi-graphic depictions of the sexual escapades of a dirty barbarian lord with a 13-year-old girl (to pick one example; this could be said of any of the pervish sex scenes in the book really — twincest, anyone? or maybe they were just normal siblings; I think the point still stands). It’s not that I’m “offended” by it per se, it just makes me raise an eyebrow at the author. Why write that scene? Why bother to include it? It really doesn’t contribute anything to the story; it’s just in there for its own sake as far as I can tell. Sex sells and all that. Hence the term “gratuitous.”

    I don’t mean to come across as overly aggressive so I do apologize if my frank appraisal of GoT’s lack of merits has given any offense. I have my own forms of cheap entertainment I enjoy so I certainly wouldn’t cast aspersions on anyone else for the same. More power to you that you enjoy it! But I just can’t buy that Martin’s badly-in-need-of-a-good-editor hack works are anything other than that — cheap entertainment.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Well, that’s the kind of thing barbarians did, indeed still do. It’s worth noting that in the series (as far as I’ve read), the barbarian lord comes to a bad end and the girl goes on to become a great queen and liberator of slaves. Martin has lots of reversals of fortune like that for his characters. Also his heroes have their flaws and villains sometimes repent or show unexpected virtue. This sort of complexity is more interesting than anything I find in Tolkien. It’s more along the line of the works of Henryk Sienkiewicz, although his novels are historical romances rather than fantasy.

  • James C.

    The idea that Tolkien created some sort of atheistic world in LOTR is one of the dumbest notions I have ever heard. From the man himself:

    “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first but consciously in the revision. I therefore have cut out practically all references to anything like religion, to cults and practices in my imaginary world, for the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”

    • Kirt Higdon

      I think this proves the critic’s point. Tolkien concedes, indeed proclaims, that he eliminated “practically all references to anything like religion, to cults and practices in my imaginary world”. QED! This is quite different from his friend C.S.Lewis in his Narnia stories and his science fiction trilogy. It is also very different from Martin, in whose series religion plays an increasingly important role as the interlocked stories progress.