Just in case there weren’t enough girls’ opinions on Girls (check out the “S**t Girls Say About Girls” meme here), boys are starting to get in on the action too. The “action” being opining loudly on the “thin caricatures” of male archetypes to the shape of Lena Dunham’s body.
Over at Slate, a bunch of guys got together to discuss Episode 2: “Vagina Panic,” and seemed to pick up on the underlying messages that Lena Dunham & Co. are sending, mixed as they are. Regarding Marnie’s insistence that Charlie be more of a man, and Jessa’s desire to be taken over in the bar bathroom, Seth Stevenson notices the “interesting distaste for men who are over-the-top respectful and permission-needy.” Which brings up my first reason why guys should watch Girls:
1. We like nice guys, but not guys dripping in respect and sensitivity. Charlie is, in many ways, a fantasy boyfriend. Loving, thoughtful, and puts in the effort. But one of the overlooked benefits of the feminist movement is realizing that women still want to be women. Just because I want to be paid the same as men, and be given the option to do everything men can do, that doesn’t mean I have a penis. Men do, and they should use all the testosterone that comes with it.
Foster Kamer interviewed one guy about Girls for Jezebel, and he picked up on the fact that girls tend to fight more passive-aggressively than guys. Marnie wants Charlie to take control in the bedroom, and is losing sexual interest in him, but we only know this because we see her telling her friend Hannah. “[Charlie]'s more vocal about the discord in their relationship than she is, at least to him. Maybe, to some extent, it's our responsibility to pick up on these things,” says the anonymous male viewer. Which brings us to point number 2:
2. Girls may pride themselves on being communication experts, but we still wish you could just read our signals. How many times have you buried a resentment for your boyfriend’s annoying habits, only to have him miss all signs that you’re feeling that way, eventually exploding the next time he does it, and getting only his shocked, “Who, me?” expression as a result? I’ll bashfully raise my hand. Watching Girls shows a very common practice among women: expecting men to read our minds, which guys could learn a lot about.
Much has been made of the sex talk in the opening sex scene in Episode 2, where Adam starts telling Hannah that she’s a dirty little girl that he’s (kinda) raping. I thought Hannah’s reaction lines, though exaggerated for comic effect, were good illustrations of how women feel when guys start that stuff. Confused as to how far we’re supposed to take the fantasy, completely unsure of which direction the scenario should take to keep it hot, and most importantly, the risk of trying it out (and other sex moves, including “the wrong hole”) when you barely know each other.
3. If guys want to experiment in bed, try letting girls in on the act. Sure, Adam isn’t presented as a guy who cares about Hannah and her feelings. But he is presented as a guy who wants to have wild, good sex with her. Both times he attempts something out of the box, Hannah has no idea what’s going on, and he winds up disappointed. Yes, girls really do like to talk a lot. But I think guys would be surprised at how much they also like to talk about sex (as is evident among the girls’ conversations with their friends on Girls) too. Why not try talking before the whole pedophile fantasy scenario ruins our orgasms?
Tell us what you think in the comments!
Catch the next episode of Girls on Sunday, April 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.