Our Culture Is Obsessed With Girls Right Now
White Girl Problems. Sh*t Girls Say. New Girl. 2 Broke Girls. Girls. I mean, it sounds like these titles couldn’t possibly exist at the same time but they’re all actually the names of current popular Twitter feeds and new TV shows. Judging by their existence, I’d say it’s officially a bad time to have a penis right now. Our culture is having a major “girl” moment.
Why are the lives of girls so interesting right now? I mean, duh, they have always been interesting but thanks to the democracy of Twitter, which arguably helped jumpstart this obsession with girls, hilariously out-of-touch and possibly misogynist network execs were finally able to get the memo that people were interested in the lives of women. Of course it didn’t hurt that Sex and the City and Tina Fey existed. They certainly laid the groundwork by providing great dialogues for women. (I’m talking about Sex and the City the TV show when I say interesting. Not its horrendous reincarnation in movies. Although, to be fair, we probably owe a lot to the success of those terrifying movies.)
Now everywhere we go, there’s girls! Smart, funny, interesting girls. They’re even ruling the blogosphere right now with websites like HelloGiggles, xoJane, and The Hairpin. (The latter of which, it should be noted, is more popular than its original brother website, The Awl.) Their stories are being told on the internet, on the big screen (sup Bridesmaids) and on our TV screens. Can you believe that it was only a short time ago when we only had something like The Hills to turn to for our daily dose of vagina? Dear god. In a post-Bridesmaids world, Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port have been practically voted off girl island. Watching pretty girls try to make sentences during lunch just isn’t relevant anymore. It’s crazy to see just how dated The Hills is even though it only happened a few years ago. And by crazy, I mean, it’s so amazing!
Of course with all of these modern depictions of women comes criticism. Whitney Cummings, the co-creator of 2 Broke Girls and the creator and star of her own sitcom, has come under fire for perpetuating harmful stereotypes of women by wrapping them in a faux-feminist bow. Sh*t Girls Say has been called reductive and White Girl Problems is often accused of being racist and sexist and maybe some other “ists” I don’t know about. But here’s the thing with that — if an idea is able to resonate with as large of an audience as these two Twitter accounts have, it means two things. One: It’s freaking funny. Two: People can relate to it. Why else do so many girls read these tweets and RT them on their own personal account, adding, “OMG, I’m definitely guilty of saying this”? Whether it’s offensive or not seems almost beside the point. The fact is that they’re exposing a truth of some kind. If you’re uncomfortable with it, maybe you should ask yourself why it holds truth for so many people.
Anything that’s done about women is going to be met with a raised eyebrow. Since, as a culture, we’ve done so many terrible things to them (and continue to do so), people are naturally going to be on the defensive and wonder what right does someone have to generalize their experiences as a woman? They’re right, to a certain extent, but I take solace in knowing that we have actual women in charge this time. Liz Merriwether, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Miranda July: These are just some of the vaginas I trust. And, like I said before, if something you think is offensive becomes popular, it’s beneficial to wonder why it became popular in the first place. Chances are the Twitter feed/ book/ TV/ film is exposing a truth about yourself (or your gender) that you’re just not willing to admit yet.
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