By: Ryann Casey
On Sunday April 16, 2017 we said goodbye to HBO’s Girls. The series began in 2012 and has, in many ways, been a five-year long deep dive into the self absorbed world of creator, Lena Dunham. Despite many flaws with the series, it has continued to display semi-realistic images of the female body from a unique perspective that damns the male gaze, the truth and horrors of dating in your 20’s in modern New York, and condemns societal perception of female “likeability.”
On the flipside there is an extreme under representation of diversity on the show and a lack of point of view from women who don’t have a trust fund. The characters collectively take no responsibility for their actions and go through life jumping wherever any attention is flung at them, rather than navigating with a sense of self or learning from mistakes. This is honest to an extent in showing the imperfection of a young woman’s experience, but is problematic in displaying such a one-sided, entitled, and un-empowering portrayal of it.
I, like many feminists, have a love-hate relationship with the series, meaning I cannot watch a single episode without finding countless ridiculous flaws and yet I have seen every episode. This perplexion continued through the final season and series finale.
A show that has preached female choice and empowerment and has set out to describe the average millennial woman’s journey ultimately ends in a young woman settling her whole life around things that happen to her rather than making decisions for herself.
In the final season and final episode, everything seems to come down to the Girls relationships to men. Shoshana is finally happy because she’s getting married. Jessa is finally happy because she’s back with Adam. Marnie and Hannah’s mother are both unhappy because they’re single, and Hannah is finally happy because she has a baby.
The series finale tells us all to damn their careers or any other aspects of their lives and focus on the fact that these women have come to where they are because of men. Using the opportunity of telling the quintessential story of today’s young woman to draw the parallel that women will only be happy if and when they return to the home and become a wife/mother is problematic, unrealistic and outdated.