I found myself in an interesting conversation about vaginas today.
Actually it wasn’t so much a conversation as it was a group of my PA brothers calling each other vaginas, giggling like schoolgirls and making lewd gestures with a cannoli. I’m the only sister in a PA family of ten on this particular job, and I think in that moment they forgot that I do, in fact, have a vagina.
On the flip side, it was in that moment that I was poignantly reminded that they all do, in fact, have penises. Penises intact, they were acting like Neanderthals. So just like the great Jane Goodall did before me, I took this opportunity to study their behavior.
In that 30-minute lunch break I learned that it was, alas, not a good thing to be a vagina and if your PA brother offers you a tampon–boy, did he get you. Every true dude in the vicinity will be [heartily] laughing at that one. But through careful observation and analysis, I discovered that this web of insults surrounding the female anatomy has far less to do with the actual vagina as it does the absence of the penis. The main message:
Have you noticed that men are always imploring one another to be Men? If you’re a Man you’re strong. If you’re a Man, you’re a provider. If you’re a Man, you don’t even need to take your pants off to pee. A prideful species indeed, men find it a great honor to be Men; and that pride has given them a vast amount of power in this world.
So, to my fellow vaginas out there, my message is as follows:
Shopping, chocolate, gossip, self-deprecation. These are all major components to my life. So much so, in fact, that my boyfriend has taken to calling me a Cathy Comic. And, I don’t disagree. That bitch had it going on; SHE HAD HER OWN COMIC STRIP.
But apparently, I’m not just a Cathy. I’m also a Daria, whom I received as the result of my “Which 90’s Babe is Your Style Icon” Buzzfeed quiz. And, again, I don’t disagree. I’m totally a Daria. I even have a Jane, who coincidently ended up with Angela Chase as her 90’s babe.
But, I have to ask, is it possible to be both a Cathy and a Daria? They couldn’t be more different.
I think the answer is a resounding: YEEEEEEES!
I started officially calling myself a feminist in college.
From my liberal arts point of view, The University of Michigan was a fantastic place to be a young woman. I was exposed to an excellent education on the history of feminism as a civil rights movement, what it meant, and what it means to be a woman in this country then, and now. It was exciting to discover that I was a feminist that way.
That being said, I was always sure to say, “I’m a feminist. But, don’t worry, I don’t, like, burn my bras and stuff. I’m, like, normal.”
Looking back, I’m sure both disrespecting my foremothers, and saying like in the same sentence would have gotten me booted from club We-Can-Do-It. But, honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure who I was and, really, just sort of talked too much because I didn’t know much. I knew that I was proud to be a woman, and that suffragettes were the coolest, and that maybe people would think I burned my Target bra if I called myself a feminist. I was in my early 20s, so I was still pretty stupid. In my older, wiser nowadays (representin’ the mid-late 20s, y’all), I leave that part out.
Simply put: I’m a feminist.
As a typical 20-something female stumbling awkwardly into adult womanhood, I am very much coming to terms with my sexuality. And I will say it’s exciting. I’m becoming more secure in the person that I am, carrying myself differently–more deliberately–and slowly discovering this, sort of, neon-pink feminine spark from within. Oh, and believe me when I say that spark is a very powerful thing. I notice it in other women, as well. I notice it in the way a woman walks, or the way she wears a black bra underneath a sheer blouse, or in her smile. It’s so powerful it’s almost tantalizing. There’s nothing sexier than a woman.
Two magnificent, unprecedented events occurred on consecutive days last week. Tuesday evening, at approximately 6pm, a meeting of incredible minds took place at a premise-y bar/restaurant in Studio City, California. Yes, dear ones, the people behind Dating & Hookup did happy hour.
Our group of eight women and one man planted in a corner booth and proceeded to meet, greet, and discuss the pluses and minuses of being Millenials plopped into a world filled with outdated dating expectations. With Jess and Becky in town from New York, it was the perfect opportunity for us all to put faces to names and get to know each other outside the vortex that is The Internet.
Now I, personally, have only been involved with Dating & Hookup for about two weeks, so I knew little-to-nothing about most of the people I met. That didn’t stop me from falling in love. Wait, no, love isn’t the right word. Guys, I have a heterosexual girl-crush. Her name is Grace DeVoll, and she probably thinks it’s pretty weird that I’m writing all of this two days after I met her. While I might be moving a little quickly, I feel the need to point out the merits of this girl-crush by comparing it with your average, run of the mill, guy-crush.
So, last night we said goodbye. For a while, and then we’ll come back and it will be season 3 and an ambiguous amount of time will have passed, and it will still be sunny in New York. It could have been a hard goodbye, but they made it so easy! What with all the happy endings and stuff falling right into place, for people who did nothing to earn it.
Warning: this recap may (will) be emotional and will include my wishes for season three. Because if I put them out there in the universe they’ll totally come true, right?
In our last episode before the season finale, each of our characters’ season long struggles come to climactic almost-breaking points. Everyone is losing control, and everyone is alone.
Sexual incompatibility: or, “I don’t know what came over me.”
Wherein Natalya and Adam become boyfriend and girlfriend and not boyfriend and girlfriend. They aren’t into the same movies and they definitely aren’t into the same type of sex. “I’m on the pill,” Natalya says after he aggressively throws pillows off the bed, “but will you come outside of me just in case? And I don’t like to be on top that much or soft touching because it tickles me it takes me out of the moment, but everything else is okay.” Adam – who we’ve seen call Hannah a “really late walker” during sex, not to mention pee on her (twice) – appreciates Natalya’s honesty and goes with it. I immediately wondered in that moment what would happen when it was Adam’s turn to be honest about what he wants, but in the moment he just looked at her and said the perfect thing: “I like how clear you are with me.”
Sometimes, when your characters are behaving rather badly and seeming less and less likeable by the moment, the best storytelling trick is to give them a crippling flaw. Like OCD.
What I used to love about Girls was the “Girls! They’re just like us!” message that seemed to seep through the show’s surface, even in the most unrelatable of settings – eg: a rabbit farm in upstate New York, or a Ted Bundy Brownstone – but I don’t feel that way lately. At least not with Hannah, who is so determined to prove she’s unlike anyone else that she’s on a semi-permanent “you wouldn’t understand” tirade against everyone around her. Even her therapist, who is hired to help. This week was a giant reminder to girls in their (our) 20s that every now and then, it’s okay to take deep breaths, relax, and stop trying to solve the ever-present predicament that is figuring out Who I Am. For like, two seconds.
How to cheat. Or: “It’s really possible that you’ve seen me at a club.”
Shoshanna can’t stop worrying about Jessa, “like, where is she? What is she wearing? Is it linen? What language is she speaking? Is she in a tropical climate or like, somewhere up high, oh my God is she warm enough?” While Marnie and Ray don’t seem as concerned re: Jessa’s whereabouts and sartorial choices, Shoshanna is very preoccupied with Who-Is-Doing-What-Where in this episode. This is probably because, like many girls who start to settle in with their boyfriends, leaving one’s love cave and entering the real world gives you mad FOMO, as soon as you realize people kept living their lives while you were nuzzling under those pink sheets.
So when Radhika, the richest Hindi Shosh knows, rollerblades up to invite Shosh to a college party, Shosh aggressively defends her need to attend: “I am a girl who has found love and disappeared.” This is, obvi, her worst nightmare. Ray patronizingly mocks her air quotes – “pantomime to express your emotions is a crutch we’ve talked about that” – but has no good or real reason to be so disagreeable with Shosh in this moment. When you’re 33 and sleeping in the glass house that is your 21 year-old girlfriend’s bed, you probably shouldn’t throw stones.
Before we met Jessa, back in Season 1 Episode 1, Hannah told Marnie, “okay it is so rare that I say this, but I just think she’s fun.” And now here we are, Hannah and Marnie are basically mid-breakup, and Hannah is headed out upstate to accompany Jessa on a visit to her father’s family… rabbit farm. ish. Well, “fun” isn’t necessarily the word I would use to describe Jessa, or this episode. But Hannah and Jessa are still friends and, for the most part, getting along. Which is more than we can say for everyone else!
“See you around, love” or: another kind of friendship.
We open on Hannah’s quizzical face asking Jessa, “are you sure your Dad knew we were coming?” Jessa is sure, but Hannah, ever the talker, still compares the experience to her worst nightmare in middle school – when you’re left behind and all of your friends become aware of your parents’ bad parenting skills. Okay, so maybe not the most sensitive way of phrasing it, considering we’re about to meet Jessa’s pretty much estranged father, but sure, Hannah, speak your mind.
Everyone is falling apart. From puking to drowning to fighting to crying, our characters are displaying all kinds of physical reactions to their personal lives this week. Since last week was Girls’ most naked episode yet, this week the ladies have taken a break from nudity and the focus has shifted toward tears. As much as I appreciated last week’s more thoughtful episode, I’m happy to have (almost all of) the rest of the characters back (miss you, Elijah! Not so much, Charlie!). They provide perspective about important subjects like mood lighting, tacos, and literature. Or, they fall asleep in bathtubs and only get out to remind us that everything sucks and we’re all just depressed people.
Within the conflicting mess of emotions that was this week’s episode, a few little pieces of wisdom emerged from all the nonsense:
BREAKING NEWS: Selfish and self-destructive twenty-somethings (who may or may not lack self-awareness) want to be happy, too. Even if they haven’t realized it yet.
Is that so much to ask? … We’ll get to that. Let’s say, first, that having your trash cans to yourself is too much to ask, according to Ray. Since Ray doesn’t have his own space to be territorial about, he gets territorial about Grumpy’s. And trash cans. So Ray flips out at Handsome Neighbor Joshua (Patrick Wilson) when he’s asked to stop dumping coffee grounds in HNJ’s personal trash cans. While they’re at it, why don’t they “just lean against the fence and crack open a frosty one and cup each other’s balls and sing kumbayah,” Ray suggests. Handsome Neighbor Joshua storms out. Hannah – obviously guilty re: the trash cans – leaves the “toxic work environment” that is Grumpy’s, and goes to apologize.
In this week’s episode, we watched Hannah continue to be an unfair beezy wreaking havoc on all of her friendships with reckless abandon, and also caught up with some recently neglected, sorely missed, more likeable characters! Perhaps it’s because she’s contracted an unfortunate case of never-stop-talking disorder, but Hannah’s kind of the worst lately, no?
Thank goodness for the rest of the Girls, or I might actually get frustrated enough to stop watching. Haha. Ha.
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