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Lena Dunham: Let's Save the Nasty Lookist Attacks for Women Who Aren't Feminists

The voice of a generation speaks.  Or Twits.

 

@lenadunham Ladies: Anne Hathaway is a feminist and she has amazing teeth. Let's save our bad attitudes for the ones who aren't advancing the cause.

This is ethically retarded (and I do mean that word, and it is the right word).

If you spoke to a 14-year-old gang member and asked him why the Reds aren't allowed in "his" territory but his gang, the Blues, should be allowed in the Reds', he wouldn't even bother making some kind of generally-applying ethical claim; he'd couch his language in that of pure force: Because we're tougher, or whatever.

You'd hear much the same thing from primitive tribesmen, I'd imagine. Broad ethical rules, which bind and protect all and not just your buddies, are a mark of civilization; mere personal loyalty -- they're my tribe, they're my gang, they're my friends, so they just have more rights -- and "rules" based on nothing but the simple possession of physical force enough to impose them are the marks of primitive cultures.

We call it "tribalism" because it's a mark of a more primitive social unit, the tribe or clan.

But while we accept that juveniles and primitives think in these terms, we generally expect adults living in civilized countries-- particularly those who seem to fancy themselves Television Intellectuals with Much to Say to the Youth of America -- as understanding that an ethical code cannot, and must not, devolve into "My Friends Get Special Treatment Just Because They're My Friends."

Here, Dunham doesn't even bother with a pretense of that. She makes no efforts to even dress it up as something other than it is, a pure power-based friends-first people-in-the-tribe-have-special-priviledges resort to juvenile thinking, or primitive thinking.

If I thought this sprang from bracing honesty -- some kind of Nietschean gambit of cutting through the bullsh!t and just admitting we're all animals and we favor our own pack -- I suppose I might be impressed. Not convinced, but surprised that she'd uttered such a cutting (if cynical) statement about human nature.

But I don't think it's that at all.

I just think she's so uncivilized she doesn't even realize that people are supposed to feel a bit ashamed about speaking this way. That is, I think she has grown up in a culture, and with a philosophy -- a sort of pseudo-feminist indulgence that basically just says things I like are Good and things I don't like are Bad -- that expressly urges a tribal, BFFs You Guys! mentality without even understanding the intellectual slothfulness, the shamefulness, of that.

It shocks me that people are so dull-witted to not even consider the simple Shoe On the Other Foot hypothetical that is obvious to most 12 year olds -- were the shoe on the other foot, would I find this rule, or this suggestion, acceptable? If the answer is "No," then your rule should not be a rule -- one must never propose rules or systems of favor that one wouldn't happily live under were the shoe on the other foot.

I found Marc Lamont Hill's support of the Killer Cop breathtaking for the same reason-- this guy is a professor at a university and he's not at all familiar with this idea of the Shoe on the Other Foot test? Do I really have to ask him if he'd find it "exciting" that a White Right Winger was gunning people down because of his quasi-political grudges?

I mean, do I really have to ask such a ferociously obvious question? Shouldn't a tenured college professor have such questions in his mind already?

But it never even occurred to him. Apparently he functions in such a thick protective packaging of intellectual bubblewrap that no one even asks him things like that.

Ever, apparently.

And so now Lena Dunham pronounces, by implication, the savaging of non-feminists not with "The Cause" to be okay, because, Not Our Friends.

But she's a very intelligent modern woman to whom other intelligent modern women should listen. You can tell she's intelligent and modern by the way she talks like an illiterate 13-year-old axe-sharpener in a Conan the Barbarian story.  Although I suppose the Axe-Sharpener wouldn't have quite so many opinions on Serious You Guys Negative Body Image!


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