As Girls wrapped up its fourth season this past Sunday, critics were divided on whether or not Lena Dunham’s series was still as poignant or even as funny as the three well-received offerings that came before it.
That’s not to say that the show hasn’t always had its critics. From the beginning, a vocal group of detractors have not only torn down Girls but more specifically Lena herself as an entitled, selfish child. For better or worse, Dunham has come to represent young, liberal, college-educated feminists, a role that attracts scrutiny from media all across the ideological spectrum.
Outside of Girls, one of Lena’s most attention-grabbing gigs is with The New Yorker. Most recently, Dunham published a list of qualities that she asked readers to attribute to either “(a) my dog or (b) my Jewish boyfriend?” Of the 35 items on the list, a few in particular are causing an uproar for their use of stereotypes of the Jewish community.
“8. I feel that he is judgmental about the food I serve him. When I make something from scratch, he doesn’t want to eat it, but he also rejects most store-bought dinners.”
“9. This is because he comes from a culture in which mothers focus every ounce of their attention on their offspring and don’t acknowledge their own need for independence as women. They are sucked dry by their children, who ultimately leave them as soon as they find suitable mates.”
“13. He doesn’t tip.”
“14. And he never brings his wallet anywhere.”
“24. Every week it’s some new health issue: urine crystals, sprained foot, beef allergy.”
Though the negative backlash is coming from both fans and haters of Lena, those detractors do seem to converge on one common question: Why did The New Yorker deem it acceptable for Dunham to publish a list that clearly relies on racial stereotypes for laughs?
Imagine a piece titled “Dog or Black Boyfriend?”, rife with stereotypes. Then wonder why this is acceptable: http://t.co/Xus5yzEH8l
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) March 27, 2015
— Jessie Velociraptor (@jessiesarah) March 26, 2015
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) March 27, 2015
UPDATE: The New Yorker has released a statement about the negative backlash to Lena’s article. They assert that Dunham herself is Jewish and no anti-semitism is intended by the use of stereotypes in the list.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) March 27, 2015
Do you think Lena Dunham’s article was anti-semitic?
[Image via Larry Busacca/Getty Images]