Lena Dunham has been called “anti-Semitic” since her essay in the New Yorker has outwardly compared Jewish men to dogs. The Girls creator and star wrote a piece titled “Dog Or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz.” The title alone is enough to make some readers cringe. Lena asked her readers to decided whether the statements she wrote apply to her Jewish boyfriend, Jack Antonoff, or their pet dog, according to the Observer.
Here’s one excerpt from Dunham’s essay.
“He doesn’t tip. I feel that he is judgmental about the food I serve him. 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.”
That’s not all that Lena Dunham wrote about her boyfriend. She also remarked that he’s cheap, he enjoys eating cheese, and he is very hairy. What a great way for Dunham to show her approval of her boyfriend by continuing to bring up culture stereotypes.
This essay has received its share of controversy on the internet. Lena’s essay has upset many Jewish people, including Jordana Horn, who responded to Lena’s essay on Kveller, writing, “I suppose Lena Dunham feels that she has some sort of humor EZ Pass, and the New Yorker has indulged her in that thinking… because apparently Jews are a group you can make fun of and it is deemed kinda intellectual and funny to do so.”
Dunham’s essay was also attacked by Anti-Defamation League officials, including National Chairman Abraham H. Foxman. He said that the comparison brought up the memories of “the ‘No Jews or Dogs Allowed’ signs from our own early history in this country,” as written on the official Facebook page.
Even some have taken to social networking sites like Twitter to air their frustrations about Lena Dunham’s offensive New Yorker essay.
One wrote, “@NewYorker Wow. Do you post ever piece of anti-Semitic drivel that gets submitted, or only if its written by @lenadunham?”
But there are some people who believe that Lena Dunham is just being Lena Dunham.
Contributor Hilary Saunders from the Jewish Daily Forward wrote, “Let’s just laugh this off like the joke that it is supposed to be. Because really, there are a few things more Jewish than laughing at, and in the face of, our own adversity.”
Even the New Yorker’s editor-in-chief, David Remnick, defended Dunham on her controversial essay. He believes that everyone should just suck it up and learn to laugh about it.
“The Jewish-comic tradition is rich with the mockery of, and playing with, stereotypes. Anyone who has ever heard Lenny Bruce or Larry David or Sarah Silverman or who has read ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’ knows that. Lena Dunham, who is Jewish and hugely talented, is a comic voice working in that vein. Richard Pryor and Chris Rock do the same about black stereotypes; Amy Schumer does it with women and gender. I don’t mind if one reader or another didn’t find the piece funny. People can differ on that. But considering all the real hatred and tragedy in the world, the people getting exercised about the so-called anti-Semitism of this comic piece, like those who railed at Philip Roth a generation or two ago, are, with respect, howling in the wrong direction.”
It sounds like the New Yorker doesn’t mind if its writers joke about bigotry and cultural stereotypes. It’s cool. Maybe Dunham should’ve hired someone to write an essay for her. Some fans mentioned that services like CustomWritings deliver only high quality custom written essays to students. Maybe Dunham needs a ghostwriter that still writes in her voice, but uses less offensive humor.
This isn’t the first time that Lena Dunham has written something and received controversy for it. In her book of personal essays, Not That Kind of Girl, she talked about “sexually experimenting” with her younger sister, Grace. Lena said that she would try to kiss her sister or do “anything a sexual predator might do.” Basically, Lena was trying to come out and say that she acted as a pedophile. You can read the disturbing details at the Truth Revolt news site.
Imagine if someone wrote a response piece titled: “Pedophile or Lena Dunham? A Quiz,” or “Anti-Semitic or Lena Dunham: A Quiz.” Wonder what she would say about that.
What are your thoughts on Lena Dunham’s New Yorker essay?
[Image: Larry Busacca/Getty Images]