Rightbloggers Continue Outreach to Women with "Lena Dunham is Ugly" Campaign
Despite their often admirable message discipline, sometimes our rightblogger subjects just don't coalesce around one newsworthy subject that merits our attention. Such was the case last week. We could attend their thoughts on Obama's NSA speech, but frankly when you've seen one wave of fake outrage by folks who only discovered the national surveillance state on January 20, 2009, you've seen them all. And most of them kept their mouths shut about the great libertarian distribution of poisoned water to West Virginians, for reasons that should be obvious.
So let's reach into the grab bag marked "rightblogger gold" and see what's up -- ah, we got the war-on-women ticket. Piece of cake! We can fill out most of a column on the brethren's latest rage-gasm over Lena Dunham and her clothed and unclothed body. And if we have to pad it, there's plenty more misogynistic crap where that came from.
Conservatives usually have one actress at whom they point their hate-ons against Hollywood, women, and Hollywood women; Jane Fonda and Barbra Streisand come to mind. In recent years the rightbloggers have adopted Lena Dunham as their hate pin-up, partly for her liberal credentials, partly because she has the nerve to appear on television as a sympathetic character without being skinny or having big tits.
Last week's MacGuffin was a peculiar offer by the feminist site Jezebel to pay a $10,000 bounty for unretouched photos from Dunham's recent Vogue magazine feature. Jezebel was, it seems, trying to make a point about images of women in popular culture.
Rightbloggers who tackled the subject were also trying to make a point about images of women in popular culture -- mainly that there shouldn't be any if the subject isn't skinny and doesn't have big tits, and especially if she's some mouthy liberal dame.
Some of them had been on the case since Dunham's Vogue spread was announced. "Vogue Mag Lowers Standards," headlined Albert Merrick at Ben Shapiro's rage-aggregator site, Truth Revolt. "'Girls' star Lena Dunham to feature on cover despite untraditional body type."
"The Daily Mail is reporting that Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour is ready to 'violate a lot of Vogue traditions' to reach a younger audience," Merrick further reported. "The standards in question? The somatotype standards of beauty." Gasp! They have violated the tomatotype -- we mean the somatotype!
Never Yet Melted's David Zincavage certainly felt his somatotypography had been disturbed. "The elephant (sorry, Lena!) in this room of rage is that, let's face it, Lena Dunham really isn't that pretty," Zincavage analyzed. "Even glammed up for Vogue, those monster thighs lobster-clawing the neck of the guy who's bearing her on his shoulders really do have some 'perceived imperfections.'"
Lest you think this is just another internet troll harshing on one of the many, many women he will never have, Zincavage let us know he had a cultural point: "'body positivity' -- considering yourself a raving beauty no matter how much you weigh or what you actually look like -- is a central tenet of feminism," he wrote, and counterpointed a Slate author's explanation about how body image works thusly: "Yes, the point of fashion magazines is to 'make us all feel like crap.' That's why Vogue has 1.3 million subscribers. But let's go on pretending."
To recap, Vogue was deliberately sabotaging itself by featuring Dunham instead of someone who looks more like a stripper, for reasons unspecified but having to do with feminism. We suspect Zincavage feels that way about a lot of things.
"Vogue Fawns Over Lena Dunham, Ignores Low Ratings for 'Girls,'" wrote culture warrior Christian Toto at Newsbusters. Apparently Dunham only gets the star treatment because she supports Obama, unlike other TV stars. And the media does this sort of thing all the time: "Tina Fey also gets the media's full attention despite chronically weak ratings for her NBC series 30 Rock," reported Toto. "Fey's impression of Gov. Sarah Palin, however, earned the comic actress plenty of good will among media elites." Yet Greg Gutfield is stuck on Fox. It's just not fair!
"Melissa McCarthy, who stole the smash hit Bridesmaids and turned Identity Thief and The Heat into box office winners, might have something to say about Dunham's 'queen' title," continued Toto. "Then again, magazine scribes and audiences alike have no clue as to how McCarthy votes or what causes she supports." Don't they, Christian? Don't they? [Then the line went dead.]
Some rightbloggers dispensed with the Vogue angle and just talked about Lena Dunham being naked, which seemed to excite them, however much they insisted that she was unattractive.
When Dunham reacted with understandable irritation to yet another freelance somatotypist who'd critiqued her nudity as if it were a production value -- "If you're not into me, that's your problem and you're going to have to work that out with professionals" -- Robert Stacy McCain chortled, "WHOA! A man who isn't 'into' Lena Dunham has a 'problem'? He needs 'to work that out with professionals'? As in, reparative therapy?" Who's the fascist now libtards? McCain quoted some other wingnut comedians who agreed the femifascists were trying to force everyone to look at Lena Dunham's tiny tits ("Want to see Kate Upton nude? Sexist. Don't want to see Lena Dunham nude? Sexist"), and informed us that one of feminism's chief tenets is "it's sexist oppression for men to prefer some women over others." That's in The Female Eunuch, right?
"Oh and here's a recent pic of Lena Dunham," reported He-Man Women Haters' Club President Emeritus Ace of Spades. "Given her age and current income this is probably the peak of her attractiveness. It's not that she's ugly - mostly she's a tiny bit weakly cute in a very average way. Which isn't a crime and just makes her average-ish..." Later, after his orgasm, Spades wrote, "But I guess we're supposed to pretend she's a sex pot and swoon over her nudity or we're now misogynists or something." Then Spades claimed he'd never seen her nude, as if he were the type to pass up any link that promised nude female celebrity pics, not excluding Dr. Ruth's.
"I've been thinking a lot about Lena Dunham's naked body," said Andrew Klavan at Truth Revolt. "It's a difficult job, but someone's got to do it." Thank you, try the veal, it's politically incorrect! "Why the nonsensical over-reaction?" asked Klavan (he meant Dunham's, not his own.) "Well, obviously, it's because Dunham is not very pretty and she's also kind of fat." Klavan ended heroically: "I won't be told by a group of filmmakers who are using an actress's flesh for commercial purposes that it's somehow offensive for me to pass judgment on the product they're putting up for sale." High-fives to all the Spartacuses in the man cave!
"If You Don't Want To See Lena Dunham Naked You're A Misogynist Or Something," bannered The Lonely Conservative. You know, it's actually a great way for these guys to look at it -- now they've got a flattering explanation for why people are always calling them that.
DaTechGuy seemed at first to be eulogizing Russell Johnson, who'd played the Professor on Gilligan's Island and died last week. "He was the original MacGyver," said DaTechGuy. "Like James Doohan's Scotty, Russell Johnson's Professor Roy Hinkley inspired people to science." Also he served in World War II. "In short," continued DaTechGuy, "Johnson was a role model a person could watch that show and say I'd like to be like that. Think of this and compare it to the debate about Lena Dunhan's Girls..."
No, we're not even kidding. First DaTechGuy established that he doesn't like Girls, and that's meaningful because he has an internet radio talk show. "Even the puppy scene contained the line: 'oh my God they're fetus sized,'" sniffed DaTechGuy. "I mean who says that? Do twenty something feminists with no life actually go around looking at things saying things are 'fetus sized'?" Maybe DeTechGuy's kids don't talk to him. He was also pissed that some people liked Dunham: "I mean," he seethed, "can you be 'the new queen of comedy' when nobody watches your show but media elites who don't breed at the replacement rate?" Interesting train of thought, there.
It's not just feminists who're trying to destroy us with Lena Dunham's nudity; it's also, wrote Dan Calabrese at Canada Free Press, Hollyweird and whatever its TV equivalent would be (Maybe televAlinsky?) "In a broad sense, there is a faction within the entertainment industry that wants to shove stuff like nudity down the throats of the nation," said Calabrese. "But they seem especially determined in this case to shove nudity as practiced by those who are - how shall I put this? - not exactly beauty queens."
And so televAlinsky executives "mean to imply the objection is not to nudity per se, but to Lena Dunham nude because she's ugly," Calabrese chivalrously added. "And starting that controversy is the reason they're showing her naked in the first place in scenes where there is really no reason for it. Take off your clothes and show us your frumpy body, then express your offended outrage when we ask why exactly we need to see it. Sadly, it seems to have worked pretty well." How he was judging this alleged routine's success -- by Dunham's press profile, or the condition of his sheets -- Calabrese did not disclose.
Whattaya mean, "queen of comedy"? She's an A-cup at best.
"If there's one thing in the world we're not remotely in danger of talking about too little, it's Lena Dunham's body," wrote National Review's Betsy Woodruff, a Dunham obsessive clearly eager to be one of the guys. "We have these big national discussions about it every six months or so... we might even have talked about Lena Dunham's body more than Kate Upton's(!)." This is weird, said Woodruff, because Dunham is a "chubby Brooklynite" -- haw haw, and bet she doesn't shave her legs neither!
As you will have guessed, Woodruff persisted on this topic that she had just announced was tiresome, probably for the clickbait but also for the Serious Cultural Point. "We all know TV shows normalize things (Will and Grace, Sex and the City, etc., etc., etc.)," she said. And, just like those corrupting TV shows that sought to normalize not only sex between men but also sex between men and women, "Girls pretty overtly seeks to normalize bodies like Dunham's."
But they can't, said Woodruff, because Girls' ratings are bad -- not National Review bad, but certainly not in The Big Bang Theory ballpark. "Dunham wants to normalize her conventionally unattractive body by showing it to people on screen," she wrote, "but the people she most needs to look at it don't particularly want to."
And you know why that is? Somatotypositor? Well, maybe, because -- oh, here, you try and figure it out: "As sexually progressive as some progressives will tell you we've become, we're still as an aggregate completely uncomfortable with seeing the naked female body as good for much at all besides titillating dudes. As far as mass media is concerned, sexual liberation is for straight guys. Slow clap." Yeah, us neither, except maybe 1.) Woodruff isn't sure whether the media is brainwashing us to like Dunham or to dislike her, and 2.) she also believes the women who watch Girls only do so because they think it's a commercial and are waiting for a cooking show to come on. But how about that Kate Upton?
And so it goes. Elsewhere in the rightbloggers-on-women beat, we had Michelle Obama celebrating her 50th birthday, which the brethren observed just as you'd imagine they would: "After weeks away on a taxpayer-funded vacation to Hawaii, Michelle Obama has returned to D.C. for even more self-involved celebration leading up to her birthday," wrote Christopher Agee at the Western Center for Journalism. "...In one statement that illustrates her own radicalism, she touted the virtues of actress Jane Fonda." Thanks for the callback, Chris!
Others reported on the upcoming festivities ("USA in Chaos; Obama's Throw a Whitehouse Dance Party for Michelle's 50th"), or offered presents to the First Lady ("All expenses paid (by American taxpayers) extended second honeymoon with Barack in Guantanamo Bay"). Still others claimed "Obama Divorce Rumors Gaining Momentum." They got that from National Enquirer, which was right once about John Edwards. "Not surprising the mainstream media is staying very far away from this story," said Samuel Gonzalez of The Last Tradition. "Not even Rush Limbaugh wanted to talk about it." That's how hot this truth bomb is!
"Michelle Obama doesn't seem like the most positive, supportive woman in the world," fantasized John Hawkins of Right Wing News, "and Obama is a narcissist. It's so easy to imagine her being unhappy and nagging him all the time, him running into some pretty young thing who coos every time he says 'hope and change,' and everything progressing from there... For the sake of their children, I hope this isn't true." Now, wasn't that kind of him? (By which we mean, John Hawkins is a fucking asshole.)
On the more substantive side of their female outreach, we also have rightbloggers rooting for the Supreme Court to do away with those "buffer zones" that currently keep the godly from getting in the faces of women on their way to abortion clinics who don't understand that the godly only want to show them dismembered fetuses and call them murderers because they love them. And for poor women, they offered a foolproof hand-up-not-a-handout from poverty: Get married! Also...
Sigh. You know what? We thought this would be easy and fun, but the more we read these guys the more obvious it becomes that we were only half right.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter