Lena Dunham hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend and the reviews are in. The right-wing site Truth Revolt blared:
‘Girls’ Star Lena Dunham Gets Nude, Mocks Bible on SNL Earns 2nd lowest ratings of the year
And Planned Parenthood praised Dunham:
We thought we couldn’t love @lenadunham any more. Then she hilariously took down an anti-women “activist” on @nbcsnl: http://t.co/xEHA0CUECC
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) March 10, 2014
A good rule of thumb about the country’s largest abortion provider (over 1 million unborn children terminated in the last three years alone!) is to not take advice from them about what’s funny or life-affirming or, you know, good. The “hilarious” skit was actually hackneyed and revolved around offensive caricatures of both men and women. Oh, and it forgot to be funny for even a moment, which is its greatest sin.
Speaking of greatest sins, the TruthRevolt review might be even more wrong.
I’ve long tried to prove that Lena Dunham is some sort of double agent in the culture wars. If someone found out that Rick Santorum’s film company had been secretly bankrolling Girls, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. There is simply no show out there that more effectively destroys feminist narratives.
OK, OK, OK. So Dunham isn’t actually a covert agent destroying feminism from within. She’s so much better than that. Just a brutally honest artist who tells difficult truths and does so effectively because she sympathizes with the horribly flawed characters she’s created.
Which brings us to the best skit I saw on SNL this weekend. In the form of a fake commercial:
Here’s my transcription (after the introduction of the films “Son of God” and “Noah”:
Narrator: And coming soon, another extraordinary biblical film that tells the astonishing story of the Garden of Eden and the mother of life itself.
Eve: Adam? Adam… a snake just talked to me, is that normal?
Narrator: Before there were girls, there was the first…
Narrator: Girl. Lena Dunham’s unique take on the life of Eve as a struggling 20-something in the Garden of Eden with Adam Driver as Adam.
Adam: What are you even asking me, kid?
Eve: Nothing I just want to know what we’re even doing here. It’s like are we like man and wife or is it a situation where it’s like there’s all these other girls and I’m going to find out from the animals?
Adam: What are you talking about? You’re like a part of me. Literally. God made you from my rib, kid.
Eve: Oh my God that is like so sexist. I can’t believe you’d bring that up right now! Like, take a gender and women’s studies class!
Narrator: AO Scott of the New York Times says, “Even for Adam and Eve, there’s a lot of nudity.”
God: This is the tree of knowledge; from its branches you shall not eat.
Eve: Are you saying that in, like, a ‘I suggest you don’t,’ or in, like, a ‘definitely don’t but with a side of maybe do’?
God: Well, Eve, you’re clearly going to do whatever you feel like so whatever.
Narrator: David Edelstein says, “The only part that didn’t ring true was when Eve did Molly and went to a warehouse party with her gay ex-boyfriend.”
Eve: I can eat this, right? Like if I wash it or…
Snake (as Shoshanna): OMFingG I’m, like, a legit snake and I know this sounds crazy but you should like totally eat the apple and I know, like, God told you ‘no’ but, like, that was just a guideline plus it will make you, like, so smart and no offense but I feel like a girl like you needs to be smart.
Narrator: The Wall Street Journal says, “If this is feminism, then I’m confused.”
God: I honestly don’t know what else I expected from you, Eve.
Eve: Can you please not ‘apple shame’ me right now? Seriously, I know I committed original sin but at least it was original. I think I deserve some credit for that or at least a publishing deal.
God: I can’t support you forever Eve, you’re old enough to be on your own.
Eve: I’m 3 days old. I don’t even have health insurance?
Adam: Aren’t you going to put on some like fig leaves or something?
Eve: I don’t see why that’s necessary at all. I’m not going to, like, conform to society’s demands for me.
I mean, I don’t see how someone could do a better job of contrasting feminism with the supposedly now-outmoded idea that men and women complement each other. I don’t know how someone could show the narcissism of feminist thought any better. I don’t know how someone could better show how modern feminism exacerbates young women’s existential crises by denying them any kind of trust or reliance on male figures. Heck, I don’t know how someone could update the Genesis account in a more faithfully orthodox manner. I might always now hear the ever-present question that motivates our actions (a variation on the snake’s “Did God really say …”) in the voice of Lena Dunham’s Hannah. Or even the reference to the understanding of Adam and Eve’s sexual relationship as marriage — predating any civic definition of same! Is there a Witherspoon Institute plant over at NBC?
The deep truth in this sketch is that feminism is incompatible with the natural approach of humans being made male and female, given to each other for their mutual benefit and for the procreation and raising of children. God bless Lena Dunham for showing the ends of our new approach to the roles of the sexes — miserably self-absorbed, confusing and lonely existences — however unintentional it may be.