I need to talk to Lena Dunham. Why the HELL would she begin the second episode of Girls with two consecutive sex scenes when my parents were in the room?!? How dare she show Hannah having graphic, awkward intercourse with Adam in the opening scene instead of strategically placing it in the middle, so that my parents don’t think I’m watching porn?
All hell broke lose. My dad said the show was disgusting. My mom told us that she was going to cancel HBO. My brother and I argued that we were the ones paying for HBO and that we could continue to do so. My mom became angrier. Davis told her that she could leave the room if she wanted to. But she “will not be spoken to that way in [her] house.” Every time there was a single sex noise (in the following scene, Marnie needs to change positions so that she doesn’t have to look at her boyfriend), my mom shot me the most spiteful glare. Then she finally left the room.
Later, when I asked to borrow a pair of tights, she was still angry and refused to talk to me. So, I have a lot of feelings. I have this REALLY STRONG feeling that I am 18 and a legal adult, and I should be free to watch whatever I want. Also, my mom watches The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette!) and tells me that my show is trash? I’m sorry that what I’m watching doesn’t promote illusions about fairytale endings and create strange perceptions of romance. She never even gave Girls a chance. How can she decide if it’s fit for her children if she herself has no idea what the series aims to do, which is have a more honest conversation about sex? How do I explain to her that Lena Dunham uses her sex scene with her awful, awful fuckbuddy to show how terrible he is? I will say now exactly what I said after one of my classmates called Rodin’s sketches porn: in all honesty, I don’t think that anyone’s getting off on this. How do I tell my mom the same thing?
My mom didn’t let me watch Hey Arnold! (too adult) or Scooby Doo (too scary) when I was younger, but she hasn’t forbidden a show since. I didn’t expect this reaction. But this isn’t the first time in the past month that we have disagreed about what’s suitable for me. A few weeks ago, I was heading out of the house to go to a school chorus concert. She stopped me before I could leave to tell me that she could see my bra through my tank top, and that my outfit was not appropriate for someone my age. She ordered me to change before she would give me the money to get to the concert. I was infuriated. We had never fought like this before, yet there I was, defending my right to choose my own outfit. Yes, you could SOMEWHAT see through my lace top, but I was wearing a sweater, and according to the CLOTHING GODS, that’s 100% acceptable. I just don’t understand why she doesn’t understand my need to control what I watch and what I wear. FURTHERMORE, I can’t understand why she is objecting to these things now. She bought that see-through top! Yet here were are, a few weeks after a conversation about how she would be OK if I slept with a guy in the future, and she tells me that I can’t watch a series that shows people having sex—a series that shows sex with consequences (Hannah has an STD scare in the same episode) and addresses problems within relationships. Am I not responsible enough to discern these things for myself? Or will she baby me until the end, sending me off to college in a cradle? ♦