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April 2, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

To all of you who believe that Lena Dunham is completely worthless, allow me to disagree. The same person whom Camille Paglia memorably called a “pile of pudding” provides a very valuable public service – she lets us see just how misguided, how truly dysfunctional this culture is becoming. Whoever will become our Edward Gibbon, please take note.

Dunham of course is in no small way responsible for the television show Girls that inadvertently monitors the decline of the West. Here’s an article about a recent episode of Girls in which the aforesaid P of P reveals to a girlfriend that she’s pregnant (Newsbusters, 3/20/17).

More to the point, her character, Hannah, had unprotected sex with a stranger and, as the scene opens, is with child. Her friend Marnie elicits the information that Hannah intends to keep and raise the child.

Marnie: Oh, my God! This is wild. Okay, I have a million questions. Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?

Hannah: No, it's, like, way too early for that, but if it's not a girl, or like, the gayest boy in the entire world, obviously I'm gonna flip the fuck out.

Marnie: Oh, the father. Like, is he gonna be involved? Is he gonna help?

Hannah: I'm not telling him.

Marnie: He doesn't know?

Hannah: No, I don't want him to be a part of the kid's life, so why would I tell him?

Marnie: Because he's the father and he deserves to know.

Hannah: That's a pretty patriarchal, old-fashioned attitude to have.

Marnie: You are obviously going to tell him eventually. But even if you weren't planning on it, your baby is gonna grow up to wonder, like, "Where is my father and why did he leave us?"

Hannah: Yeah, and I can worry about that when she can talk, when she's, like, seven. And until then, I don't want to have to trouble him. He has enough stress with, like, his, you know, water skiing issues and his girlfriend.

So, inevitably on programs like this, we have the mother-to-be deciding for her child’s father what his involvement with the child will or won’t be. There’s a small conflict between Hannah and Marnie about whether the dad has a right to know about his child, with Hannah taking the position that he has no such right and Marnie in opposition.

Interesting first is Hannah’s claim that the moral obligation to tell the father is “patriarchal” and “old-fashioned,” an attitude that goes unrebutted by Marnie who simply changes the subject. Accordingly, Girls leaves us with Hannah’s assertion as is.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no mention of the child’s need for a father or the notion that fathers should have the right to be informed about the existence of a child in order for them to make their own decision about their level of involvement. No, in Lena Dunham’s world, the idea that a woman shouldn’t have complete control over a man’s reproductive rights and duties is so lacking in merit as to be unworthy of mention.

And, in that same world, from where does that unfettered female power come?

Hannah: It's my body, okay, and it's my baby, and I have made the choice that I am not going to tell him.

Marnie: Okay, I take back what I said about you having your shit together because this is fucking insane.

Hannah: I knew that you were gonna try to be controlling and control the entire way that I brought my child into this world. And I probably shouldn't have even told you until I was in labor.

That’s right. By some weird alchemy that is far beyond my poor powers to understand, a woman’s right to choose abortion (“It’s my body) miraculously absolves her of the moral obligation to tell a man he has a child. Whatever anyone thinks of abortion rights, even a casual reading of Roe v. Wade and its companion case demonstrates that the right stems from a woman’s private consultation with her doctor during her pregnancy and ends when the child is born (or possibly before, depending on the circumstances).

But in Dunham’s world, the right to control a man’s relationship with his child extends at least until the child is seven or so and stems from her right to an abortion. And, just in case anyone’s missed the point, it’s remade later on when Hannah visits her gay father and his partner, Keith.

Hannah: Nothing about his life projects the idea that he wants a child.

Keith: Well, it still doesn't change the fact that the child will be his.

Dad: Hannah's already decided. It's her body. I think we all need to do exactly what we feel is right for us…

Dad: As a mother, Hannah has to decide what's best for the baby. And not telling the father is what she's decided is best. Are you going to tell every mother how to raise their child?

Keith: I just don't think she has enough information to make a fair decision. She doesn't know who this guy is, what he wants.

So, not only does the “right” to deny knowledge of a child to its father stem from abortion rights, according to Girls, the fact that a woman should utterly control a man’s relationship with his child goes entirely unquestioned including by the supposed voices of opposition, Marnie and Keith.

Then of course there’s what goes unsaid - that Hannah, any time she want to, can run to the unnamed father for child support. It’s her body when she wants to deny Dad knowledge of his child and her relationship with the child that allows her to claim his money when and where she wishes. That reality, one assumes, might make viewers of Girls a bit queasy and perhaps less inclined to support the whole notion espoused by the episode – that Hannah’s choice is all about personal freedom and therefore must go unquestioned.

I suspect that history will record that, like other powerful nations, the decline of the United States was accompanied by a decline in understanding of basic things, the value of the family being foremost among many. That all of that will have occurred simultaneously with the expansion of the social science on the value of both parents to children will likely be puzzling to our future Gibbon. So will be the fact that mediocrities like Dunham are who we choose to guide our cultural path.

So, pay attention to Lena Dunham. Awful as she is, she’s a reasonably reliable indicator of where we find ourselves in the early part of the 21st century in a nation that once aspired to greatness, but now can’t seem to get out of its own way.




National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#abortion, #fathers'rights, #paternityfraud

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