Lena Dunham wrote an article for the New Yorker over which she faces severe criticism for its antisemitism. The boyfriend-dog comparisons simply take matters too far and are in bad taste.
Lena Dunham wrote a lengthy article for the New Yorker in which she denigrated her Jewish boyfriend, Jack Antonoff, by comparing his behavioral repertoires and entrenched habits with that of a pet dog. She began by saying that the readers ought to guess whether the following statements were about her dog or her Jewish boyfriend.
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Then began a litany of sentences that included: “he likes cream cheese”, “he has an overprotective mother who doesn’t have any aspirations to independence herself and who smothers him with affection”, “he is constantly seeking the affection of his spouse and gets whiny when he doesn’t receive it”.
There were other one-liners such as: “spends all day in bed with me” and “spends time sleeping with my underwear when I am gone” not to mention “doesn’t tip at restaurants and forgets to take his wallet with him”.
These of course count as big-time insults that have major consequences. The Anti-Defamation League has issued a statement to the effect that Lena Dunham’s words are tasteless and offensive to Jewish traditions, heritage and culture.
Writer Jordana Horn also wrote an article in response to Dunham's article on Kveller. "Lena’s characterization of a Jewish boyfriend, then–the crux from which the humor in this piece is supposed to derive–should. Basically, the boyfriend of whom she paints a picture is a weak, cheap, complaining, ungrateful, whiny jerk. To say that these qualities are obviously Jewish–and doglike?–offends me deeply," Horn wrote in his article.
The funny thing is that both Lena and her boyfriend Jack Antonoff are Jewish. Why would someone want to denigrate their own history and cultural-racial milieu? That is the big question!
Just because you happen to be living in The Big Apple, you start thinking that you have a right to say whatever you like about Jews for it is the “in” thing to insult them. In fact, anything goes as far as Jews go…from jokes about circumcision to the stereotypical Jewish Mama who is portrayed as the overprotective, smothering type.
The fact that a sign outside a gentleman’s club in Nazi Germany proclaimed in bold clear letters that “No Jews or Dogs Allowed” is proof that such negative stereotypes have always flourished in times of trouble.
And in today’s high-stress environment of rampant pollution, mindless consumerism and random rudeness, people like Lena Dunham get their kicks from pointing out the similarities between animals and people.
However, some people have actually come to Dunham’s rescue by pointing out that what she said in the article was not anything new. Several comedians have already used such mean and snide references against the Jews. And black comedians have done the same about their African American community without any reaction forthcoming from the ebony crowd.
Lena Dunham has not yet commented on the situation but editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, issued a statement on Twitter in response to The ADL's statement. See the tweet below.