Girls is looking a lot of things right now, but it’s also looking a bit heterosexual. After killing off one of the only openly queer characters pretty early on in Season 3 (OOPS), we’ve been fantasising about the many ways in which Lena Dunham could make things a bit less shitty. And, um, all of them involve homosexuality.
There was that moment in Episode 3 where I thought for a beautiful second we were witnessing the fragile beginnings of a Bisexual Ray storyline. When a hot dude approached Ray at Hannah’s birthday party I was all “omg, here we go”, and leaned in closer for some gay action. I thought this button-upped stranger was about to flirt Ray’s corduroy pants off.
Not so much: Girls, introducing Shoshanna’s new love interest! Snore.
BUT IMAGINE. Ray has never really had a reason to question his heterosexuality. He’s obvs into women – why stray? But what if a man approached him for the first time, and he found it was actually something he wanted. Something to snap him out of his Shoshanna neurosis. He’s got none of the macho bullshit to yell “GAY” and walk away. I think he’d stay and feel it out.
Sexually fluid ladies are all the rage on Girls right now (see: Jessa), but bisexual men aren’t really a thing. I mean Hannah’s ex-boyfriend Elijah had some stuff going on, but he was basically an internalised homophobia cliché. Hannah’s editor had Grindr AND a wife, but I think the closet was implied. The queer men in Girls are like random accessories (Elijah), or comic relief (David). There’s gay sex, but never a homosexual romance. We need a bit of Bisexual Ray.
Imagine Ray’s first trip to a gay club with his man friend. Imagine Ray deciding if he’s more of a top or a bottom.
Imagine the complicated narrative of queerness.
So who was disappointed Taystee was only on screen for like four minutes? Yeah, me too. Taystee aka Danielle Brooks aka Laura the token lesbian from Jessa’s support group in Episode 1. What a tease. All that buildup for like two scenes and one joke about puffy lesbian vests.
So Lena Dunham gave us a lesbian – 10 points! AND a POC character with dialogue – getting warmer. Now would a RECURRING queer character of colour be a bit too crazy? Looks like it.
Dunham is obviously trying to respond to critiques of diversity this season. I’m defs not the best person to analyse the phenomenon (see: Two Brown Girls, Tumblr), but I’ve noticed a sudden surge of POC characters – as in, like five as opposed to none. Only they’re always really random characters. Like the husband of Jessa’s childhood friend who faked her own death, or a DJ, or ALL OF HANNAH’S FRIENDS at her birthday party who we’ve never seen her interact with before.
So Girls is sneakily trying to reach the POC quota without actually having to develop a character.
Taystee is the closest we’ve come to having a complicated person of colour since Hannah’s boyfriend (Donald Glover) in Season 2 (always the first episode, weird). How cool would it have been if – PLOT TWIST – Taystee actually stuck around for more than opening night.
There was so much potential. Apart from anything, it was pretty awesome to see some lady-sex on Girls, given the elaborate airtime Dunham gives to heterosexual love-ins. More. Taystee. Where do I sign up?
Natalia as a Radical Man-Hating Lesbian
Natalia and Adam get the award for Worst Girls Relationship Ever. Nonexistent compatibility aside, the relapse-fueled, probably nonconsensual sex scene of Season 2 makes them a shoo-in.
This season, in a café showdown that would only happen in the ridiculous world of Girls, Natalia bitches Adam out for his grossness as he cowers behind Hannah like the unimpressive man-child he is.
I’m excited Natalia got to unleash some of her rage on Adam, but we can do better.
Consider this: Natalia, still traumatised by Adam’s failure as a human, resolves to spite all male-kind and move on to lady lovers. (Natalia’s best friend, conveniently played by the flawless Amy Schumer, seems like a logical place to start).
Adam’s behavior is enough to turn anyone off men for a while. Natalia could experience the joy of personal revenge, explore her sexual fluidity and never have to worry about needing a post-sex blowout ever again. Multitasking.
Marnie Meets Her Dominatrix
Dumped and directionless, Marnie needs a deus ex machina in the form of a dominatrix like no one else.
Think about it – Marnie has always been attracted to people in power. She doesn’t give a shit about Charlie until his business takes off. Then there’s Booth Jonathon who tells her the first time they fuck it’ll be so good it might scare her because he knows how to do ‘things’. To which she responds by running to the bathroom to masturbate.
Even this season, she only takes an interest in Ray after he puts her in her place by categorically listing her failures.
Marnie suffers from some serious pretty girl privilege. She’s used to walking into a room and being treated with a lot of interest for her looks alone. She knows how to play the pretty card, but is also desperate to find someone who can see her as more than a pretty face.
Enter a leather clad vixen ready to dominate Marnie long time, while ALSO helping her see herself as an actual three-dimensional human.
Marnie could really benefit from seeing things through the underside. Poor babe needs a panty gag something fierce.
She’d defy the heteronormative world around her, experience the joy of having a cake and eating it too, and hopefully become a lot less insufferable to watch.