Even if you dislike Lena Dunham, you can’t deny the fact that she isn’t shy about speaking her mind or defying the deeply entrenched sexism that so often rears its head in popular media. She’s also not cagey about discussing the male or female body in very matter-of-fact terms, regardless of whether or not it makes other people clutch their pearls in horror.
Dunham appeared on Today this morning to promote the final season of Girls in an interview with Maria Shriver. However, the segment quickly went awry when Dunham dared to mention genitals in a joke.
Shriver was in the middle of complementing Dunham on the final and upcoming season of Girls, saying that she herself had watched several sneak preview episodes, and that it looked “terrific.”
“You saw a penis, right?” Dunham quipped.
For a moment Shriver seemed to be somewhat stunned, before recovering and sputtering, “Well, I saw more than that!” She laughed nervously and told Dunham, “You caught me there, for a second, I’m not sure if you’re allowed to say that on television.”
I guess Maria Shriver has never heard the word “penis” on television before? The host was totally thrown off her game, and couldn’t recover from hearing the icky “P-word” on live television. It was clear that Shriver was hoping for Matt Lauer to start his segment and put her out of her awkward misery. She called out “Matt, help! She just threw me off!” Lauer, however, just stood off to the side, laughing at the spectacle and drawing out Shriver’s discomfort.
Shriver eventually laughed and told Dunham, “That’s the difference between generations, I wasn’t brought up talking like that.” Which was probably intended to sound self-deprecating, but ended up sounding like some extreme shade.
Dunham just laughed throughout the debacle, continually apologizing for befuddling Shriver — thought she seemed to take a certain bemused pleasure in the whole thing. She later stated “I’m thrilled by what’s just happened here.”
Some Twitter followers agreed with Shriver that the word “penis” was too inflammatory for a live morning show. However, others were baffled that she considered the word “penis” to automatically be in poor taste.
These lucid points didn’t register with many viewers, however, and many people were calling Dunham “classless” and unladylike for daring to mention male genitalia aloud. The whole thing is utterly vexing, considering that you can, in fact, say “penis” on television, regardless of how much embarrassment it may cause Maria Shriver.
Also, just a quick reminder that a man said “grab ’em by the pussy” and was elected as the President of the United States! So the formerly-accepted conventions of “class” are totally null and void anyway!