Writer and photojournalist Deborah Copaken Kogan on her career and her experience with gender bias:
"It's 1999. I sell my first book to Random House, a memoir of my years as a war photographer, for twice my NBC salary. I'm thrilled when I hear this: a new job; self-reliance; the gift of time to do the work I've been dreaming of since childhood. The book is sold on the basis of a proposal and a first chapter under the title Newswhore, which is the insult often lobbed at us both externally and from within our own ranks—a way of noting, with a combination of shame and black humor, the vulture-like nature of our livelihood, and a means of reclaiming, as I see it, the word 'whore,' since I want to write about sexual and gender politics as well. Random House changes the book's title to Shutterbabe, which a friend came up with. I beg for Shuttergirl instead, to reclaim at least 'girl,' as Lena Dunham would so expertly do years later. Or what about Develop Stop Fix? Anything besides a title with the word 'babe' in it. I'm told I have no say in the matter."
PUBLISHED: April 9, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2515 words)
The Girls creator remembers her friendship with Nora Ephron:
"Her advice was unparalleled. At one of our lunches this past January, I was sheepishly describing a male companion’s lack of support for my professional endeavors. She nodded in a very 'don’t be stupid' way, as if I already knew what I had to do: 'You can’t possibly meet someone right now. When I met Nick, I was already totally notorious'—note: Nora was the only person who could make that word sound neither braggy nor sinister—'and he understood exactly what he was getting into. You can’t meet someone until you’ve become what you’re becoming.' Panicked, I asked, 'How long will that take?'
"Nora considered a moment. 'Give it six months.'"
PUBLISHED: June 28, 2012
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1914 words)
What is it that makes HBO's Girls so special? Start with the sex scenes:
"Afterward, while she is getting dressed, Hannah jokingly refers to herself as the eleven-year-old girl. Adam looks confused and asks what she’s talking about. Hannah reminds him about his fantasy, but clearly her joke has fallen flat, and the disparity between their respective experiences of sex is further amplified: Adam had been blissfully lost to himself while they were doing it, while Hannah was taking mental notes. It is, among other things, an amusing metaphor for Hannah’s chosen profession: the writer is the one busily jotting in her notebook while other people are having orgasms."
PUBLISHED: May 15, 2012
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3759 words)
Writer-director Lena Dunham is following her breakthrough, 2010's Tiny Furniture, with a new HBO series produced with Judd Apatow. Inside the making of the series:
"When a TV critic reports on a new show, it’s okay to say the series is promising, even the next big thing, but ideally, one shouldn’t go native. One should probably also talk in the third person. In this case, however, I’ll have to make an exception. Because from the moment I saw the pilot of Girls (which airs on April 15), I was a goner, a convert. In an office at HBO, my heart sped up. I laughed out loud; I 'got' the characters—four friends, adrift in a modern New York of unpaid internships and bad sex on dirty sofas. But the show also spoke to me in another way. As a person who has followed, for more than twenty years, recurrent, maddening debates about the lives of young women, the series felt to me like a gift. Girls was a bold defense (and a searing critique) of the so-called Millennial Generation by a person still in her twenties."
PUBLISHED: March 26, 2012
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5764 words)