Shoshanna From Girls On Gender In Business: “It’s Incredibly Important For Women To Support Women”

Since its premiere in 2012, Girls has consistently showcased all of the cringe-worthy, shitty and hilariously real moments in the lives of four twenty-something girls. As the seasons wore on, your love for Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shosh was probably tested on more than a few occasions.

But one thing that the HBO series hasn’t been able to escape is controversy. First, there were the pearl-clutching, “It’s so NUDE!” complaints; and then came accusations that the show didn’t equally represent socio-economic or racial diversity. (Community’s Donald Glover had a short-lived stint as Hannah’s boyfriend, Sandy, during season two — but as The Atlantic noted, that didn’t really count.)

Promoting Glamour‘s Make Your Mark campaign in a recent interview with Huffington Post, a newly blonde Zosia Mamet (who plays the adorably aloof Shosh) was asked about the outrage the show attracted. “Something that Judd [Apatow] said very early on to us, which I think has helped all of us, is that people are talking about it, and that’s a good thing. And that’s also what we’re trying to do: we’re trying to start a conversation in many ways about many things — that’s why we did our HPV episode. And I think that’s the important part; everyone’s going to have an opinion one way or another, but the most important thing is it’s making people feel something.”

When asked if she thought the show attracted so much controversy because it was about women (which the host described as “a minority group” for some reason), she had a brilliant answer: “That’s hard to say. I feel like you could say the same thing if the show were about monkeys.” Mamet went on to explain: “Lena said from very early on too that she never set out to write a show for all women, but to write a show about these specific four women and their lives, and the things they’re doing.”

Mamet — who wrote extensively about her battle with eating disorders for Glamour last month — also speaks about the campaign, which aims to encourage and inspire women to help each other make their mark on the world. “I think it’s incredibly important for women to support women,” Mamet says. “There’s never anything wrong with that —  it only brings good things about. That’s really the reason I was so, so excited to head up this campaign, was just to be hopefully a bit of a beacon to inspire women to be inspired by themselves, and also to be inspired by each other.”

“[The cast and crew of Girls] is an incredibly close-knit group,” she continues. “We work incredibly closely, and it’s innately inspiring having all of these wonderful women surrounding you all of the time, and knowing that we’re creating something together — that we’re on this collective creative endeavour. It’s so, so wonderful, and sadly it’s so rare … having a gaggle of women doing something together.”

Girls is coming soon to HBO. Hopefully with more drunk Shosh.

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WILAB LOVES is a series of articles and blog posts from across the web that Women’s iLab supports. This article was written by Katie Booth and published on Junkee on September 10, 2014.