OK, so just to preface this: I’m a white, semi-privileged, twenty-something feminist woman living in Brooklyn. That being said, I feel like it’s probably necessary to clarify that my life is absolutely nothing like Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls. I mean, I’ve like, been to Roberta’s, but other than that, nothing. I can totally admit that the show is funny, but I just can’t get past how much I downright loath every character. Clichés, clichés clichés. Young women are crazy and their lives revolve around men, right? Hmm yeah, I just don’t get down with that.
ANYWAY, this general distaste for Girls is part of the reason I don’t really find myself falling all over Lena Dunham. I appreciate the fact that she is an outspoken, bold woman who, even though her success is probably largely due to a level of privilege I can’t even fathom, has worked hard, been successful and gotten people to listen to her/ look at what a real fucking female body looks like. I agree that everything (appreciation and equality for women included) is more easily concurred with an air of humor, rather than strong-armed shit talking. HOWEVER, I think Lena Dunham just generally kind of sucks. It’s a mix of a lot of things, but mostly, her overwhelming obliviousness just makes my skin crawl. And this whole debacle with her book and everyone accusing her of being a child molester, has honestly somehow increased my distaste for the world + the media + her, all simultaneously. ICYMI: Dunham recently released her memoir Not That Kind of Girl, which includes passages involving her younger sister, (by six years) Grace, that are totally uncomfortable and could be (and have now been, starting with an article by conservative shit-starting fuck faces Truth Revolt ) twisted into really vile things:
“As she grew, I took to bribing her time and affection: one dollar in quarters if I could do her makeup like a ‘motorcycle chick.’ Three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds. Whatever she wanted to watch on TV if she would just ‘relax on me.’ Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl, I was trying.”
“Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn’t resist and when I saw what was inside I shrieked. My mother came running. ‘Mama, Mama! Grace has something in there!’ My mother didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina. This was within the spectrum of things I did. She just got on her knees and looked for herself. It quickly became apparent that Grace had stuffed six or seven pebbles in there. My mother removed them patiently while Grace cackled, thrilled that her prank had been a success.”
Yep, definitely uncomfortable things we’re not used to reading, especially in the caviler way Dunham wrote about them, BUT, uh hello, these things clearly do not constitute sexual abuse and Lena Dunham is so clearly not a child molester. Anyone who is genuinely jumping on this bandwagon is cringe worthily ignorant or just looking for a reason to justify disliking Dunham. Uh, well NEWS FLASH, you don’t have to fabricate someone being a child molester to justify disliking them. Let’s break this down with a few points:
1. Psychologists have confirmed that this is normal behavior for a child of that age. Obviously, children exploring other children’s’ bodies is something very taboo that we rarely hear discussed. Therefore, we don’t know how to respond to it or address it other than calling the first adult who really publicly talks about it (even though they were seven years old when it happened) a…child… molester? How could you gather that an adult is a “child molester” based on their actions when they were seven years old?
2. Yes, it’s weird and uncomfortable, but we should NOT look for a way to condemn women just for talking about something that is weird and uncomfortable. People, women especially, need to talk about things that are uncomfortable and taboo (whether positive or negative) in order to advance our society, duh.
3. Everyone is getting all up in arms about these stories that are maybe probably not even fucking true. Dunham starts the book by referring to herself as an “unreliable narrator” (which seems like a half-hearted admission to bullshitting.) Plus, have you ever met a one-year old capable of playing a prank, let alone possessing the motor skills to put 6 pebbles in her vagina? I barely had the motor skills to insert something into my vagina when I was 12 and trying to use a tampon.
4. People keep making the point, “If a man or a woman of color wrote something like that, they would be crucified!” Uh well, Dunham is being crucified so.
5. The most annoying thing about all of this is (and what has just totally furthered my distaste for Dunham) the fact that she’s acting so God damn offended, hurt, surprised, sickened, enraged, etc that people are accusing her of this. It is such a blatant testament to her white privilege idiocy. “What?! Me?! A child molester!? What a sick terrible thing to say!!” As stated above, this would be questioned and crucified, (especially in the cavalier, humorous manor in which Dunham describes it) regardless of who wrote it and probably more so if it was a man or a person of color. People are looking to crucify people. This is reality. Are you truly so naive and in your own bubble of white privilege that you couldn’t have predicted this? Way to give yourself away more blatantly than ever.
6. Finally, disliking someone for such a ridiculous, obviously untrue reason takes away the legitimacy of disliking them in general. What has continuously happened with Dunham is every time she’s criticized, she points to the most ridiculous claim and says “I can’t be blamed for that! That’s ridiculous conservatives being ridiculous!! Feminism, am I right??” Take for example, people obsessing about Dunham being naked all the time in Girls when the real problem was there was absolutely zero racial diversity because Dunham said the idea totally (and i’m sure this is true) never occurred to her. Or now, because of all this child molester shit, the fact that this book is probably full of made-up stories and/or twisted facts is falling into the cracks! There are plenty of REAL reasons to dislike Dunham if you’re so inclined, no need to make things up.