lena dunham posts

The Day The Internet Decided Lena Dunham Was A Sexual Abuser

November 4, 2014


Lena Dunham’s imprint upon our lives hits me with inner conflict on a daily basis. Theoretically, she’s a marvel – a brazen example of the ‘realest’ of ‘real’ women who make zero excuses for their interaction with the world. I mean, any woman in our society over a size 10 whose reaction to shooting sex scenes is “I simply pulled my shirt over my head and dove in” either holds an ego impossibly bigger than the pressures of the media, or just genuinely doesn’t give a fuck and should be duly lauded for that. Admittedly, I’ve always felt a sinister chill of arrogance and self-absorption from Dunham, which was only exacerbated when I read her book ‘Not That Kind of Girl’, in which she nonchalantly describes some arguably disconcerting aspects of her childhood and adult life. One of which brings me to the subject of this piece, a passage depicting Dunham at the age of 7, which has almost hilariously caused a social-justice-warrior meltdown:

“One day, as I sat in our driveway in Long Island playing with blocks and buckets, my curiosity got the best of me. 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.”

From this passage, and a number of others which depict Dunham’s tendency to masturbate in the same bed as her younger sister, or bribe her for kisses with sweets (also, as a child), Lena has now been plastered with the tagline of ‘sexual abuser’. Because I find this so horrendously ridiculous, I’m going to have to compartmentalise this response into bullet-points, or it’s going to turn into a verbose and angry rant.

She was seven.
And thus, a child. For people to accuse her of sexual abuse, they are sexualising the anatomical curiosity of a seven-year-old child, which to me stings more in its implication that society is now so fucked up that even the innocence of children is sexualised. Additionally, she didn’t even proceed to do anything sexual, nor did she denote any feelings of pleasure – sexual or otherwise.

How in the sweet name of fuck is it a showing of white feminist privilege?
I don’t even know where to start with this. I know that Dunham has been something of a sketchy feminist throughout her time in the spotlight thus far, but her unashamed sense of self and projection of that onto the lives of young girls/women is, to me, her greatest gift to the feminist movement. The comments raging that she has had the gaul to be so brash about something that would otherwise be treated with complete taboo – thus apparently using her ‘white feminist privilege’ – pissed me off no end. Women should be able to speak of whatever they like but yet, the second someone says something even slightly unsavoury, she must be quelled and banished from the feminist scene, right?

Whilst I do agree that much of Dunham’s success does ride on the back of her shock factor, which she likes to issue out in buckets, it is said shock factor that is encouraging young women to care less about whether they look like a Victoria’s Secret model, and focus more on their pursuit for happiness in life – one that isn’t defined by a number on a scale or how many guys want to bone you.

She has already claimed to be an unreliable narrator.
Granted, from Lena’s reaction to this ‘scandal’, it’s quite clear that it was a completely true story, much of what she wrote in the book is said to be embellished, and she recalls being known for consistently exaggerating details of stories as a child and thus, being a natural writer.

There are better damn things to address.
One of the main reasons that I purposely avoid being too closely associated with the feminist label has been completely reinforced with this case. I hate the nit-picking bullshit that comes so often with anything in the feminism bracket, and it’s something that needs to change before we lose all credibility completely. Calling a grown women a sexual abuser because she acted upon curiosity as a child is pathetic – and especially pathetic when we’re, in turn, ignoring the women and men who are genuinely being traumatically abused, merely because this woman is in the spotlight and to be frank, half of us are jealous as hell of her.

I’m not Lena Dunham’s biggest fan, but all I can say is: Internet, get a fucking grip.


GIRLS: Don’t Believe The Hype?

January 29, 2014

Lena Dunham is everywhere. Everywhere. I mean, I’ve seen her breasts more than I think I’ve seen my own in the past few days – although admittedly, I have been having a marathon GIRLS catch-up this week. Since the kooky show dropped its pilot on the world in 2012, Dunham has become this burgeoning beacon of ‘hope’ for the media: but, I have to ask, is this the kind of hope we really want? I started watching GIRLS about a year ago now, in quick succession, and the overbearing sense of ‘wait a minute, this is supposed to relate to me!?’ prevailed throughout. The show follows four New York-dwelling early-20s ‘GIRLS’; three-quarters of whom are presented as absolutely abhorrent, over-privileged twits. Let’s do a little character run-down:

  • Hannah (as played by Lena Dunham)

Main character – main bugbear. Hannah is depicted, on the very fine top onion layer, as your typical neurotic 20-something: confused, fighting her way into the big bad world, neurotic – you get me. However, early in the first series, we discover that – oh fresh hell: Hannah is getting ‘cut off’ from her parents and will now have to fight her own financial battles. Instant dislike. If, like me and the majority of the people I’ve ever known, you’ve been living off your own back (give or take the government’s help for uni alone), since the tender age of 18, Hannah’s plight will evoke nothing but aggressive malteaser-pelting at your TV screen. The sense of entitlement that absolutely resonates from every HD pore of these characters just really puts me off. Hannah is brattish, obnoxious and ultimately selfish. I know living in NY is supposed to do that to people, but jeez guys… seriously?

Dunham consistently seems to write herself into character scenarios that, in the stark light of reality, just wouldn’t ever happen. The biggest one of these has to be the time she ends up sleeping with the stereotypically very attractive older man and staying at his apartment for the weekend. Now, this may just be my internalised self-deprecation and institutionalised sexism but, in the real world, whether I am being cruel or not – Lena Dunham, nor Hannah Horvath would ever pair up with that guy. Maybe it’s supposed to be ironic? Maybe it’s supposed to show real girls doing the things that we generally only see on TV? But I am so fucking sick of seeing her breasts by now. And yet I’m still watching away in Series 3.

  • Shoshannah (Zosia Mamet)

The one saving grace of character: Shosh. If it wasn’t for her, I’d have probably thrown the towel in by now. Yes, she may be over-the-top and constantly spouting insane quips that, if your friends in real life started saying – you’d probably have them sectioned by now. Yes, she may sometimes seem as narrow-minded and shallow as the rest of them (e.g. starting a conversation about how her neckerchiefs may just be her best collection) – but she gets away with it. Predominantly due to the fact that she doesn’t psychobabble every other sentence, or make out she’s the guru of the world like Jessa.

  • Jessa (Jemima Kirke)

Speaking of. Fighting her way into the lead position for my biggest GIRLS character disdain is Jessa. Jessa is like that girl you know who’s snorted a few lines, banged a good 40+ guys and hell, maybe even had a threesome – but then, they see this as entitlement to be the smuggest, most unfoundedly ‘world-wise’ twit known to any guy going’s manhood. She is the know it all that, contrary to her allegedly wise and all-seeing ways, has no job – ever – and by Series 3, is even getting screamed at by Shoshanna for doing sweet fudge all. Are we really making role models here? I just do not understand what this show was trying to convey. And she punched Roy from the IT Crowd. Unforgivable.

  • Marni (Allison Williams)

I’ve just realised that every character’s initials are the same for their first and surname. Really now? Marni is the ‘beauty’ of the group – she’s stereotypically tall, skinny, attractive – but still, all she does is whine. Is this program simply a social commentary implying that all girls ever do is whine? She begins the show in a promising light – the only one with a responsible job at an art gallery, but soon that goes under and she ends up scrabbling like everyone else. What I want to know is – how is everyone affording to live in NYC on invisible funds? If I thought all you had to do was excessively whinge and say vapid prophetic nonsense to live in New York, I’d be there in a heartbeat. For all the gritty realism of this show, this loophole never fails to baffle me.

What is the purpose of GIRLS? Is it simply an excuse for Dunham to just play out her life in a visual “memoir” just like her character in the show? Why isn’t it renamed the Lena Dunham show? Either way, I just can’t help myself from loving to hate and hating to love it…

Are you a true fan, or are you stuck perilously on the fence like me?

(oh and just to make it more fashion-related, here’s my favourite Lena Dunham wardrobe mishap):

Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.