This week in shitty feminist news: Lena Dunham uses the words “sexual predator” to describe herself in a published book and then dissolves into Twitter tears when someone else uses these words to describe her.
For those of you lucky enough not to know who she is, Lena Dunham is the currently green-haired writer/actress/narcissist responsible for HBO’s “Girls” and a memoir she wrote at the age of 28. She is body-positive (read: fat), liberal (read: Obama shill), and a feminist – in other words, she’s Tumblr come to life.
Her current drama involves the aforementioned memoir (you can tell a memoir will be good if it’s written by an ultraprivileged crazy chick under the age of 30) and some very questionable material addressed in this excellent piece from the National Review, including the following:
So yeah, Lena Dunham wrote and published a book that states that she tried “anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl” and now she’s sad that people are accusing her of being a sexual predator. Will anything happen to Dunham’s career now that she’s admitted to being a predator? Probably not! How do you get away with something like this? I’ve put together a handy list that might help out any would-be sister-abusers.
1. Be a rich, famous white lady
Lena Dunham is the rich, spoiled child of some rich NYC liberal artistes. In a semi-interesting twist of fate, her father paints pictures of vaginas for a living (or whatever, I guess it’s not a living if you’d have tons of money anyway), to give you an indication of the type of people who raised her. She’s been famous for awhile, mostly for creating a tv show and then starring in it as her own oft-topless alter ego. (Side note: Please put that away, sweetheart.)
Dunham being a rich, famous white lady doesn’t bother her legions of yoni systers any, because she is also a “body-positive” feminist. How could any young girl NOT see Lena Dunham as a role model? She says what everybody else is thinking! She proves every day that it’s okay to never quite get your shit together, to leech off your rich parents, to eschew health in favor of eating cake, and to be as narcissistic as humanly possible. This is what passes for “relatable” in 2014, ladies and gentlemen.
It probably goes without saying, but if Dunham were a man who casually dropped into a memoir that he’d groped his little sister when he was a kid, he’d be crucified. He wouldn’t have a show anymore. He wouldn’t get another book deal, ever. The same feminists defending Dunham’s actions as “sexual experimentation” would be apoplectic with rage. Luckily for Dunham, she’s a relatable cool chick who maybe touched her sister a little bit and not a dude. Or…any other kind of woman. Which brings me to:
2. Be the right kind of rich, famous white lady
Hey, remember Paula Deen? Remember how she’s a crazy racist and shouldn’t have a career anymore? The revelation that older white people from the south might say
“nigger” occasionally left liberal America completely dumbfounded back in 2013.
Poor Paula Deen isn’t an edgy twenty-something hipster who can get away with anything. She said a word liberals don’t like twenty years ago and she should be punished! Note that in this case, Deen’s wealth and fame work against her. Since she’s not famous for doing the kind of stuff liberals like (well, except for making the kind of food Lena Dunham probably eats all the time to maintain that girlish figure) and she has a lot of money, she’s automatically a persona non grata. Sucks to be you, Paula.
3. Cry on Twitter
Apparently Dunham can’t figure out why people are saying such mean things to her! (Neither can such illustrious lefty websites as Salon – I’m not linking you to their piece about this because I care about you and don’t want you to get too angry, but trust me, it’s awful.) To the surprise of absolutely no one, she claims that the only people who are upset with her are old white conservative guys, because sister molestation is a politically-charged issue that liberals are evidently fine with. Hey, she said it, not me. This is despite much evidence to the contrary, for example this top BuzzFeed comment from someone who very much appears to be a fat butch lesbian – Lena’s target demographic:
Dunham is further claiming that her words have been “twisted” and “taken out of context.” Unfortunately for her, it’s not really necessary to twist the words of someone who referred to herself as a predator in her own fucking book. Sorry. :(
4. Get your victim to make a truly warped statement that validates you
Not long after this “scandal” broke, Dunham’s sister made the following statements via Twitter:
What can you even say to this? Naturally this is a “queer” vs “hetero” issue and not an “abuse” issue. I’m very sorry to be the one to say so, but I’m pretty sure that a toddler can’t consent to her older sister touching her genitals regardless of how queer that toddler might end up someday.
5. Insinuate that you were lying anyway
Dunham claims that she is an “unreliable narrator” in her own memoir. What a great idea! If I ever commit a crime and then decide to publish an anecdote about it, remind me to preface it by saying I might be making the whole thing up. How very OJ Simpson of you, Lena! It truly is a shame that people have a tendency to believe what they read in books that aren’t labeled as fiction. Mea culpa.
So maybe Dunham molested her sister, maybe she didn’t (maybe someone else did it!), maybe she was just being a kid acting out the way kids sometimes do. I don’t deny that kids can be little creeps and that maybe she was just curious. But if she was just being a curious kid, why describe the situation in such sexually charged terms? Why describe the situation at all?
What we have here is a woman who assumed she could say anything she wanted without any repercussions at all – who was able to assume that everyone who heard her story would either find it amusing or not see anything wrong with it. That’s pretty indicative of the kind of ultra-permissive society we’re living in. Dunham can write whatever she wants, and anyone who calls her out on it is immediately branded as a Tumblr feminist’s worst nightmare – a white conservative man. And that’s you, dear reader. It’s up to you and people like you to keep telling women like Lena Dunham that they’re wrong. That you don’t want to live in a society that tolerates behavior like hers. Stay strong.