The Convenient and Hypocritical Feminism of Lena Dunham
Halloween during an election year brings many interesting costumes. Among the many people I saw stumbling through Dupont Circle last weekend, there were just as many bad hombres and Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails as there were Star Wars characters and scantily clad women in assorted animal ears. Last week, the always classy Lena Dunham modeled her costume for Instagram and the world to see. Last year, Dunham was a Planned Parenthood employee. This year? A “grabbed pussy.”
I give Dunham points for being topical. Creative? Sure. Hypocritical? Definitely.
The leaked tapes of Donald Trump’s nauseatingly degrading comments about women have left many enraged and hurt. And rightfully so. What Dunham seems to have conveniently forgotten is that she has something in common with the Donald. They’re both sexual predators.
In her 2014 book Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham describes touching her sister’s vagina out of curiosity. Dunham was seven and her sister was one during this particular instance. In addition to this, Dunham mentions sharing a bed with her sister and masturbating while she was asleep. Trading candy for kisses. “Anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying,” Dunham says.
Dunham literally compares herself to a sexual predator.
The problem with Dunham’s version of feminism is that it’s convenient and hypocritical. When Ben Shapiro published parts of her essays on Truth Revolt, Dunham went on a rampage with her lawyer, threatening to sue for “millions of dollars.” Dunham continued to say, “I don’t care what conservative white men think about me.”
While the liberal media loves to fawn over Dunham, praising her as a champion of millennial feminism, they fail to mention that Dunham has known privilege her entire life. She was born in New York City to a photographer and painter. Growing up in Soho, Dunham attended the elite Saint Anne’s School in Brooklyn, where it costs $36,080 to attend preschool. To attend all through graduation, you’re looking at about a half a million dollars. Dunham would go on to study creative writing at Oberlin College, a private liberal arts school in Ohio. Today, she’s most well known for her HBO show, Girls. While I don’t think it’s fair to assume all of the details of one’s upbringing, there’s no doubt that the Dunham family wealth and artistic connections made the rocky road to stardom a little smoother for the liberal feminist poster child.
Dunham’s self-obsession landed her in the news in early September when she recounted her Met Gala experience about sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver for the Giants. In an interview with friend Amy Schumer, Dunham puts misogynistic words into Beckham’s mouth:
I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, “That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.” It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.
The vibe was very much like, “Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.” It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, “This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.”
I’m far from having the athletic ability of a NFL wide receiver, but I assure you that my reaction to having to sit next to Lena Dunham at the Met Gala would have been identical to Beckham’s.
Dunham also found herself in the news for criticizing Kanye West’s music video for his summer single, Famous, saying it made her feel “sad and unsafe.” The music depicts twelve wax figures of celebrities laying naked in bed, including Anna Wintour, Bill Cosby, Caitlyn Jenner, and Dunham’s good friend, Taylor Swift. Dunham may or may not have known that the image in the video was inspired by the 2012 mural titled Sleep by artist Vincent Desiderio. Apparently nudity and expressive art is only okay when it complies with Dunham’s standards. You know what makes me feel “sad and unsafe?” The fact that I’ve seen Lena Dunham’s naked body on the show Girls more than I’ve seen my own.
Dunham is a living, breathing example of everything that is wrong with feminism today. She’s the kind of person that makes it so difficult for me to call myself a feminist without putting the word “conservative” in front of it. In season one of Girls, Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath says, “I think I may be the voice of my generation.” I sure hope she’s wrong.