So I can stay as far away as possible.
Since the allegations (more like confessions) of sexual “molestation” of her baby sister, Lena Dunham is now a week into radio silence on Twitter (which she had hitherto turned to more often than Twinkies). She’s canceled appearances and had nothing to say beyond an apology:
First and foremost, I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.
Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term “sexual predator” was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.
As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval.
I’ve already published the relevant passages, which have also been widely aired elsewhere. Heck, they’re excerpted from her best-selling book; you can hear them in her own voice in the audiobook. Lena has threatened legal action, which explain her uncharacteristic reserve.
Which leaves others to speak in the vacuum of her silence:
A month after the book’s publication, professional jerkoff Kevin Williamson wrote an article accusing Lena of sexually molesting her sister—not all that surprising of an allegation, coming from the man who wrote an entire piece about how “Laverne Cox is not a woman.”
What was surprising was how quickly many Dunham critics, including other self-described feminists, took up Williamson’s argument, coming together under a #DropDunham hashtag that called on Planned Parenthood to disassociate itself from the vocally pro-reproductive rights star in the wake of these allegations. Unlike others who have weighed in on this debate, I don’t feel as though I have the necessary information or the right to label Dunham’s anecdote as an incident of sexual molestation.
Neither do I. But neither did Williamson. I checked.
He merely reviewed her book, providing myriad and lengthy excerpts, and passed judgement, not once using any word beginning “m-o-l-e-s-t” (again, I checked). He leaves that up to us. He’s not even sure how much she is to be believed.
Childhood interest in genitalia is hardly unique, and certainly not a crime. Lena’s anecdotes may push the envelope (an unfortunate expression in this instance), if they are to be believed, but again I’ll judge them only to the extent that I think they’re weird. I think Lena herself would eagerly agree.
But Lena is beginning to betray a record. She tap dances in her skivvies (no need to revisit that) to encourage us to vote, when she didn’t bother to vote in the last midterm, 2010.
Then there’s her whiter-than-white Brooklyn in Girls:
With the premiere of Girls, which presented gentrified Brooklyn as an endless expanse of Aryan coffee shops, she earned herself the title of racist, and became the poster child for misguided, white, privileged feminists. Naturally, her insistence that Girls’ dearth of diversity was a “complete accident” reinforced the notion that in Lena Dunham’s world, non-white girls and their untrendy problems are simply non-entities.
And while she was about apologizing, there was this from two years ago:
Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and B.J. Novak are all best friends, natch. So of course they would plan their Halloween costumes together:
The West Memphis Three – a group of young men in Arkansas wrongfully convicted of murders – may be an odd choice of costume, but hey, these are comedians after all, and what is comedy if not tragedy plus time.
Dunham followed up with a suggestion of her own:
Here’s the gist of the reference: Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka were a Canadian couple convicted of serial rapes and murders in the early 1990s. The case remains a blemish on Canada’s reputation and is, understandably, still a pretty touchy issue there. Dunham’s remark elicited an internet backlash and prompted the Girls star to apologize. Profusely.
The tweets themselves are at the link, but don’t copy. Twitter is a great playground, I guess, but as many of us remember, playgrounds were not all fun and games. I saw bullies, fights, and humiliations aplenty (and was involved in a few).
Maybe a blog with bloodthirsty in its title, with frequent references to the murderous Manson gang, the dead Dalal Mughrabi, and the decomposing Yasser Arafat is in no position to judge a few “innocent” jibes.
But then I compare the butts of my cruel humor (if indeed it is humor, or cruel) to theirs, and I don’t feel so bad.
PS: Many have noted that conservatives might win the odd election, but have lost the “culture”. Have we? Or have we let the opposition defeat itself? Or is the field of play so polluted, it’s better not to step foot on it?