Posts Tagged: Lena Dunham Results 29
In a Buzzfeed excerpt of the new anthology Scratch, about the financial side of writing, Emily Gould describes the pressure on women writers (in the NYC publishing world) to be likable. As someone on the periphery of the world Gould describes, I found the essay both fascinating and a bit terrifying. It had never occurred to me that an author would be expected to bake cookies for her readers, although I’m not surprised – I’ve heard the same rumor floating around about how (women) college instructors are meant to bring cupcakes to class on the day student evaluation forms are distributed.
A headline is making the viral rounds: “Lena Dunham: ‘I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.’” What Dunham was expressing, in her Women of the Hour podcast, was a wish for abortion to be destigmatized. But she expressed this wish in very on-brand (that is, oblivious and outrage-inspiring) terms, thereby insuring virality. Who — regardless of stance on abortion — wouldn’t be offended by a remark like that? (There’s also a persuasive progressive critique.) And so here we are, neck-deep in a conversation about how problematic Lena Dunham is, rather than one we ought to be having, about threats to reproductive rights.
I’ve spent the last day or so preoccupied by a question: Why is Hannah Horvath, Lena Dunham’s “Girls” protagonist, this villain, not just an anti-heroine but (conflated with her creator) blamed for the election of Donald Trump… while Rory Gilmore, that other television-show protagonist, is… fine, somewhat despised in light of her reappearance in the reboot miniseries as a floundering 32-year-old (see Thea Glassman on Rory, and on the show’s Jewish angles), but not poised to become the new face of millennial entitlement?
Sisterhood readers will know that I’m mildly obsessed with the question of whether various lifestyle icons will take an anti-Trump (or pro-Trump!) stand. If you’re selling something — particularly something geared towards an audience of white women with conventional tastes — chances are you’re not storming any barricades. Fine. But maybe you’d make a statement of some kind?