In Defense of Lena Dunham…Ramble


Season 2 of the Lena Dunham created “GIRLS” for HBO has brought a lot of controversy for Lena Dunham. She had a lot of buzz with her film “Tiny Furniture” and season 1 of “Girls” and some the hipster nod which also came with some expected snarkiness.  Now she has won main stream accolades sweeping up a Golden Globe from under Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who during the ceremony said Lena could make a signal and they’d help her if someone was forcing her to be “so naked” on her show, the spotlight has turned to discussion of her “responsibility”.

If you hadn’t heard about Dunham’s latest controversy, or part three of her racial criticism  part one: the cast of is extremely white- all four of the main female characters and their partners are all very, very white making me think of SNL “I am white, extremely white I walk with my buttocks extremely tight”, part two: her character Hannah Horvatz briefly had an African American boyfriend but his fateful flaw was he didn’t like her essays and he was a Republican! During their break-up Hannah fumbled the race card even though she was the one who raised it but really she wanted to break up with him for the previously mentioned reasons, and now the real life part three of it all – ‘comedian’ (and I quote that because I don’t think she’s funny or any woman who has to use gross out guy humor- look at Ellen she’s not like that and she is one of the funniest people on the planet!) Lisa Lampenelli tagged a photo of her and Dunham calling Lena her “n” word. That is horrifying. As you can see below writer Shayla D Pierce expressed her outrage.

 

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As a result of that tweet, Pierce went on to be connected and interview Lampenelli for Jane Pratt’s xoJane.com but… that wasn’t enough for Pierce. She wanted Lena Dunham to have denounced Lampenelli somehow for her verbiage. She tweeted Lena Dunham’s silence about the issue spoke volumes about her- and then she got a little taste of what Dunham was trying to avoid.
 
Shayla has 1366 followers, while Dunham has 783,146. Shayla had one guy give her a bit of grief and get over it just as fast because both parties back off and were reasonable. But we all know the Internet and Twitter in particular is mostly not a happy happy place, but full of haters waiting to pounce on anyone else’s mistakes.
 
The day after Dunham and Pierce connected on Twitter and “made up”  Zeba Blay, a HuffPo writer wrote that Dunham’s reason for staying silent on the matter is what spoke volumes for her. 
 
If you can’t be bothered reading that article, which is posted on a site that only a few months ago posted an article of why they wouldn’t join the Lena Dunham backlash, it refers to a blog post Dunham wrote at 23 about a trip to Japan calling it an “Orientalist disaster”. For the record, Ms. Blay, your use of the word “Orientalist” is a word that is mildly offensive to me as an Asian (oh the irony). When in doubt, use the word Asian. 
 
Anyway, in the blog Dunham wrote for a ThisRecording.com she described a Japanese guide who insisted on carrying her bags though that was nutty because she was 73 lbs and had hands “like paper cranes” – well, Ms. Blay, I think that’s just Dunham reaching for Japanese imagery. It was more irksome Dunham incorrectly stated she might have “Yellowish fever”- Lena, honey no, just no. Yellow fever (the social disease, not the physical one), um, it’s really being racist and it’s more of a fetish and you didn’t even want to goto the fetish bar in Japan. But do I think this makes you racist? No, misguided yes.
 
Tangent (love this song but Coldplay were not referring to Asians in this song): 
 
When I worked at a record label fans were constantly attacking the label on Twitter. They preferred to say enough was never good enough instead of applauding the label who had inherited an artist through a merger and was supporting that artist like she had never been supported prior so I’ve grown really tired of this behaviour. When is enough enough? If I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook next to Quentin Tarentino (please let this NEVER happen!) should I have to apologize for his insane use of the ‘n’ word? I really hope not. He is a grown man and he made his decisions. If I posted that I was completely disgusted by it would it start another debate? Think about those times on Facebook when just one of your friends had an over the top reaction to something you posted, attacking you and then multiply your private account reaction (out of what 600-700 ‘friends’) to 700K friends. Yuk. The price of being a public figure? Okay, fair enough, but Dunham isn’t Lohan so can we back off and give her a spring break? Both writers stated they didn’t think Lena was a racist. 
 
Lena Dunham is 26. She gets a lot of crap for being successful at a young age, growing up   with successful parents (does that mean she should instantly and magically know better than other people how to behave? If we’ve learned anything from Bravo’s Housewives, it’s that ‘Money can’t buy you class’)  and getting her huge book deal. She seems to own up to her own faults head on, take on being attacked by the Gross Out King, Howard Stern, stands up for fellow women being attacked like Anna Hathaway, and even posted this hilarious send up of herself:
 
 
 
In summary, thanks Lena for making us think, making us uncomfortable with your nakedness, making us laugh and standing out there on your own, in your own skin and trying to find a way to please everyone, which is impossible. 
 
 
 
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