The Left and Lena Dunham

Writer/Director/Actress Lena Dunham descended into a “rage-spiral,” after the conservative blog “truth-revolt” quoted her recently published memoir, and characterized her as a sexual predator. Dunham threatened to sue. The fact that she jokingly compares herself to a sexual predator seems unlikely to improve her case.

According to truth-revolt, Dunham’s memoirs detail a variety of incidents involving her and her sister, starting when Lena Dunham was seven and her sister was one. Given that American Thinker is a family friendly publication, this author will leave out the gory details, (If you want, you can read them here, here, and here).

While this author would not characterize these incidents as sexual molestation, they are extremely creepy. The seven-year-old Lena Dunham can be excused for playing doctor with her one-year-old sister, (seven-year-olds aren’t noted for their judgment), although it is harder to excuse the seventeen-year-old Lena Dunham for… exploring herself while lying in bed next to her sleeping eleven-year-old sister.

Still, I must differ with some conservatives. I don’t know that the world would be better off if Lena Dunham had been sent off to jail and branded a sex offender for life, while the remaining Dunham children were sent to foster care. Where punishment represents the greater evil, shame and social disapproval should suffice.

The truly interesting thing about the scandal has been the reaction of the left. The majority of leftists seem to have rallied to her, while a sullen minority complained about Lena Dunham’s enjoyment of white privilege.

The idea that Lena Dunham is receiving a pass due to her whiteness strikes this author as bizarre. If anything Lena Dunham has benefited from female privilege and leftist privilege. A male Lena Dunham would not be the beneficiary of such a vigorous defense in outlets such as Salon; similarly, no conservatives have even benefited from such a no-man-left-behind attitude as exists on the left.

Johns, (the colloquial name for men who frequent prostitutes), are publically shamed in the pages of newspapers and on the YouTube channel “John TV.” And don’t think for a moment that mere legality offers any protection from public humiliation. Men who whistle at attractive women on the street, or approach women they don’t know, are often targets for public mockery and ridicule. Men who tell ribald jokes in mixed company find themselves publically shamed on the internet. If the left has rushed to rescue these poor fellows from their “slut-shaming,” this author neither heard nor saw it.

As a vocal supporter of Obama and Planned Parenthood, Lena Dunham enjoys the protection of the left-wing establishment. While the commissars at Media Matters scour the works of obscure right-wing pundits for signs of misogyny, frequent MSNBC contributor Mark Ames detailed personal accounts of his time in Moscow elicit not even a hint of outrage.

The fact that Lena Dunham enjoys both female privilege and leftist protection should surprise no one. The real question ought to be why have some leftists turned on her? For keen observers of the left the answer is obvious: Left-wing sex scandals are never about sex, but always about politics.

Male feminist Hugo Schwyzer’s meltdown and purge from leading feminist publication Jezebel had nothing to do with any sexual peccadillos, and everything to do with internal left-wing politics. A few months before his purging, Schwyzer had publically taken the side of a very famous white feminist (Amanda Marcotte), in a dispute with feminists of color. This incident sealed Schwyzer’s fate, not his alleged affair with a former student.

The angry, sullen feminists who hate Lena Dunham are feminists of color, and they’re angry that she hasn’t cast more non-white characters on her show. These angry feminists of color are also angry that Lena Dunham has not shown them sufficient deference, and has not responded to their criticisms in the precise manner they would have liked.

Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast is one of the few mainstream journalists to cover the attacks on Dunham from the left. After spending two to three paragraphs getting readers up to speed on the molestation allegations, Allen spends the next fifteen or so paragraphs discussing what really matters: alleged racial insensitivity.

To quote Allen, “On Twitter, people of color in activist communities, who have long critiqued Dunham for her problematic statements on race, are even beginning to refer to her as “Teflon” because nothing ever seems to stick to her.”

The “people of color in activist communities” have only one real complaint about Lena Dunham, the scarcity of people of color on her show. She has responded to this with unappreciated candor; her cast reflects the social circles she travels in, and these social circles are mostly white. Oddly enough, Lena Dunham’s decision not to write about people of color reflects far more respect, than writing about people she knows nothing about.

As noted previously, left-wing sex scandals are rarely about sex, but a proxy for fighting other internal battles. For “people of color in activist communities,” Lena Dunham symbolizes the white upper-class feminist establishment that they feel excludes them. Lena Dunham is an upper-class white woman who writes and directs a show about upper-class white women, and her work is lauded by the upper-class white women who run the feminist movement.

In the end, this scandal reveals more about what divides feminists than anything else. Far from being unified by common interests and shared beliefs, feminists have little in common aside from biology. People often dismiss the right as a collection of special interests and single-issue types, but the left isn’t all that different. Careful analysis reveals that the left is every bit as narrow and factional as the right, it just does a better job of papering over these differences.

Writer/Director/Actress Lena Dunham descended into a “rage-spiral,” after the conservative blog “truth-revolt” quoted her recently published memoir, and characterized her as a sexual predator. Dunham threatened to sue. The fact that she jokingly compares herself to a sexual predator seems unlikely to improve her case.

According to truth-revolt, Dunham’s memoirs detail a variety of incidents involving her and her sister, starting when Lena Dunham was seven and her sister was one. Given that American Thinker is a family friendly publication, this author will leave out the gory details, (If you want, you can read them here, here, and here).

While this author would not characterize these incidents as sexual molestation, they are extremely creepy. The seven-year-old Lena Dunham can be excused for playing doctor with her one-year-old sister, (seven-year-olds aren’t noted for their judgment), although it is harder to excuse the seventeen-year-old Lena Dunham for… exploring herself while lying in bed next to her sleeping eleven-year-old sister.

Still, I must differ with some conservatives. I don’t know that the world would be better off if Lena Dunham had been sent off to jail and branded a sex offender for life, while the remaining Dunham children were sent to foster care. Where punishment represents the greater evil, shame and social disapproval should suffice.

The truly interesting thing about the scandal has been the reaction of the left. The majority of leftists seem to have rallied to her, while a sullen minority complained about Lena Dunham’s enjoyment of white privilege.

The idea that Lena Dunham is receiving a pass due to her whiteness strikes this author as bizarre. If anything Lena Dunham has benefited from female privilege and leftist privilege. A male Lena Dunham would not be the beneficiary of such a vigorous defense in outlets such as Salon; similarly, no conservatives have even benefited from such a no-man-left-behind attitude as exists on the left.

Johns, (the colloquial name for men who frequent prostitutes), are publically shamed in the pages of newspapers and on the YouTube channel “John TV.” And don’t think for a moment that mere legality offers any protection from public humiliation. Men who whistle at attractive women on the street, or approach women they don’t know, are often targets for public mockery and ridicule. Men who tell ribald jokes in mixed company find themselves publically shamed on the internet. If the left has rushed to rescue these poor fellows from their “slut-shaming,” this author neither heard nor saw it.

As a vocal supporter of Obama and Planned Parenthood, Lena Dunham enjoys the protection of the left-wing establishment. While the commissars at Media Matters scour the works of obscure right-wing pundits for signs of misogyny, frequent MSNBC contributor Mark Ames detailed personal accounts of his time in Moscow elicit not even a hint of outrage.

The fact that Lena Dunham enjoys both female privilege and leftist protection should surprise no one. The real question ought to be why have some leftists turned on her? For keen observers of the left the answer is obvious: Left-wing sex scandals are never about sex, but always about politics.

Male feminist Hugo Schwyzer’s meltdown and purge from leading feminist publication Jezebel had nothing to do with any sexual peccadillos, and everything to do with internal left-wing politics. A few months before his purging, Schwyzer had publically taken the side of a very famous white feminist (Amanda Marcotte), in a dispute with feminists of color. This incident sealed Schwyzer’s fate, not his alleged affair with a former student.

The angry, sullen feminists who hate Lena Dunham are feminists of color, and they’re angry that she hasn’t cast more non-white characters on her show. These angry feminists of color are also angry that Lena Dunham has not shown them sufficient deference, and has not responded to their criticisms in the precise manner they would have liked.

Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast is one of the few mainstream journalists to cover the attacks on Dunham from the left. After spending two to three paragraphs getting readers up to speed on the molestation allegations, Allen spends the next fifteen or so paragraphs discussing what really matters: alleged racial insensitivity.

To quote Allen, “On Twitter, people of color in activist communities, who have long critiqued Dunham for her problematic statements on race, are even beginning to refer to her as “Teflon” because nothing ever seems to stick to her.”

The “people of color in activist communities” have only one real complaint about Lena Dunham, the scarcity of people of color on her show. She has responded to this with unappreciated candor; her cast reflects the social circles she travels in, and these social circles are mostly white. Oddly enough, Lena Dunham’s decision not to write about people of color reflects far more respect, than writing about people she knows nothing about.

As noted previously, left-wing sex scandals are rarely about sex, but a proxy for fighting other internal battles. For “people of color in activist communities,” Lena Dunham symbolizes the white upper-class feminist establishment that they feel excludes them. Lena Dunham is an upper-class white woman who writes and directs a show about upper-class white women, and her work is lauded by the upper-class white women who run the feminist movement.

In the end, this scandal reveals more about what divides feminists than anything else. Far from being unified by common interests and shared beliefs, feminists have little in common aside from biology. People often dismiss the right as a collection of special interests and single-issue types, but the left isn’t all that different. Careful analysis reveals that the left is every bit as narrow and factional as the right, it just does a better job of papering over these differences.