Lena Dunham, 28, should be on top of the world and headed to Germany. Her memoir, "Not That Kind Of Girl" is No. 2 on the New York Times non-fiction best-sellers list, behind "Killing Patton" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. Her TV show "Girls" on HBO is in its third season. But she had to cancel book-signings in Berlin and Belgium because, ironically, of what is in the book.
As USA Today reported (and the graphic above shows in greater detail):
Dunham writes of casually masturbating while in bed next to her younger sister, of bribing her with "three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds … anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying."That's just Page 150. Other stuff about putting pebbles in her baby sister's vagina when Lenna Dunham was 7 are in pages after that -- or so I am told.
(Nor apparently did her reviewers. More likely the saw nothing wrong with grooming little girls for carnal pleasures later.)
I did read the book because Lena Duham does not interest me. The further damning quotes from her memoir are quoted here.
Hers is a confession; this is a memoir. Normal people have a right to question her about this, which is why she had to cancel that European book tour.
Lena Dunham is learning the power of the right.
For the past month, she has taken it on the chin because of that passage, mainly from bloggers such as Robert Stacy McCain. The heat is slowly rising. Her lawyers sent a cease-and-desist-and-apologize letter to Ben Shapiro at Truth Revolt, apparently thinking that he's just a blogger:
If Ms. Dunham says that our quotations from her book were “false,” or that our interpretation of those events was libelous under the law, then we look forward to asking her, in her deposition, about why they appeared in her book. We also look forward to asking her why she believes it is now appropriate for a 28-year-old woman to make light of opening her baby sister’s vagina, paying her with candies for prolonged kisses on the lips in the manner of a “sexual predator,” or masturbating in bed next to her prepubescent sister.
If Ms. Dunham says that our quotations from her book were “false,” then she should explain whether her statements in which she accused a young college Republican of rape were also false. We look forward to asking her about that in her deposition as well, given that she has reportedly refused to cooperate with Oberlin police to track down the alleged perpetrator, which leaves other young women at risk if her accusations are true.
It is worth noting that Truth Revolt was far from the only outlet to point out these troubling sections in Ms. Dunham’s book. National Review’s Kevin Williamson wrote of “Lena Dunham’s sexual abuse, specifically, of her younger sister, Grace” – the article that first alerted us to Ms. Dunham’s disturbing writings. The Daily Caller’s Derek Hunter has written of Ms. Dunham’s “gleeful sexual abuse of her infant sister, Grace.”Ben Shapiro is occasionally on Fox News, has friends at National Review and Breitbart, and just got that letter linked to the Drudge Report. Just a blogger. He ended his first-person plural response:
Bullies like Ms. Dunham may believe that firing off legal threats against those who exercise First Amendment rights is perfectly legitimate. But for a woman who proclaims to be an advocate for freedom of speech to attempt to shut down such speech based on her own apparent embarrassment at her own disclosures in her own book demonstrates the totalitarianism of those on the left – and those in the legal and media establishment who enable them.Apparently, Lena Dunham thought the piece this all was a nontroversy. But blowing off the right as a mouth-breathing minority of morons is a mistake. Not all lefties get it. Today, Salon published a piece, "The right’s 'abuse' claim against Lena Dunham is moronic." How droll. But today, Lena Dunham gets it. She's canceled a tour, lawyered up, and turned to People magazine to get her side out.
We shall see how this turns out. But Robert Stacy McCain used Lena Dunham to drop this bomb:
Weird things keep happening. Remember the gay men who shared their adopted son with a pedophile ring called the Boy Lovers Network? Remember “My Sister Is Pregnant and We Don’t Know Which of My Brothers is the Father”? Police in Arkansas say a 2-year-old girl died after suffering “severe internal injuries” when she was raped by her uncle. Yet amid this frightening epidemic of wickedness, Lena Dunham thinks she can write a bestselling memoir in which she confesses to doing creepy things with her baby sister and nobody can be allowed to criticize her for it? This freak has an HBO series?And he is correct. You can blow off the stuff she did to her baby sister when Lena Dunham was 7 as innocent exploration. She had not reached the age of reason. But the years of using the kid to get her rocks off are troubling.
Kevin D. Williamson in his piece also used her as a jumping point for knocking privileged white-girl feminists:
Oddly, she herself is a pitiless enforcer of physical standards when it comes to men, complaining endlessly that her suitors are not sufficiently tall, that men who are “petite” and “minuscule” are “my lot in life.” She sneers at “girls with boyfriends who looked like lesbians,” at a man guilty of “dressing vaguely like a middle-aged lesbian,” etc. “Lesbian” is Dunham’s shorthand for “awful.” On Girls, one of the characters scoffs that “dates are for lesbians,” and Dunham describes a childhood fear that she would become “the militant lesbian leader of a motorcycle gang,” but she also describes herself as “being in possession of a gay sister,” which fact she wields like a get-out-of-women’s-prison-free card against accusations of homophobia, which wielding is occasionally necessitated by the fact that her views on sex, relationships, and sexual roles are, for all of her feminist grandstanding, utterly conventional.
“I think he thinks he was being really deep by dating a chubby girl,” she writes of one of her many romantic disappointments. But the excess of self from which she suffers most genuinely is not corporal but emotional. Emotionally, she is morbidly obese, the layers of her bloated sense of self deepening like Philip Larkin’s coastal shelf since her birth, if not in fact before, considering the daft contributions of her family. It is an easy thing to mock, and it deserves mocking, but it also deserves understanding.
She did not get this way by accident; she got this way because the series of economic and intellectual cloisters in which she has lived her life have functioned as the emotional equivalent of Song-dynasty foot-binding: Intended to bring her nearer to perfection, they have instead left her disfigured and disabled. Her ambition is palpable, but fashion dictates that she forswear ambition: She describes her memoir as her answer to Helen Gurley Brown’s Having It All: Love, Success, Sex, Money Even if You’re Starting with Nothing, which of course Dunham purchased ironically from the inevitable “dusty shelf” of a hipster-haunted thrift shop, where it sat next to a copy of Miss Piggy’s autobiography. But Helen Gurley Brown of Green Forest, Ark., who lost her father at ten to an elevator accident and a sister to polio a few years later, did in fact start with something close to nothing, and laboriously rose to a position of cultural prominence (from which she inflicted a tremendous amount of damage). The self-made Helen Gurley Brown, another voice of a generation of women, was in many ways the genuine version of what Lena Dunham pretends to be — at least, the woman she pretends to be on television. Brown emerged from her chrysalis at the age of 40; Dunham is busily building an ever-thicker cocoon of fantasy, prescription drugs, and weaponized celebrity, manipulating reality to her own specifications. If she is emblematic of her generation, it is in that her life, in her own telling, is a reminder that being ruined by comfort and privilege is as easy as (perhaps easier than) being crippled by privation and abuse.The comedienne is now the joke.
Lefty hubris against conservatives again is knocking one of its stars down a peg. That should encourage us to continue the fight against the lowering of morality -- and I think Robert Stacy McCain is on the right track when he raises concern that the left will attempt to normalize pedophilia and incest. It is disturbing that Salon does not consider this to be what it is: The molestation of a kid sister who looked up to her.
UPDATE: Linked by Glenn Reynolds. Thanks.