- Lena Dunham veiled herself as a joke about “fundamentalists” and tweeted a photo. In one weak apology, she asked if this was “a bad time” (because it happened right after the shootings at the Oak Creek gurudwara).
- In another weak apology, she apologized if people “thought” that was offensive, and then followed it up with a joke about Isabelle Adjani.
- Uh, there are basically no people of color in any of her films or her television show, unless they are the help.
- When she got called out for this, she said: “We really tried to be aware and bring in characters whose job it was to go ‘Hashtag white people problems, guys.’ I think that’s really important to be aware of. Because it can seem really rarified. When I get a tweet from a girl who’s like, ‘I’d love to watch the show, but I wish there were more women of color.’ You know what? I do, too, and if we have the opportunity to do a second season, I’ll address that.”
- There’s a satirical article circulating tumblr as “truth” that really invalidated a lot of arguments against Dunham. In it, she says “I don’t know any black people.” The trouble is that her actual statements aren’t so far off from that satire: “It was a complete accident that it happened this way, I wish that we were representing the population of New York in a more accurate way – and hopefully if we get to do a second season we will.” It was a complete accident, according to Dunham, that her show was 100% white.
- In response to the criticism that Girls doesn’t represent enough people of color, Lesley Arfin (who is a writer for the show, and a professional The Worst Person), tweeted: “What really bothered me moth about Precious was that there was no representation of ME.” Her tweeted non-apology was “Without thinking, I put gender politics above race and class. That was careless. The last thing I want is girls vs girls.” Because, to white women like this, black women don’t count as women. The politics of black women don’t count as “gender politics.” Could they make it any more obvious?
(In defense of Arfin, Street Carnage wrote a piece called “The Lynching of Lesley Arfin.” Take care if you choose to read that, it’s one of the more racist pieces among racist pieces.)
- She went to Tokyo and then wrote this Orientalist nonsense. She describes a Japanese woman as having “hands like paper cranes.” She uses the phrase “yellowish fever.” She says: “I know I said I could never imagine a Japanese affair, but I’ve changed my mind. Kazu, the art handler hanging my mom’s show, is gorgeous like the strong, sexy, dreadlocked Mongol in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (causing my sister to email the instruction: ‘Yeah, girl. crouch that tiger, hide that dragon. P.S. That’s a Chinese movie’)” and “Being the only Caucasian in a room, you almost feel invisible because you are so visible. When you’re in Mexico or someplace, at least they want your paper dollars.”
- In defense of Lena Dunham, Feministing said “she’s essentially a comedy writer and comedians say racially offensive things all the time.” (We’ve spoken about this before.) In the past, Feministing spoke against Daniel Tosh’s rape jokes, saying “this conversation should be about holding public figures accountable for the impact they have on larger culture.”
In case you guys haven’t figured out why Lena Dunham is a problem, this is it. Lena Dunham is an important symbol of white women’s upward mobility. She is an important figurehead of white feminism. Lena Dunham needs white supremacy to succeed, and white feminists need Lena Dunham to succeed. Women of color (much less not-women of color) are not relevant to the white feminist project. They do not count as women, and their rights are not valued.
Defending Lena Dunham’s dignity over the personhood of the women of color that she and Lesley Arfin need to threaten in order to exist means that you are choosing your position as a white person (or a white feminist) at the expense of women of color.
- This is a sentence that came out of her mouth: “The world’s getting more and more full. Our generation is not just white girls. It’s guys. Women of color. Gay people.” (What??)
The finale of my Girls reviews includes a wedding-flavored overshare.
I love you so much and once Girls is on Netflix we can watch it together