It’s Time We All Stop Listening To Lena Dunham

There’s plenty to hate about Lena Dunham already—her infantile, grating narcissism, her dubious alignment with Taylor Swift’s girl squad, and every line she’s ever uttered as Hannah Horvath come to mind (I somehow watched every episode of Girls, so if you tell me you never wanted to smack her in the face, I know you’re lying). But through all that, the very low baseline Dunham set for herself has always been her early adoption of and staunch loyalty to the title of “feminist”. So, even if you hated her artistically and culturally, you could vaguely nod along to her railing against the patriarchy—until this week happened.

Last week, actress Aurora Perrineau came out with rape allegations against writer Murray Miller. Perrineau was 17 years old at the time of the alleged attack, and her story includes plenty of horrifying details about her alleged reminders to Murray of her underage status, her unease in his presence, and finally, her waking to Miller on top of her, “having sexual intercourse” with her. Is this story disgusting and horrifying? Yep. Is it at all surprising given your experience of life as a woman the past few weeks of news we’ve had? Absolutely fucking not.

That is, of course, unless you’re Lena Dunham, and the writer involved happens to be a buddy of yours. In a statement to Variety, Dunham defended Murray, saying, “While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year.” Never mind that a few months ago, when Dunham was accused by an Instagram troll of fabricating a rape story of her own, she tweeted verbatim, “things women don’t lie about: rape.” Never mind that in a 2015 acceptance speech for Variety’s Power of Women award she said, “my ultimate goal is to use my experience, my platform, and yes, my privilege, to reverse stigma and give voice to other survivors.” Nope! Apparently, in this case, it’s “one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year” based on the fact that she’s “worked closely with for more than half a decade.”

Thankfully, the backlash to this absurd statement has been swift and severe enough that Dunham has already issued an extensive apology, which you can read here if you really want to. But suffice it to say the damage has very much been done. The same “experience, platform, and privilege” she promised to wield to accumulate wealth and fame in defense of other women was instead used to invalidate and humiliate a potential fellow survivor.

Zinzi Clemmons, a former writer for Dunham’s Lenny Letter, has already quit the publication, citing Dunham’s “known racism” and encouraging those who share her outrage to do the same. While I’ll go ahead and assume the readership here has minimal overlap with “people who work for Lena Dunham,” I’ll go ahead and encourage you to stop sponsoring Dunham’s existence in our collective consciousness, and start disabusing her of the notion that anyone gives a shit what she has to say anymore. And if there’s a larger lesson here, it’s that the world is not divided into “people you like” and “people who are rapists” (Sarah Silverman had a much more nuanced and appropriate reaction on this topic when her close friend Louis CK’s assault allegations came forward). What Lena Dunham did here was a bizarre perversion of the “boy’s club” mentality that’s protected so many rapists and criminals so far; only now, it’s friendship with very specific white ladies that gets you a pass. And if you don’t care about any of the other points I’ve made so far, it’s likely you’re a psychopath think of Dunham’s discontinuation as a glorious opportunity to never see her face on your TV screen again. Please, let’s all be done(ham) with Dunham.

The Betches’ Guide to Feminism

Thanks to Beyoncé and that African lady on “Flawless,” we are now all familiar with the definition of feminism (something about waking up like this I think?) Now that Bey has taken it upon herself to show us that feminism has less to do with burning your bra and man-hating and more to do with loving yourself and getting the respect you deserve, it’s time for betches to embrace the term and not puss out when somebody asks them point blank if they’re a feminist. (Note—the term “puss out” probs not super pro-feminist but, whatever. We all take on what we can handle.)

So that being said, here are some betchy feminist buzzwords you can use the next time some bro tries to take you down a notch just because you won’t touch his nasty-ass d.

#1 “The Patriarchy”

A long long time ago a bunch of cave bros got together and decided that they couldn’t have women leaving their caves and doing things because they might start doing those things better than men can do them. This idea persisted throughout history as bros convinced themselves that if women were allowed to have jobs and drive cars then men would never get hard again or some other bullshit, and thus the patriarchy was born. The patriarchy is all around us and is constantly trying to hold betches down. Luckily all the betchy ladies in politics and a bunch of just regular citizen betches are not having that shit anymore and are fighting on the daily for a betch’s right to decide not to carry a fuckboy‘s illegitimate child to term and to get paid the same amount as bros for the work they don’t do. TG.

#2 “Gaslighting”

So, there are a lot of super long articles about the psychological impacts of gaslighting and how shitty it is, but for the sake of not boring the shit out of you, here’s a crash course. Remember when your so-called bf blew you off for like a full week and then told everyone you were a “psycho bitch” when you finally went off on him via text? That’s gaslighting. Remember that dude you met on Tinder who said his ex was “crazy” but then after a little investigation you found out he just cheated on her a bunch? Again, that’s gaslighting. Remember that time you were in the car with your hot stepbrother and some chick in a beret laughed at your understanding of Hamlet even though you know you remember Mel Gibson accurately? You guessed it—gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a term that comes from some old-ass movie that means when a bro (or anyone—betches can gaslight other betches) tries to deflect their own shittiness by trying to make you feel insecure and stupid, usually by telling everyone you’re crazy and making you feel crazy. This is the ultimate in shady bro behavior, but unlike other shady things bros do, it’s not attractive. Gaslighting is bullshit and is used by people who want to take away your agency and make you feel small so next time somebody tries to do it to you tell them to fuck off and be like “you can go gaslight your back now byeeeeeeee.”

#3 Slut Shaming

Every betch observes the code of not fucking bros (sometimes) differently. For some betches, “sometimes” literally means “some of the time” and for others it means “basically every weekend now that I’m on Tinder.” Whatever. Do you. A betch is a gift to society and if she chooses to bestow that gift upon an entire basketball team, that’s her prerogative. No judgement. Slut shaming is when people fail to mind their own fucking business and act like what you do or don’t put into your front pocket has anything to do with them. Luckily, betches have been long times champions of the anti-slut shaming movement by embracing the joys of dressing like a slut and always keeping in mind that we’ve “got to stop calling each other sluts and whores because it just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” Thanks Tina.

#4 “The Bechdel Test”

The Bechdel Test is a test for movies that asks one simple question: Does the movie portray at least two named female characters who talk about something other than a man. Sounds easy, but a legit large percentage of movies do not pass this very simple test and it’s like come on, if I could pass Organic Chem you can pass the Bechdel test. It’s not fucking hard. Luckily, the Bechdel test might as well be renamed the Betchdel test because all our fav movies like Clueless, Mean Girls, Bring it On, and Spring Breakers all pass the shit out of it proving once and for all that feminism and betchism go hand in hand.