Dunham has shown us who she is, and white women have continued to support and uplift her as a feminist hero.by Sherronda J. Brown and Lara Witt This essay contains discussions of sexual violence, including r/pe and molestation Last week, a writer at The Guardian posed what she no doubt thought was a poignant question: “Lena Dunham is a hugely original writer. Who cares if she’s a good person?” Before you ask—yes, she is. See, Martha Gill is deeply invested in protecting a fellow white woman from the consequences of her actions, and she is willing to tell lies about Lena Dunham’s talent, ignore truths about her poor character, and gaslight the people who have and continue to rightfully criticize her and her dangerous white feminism in the process. Just a few days after Martha's contribution, Katie Herzog wrote "The Pleasure of Hating Lena Dunham Is Less About Her And More About Us" for The Stranger. All things considered, it looks a lot like Dunham or someone close to her enlisted white women writers to do proactive damage control ahead of her latest apology in a long, long string of apologies for shitty behavior. Even more frightening than the idea that this might be premeditated apologism on her behalf, is the fact that white women reflexively feel the need to defend Dunham in the first place, because like so many terrible white men artists and literary figures, she is a terrible white woman who makes media that they enjoy. So they stand by her in the name of abusive white feminism, and perhaps like the terrible men, they feel that she too deserves a chance to stand separate from her art, able to continue succeeding while she uses the bones of Black and Brown women as her throne. Gaslighting us, shifting the animus for the criticism of Dunham onto people of color rather than Dunham’s proven record of investment in white supremacy, is easier than interrogating themselves and the white womanhood that connects them. When Aurora Perrineau revealed last year that she had been raped by Murray Miller, Lena Dunham called her a liar. Dunham, who has long used “feminism” as a platform for herself, her voice and her work, issued a statement along with Jenni Konner, co-showrunner and writer of “Girls” stating, “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 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we'll be saying about this issue.” But it's Dunham who was lying. As part of her recent PR run—which comes after the death of her website, the dissolution of her production partnership with Jenni Konner, the very public and controversial resignation of a Lenny Letter writer, and a call for women of color to no longer work with/for her—she has now apologized for this damaging lie one year later. And in classic Lena Dunham form, she centered herself and her own feelings in her apology for a lie that harmed a Black person who was sexually assaulted at 17 years old: “I didn’t have the ‘insider information’ I claimed but rather blind faith in a story that kept slipping and changing and revealed itself to mean nothing at all,” writes Dunham. Aurora Perrineau deserved far better, but women like Dunham are only consistent in perpetuating white supremacy and, in particular, misogynoir.
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We’re consuming the notions that fat people don’t deserve love, that our purpose is to assist other roles or provide comic relief.By Jordan Daniels I am a fat token. I know it’s uncomfortable to hear, but I’m speaking to the fact that in almost all of my friend groups, I’m the only fat person. This isn’t necessarily a problem, except that it is because it’s hard to find many friend groups with more than one fat person in them, if any at all. If you are that “fat friend”, then you’re probably used to being compared to another fat person. Jonah Hill is the go-to for many when they see me. This was most apparent when I recently went to a bar in Santa Monica with my friends. This seemingly nice man came up to me and said, “You look just like Jonah Hill!” I replied, “I have no idea why, but thanks.” He continued with, “ Are you as funny as he is?” This is what stumped me. Not only was he comparing me to Jonah Hill because of my weight, but he was about to pit us against each other to see who was funnier, as if being funnier gave one of us more social currency. This perpetuates the notion that fat people have to compete for acceptance. This is problematic because it diminishes the actual worth of a person. This is problematic because it makes people like me a commodity; a token to this thin-driven society. If you’re fat, you have to be funny. I call it the “Fat-Funny Syndrome,” a completely non-medical but socially accurate term that describes someone (whether fat, thin or in-between), who plays into the idea that fatness and comedic ability go hand-in-hand. We have to be the next Jonah Hill or Mo’Nique. We’re expected to either make the joke or be it. If not, then where is our value? Think of Fat Amy in “Pitch Perfect,” the hilarious sidekick to the heroine, Becca. While there is definitely a sense of empowerment with her character and the embracing of her body, it’s the fact that she has no actual arc that’s the problem. People make jokes about her and she makes them about herself, but does she really have a story? We even see her confidence and sexuality as funny because the thought of a fat person having such power makes people uncomfortable.
Carving out space for Kashmiris to exist authentically has been difficult. Even in the safest and most welcoming of spaces, I have found myself cornered by a community I supposedly share so much common ground with. By Shabana Shaheen Whenever I’m in
We are not your pawns nor are we a triumph for you to claim. By Hafsa Quraishi According to the latest FBI statistic, anti-Muslim hate crimes have nearly tripled in the past year. Muslims are being targeted on streets, at stop lights,