Lena Dunham offers half-assed apology: ‘I do not condone any kind of abuse’


I can’t believe I’m actually covering this because a few days ago, I swore that this story was just too awful and stupid to engage with. But the whole thing has taken on a life of its own, so let’s go through it. Lena Dunham wrote a book called Not That Kind of Girl. It’s a memoir and she describes many incidents of her childhood, her college years and her early adulthood. We’ve already found out that she was sort-of date-raped and that as a child, she refused to sleep by herself for years and years. This week, conservative sites latched on to other excerpts from the book, specifically about Lena’s relationship with her younger sister and Lena’s childlike curiosity with her body and her sister’s body.

The whole controversy this week started when the National Review published the full text of their cover story on Dunham, which I previewed a few weeks back. The most incendiary parts, the parts calling Dunham a “child molester,” are located at the end of Page 1 and onto Page 2. The discussion is NSFW, just beware. To be fair to the National Review, Lena did jokingly refer to herself as a “sexual predator” when it came to her sister Grace. After the National Review published their full piece, most media and entertainment sites covered it as “Is Lena Dunham a child molester?” And “Did Lena Dunham molest her younger sister?” My take: no, it’s not molestation. Whatever happened between the Dunham sisters is a combination of healthy childhood curiosity and stupid hipster parenting, where every urge, thought and action of special snowflake Lena Dunham was accepted, encouraged and recorded for posterity.

The Frisky wrote a great piece on the real problems of Lena’s admissions – go here to read. Lena was never taught to respect boundaries and she was clearly never taught to treat her sister like a separate person, with her own agency and ability to consent. Lena was also never taught that some private family stories are just that: private family stories that should not be shared in a book, where they can easily be misinterpreted and made even more controversial. I have private family stories that would sound horrible if I ever tried to write about them… which is why I don’t write about them. But I’m not Lena Dunham, who needs attention like she needs air.

Lena responded initially to the controversy by tweeting out a “rage spiral” and claiming that her sister was “laughing so hard” at the situation. Grace Dunham also tweeted about the situation, basically saying that the media was trying to police what “women” said about their own experiences. Then yesterday, Lena canceled the remaining European stops of her book tour and issued this statement:

I am dismayed over the recent interpretation of events described in my book Not That Kind of Girl.

First and foremost, I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.

Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term “sexual predator” was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.

As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval.

[From Time]

Well, I hope everyone is happy. Lena got the attention and controversy she craved, her book sales are probably through the roof and media-elite types are bending over backwards to defend her. This is her comfort zone. She’s going to be fine. Although this is probably one small bad sign: The Daily Beast had a great piece called “Will White Feminists Finally Dump Lena Dunham?” Don’t be silly!


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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210 Responses to “Lena Dunham offers half-assed apology: ‘I do not condone any kind of abuse’”

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  1. Tapioca says:

    Storm in a teacup, no matter how much I dislike LD and her incessant trolling of the media/victim play.

    I once deliberately knocked down my brother whilst riding my bike and knocked out two of his teeth trying to recreate a Road Runner cartoon. I’m sure some people would have me seeing a child psychologist for anger issues, but my parents realised that stupid shit happens between siblings when you’re barely school age. And he got me back plenty.

    The eventual truce is still holding…

    • MrsB says:

      There is no comparison in my opinion to what you are describing and Lena’s situation. Her excerpts are absolutely disturbing. The incident at age 7, is weird, but not disturbing by itself. The stuff that comes later on in her life…getting her rocks off while laying next to her sister, making her kiss her for 5 seconds…this was not at age 7, this was much much older, when she definitely would have known better.

      • Tapioca says:

        OK, then – I only got as far as the first bit.

      • MrsB says:

        For some reason, a lot of websites are only reporting the incident when she was 7, looking at her sister’s vagina. If you only know about that, I agree this would seem like much ado about nothing. But, once you hit your teenage years, and you are doing shit like she was describing, it’s not normal or okay.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        MRSB that’s the “sexual predator” stuff I found disturbing as well – also the weird dynamic of making her little sister beg to sleep with her every night. I don’t know anything about the parents but they are partly responsible.

        This girl LOVES making scenes, and then scenes about scenes. I can’t stand her.

      • Stephmcg says:

        mrsB. +1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

      • Greata says:

        @MrsB. Absolutely agree. If not sexual abuse, it is at the very least dysfunctional behavior.

      • Diana B says:

        She is disgusting. She abused her sister not only sexually but emotionally. That sick placer she got from delivering bad news so her sister had to lean on her, classic abusive behaviour. And off course the sister can’t see what’s wrong with the picture, she lived in bizarro world with that bunch of nutjobs all her childhood. That family is just freaky.

      • Dido says:

        Completely agree. “Private family story.” WTF!?!

      • cindy says:

        Wait…she was a teenager when she did some of this stuff??? Yuck.

      • aang says:

        Siblings have been sharing beds for millenia, and in many cultures still do. I doubt this behavior is as deviant as some seem to think. Perspective please.

      • Mira says:

        Not passing judgment on what Lena did with her sister, everyone is curious when they’re young. Heck, I’m still curious about my bodily functions!

        But, she had to know that writing all of that would cause a media storm. She’s either woefully ignorant or did it for the PR. The National Review calling it sexual abuse is gross, though. Foul.

    • MCraw says:

      Wait, so she did this stuff as a teen? Shit, I feel guilty about stuff I did at 10yrs old! She really is a nut job from a family of assorted nuts.

      I’m glad SOMEONE said white feminists should dump her: she really is the epitome of everything wrong with it and is the kind of feminist young women see and go “hell no I’m not a feminist!” She makes y’all look crazy.

      • Nicole says:

        I know this will be a HUGE stretch for you but we’re not all the same mind about things. There isn’t a white feminist club. There’s just a bunch of people who believe in equality for the sexes. Some are white. Some are female. One of is Lena Dunham. This isn’t the kind of thing that makes feminist young women go “hell no I’m not a feminist” though, because young women with the wherewithal to be feminists aren’t dumb enough to think that Lena Dunham is the leader of some imagined white feminist cult.

    • Glitter says:

      oh my, the misinformation in this mini thread is rampant. No she was not a teenager. Have none of you actually read the book, you’re just taking the “facts” from conservative blogs that have purposefully misrepresented her age?

      • Falkor says:

        Oh is that so Glitter?

        “I shared a bed with my sister, Grace, until I was seventeen years old. She was afraid to sleep alone and would begin asking me around 5:00 P.M. every day whether she could sleep with me. I put on a big show of saying no, taking pleasure in watching her beg and sulk, but eventually I always relented. Her sticky, muscly little body thrashed beside me every night as I read Anne Sexton, watched reruns of SNL, sometimes even as I slipped my hand into my underwear to figure some stuff out.”

        See, that is what is known as a direct quote. You can pick up the book and you will find those exact words printed on the pages. Where are you getting your facts from, O’ enlightened one? How about you know what you’re talking about yourself before setting other straight? Might spare you some embarrassment down the road.

      • Francesca says:


      • MCraw says:

        DAMN, Falcor! ‘Round my way, we call that a bitch-slap! Lmao

        Why would any of us purchase her book when there are plenty of quotes online? Since when is celebitchy a conservative blog? Plus, I don’t like her, I’d never buy her book.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        But that really doesn’t sound that bad. A bit odd, yes. But it isn’t predatory behavior. She wasn’t trying to sexualize her sister. She didn’t say she was touching herself thinking about her sister.

      • FuzzyBritches says:

        Thank you

    • the_porscha says:

      When she was 17, she was sleeping in the bed next to her sister, who would have been 11 or 10 at the time. She admits that there were a few instances where she’d masturbate.

      My brother and I share a similar age difference. Had he been 17 and sharing a bed with me, masturbating next to me as I slept, I can think of zero people for whom that’d be acceptable or justifiable. The one incident when Lena was 7 is not the issue here. It’s that she did a series of things, some of which (like the above) are entirely inappropriate especially given the context of her age, and she wrote about them with relish, as if they were stories for show & tell. It is a violation to think that publicizing that story in particular is no big deal. There is a lot of stuff in her book that’s no big deal. The time she was a horny 17 year old who should have known better? Not one of them.

      • Deb says:

        I agree with you for the most part, but I think that doing that type of exploration at seven is pushing it a bit. It is certainly not unusual for young children to be curious about their own bodies and the bodies of other children, but most parents try to teach their children about boundaries and privacy before they are old enough to be in elementary school. Apparently, Lena’s parents missed that lesson.

        I know teenagers don’t always think before they do things, but you would think she would at least duck into the bathroom to masturbate. I would think most teens wouldn’t want to caught in the act.

    • Denise says:

      This is exactly what LD wants you to do do. Relate to her ‘refreshing’ and shameless honesty so you will identify with her. Then she can exploit and manipulate for her own pleasure. This is what narcissists do. She is loving every minute of this.

  2. Darkladi says:

    Lena Dunham is gross. Someone needs to turn on the STFU switch.

    • Ellie66 says:

      This chick needs to just shut-up already all of this isn’t cute happy memories of childhood this is some gross nasty shite! makes me dislike her even more and I tried to watch her show..it’s a bunch of spoiled young people who whine way too much.

    • CTgirl says:

      X 1,000.000

    • kibbles says:

      I’m glad that I’ve never watched her show and will never spend any money on her book. I’ve never even heard her voice before. I only know of her from this site and Dlisted, otherwise, she would never be on my radar. I’m exhausted by her just from reading about her on gossip blogs. I don’t understand why she’s a thing or why she is getting paid millions of dollars to write an autobiography when she isn’t even 30 yet.

      Maybe she isn’t a molester, but from the excerpts I’ve read about Lena’s touching her younger sister, I think Lena is a really f-ed up person. Partly because of her parents’ poor parenting skills and partly because she’s an attention whore who enjoys shocking people and acting out, which is how she has managed to succeed in the entertainment business.

      I was a feminist long before it was the cool thing to talk about among stupid celebrities. Lena Dunham does not represent me or my interests. She gives feminism a bad name and feeds into the stereotype that we all look and act like her. She is a mess and worst of all she does and says stupid sh*t and dresses like sh*t on purpose for attention and money. I really hope people start to realize that she does not deserve the fame, fortune, or accolades bestowed upon her.

      • CatJ says:

        You have said exactly the thing I feel about her.

      • Mira says:

        Ugh, tell me about it. I don’t think what Lena Dunham has to say is completely vapid. I think she makes good points. But, it tends toward selfishness and egocentrism to the extreme. I don’t think I’d be as annoyed except I find many of my peers think the same way, e.g., assuming that because they believe in gay marriage that they’re automatically the most open minded generation, yet as soon as someone says the word “republican” it’s met with knee jerk derision. Note: “progressive”does not equal “open minded.” Open minded means understanding, or at least trying to understand, where people are coming from (even if you don’t necessarily agree). You cannot have a different opinion from them – even on the littlest things – or else you’re automatically “bad” or “wrong” instead of “different strokes for different folks.”

        Ugh. End rant.

    • mernymerlyn says:

      I’m so repulsed by her. She is twisted and vile. I don’t care if she was 7 or 17, which are the years she manipulated her sister and violated her personally.
      This is NOT normal . This is NOT edgy. This is NOT funny.

    • pinky says:

      What kind of honey boo boo upbringing did SHE have? Now I understand why I’ve always hated Girls SO MUCH!

  3. jinni says:

    Her sister needs to quit with trying to make the media calling Lena out for being a predator into some kind of anti- woman nonsense. No one is trying to police how she wants to talk about her experience only pointing out that what she choose to share with the world sounds a whole heck of a lot like molestation.

    Also, how anyone can joke about being a sexual predator is beyond my understanding. What’s funny about it? Bet when her best friend was dating Terry Richardson that they got along swell if she thinks that sort of talk is funny.

    Also, of course white feminist aren’t going to abandon her. They’re going to twist themselves in knots coming up with excuses and saying that her apology is enough to absolve her. But let this have been a man or someone they don’t worship, they would have dragged them to death, made and signed a petition to have anyone that works with this person to stop working with them. But Lena, she gets a pass.

    • Nemesis says:

      Imagine if a man confessed that when he was a child that he’d inspected his baby sisters vagina! 0_0

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        He wouldn’t have been a man at the time that he did this; he would have been a boy and any intelligent assessment of the child’s actions would be viewed through that lens. How about we examine the things that brothers do in each others’ company that are viewed as normal and/or downright adorable? Frapping, masturbating in the same room, comparing penis length, peeing outdoors together, practicing their aim in the toilet bowl, play fighting with melodramatic “kicks” to the balls….I could go on.

      • Diana says:

        @ We Are…

        I agree with your argument about double standards but can we please acknowledge that Lena was not a “child” when she committed most of these acts. It’s natural to be curious and want to explore at that age, and depending on how sheltered Lena was, there may not have been another avenue (such as a same-aged friend) for her to make these discover so it make sense that her sister would bear the brunt of her curiosity. The uneasiness is that she experiment with someone much younger than her, someone she had some modicum of control over, and she continued to do it long past the age when she should have known better.

      • ScrewStewrat99 says:

        The stuff that happened when she was older is disgusting. She knew better. If we heard on the news that a 17 year old boy was masturbating while laying next to his 10 year old sister and asking her to kiss him and crap, people would be screaming for him to be put in jail and made a sex offender. What she did is disgusting. I also don’t understand how someone who has been raped could think joking about being a predator is funny. Lena is a sick individual.

      • Katherine says:

        We are made of stars, the situations you describe are not similar to Dunham’s actions towards her sister. The “guy activities” you list don’t have victims. Even fighting each other is often a voluntary activity. They are, for the most part, participatory stupid things like jumping off a roof together. Girls do stupid, gross things together as well but Dunham’s behavior as she herself describes it was not between equals and was not participatory.

        I do wonder how much of what Dunham says actually occurred and how much she is making up or exaggerating to get attention and headlines. That is a large part of her raison d’etre after all. Her telling of these events, real or imagined, is abusive toward her sister, in and of itself.

  4. Lucky says:

    this saga gives me heartburn. White feminists have enough to question and this particular story doesn’t make the list.

  5. Jem says:

    My older sister broke 3 of my fingers on purpose, gave me a concussion, and convinced me I was fat, a concept I didn’t shake off until I was in my 30′s. And then there was the whole ‘lets play house’ weirdness…. And then there was the night she turned our bedroom into a disco. We hijacked our little bro and dressed him in drag….

    Sisterhood is typically weirder than hell. Nothing unusual here, at least not to me

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      But your sister never touched your vagina and proudly wrote about it in a book? There is a huge difference between to be curious or to be mean with your sister and an inappropriate behaviour when young / proudly share the story when adult

      • emmie_a says:

        About the pebbles in a one year old’s vagina. Does anyone besides me think Lena put the pebbles in there? One year old babies don’t have the motor control needed to pick up pebbles and shove them up there.

        And I thought the bribes were creepier than the vagina “curiosity” — bribing her sister to sit on her lap? I don’t know – it’s just creepy. I’d hope this would finally put Lena where she belongs but knowing her luck, it will just bring her more undeserving opportunities for fame & cash.

    • Talie says:

      Jem… I’m sorry all that happened to you. That’s not the norm though, I hope you know.

      • elo says:

        I disagree Talie, My sister is 7 years older than me and that sounds pretty accurate. She used to mix household chemicals and berries from outside and call them potions and use them on me like lotions and perfumes, she also used to feed me all kinds of stuff for her own giggles. The story at 7 about the pebbles, I don’t find that weird, the older stuff is bizarre and I’m inclined to agree that she was never taught to view her sister as a person or learned boundaries. My step son is ten and sometimes we have to remind him that my toddler is a person with agendas and feelings, not a toy or a pet that he might be inclined to try to control. I think that is a hard concept for kids to grasp.

      • emmie_a says:

        There IS a difference Elo. Nothing you mentioned was vaguely sexual. What Lena wrote about had sexual undertones & that was her intention. Yes, it’s somewhat the norm to perhaps be mean or torture a sibling but that’s not what Lena wrote about in these passages.

      • elo says:

        I see your point Emmie, I was more replying to Talie concerning Jems experience not Lenas book. Sorry for any confusion. I agree with you above about the bribes being the creepiest part. I have a one year old and in thinking about it your statement on motor control is probably correct too, also that is a lot of time to spend doing something like that and a one year old really doesn’t have that sort of attention span. Also how long would she have been left unattended to do that? You are right it doesn’t add up. Regardless, I can ignore the 7 thing, little kids do weird sh%t, the older stuff gets disturbing.

      • Dani says:

        I’m sorry Elo, but that’s not normal either. I have an older sister and we have our fair share of ‘duh’ moments but nothing like that. It’s all a reflection of how you’re brought up. Lena’s parents were very absent in the sense that they were rich and entitle and had not a single care in the world and it translated over to their daughter, who behaves like the most entitle woman on this planet. What she did isn’t ‘normal’ or ‘sisterly’.

    • Jh says:

      Yeah, no. That’s not normal sisterhood behavior.

    • Lulu says:

      Sorry that’s abuse, and your parents who are ” parents ” should have protected and disciplined your sibling. And failed as parents .

      Growing up in a family shouldn’t be survival of the fittest .

      Disgusting behaviour , I have two older brothers, so because we are ” family” they could force me to masturbate as a child ( your story of you brother) and you argument it’s ok because family’s are weird, no it’s sexual abuse and my brothers would have been predators , they would never even have though of doing something like that to me and even if they did have thoughts of that nature would have never acted on them , my parents would have made the consequences horrendous for them.

      illustrates just how you family moral compass was f–K up, and that’s all on your parents.

      • Francesca says:

        I have two older sisters. And let me tell you, they can be your worst nightmare when you are the smallest/weakest. I was made to eat bird poop, poison berries, part of a jellyfish and forced to jump off a wall which caused a tear in my achilles tendon. And that was just one summer.

  6. NewWester says:

    Okay this is what I don’t understand. Lena is old enough to see how saying the wrong thing has got many celebrities into trouble. Words can be twisted and media outlets will use sound bites to get more attention.
    So Lena goes and writes about what happened between her and her sister. Then jokes and calls herself a “sexual predator”? Does she not have anyone to tell her that may cause a uproar?

    • tinyfencer says:

      She knew it would cause an uproar and that’s precisely why she did it. She’s right in her wheelhouse. “I’m going to do something that I know people will criticize me for. Then I and others will defend my actions in the name of feminism, I’ll play the victim because I’m being criticized, and my profile will be raised as a result.”

      • lucy2 says:

        I think you hit the nail on the head with that one. She’s like a child acting out for attention.

      • Debb says:

        I have always thought she looks and acts like a 4 year old.
        My opinion of her hasn’t changed – I really dislike her.

    • wolfpup says:

      She is a sexual predator. I’m sure that many children are, because for one reason or another they have not developed respect for another soul; usually because they did not have that respect given to their own psyche. Lena still has no respect for herself; and the other. Her sister remains her victim.

      Children are naturally sexually curious – I could call my brothers peeping toms because I was always screaming to my mom that they were trying to look when I was in the bath. But my mom and dad were in the next room, and *I would tell!* Children just know! All kids know when their boundaries are being violated – her sister knew – but she probably felt too overpowered by the dynamics in the family (Lena), to the point where the little girl was unable to share with a parent. Durham disrespected her sister in the most disgusting way – and still is, by making a joke about it.

      If Lena was a fine person, perhaps she should offer to go to juvenile jail. It’s not funny.

      • fancyamazon says:

        While examining various outlets for the backstory on this story, I found out that her father was an artist, and one from a privileged background, given all of the schools mentioned an whatnot. So I googled images of his “art”. It seems to be all vaginas and breasts, crudely rendered, with the odd penis thrown in for “relief”. Also I read that her mother displayed selfies (she was/is a photographer) o herself in their home with her legs spread showing off all of her womanhood. While I don’t have a problem with art containing nudity and I don’t have a problem with nude art photography, the descriptions that I read and the painting that I saw tell me that the parents probably didn’t have much of a filter for “appropriate” boundaries or probably for appropriateness of a time and a place for things. Lena is old enough to know better, and she does, but her upbringing must have been all sorts of messed up.

    • Maria says:

      Suddenly, all her exhibitionism in her show makes sense. She has no sense of boundaries whatsoever and her narcissism has her thinking that everything she says and does is precocious, clever, and too cute by half.

  7. Nemesis says:

    This chick is an attention wh0re and got what she wanted. She annoys me greatly. She also sucks as an actress.

    • starrywonder says:

      Exactly. And her trying to claim she is some sort of victim made me roll my eyes. Check out Twitter plenty of WOC and males were calling her butt out. She sucks and is an attention W

  8. QQ says:

    UGH!! this whole thing is Awful

    And also YES to Lena Not ever learning personal boundaries…Being in her immediate family must be as exhausting as being in Beyonce in that they both suck all the air out of the room..in diferent ways granted, but ego and “me me me” is what’s at play here

    • Greyson says:

      Yeah, I’d hate to be a part of their family. Money and privilege aside, the neuroticism and extreme liberal/hipster/intelligentsia vibe is just.. Ugh. Pretentious and annoying! No thanks!

      • Snazzy says:

        Exactly!! I have never watched her show (and honestly don’t plan to) but everything I read about her infurates me. This is the face of feminism!! Ladies rise up, because this self important spoiled little s**t – I mean snowflake – could cause more harm than good ….

        As for the story – it is gross. I just wonder if it’s actually true

    • Brionne says:

      I wouldn’t mind being in the Knowles family and having mama Tina make Creole food for me and lovingly attach peplums to all my clothing.

  9. We Are All Made of Stars says:

    Well I was wondering about the absence of this story from Celebitchy! Anywho, I agree with the assessment that her behavior indicates that Dunham most probably had a combination of a natural lack of boundaries and no parental influence to create them for her and explain why they were important and necessary in the first place. The media harping on the bit where she jokingly compares her behavior to a child molester is media histrionics at its finest. As for what she wrote, I’m more concerned about whether she had her sister’s consent. I presume she did, since the sister is apparently managing her book tour. It isn’t all bad to have an out there person speak honestly about stuff that a lot of kids do in their childhoods.

    • wolfpup says:

      Putting rocks in her sister’s vagina is abusive to the extreme, and is a indication of how Lena views other people. She thinks that it’s funny! Until she can own what she did, without being a victim, or calling it funny – the dynamic is active. So far her apologies are merely excuses.

      • NorthernGirl_20 says:

        +1 There is NO way that her sister, at one years old put those rocks there. I didn’t even know until I was 12 that there was an “up there”.. never mind that you can put things in there. A one year old – as stated above – would not have the attention span or the dexterity to do that … and the other stuff .. I say abusive I’m sorry but it is.

  10. Nina says:

    This situation really does sickens me. It’s disgusting and wrong and Dunham didn’t own up to it in any way, shape or form. She never apologised. She never even tried to apologise. She just did the thing where she screamed SEXISM!! when people called her out on it, as if the only people bothered by this were “old white bros”. But they weren’t.
    I was bothered by this too, simply because I was raised to respect my sister and her personal space and treat her like a seperate person. I never did any of those things Dunham did. I never even thought about it. Did anyone else do that? Help me understand.
    Dunham even said she bribed her sister with candy to kiss her on the lips for a prolonged amount of time and that she did “anything that a child molester would do to get a suburban girl” or something along the lines of that. She said she touched herself with her sister in bed and enjoyed when her sister felt helpless or like she couldn’t live without her older sister. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be creepy, but that’s how it came across to me: creepy and pedophilic.
    This article is great: http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/lena-dunham-describes-sexually-abusing-her-toddler-sister and this is from the same website, who she threathened to sue: http://www.truthrevolt.org/commentary/lena-dunham-threatens-sue-truth-revolt-quoting-her

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      I dislike Lena but Truth revolt is a nasty website that believes women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. They are against equal pay for women but then at the same time complain that women do make the same pay as men because they make the same or more and that’s a problem. Feminism is also a problem. They have written that women are taking men’s masculinity from them and women who work are destroying families and have no values. And thats not even the tip of the iceberg. Nice site to quote from though.

      • Nina says:

        I didn’t know they did that! I just found this link from one of my friends on Facebook and thought it was accurate. I don’t support or agree with any of that stuff, obviously.
        I did agree with this article, though.

      • Tifygodess24 says:

        Nina, yeah I was shocked when I started reading that site after originally being given a link to that lena article. You should check it out just to check it out , you will Prob be angry and blown away just like I was. Craziness. They jumped on the Lena story to further their agenda against women not because they were actually horrified.

      • Nina says:

        God, that’s disgusting. Thanks for pointing that out. You were right – I was both angry and blown away and more than just a little repulsed. So, Dunham abusing her little sister is something that should paint the entire female population as revolting? That’s sick.

    • wolfpup says:

      What a trashy home that Lena is describing – a child’s nightmare.

      • Nina says:

        Sounds like she really had no structure in her early life, yeah, but people grow and experience different things and their views change on certain subjects. Instead of saying: ‘I was a weird 7 year old, what I did was invasive. It was wrong.’, she just keeps saying ‘Everybody does it.’ No, they really don’t. I wish she’d own up to this.

    • Annie says:

      I have four sisters, along with one brother. I slept with my youngest sister for a time. I sometimes slept with one of my older sisters until the point in time when we all had our own bed, though we still shared bedrooms. Not once did anything happen among the siblings in a sexual way. I find LD’s stories about what she did to her sister creepy and repulsive.

  11. pretty says:

    From her NY TIMES interview. She outed her sister without her consent to her parents. she’s awful.

    Though Grace wasn’t quite ready to tell their parents, Dunham was unable to contain herself and came out to them for her.

    Grace rolled her eyes. “Without getting into specifics,” she said, “most of our fights have revolved around my feeling like Lena took her approach to her own personal life and made my personal life her property.”

    “Basically, it’s like I can’t keep any of my own secrets,” Dunham said. “And I consider Grace to be an extension of me, and therefore I couldn’t handle the fact that she’s a very private person with her own value system and her own aesthetic and that we do different things.”

    • Jules says:

      Wow, she has no boundaries, and look out for anyone around her who does. What a whack job.

    • Kim says:

      Thank you for posting the NY Times excerpts….Dunham comes off so cheeky, so damned smug and proud of herself for not only violating her sister’s privacy but appropriating it for her own gain…I just cringe at the narcissism.

    • Nikki says:

      Ick. I can’t believe her sister tolerates her, because I sure can’t. +1 with every other poster who finds her a repulsive, spoiled attention addict.

    • lucy2 says:

      “I consider Grace to be an extension of me”
      That’s telling, isn’t it? Never a thought for her sister’s own feelings, privacy, etc. It’s all about Lena, from childhood to present day. Narcissism to the extreme.
      Her sister may be “laughing” about it, but I bet if you got her to answer truthfully, she would not have wanted these terrible and personal things about her life shared publicly. Who would? But I get the impression everyone must bow to Lena’s every whim, and no one in her circle ever says no to her.
      I’m disgusted that she’s trying to paint herself the victim here, or make it about politics or the media or sexism, rather than try to understand why everyone finds this so wrong.

    • kibbles says:

      These excerpts are disturbing. Doesn’t Lena sound just like an abuser? Thank goodness that she doesn’t have the common sense to see how wrong her comments are, otherwise she would have kept them to herself and we would have never known how psychologically damaged she is. This is what abusers think like. They see their victims as property, not as independent or fully human. Any child or teenager who thinks fondling another child is okay or that it is a natural part of childhood should find a psychologist because I have never heard of such things among healthy and happy children. I never thought of sticking any object up another classmate or relative’s vagina. I never thought masturbating in front of another relative would be a fun part of exploring my sexuality. NO. There are some lines that should never be crossed and Lena just crossed a dozen of them in my opinion. She is a deeply disturbed person and I feel sorry that her sister had to experience this and that Lena outed her before she was ready.

  12. tmh says:

    I find it pretty disgusting how many feminist especially white feminist were defending Lena and saying things like her situations with her little sister is normal. If this was a man telling the world he is a sexual predator and did the things Lena did to her sister in her book, people would not be defending him like they’re doing with Lena. She is gross and creepy and the fact she was comfortable enough to put this in her book is crazy.

    • Jules says:

      I’m white and I find her disgusting. But thanks for making it about race.

      • jinni says:

        People are bring up race because of the Daily Beast article that’s linked in this post is about whether or not white feminists who love her, support her, are the only reason why she famous and have been given a platform to be a public figure, are going to dump her. If you aren’t one of the people that’s excusing her behavior than obviously no one is lumping you in that group.

      • Tifygodess24 says:

        Jules you’re right race has nothing to do with this story and its silly for anyone , daily beast included to try and bait it that way.

      • perplexed says:

        Race has been brought into the discussion because most likely a person of color wouldn’t necessarily be given the same pass as Lena Dunham if they were to reveal the stuff she did as a kid (which was one of the points the Daily Beast article raised. I didn’t think it was baiting but pointing out some truths about how society reacts to different people.)

        I do think the stuff Lena Dunham did as a child does strike me as rather weird. Then again, I think she herself may have described herself as weird too, so I’m not sure why she’s in shock that we think she’s odd.

      • mimif says:

        Not trying to be incendiary, but the white feminist angle & Lena has been discussed ad nauseum all over the internet for quite some time now.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        I think the fact that she’s female and white is why she’s being given the benefit of doubt. If it had been anyone else, then everyone would be screaming that she was a predator. No one would be dissecting it to this extent, trying to figure how or why she did it. She’s being given a lot of leeway for someone who wrote in a book (and tried to be witty about it) about her touching her little sister as a young child, and masturbating in the same bed as her as a teenager. That’s fucking creepy as hell.

      • lucy2 says:

        Is she getting the benefit of the doubt though? Every single comment I’ve read on the story, people are disgusted and feel it’s wrong. There may be a few people trying to make a point by defending her, but the vast majority of people are not.
        And any kind of generalization is problematic. I’m white and a feminist, and neither of those aspects of my being compel me to want to defend her in any way.

      • Lauren says:

        Jules I always hear people say this ‘thanks fort making it about race’ but you would surprised at how much a woman of colours life is completely dictated by her race within this particular society. We all have realize that no inequalities exist completely separate from the other. The tools of oppression all interwine and when happen to have a bit of each thing that is somewhat lacking valued by this society it is more apparent. Race will always intertwine with sexism as sexism will always be connected to class in form or another. It is just a reality and think trying to ignore these realities does a disservice to us all. I don’t know that’s just my own opinion.

      • mia girl says:

        @Lucy2 – while maybe not in these comments, but across the internet there has been a fair share of twisting and turning logic to defend her. Even from thoughtful writers who I enjoy reading
        - One example is a piece on Pajiba where Dunham’s writing about her sister and sexual predator comment is framed as comedy and then compared to Chris Rock’s SNL monologue. The author posed the idea that Rock was let off the hook from his controversial comments because he’s male, while Lena’s comedy about her childhood “weirdness” is held to a different standard because she is a woman. The author see’s Dunham’s comedy as an extension of Eddie Murphy’s bit when he talked about putting a GI Joe in his own butt as a kid.
        IMO The whole Pajiba piece was such a s-t-r-e-t-c-h to excuse not only Dunham’s actions, but her lack of boundaries for putting it all in her book.


      • MaiGirl says:

        Her entitlement is absolutely tied to her race and economic privilege, and yes, she has gotten A TON of free passes because she is a quirky white girl proclaiming feminism. Hopefully, her disturbing opinions and behavior will finally convince most people of the fact that she is indeed a malignant narcissist.

        No wonder she was fine with working with Uncle Terry!

      • Jules says:

        Thanks for the education everyone. As a white feminist, I would not give her a pass. Just STFU. Talk about the queen of narcissism.

    • Heather says:

      Yes, she is creepy creep and apparently always has been.

    • Maria says:

      Some woman columnist in the Wash Post just defended her. I’m waiting to see what sort of letters result in the next few days.

  13. Really glad you all are covering this. Was skeptical that you hadn’t mentioned it, but am glad you have!

    Other points that disturb me about this story is the fact that Dunham has made various molestation jokes on Twitter and GIRLS, as well as joked about going as the sister of Karla Holmoko for Halloween… her apologies always seemed half-assed because they are exactly that, half-assed.

    She is only apologizing because the people who give her the paychecks are probably demanding she do so… she can’t handle the fact she isn’t getting a gold star for this like she seems quite used to getting…

    She needs a reality check.

    • jinni says:

      Eww all of this new info that you just spilled only makes this situation creepier to me. I had no idea she a had a history of doing things like that. Disgusting.

    • Dolce crema says:

      Getting woody Allen vibes!

    • cindy says:

      That she joked about Karla Holmoko’s sister is making me ill. I think it’s when you put all this behavior together is when things get disturbing. What the hell is wrong with this woman?

  14. captain hero says:

    I think the fantastic thing to come out of all this is that conservatives are starting to take women’s rights and sexual abuse seriously. That’s what is happening here, not an excuse to attack somebody they don’t like. Certainly not an excuse to attack all feminists, who have been dragged into this for some reason. Finally, society is changing for the better.
    Now please excuse me while I choke on my own sarcasm.

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      You might want to check out the website truth revolt. (The site going the hardest at her ) and see that some conservatives aren’t so much about women’s rights and more about their agenda. It’s not a change at all it’s a ploy. Lena is horrific but this website is as well and proves the point.

  15. Maria says:

    I agree that was happened when she was 7 falls under the realm of childhood curiosity, even if I find it problematic on a personal level.

    I do not agree with the subsequent behavior spanning over a decade thereafter because IMO it was most definitely predatory.

    I won’t get into details about what she did as I’m sure many of you have read on it AND it has been a trigger for me given my childhood trauma.

    Her issues go way past a lack of boundaries, they teeter on sociopathy (IMO) given the pleasure she took in her sister’s personal torment.

    However, HOW her sister chooses to define their relationship is entirely up to her and no one has the right to ascribe the role of victim/survivor on her but her (she clearly doesn’t believe this to be the case and that’s her right) .

    The Lenas of the world are a great example of what’s wrong with white feminism but she is certainly not the exemplification of mainstream feminism either.

    She sucks as a person and her inability to take criticism much less reflect on her behavior with adult lenses is a reflection of her conditioning and narcissism.

    There’s nothing comedic about likening herself to a sexual predator and regardless of how she feels, she is NOT an advocate.

    She’s attention seeking and now gets to play the role of victim once again, she is someone whose work I will NEVER support.

    • We Are All Made of Stars says:

      What torment? She was the older sibling and had anxiety and boundary issues and tried to control her much younger sibling to create a sense of security for herself. A parent should have intervened. Did her sister ever say she was tormented? Talk about projection!

      • Maria says:

        Taking pleasure, which she described as perverse, in telling her sister about the death of their grandfather and a house fire just so SHE could be the one to get affection is sociopathic (to me).

        Letting her sister beg for hours about sleeping in bed with her just because it made HER happy speaks volumes.

        Perhaps my use of the word torment was dramatic but if that is what you find most problematic in my post vs Lena’s actions–that says more about you than me.

        I’m not projecting anything nor am I accusing Lena of being a sex offender, she is however a disturbing individual who took immense joy from emotionally manipulating a sibling seven years her junior, no amount of OCD or anxiety justifies that.


      • FLORC says:

        We Are All
        This isn’t about projecting. More interpreting. I also find this bad on a personal level. Seems like sick behavior that had coninued up to her adult years. And she still doesn’t see the issue with it.

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        Sociopaths are people who are extremely, coldly rational and calculating. They rarely if ever feel anxiety and are wholly unafraid to engage in high risk behavior. They don’t have the ability to react emotionally, feel guilt or remorse, or engage in self-reflection. Is it just me or does that sound like the exact opposite profile of the neurotic, OCD, and histrionically emotional Lena Dunham? Her entire career is based on her anxious obsessions about the minutae of her entire existence. I think she’s a raging emotional narcissist who needs to be thrown out into the cold hard world, but she isn’t a sociopath. You state that she took pleasure in delivering information to her sister because it would result in affection. That might be an older sibling on an ego trip or a narcissist, but it isn’t a sociopath.

    • Talie says:

      From some of these comments where people share their own horrors of childhood and think it’s normal… um, its not! People think sociopaths are murderers, but their not always. They can be regular people in your life — your siblings, your cousins, etc… I’m sorry, but your sibling is supposed to love you, if they torture you beyond the norm and feel nothing for the pain they cause, they are probably a sociopath.

  16. Vampi says:

    Lena makes my skin crawl. She always has, but even more so now. And NO WAY do I believe that a 1 year old managed to put “several pebbles” into her vagina….and bribing her sister to “relax” on her??? Ummmm. NO!!! She needs help and also needs to STFU.

    • Heather says:

      YES! MY thoughts exactly. How would a 1 year old get inside her own diaper while holding a handful of pebbles?!? I have 2 daughters and that seems impossible to me. Was she sitting on the driveway naked?

      • Vampi says:

        Agreed @Heather. I have a daughter too, and at 1 she didn’t have the dexterity to to anything like that! I didn’t come out and say it, but I’m saying it now…..if true, I think Lena did it. (Oh! i just decided to look inside my sisters vagina and…Pebbles were in there!) NOPE! She is one sick puppy! And if she wanted to know what a vagina looked like shoulda used a mirror and kept her curiousity to herself!! And the whole bribing for kisses and “relaxing” on her, and masterbating AT 17 in bed by her sister???!?! Go to the bathroom Lena! UGH! Sick! She needs to GO AWAY! She makes me feel stabby!!

      • Tifygodess24 says:

        This!! Something seems SO off about this pebble story , what baby sits arounds and puts pebbles in their privacy?! Doesn’t even make sense for the age. Lena either did it or she’s lying for headlines. Gross.

      • Wren33 says:

        My daughter was certainly capable of taking her own diaper off by about 18 months (still 1), and at 2 or 3 took great pleasure in sticking a rose hip in her crotch and running around naked in front of her cousins yelling about it. At 2 she would also strip off her pajamas and diaper in the crib. It doesn’t take a lot of dexterity to stick something up your crotch. I think people are thinking of a 12-month-old, and it could be she was closer to 2, but still 1.

    • Talie says:

      I kind of agree… she’s so shocked and getting political about it, but she has admitted to a series of mental issues as a child. Like sleeping with her parents until 16. I mean…

    • FLORC says:

      Maybe she isn’t remembering it correctly? Embellishing?

    • don't kill me i'm french says:


    • original kay says:

      This was my thought as well. How did a 1 year old manage to do this?

      I wondered if Lena did it, as awful as that is to even think. That she did it and made up the story and is now telling it to everyone.

      She disgusts me.

    • JH says:

      And why even tell it- it’s not funny. It’s sociopathic. I’m so repulsed by this woman. You lost a fan, Lena. And I hope you lose a lot more.

  17. Adrien says:

    I only read about the pebbles story and I thought her words were taken out of context. Now I’m learning other things. Her father’s art now makes sense.

  18. Kiddo says:

    I have no desire to read this book. As much as the National Review guy has a very strong THING for her, I find that she’s not really all that interesting, and therein lies her problem. He is the mechanism/catalyst in which she becomes more of spectacle, polarizing figure, or one worthy of close examination.

    She began with a pretty cushy life, ruled over her sister, got a TV show, and no dramatic struggle seems to have ensued. Not that all stories require this struggle, but I see no epiphanies or wisdom derived from the sum of life experience, to date. Even the arch of the sexual assault revelations seem not to put her anywhere further into critical analysis or self-awareness. (at least to the extent of what I have read).

    I have not read the book, so perhaps my critique is completely unfounded and misinformed, but based on the excerpts, including how she vomits when she gets up too early, it is so boringly banal, that I have to wonder what would motivate anyone to delve further, aside from her fame.

    Her choice of wording seems poorly considered and poorly edited, or conversely, intentionally ambiguous enough so that controversy will erupt, generating buzz, for an otherwise naval-gazing diary of an over-sharer who seems emotionally younger than her chronological age, and who has nothing substantial to confer in wisdom, and who bought into her own BS.

    On the other hand, trying to wade deeply into a puddle to find the ocean; a larger sense of psychology of women, or feminists, in general, is a cheap parlor trick, conducted by a student of Chicken Little, screaming his head off about a tsunami. And that makes him much worse, IMO.

    • Sixer says:

      Seconded. And I’ve not read, either, nor do I intend to.

      With regards to the sister thing: kids do stuff similar to this. It’s (usually) normal. I could relate some instances from my childhood with a friend and one of my cousins. But I won’t because it all it boils down to is a poke about to see what happened. It wasn’t that interesting, so we went off and played hide and seek or somesuch instead. See? Normal. Where Dunham becomes ick is in describing it, not for illumination that some sexual experimentation/curiosity in kids is perfectly normal, but in a hyperbolised way for self-aggrandisement and clickbait.

      • Kiddo says:

        Dunham becomes ick is in describing it, not for illumination that some sexual experimentation/curiosity in kids is perfectly normal, but in a hyperbolised way for self-aggrandisement and clickbait.

        Precisely and succinctly. You put my stupid wordiness to shame.

      • mimif says:

        I LIKE your stupid wordiness, so back off. Great posts, to both of you. Bitches.

      • Sixer says:

        I like Kiddo’s wordiness, too!

    • Maria says:

      And all of that in her book passed an editor’s scrutiny too, supposedly. Well, they were too busy smelling money coming off of her to really pay attention to what she was saying perhaps?

  19. OriginalTessa says:

    What Lena did is not normal sibling hi-jinks, and I will disagree with people that say it is. My sister experimented on my hairstyle and my ability to perform dance routines… What the heck was going on in that house?

    • Mel M says:

      I’m with you, I have a younger sister by 2.5 yrs and it was just me and her. We never did anything even close to the behavior she describes. I remember making pretend radio shows on a tape recorder with her and playing with Barbie and lots and lots of board games but that’s about it.

  20. Talie says:

    Grace Dunham’s twitter feed gives me a headache. You can tell she’s taken a lot of women’s studies classes.

  21. FLORC says:

    I’ve heard it argued predators and offenders never understood limits and boundaries. They felt entitled. How is this different from Lena?

    Yes exploration as a child is normal.That she started to bribe her sister to let Lena do things to her doesn’t help things. Without the bribe it seems it was not going to happen.
    That she continued this behavior up to her adult years is also troubling.

    And yea. Some family stories should stay in the family. Others don’t know the history or context.
    I can’t see how she’s defendable at this point. Blaming the parents seems like a poor defense. Many criminal and immoral acts can be rooted to poor parenting. That doesn’t mean those people aren’t responsible for the own actions.

  22. Maya Memsaab says:

    The issue about what she shared aside, I have a few thoughts.

    It’s as of every bit of overshare that comes from Lena Dunham’s unique snowflake mind is so precious, it just *has* to be printed for posterity. We are clearly meant to venerate every little nugget of Dunham’s carefully crafted dysfunction because it contributes to her ‘genius’. It’s disturbing that she flippantly publishes this story, which in itself seems like a serious disregard for boundaries and someones privacy, as if it is ‘just one of the many quirky anecdotes’ from her ‘quirky’ life. As if not sharing the every freaking detail of her life deprives everyone else some amazing insight into her genius. And clearly, they’ve bought into her schtick. Why else would an editor or PR manager not look at this and go, ‘Um, perhaps this isn’t the best idea?’ But she’s an artist like an no other, so it’s cool.

    Meanwhile, Shonda Rhimes just has to write a show for her to get called an ‘angry black woman’.

    • Sara says:

      the part about the editor is so true. i wonder why no one told her to not include it in the book.

    • Vee says:

      Excellent analysis. What Lena describes in her book is way over the line, it’s sick and disgusting. She thought she’d get a pass as she loves to shock, but this level of “childhood experimentation” is perverse.

    • wolfpup says:

      She is still disrespecting and overpowering her sister by publishing something that her sister has to cringe at.

      Because you mention it, I just love the Shonda Rhimes new program, “How to Get Away with Murder”. It is so well done. I am a feminist, and a whitey, and I so relate to this beautiful woman’s inner strength, influence, and ground of being. This is real feminism and a character worthy of emulation!

  23. Venuslotus says:

    The troll is fed, she should be happy now.

  24. Sara says:

    its crazy to see how many media outlets leave stuff out of their stories because those details can not be defended.
    if it was just the one story about looking at her sisters vajay, i would also put it in the oversharing catergory and that she must be stupid to publish that. or that she deliberately published it to cause a stirr.

    but all the other stories are sickening and we all know Lena would be all over that if a man wrote that. And no media outlet would defend that guy like they defend Lena.
    the dailybeast article is good, the “Teflon” nickname is perfect. Lena has done so much crap (i mean seriously making a show based in NY where PoC are only “The Help”?), no one else would have gotten away with it. that is precisely because she always gets defended in big newspapers and blogs by white feminsts. why? because she is a white feminist. everyone else, black women, white men would have been crucified for half the stuff she did.

    it does not matter where the criticism started, the right wing journalists did not make up the quotes, Lena wrote them.

    so whats worse conservatives attacking her or liberals defending her?

    • joy says:

      I agree that if a man wrote this crap Lena would call for his head on a spike. I saw on one of her comments where she said that if you made it through childhood without touching another girls vagina then good for you. Well good for me because I never did that and never would have because my mother taught me physical boundaries. My body is mine, your body is yours and that’s it. I think when you compile all the stories together, she sounds a lot like my clients who are either borderline or anti social.

    • Falkor says:

      The ONLY way to defend this is through omission and I believe that is what we are seeing.

  25. Kate says:

    Dunham is a silly, thoughtless girl. I’m befuddled by who her “fans” might be (and this befuddles me even more than who, exactly, are fans of the Kardashians).

  26. db says:

    Such hysteria! Lena’s really not that important. Her dumb joke about being a sexual predator reminds me a lot of what Brandi said about being jealous of her sister’s molestation, something said in jest that spun totally out of control.

    • fancyamazon says:

      I think the point is that neither “joke” was funny. I haven’t paid attention to her or her show until this whole thing blew up, but I have found out a lot of things about her and her parents in the last few days which tell me that she was brought up with a sense of entitlement and that boundaries (for her) do not exist. She is at an age where she should know better. An she does know better. On an intellectual level she knows that things are taboo or controversial. They simply do not have an impact on her emotionally, and she sees nothing wrong with manipulating controversy by being outrageous or doing things which she sees as “perverse”, but for which she would castigate another for doing.

      As for Brandi, she probably said what she said to stir the pot and then cast it as a “joke” later when she got more backlash than she bargained for.

      • db says:

        The longer Lena is out there and letting us see who she is, the more I realize she’s just another famewhore, maybe that’s why I’m feeling a bit “meh” about this particular blowup.

      • fancyamazon says:

        @db ah, yes, that is probably true, about who Lena is. The problem as I see it is that if people let these “jokes” slide, then we become normalized to this kind of rhetoric, and if we point out how wrong/inappropriate the story/joke is then we give them what they want. I guess how much of a deal is made out of it should be in proportion to the inappropriateness of whatever is being said.

  27. Franny Days says:

    Ugh see I was a Lena fan before all of this and even defended her on this site a few times, but after this I’m done defending her. Do I think she’s a child predator? Of course not. Do I think these stories are disturbing? Absolutely. I understand Lena did these things when she was a child, from seven to seventeen, but she’s an adult woman now. Her tone and complete lack of self-awareness retelling these stories are what turns me off. Also, what one year old shoves pebbles up themselves? I work with one year olds who are always in diapers, might I add, and they do not have the motor skills or awareness to shove something up there. The whole thing like I said is disturbing. She’s not a child molester, just one messed up woman.

  28. Jessie says:

    I’m sorry you guys, but I’m going to have to agree to disagree on some points here. What Lena did to her sister borders on grossly inappropriate at best and sexual abuse at worst. I know kids play “doctor” to explore their bodies, and the media is only focusing on the story of Lena inspecting Grace’s vagina to excuse this point. A lot of outlets are failing to print the rest of the passage of what Lena did as she got older. I’m sorry, but 17 years olds do not masturbate next to their 11 year old siblings, or bribe them to kiss them. She herself said she was doing anything she could do to get her sister’s affections just like any good “child predator” would do. If a man had done the same and put it in print, you’d be asking for his head on a platter.

    I’m as liberal and as feminist as they come, and I’m seriously sick of people holding up this narcissistic hack as the voice of our generation, when she’s nothing more than just another privileged white female selling her special snowflake act to gullible women who have never read Maya Angelou, Joyce Carol Oates, or Glorian Steinhem. She put these “allegations” in print herself, and then she has the gall to get pissed at us for questioning what she herself admitted to. Now she releases a half hearted apology to save her ass. What she did was wrong, she put it out there, and now we have every right to call her out on this and have this discussion.

    • wolfpup says:

      So true… (finger in throat – I can barely stand reading this sh*t). She should just stop calling herself a feminist – she’ is giving us all a bad name!

    • MaiGirl says:

      Preach it! She has always been overrated and problematic.

      I also find it ironic that she was reading Ann Sexton in bed, considering that it is fairly well-known that Sexton sexually abused her daughter!

  29. Vampi says:

    And…..and…the part where she says “she didn’t resist” makes me ragey!!! Of COURSE she didn’t resist! SHE WAS ONE YEAR OLD!! A trusting BABY!! You stoopid, clueless, oversharing, messed up snowflake beyotch! Ok….I gotta leave this thread…I REALLY want this crap to ruin her…and that is NOT like me to feel like this…,but….. *sigh*

  30. lunchcoma says:

    I didn’t like her much before, and I’m not a big fan of hers now. Do I think the incident described when she was 7 was sexual abuse? No. Do I think the other excerpts have portrayed a deeply emotionally screwed up relationship? Yup. Do I think it’s at all appropriate for her to be sharing these stories knowing that her sister sometimes resents her doing so (even if we don’t know if she does in this case)? Absolutely yes.

    And she knows exactly what she’s doing, and her fans will forgive her everything.

  31. The Old KC says:

    White feminist here, and maybe it’s bc of my age (41), but I have never been a Dunham fan. Even less so now. I mean, many kids play doctor, touch each other when parents aren’t around, etc. but this just seems like sociopathic behavior on Dunham’s part. At best, it’s tacky oversharing engineered to drum up controversy to sell a “product”, which sadly is what so many hipsters of younger generations seem to fall for nowadays. It’s cheap and sad and is a pale imitation of real “feminism”, which allows for mistakes and failures on our part as women, but challenges us to have a growth trajectory at least, and to learn from and accept responsibility for our mistakes. It’s called being a mature adult, actually. I hate that celebs are rebranding “feminism” to mean “I can act like a complete idiot, because that’s my choice”. Empowered idiots are the last thing feminism needs.

    • fancyamazon says:

      Amen. 42 here, and I agree with all of what you said. I am so tired of everything being a package. I am a citizen and a person, not a “consumer”. At least in my own head. This story aside, that trend makes me sad. This story makes me completely sick to my stomach.

    • Pia says:

      I am 26 and she annoys the crap out of me, never had any desire to watch her show, and I don’t know a single person who likes her…. there is hope! I’m super liberal and white and don’t very much like being lumped in with a bunch of entitled hipsters.

  32. Spinny says:

    I wish she’d go away for ever, SHE is the reason why I hate that show, “Girls” or whatever its called. super annoying, crass, sarcastic, and attention whorey only makes her more displeasing to the eye.

  33. Al says:

    She’s about as feminist as a Southern Belle. She’s not a feminist. She’s a privileged elitest.

  34. Cleopatra says:

    My daughter is 4 and she already understands that genitals are private. She has often seen me, my husband, and her brother naked and we are trying to model positive body acceptance. She is naturally curious but she knows she can touch her own “peepee” but nobody else’s. 7 is old enough to understand this boundary and respect it.

  35. Anon says:

    I honestly feel so bad for Lena that this has spiraled so out of control. The thing when she was seven, my god she was a curious kid and her parents never taught her boundaries clearly. The making her sister beg to sleep in her bed… I don’t see that as weird or sexual at all. Lots of older siblings torment their younger ones and enjoy Making them beg for stuff. The bribing for kissing and relaxing on her thing I take more as an awkward kid starving for affection and being weird. I think she used over the top language as a joke to describe what basically boils down to cuddling with her sister. I don’t see at is as being sexual. The masturbating in bed with her sister sleeping I took once again as her lack of boundaries. I don’t think she was getting turned in by her little sister, I think she was just doing what she wanted to do despite that her sister was there because she has no boundaries and bad judgement clearly as a result of really crappy parenting. I think Lena chose to frame this in a joke about being a sexual predator because she on some level knows it sounds bad and because she isn’t a child molester it does sound funny in a very insensitive way.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      And this would be the pass that she’s getting from people. This is NOT normal sibling behavior. There is something inappropriate, narcissistic, and attention seeking about both this behavior and her subsequent behavior as an adult. At what point in our lives are we supposed to learn boundaries? Do we excuse bad behavior because someone has a lack of learned boundaries? No. We don’t. And we shouldn’t.

      • kri says:

        Thank you so much for this, @paranormal girl. I understand a 7-yr.old would be curious, but a teen masturbating next to her sister? I cannot even think of it. Her lack of boundaries and her constant need to display, display, display is sickening. I have found her unbearable since day one, and now I can add revolting to the list.

  36. Size Does Matter says:

    This whole thing makes me sick. My sister is eight years older than me. If I found out at some point that she did to me as an infant what Lena did to her sister, I would be horrified and feel so violated. A one year old wouldn’t understand or even remember it happening. And I can’t imagine a one year old putting pebbles in her vagina. Was she diaperless?

    Lena manipulated and used her sister for her own entertainment and gratification, both when she might have been too young to know better and when she was definitely old enough to know better. It is disgusting and I hope enough people feel the way I do that she will lose her promoters, sponsors, shows, whatever.

  37. Lauren says:

    I’ll stick to the feminists like Bell Hooks. She is someone who actually has a deep double consciousness and knows what she is talking about/ makes sure to include and acknowledge all types of women and experiences as best she can. Her writings are what I can relate to as a black woman personally.

    As for Dunham I think that she did to her sister is not normal. She even admits that it is predatory. I love her line of attack as well against conservatives just going after her because she is liberal because even as a liberal myself I can see that if this had come out about a conservative woman a lot of liberals would be in full attack mood. I was reading some comments on the DM earlier this week and was disgusted with all the people who thought this was just normal child like curiosity.

    I used to work a bank with a woman who told a few of her co workers about a family situation. Her grandson at the age of 12 had done something to a bunch of little girls at a park in their neighborhood. She never went into details about what it was but it didn’t take a genius to see what the implications were. Her grandson had to go to court often and had a social worker and parole officer working with him way into his late teens/ early adulthood. The whole family made sure to never leave the younger children alone with him.

    I don’t know…it seemed like a lot of people had this idea that children can never be perverse or sexual predators towards other children. My example might even be more extreme and have implications of its own. But people were using this misinformed opinion and logic to defend Lena but it just isn’t true. I find the stories of masturbating in bed while using your sister as the object of which form such activities around as deviant and plain wrong. I don’t like the defence she is getting or what such proclamations are saying about larger society. Her perceived race in many ways makes her an valued member of society as does her socio-economic standing. I cannot help but wonder and would be stupid to ignore what these privileges bring her. In fact if Bell Hooks has taught me anything it is that I cannot ignore these two things while examining this situation.

    I talked about this issue a bit in one of sociology courses and my professor did say that the way we look at things we always have to be aware of normative heterosexual constructs and this is true. But I think his implications were a bit dangerous and told him so. Making that connection between pedophilia and homosexuality being directly related is not the way to go on this either. And it seemed again on various websites the form of attack against Dunham’s acts.

  38. Anon says:

    One time i woke up in the middle of the night when we were on a family vacation and I’m pretty sure my parents were quietly having sex in the bed next to the one my little sister and I were sleeping in. Was this child molestation? No! It was really damn awkward and I pretended to be asleep. Also, she never touched her sisters private parts after the age of 7. There’s a big difference between 7 and 12. 12 is around the time private parts become sexual to kids. When she was older she bribed her sister for 5 second kisses. I hardly consider that making out.

  39. Falkor says:

    Can we PLEASE stop saying that a 17-year-old masturbating in bed next to her 11-year-old sister is just innocent childhood curiosity? Because it’s not and I am sick to death of bloggers trying to give this one a pass. While she is not a child molester, she is certainly guilty of coercion and grooming–she said as much in her own words. Looking at her father’s artwork it is pretty clear that there are some very skewed views on womanhood and sexuality in that house. Lena is a narcissist who explicitly recounts the repeated emotional abuse and exploitation of her younger sister in her book. The outing incident was only 4 years ago, she is very much still this person.

    It is also worth noting that there are pro-incest groups online and an overwhelming number of members are the Williamsburg hipster types. There is a movement of people much like Lena with similar mindsets and boundary issues that are trying to downplay and normalize this behavior. Dismissing this as a weird yet harmless attention grab is completely disingenuous.

    • Mary Mary says:

      Thank you Falkor: I don’t know whether to believe what Ms. Dunham wrote, because she has a tendency to exaggerate for publicity and the public reaction. She seems to say and do things for shock value, not caring about the repercussions and embarrassment for herself, her sister, and her family. If this book is true, I can only hope that people are finally waking up and seeing through Lena Dunham’s exploitation and bullying of her younger sister and sharing with the world “too much information” about what should be a private family matter that is best dealt with in counseling or therapy instead of a book. One has to assume she’s in it for money and fame, which tells you all you need to know about what her true nature is.

  40. Jh says:

    Ok, how ENTITLED do you have to be in order to share that you masturbated next to your 10 year old sister- when you are 17 years old- and think it’s at all appropriate or funny or ANYTHING. Sorry, Lena. You are one messed up and gross human being. Bye, I will never support her writing or show again.

    And all the other stuff? WTF???

  41. Vvvoid says:

    Anyone who doesn’t feel that Lena’s behavior toward her sister during adolescence, such as bribing her to sit on her lap or kiss her and manipulating her into always wanting to sleep in her bed (you can bet Lena encouraged her fear of sleeping alone) so she could masturbate next to her, is blatant sexual abuse does not understand the definition of sexual abuse. The definition doesn’t change when you put a teenage girl in place of a creepy old man. Lena had power over her much younger sister and used that power to take advantage of her and use her for her own gratification. It doesn’t matter if that gratification was chiefly of an emotional or sexual nature, because the acts themselves were of a sexual nature.
    I have a 1 year old baby girl and the idea of anyone, even a 7 year old child, violating and disrespecting her that way makes me violently angry. I can’t believe her mother wasn’t horrified. And no WAY can a 1 year old baby insert little pebbles into her vagina, she is still learning how to put rice puffs in her mouth!
    Lena Dunham thought writing these things would further her image as some kind of unique badass, but like the Truth Revolt article stated, she has apparently lived a life so sheltered from criticism that she is now startled and indignant that anyone would accuse her of the sexual abuse she indeed is guilty of committing. Surely she knows that’s what she did to her sister, but has been in denial about it. She decided to write about it partly in hopes that a lack of public reaction would further reinforce her belief that it wasn’t “actually” sexual molestation. I bet she really is humiliated and horrified by how many people are doing the opposite. That’s how self unaware she is, she is surprised by the uproar and by the fact that anyone called it what it was.
    She is awful. And so transparent.

  42. Anon says:

    I agree that is is very entitled and poor judgement and a lack of boundaries, but I do not agree it was sexual abuse. She was definitely brought up thinking she could do no wrong and the world revolved around her. If she was madturbating BECAUSE her sister was next to her, yeah that’s abuse. If it was despite her sister being there, which is what it seems like to me, it is really weird and entitled, but was not abuse. Very inappropriate for sure. Also she did not admit to being a predator. She made a joke about being a predator.

    • Falkor says:

      Masturbating in the presence of a minor is a crime in most places. It is classified as exploitation rather than molestation. Why do you assume it is “in spite of” when she says herself she coerced and emotionally manipulated her sister into being kept close and dependent?

      • Anon says:

        Because she is joking around about it. She not saying yes I got turned on by my little sister. Should my parents be locked in jail because they had sex in the same room as me and my sister when we were on vacation? She is really dumb and inappropriate but she isn’t a pedophile as far as I can tell. I feel like somebody has to stand up for her.

      • Falkor says:

        Was it the same bed? Because this was the same bed. Why do you feel the need to white knight a woman who emotionally abused, coerced, manipulated and exploited her little sister? Because your parents had sex while you were in the room once on vacation? Do you truly not understand what is different between those two situations?

      • Sam says:

        Falkor, thank you for raising an important point. So much of this has focused around what Lena Dunham must have been thinking at the time, but little has been devoted to the person it was done to. Now, Grace Dunham seems to be, uh, alright, with this, at least now. But that doesn’t mean a wrong wasn’t done to her. I used to work in mental health, and oftentimes, sibling abuse would be minimized, especially if the abuser was young, because parents would explain it away by saying, “It’s a boundary issue” or “S/he doesn’t know any better.” And maybe that was partly true, but that didn’t change the fact that a violation DID occur and a person was wronged. Dunham did wrong, to me, and that is clear. It would be one thing if she did it and now fully realized the extent of it and spoke of it in an apologetic tone, but the book really made it sound so…cavalier, I guess. Like it was no big thing. And that I think creeps me out above all.

      • Falkor says:

        Lena says she sees Grace as an extension of herself. She is not. She is an individual separate from Lena with separate thoughts, views, and experiences. Lena feels entitled to make Grace’s life all about her because she thinks Grace is her property. Grace was brought up in a household that enabled and normalized Lena’s abusive and narcissistic behaviors, so it’s not surprising that she’s passive about it.

  43. Eleonor says:

    She is too entitled to understand that there are stories you cannot share because you are telling someone else story,in this case her sister.
    Everyone up to here has always applauded her like she was the greatest intellectual of her generation which to me she is not.
    She is doing all she can to get attention. Period.

  44. Falkor says:

    How about a professional opinion? Here is a link to a child abuse investigator’s thoughts on this issue:

  45. Poppins says:

    The idea of a teenage girl masturbating in the vicinity of a sleeping sibling sure does rub a lot of people the wrong way. No pun intended. Good thing no children in America are forced to share rooms with their siblings! Oh wait…

    In many countries parents have sex right next to their sleeping children in one room houses.

    • aang says:

      Thank you!! Finally a reasonable reponse.

    • Me2 says:

      In “vicinity” would suggest the same room. Not laying right next to her. I slept in the same bed with my much younger sister (yes, in America!) and never, ever engaged in behavior like that. Because I knew it was WRONG. Previous experiences with her sister suggest (or scream) that they had an unhealthy, unbalanced relationship. Add those things up over her sister’s lifetime and what she did in their bed was 100 percent unacceptable. (Along with everything else she did.)
      I believe there was way more than she even wrote about. Who knows what was cut from the book. A sick puppy.

    • SillySimone says:

      My problem is with the bribing of Grace to “relax on me” bit. That appears to have been going on when Lena was a teenager and that has nothing to do with physical space limitations. It has everything to do with engaging a much younger sibling in sexual activity = wrong.

  46. The Other Katherine says:

    I am so over this woman, and I never even watched Girls.

  47. JenniferJustice says:

    I waited to read everyone’s thoughts and to read the quotes from her book, so I didn’t take anything out of context, misinterpret her words, or otherwise misunderstand what she wrote. My conclusion is at best, her behavior toward her sister (all around) was disturbing. At worst, I think she hit the nail on teh head herself when she called herself a sexual predator. I interpret some of her behavior toward her sister and predatory. Making her beg to sleep with her (little sister was scared, Lena enjoyed that and took advantage), bribing her to sit on her lap (why did she want her to sit on her lap if little sister didn’t want to?), not just looking, but touching her sister’s privates, masterbating while sleeping next to her little sister, supposedly finding pebbles in little sister’s vagina, WTF!? IF this stuff is true, which I question, I beleive actually more probably went on. I can also see her totally making shit up just for the controversy and attention. It’s what she lives for. As for little sister and her supposed support of Lena and approval of anything written about her, that doesn’t make it okay. Most dysfunctional families do not recognize the dysfunction because they’re used to it and think it’s normal. It means nothing to say her sister and she are very close.

    I have siblings – 2 brothers, 1 sister. I can honestly say nobody ever touched anybody or was curious about the others’ body. I’m sure we all touched ourselves, but not eachother. My brothers did some dumb stuff to us, but it’s kind of typical of boys to do stuff to their sisters. It certainly was never sexual. My sister wanted to play “House” for far too long and I was the perpetual baby still being crammed into a bassinet or a cradle with limbs spilling over and trying not to choke on a baby bottle. Again, there was never once any attempt to probe eachother. I don’t buy the curiosity stuff. Curiosity comes when we’re tweens and teens, not when we’re 7 yo. I’m not sure I even beleive it, but if it’s true, she is disgusting. She reminds me of one those kids whose parents never discpiline or correct them. Nobody can stand to be around their kid because they’re so pushy, intrusive, don’t know their place and generally unlikable. She’s still that kid today, just older and with more resources.

  48. G says:

    Regardless of her reasoning as to why she published such a personal event (the need for attention), she’s just nasty. That is all.

  49. SypherMomma says:

    I wonder if her peers, those other children of artists and hippies have had similar experiences? This may be “normal” in her circle of friends. She obviously feels fine sharing it with the world.

    I remember taking baths with my male cousin when I was 2-3 years old (we are only a couple months apart) Nothing strange happened, besides the usual “what’s that?!” question. I never thought this was odd, but then I was looking at old photos with my friends and they were blown away that a little boy and little girl shared a tub. Obviously this is very different than what went on with Lena, but I use it as an example of how maybe she is genuinely shocked by people’s reaction.

    Her parents definitely dropped the ball when it came to explaining boundaries with her.

    • SillySimone says:

      As a parent, I see nothing wrong with toddlers sharing a bathtub. I see nothing wrong at all with healthy curiosity about bodies. Children should not be made to feel ashamed about their bodies or curiosity. But a lat- teen engaging her much younger sister in sexual activity is not something I would describe as healthy curiosity. It is entirely inappropriate. For one thing, the older sibling (at 17) understands sex and sexuality, while the younger sibling (Grace would have been 10 or 11) does not. It creates a huge imbalance in context and power.

  50. SillySimone says:

    She claims she was getting her rocks off or reading Anne Sexton in bed – next to her sleeping sister. Ironically, Anne Sexton used to get her rocks off next to her sleeping children. I am curious if she is just claiming this crap to elevate herself to Sexton’s level?

    In any case, kids do stupid and weird crap. My problem is not with what she did (most of it, but with the “relax on me” exception), but how she describes what she did – predatory. Sexton was never predatory. She was disturbed. I almost feel like Lena is attempting to give off that vibe to give off some artistic vibe.

  51. Jonesy says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she embellished most of this or just flat out made it all up to get the attention she is getting. What a moronic little troll.

  52. Likey says:

    She’s such a murky, confused figure. I’m still trying to figure out why she’s famous and why her show has any viewers. She seems very random and confused about life.

  53. ava says:

    It doesn’t really matter if you think what she did was weird, wrong, etc. The issue should not really be debated. I don’t care what her intent was…I don’t care if her sister feels that she is not a victim. Lena is NOT a feminist in my book, nor is she an example for anyone to follow.
    We need to teach girls and boys that NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO TOUCH their bodies without their consent. I don’t care why they are doing it. I have the right to not be touched, experimented on or used for someone’s curiosity without my consent! It is not ok!!!! Yes, children can victimize other children.

  54. LaurieH says:

    Everything about this is disturbing: the incident she recounts in her book, her bizarre defense, her claims that her sister is “an extension” of her (which goes a long way in explaining her disrespect for her sister’s dignity) and then her stupid threats to sue various publications for publishing – verbatim – her own words from her own book.

    What it all tells me is that Lena is deeply narcissistic; her world is the only world. Her thoughts, experiences and opinions are the only ones. As such, she doesn’t see the problem with anything she does or says, instead putting the blame on those who do see a problem. And I am sure this all came from her over-indulgent parents…where everything she did and said, no matter how destructive or disrespectful, was seen as an “expression” of herself. The only thing all this over-indulgence did was to produce an entirely self-indulgent child and later adult. That is, after all, what Lena’s book is: self-indulgent. She has no regard for those she wrote about; it was all about her. And to the extent that she acknowledged their existence, like her sister, is only in identifying them as mere extensions of herself.

  55. alice says:

    She makes my skin crawl.

    Just because she doesn’t ‘condone’ it doesn’t mean she didn’t do it herself. I find it baffling that anyone can try and defend her on this & keep a straight face.

  56. rudy says:

    Where were their parents??

  57. cindy says:

    Just when you think the world can’t be a more f*d up place, people prove you wrong. Thanks for that, Lena Dunum.

  58. MegynM says:

    1. Lena tweet from July 2014:

    My sister @simongdunham is coming on #NotThatKindOfTour to manage our partnership with @PPact AND constantly remind me that I made her gay<3

    2. the book she was reading when she was in bed with her sister was by Ann Sexton who molested her daughter. There is a NYT article about it called: BOOKS OF THE TIMES; A Daughter Revisits Sexton's Bedlam

    3. she wants to make a children's movie from the children’s book Catherine, Called Birdy. This is what she said about it:

    “It’s hyper realistic and really pretty and it’s full of incest and beatings, but it’s a child’s story,” said Dunham. “I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid.”

    4. Some people online have said that an adult masturbating in front of a child is a felony. In NY, people 17 and up are charged as adults.

  59. Vodkette says:

    So interesting the amount of passionate feedback this has generated.

    The bottom line is that Lena Dunham is totally over rated and her supposed “talent” is just not there. When I was in LA last with some industry hounds, no one could give me a good reason why she was so highly esteemed, other than “she’s so realistic.” Her show is gross and depressing, and normal people understand that and reject her. I knew that at some point she would crash and burn, so I suppose it must be painful for Her, but for gods sake, where is the talent? Not there.

  60. Nikki L. says:

    I’m not a Dunham fan but I think she’s being harshly accused with this. It’s totally normal for not only kids to dabble in sexuality with one another, but especially siblings. It has to be handled in a loving and respectuful manner when it comes to parenting, and with a calm discussion of healthy boundaries. My childhood explorations were filled with guilt and shame brought on by society and adults telling me it was dirty, and that affected me for a long time.

    • Ava says:

      I’m sorry Nikki dabbling in sexuality with consent in not the same thing as abusing someone. Not a valid comparison. A one year old is not capable of “dabbling” I’m sorry someone shamed you, but what Lena did is unacceptable. I think everyone is an agreement that her parents should have stopped this behavior and taught her differently. Unfortunately they didn’t.

    • Annie says:

      Nikki – I agree some amount of curiosity and exploration is normal, when there is consent. However that is not the case with Lena’s story. There are many, many shades of disturbing that go beyond normal experimenting.
      - One year olds do not pull “pranks” and they are not capable of inserting rocks inside their vagina. Either Lena – or someone else, possibly an adult put them there.
      - why did her mother not take the opportunity to explain that private parts are private? Why was this just “oh, it’s in the spectrum of what Lena does”. Also seven is way too old not to know this already.
      - why was Lena’s emotionally and sexually manipulative behaviour towards her sister allowed to continue for a whole *decade* (and that’s just what she admits to. Do you really believe it magically stopped on her 18th birthday?)
      -why is she writing about it now is if she’s bragging about it and it’s oh so normal, even cute? That’s just creepy and shows she hasn’t really changed much since these events took place. I won’t throw any labels at her but let’s just say I wouldn’t let her babysit my kids.

  61. birch says:

    The thing is the whole business of what she did at age 7 doesn’t even sound plausible. No 1 year old has the motor skills to put pebbles in her vagina by herself let alone do it specifically for sexual gratification which seems to be what LDis implying. If this truthfully played out the way she describes it then someone else was abusing that child. If there were foreign objects that Dunham says she was surprised by and the sister could not have placed herself there was something bad going on in that house. Had this happened when my kids were little I don’t believe I’d be so calm about this alarming discovery yet Dunham s saying her mother just took it as a nothing issue and within the realm of how Dunham regularly behaved.

  62. Ginger says:

    Okay, I have seen only a few minutes of the show Girls, just long enough to know I wouldn’t like it. I only see things about this Woman on this blog. Just reading the excerpts of her book here makes me nauseous. So, I’m not sure if I even have an opinion of her except this…WHY is she a thing? I don’t get it.