Lena Dunham thinks she’s ‘problematized by the culture’ she was raised in

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Here are some photos of Lena Dunham taking part in a Q&A session at South X Southwest over the weekend. Lena has stuff happening, and she’s making a lot of deals post-Girls. She and Jenni Konner will be writing Jennifer Garner’s return-to-TV show, Camping, and there are various book deals and whatever. I’ve stopped paying attention for the most part, because I thought we all agreed that the Aurora Perrineau situation was the final straw? To be fair, many of you canceled Lena way before she defended an alleged rapist and called a young African-American woman a liar, but I hoped that after that moment, zero people were ever going to take Lena’s side ever again. But then she went through a shady public breakup and revealed that she had a hysterectomy, and I guess some public sympathy came to her. Whatever, peeps. You can think that Lena had it rough with her hysterectomy & breakup AND you can believe she’s a terrible human being.

But I digress. The point of this is that Lena thinks that she’s still a thing, that she’s waged a successful comeback, and that she can simply ignore the whole Aurora Perrineau debacle. Which is why Lena did the Q&A at SXSW. Some quotes from her talk:

The reaction to all of the nudity in Girls: “I found there was so much vitriol from other women who had body types similar to mine. There was this energy of ‘How dare you think it’s appropriate to take your clothing off on television and expose all of our secrets?’ I really felt that vitriol and anger coming from them.”

Dearing with criticism: “I have two modes. I’m either full of shame, thinking ‘I should have never been let out of my house in the first place,’ or, ‘Nobody even deserves me — they don’t deserve my truth.’ But it goes away really fast.”

Criticism about diversity: “There were huge conversations about diversity around the show that were some of the most educational and important conversations of my life. Those are the moments that criticism teaches you about yourself, and your blind spots, and the ways you’ve been problematized by the culture you’ve been raised in. So, there was a lot of criticism I felt grateful for.”

The celebrity role model: “I didn’t get into this to be a perfect celebrity role model. I don’t know how to do it. That’s not my skill set.” She’s come to terms and has grown from the criticisms saying, “I started to move away from the sense that I don’t need to have an opinion about everything. I think about what I say. Criticism teaches you about yourself and your blind spots.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter and Variety]

“…The ways you’ve been problematized by the culture you’ve been raised in…” OH FOR F–KS SAKE. Way to take ownership, Lena. You’re a 31 year old woman who can’t say “damn, I’ve been extremely problematic for most of my life.” No, THE CULTURE has “problematized” her, you guys. She’s just a helpless baby with no education, looking at the problematic world and the world forced her to become so problematic.

Also: did you know that Lena and Taylor Swift broke up? Lena apparently unfollowed Taylor on Twitter a few days ago.

And Lena’s gonna be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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55 Responses to “Lena Dunham thinks she’s ‘problematized by the culture’ she was raised in”

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  1. Alissa says:

    she’s so annoying to me that just reading the headline made me feel intensely irritated.

  2. Redgrl says:

    If I hear one more spoiled brat masking their entitlement as their “truth” I am going to hurl! *gets more coffee*

  3. RBC says:

    Why is Lena going to be a judge on Drag Race??? Is she going to make some navel gazing critique about one of the performers and the the contestant has a catty response? Actually, that might be amusing to watch…

    • Krill says:

      Shes going on Drag Race to banish her white liberal credentials. Some expect better of Ru Paul but I dont. He too is “problematic” in his locking out of drag kings and transgenders. They are both solely about progress for their own and screw the more marginalised groups in the same bracket as them.

      • Patricia says:

        I don’t understand why Ru is getting criticism for locking our trans people. Peppermint was a highly respected runner up on season nine. Several queens have come out as trans even during filming (Gia if I remember was the first) and Ru made it clear at the time that it happened that drag race is a place of acceptance .
        Ru used the word “shemale” and was called on it and never used it again and apologized. People make these mistakes and when they are educated they do better. I just don’t get what people want from Ru.

      • Shambles says:


        He made specific comments recently about how he doesn’t think transgender women should compete because they’re not really drag queens and if they’ve had surgery it changes the nature of what they’re doing. He tried to clarify it by comparing them to athletes on steroids. Also: It’s not like he used the word “shemale” once, it was a staple of the show and he was fine with it for a long time. Why should anyone have to be called on that?? It’s pretty f*cking obvious that it’s a slur. He’s also had no problem with the word tranny . He is absolutely problematic as hell, transphobic, and he and Lena deserve each other. F*ck them both

      • Frome says:

        He can’t wave the flag of inclusion when he refuses to include invisible groups. He has explicitly said that he will not allow transitioned drag queens and refused to retract that. Drag kings exist so far in the margins most people don’t know they even exist but Ru refuses to let them compete on his show. He says they should create their own, never mind that they are so undermined they can barely get local clubs to give them a stage once a week. Where do you think they will find an ally to put up the money for a show? Ru Paul is no hero of mine.

      • Una says:

        Isn’t drag queen supposed to be a man dressing up like a woman? I am not trying to argue. I genuinely don’t know.

      • Megan says:

        @Una, yes, a drag queen is a man dressed as a woman.

      • teacakes says:

        Honestly, if a drag queen is supposed to be a man dressing up as a woman, then I don’t see the issue with Rupaul saying his show isn’t for trans women – they’re women, not men.

        It’s a different matter if someone comes out as trans in the course of the show but I thought the baseline was that you had to be a man (ie identify as one). Does Ru say his show is not for trans men either? Because then that would be wrong, but that’s different from allowing women to compete.

      • Krill says:

        No a drag queen is not a man who dresses as a woman. That would be a cross dresser.

        A drag queen is a person who dresses and acts out exergerrated femininity for entertainment. The point of which is to mock and thereby subvert societal expectations of gender. There are therefore drag queens from every part f the gender spectrum. It is true that it has in the past been heavily dominated by gay men but they are far from the only drag queens. And many of them hate that it has come to be associated solely with them because it encourages the notion that they are mocking women rather than mocking the societal expectations placed on men and women. So the key component of drag queen work is that it must be exergerrated feminity. A man in a nice pencil skirt and a little lipstick is not a drag queen, he is just a cross dresser.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I am confused why trans women would be included in a show about drag. Wouldn’t trans women be included on shows about women? That is how I think of trans women. They are women who came to their womanhood differently. They aren’t in any sort of “costume”.
        I don’t know RuPaul and doing a show about a scene he knows. Maybe if he did a Drag race with drag Kings, it should be a different show because I don’t see how it would be possible to judge a Queen and a King against each other. Or combine it and have two winners one for each category. If he wants to, it is possible.

        The words shemale and tranny used to be accepted until the last decade or so when transgender became more understood. They were always excluded in the gay movement or felt like they were. Now it is a known slur. Thank goodness for progression, but we have a long way to go.

        Is there a consensus in the drag community about this issue? I may be missing a piece of the puzzle here.

      • teacakes says:

        Then if a drag queen is *anyone* who performs exaggerated femininity, why wouldn’t cis women be allowed too?

  4. grabbyhands says:

    God, WHY do people keep giving her press???

    “Those are the moments that criticism teaches you about yourself, and your blind spots, and the ways you’ve been problematized by the culture you’ve been raised in. So, there was a lot of criticism I felt grateful for.”

    Apparently not SO grateful that you have yet to apologize to Aurora Perrineau for saying she lied about her rape. You’ve ignored or deflected every bit of criticism that has ever been thrown at you and not because it wasn’t justified, but because it was always someone else’s fault or it wasn’t your fault because you’re like, you know, so insecure and we’re all insecure because like, the world is so mean and you can’t help it. But you’ve totally learned from it until the next thing happens that you can’t resist involving yourself in even though it has nothing to do with you.

    • Mia4s says:

      “…you have yet to apologize to Aurora Perrineau for saying she lied about her rape.”

      I see no point in her apologizing, because it would be a lie. She DOES believe Aurora lied and for her to say otherwise would be a ploy for public redemption. I’d rather we all just be done with her, but sadly she continues to get a pass from too many.

      • pan says:

        yup, i respect this.

        however, i THINK the point is she should apologise for calling aurora out in that fashion(?)… lena is not a party to the truth so, as much as she believes her friend or even whatever proof of innocence she is privy to, what she wrote was callous. i hope lena herself would agree to that, heck, even if her friend is innocent.

  5. Mishka says:

    She is as repulsive inside as she is on the outside.

  6. Margo S. says:

    So wait, not one asked her about the Perrineau story? I will never ever support her until she actually says the words “I effed up” but we all know narcissistic people never say that so bye bye.

  7. Lucy2 says:

    She’s all talk. She’ll say it was such an educational experience to be criticized for the lack of diversity on her show, but did she actually do anything about it? No. Will she do better in her new show? Doubt it.
    She sells herself as a feminist and as some great progressive, but was willing to publicly throw a victim under the bus, call her a liar, expose the situation to the public, and lie that the victim was looking for money, all because the accused was her friend.

    I don’t doubt that her environment growing up contributed to this, but at some point You need to take responsibility for your own actions, actually listen when people are talking to you, and try to improve.

    • Esmom says:

      All very well said. I feel like she’s maybe taken a baby step toward accountability in that she’s at least sort of acknowledging some problematic actions. I know that’s not much but in this age of Trump, even a faint flicker of self awareness seems like progress. Depressing, I know.

    • BorderMollie says:

      Agree, well said. I caught a glimpse of those ‘trust fund hipster artiste’ circles through and ex of mine, and honestly they were unbelievably toxic at times. Also, most in them were completely lacking in all artistic talents except dressing up like an artist.

      But yes, she does need to take more responsibility for her own choices. Less privileged people than her have.

  8. QueenB says:

    All those New Yorker white women in media will help her stay in the spotlight. Im not too confident that she will disappear.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Honestly, we have to accept that sometimes an assh*le will be successful and called our “voice”, that’s the one drawback I see with feminism. We like to think that it means the best of us will get a chance first but that’s not the case. We’ll have to accept that there are tons of assh*les among us and that we sometimes don’t even need to look for the man who’s walking all over us. It’ll be our fellow (assh*le) women. See 45 and his voters.

      Having said that, we don’t need to take this lying down either. I won’t spend a cent of my money on her or her product. But she’s going nowhere because she can bs like no other. At least men will punch you in the face instead of stabbing you in the back like this one.

      As for the culture that spat her out … yeah, sure. So let’s fix that culture because if this is what it produces, we need to fight harder.

      ETA: If only because her voice drives me insane. The pretentiousness is horrible.

  9. Goats on the Roof says:

    I canceled her a long time ago. She’s too problematic and insufferable.

    I guess Taylor kept Jack in the split?

  10. Starryfish says:

    I guess that’s one way of saying you’re a privileged twit.

  11. SD says:

    I’d wager that Lena dumping Taylor is a good indication that Jack is dating Lorde.

  12. ellieohara says:

    She’s trolling. She goes out looking a mess to try and provoke trolls to insult her so that women feel forced to defend her. I don’t feel a thing. She looks like shit and she’s awful. So there!

  13. magnoliarose says:

    She never addresses the criticisms directly or what they are. Instead, she talks about blind spots. No answers but riddles. No ownership at all.

  14. Patricia says:

    How does she get worse? HOW?!
    Also what is the idea behind showing up for an event looking like you just rolled out of bed? Is it a sympathy play? I’m not saying she needs to conform to anyyyyyy stereotype or femininity. But… cleanliness? Yeah. Cleanliness would be nice. She’s so gross.

    • Esmom says:

      It’s SXSW, though, where the hipsters all try to out-hipster each other and my sense was this is her way to try to outdo them. Lol.

      • Giddy says:

        Nope. I live in Austin. Yes, we have our local hipsters, but the ones who come for SXSW are the expensive kind. The kind whose denim jacket came from Barney’s, not the Goodwill store. As for cleanliness, I imagine she is one of the few people that unkempt who managed to get into one of the Q&A sessions.

        Also, I am traumatized by LD most of the time, as when she uses her own “problematized” words to indicate her martyrdom.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      I think it’s baiting. She purposely rolls in like this just so someone will mention it. Then she can pen some navel-gazing “essay” about how mean women are to each other and we should instead be supportive by never ever criticizing and how image and size isn’t the true measure of a woman’s worth and I am empowered by dressing like a slovenly idiot because it’s my choice, blah blah blah. Because she’s so smart and speshul and has been appointed to share her “truth” with the rest of us.

      She’s soooo annoying.

  15. minx says:


  16. HelloSunshine says:

    So definitely think that means Jack and Lorde are dating. Or, st the very least, that Taylor sees Jack as more valuable, since he cowrites a lot of her stuff.

    Lena needs to just hush up and go away. So over everything about her.

  17. Chaine says:

    Ugh, take your constant faux-intellectual masturbation and go away.

  18. Marty says:

    She can keep these quotes, along with her ‘I don’t care what people think about me’ aesthetic. Cause will all know that is exactly what she wants, people to feel sorry for her or think she’s the most special.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I think she wants pity too. Nope. Fresh out. What she did to the victim was horrible, and this dancing around is not good enough. She had a platform, and the victim didn’t.

  19. Deanne says:

    She’s her own troll. Couldn’t she take a shower and brush her freaking hair? I find her repulsive in every way. Honestly, can’t she just shut up and crawl back under her rock?

  20. Carol says:

    that`s not a word. Problemetized isn`t a word.

    • huckle says:

      I agree with you Carol, but where is the grammar police on this thread? I figured they’d be out in droves on this one.

    • Kezia says:

      Actually is is, and the reason I know it’s a word is it was in the title of my sister’s doctorate title which was social policy- based. It’s a sociology term possibly with something to do with Michel Foucault. I find it very arsed that Lena Dunham is using it as it’s an academic term, but then I can’t stand her!

      • huckle says:

        Oh my gosh, you’re right! It’s in the dictionary but it is a terrible word. Wow, is there egg on my face or what!!

  21. Olive says:

    Lena Dunham, Forever A Victim.


  22. damejudi says:

    Making up polysyllabic nonsense words-“problematized” FFS-does not get you off the hook for your bad behavior in public/in print.

    Nice try, LD.

    • Kezia says:

      As I said above –
      Actually is is, and the reason I know it’s a word is it was in the title of my sisters doctorate, which was social policy- based. It’s a sociology term possibly with something to do with Michel Foucault. I find it very arsey that Lena Dunham is using it as it’s an academic term, but then I can’t stand her!

  23. GirlMonday says:

    Who read the New Yorker profile on Donald Glover? He shaded her so perfectly; it was beautiful!

  24. RD says:

    Truth is objective. There is no such thing as “my truth”. And the culture she was raised in…maybe she means her awful parents? Whatever, she just needs to go away forever. She’s a child molester and lied about being sexually assaulted in college.