We can confirm: Lena Dunham IS white feminism

In a chat with standup-comedian Amy Schumer on 2 September, celebrity white feminist Lena Dunham spoke about a conversation she had with herself during an event she attended earlier this year. Yes.

But it gets better.

Dunham narrated to Schumer how she found herself sitting next to Odell Beckham Junior, an African-American NFL star, at the MET gala in May.

She said Beckham sat right next to her the entire evening and didn’t say a word, actions which she interpreted as disinterest in her because she was not the hyper-feminine (she was reportedly dressed in a tuxedo), conventionally attractive, slim white woman that characterises the beauty industry.

Dunham, quoted in LennyLetter.com, said that, “it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, That’s’ a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog…’ The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.’

Not that I am averse to voices in my head. But really, could you be more racist in assuming that a black man’s only interest in you would be sexual, and that a lack of interest in talking to you meant he didn’t find you sexually appealing?

As if black men aren’t hypersexualised enough in the media and society. This kind of thinking is what created the dangerous association of black men being rapists who “can’t control themselves” around white women. In fact, this is precisely the kind of thinking that got black men lynched.

Besides the blatant racism, it also exposes Dunham’s continued inability to understand consent.

Accused of molesting her sister when they were children, Dunham still seems to think that as long as she agrees to sexual interactions, everything’s a-okay. Even if Beckham didn’t have a girlfriend, and even if he had spoken to her, that does not mean he consented to anything sexual.

She later issued an apology on Instagram, but it wasn’t really an apology and basically blamed Beckham for her thoughts and turned the situation around to focus on her weight and face again.

If only she realised no one cares about how attractive she is; we care what she says. Actually we don’t. But we care when it is damaging.

Dunham is considered to be one of the biggest “feminists” in the media today, but her specific brand of feminism is very clearly anti-black, ambiguous on consent and centred on white women.

In other words, she is White Feminism.

White Feminism and its adherents, which include others like Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence, are dangerous because of the lack of intersectionality and attention to women who are not white, educated, middle-class and areligious. In other words – white feminism only ends up alienating most women, leading them into thinking that feminism isn’t for them.

Feminists like Dunham need to understand that they aren’t the focus of the world’s attention, they can’t be playing games with people’s lives and livelihoods in the name of comedy or insecurity. White Feminism is dangerous to the rest of us, we aren’t bodies to fight the white women’s war.

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8 Comments

  1. Dylan says

    Your mental gymnastics are amazing.

    Dunham makes a retarded statement about a guy (who happens to be black) not looking at her sexually and suddenly that’s racist?

    The logic leap you had to make to get from her stupid statement to ‘thats racist’ is as great as the distance between Cape Town and New York. Astounding really.

    1. Bryanne says

      I think what’s the author of this piece is suggesting is the way white feminists and coloured feminists have differing patterns in how they engage with the crossover of gender and race.

      And in the Dunham case, the perceptions of how it enforces the white woman and black man divide is evident. It’s not so much what was said but how differently a white man in that position would be perceived.

      Your comparison between Cape Town and New York is really apt considering one is a postcolonial town and the other a white man’s wonderland.

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