Lena Dunham, we know you probably have a good heart but you seriously just need to just stop while you’re ahead.
While attempting to get honest about her experience with abortions, she has downplayed the experience of all women everywhere who has had to get one.
While chatting on her podcast “Women of the Hour,” Dunham announced, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
You wish you had had an abortion?
Let’s just stop right there.
By announcing that she wishes she had had an abortion so she could get rid of the stigma she had internalized, she is blatantly ignoring the emotional and physical tribulations that other women have had to go through with their own abortions. It’s frankly insulting.
Not to mention that some women don’t even have the choice of whether or not they can get an abortion. So to act like abortion is just as easily accessible to everyone as it is to you, then you ignore the privilege you have been so luckily granted.
She then continued, “I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department.”
Ok, we realize that by making this statement she is trying to come across as modest and imperfect but it’s really not working.
Lena Dunham, please stop.
After receiving a ton of criticism from both the media and Twitter fans, Lena Dunham has finally taken to Instagram to try to apologize.
“I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won’t diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated. My words were spoken from a sort of “delusional girl” persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that’s what my TV show is too) and it didn’t translate. That’s my fault. I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy. My only goal is to increase awareness and decrease stigma.”
“I take reproductive choice in America more seriously than I take literally anything else, and therefore own full responsibility for any words I speak that don’t convey this truth clearly.”
Ok, let’s unpack this.
On one hand, we do appreciate the attempt to clarify her mistake (although we have a feeling her agent probably had a hand in this apology). But either way, it was the right thing to do.
We want to give the actress some credit here, but truth be told this apology is problematic on its own. She claims it was a “persona” she was playing and not really her. So that makes it ok? Because you were playing a character? The first problem is that it’s not immediately obvious that she’s playing a “character” on her podcast. So anyone listening could easily misconstrue her comments, as we clearly all did. Not to mention that many young girls are presumably looking up to Dunham as a role model. Her words mean something to people. And she needs to start becoming aware of that.
The bigger problem with Dunham’s apology is that she doesn’t recognize the privilege that enables her to make such “jokes” like these. Her world is one in which abortions are easily accessible and could be made a part of daily life. In the morning, go get a manicure. In the afternoon, go grab a quickie abortion. This is clearly not everybody’s world. We wish she would acknowledge the lucky position she finds herself in as an upper-class young white woman.
Ok, we think it’s time to put this story to an end. Are you ready to move on?
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.