Who Chose Lena Dunham To Represent Millennial Women?
This week, Lena Dunham took a break from tweeting "Believe women!" to tweet that she doesn't believe a woman who accused her friend of rape. She then issued an apology -- which she's pretty good at, because she has to apologize kind of a lot. And every time she makes a mistake, the world collectively turns to all Millennial women and says. "Well, what do you have to say for her?" To which we reply, "She sucks. We get it! Can we have another woman to represent our entire generation?"
I know, I know, it's hard to imagine the concept of more than one young powerful woman in Hollywood, but it really would be so helpful. If a young male director screws up, there's 15 others waiting to replace him. Young women get Lena Dunham, and that's it. Which is weird, because not all women are white, not all women are super rich, and not all women have to apologize for every third thing they say.
People act like Dunham is the spokesperson for all young women, like she's the BFF of every gal under 40. But I don't know her. She didn't text me and say, "Hey, what should I tweet about these rape allegations, LOL, smiley face emoji." Dunahm is not my responsibility. She's just a woman who is good at selling a sanitized, commercialized brand of feminism that makes for really good T-shirt slogans.
I remember seeing Tiny Furniture, her first feature film, at a small film festival in my hometown and feeling a swell of pride that a woman could make something that stunningly mediocre and have it be so critically lauded. It seemed cool in the moment that a rich white woman could now do what rich white men do all the time and make a shitty, overly adored movie. Then she got crowned queen of women, and I started having to feel like I had to defend or comment on her actions all the time, and it sucked.
If we only get one token Millennial woman, there's a pretty good chance she's going to be terrible. What if I chose one man of a certain age to represent all men? Here, I will. Millennial men, you get Justin Bieber. Every time Justin Bieber pees in a mop bucket, I'm going to ask you to comment on it. You get one dude, and it's Bieber now, so get ready to feel sad.
How about we just stop calling Lena Dunham "the voice of a generation"? Why do we only get one voice when there's a multitude of female experiences to represent? Who gets to choose the one voice? Because I certainly don't remember voting for her, and she doesn't speak for me. So stop asking.
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