Actress Lena Dunham revealed in her podcast, Women Of The Hour, that she was asked to share her abortion story during a visit to a Planned Parenthood in Texas a few years ago. Dunham, who is quick to put intimate details of her life on full display, for once found herself lacking for a story and she regretted it. She said, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
She retreated quickly, apologizing on Instagram for her “distasteful joke” and blaming it on the “‘delusional girl’ personal” she often takes on.
This isn’t the first time Dunham has said something ridiculous and then backtracked on Instagram this year.
In the September 2 issue of her feminist newsletter, the Lenny Letter, Dunham described how offended she was when New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t hit on her during dinner together at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala. She wrote,
I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because 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.” It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.
She continued to make up his thoughts, “The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to f–k it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.’”
After some outrage, she apologized on Instagram, admitting that she struggles because she doesn’t “rep a certain standard of beauty” and “made totally narcissistic assumptions.”
In March, she took to Instagram to apologize for wrongly accusing a Spanish magazine of photoshopping her.
And then there was the threat (or promise, depending on your opinion of her), to move to Canada if Republican Donald Trump won; she insisted she “really will.” After the election, she clarified on Instagram that she was not moving up to Canada, posting, “I can survive staying in this country, MY country, to fight and love and use my embarrassment of blessings to do what’s right.”
While one might dismiss Dunham’s comments as misguided, off-the-cuff remarks, she has a vast audience. In addition to her podcast, Dunham is broadcast in living rooms through her HBO Girls show, pops up in inboxes with her Lenny Letter, and has amassed a following of more than 2.9 million people on Instagram and more than 5.1 million people on Twitter.
She is an active partisan in politics. She was a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter, wearing a “HILLARY” sweater, posting on social media in support of Clinton and decrying media coverage of Clinton’s campaign as “rabidly sexist.”
Dunham isn’t just an ignorant young person spouting reckless comments. She is someone who is influencing a generation of young women across various media platforms. This isn’t the direction millennial feminism should take.
In the first episode of Girls, Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath proclaimed, “I think that I may be the voice of my generation—or at least a voice of a generation.” For women everywhere, let’s hope this is not the case with Dunham.