Right now, Planned Parenthood is selling a special t-shirt “designed by author, actor, director, producer” Lena Dunham in support of the electoral and political arm of country’s largest abortion provider. They are very excited about this. Here’s the “action boutique” where you can grab your own t-shirt and here’s a tweet marketing the same:
Do you need a jolt of “fierce, flawless” supporters of the right to end the life of an unborn child? You know what to do. But what to do if that “fierce, flawless” supporter is also, of all things, an admitted — or semi-admitted, at least — child molester?
In her new best-selling memoir “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned’,” Planned Parenthood’s “It Girl” Dunham writes about how she sexually touched her younger sister, then a year old. So we’re on the same page, here are the excerpts of the book that have gotten the most attention:
One day, as I sat in our driveway in Long Island playing with blocks and buckets, my curiosity got the best of me. Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn't resist and when I saw what was inside I shrieked.
My mother came running. "Mama, Mama! Grace has something in there!" My mother didn't bother asking why I had opened Grace's vagina. This was within the spectrum of things I did. She just got on her knees and looked for herself. It quickly became apparent that Grace had stuffed six or seven pebbles in there. My mother removed them patiently while Grace cackled, thrilled that her prank had been a success.
There’s also this:
As she grew, I took to bribing her time and affection: one dollar in quarters if I could do her makeup like a “motorcycle chick.” Three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds. Whatever she wanted to watch on TV if she would just “relax on me.” Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl, I was trying.
Her tweeted (with authentic language) response:
The right wing news story that I molested my little sister isn't just LOL- it's really fucking upsetting and disgusting.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) November 1, 2014
I’m not quite sure how quoting someone’s words makes something a “right wing news story.” I assume that typing the words “right wing” is more like a desperate attempt to ask for help from the members of the media and social media who are ideologically aligned with Dunham. In fact, the media tend to be such big fans of Planned Parenthood and those who support its aims, that even if the accused molester in question weren’t the New York Times’ favorite millennial, it would probably be excused.
I don’t really believe Dunham that her one-year-old sister placed pebbles in her vagina to prank an older sibling. I have children who were once babies and that seems completely beyond a one-year-old’s capabilities, on multiple levels. And I have a seven-year-old so I know that it’s an age where you absolutely know not to do what Dunham says she did. Further, the fact she had to bribe her sibling suggests she knew she was doing something wrong. Now, having said that, I don’t actually think that the genital molestation or even what Dunham herself describes as the behavior of a “sexual predator” are unforgivable sins. Particularly since it sounds like Dunham didn’t have much in the way of parental guidance or inculcation of morals.
What’s troubling, though, is not just that these things happened but the cavalier attitude Dunham has when she’s talking about them. This was just one of the things she did. Heck, Grace was basically asking for it, right? Why else “prank” her sister? And joking about sexual predation doesn’t suggest an understanding of the need to atone for such violations.
First and foremost that would include not believing you have the right to tell your victim’s story to the entire world. This over-disclosure is part of a pattern. When her little sister comes out to her in high school as a lesbian, Dunham tells other people. Here’s how the New York Times Sunday Magazine put it in its big Dunham profile a few weeks ago:
Though Grace wasn’t quite ready to tell their parents, Dunham was unable to contain herself and came out to them for her.
“What I didn’t say in the book is how it messed up our relationship for like two years,” Dunham said, sipping a smoothie as industrial-grade Vitamix blenders roared in the background. As Grace remembered it, Dunham couldn’t last two days keeping the news to herself. “It was not two days,” Dunham said. “It was a month.” “It was about a week,” Grace said. “It was about two weeks to one week.” “You came out to me, like, a week into shooting ‘Tiny Furniture,’ ” — Dunham’s 2010 feature film — “and I didn’t tell Mom and Dad for like a week after we wrapped.” Grace rolled her eyes. “Without getting into specifics,” she said, “most of our fights have revolved around my feeling like Lena took her approach to her own personal life and made my personal life her property.” “Basically, it’s like I can’t keep any of my own secrets,” Dunham said. “And I consider Grace to be an extension of me, and therefore I couldn’t handle the fact that she’s a very private person with her own value system and her own aesthetic and that we do different things.”
The New York Times says that the book might “best be described as a primer for millennial women negotiating the path to adulthood.” And so it seems to be.
Planned Parenthood will not likely drop its association with Lena Dunham, and why should they? Who better embodies its mores — whether it’s doing whatever you want sexually no matter the consequences, tolerating abuse of minors, viewing other human beings as nothing more than an extension of you, and not caring whether victims of what you’re doing consent.
So great work, Planned Parenthood and Lena Dunham. You two are an absolutely perfect match.