Lena Dunham Reveals Experience of Sexual Assault in College
New York-born actress, screenwriter and producer Lena Dunham, best known for the HBO series “Girls” has opened up about a darker part of her past in her new book, titled “Not That Kind of Girl”. Though admitting it was difficult even now to publicize, Dunham writes about being the victim of sexual assault during her time at Oberlin College, where she studied creative writing.
Yesterday on Howard Stern’s radio show, Dunham detailed on her thoughts about including the episode in her book;
“This was an essay I was very anxious and self-conscious about putting in the book because we are in a current culture where everything is turned into a game of telephone and it turns into a headline,”
“I think so many of these young women are speaking out – It gave me the strength to talk about something I’d been through that had been very challenging to make peace with.”
Dunham, who graduated in 2008 from the Oberlin College in Ohio, was clear that she was reluctant to go public with the event because she didn’t want to be labelled as a victim, also feeling that the ordeal was a “huge, but private part of her identity.”
The public weren’t the only people who were unaware of this occurrence, however. Dunham said she neglected to tell the authorities, and even her parents: “I had told [my mom] that I had gotten drunk and gotten into a rough situation,”
She also covered a great deal of her thought process in making the decision to be secretive.
“I think there was a big part of me that thought people would say, ‘You’re lying, you exaggerated. He’s more attractive than you are. Why would he want to do that to you?'”
“So many women go, ‘But I put myself in this situation.’ … that is a very dangerous mythology that we have to break down.”
Dunham makes it very clear that her reasons for including this particular part of her past in her book are selfless, bar the personal relief from publically admitting to this chapter in her life. Although her mission is to raise the awareness of women that are silent victims, her views on the topic are surprisingly inclusive of the part men play in these situations, in acknowledging that not every incident is the result of a “straight villian”.
“Women need to learn to speak out and guys need to talk to each other about consent,” she said. “There is no ‘No’ that means ‘Yes.'”
Matthew Tomlin | News Cult