The PJ Tatler

Lena Dunham Drives the Nail into the Coffin of Steinem-Feminism

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News just surfaced on Jezebel of Robert Downey, Jr’s excellent response to a Cambridge student who asked, “Scarlett Johansson has never had her own superhero movie. Would you call yourself a feminist?”

“You bastard,” Downey, a new father to a baby girl, replied. “Yeah, that’s all make believe, son.”

Responding with appropriate shock and awe, Jezebel  provided further evidence that they’re forever stuck in the ’90s (a.k.a. the Bill “I’d give him oral sex for keeping abortion legal” Clinton years) by referring to the Iron Man star as an “Ally McBeal guest star.”

RDJ wasn’t the only celebrity whose anti-feminist statement hit the news this week.

“I am not a feminist,” she said. “If men were going through the things women are going through today, I would be fighting for them with just as much passion. I believe in equality.”

That’s Salma Hayek speaking to People magazine at Equality Now’s “Make Equality Reality” event in Beverly Hills. Why was Hayek there? To be “honored as a women’s rights advocate.” A co-founder of the group Chime for Change, “a global campaign to convene, unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for girls and women around the world,” Hayek is far from anti-girl power. She simply defines equality differently than contemporary feminists like Gloria Steinem, who also attended the event.

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Truthfully, Hayek is wise to distance herself from the WASPy, yuppie class, Lean In style feminism cultivated by Steinem and her ilk in the 1960s and ’70s. That is the feminism of misandry and the mythical War on Women. It is also the feminism that has become hotly contested in the days following the Lena Dunham/Truth Revolt scandal. The feminist goddess may have been excused for dwelling in “that vapid and overly-self-conscious niche of mainstream feminism where the overwhelming concern is white women, their problems, their lives, and much talk and examination of the size and shape of and feelings about their bodies,” but sexual abuse is too hard a pill to swallow for her admiring fans, even those on the Left, who are tired of her politicized excuses:

Lena Dunham has handled this messed up sh*t by trying to classify this as a “right wing news story” rather than just “news story”, which is what it is. She has tried to say that direct quotes of passages from her book are misconstrued words, which they are not. She has taken to twitter and effectively adopted the language of abusers in saying “my victim isn’t mad, why should you be?”. Call this what it is as it is: Lena Dunham wrote a memoir. In the memoir she detailed grooming her sister for increasing sexual abuse. She compared herself to a predator. Truth Revolt documented that Lena Dunham had written this and she is now threatening to sue them and trying to paint the telling as a “right wing news story”.

It is ironic that the woman who set herself up as the “voice of her generation” and a slave on the altar of modern feminism would be the one to take the movement down. Then again, with women like Hayek who are more willing to walk the walk than waste time with talk, Dunhamgate might be the best thing to happen to feminism in over a century. Perhaps now we who believe in women’s equality can focus on the issues that really matter instead of being forced to spend so much time gazing into Lena’s navel.