Creator, writer and star of the HBO series Girls, Lena Dunham is a feminist worth knowing about. She wrote and directed films throughout her time at Oberlin College where she graduated with a degree in creative writing. During her time there she produced several independent short films that she posted to YouTube. Most of them deal with themes of sexual identity and enlightenment, including one where she and her friends talk about experiencing orgasms for the first time (awesome). Following her graduation she starred in a web series, wrote lots of stories and essays, and created her own web series titled The Delusional Downtown Divas. In 2010 she produced a semiautobiographical short film Tiny Furniture which ended up serving as the gateway to the rest of her career. Her film earned her a *slightly* well-known name at HBO where she did a blind script deal. This lead to her meeting Judd Apatow who took the job producing Girls alongside her. Girls is an equal parts hilarious, melancholic and wholly unapologetic look at the lives of four girls struggling through their twenties in New York. It looks at relationships, friendships and sex (lotssss of sex) through a uniquely feminist-tinted lense.
In September last year, Lena published a collection of autobiographical essays in a book titled Not That Kind of Girl. Well received by some and torn to pieces by others, no matter what your stance on the content is we all have to agree it stays true to the sassy and (sometimes painfully) self-aware persona that Lena lends to the public. One of her essays talks about her experience being sexually assaulted by a fellow Oberlin College classmate, which resulted in huge controversy. There was an overwhelming cynical reaction to the accuracy of her account—an increasingly common reaction to women speaking out about their assault experiences. Despite the controversy her book reached number 2 on The New York Times’ Best Seller list and contains some awesome stuff about feminism, body image and sexual identity.
Her most recent feminist project (aside from working on season five of Girls) is Lenny Letter, an email newsletter about all things feminism, health, politics and friendship. It is being launched this month and will be a beautiful hybrid of feminism news and projects. It is being created by Lena and Girls executive producer Jenni Konner who is another inspiring woman to have a look at. You can easily subscribe in advance by sending through your email address.
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