Why We Still Need to Talk About Lena Dunham's Rape

By: Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor

Lena Dunham has been quoted as saying she’s “not the greatest narrator” recently. And honestly, it sounds like a preemptive apology for any misconceptions drawn or misguided memories drawn from her recent memoir Not That Kind of Girl published earlier this year. And this is especially true in regards to her sexual traumas involving that one night at Oberlin with a DJ. And it’s just as vile we’re still amazed her memory isn’t perfect. 


In regards to the night in question, she recently came under fire for changing seemingly hardened facts in the essay. Keep in mind, this night happened over a decade ago. And nobody’s memory is perfect—unless you’re one of the handful who quite literally remember every moment, whom it does not seem Lena can claim member of. It’s sickening we are holding her at fault for an incredibly traumatic event that is by no means her premeditated offense nor something she can remember perfectly any time soon.

Trauma messes with you, both literally and figuratively. And Lena Dunham’s recollection is no exception. She herself has mentioned that it took her years to even admit it happened, let a lone dive into the memory to remember what exactly went on that fateful night. So why are we holding her to an impossible standard to remember exactly what happened? To recollect every miserable detail when in fact trauma makes your memory remember vague, general pictures and fights against your soul to put it into the deepest, most hidden parts of your brain?

So, is there any silver lining here? We are finally talking about sexual assault and its multiple facets, its onion like layers. And we are finally taking to steps to actually consider that it is not the survivor’s fault (spoiler alert: it’s never their fault but ahem). Society seems to be considering that it is the purest of gray areas and it is not as black and white as most would make it out to be. So here’s to you, Lena. May your trauma and survival be finally a lesson to us all that courage comes in all forms. That is a step forward. 

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About Dana

Dana_Zillgitt.jpgDana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.

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