TV star and feminist icon Lena Dunham recently discovered what it’s like to be on the receiving end of politically correct abuse, whining on the radio after college liberals called her a “privileged oppressor” and claimed her TV show lacked diversity.
On Monday, Dunham spoke with comedian Marc Maron on his podcast “WTF.” At one point the two delved into politics, with the “Girls” creator recounting a time when students at her alma mater — the ultra-liberal Oberlin College — tried to conduct a citizen’s arrest of Karl Rove.
“I cannot tell you how much joy a story like that gives me,” she said. “Not because of my joy that they’re arresting Karl Rove, just because of my joy that people are behaving like that in the world. I just love it.”
But Dunham then related a time when she was the target of similarly sanctimonious left-wingers. “I went to do an interview with the [Oberlin] school newspaper, and someone said, ‘How does it feel to be a line item in so many people’s stories of privilege and oppression?’ Like, they said I was a line item in like, the national tale of privilege and oppression.”
Maron was stumped. “Uh, what does that mean to you?”
“That I’m a privileged oppressor, but not the most important one, just one of the smaller ones,” she explained. “Like I have a lot of privilege, and I am oppressing others with the force of my privilege.”
“How?” Maron asked.
“I mean, you’d have to ask them,” she answered. “I mean I knew that some people, theirs was a narrative that like, ‘She comes from a family of people who were artists, rich artists pushed her into Hollywood.’”
She added that there were “debates about diversity in the show” and “the girls at Oberlin who felt like my version of feminism was something they couldn’t get behind, or it was commercialized. So I was told — though I did not see — that there were seven protesters with signs at my talk.”
“I assume it was people who didn’t think the show was diverse enough, or representing an accurate cross-section of New York,” she explained.
Dunham was keen to stress “how much I’ve learned from this dialogue.” But she also seemed hurt by the accusations.
“What’s painful for me is when the attacks become personal,” she said. “‘You are a privileged girl. You are a racist. You don’t understand real suffering.’ Like, that’s when it starts to feel like it’s ringing in my head and like it’s too hard.”
But Dunham has also projected malevolent intentions on those who disagree with her — most recently in January, when she furiously shut down a reporter asking her why she was naked all the time on her show.
“It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it,” she snarled, suggesting he needed mental help. “If you are not into me, that’s your problem, and you are going to have to kind of work that out with whatever professionals you’ve hired.”
She and her fellow panelists later went on to imply the reporter was a misogynist and that his girlfriend didn’t like him.
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