Nonfiction Nagging: Lena Dunham is a Piece of Work

Lena Dunham is not someone I'd like to be friends with, have as a daughter, have as a sister, or know as an acquaintance. And maybe this is because I have no patience and am not an empathetic person. Or maybe it's because I don't like drama, narcissism, or people who act like they are bigger feminists than they are. 

I do have to admit to loving Girls, and I will continue to love it. I did not realize it was quite as autobiographical as it is, but I can accept that and continue to watch it. 

I've been interested in Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl ever since I heard of the $3.5 million dollar advance it received. That's a solid chunk of change. Plus, as I aforementioned, I love her show Girls, and I consider myself a feminist, although not the stereotypical type that doesn't shave her legs, hates men, and constantly bitches and moans about the salary gap. So obviously it was pretty inevitable that I'd read her collection of essays. 

Some (mean-ish) things I thought while reading:
- Is she for real? Is she a real person? Please tell me she is embellishing her ridiculousness.
- Why are people putting condoms in house-trees? Is this a thing I'm just not cool enough to know about? Is this something that only artistic Oberlin people do?
- Oh. This is what people keep talking about when they say things like "white privilege." I get it now.
- You are not a feminist if you are that hung up on men and their validation of you. Just because you are too lazy to stay on a diet, shave, and develop a fashion sense doesn't mean you can wave around the feminist card. Or maybe this is just a new brand of feminism, for the millenials, or whatever it's called.
- Entitlement x 5325347584994
- There are some gross things that you should just keep to yourself. Fine, tell your friends if that's what you guys talk about, but do you really need to share private, weird, things about, say, YOUR VAGINA, with the whole damn world?
- I hope she doesn't reproduce. She struggles to care about anyone but herself.
- Ummm, where is Jessa? Marnia? Shoshanna? 
- *Pause* let's define rape, shall we?
- Your dad seems cool, but your mom seems sort of... difficult
- You are a slut, Lena Dunham
- Now I feel like less of a feminist for calling someone a slut, since everyone should get to explore their sexuality as they see fit, as long as everyone is safe and consenting. But still, she had sex with a lot of people that she didn't really know. 
- People who write memoirs before they're at least middle-aged have some serious narcissism problems going on. 
- There are some sections in the end that aren't as infuriating as the beginning, like on work, therapy, etc... But still. 

This book was really irritating, but it was also really fun to hate read. I think this would be an excellent book club selection, actually, since I'd anticipate some really strong feelings. She's not a bad writer, in fact I'd actually say that's she has a decent voice and style. She's just a serious pain in the ass. 


  1. And now I want to read this. Sometimes you need a good hate read. ;)

  2. I have been seriously avoiding this since it came out, which has been a challenge given the hype surrounding it. Dunham just irritates me in the worst way and I'm pleased to read a review that doesn't just worship the ground she walks on. Although I kinda want to read it now :D

  3. Hilarious take. I didn't have an interest in reading and now that you've reviewed it, still don't. I've never watched the show so I'll just pause and change the subject whenever someone brings it up in conversation. So many probably-better reads to get through.

  4. Best. Review. Ever. She annoys me. Can we stop worshipping her now?

  5. I started to read this and put it down, and my reasons are at their foundation the same as yours. I feel quite differently from you about some of the things you mentioned (feminist-y stuff like leg shaving or sluttiness) but the author still manages to sound narcissistic and a bit cuckoopants even for me! That's pretty bad. I'm the same age as she is but this book (what I got through) reads like it was written by a navel-gazing college freshman....