Lena Dunham appeared on the Today show this morning to talk about the next season of Girls, but she also took some time to discuss the rape allegations in her memoir Not That Kind of Girl.
Dunham was raked over the coals for the essay which described a sexual assault by a man she referred to as "Barry," a movement kicked off by right-wing website Breitbart News. (Random House and Dunham edited that specific passage in future editions, but made it clear that Barry is a pseudonym.) She told Today's host Savannah Guthrie that the virulent response she received gave her insight into what other sexual assault survivors face.
"It's a very, very painful thing to share an episode that personal and receive criticism, but what I received was only a small percentage of the doubt and victim-blaming that most women who are sexually assaulted in this country experience," Dunham said. "Most women who come forward with accusations of sexual assault don't have those benefits. [They] don't have my legal and emotional and financial supports, and so, for me, I really feel like it enhanced my understanding of the cause and hopefully will make me a better advocate and activist in the future."
Dunham wrote an essay for Buzzfeed about why she chose to write about her assault and how it illustrates society's attitude towards sexual assault. "Survivors have the right to tell their stories, to take back control after the ultimate loss of control. There is no right way to survive rape and there is no right way to be a victim," she wrote.