Lena Dunham & Lorde Find The Feminist Question “Exhausting”

Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Lena Dunham and Lorde are considered by some to be two of the most outspoken, independent, and, yes, feminist-minded celebrities in mainstream pop culture right now. According to a new article in Dazed, they're kind of over it. Dunham interviewed the Kiwi singer for the magazine, with her first question being whether or not she was equally exhausted about constantly being asked "about being female." Lorde agreed, saying that her own experiences don't line up with the horror stories one sometimes hears about sexism in the music business. "People always want to know if it’s ‘hard being a girl in this industry’ and it’s kind of like, ‘Well, it is hard sometimes,'" she shared "'But also, I’m good, you know?’" The two also touched on the topic of feminism and how female stars are pressured into taking a stand. "I feel like there have been a lot of journalists asking young women about feminism and trying to trick them into denouncing it or making uninformed statements recently," Dunham said. "My opinion is that people want to do a ‘gotcha!’ on girls that maybe haven’t been educated about feminism." "It’s weird," Lorde responded. "I’m not just going to do a 180 on a girl because she hasn’t learned about feminism. I remember not being 100% sure what feminism or intersectional feminism is — I’m still not 100% sure! One thing I hadn’t come face-to-face with until I was about 16 was thinking really hard about whiteness and what it means to be white, and all these questions around race and sexuality, which are incredibly important. For a long time, I wasn’t aware of how important it was to be a feminist for all women." "I’d done gender and women’s studies in college so I understood all of this intellectually, but it wasn’t until Girls came out and the dialogue of whiteness around it started that I really wrapped my mind around those questions," Dunham added. "Really smart writers talked about the show in a critical way, and helped me examine what was exclusionary about my own feminism. That was a huge wake-up call — and, in a lot of ways, it was terrifying to realize that the simple girl-power message you’ve been moving through life with isn’t necessarily enough. So what you’re saying is beautiful and important, because you appeal to people who have read Judith Butler and also people who are 14. And when you talk about intersectional feminism, that’s an incredible thing for you to be putting out into the world as a person who can also perform at the AMAs." We can see where the two stars are coming from; their male counterparts aren't asked about what it's like to be a male in Hollywood and it's limiting to focus on just one aspect of a person's life. On the other hand, Dunham has made feminism a major part of her persona. Why retreat? And if more young women are learning to take a stance either way on the issue, isn't that a good thing?

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