THE BLOG

Lena Dunham Is Not a Molester, Just the Product of 'The Culture of Share'

03/11/2014 15:18 GMT | Updated 02/01/2015 10:59 GMT

With the buzz around Girls actress, writer and director Lena Dunham's new book Not That Kind of Girl, fans and feminists alike are split into two camps - those who love Lena and those who don't.

The book is a series of real life essays and Lena describes some early experiences with her little sister. Her 'controversial' revelations in the book have had some calling her a borderline child molester.

Being young and curious, she recalls a moment in her youth where she "spread open" her sister's vagina and another where she tried to kiss her. They were both very young and it was in the context of Lena being a curious child. Naturally, since the accusations, Lena has hit out at critics.

Let's get real here. I'm not a fan of Lena Dunham but she's not a child molester. Children explore their bodies and sexuality at different ages and Lena shouldn't be criticized for this. It's clear her sister isn't bothered by these accusations either. With cases of real sexual and physical abuse being reported all over the world, this seems like a media storm in a teacup.

Watching Lena being interviewed on Graham Norton recently, she came across as a straight talking young woman who clearly had a need to share. Whilst I have to commend some of these honest traits, her love of sharing or over sharing as she admitted to Norton on the show, is a product of the millennial generation.

Lena Dunham is a millennial role model and a twenty something, white, middle class woman that appeals to a certain demographic. It's not my demographic and that's why she does not offend me. She's just not in my sphere.

To me, Dunham is the same as Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus. I don't rate these young women and, in fact, I don't have much to say about them as feminists or role models either because they're not part of my demographic. When I read quotes and interviews, it's the voice of a generation still finding its feet - a naivety - the sound of youth; it's just not my youth.

If these millennial celebrities inspire a younger generation to push forward for what they believe in and normalize their experiences as a twenty somethings in the world today, then why argue with that?

However, it's the millennial's love of 'over sharing' that we need to look at more closely. Lena's obviously angry about the comments made about her being a potential child molester but, then, that's a memory she wrote about in her book for thousands of fans and critics to, well... critique!

If you want the general public to know about your personal experiences and they become exposed to millions, they're no longer personal and one should expect them to be treated as public fodder - there to be deconstructed, chewed up and spat out.

Another problem with 'the culture of share' is that when one becomes a role model like Dunham there must be an awareness that every word cast out into the open means something to people.

If you're in the spotlight and millions of people rely on you for inspiration then you need to remember you have a public responsibility to those people.

I'm not going over old ground with the 'feminism debate' yet again so let's look at other ways in which Lena may have acted 'irresponsibly' - her casually racist remarks in recent times, for example. I'm not saying Lena's a massive racist but perhaps some humility and restraint should be considered.

The mistake of many millennials is that 'honest' opinions are wastefully thrown out into the ether and when that comes back to haunt them, there are cries of 'bullying' and failure to realise that some words and actions have consequences, even in these times, even online.

Honest role models and celebrities are good but 'the culture of share' needs a wake up call. I'm not just blaming the millennials either, we've all been suckered into sharing more than we bargained for, whether we realise it or not. There's no filter anymore and perhaps we need one sometimes.

Lena Dunham is no role model of mine but she's certainly not a child molester or a racist. She's a young woman that is a product of her generation and one that appeals to a certain demographic. She doesn't deserve to be demonized so let's all calm down and get on with the more important issues at hand because Dunham and her book will soon be yesterday's news.