Cathy Young on Lena Dunham, Weirdness, and Double Standards


Lena Dunham
David Shankbone

Actress Lena Dunham is now in the spotlight over her confessional memoir, Not That Kind of Girl—an unwelcome spotlight for a change, with some of her confessions being spun into sensational claims that she sexually molested her younger sister Grace. Having perused the book, which a generous estimate would put at about two hours' worth of reading, Cathy Young thinks the charge is a wild overreaction that reflects not only sexual-abuse hysteria but a rising, noxious intolerance toward edgy humor. But this entire episode, especially when juxtaposed with the response to another part of Dunham's memoir—one in which she positions herself as a sexual assault victim—also highlights some blatant sexual and political double standards.