Democratic Convention 2016

Lena Dunham, Sushi Justice Warrior, Is Right About Trump's Sexism

The Democratic Party's approach to women's issues is flawed, but Trump is so vile it hardly matters.


Screenshot via Snappy TV

Actress and writer Lena Dunham took a break from decrying the amount of cultural appropriation going on in the Oberlin College cafeteria to deliver a speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. She was joined by fellow actress America Ferrera.

"I'm Lena Dunham, and according to Donald Trump, my body is probably like a two," said Dunham, beginning her speech.

"I'm America Ferrera, and according to Donald Trump, I'm probably a rapist," added Ferrera, referencing Trump's comments about Mexicans.

Dunham and Ferrera then recapped Trump's myriad sexist and racist remarks and urged voters to get behind Hillary Clinton, the candidate who is pro-choice, supportive of paid family leave, in favor of equal pay for equal work, and an advocate for sexual assault survivors.

"Donald Trump's not making America great again," said Ferrera. "He's make America hate again."

Dunham has been a pro-Clinton force of nature since age 9—or perhaps age 6 (various aspects of her biography are strangely disputed). Clinton is her childhood hero. Like Clinton, Dunham is a divisive figure—some call her the voice of the millennial generation, others accuse her of exaggerating one sexual assault and committing another. While her show, Girls, is frequently a fascinating indictment of the worst tendencies of her generation, her real-life politics are as one-dimensional as they come. Suffice it to say, Dunham wasn't winning any converts to Clinton's cause tonight.

My point is this: Dunham was always going to stand at the DNC podium and call the Republican Party's presidential candidate a rampant sexist. At the same time, the Republican Party chose as its candidate the person for whom that smear is completely and undeniably true: Donald Trump.

This does not reflect well on the GOP. There's much to criticize about Dunham and Clinton's brand of feminism: mandatory paid-leave is an ill-considered policy that undercuts women in the workforce, the wage gap is real but nowhere near as large as many activists believe, and the outcry over campus sexual assault is inflamed by misleading statistics. On each of these issues, there's a powerful case to be made that the federal government's heavy-handed approach to solving the problem—the approach supported by Clinton and Dunham—is wrong-headed.

But it's going to be hard for the Republican Party to make that case so long as its standard-bearer lives up to every stereotype about the GOP's War on Women. Trump is so vile, he proves Lena Dunham kind of right.