A downside of running an ethics blog is that you have to defend really disgusting people from time to time: Harry Reid, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump…and now Lena Dunham. In fact, this story rescued the “Girls” creator from a different post here, as she recently had to apologize for an online newsletter rant that attacked the character of NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. and attributed various sexist attitudes to him based purely on the fact that he showed no interest in her when they were seated together at a recent function. ( Legitimate reasons why he may have ignored her: he had other things on his mind, she’s not his type, she’s a professional jerk, she’s Lena Dunham).
Before I have to defend Dunham, who is an awful person based on available evidence, let me make a few observations. One is that fame in the 21st Century can expose the unsavory and unethical nature of the famous far more than it did in pre-social media days. This is part of Donald Trump’s plight. Another is that Twitter and social media are literally traps for jerks, and it is amazing that so many of them keep getting caught, even with the bodies of previous trap-ees littering the immediate landscape. Finally, I wonder if there are still publicists around in the tradition of my late friend, Bob McElwaine. and if there are, why doesn’t Lena hire one to save her from herself? Bob was a Hollywood Golden Age publicist who saw his job as keeping the fact that his clients were jerks secret. He was great at it: his major client was Danny Kaye, a truly vile, troubled and nasty individual whose public persona was exactly the opposite.
All right, enough stalling.
For some reason, this Dunham tweet from five years ago surfaced, and has led a social media lynch mob to attack Dunham as being a racist…
Pop quiz: What exactly is it about the tweet that makes it racist?
The answer is “Nothing.” Racism requires attributing negative features or conduct to an individual or group based solely on racial bias and prejudice. It is not racism to base conclusions on statistical reality. Interestingly, most of the attacks on the tweet claim that the tweet is anti-Asian. It is racist to attribute virtuous qualities, like a reluctance to rape, to a race? Wow! Apparently the tweet is being condemned as a slur on Asian manhood. Since when is it manly to rape someone? Silly me: I assumed that Dunham was referring to well-documented cultural support of respect for women, law-abiding conduct and other ethical virtues in Asian-American families.
Or is the complaint that by assuming an Asian-American is less of a threat than a male of another race, Dunham was by extension saying that other races were more of a threat? This would most fairly interpreted as an anti-white slur, however, since whites make up almost 75% of the population of convicted rapists. I thought anti-white bigotry was OK in political correctness circles!
The comment could also just show that Lena isn’t really too sharp at statistical analysis. True, one is less likely to be raped by an Asian than a white, a black or a male of Hispanic heritage, but that’s because less than 6% of the population is Asian-American. If an Asian-American is walking behind you, the odds of him raping you is about the same as the chances of any male raping you. Lena, being an idiot, assumed otherwise, but that would still be a nice assumption. Even as a joke—it’s hard to tell with Lena, since her jokes are seldom funny–it’s not anti-Asian.
But wait—should Lena be more wary when an Asian-American is following behind? When researchers interviewed more than 10,000 men at nine sites in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka, one in four men surveyed in Asia said they had committed rape at least once. That would mean that Lena should have been more alarmed that an Asian man was behind her. If she had tweeted instead of “Never mind, he’s Asian,” “Oh-oh, he’s Asian,” would that have been racist? Presumably the Furies would have thought so, but if Lena had read the study, or used the quip as an introduction to a link to the study, it would be factually justified.
The conclusion I reach is that racism and political incorrectness are whatever the Political Correctness Furies want them to be, according to their mood at the moment. Poor, innocent Lena’s crime, it appears, was mentioning any race and suggesting, even in jest, that there can be any variation in conduct or expected conduct across racial groups.
Only Black Lives Matter can get away with that.
15 thoughts on “Curse You, Political Correctness Bullies! Now You’re Forcing Me To Defend Lena Dunham!”
Too bad SJWs don’t attack her on her real ethics lapses. There’s plenty of material there. Congratulations on finding a decent picture of her.
That last part means you owe me a keyboard…orange juice everywhere, and out my nose.
So she is saying that Asian men are morally superior to men in general?
I would put this in the category of a dumb woman telling a bad joke and ignorant of history. She’s probably never heard of “confort women” and The Rape of Nanking.
Perhaps people are resentful that she’s relying on the “sexless Asian male” stereotype? Sort of a “Oh, nevermind, he’s dickless” thing? Other than that, I guess you could say she’s smearing other races by implication. But I refuse to get into the mind of Lena Dunham more than I have to She is not a favorite of mine. Her brand of confessional, “Oh, aren’t I so cute and twee while saying the most awful things, amirite?” just really grates.
Yes, I thought too, that it was another Asian male=small penis ‘joke’.
(This may not have much bearing on this but I recently watched Tiny Furniture by her. Now, knowing what I know about big game hunting and the possibilities in sadistic murder-pleasure, I contextualize my feeling of intense dislike for that fat brat and channel it toward ‘the good’.
Maybe she could be let loose on a reserve somewhere and be hunted down? I think I might really enjoy that … I don’t think it worthwhile to taxonomy her though and anyway there is no room left on our walls. But she’d make a fine trophy for one of the more militant Alt/Right.)
Taxidermafy I mean.
The words “racist” and “bigot” are thrown around (usually by lefties) these days like hand grenades. They no longer have any meaning in their current usage. It was pretty funny when Trump tried playing the game by calling HRC a racist. Which was verboten, of course. Only a lefty can use those terms randomly and be praised for doing so.
That was one of Trump’s more idiotic statements, which is saying a lot. With so many legitimate negatives about Hillary, why would he accuse her of something she isn’t guilty of? What’s next, calling her a drunk, a pornographer and a terrorist?
Because others keep accusing him of what he is not guilty of.
In addition to much more that he IS guilty of. The unjust stuff doesn’t mitigate the rest. I’ll call historians on claiming Jack the Ripper killed women he didn’t, but he still murdered five, and that’s plenty.
I’m struck by the fact that it says right there in the tweet that she herself thinks the thought is “uncool”, yet people treat it as if it’s something she’s proudly shouting from the mountaintops that if she had one core belief, it’d be this tweet.
I read it more like a confessional. “Hey, we all think uncool thoughts from time to time and here is one that I had recently. Sumimasen!”
Plus . . . it’s from 2011?!? REALLY?!?
Must be a slow news day for the SJW’s.
“Finally, I wonder if there are still publicists around in the tradition of my late friend, Bob McElwaine. and if there are, why doesn’t Lena hire one to save her from herself?”
I think the difference is that she wants to be seen as vile. Perhaps not vile… but controversial… definitely. She wouldn’t be much of a shock jock if she had a PR person keeping her from shocking people. the problem is that she’s a shock jock on the side of the culture war that doesn’t tolerate wit. These are the lesbianic landwhales who think things like Splat!* are high art. And so I experience a little bit of Schadenfreude when I see them eating their own in situations like this where someone’s gone a little bit off the reservation.
But Lena didn’t even go off the bloody reservation this time.
Look at what she said: “Horrible thought to have…” She was explicitly saying that it was wrongthink to dismiss an Asian as a potential suito… rapist just because he’s Asian. I suppose I probably committed som kind of taboo assuming a pronoun there, I mean do Asian rapists still prefer “he” or do they prefer “xi”, “xim”, or “xir”? I can never quite get these sorted out.
Regardless, not only was the thought not nearly as bad as it’s been out to be… She didn’t actually express it!
Now…. Who wants to be on what she learns from this experience? My money is on “absolutely nothing”.
*Don’t watch this. Just don’t.