Lena Dunham Is Launching A Newsletter For All The Baby Feminists

Lena Dunham, cultural punching bag and earnest documenter of the lives of women, announced via Buzzfeed that she’s launching Lenny, a newsletter for young ladies who want to talk about lipstick and foreign policy all at the same time. Because there are not enough women’s websites and places for women to talk about the breadth of the female experience, Dunham has gathered a squad of women to craft the very missive she wishes she could always read, including former Jezebel staffer Jessica Grose, Rookie associate editor Laia Garcia and writer Doreen St. Félix, who has written for Buzzfeed, The Hairpin and Pitchfork. This supergroup will band together to form a product that is, in Dunham’s words, “GOOP meets Grantland,” which is a description with the best of intentions, but one that makes absolutely no sense.

Dunham wants to create a space for “an army of like-minded intellectually curious women and the people who love them, who want to bring change but also want to know, like, where to buy the best tube top for summer that isn’t going to cost your entire paycheck.” This is an admirable goal, but one that is being met by a variety of other websites on this great internet, including, AHEM, the one that you are reading right now. In fact, a lot of the dualities that Dunham proposes are eerily similar to the echoes of another women’s website that came around a couple of years ago. Let’s revisit Bustle founder Bryan Goldberg’s press release from 2013:

Isn’t it time for a women’s publication that puts world news and politics alongside beauty tips? What about a site that takes an introspective look at the celebrity world, while also having a lot of fun covering it? How about a site that offers career advice and book reviews, while also reporting on fashion trends and popular memes?

From Dunham at Buzzfeed:

People who want to talk about radical politics but also want to talk about fashion and also want to talk about Rihanna, and also understand that all of those things can be happening at the same time.

Are we so far behind that we need yet another publication to prove that women are capable of processing complex dualities of thought? Is it so ludicrous to imagine that women cannot think about lipstick and world hunger and making soufflé and their 401(k)s at the same time. Is this really necessary?

The one issue in contemporary internet feminist discourse that feels woefully ignored is what editor-in-chief Jessica Grose points out:

“The internet feminism conversation can be very circular and limiting and exclusive…and it saddens me to see that a lot of the competition is about saying ‘you’re not feminist enough’: trying to kick people out of feminism rather than bring them in. And Lenny is an opportunity to say, ‘There are many different types of feminisms, and we can work together.’”

Yes. If this is going to be a space where it’s inappropriate to call out other women for being too much or too little of a feminist and where cheap shots at the way a human being chooses to perform their feminism or their personhood, awesome. The internet is full of garbage websites that purport inclusivity as a way to lure in readers, and then hits them over the head with one-sided blind outrage and knee-jerk reactions. If Lenny can get off the ground and succeed in this goal, then there’s a reason for it to exist. All hail GoopLand.

[Buzzfeed]