We expect celebrities to be perfect, either in that they’re totally loveable or totally detestable — but so often, that isn’t the case. Check out our gallery of celebrities who were polarizing in 2014, but who aren’t always what they’re made out to be.
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Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me. Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun. I did not wish to be contacted by him or to open a criminal investigation. I am in a loving and peaceful place in my life and I am not willing to sacrifice any more of it for this person I do not know, aside from one night I will never forget. That is my choice. …
When I finally chose to share my story, I did not do so in a vacuum. I was inspired by all the brave women who are now coming forward with their own experiences, despite the many risks associated with speaking out. Survivors are so often re-victimized by a system that demands they prove their purity and innocence. They are asked to provide an unassailable narrative when the event itself is hazy, fragmented, and unspeakable. They are isolated and betrayed by people close to them who doubt their reality or are frustrated by their inability to move on. Their most intimate experiences are made public property. …
I was ready to admit to the ways being sexually assaulted has shaped my sense of self as a woman entering adulthood, compromised my emotional security, and haunted me even during the most joyful periods of my life. I hoped I might inspire others to share, and that forming these connections would assist us all in healing.
Lena Dunham has penned a beautiful essay for Buzzfeed about her decision to write about being raped in college in her book Not That Kind Of Girl. The essay is written somewhat in response to conservative critics who have questioned the validity of her story and have gone out of their way to “disprove” it, including trying to track down the man who raped her. Yesterday, I told you about how one former classmate, who happens to be named “Barry,” the pseudonym used in the book, has been mistaken for Dunham’s attacker. Going forward, new printings of Not That Kind Of Girl will be more clear that “Barry” is a pseudonym; Dunham apologizes for the confusion at the beginning of the essay, calling the resemblance between Real Life Barry and Book Rapist Barry “an unfortunate and surreal coincidence.” Keep reading »
In her debut memoir, Not That Kind Of Girl, there’s a scene in which Lena Dunham describes being raped by a fellow classmate when she was attending Oberlin College. The man is named “Barry” in the book and he’s described as the “campus’s resident conservative” who wore purple cowboy pants and worked at the library. Well, it turns out that aspects of Dunham’s description of Barry match that of a former student named Barry – who was a known conservative on campus –but this Barry maintains he is not the man who raped Dunham and that the two have never met. Obviously, that hasn’t stopped some people from assuming they are one in the same, which is why Real Life Barry hired a lawyer to contact Dunham and Random House about absolving him. (He also started a GoFundMe account to pay for his legal fees, which is referenced below.) Attorney Aaron Minc says that his attempts to reach Dunham and her publisher went ignored — until they threatened a lawsuit. So, yesterday, Random House released the following statement, clarifying that Rapist Barry was not actually named Barry at all and that future printings of the book will make that clear. Keep reading »
A new trailer for season four of “Girls” has arrived, and our favorite flailing anti-heroines look just as aimless and tone-deaf as ever — and I guess we really wouldn’t have it any other way, would we? The trailer also includes an excellent dig at Woody Allen in which Jessa recites his quote “the heart wants what it wants” and Hannah shuts that nonsense down. I am officially excited for the next season in spite of myself. It premieres on HBO on January 11 at 9 p.m.. [HuffIngton Post]
Controversy or not, Lena Dunham’s not going anywhere except back to the small screen for season four of “Girls.” And today we have the first trailer, which shows Hannah back in Iowa as a grad school student. I had totally forgotten that happened at the end of season three, though I don’t expect the show will keep Hannah away from New York City, her friends and, of course, boyfriend Adam for very long. Meanwhile, it looks like Shosh is dealing with the stress of finding her first post-college job, Marnie is still pining away for that sexy musician with the girlfriend and, uh, then there’s Jessa, getting arrested for god knows what. “Girls”‘ fourth season premieres on January 11 on HBO.
Lena Dunham’s memoir, Not that Kind of Girl was published at the end of September, and in the last two days, the internet has basically exploded around its contents. Dunham’s narration of her sexual behavior towards her younger sister, Grace, has resulted in many demanding that Planned Parenthood “#dropdunham” as its celebrity spokesperson. And then there’s the notable fissure that Dunham’s very presence has caused in feminist communities: Is she a sexual predator hiding behind quirk and white privilege? Is Grace Dunham, actress, poet and a supporter of her sister’s work (she’s traveling with Lena on her book tour a victim of sexual abuse, in spite of the fact that she doesn’t identify herself as one? Is everyone defending Dunham against the accusation that she’s a predator a child abuse apologist?
In response to the chaos, Nona Willis Aronowitz and Collier Meyerson created Those Kinds of Girls, a Tumblr where women can post stories of childhood sexual experiences – “strange shit” they did, or that was done to them, when experimentation was everything and boundaries were not yet a thing they, and their peers, were cognizant of. I talked to Willis Aronowitz, the newest editor at Talking Points Memo, and Meyerson, a web producer at All in With Chris Hayes, about the motivation behind the Tumblr, policing women’s experiences, and the stories we’re afraid to tell. Keep reading »