Lena Dunham and the Rise of Rape Glam

I believe Lena Dunham when she says she was raped.

The terrifying trouble with Lena Dunham’s faulty  account of her sexual assault is not because it could be fictionalized, but because it could be real. Because of her rapidly changing story and staunch defense of the story told in her book, a vicious campus rapist is now protected by Random House attorneys and the entire media complex defending her story.  

Dunham, through her publisher, has gone to great legal lengths to protect her attacker’s identity, an attacker she claims has committed several acts of sexual assault against other girls around the same time as her, on the same campus. She not only idles on prosecuting her attacker, but has stated she has no intention of exposing his identity. According to Dunham and her defenders, there is an alleged vicious sexual predator at large and even more dangerous because he’s anonymous. Dunham in her books stated her attacker had also attacked 2 other women. How many more women has he forced himself on with violent consequences while Dunham, and a multi-million dollar publishing conglomerate create a phalanx of legal protection around him?

 

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Dunham might have been a victim of a brutal sexual encounter as she claims, but she is no longer a victim of circumstance and certainly not as helpless as she made herself out to be in her Buzzfeed explainer. She is, by any good measure, the most powerful woman in Hollywood under the age of 30. A director, writer and multi-millionaire, she is idolized by young women for her creative assertiveness with multiple awards given to her work. Dunham could be the leading voice of feminist power in the 21st century by standing up and facing down her attacker in court, something women without the privilege of an army of lawyers or armed security provided by Random House or HBO do every day. Every day.

Dunham could set an empowering example for women everywhere that no matter who you are, ruthless predators don’t get away with taking advantage of a drunk and or drugged woman in the dead of night and remain safely anonymous. She could be the voice that says enough is enough. Instead she not only chooses to protect his legal identity but according to Random House publishing, created a pseudonym for him which inadvertently targeted the wrong guy. Random House will also be “Tweaking” future printed copies of Dunham’s book.

Dunham and her publisher are going to incredible lengths and pains to protect the identity of her alleged rapist.

It’s great that Dunham is allowed a platform like Random House, HBO or Buzzfeed to express her own personal insecurities for her fans to gush over, but what about the multitudes of women at the hands of her attacker? Dunham doesn’t believe she owes them an explanation, or more importantly, a warning. Lena Dunham is a bigger perpetrator of rape culture than any video game ever could be. She calls herself an unreliable narrator but based on her description of handle bar mustache, purple cowboy boots and flamboyant hootin’ and hollerin’ conservative, I’m just going with that she was raped by Yosemite Sam until she confirms otherwise.

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The problem with Lena Dunham’s flippant attitude with pursuing her attacker is that those in the industry desperate to cling to any relevancy in the headlines blasted across the pages of Rolling Stone or on MTV are following suite.

Lady Gaga appeared on the Howard Stern show and alluded that she too had been raped by a record producer whom she refused to name. How has Gaga handled her attacker’s identity since? By claiming a song she wrote was about him and used the occasion to promote her new duet album with Tony Bennett. Gaga herself is no stranger to rape controversy when she experienced severe PR blow back for a music video she filmed with R. Kelly of all people and directed by alleged rapist Terry Richardson, formerly of Vice fame. Gaga even attached a hashtag, #DWUW to the video to promote it. Was her mysterious insinuation of assault a tepid effort to stifle any of the bad PR? Maybe. It’s not like Lady Gaga has engineered promotional maleficence in the past to generate publicity. Once again, a dangerous influential predator of women remains free to prey on young starlets while Gaga occupies herself with trying to super glue a kitchen appliance to her head.

While on the brief topic of R. Kelly and Terry Richardson, noted women’s magazine Cosmopolitan featured an article titled “Sex tips from R. Kelly” in 2013. It was penned by Anna Breslaw, who also happens to have very strong opinions on “Rape Culture”. Lena Dunham herself  also worked with Terry Richardson without complaint.

And then there’s Rolling Stone.

Even beyond Rolling Stone’s completely shattered reputation of narrative journalism which has been well documented over the recent non events at University of Virginia, it has become a pop culture relic more interested in the sexualization of violence (and vice versa) than the latest projects of influential musicians and artists. Jim Geraghty provided a detailed rundown of Rolling Stone’s hypocritical downward spiral.

If rape culture exists it’s not on college campuses. This is a developing and startling trend with Hollywood and feminist entertainment culture. The glamorization of rape as a means of fitting into a social clique. It’s not about demanding truth. It’s about demanding obedience. 

Not getting young women to bond with shared experiences of a sexual assault to find healing, but that it’s simply becoming a fad and cool to do so. This is a dangerous bandwagon that corporate pop culture is all too happy to attempt to exploit. Currently a who’s who of VH1 reality celebs are coming out of the woodwork to claim that Bill Cosby has allegedly raped them and everything except the 3rd mafia housewife from season 15, and claiming it in every gossip show and rag mag that exists, everywhere except in sworn depositions under oath, where it matters legally and giving prosecutors the information needed to put Bill Cosby behind bars where he possibly belongs.

This is feminist driven media attempting to gleefully create a culture of Rape Glam and at the forefront is the hipster queen of millennial drama, Lena Dunham.

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It’s becoming such a hip trend that the entire fringe of rape glam media becomes more unhinged when they discover a violent gang rape at a college university didn’t actually happen. As Sabrina Erdely’s fabulist reporting is revealed and Rolling Stone’s story crumbles more and more, the likes of Sally Kohn, Jessica Valenti, Zerlina Maxwell (whom has claimed she too was sexually assaulted without naming her attacker) and Amanda Marcotte dig in more and more because they believe there is a political point to be made. There isn’t. The Rape Glam movement is about as interested in actually stopping rape as Al Sharpton is stopping racism.

The more an idea of rape culture persists, no matter what evidence suggests otherwise, the more a progressive ideology is allowed to thrive, such as it has now with Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Teachers Union. Claiming to have “almost been raped” and using already debunked statistics to help push and promote Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (whom earlier this year declined to name an older male senator fat shaming her) sponsored rape campus legislation.

Will Weingarten’s claims be investigated? Maybe. Will the reporter investigating them be ostracized as a rape sympathizer? Absolutely yes. And that’s how the Rape Glam industry operates.

All that matters is the accusations.

Rape Glamourists aren’t interested in an honest discussion about sexual assault, statistics and discovering truth, no matter how inconvenient it might be. They’re concern for rape ends at their political ideology because it’s their political ideology that pays for their narratives.

This is the basis of why Zerlina Maxwell believes every woman should automatically be believed when accusing a man of a violent rape, no matter what, yet cheers on the party boy antics of Bill Clinton. This will become increasingly inconvenient for the Rape Glam Movement as 2016 approaches and they prepare to throw their public support behind a woman who is not only married to an accused rapist, but gleefully defended one as well.

The only rape culture preying on impressionable, confused, young women, such as Jackie from Rolling Stone’s discredited story, is the culture created by Dunham, Lady Gaga, Rolling Stone and an industry far more interested in pushing a political narrative into the mainstream than punishing specific attackers. The details become phased out. Evidence becomes inconsequential and the narrative then becomes a moral fable, to be followed, believed and adhered to on broken knee without any bounds to truth, no different than an HBO sitcom or a pop song. Accusers are to automatically be believed without merit, because they then join the ranks and grow the movement. It becomes a crusade. Claiming to be raped becomes much more glamorous and acceptable than surviving and punishing an actual rapist. It becomes cool and then becomes a necessity to fit in.

Lena Dunham’s anonymous composite rapist works as a storyline for Girls and in her memoir. It is infinitely more interesting to her anti-conservative agenda and that narrative only works if we’re left with only the impression and details she provides, or in this case, chooses not to provide. Meanwhile other girls without the legal arsenal that Dunham has are being victimized by a man she protects. Exposing, confronting and convicting a rapist isn’t as easy as setting up a tumblr blog or tweeting about Beyonce, yet young courageous women without the army of lawyers Lena Dunham has, or the MSNBC platform Zerlina Maxwell has, do it every day. 

These girls are faceless to MTV and Rolling Stone and useless to the Rape Glam movement but they are the true heroes and the ones that deserve our attention and our support.

 

 

– SM –

 

 

 

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  1. Nick Reply

    I think you’ll turn off a lot of potentially agreeable readers with a label like “Rape Glam”. You’re almost begging the social justice crowd to ignore your good points.
    It IS sad that none of these celebrities will set a courageous example and pursue legal action against their attackers.
    It IS terrible that they’ll hypocritically work with Richardson and R Kelly, seemingly only concerned with empowerment when it doesn’t impede their careers.
    They have a real chance to change culture here. To make legal action socially acceptable. Instead they’re telling young women to shrug their shoulders and accept that men just get away with it. 
    Evidently fueling ideological opponents’ perception that rapists can be stopped is a greater sin than letting a real life, actual rapist go free.
    But, none of this makes rape claims “glamorous”. Really, use of the term just comes across like irrelevant, possibly offensive clickbait. Or is that the point?

    • Roger Reply

      With Rolling Stone, Dunham, Lady Gaga and their ilk leading this movement, what other word or phrase could he coin that would be more apt than “Rape Glam”? 

  2. Kelly Daley Reply

    An incredibly thoughtful piece. As a victim of sexual assault, I feel you really nailed the problem with this new political tactic of the femleft cool crowd. They aren’t trying to prevent assaults, or support other victims of sex assault, they are trying to push an agenda. Thank you for writing it. 

  3. court Reply

    I think another reason these feminist don’t want to prosecute their attackers is because they don’t actually think its their fail but the fault of white patriarchal society. Their goal is not to put men un jail and punish them but too emasculate them into nothing.

  4. Stacey Reply

    As always, great piece. It’s disgusting how this is becoming – you’ve worded it perfectly – Rape Glam. Just the other day I was listening to “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and a coworker said, “I hate that song. It’s so rapey.”

  5. Some Guy Reply

    An interesting piece.  I personally began to doubt the Lena Dunham story the moment she said that it was a notable campus republican.  The rest of the details, while superfluous, paint an almost comical picture of someone who should technically stand out to anyone and everyone on a campus like Oberlin.
    As vested as she is into the liberal progressive politics of sex and feminism, being raped or assaulted is the ultimate in street cred for the likes of her celebrity.  It gives weight and gravity to what she says.  It makes her a survivor.  Never mind the fact that she herself describes the sex as consensual, only thinking it to be rape at the behest of a friend who, like most people at Oberlin, probably
    had a strong bias against conservatives.  Now that she’s painted this rather elaborate story, so elaborate that people didn’t even need a last name to track down someone who fit the narrative to a T, she’s going to ride this one out to the end.  She has to.  Her Everything depends on it, now.

  6. Victor Erimita Reply

    Excellent. Best piece I’ve read on the subject. I especially like the comparison to Sharpton. Nick, I think you miss the point. There IS a glamorous aspect to rape in the twisted alternate universe of the Pop Left. Because victimhood is the ultimate status to which everyone in that world aspires. And the Regressives won’t engage in serious discussion or thought anyway. That is the last thing they will ever do.

  7. Glitchus Reply

    I’ve known several women who, out of the blue, would seem to actually brag about being raped, like it was a way to get attention, almost like it was some kind of badge of honor. I’ve taken each claim with a grain of salt, since they claim that they never reported the incidents.

  8. Anders Reply

    We think rape glam is something new, but it is not. Despite the trope of the hapless victim revictimised by society, remember the date rape hysteria in the early 90’s?  My girl friend back at the time said that she had been raped a few years previous, and, outraged, I pressed her about it. Until it became clear that she had been doing it to fit in. 
    For me, rape hysteria entrenches rather than loosens social norms. It celebrates and idealises the female victim, leaving little room for male victimisation and female perpetration – both of which, as multiple studies show, are far, far more prevalent than our society wants to believe. It particularly saddens me that it is exactly the movement that stands for gender equality that is the driving force, with tacit consent from social conservatives of course. 

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