During a special hour-long interview on Re/code Decode, Lena and fellow creative mind behind Girls Jenni Konner sat down to discuss their new feminist newsletter, as well as online harassment.
The 29-year-old received a lot of hate after a recent snap she posted of herself in her boyfriend Jack Antonoff‘s Calvin Klein underwear — which wasn’t particularly different compared to pictures she’s posted in the past. But that didn’t stop online commenters from putting in their two cents.
“It wasn’t a graphic picture — I was wearing men’s boxers, and it turned into the most rabid, disgusting debate about women’s bodies, and my Instagram page was somehow the hub for misogynists for the afternoon.”
Usually this kind of negative attention wouldn’t get to Miz Dunham, but she admits feeling a certain responsibility with her younger fans:
“I had two feelings: a) I don’t want to share my space like this, but b) The teenage girls who come to my page because they want to see what I’m reading or see a picture of my weird underwear eating dog or see what Jenny in my office looks like — I don’t want them seeing a picture of me in my boyfriend’s boxers and then be told I’m obese and anyone who looks like me is repulsive and I deserve to be dragged around and smacked.”
Dunham then detailed some of the scary things people tweet at her:
“I think even if you think you can separate yourself from the kind of verbal violence that’s being directed at you, that it creates some really kind of cancerous stuff inside you, even if you think, ‘Oh, I can read like 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death.’ That’s verbal abuse. Those aren’t words you’d accept in an interpersonal relationship. For me, personally, it was safer to stop.”
We can’t say we blame her!
The hateful comments became such a problem that Lena decided to hand over her Twitter account:
“I don’t look at Twitter anymore. I tweet, but I do it through someone else. I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all, so I didn’t want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it truly wasn’t a safe space for me.”
You gotta do what you gotta do!
While Twitter may be off limits for Lena, she hasn’t quite given up on Instagram — yet.
“I still man my own Instagram. It’s a more positive community. It’s really immediate. I take a picture, I post it, I move on.'”
We hope it stays that way — we love having her around!
[Image via Instagram.]