Kevin Williamson (@KevinNR) is a masterful journalist who knows a thing or two about effective storytelling. Sometimes, as a writer, you don’t want to be the one to connect the dots. Just say, “Oh, look, here’s a dot and there is another dot,” and let your readers form their own conclusions. And so, having undertaken to read Lena Dunham’s latest autobiographical opus — taking a bullet for the team there, Kev —Williamson describes Dunham’s depraved childhood habits:And she is an Obama voter.
Her father, Carroll Dunham, is a painter noted for his primitive brand of highbrow pornography, his canvases anchored by puffy neon-pink labia; her photographer mother filled the family home with nude pictures of herself, “legs spread defiantly.” Self-styled radicals from old money, they were not the sort of people inclined to enforce even the most lax of boundaries. And they were, in their daughter’s telling, enablers of some very disturbing behavior that would be considered child abuse in many jurisdictions — Lena Dunham’s sexual abuse, specifically, of her younger sister, Grace, the sort of thing that gets children taken away from non-millionaire families without Andover pedigrees and Manhattanite social connections. Dunham writes of casually masturbating while in bed next to her younger sister, of bribing her with “three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds . . . anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.” At one point, when her sister is a toddler, Lena Dunham pries open her vagina — “my curiosity got the best of me,” she offers, as though that were an explanation. “This was within the spectrum of things I did.”That occurs in part one of the story, and then you read through part two of the story, until you get to part three of the story:
She sneers at “girls with boyfriends who looked like lesbians,” at a man guilty of “dressing vaguely like a middle-aged lesbian,” etc. “Lesbian” is Dunham’s shorthand for “awful.” On Girls, one of the characters scoffs that “dates are for lesbians,” and Dunham describes a childhood fear that she would become “the militant lesbian leader of a motorcycle gang,” but she also describes herself as “being in possession of a gay sister,” which fact she wields like a get-out-of-women’s-prison-free card against accusations of homophobia . . .Notice the artfulness that Kevin Williamson has employed here: Early in the story, we learn that the degenerate young Dunham molested her sister as a child. Then, after reading several hundred more words, we are reminded, “Oh, by the way, that little girl Lena molested? She grew up to be a homosexual.” There is no need for Williamson even to suggest a correlation between these two facts. Anyone who has studied developmental psychology understands it.
Lena Dunham: Voice of a Perverted Generation!