11 Awesome Women Who Do Feminism the “Wrong” Way


Lena Dunham

Photo: Jason LaVeris/Getty

It’s like, “Oh, look at me, I’m Lena Dunham. I wrote and produced and directed and starred in my own indie film that caught Judd Apatow’s eye and now I have my own Golden Globe-winning show on HBO called Girls and it’s about girls and it’s written and directed and acted-in by me, a girl with a regular human body, and sometimes I show my body, and in an entertainment world saturated with male antiheroes — about whom no one complains about “lack of fuckabiliy,” mind you — I created complicated characters who make really terrible decisions sometimes because that’s how stories work.” Which: Fine, whatever, I guess. But way to only show entitled girls. And way to infantilize them. And way to employ only the actors who are the children of famous people. If Dunham had been a true feminist, she would have written about a highly-functioning 24-year-olds who have their careers and love lives sorted and survive in one of the world’s expense cities without any help from their parents. Also, she would have hired real unknown actresses. Well-educated, un-connected, serious thespian ladies. Like happens so often in Hollywood.

J.K. Rowling

Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty

It’s always struck me as odd that we celebrate JK Rowling for creating the “best-selling book series in history” and “breathing life into a dying industry” and “bettering the lives and imaginations of innumerable children” and “spending tens of millions dollars every year to combat poverty and social inequality” when the books in question are about a boy. In fact, two of the three main characters are boys. You want to be a feminist icon, Rowling? Write a book with a female heroine. It doesn’t count if her name isn’t in the book’s title.


Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty

I don’t know, I just think that if I had the most-watched nationally syndicated talk show for half a century, and also was a self-made billionaire, and also was the world’s most influential woman, I’d spend a little less time talking to housewives and stay-at-home moms with pedestrian language like “be your best self!” and more time talking to like-minded, highly-educated ladies about things that matter, like the institution of heteronormativity and the deconstruction of phallocentric hegemony.

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