Lena Dunham can take credit for Taylor Swift’s feminist awakening, and now the “Girls” creator is ready to bring more feminist-themed awareness to young women -- in the form of a weekly newsletter called Lenny.
“We want people who have totally diverse interests,” said Dunham, who's launching Lenny this fall with her HBO production partner, Jenni Konner. “People who want to talk about radical politics but also want to talk about fashion and also want to talk about Rihanna, and also understand that all of those things can be happening at the same time.”
The newsletter will be coming out every week and nearly everyone involved is a woman. And while the Internet can be a scary, troll-filled place, Dunham wants Lenny to be a safe atmosphere for all. They’ve decided to nix a comments section in order to keep trolls at bay and let people feel comfortable writing.
“We’ll be allowed to show the ugly and complicated thought processes that go into forming your own brand of feminism, and your own identity, because it’s not all clean back here,” Dunham said.
Editor-in-chief Jessica Grose, who was formerly an editor at Slate, said, “The internet feminism conversation can be very circular and limiting and exclusive. And it saddens me to see that a lot of the competition is about saying ‘you’re not feminist enough’: trying to kick people out of feminism rather than bring them in. And Lenny is an opportunity to say, ‘There are many different types of feminisms, and we can work together.’”
Dunham appreciates how pop culture and feminism have intertwined more lately, but also thinks a pop flavor to parts of feminism shouldn’t mean we don’t talk about deeper issues.
“I have no problem with the pop culturization of feminism -- I’m thrilled to see Beyoncé standing in front of the word ‘feminism.’ How can that hurt us?” she said, referencing the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. “But at the same time, it turns into a misunderstanding in which people think of feminism as ‘It’s feminist because I’m a woman and I’m doing it.’ And that’s not how it works.”
There still aren’t a lot of details on the newsletter yet, but we have our fingers crossed Taylor’s going to share some of her own feminist manifestos there.