Lena Dunham — whose show occupies a grey zone in my heart — woke up from the wrong side of the bed and decided that it was funny to put a scarf on her head and make a “fundamentalist” joke.
I’m not sure why she thought this would be funny, but it happened. After a storm of criticism, she offered a kind-of apology, saying she “[d]idn’t realize what a bad time it was to make a joke like that.”
Feministing wrote an interesting piece responding to the Dunham controversy, asking whether it matters that Dunham is a “casual racist,” whether we’re hard on her because she’s a woman, and whether the media is focusing too much on Dunham’s personal behaviour too much.
To which, I say: of course, it matters. First of all, I find the classification of “casual racism” a bit problematic — especially from a site like Feministing. Are we now differentiating racism by their degrees and saying “some” racism is okay? When? Who gets to decide that?
I’m not afraid to say I expect something more from Dunham than say, Charlie Sheen or the creators of Two and a Half Men. Why? Because the same media, which rips Dunham apart, keeps on touting her as a representative of my generation and an inspiration for young women. She’s the voice of my generation that’ll carry comedy forward, they say, and make relatable comedy for “women.” Okay, that’s great. If that is the case then, I’d like her to remain at least somewhat sensitive to the issues that affect all kinds of women.
Women that wear hijabs, for example.