November 4, 2014

Within the speculum of things she did.

Everyone's talking about this passage from Lena Dunham's memoir. I'm just trying to understand it:
Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn’t resist and when I saw what was inside I shrieked. My mother came running. ‘Mama, Mama! Grace has something in there!’ My mother didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina. This was within the spectrum of things I did. She just got on her knees and looked for herself. It quickly became apparent that Grace had stuffed six or seven pebbles in there. My mother removed them patiently while Grace cackled, thrilled that her prank had been a success.
Grace, Lena's sister, was (apparently) 1 year old when this happened, and Lena was 7. I can't picture this scene. Quite aside from whether Lena did something horrible that should be held against her today, the writing sacrifices clarity for some spirit of fun, as if she expected readers to laugh and trip along to the next anecdote. But... what the hell happened? Maybe Lena herself doesn't know, but I have trouble believing that a 1 year old "stuffed six or seven pebbles" into her "vagina." Do I have to buy the book and study the Dunham oeuvre to figure out if she's one of those people who says "vagina" when she means "vulva"?

Vagina or vulva, it's still mystifying. And we're asked to believe that the 1 year old had conceived of a prank and was capable of discerning the success of that prank, that a 1 year old could think about the minds of others and feel thrilled that something she planned had worked out. We're asked to believe that a 1 year old "cackled" and that she cackled while her mother was extracting 6 or 7 pebbles from her vagina. At the beginning of the paragraph, when the baby is "babbling and smiling," she doesn't "resist" as her older sister begins her probe. Are we supposed to think that Grace had a plan to freak out Lena and, having inserted pebbles, she acted like nothing special was happening, in order to make the prank work?

And I can't understand the phrase "I had opened Grace’s vagina." What does it mean to "open" someone's vagina? That sounds like something that would require a speculum. But the writer doesn't seem to anticipate that the reader will stop and think about that. But why not? Who says "I... opened [a baby's] vagina"? I know Dunham has won immense praise for going places other writer's avoid, but how could she be so unaware of how that phrase would hit some readers? At least say "vulva" and give us accuracy (if that's accurate). But why give us a clear picture of a baby's genitalia and speak the language of breaking in? In a cultural climate where we are asked to be very sensitive about what constitutes sexual violation even of adults, why would she present a baby's body like that?

Finally: "This was within the spectrum of things I did." We're invited to imagine other incidents. This one was just a sample — the cutest, funniest anecdote perhaps. But for readers who don't take things like this lightly, who don't laugh and move on to some other anecdote, on some other spectrum, this spectrum is a subject for contemplation. And, since Lena too was a child, the contemplation centers on the mother — the "mother who didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina."

92 comments:

amielalune said...

I'm sorry, Professor, do you really think there are a lot of readers who do "take these things lightly?" Just laughed at Lena's funny antics and moved on?

I don't. Unless they are bottom feeding morons like this woman.

Brando said...

I'm just nauseated at the whole thing, and hope it's just a made-up story she included to try and shock and entertain somehow. Because if true, we'd need to accept that her mother was called in by a 7 year old to inspect the 1 year old's vagina, and found objects stuffed in there, and believed the 7 year old's story that the 1 year old did that to herself??? No reprimand for the 7 year old molesting the 1 year old???

My sister is four years younger than me and I don't recall ever doing anything inappropriate with her, but I can accept that some little kids may not know better and could unintentionally molest other, smaller kids. It's not something to be brushed off as "cute", though, and any adult discovering this has to correct that behavior immediately.

Again, I'm not sure I believe any of that story though--she also claims to have been raped by some guy at Oberlin and the guy is now being investigated, so we'll see what comes of that.

The Drill SGT said...

If the basic result (stones in a vagina) were correct, if I were mom, I'd think it was the older girl, not a one year old.

I thought your average rich people didn't let babies eat pebbles via any orifice..

PB Reader said...

Aren't 1 year olds still in diapers? Aren't those on relatively snugly to keep their hands out of any mess they make? Why would Ms Dunham "lean down" and investigate her sister without mentioning taking off a snug diaper?

Sounds contrived.

The need to shock and startle on the part of Ms Dunham seems to be a cry for attention and professional help.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm sorry, Professor, do you really think there are a lot of readers who do "take these things lightly?" Just laughed at Lena's funny antics and moved on?"

Within the class of persons who have bought and are reading the book, yes. They're caught up in the comic voice of a writer they love and they are enjoying her presence and going where she takes them. That is, I think, the mental state of most consumers of light reading.

gspencer said...

Vagina or vulva, you might find that mystifying.

What I find mystifying is the fact that you're reading something from this Dunham character.

She has nothing of value to teach anyone.

CStanley said...

Babies and toddlers do put stuff in their own orifices, but presumably this was a diapered tot so it's odd that she would have been outside without a diaper on (admittedly there could be context to explain this- they were drying off after swimming or something.)

The part that really stretches credulity to me is that the baby just happened to perform this act on the same day that her older sister became curious to look at her genitalia....and from there it becomes easy to imagine that the older girls curiosity about the "sac of eggs" inside the younger girl triggered a desire to visualize some egg-shaped objects.

So the story as written seems suspect to me. If this really happened and was part of a "spectrum", then I just hope the family members get help. I'm further disturbed at the idea that anyone could so easily normalize this behavior as to write jokingly about it.

Bob Boyd said...

This is pebbling. She's a pebbler. Once they start, they can't quit.
Pebblers often lead secret double lives, by day seeming relatively normal, but late at night they're creeping around with a bag of pebbles and a fish bat.

Bob Boyd said...

Pebbling is a relatively unknown vice, but occasionally you do see references to it in popular culture.
Remember The Flintstones? Pebbles and Bam Bam? That's one prominent example.

rhhardin said...

It's a Demonsthenes thing.

Today her sister is unusually eloquent.

chillblaine said...

The one year old was playing Kung Fu. "When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave."

Mark said...

If such behavior was tolerated, it goes a long way toward explaining why Dunham thinks she has a right to sue somebody for simply printing her words and commenting (reasonably, it seems to me) upon them.

Poor little Lena never got in any trouble for any of that during her formative years. Why should she be punished for it now?

rhhardin said...

A friend told me that she didn't know she had a vagina until she was ten.

Whether this is unusual or common I can't say.

Of course it wasn't on TV so much back then, so how could she find out.

clint said...

My favorite part is where Dunham sets her lawyers on people who (like you) are accurately quoting her book and pointing out how deeply disturbing this is.

MathMom said...

Commenter Lauren at Ace of Spades looked into the NY Penal Code and finds that Lena Dunham would be in deep shit if she wasn't liberal. My apologies to Lauren - I don't know how to link directly to her work. But the questions raised in the post about whether the reviewers even read her book, or if they did, decided to bury these claims by Dunham, are worth considering.

Dunham should probably be in jail.

23 Dunham is, by her own confession, guilty of N.Y. Penal Law � 130.52 Forcible touching

68 Also this.

N.Y. Penal Law 130.60 Sexual abuse, second degree

Class A misdemeanor
A person commits sexual abuse in the second degree when the offender subjects another person to sexual contact when the victim is:
Incapable of consent because of some other reason than being under 17 years old, or Less than 14 years old


126 It gets worse.

N.Y. Penal Law 130.65 Sexual abuse, first degree

Class D felony
A person commits sexual abuse in the first degree when the offender subjects another person to sexual contact:
By forcible compulsion,
When the victim is physically helpless, or
When the victim is less than 11 years old, or
When the victim is less than 13 years old and the offender is 21 years old or older.


153 The claim that Grace put the pebbles inside herself is...hard to believe. If Lena was the one who placed them there she's also guilty of

N.Y. Penal Law 130.66 Aggravated sexual abuse, third degree

Class D felony
A person commits aggravated sexual abuse in the third degree when the offender:
Outside of a valid medical purpose, inserts a foreign object into another's vagina, urethra, penis, rectum, or anus:
By forcible compulsion,
When the victim is physically helpless, or
When the victim is less than 11 years old


181 Then there's this. I'd say 17 years qualifies.

N.Y. Penal Law � 130.80 Course of sexual conduct against a child, second degree

Class D felony
A person commits course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree when, over a period of 3 months or more:
The offender engages in 2 or more acts of sexual conduct against a child less than 11 years old, or
The offender is 18 years old or more and engages in 2 or more acts of sexual conduct against a child less than 13 years old


189 And, finally,

N.Y. Penal Law � 255.27 Incest, first degree

Class B felony
A person is guilty of incest in the first degree when the offender commits any of the crimes of rape in the first degree or criminal sexual act in the first degree against a person known to be related to the offender, through marriage or not, as an ancestor, descendant, sibling (in whole or half-blood), uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece

Anglelyne said...

Everyone's talking about this passage from Lena Dun....

No we're not. I stopped reading at "Lena Dun...".

Ron said...

I've always wanted to hear Sylvester the cat (frenemy of Twitty Bird!) say the word "speculum."

Henry said...

Lena Dunham is one of many celebrities I'm glad I don't have any interest in.

FleetUSA said...

This is proof, as if we need it, that Lena is not too smart.

Herb said...

she's sueing the blog that highlighted this passage now.

Clayton Hennesey said...

You know, if I'd also made up such a story saying I'd stuffed six or seven blue tick hounds into the back of a popular SUV I doubt I'd receive either the accolades or the exquisite outrage porn climaxes that Dunham has.

Which just goes to show that it takes the true voice of a generation to know just what sort of narrative is most likely to gull not only the generation in question but their worried parents as well.

Annie said...

A one year old is not that coordinated to stuff small objects up it's vagina. How does it even know it has one -- though in that household they were hanging on the walls-- it's possible she put two and two together.

It's more believable that she stuffed them down her diaper where they stuck to damp skin.

Original Mike said...

I don't know who Lena Dunham is, and now I'm glad I don't.

MathMom said...

Can a one-year-old's arms even reach to her "vagina"? (Yes, she probably means vulva, but people these days think anything south of the belly button and north of the knees on a female is the vagina).

In early America, when birthdays were not carefully recorded or observed, it was considered time to put a child in school when her arm had grown long enough to reach over her head to touch the top of the opposite ear. It's really surprising how short a baby's arms are, and I'll bet a one-year-old's arms are nowhere near long enough, and in half of children their fingers are not nimble enough to grasp a bunch of pebbles and insert them anywhere but the mouth.

But take a look at Dunham's father's "art", and you see that there is a family obsession with female genitalia and nudity (her mom evidently had photographs of herself spread-eagled, nude, around the house), so it's just mildly possible that they put the girls outside naked. If so, the little girl could have sat in some pebbles.

But didn't she grow up in a high-rise apartment in Manhattan? Aren't these apartments somewhat deficient in lawns and driveways and probably pebbles lying around?

Dunham is one sick puppy.

Tank said...

Another thing in the speculum:

As she grew, I took to bribing her for her time and affection: one dollar in quarters if I could do her makeup like a “motorcycle chick.” Three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds. Whatever she wanted to watch on TV if she would just “relax on me.” Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.

@gspencer: Maybe we need to be aware of what someone with Dunham's following and popularity is saying.

acm said...

The idea that anyone should be in jail at 28 for something he or she did at 7 is ludicrous. If she'd admitting hitting her sister, even seriously injuring her, at 7, we wouldn't be digging up the penal code for assaults against children. Come on now.

That said, it's disturbing on so many levels. I can believe that 7-year-old Lena didn't understand that examining her sister's vulva to see if it was like hers was very, very different from comparing belly buttons. Her parents don't seem to regard genitals as private, based on their artwork. I can believe that 7-year-old Lena thought Grace put the pebbles in as a prank. If 28-year-old Lena still thinks either of those things are true, or that the incident is something to be shared and laughed about with strangers, that's appalling.

I also don't think it's that odd that the one-year-old was without a diaper. Lots of toddlers rip their diapers off the minute they get a chance. If she was already all or mostly potty-trained (as many one-year-olds are) and especially if they were outside on a warm day (which they were) I can definitely see their mom just letting her stay naked rather than wrestling her into a diaper.

Tank said...

TruthRevolt has a great response to Dunham's lawyers here.

H said...

I read somewhere and I don't feel like looking it up, that Dunham's father was an artist famous for painting pictures of women's sexual parts (vulva? vagina? you tell me.) And Dunham's mother was a photographer famous for taking nude pictures of herself with her legs spread apart. So I think we need to cut some slack to Lena and her sister growing up in a household like this.

Beldar said...

I refuse to give this overgrown child the satisfaction she gets from outraging decent people.

Lena Who? Who cares.

chillblaine said...

"her mom evidently had photographs of herself spread-eagled, nude, around the house."

Gross.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FedkaTheConvict said...

>>The idea that anyone should be in jail at 28 for something he or she did at 7 is ludicrous. If she'd admitting hitting her sister, even seriously injuring her, at 7, we wouldn't be digging up the penal code for assaults against children. Come on now.<<

The behavior continued until she was at least 17. For example...

"As she grew, I took to bribing her for her time and affection: one dollar in quarters if I could do her makeup like a “motorcycle chick.” Three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds. Whatever she wanted to watch on TV if she would just “relax on me.” Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying."

And...

"I shared a bed with my sister, Grace, until I was seventeen years old. She was afraid to sleep alone and would begin asking me around 5:00 P.M. every day whether she could sleep with me. I put on a big show of saying no, taking pleasure in watching her beg and sulk, but eventually I always relented. Her sticky, muscly little body thrashed beside me every night as I read Anne Sexton, watched reruns of SNL, sometimes even as I slipped my hand into my underwear to figure some stuff out."

Mark said...

So I think we need to cut some slack to Lena and her sister growing up in a household like this.

I certainly don't think Ms. Dunham belongs in jail, even for the manipulative heavy cuddling she did up until her sister was 11. (Your mileage may vary on that, but I'm of the opinion that taking something bad and making it a lot worse for everyone involved is generally unwise.)

But the cease and desist thing? That shows Dunham hasn't really grown up any in the years since. She (purportedly) did it. She wrote it. She doesn't like the way people judge her over it, tough shit. Our little hothouse flower better learn how to deal with the cold or she's going to have a rough rest-of-her-life.

gerry said...

And then there's this:


"As she grew, I took to bribing her for her time and affection: one dollar in quarters if I could do her makeup like a “motorcycle chick.” Three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds. Whatever she wanted to watch on TV if she would just “relax on me.” Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.


And it gets better:


I shared a bed with my sister, Grace, until I was seventeen years old. She was afraid to sleep alone and would begin asking me around 5:00 P.M. every day whether she could sleep with me. I put on a big show of saying no, taking pleasure in watching her beg and sulk, but eventually I always relented. Her sticky, muscly little body thrashed beside me every night as I read Anne Sexton, watched reruns of SNL, sometimes even as I slipped my hand into my underwear to figure some stuff out.


And the Professor wrote I know Dunham has won immense praise for going places other writer's avoid.

This is just the progressive way to normalize pedophilia. The slope is slippery.

Oh, and thank you for supporting the cultural changes, Professor...remember "It's over"?

pm317 said...

Maybe the woman got the idea from watching too much Pebbles Flintstone. Or she is following her hero, Obama and creating composite characters.. this is like the reality TV version of memoirs. Anyway, who the hell wants to read her memoir (yeah, yeah, I know, the same people who read and voted for Obama). Somehow, it is all distasteful, if not downright disgusting.

Sabinal said...

if anyone should be in trouble, shouldn't be the editor (too)? isn't it their responsibility to read these things? This isn't de Sade c. 1790

Brando said...

"But the cease and desist thing? That shows Dunham hasn't really grown up any in the years since. She (purportedly) did it. She wrote it. She doesn't like the way people judge her over it, tough shit. Our little hothouse flower better learn how to deal with the cold or she's going to have a rough rest-of-her-life."

Isn't it obvious that the cease and desist is just another way to sell more copies of the book? She wants attention and money and is getting both.

MagicalPat said...

I don't mean to go all Occams Razor on this but, perhaps Lena stuffed the pebbles in her sisters privates. A one year old would probably scream, and Lena says what every kid says, "She did it", when mom came in to see what was up.

She was farting around down there anyway.. Seems that an odd ball 7 year old Lena might have lost her marbles in her sister yoohoo.

Maybe she was comparing capacities.

William said...

If the incident happened at all, it happened when her sister was three or four years older. That would also make Lena three or four years older.....If the incident never happened, that's even worse. Who fantasizes about putting pebbles in babies' vaginas?.......I read a biography of Mickey Mantle. He was sexually abused by his babysitter when he was a young child. His biographer claims that this was responsible for his becoming a compulsive horndog. I'd bet anything Lena had a profound effect on her sister's sexuality, and probably not a beneficial one.......Lena should stick to writing about rapist Republicans. There's a big market for that.

tim maguire said...

Lest we forget, this is a woman who also wrote about her own rape experience, including details of how she talked dirty to him and encouraged him to keep going.

RecChief said...

Just think, if you believe that what she did is horrible, it's within the spectrum of her behavior. That means, there are things she did that are worse.

I'm with The Drill SGT, I think Lena stuffed the stones in her sister.

RecChief said...

And the behavior wasn't just limited to when Lena was 7. It apparently continued well into her teens

MadisonMan said...

If she did put the stones in, it makes me wonder who put the idea in her head to do it.

Xmas said...

What Fedka pointed out, in the anecdotes about her sister, she makes it clear that the sexual behavior lasted until Dunham was 17 (and her sister 10 or 11).

As I read somewhere else, Anne Sexton isn't really an appropriate thing for a young girl to read either.

Boltforge said...

What she wrote about doesn't occur naturally with children of that age. It does occur with children sexually abused by adults.

CStanley said...

Her sister's Twitter comments here:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/03/showbiz/lena-dunham-book/

If by "policing" she means that parents should bother" to figure out how rocks got into their babies' vulvas, then yes, I am for policing.

CatherineM said...

Dunham deflects by congratulating critics who claim they went through childhood without seeing a "vagina." If she told the average story of "you show me yours, I will show you mine," no one would be discussing.

Perhaps all of her therapy had a lot of suggestions from her therapist and what she thinks she remembers didn't happen. There is no way a 1 year old came up with a game of putting pebbles inside her.

Her story of her campus rape is also so politically on the nose. It wasn't just any boy, it was the president of the college republicans. Of course.

Michael K said...

This troubled young woman seems to attract those who like weird things. I'm wondering about this generation having just read "Gone Girl," a novel I read that was highly praised and which has 28,500 customer reviews on Amazon. It was weird and almost unreadable. There was almost no one likable in the story.

Is this an indicator of the thinking of the Obama voters among this generation ?

Mike said...

I suspect this story, like just about everything Dunham says, is BS. I suspect at least 70% of the book is fiction. She's a ... what, comic writer? For all her outrage, I'm sure she loves all this publicity for her book.

Larry Nelson said...

I wonder if Marshall McLuhan visualized it would come to this.

Dunham could package and market her own feces on the internet and be proud of it.

Brando said...

"Dunham deflects by congratulating critics who claim they went through childhood without seeing a "vagina." If she told the average story of "you show me yours, I will show you mine," no one would be discussing."

Exactly--there's a world of difference between seeing a vagina, and handling another person's vagina or sticking things into it.

The rape story is also a cheap shot--if she was raped, and saw fit to not report it, she shouldn't have given information in her book that would identify the culprit (it's not too hard to figure out who the college Republican president was at the time, so leaving his name out doesn't protect his anonymity).

If this is the "voice of her generation" then the generation is doomed.

rhhardin said...

I don't suppose Judy Chicago has a book.

Anonymous said...

King hell crazy chick, if you ask me. BTW, the sister has appeared in her shows.

Jenn said...

"I suspect this story, like just about everything Dunham says, is BS. I suspect at least 70% of the book is fiction. "

Absolutely. I'm pretty sure most of this is just Dunham making up - or more likely, seriously exaggerating - stuff that she did to seem "fucked up" since that's apparently the raison d'ĂȘtre for her and people who like her. And her acting shocked and "rage spiraled" that anyone would take it seriously is pretty funny, since this was all orchestrated anyway, to freak out the squares.

gerry said...

Heh.

Steve Austin said...

People should read the twitter responses by her sister. Her sister sort of implies that the "victim" should be able to define if they were hurt at all by this incident because people's sexual views and actions are all personal and can't be judged.

Sort of goes against the new California college code on dating and rape.

MaxedOutMama said...

Yeah, very few people who have taken care of children that age believe that the baby stuffed pebbles up her vagina. Didn't happen. Whatever did happen, that didn't.

This woman's a loon. And what is she thinking to write a book including all this stuff about her SISTER'S vagina? Way NOT to go, and it proves that she is still a loon.

I feel sorry for the sister!!

Mark said...

Isn't it obvious that the cease and desist is just another way to sell more copies of the book? She wants attention and money and is getting both.

That's the kind interpretation.

Brando said...

This could be the thing that ends her run as a Leftist fauxminist icon. They can tolerate quite a lot, but casually brushing off molesting a kid should gross them out.

If it doesn't, then it'll be a pretty sad state of affairs.

Matt said...

Lena Dunham spent ten years ritualistically abusing her sister both sexually and psychologically. Anyone not a darling of the Left would have immediately been ostracized.

Her sister claims that she should get to decide if it is abuse? Is that the approach with battered wives too?

Perhaps a new rule is needed along the lines of Clinton's one grope rule.

Matt said...

From a previous Lena Dunham thread...

"A smarter tweet from Lena Dunham: 'Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay. Seriously, do not forget that the person who stole these pictures and leaked them is not a hacker: they’re a sex offender.'"

If leaking the photos makes the leaker a sex offender, what does Dunham's behavior make her?

From Inwood said...

60+ comments here on this?

"You can't be serious!"

Best comment elsewhere:

Iowahawk: Lena Dunham cancels book tour to spend more time with sister! independent.co.uk/arts-entertain…

Bob Ellison said...

Let's assume that Lena Dunham made it all up. There is reason to suppose so: she writes about stuff that seems extremely unlikely and other stuff that seems extremely precocious.

We would reasonably conclude that Lena Dunham has a strong imagination, and possibly a loose connection with truth and morality.

That's what a feminist writes like!

Uninterested Observer said...

It's micro aggression. But she went to Oberlin, so it's ok.

Scott said...

Doesn't Kia make a model called Specula?

Anonymous said...

So you think Lena put the pebbles in and lied about it for so long it has become a family truth?

The passage I read said "pried" open. I'm going to assume that was a mischaracterization right up there with "I can see Russia from my house."

I'd check further, but I think I've spent enough of my time on tales of Lena's baby sister's vagina.



Joe said...

Lena's sister identifies herself as "queer". Any connection?

madAsHell said...

Perhaps Lena was measuring gauge like a shotgun.

richard mcenroe said...

Ann could of course have printed out the rest of Lena's sister-abuse anecdotes.

But she went with the "cutest, lightest" one.

What Lena Dunham did was seriously F***ED UP, regardless of her age (and it continued til she was what, 17?) and it is even more seriously F***ed UP that she not only saw nothing wrong with putting it in print (outside the statute of limitations and all) but that she expects to be applauded and defended for it.

CatherineM said...

Additionally, I keep reading women defending her saying we all did weird sexual things when we were little. I remember a few "I'll show you mine if you show me yours," and don't recall anything sexual about it. It was just curiosity. There also was no touching. I don't even think there was an idea that something could go in. It was just "cool, you can pee your name in dirt. I wish I could do that."

Birkel said...

I do not believe the abuse stopped when Lena was 17. That is too convenient for me to believe it true.

Ralph Hyatt said...

She admits that as a teenager she masturbated in front of her prepubescent sister. That sort of thing gets people who don't come from old money put on the sex offender register.

Steve Austin said...

She just posted some sort of "apology" or clarification statement to TIME magazine.

It may just be dawning on her that even her liberal supporters were horrified at all this.

One can only hope her 15 minutes of fame are up.

Birkel said...

Does anybody else think a person who abuses a close relative for 10 straight years would suddenly stop just short of an 18th birthday? Is that the pattern one notices for serial abusers?

Ms. Dunham, I am sure, would not want to face charges of abuse as an adult. I'll bet even female child abusers do poorly after conviction for felony child abuse in women's prisons.

tim in vermont said...

"The baby did it!" What a trip! You vile old right wingers!

What were the odds both that the baby did it, and that Lena just happened to look there at that moment.

In my household, that would have been the last day that Lena would ever have been left unsupervised with her sister, but I am just a vile old right winger who would take it seriously if a minor was torturing cats in the garage or such like fluffery that no you child should be judged for.

MadisonMan said...

She just posted some sort of "apology" or clarification statement to TIME magazine.

Is she sorry we were offended?

Revenant said...

I read a biography of Mickey Mantle. He was sexually abused by his babysitter when he was a young child. His biographer claims that this was responsible for his becoming a compulsive horndog.

This theory would be more convincing if so many of his contemporaries weren't also compulsive horndogs. Personally I'm just going with "he was rich, famous, healthy, and male".

tim in vermont said...

I saw one of those Taxicab Confessions with a guy who talked about having an outsized dick. He said that the first time he had sex was with his babysitter when he was like 11 or 12, and that it just went on from there.

He seemed both proud and sad that his prick had defined his life.

jr565 said...

The incident where her sister stuck pebbles in her vagina sounds suspect. My guess is Lena put them there and then blamed her little sister.

Lucien said...

Vulva, vagina, meh.

The discussion makes me suspect the event didn't happen, or that some variant of it did, and was mus-remembered by Ms. Dunham. Of course, if it were consciously fabricated then: a) why?; and b) I guess that would mean no actual wrongdoing occurred (even if you think the event as described constitutes some wrong-doing).

Julie C said...

I don't think she's liking the publicity of this at all. She just cancelled a chunk of her book tour.

This is creepy behavior and definitely not within the realm of normal childhood sexual exploration.

Christy said...

Does this mean Dunham is a pedophile?

LarryK said...

The whole thing is disordered and creepy; it goes way beyond normal childhood curiosity and experimentation, but Dunham plays the whole thing for laughs and expects her audience to laugh along and, shockingly, it did. This episode made its way past the book editors and into the book, and since it was published six weeks ago, the only review to mention this freakish event is National Review. Its reward is legal threats and condemnation from the cultural elite for being uptight and judgmental. Unfortunately for them, America is still largely filled with normal people who find it disturbing when little girls look inside their sister's vagina (or vulva, whatever) and then write about what a hoot it was for the whole family.

With luck, this controversy will go viral and derail Lena Dunham's execrable career. OK, let me dream...

Jason said...

Appropos - My favorite song about child sexual abuse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFQPNApwJGU

Lydia said...

Dunham's statement at TIME:

I am dismayed over the recent interpretation of events described in my book Not That Kind of Girl.

First and foremost, I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.

Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term “sexual predator” was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.

As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval.

Matt said...

She doesn't condone abuse; she only commits it.

Dave Schumann said...

It's blindingly obvious that (a) Lena put the pebbles in; (b) the mother knew perfectly fucking well and didn't care; (c) Lena thought that, having fooled the mother, it was plausible that a 1-yr-old would stick pebbles in her own vagina; (d) having no children of her own, or running this story past any parents before publishing it, it never occurred to her over her whole life that people with infant daughters would know it was bullshit.

Dave Schumann said...

This is a good piece:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789902/

...it would be EXTREMELY unusual -- practically unheard of -- for a pediatrician to encounter an object in the vagina of a 1-year-old that wasn't put there by someone else.

Dave Schumann said...

And on the off chance that the infant really did stick rocks in her own vagina, from the article above:

"It is also known that children who have been exposed to sexual abuse will exhibit a greater number of sexualized behaviors, including inserting objects into the vagina or anus."

Joe said...

To borrow from a comment elsewhere, if "Liam Dunham" had written this book, he would be [rightly] crucified by the press and feminists and be out of a job. He would be ostracized from society.

What I find very disturbing is the number of feminists and liberals who are claiming that Dunham's behavior is normal, perfectly fine and happens all the time. Just no.

Doug said...

No matter how hard I try, I just can't hate self-absorbed celebrities enough. I blame myself.

wildswan said...

Wouldn't a one year old be wearing diapers? Or pull ups? And if a one year old got six pebbles she'd more likely put them in her mouth so why was she anywhere near six pebbles?