While we might be a generation more jaded than any other that preceded us, it is incredible that so many are still unable to see through marketing schemes as disingenuous as Dolly Parton’s entire body. Let’s take, for example, the latest bout of “selfless” actions from “Bad Blood” girl squad members Taylor Swift and, now, Lena Dunham, who have, for some reason, taken it upon themselves to publicly defend Kesha in spite of the fact that neither one represents in any way the free, party girl spirit of the Nashville-born goddess of trashy good times.
In the wake of Swift donating $250,000 to Kesha as though she was some sort of pauper incapable of handling her own affairs, Dunham, too, has felt compelled to use her irksome brand of feminism, Lenny Letter, to “speak out” about Kesha’s circumstances, when, all she really did was speak about herself, as evidenced from the get-go with the opening paragraph, “When I saw the outcome of Kesha’s court case last Friday, I felt sick. Actually sick—I wanted to ask my Uber to pull over so I could throw up in a New York City trash can. The photos of her beautiful face crumpled with tears, the legally necessary but sickening use of the word ‘alleged’ over and over in reference to the assault she says she remembers so vividly—it all created a special brand of nausea that comes when public events intersect with your most private triggers.”
Clearly, Dunham, like Swift, shares a special ability to make every “feminine issue” not about the issue itself, but about how it relates to her (remember Swift’s Grammy speech?). The public does not care about Dunham’s “private triggers,” or how she rides around in Ubers feeling sick over news she reads about on her latest iPhone model. They care about Kesha, and the injustice she is experiencing–not how this relates to Dunham and quote unquote women everywhere.
Elsewhere, Dunham misguidedly asserts, “Sony could make this go away. But instead the company has chosen to engage in a protracted legal battle to protect Gottwald’s stake in Kesha’s future.” In actuality, Kesha’s future has far more to do with Dr. Luke himself’s willingness to renegotiate the contract she entered into, which is a complicated quagmire tying her to a myriad of his music businesses, as indicated by the following, “Sebert is linked to Sony Music through a music furnishing agreement negotiated by Gottwald’s company, rather than an outright recording contract. The agreement was established four years after she entered a professional relationship with Gottwald’s firm, Kasz Money. On Jan. 27, 2009, Kasz Money negotiated an agreement with RCA/Jive, a label group of Sony, to furnish Sebert’s recording artist services to Sony.” So maybe Dunham ought to do a bit more research for her little blog before she takes to black and white statements for her journal-esque writing.
Later, Dunham again makes it about herself by sidebarring, “Someone I love very much has been engaged in a years-long battle to allow her and her young daughter to move closer to where her successful business is (and away from her abuser).” Okay, we’re real sorry about that but, try to remember, you’re writing this piece “for Kesha.”
The concluding statement of the “essay” is an italicized reference to Network and, again, to Dunham herself: “Lena Dunham is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore.” So am I, but mainly because I keep seeing women take other women’s pain and turn it into publicity for themselves. Indeed the only women who have handled Kesha’s plight somewhat selflessly have been Adele and, surprisingly, Lady Gaga.