: why Lena Dunham’s sexual abuse accusation matters

I found myself in tears while reading this article about Lena Dunham today. This isn’t just child’s play. It is a twisted, abusive form of sexuality, and a sober reminder that all of us have sinful tendencies that lead towards harmful behavior. In order to satisfy her own curiosity, Lena manipulated her sister with things like TV shows and candy. At its core, it is abusive because sexuality was never intended to be traded for things. It is a misuse of intimacy.


For whatever reason– sin, her own story of abuse, her family of origin– Lena believed (and still seems to believe) it was normal to use her sister’s body to explore and satisfy her sexual curiosity. I cannot speak for her sister, but as someone who was abused in a very similar fashion when I was eleven (read my story here), I need to say that this story matters. Being abused in exchange for a Gameboy severely distorted my view of intimacy, sexuality, love, God and relationships. For months I believed I was only valuable to him as long as I did what he wanted. I equated my worth with a Gameboy that cost eighty dollars. This thought process bled into every area of my life. I believed that in order to be accepted by God and my friends and family, I needed to do things for them. To be myself was not enough. It was never enough.
 
I am not demonizing Lena, either. I understand that all of us are broken and have distorted views of sex and ways of dealing with it. Still, what she did was wrong. For it to be celebrated or normalized or laughed at undermines the seriousness of abuse and could cause people to believe they are making “too big a deal” out of childhood abuse instances.
 
For years I hid in the dark, believing what happened to me wasn’t a “big deal” because he didn’t technically rape me. But abuse, in any severity, is a big deal. It devalues human worth and distorts sexual intimacy. 
 
I am a living testament to the healing and transforming power of Christ in the midst of abuse. He has changed me and freed me from the chains of shame, guilt, and fear. If you’ve been abused, please know that it MATTERS, you are not alone and can tell someone about it.

This matters. It matters, it matters, it matters.

8 thoughts on “: why Lena Dunham’s sexual abuse accusation matters

  1. Christ or not; people need to see someone when they get abused…however…subconscious. What Lena did was really cruel to her sister who has already accused Lena of trying to control her life. We should look to the parents…or again are abusers going to forgive these 'I got pregnant for xxx reason but really we're mother nature'? Tired of this.

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  2. Have you even read her book? I read that whole book in a day because it was the most amazing, touching, and relatable memoir I’ve ever read. Every quote in that article is taken out of context. Before you continue to slander someone, you should do your research. Everything she did as a child, I see every time I’m with my nieces and nephews. Child curiosity is innocent. They look for acceptance and answers in different ways because they don’t know how to yet. They don’t have shame and do not understand what is deemed appropriate as an adult. When my niece looks at my nephew’s privates and makes comments about it, it’s not because she’s twisted or abusive, it’s because she has no idea why it looks different from her own. When my baby nephew grabs his boy cousin’s face and makes him kiss, it’s out of love.
    I too was abused as a child and candy was used as the persuasion in one instance. But if you actually read her book, it is no where close to sexual abuse or anything you or I experienced. Pretty sickened by this entry.

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    1. Hey Allie, thanks for commenting. I see what you’re saying as far as sexual exploration being an inevitable (and even healthy) part of adolescence. God created sex and human sexuality and called it good. God created Lena and called her good. I am not demonizing anyone (as I hopefully expressed in my post), as I know we are all in need of grace. However, to make light of and later defend (see her tweets after the accusations came out) any form of manipulative sexual exploration– whether or not it was ill-meaning at the time– is wrong and distorts the way God intended sexuality to be viewed. To bribe your sister with lollipops or television in order to kiss her is not done out of love but selfishness. And while these childhood instances may be common (not normal sexual curiosity, but manipulation), they are certainly not how God created us to function. Child or adult, these tendencies in us should further remind us we desperately need the the love and grace of Christ to redeem our brokenness.

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      1. I’ve read all her tweets and agree with everything she said. She never said it was “sexual” exploration, “physical” exploration. I don’t understand how you can call a child “selfish” for such acts when it’s a fact that children do not understand any complex emotion until MAYBE 8. She was not broken. She is not broken. And you inferring that she is makes you just as bad as every slanderer out there. Or as bad as any person who participated in stoning in the Bible.

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  3. Once again, I want to reiterate I am not stoning anyone. I am not stoning Lena. I am not stoning you or her sister or any abuser or abuse victim. Rather, I am trying to shed light on instances like this because they distort the way God designed sex and sexuality to be treated and celebrated. He did not design sexual (or physical) exploration to be exchanged for candy and television, at any age or any time. That being said, I think we will continue to disagree on a foundational level as I believe she is (and I am) broken and in desperate need of healing. I truly hope you know my intentions are not slanderous in nature.

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