October 3, 2014 9:17 pm -

Actress Lena Dunham reveals in a memoir that she was raped in 2008 by a Republican at Oberlin College.


In the first chapter that addresses the encounter, Dunham describes the “ill-fated evening of lovemaking” as awkward and hollow. The most sensational moment comes from the fact that “Barry” wasn’t wearing a condom.
In the next chapter, Dunham backtracks with the claim that she’s an “unreliable narrator”and accuses “Barry” of rape:

[I]n another essay in this book I describe a sexual encounter with a mustachioed campus Republican as the upsetting but educational choice of a girl who was new to sex when, in fact, it didn’t feel like a choice at all…

The following day, when Dunham tells her roommate, Audrey, about the encounter, Audrey is horrified by her admission and tells Dunham, “You were raped.”

“I burst out laughing,” Dunham writes of her initial reaction.

Years later, while sitting in the writer’s room of HBO’s “Girls,” she pitches a “version of the Barry story” to her co-writers. She doesn’t call the incident rape, but her co-writers do.[su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

20 responses to Lena Dunham: I Was Raped by A ‘Campus Republican’ In 2008

  1. Skydog2 October 4th, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Interesting how she never filed charges.

    • Carla Akins October 4th, 2014 at 5:58 am

      You misunderstood the piece. Dunham said when she described the event to a friend, her friend told her it was rape – not Dunham. Very, very often women do not report rape much less file charges against her rapist for a variety of reasons, mostly self-protection.

      One is that being “persuaded” to engage in sex, in spite of repeated “no’s” whether or not its accompanied by screams or quiet resignation is rape. This is true regardless if the victim involved believes she’s culpable for putting herself in this position or if the rapist believes this is a form of seduction.

      The other is that too often she is simply victimized again by law enforcement, the judicial system and even her own friends and family. Slut-shaming and blaming the victim allow us to retain a sense of power about ourselves. If we make the victim responsible then we can convince ourselves that it can’t or won’t happen to us because we would know better, or act differently.

      The fact is – it’s never the victim’s fault. Regardless of the circumstances one finds themselves in, it is never okay to engage in sexual activity without expressed consent. Rapists are responsible for rape. Lack of consent whether due to drugs or alcohol, a previous sexual relationship or even if someone changes their mind is still rape and not the responsibility of the victim. Young women that are raped on a college campus also have to run the gauntlet of the college administration as well – which has a long history of covering its own ass along with the offenders.

      Press charges? I’m stunned she even told the story in her book.

    • Anomaly 100 October 4th, 2014 at 8:29 am

      It’s not unusual at all for a rape to go unreported.

      • Skydog2 October 4th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

        Either report it or STFU.

        • Carla Akins October 4th, 2014 at 1:05 pm

          No, fuck you.

          • mea_mark October 4th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

            Bad Carla rocks.

          • Skydog2 October 4th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

            Enabling rapist? She should have reported to rape to help the next victim.

          • Carla Akins October 4th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

            You still don’t get it. She didn’t call it a rape. She did not recognize it as rape – such is the case for many women that feel responsible for their own rape. She hardly could have reported it, if she felt she was responsible for doing something that caused it.

          • tracey marie October 4th, 2014 at 10:01 pm

            why do you allow that pos teabagger stormfront/brietbart garbage to direst the conversation. just abuse him verbally and then move on

          • tracey marie October 4th, 2014 at 9:59 pm

            you really are a pos, but you knew that fact

        • Anomaly 100 October 4th, 2014 at 2:24 pm

          As someone that left a rape unreported for my own reasons which are none of your fucking business, you can STFU.

          You do see how I did not shut the fuck up just now, right? I really hope you got that point.

          • Skydog2 October 4th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

            She didn’t report the rape so he likely went on to rape other women.

          • Anomaly 100 October 4th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

            Read the post *again.* Or do you lack critical thinking skills entirely?

            And do not try for one second to say that a woman who doesn’t report a rape is responsible for her rapist’s actions in the future. That’s fucking stupid. Women who are raped suffer from enough guilt because society judges the victims.

          • Khary A October 6th, 2014 at 9:44 am

            I seriously cant believe in 2014 this kind of dialogue still issues from people. How is it not just in the noosphere that rape is rape and no matter what the outcome it’s still rape? I’ve said some pretty ignorant things in my day but I have never said anything as myopic and just plain mean spirited as this Skydog fuck face.

          • Anomaly 100 October 6th, 2014 at 11:09 am

            People like SkyDog think they’re highly intelligent and that prohibits him from ever learning about even the most basic issues. It’s common sense, but he lacks that. I feel sorry for the guy.

  2. Anomaly 100 October 4th, 2014 at 8:27 am

    “known as Michelle ‘Internment camps’ Malkin”


  3. jasperjava October 4th, 2014 at 11:38 am

    If Republicans didn’t rape, they wouldn’t be having any sex at all.

    They are too repulsive.

  4. Skydog2 October 4th, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    “I Was Raped by A ‘Campus Republican”
    If she didn’t claim the rapist was a republican, it would get little-no coverage.

    • tracey marie October 4th, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      grow up teabagger

  5. R.J. Carter November 7th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Curious if there will be a follow-up to this book review that will detail her sexual encounters with her sister.