Lena Dunham Opens Up About Sexual Assault in College
Lena Dunham is making the rounds promoting her new book, 'Not That Kind of Girl,' and has revealed that writing the book opened up some old wounds. In her memoir, Dunham writes of a sexual assault attack that happened to her while she attended Oberlin College.
In an interview with NPR's Terry Gross (quotes via Us Weekly) on Monday, Sept. 29, Dunham said, "The chapter about date rape in the book was a really, really terrifying thing for me to put into the world."
"It was a painful experience physically and emotionally, and one I spent a long time trying to reconcile," she continued. "I actually [have] been thinking about it a lot this week because I sent an email to somebody who I had known at that time who knew the guy who had perpetrated the act... I wanted to make it clear to this old friend what I felt had happened before he potentially bought the book at Hudson News and read about it."
"I hated the idea of somebody finding out that information [independently of me telling them], because at the time that it happened, it wasn't something I was able to be honest about. I was able to share pieces, but I used the lens of humor, which has always been my default-mode to try to talk around it," she said.
Dunham also admitted that she felt scared and ashamed for a while, but felt like writing about the experience would help her recover from the trauma. "I don't feel that way anymore and it's not because of my job, it's not because of my boyfriend, it's not because of feminism, though all those things helped. It's because I told the story. And I'm still here, and my identity hasn't shifted in some way that I can't repair."
She also reveaeled that the experience went on to affect the rest of her time at Oberlin. ""I didn't really go to any more parties. I just stopped going… I basically didn't have a drink for the rest of college… I really removed myself from that world."
'Not That Kind of Girl' is available at book stores and as a digital download now.