Conservative Magazine Gets Around to Reading Lena Dunham’s Book, Accuses Her of Child Abuse

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Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Late last week, in the conservative publication National Review, Kevin D. Williamson wrote a takedown review of Lena Dunham and her memoir Not That Kind of Girl. In the piece, Williamson focuses on two passages from the book, which he uses as evidence that a young Dunham was guilty of sexually abusing her younger sister, Grace. As he writes of Dunham's parents:

Self-styled radicals from old money, they were not the sort of people inclined to enforce even the most lax of boundaries. And they were, in their daughter’s telling, enablers of some very disturbing behavior that would be considered child abuse in many jurisdictions — Lena Dunham’s sexual abuse, specifically, of her younger sister, Grace, the sort of thing that gets children taken away from non-millionaire families without Andover pedigrees and Manhattanite social connections. Dunham writes of casually masturbating while in bed next to her younger sister, of bribing her with “three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds ... anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.” At one point, when her sister is a toddler, Lena Dunham pries open her vagina — “my curiosity got the best of me,” she offers, as though that were an explanation. “This was within the spectrum of things I did.”

The passages called out by Williamson do not appear to have been noted by other reviews or essays on the book since it was released more than a month ago. Dunham has angrily responded on Twitter:

And here is Lena's sister, Grace: