Lena Dunham on Disagreeing With Her Younger Self, Twitter, and ‘Budussy’

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Photo: JB Lacroix/Getty

In true Lena Dunham fashion, she talked Twitter and feminism, politics, and “budussy” at PaleyFest this weekend. Humbly, she expressed to the crowd that until this moment, she didn’t “necessarily believe that anyone’s actually watching the show.” We’re watching and  listening closely, Lena. Here’s what she has to say:

She’s stopped looking at her own Twitter account.
"I send the tweets to someone I won’t name, and she posts the tweets for me and lets me know if there’s an important response. I don’t mean to say that I’m so important I can’t handle my own Twitter, it just became a little too much. This is advice for everyone, by the way — whether you have a million followers or seven followers, we all deal with the complexity of being able to say things from behind the veil of the internet — which is that you think you can take it all, like, ‘Oh my God, that’s so funny, someone just called me a fat cow who deserves to be dragged through the streets.’ It does affect you internally. I would think, Oh, the spelling is so bad, I’m not taking this seriously, but then you walk through the day and these horrible phrases start to affect you. I mean, I’m weird, so I’m affected by things like violence [and] threats of rape, but I’m just a mess. "

She disagrees with her younger self.
"I don’t usually do this, but I went on my computer and read an interview I did when I began the show, and read the words, 'I’m not a very political person,' and I really can’t relate to that person anymore. It’s amazing how much you can change over five years. I don’t believe that statement in any way now. I think I thought that was just what you were supposed to say — [in a whiny voice] 'I let my art speak for itself.' I and we do care deeply about politics, about things that are happening, particularly to women and women of color, and reproductive rights. We have a central belief that being multifaceted is the way for women on television. We don’t set out to be didactic or to turn our show into a Trojan horse for all our [political] ideas. The natural truth of our politics comes through in what we’re doing here. We tell stories not just about the world we live but about the world we want to live in."

She explains the origin of “budussy.”
"[Executive producer] Jenni [Konner] did not love it. It comes from a comedy, like a bro comedy, maybe it was Ladies Man, with Tim Meadows. I think he said, 'This smells like straight budussy,' and everyone’s like what the hell is that, and he’s like “butt, dick, and pussy,” and everyone’s like, oh. I mean, it’s a useful word."