Lena Dunham is one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest supporters in her campaign for the presidency, at least in public.
The former president’s much-discussed and written about philandering as an Arkansas politician and U.S. president has been dredged up again after Hillary Clinton accused her GOP counterpart Donald Trump of sexism, at which point the brash New York businessman fired back, accusing her husband, who is now active on the campaign trail, of “women abuse,” among other things. Trump has also accused her of being an enabler.
In late December, liberal Washington Post columnist and Trump detractor Ruth Marcus conceded that Bill Clinton’s conduct is fair game.
“Donald Trump is crude and vulgar. He’s every ‘-ist’ in the book: racist, sexist, narcissist, for starters…But he has a point about Clinton playing the ‘woman’s card,’ and about the male behavior that’s more concerning: her husband’s…’Sexism’ isn’t the precise word for his predatory behavior toward women or his inexcusable relationship with a 22-year-old intern. Yet in the larger scheme of things, Bill Clinton’s conduct toward women is far worse than any of the offensive things that Trump has said…Trump has smeared women because of their looks. Clinton has preyed on them, and in a workplace setting where he was by far the superior. That is uncomfortable for Clinton supporters but it is unavoidably true…”
The star of HBO’s Girls, which was renewed for a sixth and final season, Dunham recently conducted an interview with Hillary Clinton, in which she burnished the former Secretary of State’s feminist credentials.
“Hillary Clinton has a lot of celebrity pals on her side…It’s a play to help the former secretary of state connect with younger voters. But so far, the star power isn’t swaying the college set. Many say they prefer…Bernie Sanders, regardless of whether he got star power behind him or not,” AP reported.
A report published in the New York Times notes that at a campaign rally, Dunham publicly praised Hillary Clinton for overcoming sexism as she advanced in her career in politics. Behind closed doors, however, other issues apparently are in play.
“But at an Upper East Side dinner party a few months back, Ms. Dunham expressed more conflicted feelings. She told the guests at the Park Avenue apartment of Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, that she was disturbed by how, in the 1990s, the Clintons and their allies discredited women who said they had had sexual encounters with or been sexually assaulted by former President Bill Clinton. The conversation, relayed by several people with knowledge of the discussion who would speak about it only anonymously, captures the deeper debate unfolding among liberal-leaning women about how to reconcile Mrs. Clinton’s leadership on women’s issues with her past involvement in her husband’s efforts to fend off accusations of sexual misconduct.”
A rep for Lena Dunham, 30, denied the above account and reaffirmed the actress’ strong support for Hillary Clinton.
“The actress campaigned with Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire this month, wearing a sweater dress with Clinton’s name on it. She also interviewed the former secretary of State in September in an effort to attract millennials, especially young female voters who make up a key support base for Clinton,” The Hill detailed.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 20, 2016
Reacting to the Lena Dunham story, Gawker observed that “In response [to sexual assault or harassment allegations against Bill Clinton], as Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post documented in his 2008 biography of the former First Lady, Hillary Clinton prosecuted a campaign to dig up dirt on anyone who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct, in hopes of discrediting them and preserving her and her husband’s growing political power.”
Separately, a Jezebel writer told CNN that “Hillary Clinton is a woman of second wave feminism. She’s largely an advocate for well-off white women, and I think that the generation of young feminists who are voting now want to see someone who is more of an advocate for intersectional feminism. And that doesn’t just mean feminism for wealthy, successful celebrities.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Hillary Clinton does play the gender card, relentlessly.” Against that backdrop, several separate media accounts have suggested that millenial feminists increasingly prefer Democrat rival Bernie Sanders, however, because of his economic policies, the fact that he isn’t bankrolled by Wall Street, and also that Hillary Clinton is seen as an enabler for her husband’s womanizing.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 20, 2016
The New York Times added the following about Bill Clinton’s track record and the potential disconnect with feminists.
“Now that the stories are resurfacing, they could hamper Mrs. Clinton’s attempts to connect with younger women, who are learning the details of the Clintons’ history for the first time… Alexis Isabel Moncada, the 17-year-old founder of Feminist Culture, a popular blog, was not old enough to remember the 1990s, but lately she and her thousands of young female readers have heard a lot about the scandals. ‘I heard he sexually harassed people and she worked to cover it up…A lot of girls in my age group are huge feminists, and we don’t react well to that.’ “
Do you think feminists such as Lena Dunham are actually having second thoughts about voting for Hillary Clinton for president?
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]