The attacks on Lena Dunham’s $3.6 million book deal are attacks on talented young women in general.
Granted, few are as talented as Lena, who with Girls, her HBO series, has made us laugh, cry and have a national conversation about the cold truth that even young women who appear to have all the privilege in the world still have real struggles navigating exploitative employers and agonizing, often disappointing sexual relationships.
Sure, the show has flaws, but so does Facebook. Where were the calls for Mark Zuckerberg to wait his turn? Who has suggested Chris Hughes should rescind his seat at the helm of The New Republic?
The public loves its millennial superstars, when they are men.
Lena Dunham isn’t the only breakthrough young woman currently fielding sexist criticism that she’s entitled and non-deserving of a major public voice, with Sandra Fluke serving as an obvious second example.
Why the social discomfort with equally educated and unusually brilliant young women?
Could it be some of the naysayers — women and men — don’t realize they are uncomfortable with the implication that a new generational leap toward women’s equality is already in flight?