In Lena Dunham’s book “Not That Kind Of Girl,” Dunham describes a sexual encounter with a man named “Barry” during her time at Oberlin College, a man who, Dunham says, sexually assaulted her.
In her book, Dunham explains that she never reported the incident to college officials or the authorities.
Like so many women, she notes, she was unclear about what had happened, and whether she was at fault for what occurred.
Shame had silenced her for a long time, but she felt her book was the perfect venue in which to speak out.
Dunham, in an essay she wrote for BuzzFeed, explains that she received a lot of backlash for that decision,
As indicated in the beginning of the book, I made the choice to keep certain identities private, changing names and some descriptive details. To be very clear, “Barry” is a pseudonym, not the name of the man who assaulted me, and any resemblance to a person with this name is an unfortunate and surreal coincidence. I am sorry about all he has experienced.
Dunham is referring to a Breitbart story by John Nolte which points out that an “easily identifiable Oberlin conservative from that era named Barry; indeed, that Barry has already been identified as the person from Dunham’s book by many people,” reports The Washington Post.
She also has a message for the media:
I have a certain empathy for the journalists who asked me questions like whether I regret how much I drank that night or what my attacker would say if he was asked about me. These ignorant lines of inquiry serve to further flawed narratives about rape, but these people are reacting to the same set of social signals that we all are — signals telling us that preventing assault is a woman’s job, that rape is only rape when a stranger drags you into a dark alley with a knife at your throat, that our stories are never true, and that lying about rape is a way for women to enact revenge on innocent men. These misconceptions about rape are rampant, destructive and precisely the thing that prevents survivors from seeking the support that they need and deserve.
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