Lena Dunham’s Selfish Yet Human Essay About Marriage
Lena Dunham is a great woman in so many ways… But sometimes she really needs to take a step back and let others celebrate their wins rather than voicing (and re-voicing) her opinions on them.
On one hand, we get it: she’s a huge advocate for the LGBTQ community and legalizing gay marriage finally opened a new door for her that she had shut and locked for a long time (the idea of marrying boyfriend Jack Antonoff). She’s human – we all have the innate habit of making non-personal matters about ourselves and our own desires.
With that being said, Dunham has now taken the tweet and instead of acknowledging she made a selfish mistake, decided to write an entire essay for The New Yorker about how the gay marriage ruling has left her with wishy-washy thoughts on having a heterosexual wedding.
“I am not foolish enough to think I have made a final decision about marriage. But it turns out that what I was waiting for was not the chance to marry but the chance to think about marriage on an even playing field, in a world where its relevance is a little harder to question and its essence a little harder to reject.”
Great point (truly). But let’s remember: THIS IS NOT YOUR DAY, LENA.
The essay continues to document her text messages to Antonoff, essentially pressuring him to pop the question ASAP.
“I informed him that he ‘better not make a fool out of me,’ followed by a quick ‘LOL,’ and then, ‘But seriously. I’m going to look like a real idiot if we just sit here like losers and keep dating.’ Then I tweeted, ‘@jackantonoff get on it, yo,’ followed by my immediate and all-consuming regret.”
He did not respond. Thus she admits, “as a man,” his “politics were pure and not as self-interested” as hers, blaming being a woman and having the childhood dream of wearing a white dress and walking down the aisle to eternal love.
But the point isn’t about being a man or a woman or having/not having these fantasies. The point is that some gay men and women weren’t even able to seriously think about these ideas until two weeks ago. They didn’t have the luxury of childhood fantasies, walking down the aisle to their soulmate because those dreams weren’t even able to come true until June 26, 2015.
While Dunham may regret allowing her daydreams to consume her and cause her to send some ill-advised text messages and tweets to her boyfriend, there are people who are just happy to be able to daydream at all (and be taken seriously) about doing something like that.
Dunham makes a great point regarding her confusion toward the constitution of marriage and admitting that her feminism and her femininity are “not fully formed or in perfect harmony” especially when it comes to that idea, and I’m not taking the revelation away from her – marriage is an important thing to question… now, for everyone.
So, yes, let’s accept our human instinct to make this about our own, personal desires (especially those of us who believed so greatly in same-sex marriage), but then let’s also have the strength to set it aside and celebrate those who couldn’t even question it at all until two weeks ago.
I respect Lena Dunham for acknowledging feeling unsure about the idea of marriage, but I’m not supportive of her using gay marriage equality as a public platform for doing so – at least not while we’re still sprinkled with remnants of rainbows and glitter from celebrating such an enormous victory.