Lena Dunham as a feminist icon

"I think that I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice, of a generation." - Lena Dunham known as "Hannah Horvath" in HBO Girls. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW)


She's revered as the postergirl for modern day feminism. But writer and actress Lena Dunham has her detractors as well. We debate Dunham and whether splashing on makeup and doing her hair dilutes Dunham as a feminine icon.

"I do think it's complicated when you're young and you're female and you're in a position of power because there's a lot of people who somehow question your right to be there. And I've just sort of had to accept that that is still the world we're living in and as hard as our moms worked that's not gone."

Lena Dunham

One of the early 21st century's most remarkable women entertainers has to be Lena Dunham. The 28-year-old American writer, producer and actor has helped created a Television phenomenon: the series, Girls.

Her characters may not always stand out as female role models, but she's been outspoken about women's issues and feminism.

"I am really excited about the Vogue cover. I feel like the magazine really gave a nod to who I am and didn't try to wedge me into any sort of strange glamazon territory that isn't appropriate to me ... At first I was like, I don't need a hairdresser, I don't need a makeup artist. And then I looked at myself on television and I was like, I'd like to have all the advantages of the people of my profession."

Lena Dunham

Dunham's often controversial, fielding questions about a Photoshopped appearance in Vogue, and about performing naked on television.

To talk about Dunham's contributions, we convened three women who follow pop culture and feminism:

  • Elizabeth Renzetti is a columnist at The Globe and Mail, and teaches journalism at Ryerson University. She joined us in Toronto.

  • Roxane Gay is a writer and assistant professor of English at Eastern Illinois University. She was in Charleston, Illinois.

What do you think of Lena Dunham and her status as a feminist icon? We'd love to hear from you.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley and Alexa Huffman.

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