March 2nd, 2015
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the highest profile positive symbols of the new generation of empowered women is Lena Dunham. I am avowedly not a fan of the TV show “Girls,” which I thought meant I wasn’t a fan of its creator. But my respect for Dunham just keeps growing with every interview with her I’ve read.
Last month, in the airport on the way to Nashville, I picked up a copy of Elle magazine which had Dunham on the cover. It caught my eye mostly for the cover line quote: “I came into this job being myself. So I’m free.” Can you imagine if every professional woman could say that?
…It’s recently occurred to me that the reason the world seems so shocked when it meets an outspoken woman who is also successful is because so much of the world spends so much energy trying to destroy that. I don’t just mean the outright hostiles, and trolls, and Internet commenters. As bad, if not worse, are the supporters who want to “help” women assimilate into a man’s world.
I recently had two conversations with very well meaning friends who were at once congratulating me on Pando’s fearless voice and at the same time offering me advice to make our brand– and my own brand– more palatable to other people who didn’t want something quite so fearless and outspoken. The comments weren’t outright rude– certainly not compared to those Twitter trolls. But they were suggesting that it’d be nice if, once in a while, I wasn’t quite so outspoken. If I only picked the fights convenient for them. If I came with an “off” switch. Likewise I’m sure there are people who say to Dunham, “Love your work on Girls, I’m a huge fan. But could you possibly not be quite so naked on the show all the time?” That’s not really how having a voice works.
…And yet, it’s been made abundantly clear to me over the last year or so that a small, but influential group of men in the city do not want me or Pando there. One story that makes the point: As last year’s event was drawing to a close, one male attendee, apparently a Nashville local, stopped Pando reporter James Robinson to share his thoughts on the conference. Specifically, he wanted to share his opinion of me, or as he called me “That Pando lady.” “I can’t believe you let her leave the house,” said the man. James was left speechless.
Some were bold enough to tell me to my face that my personality made them uncomfortable: I was told I “have a mouth on me.” I was even warned to “watch myself.” And, best of all, I was told that my occasional use of profanity on-stage is unbecoming for a mother (never mind that most everyone on stage at Southland swore except Al Gore and Christy Turlington, and we raised hundreds of dollars for charity through a swear jar.) The male attendees were expected to curse, but when I do it it’s just plain unladylike. Won’t somebody think of my children!
For the record, I love Lena Dunham and I love every episode of Girls.Source