The actress/director/writer/producer/superwoman has just dropped the first ever 'Lenny newsletter'. And it's awesome.
If you haven’t already signed up to Lena Dunham’s ‘Lenny Letter’ – a newsletter she’s been working on with her Girls co-writer Jenni Konner – you probably need to change that. Because the first one just landed in our inboxes, and alongside profile pieces on June Jordan, features on queer weddings and an AMAZING letter about weird periods, one piece of writing – by Lena Dunham herself – is garnering a whole lot of attention.
Which makes sense, because it’s an interview with Hillary Clinton. And these are our favourite bits…
HILLARY CLINTON REVEALED WHAT SHE WAS LIKE IN HER 20s…
‘I think that’s part of what your late teens and 20s are all about. You have to decide what you really believe. You can certainly carry with you some of the values that you’ve inherited, but you have to make them your own or you have to add or subtract from them. And that’s what I did… I don’t trust anybody who says that they didn’t have some questions in their 20s. That’s a period of such exploration and often torment in people’s lives.’
…AND TALKED ABOUT THE TIME WHEN SHE HAD TO ‘GUT SALMON’ TO PAY RENT
‘I went off with some friends on this jaunt. We drove all the way up to Alaska, went up the then-unpaved Alcan Highway, and we took odd jobs. I washed dishes. I did end up working in a fishery, where the salmon were brought in, and we had different jobs. My first job was to gut the salmon. That meant that I had a pair of hip boots and a spoon, and there were some gentlemen from Japan who were experts in taking out the caviar. But then they would throw the carcass in the pile, and I had to take each one and clean out all that was left. I was trying to do a good job, so I was scraping and scraping, and they’re screaming at me in Japanese, and somebody else is screaming at me in English. I didn’t last long then.’
SHE ADMITTED THAT SHE DIDN’T KNOW IF SHE WANTED TO MARRY BILL
‘I was terrified about losing my identity and getting lost in the wake of Bill’s force-of-nature personality. I actually turned him down twice when he asked me to marry him… [There was the] worry that I wouldn’t necessarily know who I was or what I could do if I got married to someone who was going to chart a path that he was incredibly clear about… Eventually, I said yes. It was a big leap of faith, and I think most marriages are. You really do just sort of say, “Okay, I think I know what it’s gonna be like, but I don’t know for sure. Let’s find out.”‘
STUDENT DEBT CAME UP (AND WAS PRETTY RELEVANT TO THE UK AS WELL AS AMERICA)
‘After a certain point, it’s counterproductive. I’ve met young people that can’t move out of their parents’ homes. They have dreams to start their own business; they can’t afford to do it. They can’t even afford to get married. So we are not only squashing their hopes and dreams, we’re hurting the economy. Because that money should be used for other things besides paying the government to try to retire your debt.’
AND SHE CONFIRMED EXACTLY (EXACTLY!) WHAT FEMINISM MEANS
‘I’m always a little bit puzzled when any woman, of whatever age but particularly a young woman, says something like, “Well, I believe in equal rights, but I’m not a feminist.” Well, a feminist is by definition someone who believes in equal rights! I’m hoping that people will not be afraid to say — that doesn’t mean you hate men. It doesn’t mean that you want to separate out the world so that you’re not part of ordinary life. That’s not what it means at all! It just means that we believe women have the same rights as men, politically, culturally, socially, economically. That’s what it means. And if you don’t believe that about yourself as a woman, please, go ask yourself: Why? What is holding you back?’