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Prominent Hillary Clinton supporter Lena Dunham has been silent since Donald Trump won the presidential election early Wednesday morning, but the Girls creator broke her silence in her Lenny newsletter Friday morning.
Dunham wrote a passionate response to Donald Trump’s win, mourning Hillary Clinton’s loss and sharing the story of her Election Day.
In an essay titled with a Florynce Kennedy quote, “Don’t Agonize, Organize,” Dunham wrote about Trump’s win, mourning Clinton’s loss and her Election Day, which she said she began “like a bride,” certain that by evening she’d be creating a story to tell her future children. Dunham, who campaigned for Clinton, said she “never truly believed” Trump could win.
“At a certain point it became clear something had gone horribly wrong,” said Dunham, recounting the night at Clinton’s Javits Center party. She recalls crying with boyfriend Jack Antonoff and breaking out into hives.
Dunham’s shock, which has been mirrored by many Clinton supporters, was apparent in her letter. “Those f—ing emails, as if they were a worthy corollary to fraud and sexual assault,” she writes at one point.
The Girls creator detailed the threats and abuse she endured while campaigning for Clinton: Her phone was hacked, she was sent images of aborted fetuses, called a “fat whore,” a “retard,” and told she should be killed.
“But we kept going, thinking these were the dying moans of the dragon known as the patriarchy being stabbed again and again in the stomach,” said Dunham. “We believed that on Nov. 9, they’d be licking their wounds while we celebrated. It is painful on a cellular level knowing those men got what they wanted, just as it’s painful to know you are hated for daring to ask for what is yours. It’s painful to know that white women, so unable to see the unity of female identity, so unable to look past their violent privilege, and so inoculated with hate for themselves, showed up to the polls for him, too.”
Through her grief, Dunham talks about being in a better position than most Americans. “It’s a privilege to be heartbroken by the system for the first time at age 30,” she said, adding, “So many people — those in the prison system, those with undocumented American relatives, those who are trans, who are queer, who are people of color, who are Muslim, who are trying to prosecute their abusers — have felt the crushing failure of the system over and over again.”
While she understands that people need time to grieve — “I’m giving us till Sunday” — she said after that’s done, it’s time to fight. Dunham points out that millennials “overwhelmingly voted against Trump” and expresses her hope for the younger generation. She said that “maybe” the nation should try to understand the minds of Donald Trump supporters, but adds, “It should not be the job of women, of people of color, of queer and trans Americans, to understand who does not consider them human and why, just as it’s not the job of the abused to understand their abuser.”
She takes time in her letter to thank Hillary Clinton for 30 years of public service. “Thank you, Hillary, for bravely taking every shot and standing tall, for weathering assaults from every direction, for telling us that no, this wasn’t politics as we know it, and no, you were not going to let a chronic interrupter with a limited vocabulary of catchphrases stop you from speaking coherently about your dreams for this country.”
In Dunham’s final paragraph she writes, “So no, the work isn’t done. It is only beginning.”
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