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Dunham and her business and production partner, Jenni Konner, explained why they started the newsletter in an introduction letter to readers who subscribed on LennyLetter.com.
“We wanted to create a space where new voices were safe to speak loudly about issues they care about,” wrote Dunham and Konner. “We want those voices to inspire you, envelop you, and even anger you. Mostly, we want a snark-free place for feminists to get information: on how to vote, eat, dress, f— and live better.”
The first issue contains an interview with Hillary Clinton in which the presidential candidate talks about working at an Alaskan fishery in her 20s, the concerns she had that marrying Bill Clinton would cause her to lose her identity, police brutality and the Donna Karan ensemble she wore to her first state dinner.
Hillary Rodham Clinton at her first state dinner in 1993, wearing a dress designed by Donna Karan. For more on the designer’s life and career, follow the link in our profile. Photo by Suzanne Dechillo/The New York Times.
A photo posted by New York Times Fashion (@nytimesfashion) on
The first issue also has a profile on author and architect June Jordan, a denim trend piece, a column about a queer woman’s marriage and an article about “weird” periods. Lenny will have ongoing columns like “Rumors I Heard About My Body,” which addresses health questions and misconceptions (produced in partnership with Planned Parenthood), and a fashion column called “Tracing a Trend.”
Dunham believes that it is important to cover a wide range of topics, both in the newsletter and also in her conversations with the people she interviews, like Clinton.
“All that needs to exist at the same time,” she told Mashable of the different subjects she tackled with Clinton. “It’s part of being female; we contain multitudes.”
Dunham also said that she has a heightened awareness of diversity because of the criticism she received on Girls. “We’re not making the assumption that all of our readers are cis white women,” said Dunham.
Konner told Time that they are “trying to bring other people’s voices forward” and highlight women who might not have a large audience right now. The duo also stressed that they are not trying to force anyone to vote for Clinton or to adopt their opinions; they are just looking to inform their readers.
Added Dunham, “As Jenni’s said, our audience is anyone who’s not hate-reading us.”
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