Lena Dunham and her Girls production partner Jenni Konner are once again collaborating on a project “where there’s no such thing as TMI.” Though, to the delight of many, this project does not involve a Hannah Horvath, a Marnie Michaels, a Jessa Johansson, or a Shoshanna Shapiro. As Buzzfeed reports, it’s a weekly newsletter launching in September called “Lenny,” and is for “an army of like-minded intellectually curious women and the people who love them, who want to bring change but also want to know… where to buy the best tube top for summer that isn’t going to cost your entire paycheck.”
The BuzzFeed profile of “Lenny” mentions that, apart from writing from Dunham’s network of “celebrity friends” (yes, it emphasizes this), it’ll also feature writing from an impressive staff, which includes former Slate editor Jessica Grose, Rookie’s associate editor Laia Garcia, and Pitchfork/Buzzfeed writer Doreen St. Félix. The only man involved is, incidentally, Konner’s ex husband, Benjamin Cooley, who’ll act as CEO.
The article deems it “contemporary feminism for the inbox, in all its contradictions and complexities,” and Dunham herself describes it as a space that’s open both to radical politics and Rihanna discussion, and, surely, the potential intersections therein — not that the notion of an online presence that does such a thing is entirely groundbreaking. Grose described it as “Rookie’s big sister” and “Goop meets Grantland” (ostensibly not just for alliteration’s sake).
What does, however, sound like a unique angle for the project is Dunham’s insistence that it be a sort of refuge on the internet. As a newsletter, it’ll be its own, semi-isolated entity, and will make people, as Dunham asserts, “remember that the internet has the power to take you into quiet places — something we don’t usually use it for.” Despite this, she does intend to eventually transform it into a newsletter/website hybrid, but, as a means of refusing to provide a space for cyber-bullying, and to continue the notion of a “quiet space,” the site won’t have a comments section.
Dunham described what seems to be a mission for the project:
I have no problem with the pop culturization of feminism — I’m thrilled to see Beyoncé standing in front of the word ‘feminism.’ How can that hurt us? But at the same time, it turns into a misunderstanding in which people think of feminism as ‘It’s feminist because I’m a woman and I’m doing it.’ And that’s not how it works…We’ll be allowed to show the ugly and complicated thought processes that go into forming your own brand of feminism, and your own identity, because it’s not all clean back here.