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December 6 2018

Actress Lena Dunham’s Apology is the Legacy of 'I Believe Her'

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Actress Lena Dunham has apologized again for publicly supporting a man who has actually been cleared of sexual assault charges. This is the post-Kavanaugh, #MeToo era in which we live.

Giving victims of sexual assault the courage to come forward has been powerful and positive. But “I believe her” has replaced “innocent until proven guilty” in every situation regardless of the facts and that can have devastating consequences.

Dunham, a vocal feminist, came to the defense of her colleague Murray Miller, a former writer/executive producer on her HBO series Girls, when he was first accused last fall of sexually assaulting an actress in 2012 when she was 17.

I truly hope he did not do it. Dunham didn't think he did it, but backtracked on her support of him under pressure from the left, writing:

“Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, “I believe you” is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed. We apologize to any women who have been disappointed.”

This summer, Los Angeles law enforcement dismissed the complaint against Miller. The statute of limitations on the case expired and based on inconsistencies in the evidence presented, the district attorney said there wasn't evidence to prove a crime had been committed.

Now, Dunham is apologizing again. The heart of her apology is still the misguided belief that women should be believed no matter what. She writes:

“And so I made a terrible mistake. When someone I knew, someone I had loved as a brother, was accused, I did something inexcusable: I publicly spoke up in his defense. There are few acts I could ever regret more in this life.

“It's painful to realize that, while I thought I was self-aware, I had actually internalized the dominant male agenda that asks us to defend it no matter what, protect it no matter what, baby it no matter what... My job now is to excavate that part of myself and to create a new cavern inside me where a candle stays lit, always safely lit, and illuminates the wall behind it where these words are written: I see you, Aurora. I hear you, Aurora. I believe you, Aurora.”

Every victim should be heard and their allegations investigated. So too should the accused.

Listening and believing are two different things. When we believe blindly we do a disservice to the accused and other victims.

Sadly, this is the new norm: you are anti-woman if you believe a man.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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