Breaking news: Lena Dunham is supporting Hillary Clinton! Just kidding, you already knew that. The Girls creator and star's enthusiasm for Clinton has been pretty apparent since Dunham interviewed her in September, and this week, she made a campaign trail debut along with soccer goddess Abby Wambach. But in an interview with New England NBC affiliate NECN, Lena Dunham reaffirmed her Hillary Clinton commitment and offered insightful advice to female voters.
Appearing in an blue dress with white stars stitched around the collar and sleeves, emblazoned with a knitted "HILLARY" across the front, Dunham didn't need to go into too much detail on exactly who she'd be voting for in 2017. Dunham detailed her concerns of an "unprecedented attack" on women's rights, and floated Clinton as the woman to stop the near-constant rollback of basic human rights for women. But it goes beyond that for Dunham: "I truly believe that she is the candidate that has the power to take us where we need to go, not just on women's rights, but on bigger issues that I may be less vocal about, but that still matter to me."
So, yeah. All the Lenny love and relatively vocal support even before she joined Clinton the trail might have clued us in to Dunham's presidential pick, but she also had a lot insight on the role of female voters.
Dunham admitted that she had a relatively late "political adolescence," not exercising her right to vote until she was 22 years old. Her reasoning behind that former political indifference probably sounds familiar to some of you:
I just didn't believe that my voice made a difference. It was hard for me to imagine that one vote — I sort of drank the Kool-Aid of, "I live in a Democratic state, one vote doesn't matter. I don't even know what the electoral college is, but it's probably preventing me from making a difference, so why do I even try? I should just be at home eating a snack and writing poetry."
OK, so maybe the snack and poetry bit isn't quite as universal, but feeling lost in our political system is a pretty common phenomenon amongst the millennial generation. That changed for Dunham when she was asked to do a PSA for Obama's 2012 reelection, after casting a vote for him in 2008. She agreed hesitantly to endorse the candidate, not feeling that she was necessarily the right person to be a voting poster child. But it filming the endorsement that really piqued her interest in politics.
The experience of doing that PSA, sort of seeing the rabid ... reaction from the right wing to a woman who wasn't necessarily sort of perfect or unassailably moral expressing her political desires, that reaction was so aggressive that it made me really start to examine the political process in America and a woman's place in it.
Dunham also offered helpful and practical advice to young women who don't feel engaged with politics. Essentially, you don't need to know everything to be involved:
For too long we've considered politics to be the provenance of people who may have a perfect knowledge of current events, or a perfect knowledge of international relations. But politics don't just affect sort these big aspects of the world that you don't even see, politics are about your day-to-day.
And hey, if you aren't going to vote for Hillary, Dunham won't hold it against you (though you'll note that there is a party bent in this response). She said that, especially for women, it's important to get involved in the election cycle starting in the primaries. "Whether you're voting for Hillary or whether you're voting for Bernie, it's important to affirm your power by being engaged in that process."