" Girls are trained to say, ‘I wrote this, but it’s probably really stupid.’ Well, no, you wouldn’t write a novel if you thought it was really stupid. Men are much more comfortable going, ‘I wrote this book because I have a unique perspective that the world needs to hear.’ Girls are taught from the age of seven that if you get a compliment, you don’t go, ‘Thank you’, you go, ‘No, you’re insane.’ "
- Lena Dunham, in an interview with The Guardian
" It’s disingenuous to suggest that white women don’t have it easier in the media; they are more likely to be held up as ‘figureheads’, ‘speaking for us all’ as women. But we’re not all the same. Angela Carter hit the nail on the head when she said: “The notion of a universality of human experience is a confidence trick and the notion of a universality of female experience is a clever confidence trick”. I doubt whether a black Caitlin Moran or Lena Dunham could be as immensely popular with both the media and the public alike. This is not an attack on them; in many ways, I like what they do – I may question some of their choices, but this is not an ‘all or nothing’ form of support. But just because I may like aspects of what they do doesn’t mean I should blindly support them when I see them ignoring and dismissing valid concerns raised by other feminists who are also trying to make their marginalised voices heard. There was one really problematic article written in defence of Moran that I want to talk about here, but before I do, I want raise another issue. I’ve seen various people write that this is ‘infighting’, and that such debates ‘fracture’ the feminist movement. I think this is bullshit. We should be allowed to disagree; we are, after all, human beings with different life experiences and opinions. If the only way for feminists to work together is to constantly agree, that seems rather fascist to me. And also very unrealistic. Besides, I think disagreements can be incredibly useful in highlighting problems that need to be addressed and allowing marginalised voices to be heard. We don’t need ‘leaders’, held up and fawned over by media, to allow debate about equality and gender to flourish. The idea of holding up individual feminists like Moran or Dunham as some ‘figureheads’ of the movement seems counter-productive to me. "