HBO’s Girls: Storytelling as a Form of Activism

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Lena Dunham has always been a big supporter of Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights (see above screenshot of Lena Dunham’s wonderful Instagram).  She even educates her Instagram followers about reproductive health in her posts and directs them to useful sources:


In Last weeks episode of Girls, Adam’s new girlfriend, Mimi-Rose, casually informs him that she got an abortion.  Lena Dunham explains this scene in a clip after the show:

in the clip, Dunham says that:

“I also liked the idea of showing someone who was getting an abortion and wasn’t tortured by it… I feel like so often when we see a situation of a woman choosing to terminate a pregnancy, it comes with so much pain and angst and liked the idea of a character who goes so far in the other direction that it’s almost confusing for the audience because we’ve been taught to react one way to this, which is with tears and  regret. As someone who’s really passionate about reproductive justice, for me, it’s not just about making sure abortion is legal, it’s about making sure abortion is without stigma and is not something women feel like they have to apologize for.”

The episode got a lot of press after it aired because the subject of abortion is approached in an entirely new way.  The episode attracted a lot of positive attention and the press that followed created even more awareness because it opened up a dialogue about the various ways we perceive abortion.

Dunham is using her social media and storytelling platforms in some really insightful and clever ways to advocate for women’s rights, to educate people,  and to try to erase negative stigmas attached to abortion.  This is a great and important form of activism embedded in storytelling (HBO’s Girls) that overlaps with the personal narrative of the storyteller (Dunham’s social media presence).  I hope to see more of this kind of meta-activism in the future.  What do you think?

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