Lena Dunham Remembers Crying Through Election Night, Breaking Out in Hives
Lena Dunham planned for November 8 — Election Day — to spill over into one of the best nights of her life. Instead, as Donald Trump‘s eventual ascendance to presidency began to seem inevitable, Dunham left Hillary Clinton‘s party at New York City’s Javits Center confused, disoriented and devastated.
Still, she’s not giving up hope, or conceding to what she’s called President-elect Donald Trump’s racist and xenophobic ideals.
In a new essay posted to Dunham’s Lenny Letter, the Girls creator chronicled the night in which she, like many others, felt beaten down, and unexpectedly so (“I didn’t see how with faces this bright, diverse, wise, and passionate anything but the best — the only — result could prevail,” she wrote). She said she’d encountered relentless hostility and venom from Trump-supporters across her 18 months of campaigning, and mistakenly believed the antagonism came from a minority.
“We kept going, thinking these were the dying moans of the dragon known as the patriarchy being stabbed again and again in the stomach,” Dunham noted. “We believed that on November 9, they’d be licking their wounds while we celebrated. It is painful on a cellular level knowing those men got what they wanted, just as it’s painful to know you are hated for daring to ask for what is yours. It’s painful to know that white women, so unable to see the unity of female identity, so unable to look past their violent privilege, and so inoculated with hate for themselves, showed up to the polls for him, too.”
“Watching the numbers in Florida, I touched my face and realized I was crying,” she added. “‘Can we please go home?’ I said to my boyfriend. I could tell he was having trouble breathing, and I could feel my chin breaking into hives. Another woman showed me her matching hive, hidden by fresh concealer.”
Dunham went on to thank Clinton for her tireless fight, and for shouldering hate and ridicule in the name of a platform that championed humanity. The best way for supporters to honor Clinton, Dunham said, is to continue fighting.
“No, the work isn’t done. It is only beginning,” Dunham wrote. “We will stun ourselves with what we are capable of. We will laugh with surprise like kids who finally threw a punch back at the schoolyard bully. We will watch our friends in awe as they step forward and demand more, as they recognize and wield their politicized identities. We will not be governed by fear. We will show our children a different way. We will go home like shooting stars.”
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