Lena Dunham is an actress on an HBO series “Girls.” When I first heard about Lena, nothing truly stood out to me. In my world, if you aren’t Britney Spears (or one of the other pop tarts I love), then you probably aren’t totally on my radar.
My attention was drawn to Lena, however, when she released her book I’m Not That Kind of Girl. While I have not had time to read the book, I do plan on it. In her book, from my understanding, she is very open about a time in college when she was sexually assaulted.
Lena, since then, has been a huge advocate for sexual violence survivors and a voice calling for a stop to this issue while changing our culture.
More recently, Lena penned an essay regarding the situation surrounding Kesha and how this recent turn of events is about more than just Kesha herself. She highlights how this our legal system feels towards victims of sexual violence and abuse.
In Lena’s essay she writes, “So let me spell it out for them. Imagine someone really hurt you, physically and emotionally. Scared you and abused you, threatened your family. The judge says that you don’t have to see them again, BUT they still own your house. So they can decide when to turn the heat on and off, whether they’ll pay the telephone bill or fix the roof when it leaks. After everything you’ve been through, do you feel safe living in that house? Do you trust them to protect you? That explanation is really for the judge, Shirley Kornreich, who questioned why — if they could be physically separated as Sony has promised — Kesha could not continue to work for Gottwald. After all, she said, it’s not appropriate to ‘decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated.’ Guess what else is heavily negotiated? The human contract that says we will not hurt one another physically and emotionally. In fact, it’s so obvious that we usually don’t add it to our corporate documents.”
When it comes to our legal system, I simply don’t understand how if someone is charged with rape, they can get a plea bargain attached to a lesser charge.
Lena continues, “What’s happening to Kesha highlights the way that the American legal system continues to hurt women by failing to protect them from the men they identify as their abusers.”
Therefore, even in a criminal case if someone pleads guilty to the charge, they can then obtain a lesser charge, and potentially face a lesser punishment.
While I admit that I’m still educating myself of the legals system and it’s process, I find that I agree with Lena’s point. Personally, I feel that the judicial system is not set up properly and doesn’t protect those that need protection.
Check out the rest of Lena’s essay here