On Friday afternoon Jen and I left work early, headed for London and to the Royal Festival Hall. We’d managed to get tickets to Lena Dunham’s only UK book event, promoting her first book Not That Kind of Girl.
The evening began with an introduction from British author and columnist Caitlin Moran and then Lena came out and read a section from one of the chapters in her book. For those who have never taken an interest in Lena, first of all if you’re a woman – shame on you – she is a smart, eloquent, wonderfully open and the kind of unorthodox role model you’re looking for – trust me. She has the kind of voice you could listen to forever and everything she says is measured, deliberate and valid.
Her TV show Girls is about to start its 4th season. It follows a group of young women in New York and is to this generation of 20-30 somethings what Sex and the City was to the last generation. It’s brave, funny, sometimes shocking and so real. It depicts real women on the screen and talks about all the things the media says you’re not supposed to.
So Jen and I were eager to hear Lena speak since we both LOVE the show and have huge respect for her. Our ticket came with a signed copy of her book, which we both agreed we couldn’t wait to read so began to plan our busy schedules around when we could sneak in a quick chapter.
After Lena had read her excerpt she was interviewed by Caitlin and they discussed everything from parts of the book, to sharing her body on screen, being a woman in the media and her show, Girls.
The question and answer section towards the end of evening was cut short as they had run over time but a great selection of questions were asked, including those about race, some of Lena’s previous work and one woman who thanked Lena for her strong writing which had helped her to get out of an unhappy marriage. It got a bit emotional.
It was wonderful to be in a room with such a bunch of strong women (and a few celebs including Richard E Grant, Sarah Millican and the lead cast of Call The Midwife, a show Lena had been very vocal about loving). I’ve often thought of the term Feminist as boot clad, short haired bra burners and wondered what it really meant to be one. I don’t know if I am one, but if it means being in the company of these ladies it’s definitley not a bad place to be.