Lena Dunham: Reading Gawker and Jezebel is "like going back to a husband who beat me in the face”

She also hardly uses Twitter anymore, citing body shaming and verbal abuse

Published September 30, 2015 2:42PM (EDT)

Lena Dunham   (AP/Arthur Mola)
Lena Dunham (AP/Arthur Mola)

Lena Dunham has spoken out before about her abusive relationship with Twitter, and on a recent podcast with Kara Swisher, the controversial “Girls” co-creator explained that the environment online has gotten so toxic that she now uses someone else to Tweet for her.

"I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all, and so I didn't want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it really, truly wasn't a safe space for me,” Dunham told Swisher.

Dunham has been a particular target of online trolling throughout her career, but she said the last straw came after she was verbally abused for posting a photo of herself in boxers and a sports bra. "It wasn't a graphic picture," said Dunham. "I was wearing men's boxers, and it turned into the most rabid, disgusting debate about women's bodies, and my Instagram page was somehow the hub for misogynists for the afternoon.”

"Even if you think, like, 'Oh I can read, like, 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death and kind of, like, laugh and move on,' that's verbal abuse,” she continued. "Those aren't words that should be directed at you ever. And so, for me personally, it was safer to stop [using Twitter].”

Yet it's not just the misogynist trolls that have been getting Dunham down. Dunham also noted that she no longer visits Gawker and Jezebel, likening reading the publications to domestic abuse. "I used to read Gawker and Jezebel in college and be like, 'I can’t wait to get to New York where my people will be to welcome me.' And it’s like, it’s literally, if I read it, it’s like going back to a husband who beat me in the face — it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Gawker Media came under fire recently (from both its own management and outside critics) for its often-arbitrary cruelness, and their attacks an Dunham are examples of the site at its toothiest: Last January, Jezebel released unretouched shots from Dunham’s Vogue shoot (which Dunham called "gross" and "a monumental error in their approach to feminism,") in December they ran a post attempting to unmask her college rapist, while in 2012 they leaked her book proposal for "Not That Kind of Girl." When Dunham's lawyer asked them to take down the quotes, they responded by appending commentary deriding the "'I workshopped it at Oberlin' level of quality" and  "nauseating and cloying posture of precociousness that permeates the entire proposal."

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Aol_on Gawker Lena Dunham Misogyny Twitter