Writer-actress and outspoken feminist, Lena Dunham paid tribute to International Women’s Day by publishing a personal post on her LinkedIn. In the short essay, the Girls creator opens up about a loved one who is both undocumented and a “personal hero.”
She writes that this person did not allow the fears surrounding said status to stop her from attending the worldwide Women’s March. Dunham, an American citizen, on the other hand, talked about her shame regarding the situation, saying, “My own social anxiety had left me wondering for weeks whether I’d attend the women’s march before I quelled my piddling fears and just showed up.” She credits women who are immigrants as having a profound effect on feminists, who she says, “have always been emboldened by the acts of immigrant women. Following their lead will never steer us wrong.”
Dunham then examines whether she’s doing her namesake—Lena Simonoff, her great grandmother—justice when it comes to feminist endeavors. Despite sharing some physical characteristics, and a penchant for skilled hugging, Dunham admits that her younger self didn’t reflect the best of the elder Lena, but she’s trying to make up for it now. Dunham says that, currently, she hopes to follow by Grandma Lena’s example “in big ways, too,” not least by contending with the many struggles of life with grace, “by taking action against silent injustice,” and to bestow “love, patience, compassion and takeout” upon her loved ones.
Dunham ends her piece by promoting multiple organizations to help others in an effort “to use International Women’s Day to consider acts of courage great and small by immigrant women, and to commit to fighting with and for them.” While she suggests helping those in the community, she mentions that even learning about and trying to connect with those women who came before us is a way to honor the day’s significance.
Read her full essay here.