The Chatroom: Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner

Leandra talks with the GIRLS creators about their newest venture, Lenny the newsletter

10.21.15

When Gloria Steinem wants to feel like “the queen of business and a rad bitch,” she wears the following: “Boots, pants, a sweater or a T-shirt. A concha belt. Something that’s Native American or Indian, or something that has a resonance from the past before patriarchy came along.” She feels affection toward her hands. Her favorite way to curse is to put the f-word (that’s “fuck,” not “feminist“) between syllables. She’s superstitious.

Such important trivia comes courtesy of Lenny, the newsletter brainchild of Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. In the span of a three-minute read, this very letter made me feel like I was reading an email from my best friend — a copied-then-pasted conversation with history-making feminist icon Gloria Steinem that I was somehow lucky enough to be privy to, as though it came with a subject line that read something along the lines of, “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. DO NOT FORWARD. SRSLY.” That’s the thing about Lenny: it holds the weight of a secret club.

And while it’s not a secret, it definitely is a sisterhood. The October 13th issue featured an essay by Jennifer Lawrence who asked, “Why do these dudes make more than me?” On October 9th, Amy Poehler asked me what day it was interviewed Sydney Lucas of Fun Home about reincarnation. There have been stories about periods and important conversations about abortions. One morning, my inbox boasted an interview with Hillary Clinton. Another introduced me to Michele Roberts, the first woman to hold the title of executive director of the National Basketball Players Association — the first woman to lead any major professional-sports union in the country. Without sounding like a cliché advertisement, it is not your typical newsletter.

That’s because Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner aren’t your typical anything. In fact, the only thing they’ve done thus far in their careers that could possibly count as conforming is accidental: they both showed up in the same outfit as Leandra for this very special episode of the Chatroom. Coincidence, I guess. Best friends are weird like that.

Do you know who else is really cool, besides Lena and Jenni?  Our very own Amelia Diamond!

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  • ReadER451

    I love Man Repeller and Lenny! Happy Wednesday!!

    • ReadER451

      upon watching the rest of the video, I realized this almost sounds like those horrible shopping emails…

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  • Am I the only one who DIDN’T know Girls was only doing one more season?! No old told me!!! Anyway, I’m a Lenny subscriber. I love filling my (in)box with knowledge and humor and knowing that even if I don’t have time to read every one, I can just type lenny or man repeller into my email search bar and BAM there it is. Free entertainment! (besides the cost of my iphone and extra data) I also find the more I read, the more I have to talk about, and I really love to talk. sooo thanks to internet homes like Lenny and Man Repeller for giving me a lot to say and think about.

    • also- I have always appreciated very much Lena’s openness about her OCD. That kind of casual dialogue should become the norm when discussing mental illness. The no shame, no embarrassment approach I believe will lead others to get the help the need or at least make people feel less alone in their battles.

    • Kelsey Moody

      I had this exact sentiment about being a know-it-all the other day!!! My office has Bloomberg news on constantly and they were talking about Jennifer Lawrence’s Lenny (can we use that as a stand alone noun? is it a verb yet?) and, as the only woman in my office, no one knew what the F they were talking about….tried to get all the men to subscribe, failed, but then talked their ear off about the essay, making them extremely uncomfortable in the process. Twas great, we’ve got a lot to say CJ!

      • That’s amazing. I wish we worked together, KFM. I said something about Bernie Sanders the other day at a work conference and a man there was like “oh Bernie isn’t a Kardashian, you don’t know who he is” (he said it in jest, but still). I said I absolutely know who he is, please do not undermine my intelligence with your comments…he came back the next day and apologized. Making men uncomfortable aka standing up to ignorance is one of my new favorite activities.

    • UGH I didn’t know about Girls ending either.

      • Aydan

        me neither–just frantically sent out a group text questioning my television future!!

  • cuffers27

    Loved this!! Signing up for Lenny Letter right now

  • Because I’m not very familiar with pop culture and Girls, I had to look up Lenny Letter and all of that jazz. Though I heard about the Jennifer Lawrence letter (on MR actually), I wanted to know more. I found this interesting argument against Lawrence’s letter here: http://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/10/20/the-fault-in-our-co-stars-an-open-response-to-that-infamous-lenny-letter-3600411?lt_source=external,manual

    Apparently, if she had worked the same amount of hours (she was a supporting character in American Hustle), she would have made more than her two male costars. Instead, it should have been Amy Adams who should have complained, since she worked the same amount of hours as the male costars but made less.

  • Catalina

    ITS A VIDEO. STOP. <3

  • On a decidedly different note, Leandra, your necklace (with the bear) is awesome. Any chance I could get an ID on the brand?? 😀

    • Katie

      I think it’s Aurelie Bidermann?????

      • Leandra Medine

        It’s from my brother’s label, Khai Khai. Those charms are from his candy collection (kandy kollection)

        • Cool, thanks! Too bad it no longer seems to be available on the site.

  • Tess

    I love how this interview is concluded! It frustrates/saddens me that people view me as less intellectual simply because I enjoy clothes and pop culture.

  • Hana S.

    I love this. Thanks for putting Lena and Jenni in a positive, realistic light. I’ve always thought that there’s something off about them that I just couldn’t grasp, like they are a little too altruisitic and dreamy about views in feminism, but this interview asks the right questions and shines a light on them. TEAM LEANDRA

  • Alexandra

    First of all love Lena Dunham and GIRLS and quick sidenote: the workout clothes are amazing pls tell me where they’re from. Already checked Stella McCartney for Adidas but no luck.

    • Outdoor Voices! Man Repeller’s kit. Not totally sure about Lena’s bra, but it might be VPL.

  • jamie

    So, what is the brand of Lena’s sports bra??

  • Emily Marchetti

    where are those leggings from!?!?

  • Dawn

    Oh girls–fist raised–viva la revolucion! What an inspiring interview Leandra–there is a hungry movement you’re feeding that funnily, with integrity, says, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”

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  • ava

    Great inspiration, thanks for this, just subscribed!