Before I even begin, allow me to apologize. In this article, I am going to have to discuss Lena Dunham’s sex life. I realize that the mere mention of Lena Dunham having relations with anyone or anything is enough to scar you, but I want to point out that you read the Spectacle at your own risk and we will not pay for your therapy.
Anyway, in her book Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham discussed, in surprisingly graphic detail, a sexual assault that she suffered at the hands of the only Oberlin campus Republican that has ever existed. Only, further examination by Breitbart news and others seemed to indicate that, while there was a campus Republican at Oberlin at the the same time Dunham attended, that campus Republican absolutely did not rape her. And the campus Republican was, quite understandably, rather distressed that the suggestion would even be made, and not just because Dunham implied that he’d willingly seen her naked, but because accusing someone of rape is, legally speaking, defamation.
Now, it seems, upon even further investigation, Dunham’s alleged rapist may not have been a Republican (or for that matter, a rapist) at all. According to Gawker’s gossip journalist, who obtained Dunham’s original book proposal, the assault outlined in the book varies significantly from the “real story.”
But if not Barry, then who? Enter Gawker. Trotter’s post is titled “Who Is Lena Dunham’s Rapist?” It then purports to answer that question:
Dunham didn’t invent a rapist character out of thin air, as the conservative writers have implied. The 2012 proposal for Not That Kind of Girl recounted the same night of unwanted unprotected sex—and supplied enough specific biographical detail to identify the man being described.
His name is Philip Samuel Ungar, a 2006 graduate of Oberlin. Now 30, he’s the son of former All Things Considered host and retired Goucher College president Sanford J. Ungar. Dunham has never explicitly named him, but his biography closely aligns with her characterization of her alleged rapist—“His father was actually the former host of NPR’s All Things Considered”—in an early draft of the chapter where she describes being assaulted.
Now, it should be made clear that Gawker doesn’t explictly know that Unger is the man Dunham references, just that earlier versions of the book give more specific details about his identity, leave out the part about him being a “Republican” (he’s actually a registered Democrat, as of 2012, but wasn’t formally affiliated with any party before then), and mention his public radio lineage, leading Gawker’s J.K. Trotter to a fairly obvious – but not perfect – conclusion. Unger, unsurprisingly, refused to comment when contacted.
There’s also no proof that he had any relationship with Dunham at all. Given how she’s portrayed “Barry,” her Republican nemesis, without much regard for the truth, it is entirely possible that the story is a complete fabrication, and Unger’s description just happens to match Dunham’s first profile, just as Barry just happens to match Dunham’s second. It’s possible that she made a description so ridiculous (mustache, radio program, purple cowboy boots), so that no one would be able to identify anyone aligning with it, only to accidentally make her description detailed enough that it easily pinpoints several people. Although Trotter tries to say that he named Unger specifically to refute conservatives who think Dunham pulled the alleged rape out of thin air, his revelation does nothing of the sort. At best, it shows that Lena Dunham lacks a lot of creativity, which most of us who’ve seen more than one episode of Girls already knew.