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Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner Talk LennyLetter (And How Twitter Is a 'Tool for the Desiccation of Egos and Souls of Teenage Girls')

The big question: "Can we create a space that's snark-free but where you're still laughing?"


It has been clear over the years that the pair of creative minds behind the HBO hit "Girls" — Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner — have a lot to say about modern culture. Now, they’re turning their focus to the Internet with a new online newsletter launching this week called LennyLetter.

The online feminist culture and politics newsletter, which had already signed up 163,000 subscribers at the time of the interview, has been funded solely by the pair so far and will begin arriving in inboxes today.

"I forced my Teamster driver Brian to sign up," joked Dunham.

That gave Re/code the perfect opportunity to talk to Dunham and Konner about the new effort, as well as a range of other online topics. That includes how Hollywood is dealing with the digital onslaught and the massive online attacks that Dunham was subject to related to her memoir, "Not That Kind of Girl."

So why attempt such a throwback product, since online newsletters are kind of a retro reminder of earlier Internet days?

"We need to find a space on the Internet; I don’t want to do this in 140 characters anymore," said Dunham. "We had a frustration with the feminist Internet as it stands … a lack of sort-of snark-free, intelligent spaces for women who didn’t want to participate in feminist infighting."

Added Konner, referring to the Gawker site aimed at women’s issues: "I have been really disappointed with Jezebel, which was something I used to love so much, and now it feels almost entirely full of snark and cynicism."

The goal, said Dunham: "Can we create a space that’s snark-free, but where you’re still laughing?"

It’s a good question, as are those aimed at Dunham’s complex issues with social media, especially Twitter.

"I guess I have pulled back, I don’t look at Twitter anymore … I don’t even know my Twitter password," she claimed. "Twitter can be a tool for the desiccation of egos and souls of teenage girls."

It’s a bracing interview about the impact the Internet has on all of us, for good and bad. "I always say my gravestone will say, ‘She read the comments,'" said Konner.

You can listen to the podcast on our website, iTunes and most podcast apps.

This article originally appeared on

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