Lena Dunham, Instagram

Instagram

In an interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, Girls' creator and star Lena Dunham opened up about being sexually assaulted in college. The author, 28, also revealed why she detailed the experience in her first memoir, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned." Dunham called it "the chapter about date rape."

"It was a painful experience physically and emotionally and one I spent a long time trying to reconcile," Dunham recalled. She added, "I actually [have] been thinking about it a lot this week because I sent an email to somebody who I had known at that time who knew the guy who had perpetrated the act...I wanted to make it clear to this old friend what I felt had happened before he potentially...read about it."

"I hated the idea of somebody finding out that information [without a heads-up] because at the time that it happened, it wasn't something I was able to be honest about," she explained. "I was able to share pieces, but I used the lens of humor, which has always been my default-mode to try to talk around it."

"I said to this old friend in an email: 'I spent so much time scared; I spent so much time ashamed. I don't feel that way anymore and it's not because of my job, it's not because of my boyfriend, it's not because of feminism, though all those things helped. It's because I told the story. And I'm still here, and my identity hasn't shifted in some way that I can't repair. And I still feel like myself and I feel less alone.'"

Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham

Random House

Dunham also addressed critics who've accused her of oversharing. "I've thought about this a lot because it's a challenging thing when you're a person who has a desire, or let's say a compulsion, to share facts about your personal life. If that's the way you process the world—is to make creative content based on your personal life—then you have to be really careful about making yourself too exposed," she argued.

In fact, the two-time Golden Globe winner finds the notion of "oversharing" offensive. "The term 'oversharing' is so complicated because I do think that it's really gendered. I think when men share their experiences, it's bravery and when women share their experiences, it's...'TMI,'" Dunham said. "Too much information has always been my least favorite phrase because what exactly constitutes too much information? It seems like it has a lot to do with who is giving you the information, and I feel as though there's some sense that society trivializes female experiences. And so when you share them, they aren't considered as vital as their male counterparts' [experiences], and that's something that I've always roundly rejected."

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