Every Female Needs To Read Mindy Kaling’s Interview With Lena Dunham

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Something pretty special has happened in the female empowerment/feminist pop culture world. Girls creator and star Lena Dunham has interviewed The Mindy Project creator and star Mindy Kaling. The interview was commissioned by one of our millenial heroes Tavi Gevinson, for her website aimed at teens called Rookie. Rollingstone magazine have published the entire interview on their website exclusively, and there were certain nuggets of gold that we loved and wanted to share with our readers.

Lena Dunham starts off by introducing why she wanted to do this interview. Apparently the two female media moguls have been friends for a while, and since they are both in pretty similar positions and are put on a pedestal for the same reasons, Dunham says this interview is like a public outing of the regular emails they exchange about industry stereotypes, sexism and how to be an “unconventionally pretty” girl in Hollywood.

First off, Lena asks Mindy what she would like to be remembered for, as she herself would like the words “prolific iconoclastic and winsome” to be associated with her. Mindy says a bunch of hilarious things such as being so iconic that gay teenagers would dress up as her for Halloween, but with seriousness says “Truthfully, I guess I would like to be remembered as a great writer and a kind person.”

After a very hilarious back and forth between the two (oh how we WISH this was a TV special or something!) they got down to business. Lena Dunham is no stranger to misogyny in the media but feels even though its a drag to have to point it out, she is not afraid to call it out. Mindy says that most journalists don’t like to be told their questions are sexist, but she is sick of being asked the same line of questioning, frankly.

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“More than half the questions I am asked are about the politics of the way I look. What it feels like to be not skinny/dark-skinned/a minority/not conventionally pretty/female/etc. It’s not very interesting to me, but I know it’s interesting to people reading an interview.”
“Sometimes I get jealous of white male showrunners when 90 percent of their questions are about characters, story structure, creative inspiration, or, hell, even the business of getting a show on the air. Because as a result the interview of me reads like I’m interested only in talking about my outward appearance and the politics of being a minority and how I fit into Hollywood, blah blah blah. I want to shout, ‘Those were the only questions they asked!'”Mindy goes on to say she is unashamedly a feminist who likes working with like-minded people, men included.”I’m a feminist who wants to work with other feminists. I would wager that only a masochist sexist would want to work at a show with an opinionated female lead and showrunner. So I work with people who love women. That’s a nice thing.”Lena-Dunham-and-Mindy-Kaling

At the end of the interview Lena asks Mindy what she likes to see in other women, after explaining what she herself likes to see.”I love seeing women stand up for things they believe in, teach their daughters how to do the same, prepare meals out of whatever they have in their fridges, wear helmets when they ride their bikes, call BS when they see it, and accept that feminism comes in a lotta different forms,” says Dunham.”I love women who don’t ask, “Is that OK?” after everything they say. I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances, like my mother when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Or like Gabrielle Giffords writing editorials for the New York Times about the cowardice of Congress regarding gun laws and using phrases like “mark my words” like she is Clint Eastwood. How many women say stuff like that?” Says Kaling.

But wait, there’s more…
“I love mothers who teach their children that listening is often better than talking. I love obedient daughters who absorb everything—being perceptive can be more important than being expressive. I love women who love sex and realize that sexual experience doesn’t have to be the source of their art. I love women who love sex and can write about it in thoughtful, creative ways that don’t exploit them, as many other people will use sex to exploit them.”

Best. Interview. Ever.

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18 Comments

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  2. Boy, did she hit the nail on the head about interviewers! How do we expect to get over racism, sexism and all the other isms if the interviews keep bringing them up. We need to move forward as one, not as a black, Asian, Indian or white woman.

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