“This week it came to light that when Lena Dunham was 7 years old, she looked at her little sister’s vagina, and an alarming number of people dubbed her a “child molester.” She also did other things critics find offensive, like masturbate next to her sleeping sister and bribe her sister for affection (although the latter doesn’t seem to be as much of a point of contention). I’m shaking my head in disbelief as I write because I can’t believe that such innocuous things have become the subject of so much vitriol. If I had a penny for all of the sexual organs I looked at as a child, I’d be rich. OK, maybe I’d only have an extra ten or so dollars, but you know what I mean. Children are naturally inquisitive. They are fascinated by the weird things they begin discovering on their bodies. Children often do not identify these things sexually, or have a sexual intent when exploring themselves and others. The intense and hateful puritanism that Lena Dunham has become victim of simply because she was curious about vaginas, and as an innocent child, no less, is disgusting. In truth, Lena wasn’t inappropriately sexualizing her sister – the public is doing so, with their pearl-clutching outcry about her accounts of what happened.
It’s all part of a wider Vagina Panic™ endemic in our society. How dare a woman seek bodily awareness? How dare a little girl have any sort of biological curiosity whatsoever? Sexuality is an impropriety! Meanwhile, I would be willing to wager that if a male writer had told a comically nostalgic story about how he and his brother compared penis size when they were little kids, everyone would chuckle heartily and pat him on the back for being so adorable. What a silly little boy child just trying to figure things out in this crazy old world! Even when it comes to being a teen masturbating in the same room as someone else, boys are given a free pass. I’ve heard many a tale of straight, high school boys all masturbating at once to see who would last the longest or cum the most. I’ve heard many stories from teenage boys of having sex while their friend was asleep nearby in the room. No one thinks that’s weird. But girls are, of course, not afforded the same liberty, because girls who want to know how their bodies work are obviously filthy little molesting sluts who ought to be publicly shamed and sent back to the kitchen to bake cake.
I did a lot of weird things when I was trying to figure out what my vagina was, and what the strange tickle feeling that began happening between my legs meant. I went through puberty at 10 years old, and it’s important to remember that for a lot of girls, puberty happens before you’re ready for it, and before anyone has even bothered to tell them anything about the way their body works. And when it’s happening to you, you want to know about it, and you’re well within your rights to seek ANSWERS, damn it. There’s nothing malicious, creepy, or predatory about sexual discovery. So here are 6 things little girls do when they’re discovering their sexuality that no one talks about (but probably should). . .”