Lena Dunham is an 'out and proud' feminist, and isn't afraid to get vocal about issues she sees as important for women.
Recently, after cancelling a book signing for illness, she spoke out in response to a woman essentially telling her to 'harden up' and push through it. The woman cited her own experience of going back to work six days after giving birth by a cesarian section.
Dunham feels strongly about taking care of yourself when you're sick, famously talking openly about her struggle with endometriosis. She revealed the real issue with the 'harden up' argument in a powerful Instagram post.
"This was a response yesterday when I said I would be cancelling an appearance at a bookstore because I was sick," Dunham wrote. "At first it made me laugh a lot- like, oh, I'm sorry, I left your award in the car.
"But then I really contemplated how dark it is that our culture prizes these speedy recovery narratives because guess what? They're actually ways to keep women from feeling fucking pissed that they don't have proper maternity leave or medical and family care resources.
"We may not have an imminent policy change on the way, but we can change the way we talk about this stuff, and treat childbirth (or fatherhood! Or illness!) as the serious and personal journeys that they are. #leftyourawardinthecar #nooffense #paidfamilyleaveforall"
Dunham makes a good point - dismissing sick leave or paid parental leave as the 'easy way out' distracts from the fact that these should be fundamental rights at work, and essential to physical and mental health of employees.