Brave Thinkers: A Guide to the People Who Risked Their Reputations, Fortunes, and Lives in Pursuit of Bold Ideas in 2012
Let’s do a little exercise in sorting. Starting with Khadija Ismayilova:
Ignoring personal embarrassment, a crusader fights corruption in Azerbaijan.
In other words, she’s someone who risked her reputation. Next is Jay Bradner:
Forgoing fortune, a cancer-fighter rushes research into the hands of others.
Like it says, the man risked his fortune. On to Fawzia Koofi. Her blurb:
Despite threats to her life, a woman runs for president of Afghanistan.
So, yeah, she risked her life. And now we have Lena Dunham:
A witty provocateur serves up a new vision of modern women.
That may be true (not saying it is), but here’s what it is NOT. It’s not, by any reasonable stretch of the imagination, an example of a single one of the risk categories the article lays out. How is someone who gets fawning press from outlet to outlet risking her reputation? How did someone who just made nearly $4 million on a book ABOUT HERSELF risking a fortune? How is someone who erases tweets the moment she makes someone mad risking her life? She’s the very definition of an outlier, here. I’ll also submit that including her on this list the very definition of cynicism, since - if I’m going to be fair to the Atlantic - including Dunham was likely an effort to get people to read the article.
That’s a good point. So, what do the rest of you think? Is Lena Dunham a brave thinker?