Justin Bieber has had his share of ups and downs throughout his career. He’s got people who love him, and people who hate him. Biebs has been embarking on a redemption tour this year that began with his Comedy Central roast and has continued with actual music-making ventures… his “Where Are U Now” megahit collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo, and now his newest solo single “What Do You Mean.” He performed the two at Sunday’s VMAs and cried at the end, to further prove to the world that Bieber is A Mature Person Who Feels Things Just Like Everyone Else. And it’s kind of working: Public sentiment seems to be turning back Bieber’s way. (It doesn’t hurt that “Where Are U Now” and “What Do You Mean” are both actually good songs.)
But one person still needs to be impressed, apparently: Lena Dunham. As you can see above, Lena subtweeted Bieber, basically accusing him of advocating for rape culture. Dunham never actually mentions Bieber specifically, but is clearly referencing the lyrics to his new track: “What do you mean? / When you nod your head yes / But you wanna say no / What do you mean?”
While Dunham’s larger point is accurate – a lot of pop music made by men contains troublesome lyrics and content – we’re not sure she’s entirely right to take specific aim at Bieber here. Bieber’s lyrics don’t seem to reference sexual consent specifically, so much as they seem to be about the general feeling when someone in a relationship sends mixed signals about how invested in said relationship they actually are. Read the lyrics of the entire song for context and weigh in here as to whether you think Dunham was right to go after the Biebs.