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October 26, 2012

Conservatives Lose Their Minds Over Lena Dunham's "First Time"

Girls creator and star Lena Dunham has a new video out for the Obama campaign called "Your First Time". It's a funny reminder to young voters that when you vote for the first time you should think carefully about it and make sure you're choosing the right candidate for you:

Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody, you wanna do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful...Someone who really cares about and understands women. A guy who cares whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control. The consequences are huge. You wanna do it with the guy who brought the troops out of Iraq. You don't want a guy who says "oh hey, I'm at the library studying" when really he's out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Or who thinks that gay people should never have beautiful complicated weddings of the kind we see on Bravo or TLC all the time.

It's a fun game to say "who are you voting for?" and they say "I don't want to tell you!" and you say "no, who are you voting for?" and they go "guess!". Think about how you want to spend those four years. In college age time, that's 150 years. It's also super uncool to be out and about and someone says, "Did you vote?" and you say, "No, I wasn't ready." My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before I was a girl, now I was a woman. I went to the polling station, pulled back the curtain...I voted for Barack Obama.

In a totally unsurprising turn of events, conservative men are up in arms about this ad. (Funny how we didn't hear any of them complaining about ads that demean women when the RNC ran "The Breakup", an ad that likened President Obama to a bad boyfriend.) Two of the douchebags from planet Breitbart denounced it - one called it  "disgusting" and the other described it as "astoundingly tasteless", adding:
Yes, she just compared sex with voting. And she mocked virgins – “No, I didn’t vote, I wasn’t ready.” And she said that Barack Obama’s the guy she’d rather have sex – er, vote – with. She actually saved herself for Barack Obama (she’s 26) – she could have swiped her V(oting)-card with John Kerry, but he was too limp a candidate, apparently. A real flip-flopper.

So she chose to do it for the first time with Barack Obama, since he “cares about and understands women.” In fact, he understands them so well that he exploits them for insane commercials comparing losing your virginity with voting. Obama has young daughters. But that didn't stop him from releasing this commercial. Because this is what Obama thinks of your daughters. This is Obama's official campaign ad. Paid for with his campaign money. Distributed by his campaign. If this ad were any more demeaning to women – who apparently care only about having sex, if you listen to Lena “You Want To Do It” Dunham -- it would be produced by Bill Maher and star Bill Clinton. [Breitbart.com via Little Green Footballs]
Fox News found a PR "expert" to call the ad "R-rated", "offensive" and "inappropriate". And then, of course, there's Rush Limbaugh:
I mean, [the Lena Dunham ad is] insulting to women. It again looks at women as monolithic sex machines who want to make sure they've got unending birth control pills and then a free trip to Planned Parenthood the next day, all paid for by Obama. If I were a woman today, I would feel insulted each and every day, the way they look at women, all thinking the same way, all wanting the same things. I think that ad -- some people look at it, they'll think it's cool, that it's hip and it's representative of the current modern day pop culture. But I think it's an insult to women everywhere.
I mean, where the hell is Gloria Steinem? Gloria, is this what you all have been fighting for all your lives, an ad like this, an appeal to women as sex machines? Is that what feminazi-ism was all about? Is that what all the equal pay stuff was all about? Is that why you wanted to storm your way into every all-male club and all-male institution and everything that you felt you were being discriminated against, was this what you were hoping would be the fruition, the result of all of your hard work? [Via Daily Kos]
Because who better to tell women, and specifically feminists, when to feel insulted than the creator of the term "feminazi", right ladies?

So let's think about this for a second. To these conservative men, it's a horrible anti-woman nightmare and an affront to common decency when a young woman jokingly alludes to the fact that she might be sexually active while making a point about voting, but it's totally cool and no big deal when many of the candidates put up by a certain political party believe that women who are "legitimately" raped should be denied emergency contraception in the hospital, and should they become pregnant should be forced to carry that pregnancy to term since after all rape is just another "method of conception" and it's "something that God intended to happen" anyway. These are the same men who will also tell you with a straight face that there's no such thing as a war on women.

It's also kinda fascinating to watch the massive amount of projecting and denial involved in this argument that it's the Obama campaign and the left in general that constantly obsesses over young women's sex lives and reduces women to "sex machines" too consumed with our rampant sluttiness to care about any other issue. (Never mind the fact that in the very ad they're critiquing, Dunham touches on several of the many issues that are important to young women, from health care to gay rights to the Iraq war to equal pay.) Believe us guys, we'd love to spend less time talking about things like birth control and our right to make our own choices about our health and access the health care services that we need when we need them. We'll be happy to do that just as soon as the Republican Party stops trying to take those things away from us. And in the service of that goal, we hope that a lot of young women get into the voting booth on Election Day for their own "first times".  But please don't do it with Mitt Romney and the Republicans...they won't respect you in the morning.  



Anonymous said...

"And she mocked virgins –"

LOL, I'm a virgin and I didn't find the ad offensive at all.

These conservatives are just plain stupid and makes one wonder how there are people who actually support and take them seriously. It's like they've become the laughing stock of politics, much like the AFA and OMM.

Anyway, this year will be my first time voting and I'm extremely excited. If Lena Dunham wants to compare sex to voting, then by all means she should because there's absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who is sexually active.

Anonymous said...

They're worried about this ad offending women, when their presidential candidate blew off equal pay and said women should get home from work early enough to make dinner?!


Anonymous said...

I read this offensive post on another blog, and it greatly saddened me. The fact that women can respond to an ad and the concerns of women with such ignorance stuns me.

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

Anon - Holy crap. That was the WORST. I need brain-bleach after reading that.

Anonymous said...

Holy crapcakes, I am so glad that moron is not truly Canadian. I was cringing with shame until I got to the part in the comments where she says she is really American. Sorry.