Sometimes, in politics, you got to roll with the punches and take a joke. Unfortunately actual politicians, on both sides, like to mud sling and sometimes blow things out of proportion to make the other party look irresponsible. Lena Dunham, the writer and star of Girls, made this video comparing having sex for the first time to voting for the first time. It’s great, but there were some reporters and politicians who thought it was offensive.
Lena says, “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful … somebody who really cares about and understands women . . . 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 and pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama.”
One writer, Ben Shapiro, kind of missed the entire point, saying, “It’s an astoundingly tasteless ad comparing voting for the first time to losing your virginity. Really. And Dunham recommends that if you’re going to have sex–-er, vote–-for the first time, you should really do it with President Barack Obama.”
Lena is comparing voting for the first time with virginity for two reasons: A) It’s hilarious. B) Voting for women, right now, should be just as important and thoughtful as losing your virginity.
Shapiro continues, “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–it would be produced by Bill Maher and star Bill Clinton.”
Let’s break this down.
*Obama has young daughters. This video doesn’t mention sex once, you would only get the joke if you had pre-existing knowledge about how we talk about sex and virginity. It’s like when I was a kid and I would listen to O-Town’s, “Liquid Dreams.” I didn’t know that song was about wet dreams until this year. These things go way over the heads of the children it would be inappropriate for. If you get the joke then you are old enough to get the joke. Remember, you can’t vote until you’re 18.
*This is exploitation of women! Lena Dunham chose to endorse Obama and she chose to make this video. She wrote the script. How is honoring a woman’s choice to have a voice (that rhymes) anything but giving her the most control over her life and decisions?
*Women only care about sex. There is nothing in this video about sex, Lena is just playing off the language we use to talk about sex to make a joke. If anything this video values sex highly. It’s comparing voting to how much anxiety, thought, and significance we place on losing our virginity. The first time you have sex is special. The first time you vote should be special. She is urging women and men to use caution about who they choose. She happens to be endorsing Obama.
Watch the video here.
Do you find the video offensive or not a big deal? Let us know in the comments!