By Michael J.W. Stickings
So you may have heard that Lena Dunham, the extremely talented young woman of Girls and Tiny Furniture fame, has made a video for the Obama campaign called “Your First Time.” You may even have seen it. (Watch it, for the first time or again, below. It’s really good.)
And you may also have heard that Republicans are freaking out over the double entendre (voting for the first time = losing your virginity), saying the ad is in bad taste (among other more vitriolic takes).
Women, it seems, aren’t allowed to be sexual, or at least not when they support President Obama.
That, and these Republicans just can’t take the obvious humor here. Said the loathsome Erick Erickson, for example: “If you need any further proof we live in a fallen world destined for hell fire, consider the number of people who have no problem with the President of the United States, via a campaign ad, ridiculing virgins and comparing sex to voting.”
Ridiculing virgins? What? Okay, voting is compared to sex, but, again, it’s meant to be humorous — and it is. Not that these traffickers in right-wing outrage can appreciate the (fucking) joke. I hardly think President Obama and Lena Dunham would do an ad that treats women like sex objects or that diminishes them in any way. To the extent that both sex and voting can be empowering, well, yes — that’s the point. And everyone who isn’t an intellectually and sexually stunted fool surely gets it.
Hey, even Ronald Reagan got it. As TPM’s Eric Kleefeld notes, the Republican who could never do wrong said this on November 1, 1980:
I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.
Oh, but Republicans are outraged! And it’s all so very faux, because do you really think they give a shit about a woman’s dignity, as they’re suggesting? Please. These anti-sex theocrats would much prefer it if women stayed home, baked some apple pie, took care of the kids, and pleased their husbands — that is, if they did the opposite of what Ms. Dunham is proposing here. Indeed, Ms. Dunham, and all such liberated women, are threats to the repressive right-wing worldview that is so clearly on display here.
(Along, of course, with the transparent and pathetic attempt to score some of the women’s vote for Romney by characterizing the president as some sort of sexual predator, or at the very least as a degrader of women. Stupid and ridiculous — the president is in a loving relationship with a strong, brilliant woman and has two lovely daughters, lest we forget, and strongly advocates policies that specifically empower women (e.g., equal pay, abortion rights, access to contraception) — but what do you expect from these clowns?)
It is 2012, right?