Does Lena Dunham’s Video Upset You?
Real Relationship Advice
The recent release of Lena Dunham’s video for the Obama Campaign has some women upset. Ms. Dunham, in the video, likens voting for Obama to losing your virginity. She says, “The first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. Someone who really cares about and understands women.” Another thing she mentions is, “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, I pulled back the curtain, I voted for Barack Obama.” The video is light and funny and directed to young women who are of college age.
Some women feel that the video is disgusting, disgraceful and in poor taste. Generally this criticism is coming from an older demographic. I would argue that this video is funny and yet makes a poignant plea to young girls who have no experience voting and perhaps are not informed. Ms. Dunham’s video covers the Lilly Ledbetter Act, healthcare, birth control choice, trust in a candidate, bringing troops back from Iraq, marriage equality, and makes it perfectly clear that she is endorsing Obama. She does not go into details of sex but alludes to the act of voting for the first time as something that you will live with forever. In effect, she is making the argument that this choice will affect your whole life as a woman in less than 1:03.
Perhaps what women find offensive about the video is that Ms. Dunham is able to present such a dire situation for women in a funny way. Let’s face it, there is no humor coming out of the right these days and when it does it is in the form of crude racial epithets. The left is trying to stay positive while working tirelessly to prevent a return to a time when white men made all the rules and everyone else shut up and knew their roles.
The right can try to keep the conversation on the economy and jobs while slowly playing their agenda to take away our reproductive rights under the radar. Regardless of whether you are Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, this platform agenda will not only outlaw abortion but criminalize it, affecting all women, even those completely opposed to it. When we hear the Pro-Life agenda, we forget that rape and incest will not be included as exceptions. We forget that within this broad stroked legislation, certain birth control like the pill and IUD would also be banned. We forget that within this way of thinking in-vitro fertilization and most forms of Infertility Treatment will be outlawed. We forget that women who are raped will at some point need to meet their attackers in ‘family’ court to discuss parenting their child with their rapist.
So ladies who are upset about this video, what is really upsetting you? Is it because the video equates the loss of virginity to voting? Is it because other pro-Obama videos and ads have asked women to Vote with their lady parts? Is it that we are trying to refocus this election from the economy to a fundamental right to privacy and healthcare choice that involves our vaginas and uteri? Do you find yourself changing the topic from women to the economy as well? Because, if you do, you are not upset about this video because it violates your sense of self. You are upset that it made you think. You are upset because it triggered uncertainty and made you think how your vote will not just pick a president but will change the lives of every woman in this country. You are upset because your vote for Romney is a vote against all women of all ages.
Lena Dunham was able to make light of a dreadful situation but I can assure you, she isn’t laughing at the possibility of a Romney/Ryan presidency. Consider it her defense mechanism from a possible future more disturbing than your bruised sensibilities.