Twenty six year-old director Lena Dunham sparked a conservative backlash Friday with her new Obama campaign ad, “Your First Time,” which plays on the idea of having sex for the first time to talk about voting for Obama in 2008.
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…someone who really cares about and understands women. A guy who cares whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control…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 the curtain, I voted for Barack Obama.
The right-wing blogosphere erupted in outrage over Dunham’s coy sexualization of voting. Breitbart.com called Dunham’s video “astoundingly tasteless,” while the Right Scoop condemned it as “disgusting” and “a new low.” Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly questioned on Twitter whether it was “appropriate.” The National Review called it “cringeworthy.” Minnesota Republican Party deputy chair went so far as to say the video was proof that Obama was being advised by Satan.
But Dunham’s president-boyfriend metaphor is hardly out of the ordinary; in fact, conservatives have been harping on essentially the same theme all election season, dodging direct references to sex but sexualizing the office of the presidency and a woman’s political life. Here are the top five examples:
1. “The Breakup”
Here’s one from the Republican National Committee of a woman ‘breaking up’ with a cardboard cutout of President Obama. Among her complaints are that he’s “constantly on the golf course” and even makes a reference to Obama being seen “out with Sarah Jessica Parker and George Clooney.”
From women’s group Independent Women’s Voice, this ad portrays Obama as an unreliable boyfriend who makes empty promises to this young woman. “You can’t change him,” a friend advises before the woman complains, “Why do I always fall for guys like this?”