When writing a post like this, I become very much aware that there are no women writing regularly on this blog, now that Betty Brink is indisposed. That’s really too bad; this subject cries out for a female point of view. In the absence of such, though, I’m stepping into the breach to comment on Lena Dunham’s innuendo-laced ad supporting Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Here it is:
Like it? I managed a dry chuckle when I saw it. Maybe the strummed ukulele in the background is a bit too much. It’s not the ukulele, though, that’s making lots of conservatives foam at the mouth over this ad. Ben Shapiro at Breitbart tries to slut-shame Dunham. Don’t get too imaginative on us there, Ben. Joshua Trevino compares Dunham to Vladimir Putin. (Whoa!) One Minnesota Republican hack went further and compared Dunham to Satan. Yes! Now we’re talking! Breanne Howe over at RedState declares that Obama has asked for your daughters. Oooh, pearl-clutching and racist! I love it! Yes, the big scary black man is coming for your white women. (I’m not the only one who has called this, either.) All this despite the fact that Ronald Reagan compared his first Republican vote to losing his virginity. Guess everyone’s forgotten that.
You know, the Republicans keep saying that their supposed “war on women” is a left-wing fiction, but then their people keep saying this stuff in public. First it was Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut. Then it was the comments on abortion offered up by U.S. Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, who seemingly would be heartless enough to stand over the beds of pregnant rape victims and tell them, “We feel bad for you, but we’re putting you through nine more months of hell. Praise Jesus!” (I’d recommend that Akin and Mourdock go on a comedy tour and bill themselves as The Rapey Republicans, but I’d rather watch the DVD of Girls if I’m looking for a laugh.)
Now this. Something about the idea that young women might like to exercise their sexual freedom (or, like Dunham, mine the subject for naughty humor) sets these conservatives on the road to Crazy Town. Even though they have David Frum warning them that slut-shaming only makes the liberals’ case for them, they still can’t help themselves. And to think, nine months ago the most controversial thing about Dunham was landing a Criterion DVD release for her first movie. Plain, unassuming, extraordinarily talented Lena has kicked up a political foofaraw. Sarah Silverman must be jealous; her pro-Obama activism hasn’t created the same waves even though she has been much raunchier about it. (Warning: previous link NSFW.) Anyway, bravo to Lena Dunham.
As for these right-wingers, I would say that they’ve turned into your grandparents, but the truth is, your grandparents are probably cooler than them. Your grandparents probably know that unmarried women don’t deserve to be tarred and feathered for wanting to have sex, or even lots and lots of sex. Your grandparents probably know that if men can be funny about sex, even graphically, then surely women have the same right. Your grandparents can probably take a joke. Looks like these conservatives can’t.