Since Lena Dunham is incapable of doing things that aren’t controversial, she’s released an ad for the Obama campaign in which she compares voting to losing one’s virginity. “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody,” she says. “You want to do it with a great guy.” While Girls fans won’t be surprised to see Dunham endorsing Obama via an edgy, feminist monologue about sex, in the few hours that the ad has been out, conservatives have already expressed outrage over the “disgusting” and “astoundingly tasteless” clip. While the video is meant to highlight Obama’s argument that with his support for the Lilly Ledbetter Act, commitment to preserving women’s access to health care, and understanding that “rape is rape,” he’s the most pro-woman candidate, according to Breitbart, Obama is actually demeaning women by suggesting that they “only care about having sex.”
Conservative columnist John Podhoretz argued on Twitter that the Obama campaign made a mistake by releasing the ad, saying, “I am a great admirer of Lena Dunham’s but I don’t think appealing to undecided voters in the Midwest is in her skill set.” That’s true, but since Dunham makes two college references in the one minute ad (“You don’t want a guy who says, ‘Oh hey, I’m out studying’ when really he’s out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act,” and “Think about how you want to spend those four years. At college age time, that’s 150 years”) it’s pretty clear that it’s intended to encourage young liberals to get out and vote rather than holing up in their dorm rooms and doing whatever college kids do. (Having sex, probably.)
Still, the Obama campaign probably should have anticipated that there would be a backlash to an ad that features an extended sex metaphor (and is somewhat similar to a Vladimir Putin ad, no less). As for Dunham, many conservatives report that they’re learning who she is for the first time (LifeNews.com explains she’s “something of a vulgar performance artist”). Hopefully, this won’t discourage them from tuning in for the second season of Girls.