If you don’t know who Lena Dunham is, she’s the woman (I’ll come back to that designation later) who stars in the weird, disturbing and fundamentally misogynistic video encouraging people to vote “first time” with Obama.
I avoided watching the video for several days, but when I watched it it was exactly what I expected. I showed my wife the other day and she had pretty much the same reaction I did.
I had never heard of Dunham. Watching the video with her name on it, I assumed that it was one of those “well, I’ll hate myself for doing this but it’ll make me famous” things.
But apparently she’s already on TV. I learned this reading the NZ Herald site yesterday in Rebecca Kam’s column. (That’s the column subtitled “Poking a stick at ladies’ issues, pop culture, and other cutting-edge curiosities”**) From this I learned that my desire to lose my dinner is not normal, in fact the real problem is that “sex is fundamentally wrong”*. Yet after telling us this, she apparently still thinks the ad is fantastic, and it’s the conservative (and normal person’s) reaction that’s the real problem. I guess misogyny isn’t a “ladies issue”.
(Coincidentally, if I were to search for a blog post that contains all those quotes in her column, just how extreme left do you think that blog would be? Last time I went chasing a Herald columnist’s quotes I ended up in the Democratic Underground.)
To be fair, finding a New Zealander who hasn’t got a balanced view of US politics is like finding a rude New Yorker or a Cantabrian with an EQC claim. Given this, she probably honestly believes that the Republicans will try to ban birth control, and probably believes that Bush was going to introduce the draft in 2004 if it wasn’t exposed by the courageous Democratic party.
I thought this writer had the best counterpoint though.
“My first time voting was amazing,” Lena Dunham enthuses at the close of her suggestive “First Time” ad endorsing Obama. “It was this line in the sand: first I was a girl, now I was a woman.”
Well, maybe we would all be better off if Miss Dunham could be a lady. After all, a lady doesn’t publicly gush about losing her virginity, how “you wanna do it with a great guy,” with “someone who cares about and really understands women,” with “a guy with really beautiful …” (as to a beautiful what, Lena leaves up to our imagination), “someone who cares about whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control,” or other tasteless schmaltz. And a lady certainly does not try to convince impressionable youth how “super un-cool” it is “not to be ready.”
The innuendo-as-political-endorsement gimmick was obviously cooked up to appeal to suggestible college girls with sex on the brain. But Miss Dunham’s monologue misses the mark for several reasons, and is likely to backfire with her target audience.
I always thought that it was pretty dumb to think that college age women had sex on the brain. Dumb, insulting and an attitude that could get you (speaking of males of the species) in a wide variety of trouble. Funny thing is, the people you’d get in trouble with in most of those scenarious seem to be the ones who like this ad.
Frankly, Miss Dunham’s ad is embarrassing. And it raises the question: just who is Lena Dunham, anyway, to tell us how to lose our virginity or how to vote? Her claim to fame is that she writes and stars in the HBO series “Girls,” which Manhattan media blog Gawker accurately summed up as “a television program about the children of wealthy famous people and shitty music and Facebook and how hard it is to know who you are and Thought Catalog and sexually transmitted diseases and the exhaustion of ceaselessly dramatizing your own life while posing as someone who understands the fundamental emptiness and narcissism of that very self-dramatization.”
Well, in this context, Miss Dunham’s ad looks like merely another exercise in narcissism and self-dramatization. Why should any of us take her seriously? First-time voters can decide for themselves who they want to vote for, without taking cues from some coarse 26-year-old celebrity’s self-serving propaganda.
So the answer to “why” appears to be: because she’s full of it. She’s also a young almost-celebrity with little experience and strong options.
But I repeat myself.
* Of course she was probably talking about conservatives.
** Given this column pokes a stick at conservatives, I guess that makes us cutting-edge eh? Heh.