It's received a lot of attention, and rightly so. From Republican outrage* "Oh, look, the Democratic Party reduces women to their sexual status too!" to this well-written article on hipster sexism.
I don't condemn the ad as objectification of women. Lena Dunham is an extremely self-aware woman who knows what she's doing.
But I don't think the ad goes far enough in comparing voting to sex. I think I can do better.
- A lot of people are saying, "Don't waste your vote. Don't vote for a third party candidate, especially in a swing state." A lot of people will also tell you not to waste your virginity on someone who isn't your spouse. Both of these statements are BULLSHIT!** Vote for whom you want. Sleep with whom you want.
- The media has a lot to say about both Romney and Obama and the people who support them. And if you're somewhere in the middle, well, you're insulted by them all. Sound familiar? It's a LOT like the prude/slut dichotomy. As famously said in The Breakfast Club, "It's a double-edged sword... if you say you haven't, you're a prude. If you say you have, you're a slut. It's a trap. You want to but you can't, and when you do you wish you didn't, right?"Guess what. Voting for Obama (or having sex) doesn't make you a bad person. Voting for Romney (or not having sex) doesn't make you a bad person. Voting for Gary Johnson (or only having non-sex sex) makes you fucking awesome.
- The media is also spewing a bunch of lies about both candidates, who are lying themselves. The media lies about abstinence and sex, too. Like that if you don't abstain, you ruin yourself for your husband. Like that everyone is having sex except you. You need to do your own research about the political candidates and where they stand on the issues. Similarly, you need to figure out your own reasons for abstaining or having sex and make that decision with a partner who respects your choice.
- Voting for the first time is a big deal, just like having sex for the first time is a big deal. But for the second time is important, and the third time, and the fourth... Voting is NEVER unimportant. My first kiss was a big deal to me, but each subsequent make-out session has also helped shape who I am now as a sexual being.
- It's up to you if you want to talk about who you voted for. It's up to you if you want to talk about your sexual experience (or lack thereof).
- Your friends and family will try to pressure you to vote a certain way. You need to vote for the candidate who you think is best. Some men (or women) might try to pressure you into having sex. You need to have sex only when you think you're ready.
I've already submitted my absentee ballot. I voted for Gary Johnson. As a libertarian, I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who supports big government, which both Romney and Obama do, albeit in different ways.
But the point of this post isn't to tell you to vote for Gary Johnson.***
The point is for you to VOTE. Educate yourself on the issues, find out where each candidate stands on the issues--especially your state and city candidates--and vote accordingly.
Voting is one of the greatest freedoms we have. Don't waste it.
*Yeah, like I actually believe the Republican Party cares about this.
**TM Penn & Teller, who are both fucking awesome.
***I'm kidding. You should vote for Gary Johnson. You won't regret it.