Girls creator and star Lena Dunham recalls her first time voting in a new ad endorsing President Obama. She also urges young female voters to make their “first time” with someone who cares about women’s rights.
“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody,” Dunham says. “You want to do it with a great guy … Someone who really cares about and understands women. A guy who cares whether you get health insurance, specifically whether you get birth control.”
Dunham then asks voters to think about how they’ll spend the next four years, and says, “In college-age time, that’s 150 years.”
At the end of the ad, Dunham recounts how “amazing” her first time voting for Barack Obama was.
Of course, not everyone is happy with Dunham comparing voting for the first time to losing one’s virginity. Neoconservative New York Post columnist John Podhoretz called the ad an “unwise political move.” He then said that he was a “great admirer” of Dunham’s but doesn’t think “appealing to undecided voters in the Midwest is in her skill set.”
Dunham’s ad is clearly targeting a specific demographic, so Podhoretz’s concern that it doesn’t appeal to undecided voters in the Midwest, while correct, is a bit misguided. The ad is meant to target college-age voters — specifically female college-age voters — and encourage them to make their voices heard. As GQ points out, the ad isn’t supposed to change minds; “it’s supposed to remind you that you’re excited. That you think Obama is cool, and that other people you think are cool think Obama is cool also.”
Dunham addressed the ad on Twitter, saying, “The video may be light but the message is serious: vote for women’s rights.”
The Obama campaign has relied heavily on the Internet and social media to reach young voters in the past and is taking the same approach for this election. If nothing else, Dunham’s ad will get people talking and thinking, even if it’s just to argue over the appropriateness of the video.
What do you think of Lena Dunham’s ad?