I'm not surprised many 20-somethings think this campaign Web ad is cool and funny; young people tend to lack wisdom. But the president of the United States, who is also the father of two young daughters? If Barack Obama really does think his ad's messages are cool, he's revealing more about the way he thinks of women than he may realize.
First, it appears that if you say women voters to Obama, the first thing he thinks of is, not workers, students, parents, or people who worry about illegal immigration and high gas prices, but sex. You've probably met men like this—men who, when you discuss the economy, or terrorism, stare at your breasts instead of your face. I mean, we're worried about losing our jobs and borrowing money from China, and Obama responds with a sexually oriented ad, aimed at women, joking about how “doing it” with him is “amazing.”
This attitude goes beyond the Lena Dunham ad. Take a gander at the Obama campaign's “women's issues” page; it's almost entirely about birth control and abortion. Honestly, when a candidate treats me as little more than a collection of reproductive organs, I feel as though he's mentally stuffing me into a bustier, black net stockings, and six-inch Jimmy Choos.
Second, by approving this ad's message, Obama is also approving a dangerous subtext directed at America's daughters: that cool people treat sex as mere recreation, something to engage in without commitment when you're “ready,” whatever that means. You don't need a husband; you just need “a great guy” who “understands women.” Being a virgin is something to be ashamed of because it's “super-uncool.”
This worldview has led to one in four American teenage girls acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (which can lead to cancer and infertility) and 53 percent of all American children being born out of wedlock—kids who are much more likely to live in poverty, commit crimes, do poorly in school, and suffer emotional problems.
This is cool? This is funny?
No, it's not, but it is a reminder that worldviews have consequences. It's ironic that the worldview of Obama, who calls himself a Christian, so closely echoes that of the Playboy Foundation, which, like the president, has always gotten enthusiastically behind free birth control and abortion on demand. We know why Playboy does it—the organization views women as sex objects. Birth control removes the last argument women might offer against pressure to engage in sex with “a great guy” who claims to “understand women.” And abortion turns women into REUSABLE sex objects. But Mr. President—what's your excuse?
I scanned the Romney website, too. I can't tell you how refreshing it is NOT to see a “women's issues” drop-down menu. At last, a presidential candidate who doesn't think I'm from Planet Playtex! He thinks I'm concerned about economic growth and foreign policy and taxes, just like the guys! That's so cool.
You know what else I think is cool? A presidential candidate who thinks sex should be reserved for marriage, in part because it protects women and children, and who believes that vows should last forever. A guy who keeps his own commitment to his wife for 43 years, through five children, multiple sclerosis, and breast cancer.
A “great guy” is one who strives to support his family so well that his wife has the opportunity to take care of her own kids—something many working moms say they wish they could do.
That's why, when I go to the polling station in a few days and pull back the curtain, like Lena Dunham, I'm going to vote for the candidate who really cares about and understands women. News flash: It won't be anyone who views women as sex objects—or sells himself as one.
Anne Morse is a writer for BreakPoint.