As I’m sure you’re startlingly aware, today is Election Day. For many people, myself included, this will be the first presidential election they’ve voted in (it’s very exciting…and nerve-wracking)!
Throughout the campaigning season, I’ve been trying to see the other side by engaging in discussion with Republicans or following some on Twitter, instead of being that guy who so quickly dismisses an opinion that does not agree with his/her own. In this endeavor, I stumbled across a video from someone I follow, Twitter user RepubGrlProbs:
The above video was a response to the Lena Dunham: Your First Time video, sponsored by Obama for America.
My main problem is the notion of the “first time” being what makes you become a woman–as Dunham says explicitly, “before I was a girl, now I am a woman.”
Defining a woman by the act of having sex really just plays into the patriarchal construct of virginity. A woman’s worth should not be defined by how much sex she has had or has not had (examined in The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti).
Dunham further says “it’s super uncool to be out and about and someone asks, ‘Did you vote?’ and you say, ‘No, I wasn’t ready.'” This is demeaning a woman for her choice to engage in sex or not.
What defines a woman is if a woman calls herself a woman, nothing else, nothing more.
RepubGrlProbs responded to Dunham’s video, so it carries along the metaphor. But there are even more significant problems said by Morgan, the creator of the video. We see someone who has not checked her privilege. There is a flickering of rape apology. Morgan does not realize that not everyone is wealthy and can afford birth control. She also says, “[referring to Obama] thinks the answer to an unplanned pregnancy is an abortion…um, hello, there adoption. Or, I don’t know, take responsibility for your own actions?” This is either forgetful or implying that rape victims need to take responsibility for something they had no control over. I hope this is not what the creator intended to say. But it certainly comes off that way.
Vote because it is your right to choose what is best for you and your country. You are a citizen exercising your right.