Women's issues move center-stage once again in the final stretch of this
year's contentious Presidential campaigns -- mainly, due to Richard Mourdock's and
Todd Akin's extreme views on women's rights. On the left, the creative
genius of HBO's hit comedy "Girls," Lena Dunham and 1960's pop icon
Lesley Gore have released political ads that connect women of the 1960s
to first-time female voters of 2012, which provided a needed counterpoint.
Mourdock, Akin & Ryan, Pro-Life ExtremistsJust when Republican Representative Todd Akin's designation of "legitimate rape" was beginning to quiet down, Senator Richard Murdock's belief that pregnancy conceived in rape is "a gift from God" surfaced. Even Romney' running mate, Representative Paul Ryan held a no-exceptions abortion stance under his hair-splitting parsing of the words "forcible rape" -- prior to him accepting a spot on the national ticket.
The majority of Republican presidential primary candidates took the same position: that a rape-induced pregnancy is the will of the Creator — and they signed a pledge in Iowa that said as much, according to a Salon report. Of the 33 Republicans running for U.S. Senate this cycle, all but three are anti-abortion, and among them, at least nine oppose any exceptions in cases of pregnancy by rape and incest.
From 1963 to the present day" songstress Lesley Gore, 66 says, "it's hard to believe, but we're still fighting for the same things we then." Still unfurled and highly motivated, she is rededicating her 60s' pop hit "You Don't Own Me" in protest to the political party that appears to speaks out of both sides of their mouth. While hailing against the Democrat's Big Government, they ironically feel they have the God-given right to govern the bedroom. In a video uploaded to YouTube this week, Gore's enlisted a number of notable women — including “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham, actress Natasha Lyonne and model Alexa Chung to help deliver her power anthem, with definite political overtones.
Here, the lyrics resonate on a new level, even beyond its' revival as the theme song to the 1996 hit movie, "First Wives Club." From to "live my life the way I want," to "say and do whatever I please," Gore's female chorus are seen holding up protest messaging with such slogans as "Get your rosaries off my ovaries," "my body is not a background," and "we will not go backwards."
Much more controversial, Lena Dunham, herself appears in her own suggestive campaign video, likening voting to "your first time." Talking directly into the camera, Dunham's tongue-and-cheek double entendre likens a women's first time at the voting booth, to a women losing her virginity.
"Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful — someone who really cares about and understands women. A guy who cares whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control. The consequences are huge. You want to do it with a guy who brought the troops out of Iraq," Dunham says.
Geneva Sands notes in her Hill Report, "in the video, Dunham uses her trademark comedic style to take indirect shots at Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, touting President Obama's signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and his support of same-sex marriage."
The video received harsh criticism from conservatives on social media as it trended on Twitter this past week with the hashtag #myfirsttime," and to date has tallied over a quarter of a million views (as of this posting).
Dunham's last lines tie the piece up poignantly as to why young women need to get out the vote: "My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before I was a girl, now I was a women. I went to the polling station, I pulled back the curtain, I voted for Barack Obama."
So here you have both ends of the age spectrum arriving at the same conclusion. Lesley Gore who after years of singing songs about female and heterosexual angst, actually put in double-duty fighting for Gay Rights as well. In 2004, she revealed she had been with her female partner since the early 1980s.
Jon Stewart sums up what women are up against since Romney refuses to pull his endorsement for Richard Murdock. In this 60-second round-up, he underscores the Governor's hypocrisy that while he doesn't agree that God condones pregnancies as a result of rape, "it's (just not enough to be) a deal-breaker."
Based on this rationale, I guess the Governor might also believe that while he might disagree with the evil that precipitated the Holocaust and 9/11, he could potentially still support his fellow brethren if they thought these two horrendous acts were God's will at play? These acts are sins of the perpetrators, not God. If we were to make God the author of conception following rape or the cause of lives lost in the Holocaust and 9/11, we would be making God the author of sin. This is a huge theological error, and one that women, let alone Christian theologians have rejected since the first centuries of the faith.
So when women are told, "they've come a long way, baby," it appears that the GOP's draconian beliefs continuously remind them, they still have a long way to go!
Readers, what ever your views on this issue, I suggest your feelings be heard at the voting booth, whether or not it's your "first time." Nobody "owns" your vote - so make it count.