Of all the ads on TV these days telling us who to vote for and why the other guy is the devil himself, none have struck me more as a mother of a little girl, than the latest ad by President Obama. You may not have heard of her, but in the ad, 26 year-old Lena Dunham, the creator and star of HBO's "Girls," suggests that your first time voting should be as special as your first sexual encounter. The thing is the ad was not released by an independent group, but by Barack Obama himself.
As a mother, it’s appalling that the president of the United States would go this far to get the youth vote. In the ad, Dunham says "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."
But, does he really? Women have lost seven times as many jobs as men in the last few years, not to mention the tax hikes that promise to burden women, particularly single mothers under President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA).
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the tax penalties under the ACA will equal approximately 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income and affect 6 million middle-class or lower-income individuals -most of which are single moms who are heads of households- who fail to purchase a “qualifying” health insurance. It also affects 10.2 million female entrepreneurs (U.S. Census) - 1 out of 10 Hispanic-owned businesses – that will end up paying a tax penalty of at least $2,000 per employee. There is even a 10 percent “tanning tax” that will impact professional tanning businesses mostly owned by women and the female clients that use their services.
Then there is the dependency factor. It seems the President believes that having women depend on his big government policies to provide for them from cradle to grave is the American Way as he suggested in the “Life of Julia” campaign. For most Hispanics that came to the United States to thrive and prosper this is a slap in the face. Dependency is what they left behind, most of us crave the independence of working hard to provide for your family and own your own in the land of opportunity.
“It was a line in the sand, before I was a girl, now I was a woman,”
says Dunham, who makes no reference to the economy or jobs, which is still the number one issue amongst women or the fact that college students -the apparent target of this ad- are unable to find a job right out of college and have ended up living with their parents. The average debt of a graduating senior is $22,500 according to FinAid.org, and many cannot pay down their debts.
It concerns me that the President believes that a good way to capture the attention of the youth vote is through a sexually suggestive ad that makes light of two very serious and important rites of passage.
I wonder if the First Lady would approve of Sasha and Malia seeing that ad. As a woman and a mom, I don’t.
Judy Pino is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who lives in Washington, DC and has a three-year-old daughter, Sofia.