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Lena Dunham, filmmaker, actress and director, in Laguna Niguel, California, Oct. 2, 2012. (Alex Gallardo/REUTERS)
Lena Dunham, filmmaker, actress and director, in Laguna Niguel, California, Oct. 2, 2012. (Alex Gallardo/REUTERS)

election 2012 ad watch

Young people doing it for the first time Add to ...

The course of the U.S. presidential campaign has been distracted a number of times by talk about non-consensual sex. Rape that is “legitimate,” “easy,” “honest,” and even “a gift from God.” Now a campaign ad is featuring a wink-wink joke about consensual sex, and many are suggesting it’s gone too far.

On Thursday, the Obama campaign released an ad featuring Lena Dunham, the creator and star of divisive HBO show “Girls.” In the spot, Ms. Dunham talks about how special a girl’s first time is – the joke being that she’s talking about the first time a girl exercises her democratic right to vote.

The ad has provoked reactions of offense, disgust, and even fear-mongering about the President asking for your daughters.

Love or hate her show – each choice is no doubt equally, er, legitimate – Ms. Dunham is clearly a voice of the current zeitgeist for young women. And given that Mr. Obama’s support among young voters is still something he has to work for, the strategy is clear.

What do you think? Is the ad a gentle bit of humour speaking to young people on their own terms, or an inappropriate move for a presidential candidate?

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