The PJ Tatler

Gloria Steinem Has a Short Memory

Democrats are worried about the election. They are shunning the President and the First Lady as political poison. They are political poison because Obama’s policies and positions have unerringly failed.

With time running out, Democrats need someone to inspire their base. So they are going for women and the War on Women meme. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had Gloria Steinem do an email blast to supporters in which she makes this inexplicable statement:
Instead [Republicans are] relying on tired, sexist tropes to appeal to us. Women will only vote if voting is like dating, getting married, or breaking up. At least that’s what Republicans seem to think.
That’s what Republicans think?! Republicans are relying on tired, sexist tropes?! I seem to recall a highly praised get-out-the-vote ad by the Democrats that compared voting to sex, first time sex actually, as in your first time should be with someone you can trust. As The Guardian covered the story at the time:

“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy,” Dunham begins. It sounds like she’s talking about one thing, but it soon becomes clear she’s talking about another thing, a comedic technique as pathbreaking as we’ve come to expect from the 26-year-old writer and director of HBO‘s Girls.

“It should be with … someone who really cares about women. Who cares about 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… My first time voting was amazing. Before, I was a girl. Now I was a woman.”

Clearly, Democrats hope to motivate college-age first-time voters, but it’s hard not to wonder if they also just wanted to enjoy the predictable spectacle of the furious response from people whose fury can only fuel Obama’s support.

So if the Democrats engage in sexist pandering, it’s a “pathbreaking” “comedic technique” to motivate young female voters. If Republicans object to that sexist pandering, it just goes to show we are a bunch of prudes. And if Republicans engage in sexist pandering—allegedly, does Steinem provide an example?—then it is a tired trope.
Besides the contrived confusion over whether the offense is being sexist or not being a Democrat, I wonder how those young women feel now about that first time guy they trusted, you know, the one who brought the troops out of Iraq.