The Baby Boomers At It Again
First, watch the Obama campaign ad that has everyone so worked up. Then keep reading.
Apparently, a bunch of white men got upset over nothing. At least that’s what The Atlantic Wire claims:
The outrage is ridiculous. The ad is aimed at people who are between 18 and 22 years old, people who are young enough to have not voted in the last election but who are eligible now. People who probably know who Lena Dunham is, because she’s basically the voice of every Millennial ever, didn’t you know? But these men, these old, grey-haired men, are upset because sex and voting are not the same thing, and, and think of the children!
Well, they are right about one thing: that the ad is aimed at a young generation of supposedly liberated men and women. The rest they have wrong: the outrage is not ridiculous. And not because voting is compared to sex. The outrage is ridiculous because it whitewashes my generation with the same bloated optimism towards sex as the Baby Boomer generation. And one of the clever dystopian actresses representing my generation, Lena Dunham, is co-opted into once more regurgitating the Baby Boomer Dream, that dream that ended in a dystopian present.
Ross Douthat was one of the first to tweet this appropriate reaction:
In the distant future, students of ‘Girls’ will marvel that the creator of the Obama era’s defining dystopia cut an ad in support of Obama.
Why is that?
Because anyone who has ever watched the HBO drama “Girls” would clearly recognize it as a dystopia. Or maybe not everyone. But I would hope most. Whether intentionally or not, it makes many of the same points that Mary Eberstadt’s new book, “Adam and Eve After the Pill” makes, i.e, that the sexual revolution did not follow through on it’s promises, and that women in particular were the most harmed. That one day, as Douthat also explains, “contemporary defenses of unrestricted abortion as absolutely necessary to female advancement will eventually read like Victorian-era defenses of child labor as absolutely necessary to capitalism.”
But, though you might get that message from Lena Dunham’s show, you won’t get that message from the ad.
From the ad, instead, you’ll get the message that contraception has solved all of women’s problems. From the ad you’ll get the message that generation Y still views sex as the great transition from girlhood to adulthood. But wasn’t that the baby boomers?
Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy.
Does that sound like our generation?
My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before I was a girl. Now I was a woman.
It’s a message for the wrong generation. It’s insulting to women. It reduces womanhood to beautiful first encounters with men. But the present dystopian generation doesn’t think that way. So we should all be insulted.