Papa Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Strippers. Or Feminists: this week in awkward right-wing campaign videos

…come to us via VideoGum! First up is country ballad against porn (and strip clubs, and dirty thoughts), “Somebody’s Daughter.”

This video has a man driving through the rain-soaked (presumably sin-soaked as well) streets on his way home, interspersed with stock ’90s imagery taken from country music videos and Hallmark commercials (music boxes, home videos, mothers with babies, the stuff memories are made of, etc). If the melodrama of these images don’t get the point across, the lyrics do:

The moment she was born
Her mommy and daddy cried
Taken by the wonder of life
From Barbie dolls to ballet shoes
From roller skates to lipstick and rouge
She’s become a lady overnight
Why do I see only flesh and look right past her heart
I try to tell myself I can’t help what I feel - then I remember

She’s somebody’s daughter
Somebody’s child
Somebody’s pride and joy
Somebody loves her for who she is inside

It’s almost five minutes to sit through, but just so you know, things get really intense when he opens up his laptop!

This is actually only one of several music videos made for, offering “freedom from the crushing grip of porn.” Are strip clubs and pornography frequently problematic? Yes. If it’s ruining your family life should you seek counsel and remedy? Well yeah. Are there better ways to address it than imagining her mom and dad at her college graduation/birthday party/dance recital? And reinforcing images of all women as “our little girls all grown up?” Oh yeah! This video adds to some recent conversations on the prevalence of porn in society, and while I’m pretty uncomfortable with most porn and strip clubs, if the Somebody’s Daughter campaign is all about casting men as sexual perverts for liking porn and women in the sex industry as a dependent innocents, then I doubt it’s adding anything new or progressive as far as curbing the more harmful aspects of pornography and “gentleman’s clubs”….though I have to give them some credit, this is by far one of the unsexiest videos I’ve ever watched.

Feeling sad and guilty after all those picture frames and graduations and home wrecking websites? This next video is a bit more lighthearted.

It’s hilarious! It’s so campy! Everyone’s in on the joke, the music is purposefully cheesy, and everyone is overplaying their role! Like that wholesome cookie-baking mom! That adoring, love struck, striped-sweater-wearing boyfriend! And that straight-laced girl who goes away to college and then comes back a tatted-up, Tai Chi-ing, incense-burning, feminist rhetoric spouting, rainforest tree-hugging deviant! Who’s pregnant! Wait…I’m not actually familiar with that archetype. Did I mention she’s pregnant?

This video’s called the “College Casualty” (and you thought the ROTC was risky!) and is one of the more creative videos produced by the College Weekend Workshop, a webcast made for Christian families before they send their sons and daughters away to college to hopefully avoid becoming “another statistic.” (Cause statistics….are bad? Can’t you get an STD from them?)

The camp of the video falls short when you realize that the “After” Kim is actually what parents fear their kid will come home as. I can forgive conflating every liberal stereotype but the pregnant thing is pushing it (Although what’s wrong with Tai Chi? That it sounds foreign? Why not substitute “curry” or “Barack Obama”?). For the last time, being a feminist does not equal a) being sexually promiscuous and b) ending every sentence with “… created by a male-dominated society.” I can only imagine she got pregnant from her clueless boyfriend because they didn’t receive proper sex education (speaking of conflating stereotypes).

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by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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8 Comments Have Been Posted

& as a sex worker, I should

& as a sex worker, I should say that while the way heterosexual cis male desire is constructed in this culture is fucked up, there is nothing wrong w/selling one's sexual services/sexuality per se, and depicting all of us as agencyless victims--literally, children--is fucked up.

I hope one day I can live in a society where my mother can be proud of me for being an accomplished courtesan as well as an effective activist. Sorry if that statement might shock some of you.

As a young woman, no it

As a young woman, no it really doesn't. I would much prefer a society where it would be legal to have sex in exchange for money - as opposed to, say, the more common diamond ring or dinner out.
By making prostitution illegal we make it much easier for prostitutes to be exploited. It's your body, use it as you will. Your mom might not be proud, but I am!
As someone who became sexually active as a young teenager, I strongly resent claims that I've been hurt in some way, that I can't possibly enjoy what I do. Because I do. I. Like. Sex. A Lot.
That shouldn't be so wrong, I shouldn't have to defend myself.

I'm disappointed that Bitch Blog...

seems so dedicated to putting down right-wingers to the point that it ignores feminists issues as it may apply to conservative women.

No mention of the Playboy article that came out with a list of conservative women that the author would like to "hatef**k?"

No mention of David Letterman's remarks about Palin's 14 year old daughter being knocked up and Palin looking slutty as appropriate joke material?

I mean I don't think I could find more mainstream pop culture vehicles that deal with outright chauvinism and sexism (very well documented in fact) than these examples. Feminism ideals of respect, equal treatment and freedom from sexual exploitation apply to all women, not just the ones we agree with.

speaking of someone's daughter

I have critiqued the media's handling of <a href=" before,</a> and the subsequent lack of coverage on her and other conservative women is due to the same reasons I don't blog about other issues: it's covered well <a href="">elsewhere,</a> or I heard about it a week after it happened, it's not because they're conservative.

For another view (there's several here at the blogs!) <a href=" has a great response to your comment.

The problem I found with the

The problem I found with the Somebody's Daughter campaign is right in it's name: Somebody's Daughter. The campaign is trying to elicit sympathy for women that they believe are being victimized (whether or not strippers are objectified is debatable and another topic completely) by appealing to them as "Somebody's Daughter" and rather than of their own humanity. So, we shouldn't view them as more than just flesh because they are somebody's "little girl" and not because they're a human being? Sound a little possessive, no?

Porn is a problem in many churchs

"50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers stadium event… 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a survey… in a 2003 Focus on the Family poll 47 percent of respondents said porn is a problem in their home." I am not going to get to into the statistics about porn addiction within church and at seminaries etc, but it is a big problem just like any other addiction (yes the above stats are not about addiction but there is plenty of material on that in the church too). While cheesy, it just seems that first video was a way for them to reach their primary audience and start the conversation about being addicted to porn or about porn causing problems in their homes.

Pervy daddy hates sexualizing his own children

Getting beyond the cheese factor, there seems to be a disconnect between the "somebodys daughter" message and the broader understanding of misogynist culture. The video might hit home with some fathers out there that genuinely hate the idea of thinking about their child as being sexually objectified. And one might say "Hey, if that gets pervy daddy stop going to the titty bar, whats so bad about that?"

Well, the bigger issue is the question of whether pervy daddy was emotionally coerced out of the titty bar by the idea of sexualizing his own children or did he see a bigger picture of social misogyny that his behavior contributed to? There is always this element of conservative anti-porn campaigns that associates sexual attraction (SIN) to negative emotions such as guilt and shame. It fits the religious moral underpinnings of their campaigns. And its what separates them from the secular feminists, who stress the social harm rather than the individual spiritual struggles. Both groups attack personal responsibility at different angles. Perhaps a good topic for a future article.

I personally don't wanna go

I personally don't wanna go deep into morality, so I'll say some words about video.
The problem I found with the Somebody's Daughter campaign is right in it's name: "Somebody's Daughter"
Same for me. That's one of the worst names they could pick for a campaign like that.
Somebody's in that case sounds kind of "unwanted and unsought

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