Here is an ad put out by the McCain campaign that associates Obama with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton:

What struck me about it is that associating Obama with some young women is a way to imply he’s not a serious candidate (see this post from yesterday on a similar theme). I mean, they could have used, say, Tom Cruise of one of the examples of overwhelming celebrity, but part of the image of the Obama campaign is that many of his followers are sexy but vapid young women. (Also, as far as I’m aware neither Britney Spears nor Paris Hilton have actually been connected to Obama, unlike Scarlett Johansson, who sent him emails; the media frenzy over the idea that he was her “email buddy” eventually forced him to distance himself from any association with her. Why this was such a big deal, I do not know, since there was no indication that the emails were inappropriate in any way.)

Also: Paris Hilton has now become part of our political discourse? Really?

NEW: Marc S. sent in a link to the humorous response from Paris Hilton. It might be a humorous intro to a discussion of the way that we assume that certain types of femininity (particularly the type associated with tanning and liking the color pink) are incompatible with being intelligent or politically aware.

Thanks, Marc!

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.