Of course, if the Romney campaign had come up with such a video, there would be cries of feminist outrage. The ad would be (rightly) called not only creepy but sexist and demeaning. It would be slammed for treating college-age women as ditzy girls whose lives revolve around sex and romance, and touted as proof of Republican contempt for womanhood.

Does this mean that Democrats are the anti-woman party? No, of course not; this tacky ad was probably made by women. And its tackiness does not get the Republicans off the hook for sexism in their ranks (comments about the divine blessing of pregnancy from rape rank high on the creepiness meter).

Yet whoever women end up voting for, this ad should remind them that a supposedly progressive “pro-woman” stance can be as patronizing as old-fashioned chivalry. Yes, some government programs including a social safety net are an essential part of modern civilization, for both women and men. But when women are courted as special beneficiaries of activist government, feminists who truly stand for female equality and autonomy should be wary. Being told to look to Mr. Good Government to take care of you is hardly a feminist goal.