Abortion has been discussed a lot on the blogosphere this year, mostly surrounding recent USSC rulings and movies like Knocked Up, Waitress, and Juno. The latter has most intrigued me. Not because I'm not interested in what 8 men in dresses say I should do with my womb, but because I think that pop culture can push and pull society in certain directions despite what the men in dresses say.
The biggest critique of the movies (note: I corrected the link. Sorry!) is that while abortion is discussed (whether for a second or more), the pregnant woman ends up not having an abortion. And for some reason this is a problem for some pro-choice bloggers. And of course, the anti's jump at this plot device as a reason to dub the film "pro-life." (Many anti's held this opinion of Sugar and Spice as well.) In my opinion, I think both are pretty wrong. I find more fault with Knocked Up at showcasing women as stick-in-the-muds who need a slacker lover to get them to wake up and smell the roses. It plays into the theory that men mature with marriage or fatherhood. If the dude isn't mature on your wedding day, keep waiting until he is, k?
But all this made me stop and think about how stories are crafted. Can a good love story be crafted where the couple goes through an abortion? Dirty Dancing had one, but it wasn't central to the love story.
Alison Piepmeier's essay in Skirt! Magazine claims that it can because it is central to her personal love.
But given the comments that her essay elicited can a successful romance movie be made with abortion as a major plot point? Can we see people lining up to pay $10 each to see a movie where the couple is struggling, the woman is found crying in their bedroom with a positive EPT in her hand, and their love is strengthened by a visit to their Planned Parenthood? Or where a fairy tale romance between Maurice & Susana is rolling along and BAM! a missed period throws them off course...temporarily. On their flight to Harvard Law School, Susana pops the first of her abortion pills. Kinda like Say Anything but instead of waiting for the ding, they wait for drink service.
I think it can be made. I'm just not sure if people would line up to see it. Then again, what if we framed it as a movie like Knocked Up where the slacker dude and the uptight woman both want the abortion and he is free to slack another day AND fall in love. Ok, maybe that last part was taking it too far.
I really want to see Juno because the trailer really wrapped itself around my heart. I do think that there are more plot devices in choosing to carry a pregnancy to term. How does a woman on the brink of busting out keep up that momentum after becoming a mother? How does a woman carry on after giving up their child for adoption? Can we have the same thoughts in a pro-choice movie about an abortion without giving in to anti-myths such as post-abortion syndrome?
I hope so. I know I won't be writing that screenplay, so I'll be waiting. If anyone does accomplish it, give me a buzz.
Technorati tags: Knocked Up, Waitress, Juno, feminist, abortion, pro-choice, Piepmeier, Skirt! Magazine