Posts tagged reproductive rights
Posts tagged reproductive rights
While many (most?) rom coms are either poorly executed with awful plots or just generally painful to watch (this being the driving force behind our segment, Boy + Girl = Movie?) Obvious Child and reminds us of the genre’s potential. Obvious Child, an indie piece, breaks from the mainstream with an excellent cast (notably, Jenny Slate of SNL’s perfect “Car horns and more" and briefly, that guy from that Grampire video on college humor that lebvs likes) and smart, genuine writing. Its summary: “an unplanned pregnancy, an abortion, and a great first date in an unlikely location” rings surprisingly true. Somehow, these 20 minutes on the internet bring together believable characters, chemistry, and real-life choices in a way that Hollywood rarely does. Besides that, it made us laugh. A lot.
Obvious Child includes many of the rom com’s trademark elements: an accidental run-in between love interests, a montage, a trusty best friend. But the film stands out for its refusal to manufacture drama out of reality, and for embracing the every-day conversations and obstacles that make up life. We could say plently about what this piece does for the conversation on abortion in the US, but we think that the films’ creators can explain this much better than we can:
Anna Bean, Karen Maine and Gillian Robespierre, the script’s authors (with Robespierre as the director) offer this statement:
After years of watching many films that featured unplanned pregnancies ending in childbirth (Juno, Knocked Up, Waitress, etc.), we became disenchanted with the the way young women’s experiences with pregnancy were being represented in today’s mainstream media. While we enjoyed these films, we were also greatly unnerved by the ways in which filmmakers (and our culture more generally) have elided the issue of abortion, making it a silent enemy, a choice not to be made. We’ve been waiting to see a film in which a woman makes the other choice, and there’s still a happy ending. With “Obvious Child” we wanted to tell a story of a strong, funny woman who easily makes the decision to have an abortion without feeling guilty or traumatized.
We realize that we are telling just one woman’s story- a story that exists within a privileged environment with regard to class and geography. We weren’t trying to cover everyone’s abortion experience in this film; instead, we hoped to start a conversation in which others could also share their own experiences. At public screenings and on the Internet, we have been witness to lively discussions about abortion and the media, and we hope that such dialogue continues. We believe it is so important that realistic, poignant movies with women at the helm find a place in mainstream cinema and continue to be accessible to wide audiences.
Sorry for our recent absence - we’ve been struck by a case of welstchmerz.
Definition: from the German, meaning world-pain or world-weariness, pronounced [ˈvɛltʃmɛɐ̯ts].
According to wikipedia, weltschmerz used to denote the feeling of sadness when thinking about the evils of the world. In light of the tragedy unfolding across the Pacific Ocean and the coordinated attacks on the people of Libya, we are heavily weighed down with feelings of our own inability to do much more than sit in front of our televisions or computer screens and watch people’s lives unravel. Simultaneously, the landscape of our own country - especially the political - appears increasingly bleak. All of the following might be causing weltschmerz on you too, readers, and we thought we’d air it out:
Are there good things happening in the world that can assuage our weltschmerz? Please comment if so. We could use it!
With all this buzz about International Women’s Day in our news and twitter feeds, we found ourselves wondering what this day is really all about. Because a day dedicated to women couldn’t really only be about creating lists of “the most powerful women on twitter,” James Bond dressing as a woman, or buying flowers for women in our lives.
According to their website, IWD started more than 100 years ago as a day of unified, collective activism. Many of the first Days focused on labor rights and suffrage. As the event became international in scope, more advocacy campaigns were incorporated, including protests against WWI.
But, in 2011, what has IWD become? After a quick perusal of their site, it appears that the US IWD activists have little to no collective voice, demands or approach. This year’s theme is “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women,” which sounds blogical. But we have yet to see any media coverage of meaningful, unified IWD advocacy in the US. Are we missing something? Have you been working on a campaign that just didn’t get the same coverage as Daniel Craig in a dress?
The past few months of assaults on women’s rights across the country have been particularly troubling, and the opportunity that IWD presents to speak up for Planned Parenthood with one voice, or to demand an end to laws that make it even more difficult for women to get a perfectly legal abortion.
IWD sticks to a narrow definition of gender (trans and genderqueer voices are notably absent from its narrative). But besides just ignoring a wider definition of gender equality, IWD in the US fails to address plain ol’ sexism.
Don’t despair, women around the world are making use of the day to engage in advocacy. For example, one million women marched in Cairo to call for women’s input on the drafting of Egypt’s constitution, legislative changes that will ensure gender equality, and in tribute to the 12 women that died in protest of former Pres. Hosni Mubarak. And in Mexico City and Turkey, women protested violence against women.
Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) takes a courageous stand for reproductive rights in the face of potentially devastating cuts to family planning clinics and Planned Parenthood. It will be well worth your time to watch her brief speech on the floor of the House. We hope more people like Rep. Speier will speak up, so that in the future it will no longer be so shocking to hear someone promote the reproductive freedoms that have been granted by law for the past four decades.