I read an article in the October 2005 UTNE (I get it out of the library so I’m behind.) about portrayals of abortion on TV called “You Can’t Do That On Television” by Rachel Fudge. It got me thinking.
The premise of the article was that there used to be more discussion on abortion on TV than there is now and that if there is discussion of abortion now it is always tempered by another character bringing up objections. Personally, I thought that was what was meant by “discussion” but in this article it is a very bad thing.
The article does a fine job of the history of abortion on tv but then it starts talking about MURPHY BROWN.
In the end, Brown had the baby, igniting the ire of Vice President Dan Quayle (who viewed the character’s decision not to wed as an assault on American values) and disappointing many feminists. (Italics mine)
What? A criticism of the pro-life view is that they don’t give women a choice. Apparently in this writer’s view there is only one correct choice to be made also. Choosing to have the child was a disappointment.
Later in the article the author bemoans the odds that you will ever see a teenage character wearing
one of Planned Parenthood’s “I had an abortion” baby tees…
(The irony of that word choice hits me every time.) I went searching online to see if there really was such a shirt. There was and it caused a bunch of controversy. Apparently lots of close minded mysoginists thought the shirt was a bad idea. Add me to the close minded mysoginists.
I am as anti-pregnancy as it is possible to get. I feel deep instinctive sorrow whenever I see a pregnant woman. The idea that they might be happy to be pregnant never occurs to me unless they say it and then it comes as a complete shock. I would be devastated if I ever somehow became pregnant. But, if I did I wouldn’t have an abortion. I think the time to make a “choice” is when you decide to have intercourse. If you do then you are signing up for any possible consequences. If you play with fire you might get burned. Is that unfair? Absolutely. Does it put the burden of any unwanted pregnancy on women? Yep. But guess what? Life isn’t fair. That’s biology for you.
I know that I might be giving up any feminist street cred that I may have for saying this. But why is abortion considered the end all and be all of the feminist movement? I know the party line that it all about control of your own body. Fine, exercise control of your own body and don’t get pregnant. After you do it isn’t just your body any more.
Do I have a point? I don’t think so. I don’t have an overall great idea that I’m trying to get across. But this article irked me. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of women’s history books and they seem to say the same things. So and so did a million great things for women but she was anti-abortion so she was cast out as a leper and was never spoken to again.
The idea that to be pro-woman you need to be focused primarily on her reproductive system is I think what is bothering me. It focuses attention on sex alone and ignores everything else. Isn’t that what early feminists were fighting against?