Reproductive Inevitability at the Movies

Grab some a copy of “your womb, his property” and some popcorn.  Two recent movies riff about pregnancy and the themes of adulthood and coming of age.  Both tackle pregnancy much like Agent Smith tackling Neo in the subway.

First we have Knocked Up, in which an unlikely one night stand leads to pregnancy.  The bomb is dropped 8 weeks later.  “Because people who love each other get married and have babies.”  It’s a movie about how “grown-ups” are born.

Next up we have Waitress.  An unhappily married woman who dreams of escape finds inspiration in an unwanted pregnancy.  Wow.
“I seem to be pregnant.”

“Congratulations!”

“Thanks but I’m not so happy about it like everybody else might be.”

Yet Keri’s character still appears quite determined to go through with it.

In both movies, the pregnancy is presented as a fact of life.  It is an unchangeable course on which the women have embarked, and nothing is going to alter that (even though in both cases the ships seem to still be in the harbor.).

Thinking back on Digby’s comments on narratives and how we talk about reproductive choice, the impact of these movies seem to press a little closer to the front of my mind.  Right now the stories we are telling on the silver screen support only one side of a very heated debate.

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2008: What is at Stake

I was talking with my Dad this morning about the 2008 elections, and the formative national events of the past several years.  He made an excellent point.

The Bush administration has planned and executed every action to further their own power.  They have crossed ethical and constitutional lines with no regard for the human consequences.  They have a certain directness to their deeds that would make Machiavelli blush.

This is why it is vital that we understand fully the implications of a Republican win in 2008.  It will be seen as a validation of the means and ends of the Bush neoconservatives.  A Republican president will commence a direct attack on our freedom, our way of self governance, and our identity as Americans.  What could possibly stop him?

We need investigations, indictments, and a Democratic win in 2008.  We need to show ourselves, and the world, that the consequences for abusing power include the losing power.  On top of the criminal repercussions we need a sharp political fine for everything the Bush administration and their Republican allies have done to this country.

What is at stake is our future as a Democracy.