Wednesday, April 8, 2009


On Weds, April 1, I put on a presentation of the representation of reproductive rights in the media. I created a power point with poignant clips from television shows and movies, and then created discussion questions to follow the clips. The presentation was attended by about 20 people, and I really enjoyed hearing everyone's opinions. I led the discussion by showing a sort clip, and then asking questions about how pregnancy and abortion were presented in the clip, and how the audience feels pregnancy and abortion are addressed and presented at large in the media. I was really happy that a few men were able to make it to the presentation as well because that added a new perspective, and they often brought up points that had never crossed my mind before. Some of the people who came to the presentation told me of other films and television shows that tackle the abortion issue, and I'm looking forward to viewing those- and who knows, they may even become the sources for new blog posts!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

At sixteen, we've got it all figured out...right?

This scene shows Juno's encounter with her parents as she tells them that she is pregnant. In my opinion, they take the news better than any parents of a sixteen year old I know! Instead of being angry at Juno for being irresponsible, they mock her boyfriend because they believed that he "didn't have it in him."

At sixteen, Juno believes that she has it all figured out, and doesn't take any advice from her family. She has made the decision to give the child up for adoption, and there is no swaying her. She even quickly decides against her step-mother's consideration of the "alternative." Producers clearly refer to abortion as the "alternative" as a way of ruling out abortion as a possible choice by not even referring to it by name. Juno quickly writes off abortion, and that is the last we hear of abortion for the rest of the film. By denying an abortion, her step-mother calls her a "viking" insinuating that she has made the more righteous choice. Why does one choice have to be "right" one, and who judges what the right choice is? Juno is a production of 20th Century Fox, so they are the likely ones dictating what audiences should believe is the "right" thing to do. For any woman finding herself with an unwanted pregnancy, there is no "right" choice, there is only the "right" choice for HER.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I stumbled across an article from an old New York Times entitled, "On Abortion, Hollywood is No-Choice" the other day which really caught my attention. You can access the article at

In a nutshell, this article seems to sum up all of my previous assumptions about the portrayal of abortion in the media, that being that television shows and film fail to acknowledge abortion as an option for an unwanted pregnancy, encouraging pregnant women to carry their children to term. In particular, the article zeros in on the image of pregnancy in "Waitress" and "Knocked Up". In both of these films, abortion is never an option for either female character. I found that the only references to abortion in Knocked Up at all was when one of Ben's friends says that Alison should have a procedure that rhymes with "smashmortion" or when Alison quickly shuts down her mother's suggestion that she "have it taken care of." I was able to gather from the article that producers seems to ignore abortion as a way of maintaining a happy audience. However, wouldn't this alienate free thinking liberal feminists?

According to Dr. Kuntz, a film historian at UCLA, "Hollywood wants to entertain and make money." While this is obviously understandable, we are failing to acknowledge a choice that is not only legal, but the right choice for some women. If this is the appropriate choice for some women, it isn't right for them to be told by the media that what they are doing is wrong- or even worse, not worthy of even being recognized.

This article has taught me that if one wants to see reality in the media, one must turn to independent films. Independent film companies take more liberties because they have fewer people to please; by taking these liberties they are able to provide a more accurate portrayal of ALL choices for women dealing with unwanted pregnancies. Not wanting to sacrifice viewers, the larger companies shy away from reality, unfortunately showing that entertainment value and money are more important than women's rights.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This clip is a compilation of scenes of Adrianna's pregnancy on the new 90210. We learn that Adrianna finds out she's pregnant when it's too late for her to make any other decision other than carrying the child to term. I wonder what the CW11's reason was behind this. Did they want to ignore the abortion issue by making it not even an option for Adrianna, or did they want to increase drama and entertainment by ruling out some of Adrianna's options? This seemed to me like an easy way of not dealing with abortion conflict among viewers. If Adrianna chose an abortion, would the show lose ratings or viewers? We, as viewers are led to believe that Adrianna would have considered an abortion, yet CW11 won't consider it at all. If a pregnant high school girl watches this, what will she learn? She should find out she's pregnant early and terminate the pregnancy, or feel that having the child is the appropriate choice. If she sees glamorous women such as the women on 90210 having children, well, that just must be the right choice to make....right?


Hi Everyone!

The reason behind this blog is to give me a place to gather my thoughts about the representation of reproductive rights in the media. I am writing an extensive thesis on the representation of reproductive rights in the media, and I thought that this blog would give me a forum to explore my ideas. I plan to continue writing as I view films and television shows, or read articles that I feel are relevant to my topic. I believe that today's film and television shows highlight young mothers who carry their children to term and either choose to raise the baby or give it up for adoption. From what I have viewed so far, media points out that abortion is never an option for young women with an unwanted pregnancy. I have generally noticed this trend in shows that are geared towards young girls or adolescents. These young viewers have malleable minds and are very likely to be influenced by what they see on TV and in the movies. I have already, and plan to continue viewing television shows and films after the year 2004, , drawing conclusions based on what I see. I will post my thoughts, ideas, and conclusions here, and would appreciate any thoughts and ideas that you can all throw my way.