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 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/10/fashion/10Knockedup.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
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.