Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog for Choice

and a review of Juno.

But first, why I'm voting pro-choice, since that's the theme of the day: I will, always, always, always vote proc-choicebecause the "movement" that seeks to restrict abortion has no real interest in preventing it, no real interest in promoting children's health care, no interest in comprehensive sex ed, or in low-cost birth control, or in anything any step of the way to preserve the autonomy and health of women. The pro-life movement is a sham front for an anti-women movement, and it's amazing how few people beyond the feminist blgosophere grasp to what extent that's true.

I've been thinking a lot about the whole semantics of choice issue recently what with my review of Choice in venus zine and my recent viewing of Juno on a screener at home--thanks hetero-life-partner!

The thing is, everyone here know how much I loathed Knocked Up and its treatment of abortion/smashmortion. But what I hated about it all the more was its gender dynamic: the fact that, to me, it was the stuff of male fantasy: in the guise of a thoughtful, grown-up flick, it presented women as one-dimensional harridans and men as overgrown funnyboys. And Allison's "Choice" was a mere tool, a device for Ben's maturity.

So it was hard not to be charmed by juno, a movie obviously written by a woman with women in mind. A funny, sassy, female character with conflicting impusles and genuine humanity who was more than central to the plot. I wanted to cheer at so many little moments of the movie when it was clear that "a woman wrote that!"

But still, the movie would have been a superior one if they had made Juno's "choice" a little less pat. In both Juno and Knocked Up, there seemed to be a desire on the part of the filmmakers to rush past the choice aspect and get on with the pregnancy because hey, the pregnancy is what the movie is about. My interpretation of Juno's choice was that more than the goth-girl at the desk in the abortion clinic, she was intimidated by her classmate, the girl picketing the clinic, who remembered Juno's earlier embarassing behavior (something about jumping into the mall fountain). But if this was the case--and maybe this is just wishful thinking-- why stack up all the stereotypes? Why leave so much about Juno's choice unexplained, as just another one of her quirks?

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm tired of women's fertility being a plot hinge, being used as it were, to propel things forward. Because it's used all the time--used as propaganda to get conservatives to the polls, used to smear candidates, used as a moral lecture talking point by ourpoliticians and now supreme court justices. Ick. I guess I feel like it's too bad, because if there's an underlying "choice" message in Juno, a movie in which characters who make all kinds of decisions about their reproduction, it's this: this is personal, and it's nobody's business but mine.


  1. I really, really enjoyed Juno, though I mostly agree with your interpretation. Of course, the usual argument is, "But the movie would be OVER if she'd had an abortion!" Well, okay, but that doesn't mean they can't explain her decision not to have an abortion thoughtfully and, I don't know, in more than one scene. Pro-choice doesn't mean pro-abortion.

  2. Oh, and to add: I thought the movie was quite overwritten. Luckily Ellen Page had enough charisma to overcome the script.

  3. Hi,
    I found you by way of the Blog for Choice site. I really enjoyed your post. Thank you. I've yet to see Juno (though it does look interesting) and Knocked Up just didn't look like my cuppa since I'm childless by choice.

    Great blog. I'll stop back again. I also blogged for choice.


  4. hello Fellow-Ette, just to say that in Europe we watch with great attention what happens in the American blogosphere in this year of presidential election.

    that's why I've given you a link in my blogroll among those I reckon are the 50 finest American bloggers - visit me and see if you want to reciprocate the link.

    ciao and best wishes!

  5. I loved the movie Juno... but now that I think about it, it does seem like there were a lot of pieces missing! Maybe it would have made a better book!