Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘abortion

Professor, What If…?: What if this season men-of-color get to rule the island? (Hypermasculinity and its ‘Others’ on Lost)

Lost provides particularly fertile ground for an analysis of desirable masculinity through both its ‘hypermasculine’ traditionally attractive male characters (Jack and Sawyer) and the many ‘others’ that the show, via various means, codifies as ‘hot.’’s Women’s Rights Blog: Call Them Writers, Not “Women Writers”

Messud points out that defining an artist’s work by gender inherently limits and narrows the scope of the work, pigeonholing it into an arbitrary category. I’d add that specifying the gender of female writers (we never have to do that with men, do we?) ensures that “women writers” will always be a subcategory of the basic, broader category “writers,” which is by default male. Women’s work automatically gets shoved into a gender-shaped box, while men’s work is simply literature.

Shakesville: Have You Been Automatically Opted-In to Google Buzz?

This automatic opt-in has caused some trouble for users. Dr. Isis warns her pseudonymous readers that she can see their real names, and Harriet Jacobs of Fugitivus is pretty angry about getting automatically opted-in to Google Buzz.

Equal Rights: Young women: Let’s talk about WHY we’re pro-choice

I don’t think the solution to ensuring Roe’s guarantee of legal abortion in the face of a growing pro-life movement is to admonish young feminists for being lazy. Our generation has been able to take this right for granted. Now that access to legal abortion is being threatened, we will need to learn how to persuasively articulate why we feel legal abortion should be a right, just as the feminists who came before us did.


As many of you know, this past week was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  I’m a big fan of Roe v. Wade.  And this past week, Private Practice showed that it’s a fan of Roe v. Wade as well.

(Note: you do not have to be familiar with the show and the characters to understand this basic plot and analysis, so don’t shy away from reading if you are not familiar with the show.)

I watch Private Practice.  It’s not a great show, but I’m me and I watch bad television.  But I was pretty surprised when I sat down to watch this past Thursday’s episode, “Best Laid Plans.”

In this episode, Sam and Naomi find out that their fifteen year old daughter, Maya, is pregnant.  The two of them handle the news in very different ways.  First of all, it should be explained that Naomi is very against abortion (as has been discussed previously on the show).  She is a fertility specialist, so she spends all of her time trying to create life, she believes that life begins at conception, so therefore she has some major problems with abortion.  But upon hearing Maya’s news, she takes Maya to Addison, the gynecologist, and demands that she perform an abortion on Maya.  Maya does not seem to be a big fan of this idea.

Maya finally agrees to have the abortion after seeing a woman in labor for 2 days in the office.  So Addison takes her into the procedure room and while explaining the abortion procedure, realizes that Maya doesn’t really seem that sure.  Addison explains her view on abortion but also explains that she cannot help Maya make this decision.  She can and will perform an abortion or she will give her options and see her through the pregnancy, but she cannot make the decision for her.  She tells Maya, “your body, your choice.”

“Your body, your choice” on primetime, network, popular television.  That’s pretty great.  Even though Maya ended up not getting an abortion, I think the conversation about abortion in this episode was really important.  Maya made the decision for herself.  She didn’t let her mom or her Aunt Addie (Addison) make the decision for her.  And the show promoted thinking about abortion as a personal decision for each woman and not a decision to be made by laws or other people.

The show demonstrated an honest discussion about abortion.  And even though the abortion wasn’t performed, I don’t think it was trying to say that abortion is bad, that you shouldn’t get an abortion.  It was promoting making the decision for yourself, whether that decision is to get an abortion or not.  Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Private Practice (yet, I still watch it) and I think that there are a lot of problematic things about the show, I was very impressed with this storyline.

Also see these great posts about the Private Practice episode and other abortion storylines:

Abortion on Television: Whose Choice? (this ain’t livin’)

Roe v. Wade Anniversary: Friday Night Lights and Private Practice Tackle Abortion (Women & Hollywood)

Sorry I have been slacking on link love this week.  It’s been pretty hectic around here trying to work, go to class, and clean the house to make it presentable for showings.  But here are some of my favorite posts from the week…

this ain’t livin’: The Plus Size Sensation That’s Sweeping the Nation! (Or, you know. Not.)

There’s a little something going on in the world of fashion: Fat people are starting to be allowed to exist there. Only, it’s a little bit more complicated than that, because it’s “plus size,” not “fat,” and it’s only very special sorts of plus size people. It’s plus size models, specifically, and, like models of all sizes, they are what is sometimes called “impossibly beautiful.”

Zero at the Bone: The importance of women’s friendships

In my experience, building close connections with fellow women is an immensely powerful feminist act. Communicating, laughing, growing stronger with each other is a form of resistance. It is a strengthening of bonds between women where patriarchy has sought to keep us apart, rivals, without coherent community. In forming such connections there’s a centring of women’s wishes and concerns. That is, it’s about women valuing women, a rare emotional space in which we aren’t considered less than (that is, if all parties are doing friendship right!) or centring men.

Bitch Blogs: Stop calling Joan Holloway fat!

If I hear another blogger/author/interviewer comment on Christina Hendricks’ weight I might lose it. As if her body (omg BOOBS) wasn’t enough of a focus already, now she is being picked apart for her appearance at the Golden Globes the other night. As you may have seen by now, Cathy Horyn fromThe New York Times claimed that “You don’t put a big girl in a big dress” and ran this (distorted) photo of Hendricks

Women & Hollywood: Roe v. Wade Anniversary: Friday Night Lights and Private Practice Tackles Abortion

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. While I don’t know if this is coincidental, two shows this week — Friday Night Lights and Private Practice — both had major storylines that tackled abortion worthy of a look.

There have been a lot of really great posts over the past couple of days.  And thanks to my brand new iPhone (yes, I’m officially addicted), I can more easily manage the number of posts that come into my Google Reader.  Here are some of my favorites of the past couple days.  As always, don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading!

Another Way Language Excludes People [Small Strokes] – feminists often think about how the language that they use is exclusionary.  But the use of English in relation to non-English speakers is not often commented on with the same kind of concern.

How to Mess Up [this ain’t livin’] – everyone makes mistakes.  But there’s a right way to go about doing that.

The details of your abortion online? [Salon Broadsheet] – there is a new Oklahoma law that posts the details of every abortion performed in the state to be put on a public website.

pic2It’s sad that I didn’t know about the happenings in Romania under Ceausescu’s rule until I read this book: The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu’s Romania by Gail Kligman.  I was shocked when I was reading this book to hear about what these women had to go through on a daily basis.

So here’s the deal: Ceausescu led one of the most repressive anti-abortion regimes.  Women were forced to get really back-alley abortions that were more often than not unsafe.  Because a large portion of the population was poor, they could not afford to have a real doctor perform their abortion — that was a privilege that was only for the uber-rich.  So if a woman got an abortion that went wrong and had to go to the hospital, she would then be arrested for getting an abortion and was not fully treated for the complications invovled with that abortion.  As a result of unsafe abortions, the maternal mortality rate was very high.

This anti-abortion legislation also led to over-population and a large orphanage population.  But the state did not adequately take care of the orphanages.  Children were malnourished and had never really experienced human contact.

From the back cover:

The political hypocrisy and personal horrors of one of hte most repressive anti-abortion regimes in history came to the world’s attention soon after the fall of Romanian dictator Nicholae Ceausescu.  Photographs of orphans with vacant eyes and wasted bodies circled the globe, as did alarming maternal mortality statistics and heart-beating details of an infant AIDS epidemic.  Gail Kligman’s chilling ethnography – of the state of of the politics of reproduction – is the first in-depth examination of this extreme case of political intervention into intimate aspects of everyday life.  Her analysis explores the institutionalization of duplicity and complicity as social practices that contributed to the state’s perpetuation and ultimate demise.

This powerful study is based on moving interviews with women and physicians a well as on documentary and archival material.  Besides discussing the social implications and human costs of restrictive reproductive legislation, Kligman examies how reproductive issues become embedded in national and international agendas.  She concludes with lessons the world can learn from Romania’s tragic experience.

What I loved about this book was that it was not only a historical account of the horrors of Ceausescu’s Romania, but Kligman also looks at the broader political implications and “examines how reproductive issues become embedded in national and international agendas.”

While this book documents a truly chilling story, it is definitely worth a read.  It is important to look at where we have been so as to not repeat these scary events again.  I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reproductive rights and how access to women’s bodies affects national and international politics.

There has been some great writing going on this week! Here are some of my favorites. Don’t forget to leave your links (that you’ve been writing and reading) in the comments!

Thin Privilege 101 [Dolly Speaks]
Labyrinth as Feminist Myth [Hoyden About Town]
Twitter and Gendered Language [The F Bomb]
On the abortion ban in Nicaragua [Appetite for Equal Rights]
The Feminist Lens: Catcher in the Rye and Feminism and Relationships [Small Strokes]
Can we achieve a real “common ground” on abortion? [Feministing]
Shocker! Tiller’s Murderer Going to Trial [Feministe]
Oppression, Masculine Power, Duality, and Kant [Gender Across Borders]
HBO Working on Another Feminist Show? [Women & Hollywood]
Julia Child: Feminist Icon? [Jezebel]
“More to Love”: That Means FAT GIRLS too! [Womanist Musings]
Breasts: Ready to Go Public? and No Hang Ups on “Hung” [The Undomestic Goddess]
SETH ROGEN IS OUTRAGED, some more [Tiger Beatdown]
“Body Lexicon” for Aging Female Bodies [Sociological Images]
From ax-wielding psychos to she-devils [Salon: Broadsheet]

This week has been pretty uneventful for me. I get to spend my weekend babysitting three hyper kids, that’s about as exciting as it gets. I hope all of you have had more eventful and productive weeks. Here are some of my favorite blog posts from this week. There are a lot of them because, well, there were a lot of really good posts this week and I am still constantly discovering new feminist blogs that I want to share with everyone!

Health Care, It’s Personal [Womanist Musings]
The Hermione in my Head [Feministing Community]
LOL you’re a feminist [o filthy grandeur!]
What Feminism Is and What It Should Be (with a little help from bell hooks) [Small Strokes] – a little over a week old, but still good!
And finally, both The Curvature and Jump Off the Bridge participated in the blogathon yesterday – check out their numerous posts!

What have you been writing and reading this week? Leave links in the comments!