Thursday, June 21, 2007
Can You Say, "Abortion?"
Sandra Kobrin comments in Women's eNews on the "A-word" phenomenon:
There's a climate change happening in this country and I'm not just talking about global warming. I'm also talking about abortion. At one time the procedure to terminate a pregnancy was not a dirty word in Hollywood films.
Throughout the 1950s, '60s, '70s and even into the '80s you could not only say the word abortion but have characters actually get one in a film, like Jennifer Jason Leigh's character in the 1982 comedy "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Imagine abortion in a comedy, dealing with a difficult situation with humor and pathos. "I called the 'free' clinic and it cost $100," Leigh's character laments.
Not anymore. Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up," a raunchy comedy in a cinema near you, turned abortion into the "A" word, in league with the "N" word and other epithets so taboo as to be bracketed off from regular speech.
The same can be said for Waitress, in which not only the main character, the pregnant Jenna, but even her doctor cannot bring themselves to say the word.
See also: NY Times: "On Abortion, Hollywood Is No-Choice"