Back in September I read a pretty hilarious/kinda horrific article on Jezebel titled, Your Abortion Probably Killed the Next Justin Bieber. Basically, the writer was flipping out because Justin Bieber‘s mom Pattie Mallette was the subject of an anti-abortion article, and had appeared on the Today show to talk about her forthcoming book. Pattie‘s message is basically, I almost got an abortion, but I’m glad I didn’t. And, of course, she wants other women to hear her story in hopes that they, too, might change their minds about getting abortions. Look, I sooo don’t wanna have the abortion talk… but I think it’s really *interesting* that people are so mad because Pattie‘s now working on a short anti-abortion film in hopes of raising $10 million for pregnancy centers. Click inside to learn more, and join me for an impromptu meeting of PITNB’s popCULTURE CLUB: theoretically putting the “culture” back in “pop culture,” one post at a time…
The HuffPost has the story:
Justin Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, is an executive producer on an upcoming anti-abortion short film.
The makers of “Crescendo” hope to raise $10 million for pregnancy centers at screenings worldwide starting Feb. 28. Mallette herself will appear at some of these, said production company Movie to Movement on Friday.
The pop star’s mother has written and spoken extensively about the addiction and abuse that led to her teenage pregnancy.
Mallette said in a statement she hopes her involvement with “Crescendo” will “encourage young women all over the world, just like me, to let them know that there is a place to go, people who will take care of you and a safe home to live in if you are pregnant and think you have nowhere else to turn.”
Okay, so there are a few different responses to this news. A lot of people are calling Mama Bieber an opportunist; another parent capitalizing on her child’s success. I’m not entirely sure that applies here, but okay.
And then other people are just mortified by anything with the phrase “anti-abortion” in it. That also makes plenty of sense, although I’m not one of those people.
When I read that first Jezebel article, I agreed with the writer who pointed out the fact that the “OMG, What if I’d aborted this amazing child I now have” is a little ridiculous. I always say that I don’t believe in What If questions; I think they serve little purpose when you’re trying to make a strong argument. But mainly, I’m opposed to walking around and telling everyone that you totally almost aborted your kid! I mean… your kid is gonna hear that! I can actually understand why someone would be anti-abortion (and I can understand why someone would want an abortion), but I can’t understand why someone would want their own child to know that– at some point in time– their parents were unable or unwilling (or both) to take care of them.
Like I said, I don’t reeeealllly want to get into the abortion talk, because every time I get lost in a Jezebel vortex and read the comments, my stomache starts to hurt. I’m gonna share one comment I managed to make on that first Justin Bieber/Abortion article:
In response to everyone else, is it really true that you CANNOT be Pro Choice AND say that abortion is something that should not be taken lightly? There’s really NO way to do both? To talk about women’s choice and to talk about the fact that you may PERSONALLY feel like having an abortion is no small potatoes? I do know women who’ve used it as a form of birth control, who normalize it. Is that the point? That if you are pro choice you MUST accept that abortion is as normal as any other medical decision?
I’m not interested in telling any woman how many abortions she can have and I would NEVER suggest that anybody needs to get their life together (judge not, lest…) AND I don’t see why we all have to be on the exact same page about this. Pro-choice women should be allowed to have their own personal opinions about the entire abortion conversation without being automatically considered pro-lifers. This ‘either you’re with us 100% or you’re just like the rest of the patriarchy’ schtick doesn’t seem right.
Interestingly enough, Jezebel later published an article saying exactly what I was afraid of– that you absolutely cannot be pro-life and a feminist (Although my comment was specifically addressing the idea that pro-choice women should not have any negative opinions about abortion or women who have them, I also thought it was problematic to hate on pro-lifers or anti-abortion people). In fact, the article was titled, There Is No Such Thing As A Pro-Life Feminist:
Many women came forward and said Eff That. I’m a feminist, and I’m pro-life, and you’re not kicking me out of the club, lol. Other women said you could be pro-life and a feminist AS LONG AS you didn’t actively try to keep other women from having abortions. And other women said that telling women they couldn’t be feminists because of their personal beliefs, was the most anti-feminist ish ever.
Me? I’m a bit confused. But I usual am when it comes to defining feminism. When we talked about the word “slut” a while back I spoke about my fears of being kicked out of the feminist club. They’re kicking bitches out left and right, lmao!
But okay. here’s the type of person I am– just for clarification. Let’s take Jenelle Evans from Teen Mom. I just went iiiinnnnn on that girl (and MTV) a few days ago and a lot of you joined me. Jenelle is pregnant again and I think that’s wack and sad and irresponsible and wack and sad and horrible. And (because of my upbringing, because of my experiences, my relationship with my kids, books I’ve read, blah blah blah) I don’t want her to have an abortion! I’m not gonna try to stop her from getting one, but I wouldn’t be, like, thrilled if I found out she had one. It’s not for me to define what abortion means or signifies, I just think there should be room for women and men (because, sidenote, I don’t think abortion is a conversation that’s exclusive to women) to stand up for what they believe in without being kicked out of the feminist club. I like being a feminist and I’m not afraid of the word (as I once was), and I also like being able to disagree with certain feminist movements, even as I still identify as being a part of the greater movement. Personally, I disagree with the part of the movement that viciously and vehemently attacks pro-life women and attempts to revoke their feminist cards. And, simultaneously, I understand why the attacks are happening, and the risk involved when the pro-life movement involves political decisions.
So, yeah. I’d love to hear what you guys think about all this. Can other feminists kick women who define themselves as feminists out of the group? Could someone– like Justin Bieber‘s mom– make an anti-abortion movie, and still be considered a feminist?