Thursday, July 30, 2009

the abortion taboo: family guy and the people you know...

REPOST (excerpt)from PANDAGON:

"I guess no one is seeing the real humor in that unless you are avidly pro-life and anti-women’s right to chose, abortion is not really a fringe topic that is so edgy it must be banned from TV. Again not shocking, but maybe they should try something easier like period jokes, until they can get with the really big scary stuff. "

If you want a textbook example of how systemic sexism works, the taboo about portraying abortion on TV will suffice. It’s the most common outpatient procedure in the country, and yet we write it off as fringe. There’s only 694,000 open heart surgeries a year on average, 600,000 hysterectomies, and 193,000 hip replacements a year---but there’s 1.2 million abortions performed every year. But I’ll bet you could find more people who claim they don’t know anyone personally who’s had an abortion than make the same claim about hysterectomies, heart surgery, or hip replacement. Of course, they do know someone who’s had an abortion, most likely, but she’s mum about it, because of this taboo against speaking about it. And that troubling taboo creates ridiculous situations where shows like “Family Guy” that get away with pretty much anything can’t do a show about abortion.


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