The requirement to have an abortion to make it as an actress may not be explicit, but that doesn’t make it any less real – the stories of Milano, Jamil and Williams demonstrate as much. Hollywood is one of those industries where motherhood and pregnancy are poison to a woman’s career. The studios have ingeniously managed to hide their exploitation of women under the very mantle of women’s rights.
“Nobody wants to have an abortion. And if nobody wants to have an abortion, why are women doing it, 2800 times a day? If women doing something 2,800 times daily that they don’t want to do, this is not liberation we’ve won. We are colluding in a strange new form of oppression.”
Some of feminism’s most strident and influential voices have, reluctantly at times, admitted that abortion is not consistent with a truly feminist ideology. In 1976, for example, the American poet and radical feminist Adrienne Rich wrote, ‘No free woman, with 100 percent effective, non-harmful birth control readily available, would “choose” abortion … Abortion is violence: a deep, desperate violence inflicted by a woman upon, first of all, herself’
If you’re part of a movement that people have negative impressions of, these impressions can be quite difficult to dispel. This is sometimes what it’s like trying to convince people feminism isn’t some hypocritical, self-centred movement for rich western women. It’s also what it can be like for pro-life feminists trying to win over our pro-choice counter parts – there are some pretty common ideas that people will believe about you without necessarily having any good reason to do so. Here are some ideas and tactics I think could help counter that.