Sep. 7th, 2010

Feminists for Choice has a fantastic series running at the moment, which is exploring the representation (and lack thereof) of abortion in television and film.

Yesterday's edition looked at Julia's unwanted pregnancy in season two of Party of Five, so I watched the episode on YouTube. I was never a huge fan of the show, but I dimly recalled watching this episode as a teenager and rolling my eyes at the moralising of Sarah's character (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt).

There's something depressing about watching mid-90s television that is so more sympathetic to feminist politics than shows currently being produced. It's not without sexism, obviously, and the B-plot in this episode is an overwrought storyline about Bailey and Sarah's 'first time'. Bailey is portrayed as the sexual aggressor, and female virginity is fetishised to the nth degree, but the assumptions underpinning all of this sexual stereotyping are somewhat undermined by Julia revealing to Bailey that she is not unhappy because she doesn't want to have sex (as he thinks), but because she is pregnant. 

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