In this season’s finale of Desperate Housewives, Lynette discovers she’s pregnant with twins. She and her husband Tom already have an extensive family and clearly don’t want the baby. But the show never even raises the possibility that she could abort. Their disinterest in extending their family aside, pregnancy poses healh risks for older women (not to mention Lynette’s having survived breast cancer). It’s also not just one storyline in the show – in a previous situation, Bree’s daughter Danielle gets pregnant, abortion is never discussed, and they cart the daughter off until she gives birth, fake Bree’s pregnancy and then Bree raises the baby (until Danielle comes back for it later). I know it’s not supposed to be real life, but didn’t Maude deal with this thirty years ago? It’s shows like Desperate Housewives that are paving the way for the shuttering of reproductive choice clinics around the country, not just in Kansas.
Sandra Bullock’s new vehicle, The Proposal, seems equally problematic. She’s a hard-driving evil boss who, to keep her job and avoid deportation (she’s Canadian) forces her sexy male employee into a sham marriage. From this we can draw that Hollywood’s testosterone-driven industry wants us to think that women with corporate power abuse it and that they do so in part through sexual harassment of men. It’s yet another male fantasy of why men should keep their power and how women with power are dangerous.