Juno’s Choice

February 25, 2008

I’ll say this right up front: I haven’t seen the movie Juno. (I haven’t seen any other Oscar-nominated flick either, because big-screen movies are no longer a central part of my life experience, now that I am a mother and hiring a nanny for a night out costs a gajillion dollars that I would much rather spend on handbags and chocolate and DVDs.) (Which, you know, really should be enjoyed together. Lounging in bed with a box of chocolates, watching the last season of Buffy while you fondle your brand new cherry-red leather bag with the multiple pockets and the extra-long strap? Bliss. But I digress.)

Where was I? Right. Juno. Haven’t seen it. But I’ve heard all about it and I plan to see it the minute I can get it on DVD and that qualifies me to comment upon it. Also? I am currently and have been in the past pregnant, and had a baby, and it’s a movie about being pregnant and having babies. So.

That’s the crux of it, actually: it’s a movie about having the baby. And, more to the point, about being young and being caught in some maternal web that you didn’t expect to stumble into and that you don’t know how to get out of and making the choice to just make yourself at home there until such time as you can extricate yourself in some straightforward manner. I’ve been there too. I didn’t handle it the same way, but I’ve been there, in that web, wondering how to get out.

There’s been a lot of critical commentary since the movie’s release about how the movie a) treats teen pregnancy too blithely, what with the snappy dialogue and the laissez-faire attitude of the heroine and all, and b) marginalizes abortion as the go-to solution for an unwanted pregnancy. In a recent article, a Vancouver writer (a man; is his sex is relevant to this discussion? you tell me) asked – discussing Juno and Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up as a piece – how it is “that neither (character) really considers abortion as a viable alternative to carrying a fetus to term? In the contexts of both films, all roads for our pregnant women (should) lead to the abortion clinic. This is not an ideological analysis, it is rational one, it is what both of these characters, as they have been written, would do. Instead, for the sake of the stories in question and the messages inherent in them, the writers have perverted their characters’ actions, giving these women no coherent rational (sic) for their actions, or lack thereof.

Whoa. Abortion is the only thing that either of these characters would do, the only road that they would take, full stop? And the fact that their stories centered upon them making other choices is a perversion of what would have been more rational actions? The writer goes on to say that what the monumental success of films like Juno – films that about unplanned pregnancies that evade the subject of abortion as the only real alternative for young, smart single women – reveal “is that behind the Indie soundtracks, hip, animated graphics, weed-smoking slackers and Mohawk hair cuts, we remain as a society utterly conservative in our views on what women should do with their bodies.”

It may be entirely true – in fact, I suspect that it is entirely true – that we remain, as a society, utterly conservative in our attitudes toward women’s rights v.v. their bodies. But that does not mean that the rejection of certain choices – or the pop cultural representation of the rejection of certain choices – represents a social step backward in women’s struggle for more control over the right to choose. Ensuring that women have choice – that they are able to control their maternal destinies – does not require that the so-called alternative choice be presented as the social norm. In fact, I’d argue that any socio-cultural pressure toward that end – making abortion the norm for dealing with unwanted pregnancies – actually militates against meaningful choice. The idea that ‘the right thing’ – or in the above-quoted writer’s words, the rational thing – for any bright young woman with a bright future who is facing an unexpected pregnancy to do is to have an abortion is a kind of anti-choice position, isn’t it? The idea that is there is only one rational choice for women – or, worse, for certain kinds of women – is oppressive regardless of what that ‘choice’ is, precisely because the idea that there is only one such choice makes that choice, well, no longer a choice.

I was pretty young when I had to make that choice. I was no longer in high school, but I wasn’t quite yet an adult (especially when I look back on it now, from the vantage point of old age), and I was fully vulnerable to the suggestion – the unspoken but nonetheless culturally pervasive suggestion – that nice girls (smart girls, girls with futures, girls like me) did not have babies before they’d gotten themselves properly established on some appropriate life path. This suggestion did not come from my parents – my mother held back from trying to influence my decision, but her pain over my ultimate decision was obvious – but from the culture. I was an older version of Juno, and a younger version of the character from Knocked Up, and amongst my peers, abortion was just what one did when faced with this situation. It was the only rational choice, the only option, understood within the context of my lifeworld. And to that extent, it wasn’t really a choice. Not a meaningful one.

To be clear, I don’t regret having taken the road that I did. I really don’t. I don’t not regret it, either – it’s complicated, but I will always be haunted in some difficult-to-articulate way by the choice that I was and am glad to have been able to make – but from the standpoint of my life as it is now, I wouldn’t alter a single footstep from the pathways of my past. But I do wonder, sometimes, sometimes more often than is comfortable, whether I might have made a different decision in a different life – in a life where I maybe knew a little more of what I know now about life and love and babies, in a life where I might have viewed the alternatives to abortion as more meaningfully possible alternatives. I might very well have ended up making exactly the same choice. But had I done so, under those different cultural circumstances, I might have done so without viewing the alternatives as completely unfathomable. And mightn’t that have been more empowering than just doing what everyone else was doing because that was just what one was expected to do? Mightn’t that have been a more meaningful choice?


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    { 44 comments }

    kdiddy February 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    “The idea that ‘the right thing’ – or in the above-quoted writer’s words, the rational thing – for any bright young woman with a bright future who is facing an unexpected pregnancy to do is to have an abortion is a kind of anti-choice position, isn’t it?”

    Indeed. I haven’t seen Juno, either (though I intend to), but I did see Knocked Up and really liked it. I wasn’t surprised by the criticism that it wasn’t realistic, that no woman in that position with that man with that career/future would EVER do anything but abort was very upsetting to me, since that was precisely the reaction that I received when I became pregnant. I was in college and the father (who is now the husband) was not viewed as my brightest prospect. I was ridiculed for my decision to continue with the pregnancy and my pro-choice stance was questioned since I apparently had made the Wrong Choice. It’s offensive and belittling to assume that one knows what a woman will or should do, even if the assumption is widely regarded as progressive.

    SciFi Dad February 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Unfortunately, I have to dismiss the quoted columnist’s piece completely because (having seen Juno), abortion IS the first move she makes. She actually goes so far as to book an appointment and go to the clinic before changing her mind and leaving without completing the paperwork.

    Her Bad Mother February 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Sci-Fi Dad – the writer acknowledges that she goes to an abortion clinic, but dismisses the film’s treatment of that visit as frivolous (one can’t seriously expect a girl like Juno, he implies, to have just abandoned abortion as an option because the abortion clinic was dingy and had the wrong magazines)

    ewe are here February 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I haven’t seen either movie yet, although I plan to.

    But I will say that I have known a girl who was in Juno’s situation (met her at law school) and a young woman in between Juno and the girl in Knocked Up (we were at 1st year of university together), and both from fairly-well-to-do high expectation backgrounds. And both went against the so-called ‘rational’ decision and opted to have the baby. In the first case, her parents raised the child; in the second, she and her boyfriend married, moved into university married housing, and stayed in school.

    I probably would have done something different… i.e., made the ‘rational’ choice for me … but I applaud and support the fact that they had the right to choose their own path.

    Bea February 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    For Knocked Up I’d say the columnist had a point – that movie was set in a world where we just kind of pretend that abortion doesn’t exist for the sake of the plot. Given the level of realism expected for the genre, I don’t really think that’s much of a leap – I had a much harder time believing in the lewd antics of the guy’s druggie friends (but that’s just because I’ve led a sheltered life).

    With Juno, things are more complicated. I suppose the film could have allowed for extensive soul-searching and a well-argued reason behind Juno’s decision not to abort, but to do so would have been far MORE out of character for her. I found it wholly believable that this particular girl would make that decision on a gut level and then go with it.

    Anonymous February 25, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I take issue with the statement that it is a woman’s choice what to do with her body. Once pregnant, it isn’t the woman’s body that is the issue. It is human life. No matter how early in the pregnancy, it is life. Just ask a woman who wants to have the baby and miscarries. It isn’t just some tissue to her – it is her baby.

    That being said, I don’t know what I would have done if I had gotten pregnant at a young age. I can’t imagine abortion or adoption as a choice for me, so I guess I would have kept it. When my husband and I started dating, I stated (before any activity ever happened) that I would keep the baby if I were to get pregnant, so his choices were to be on board with that decision or to not have sex. And to think with that decree he actually married me in the end??? :)

    Minnesota Matron February 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    HBM, I agree with your analysis. . . abortion has a choice is far more complex than being the only rational response to an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy.

    The more women talk about abortions–their abortions (mine — like you, I had one in my twenties) the less taboo the topic will become. How many women have abortions every year in the US? Why do we not talk about the complexities of this aspect of our maternal destinies with the freedom and commitment we talk about childbearing or fertility?

    Finally, hormones can make one decidedly irrational. Not yet knowing I was pregnant with the unplanned in my 20′s, I remember seeing a baby in a coffee shop and bursting into tears with desire, thinking: “I will never have that!” I wanted that baby! I felt a huge maternal pull for the first time in my life as I had decided never to have children.

    When I found out I was pregnant, I chose an abortion because I barely knew the baby’s father: we were using birth control, too! We made this decision together and like you, I have no regrets.

    I went onto marry that man.

    We have three children. Had I not experienced the raw power of those hormones, the utter irrationality of wanting a baby, I wouldn’t have the three I have now. That unplanned pregnancy changed my mind, for my future. But I wasn’t there, yet.

    slouching mom February 25, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    The columnist’s argument was much better suited to Knocked Up than to Juno, IMO.

    Knocked Up is nothing more than a contemporary fairy tale, and like all fairy tales, it ignories ambiguities and alternative courses of action, all for the sake of bringing home the moral.

    slouching mom February 25, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    ignores. sheesh.

    Piece of Work February 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    I haven’t seen Juno either, so I won’t comment on that. But what I will guess is that the critic wanted to see more of a depiction of WHY Juno chose to have the baby. It is such a complicated decision, and like you said, the choice is not always so free as we like to think it is. It seems like something worth exploring, and usually what you get is characters who just state simply “I couldn’t do that”, end of story. There’s so much more to it than that. I aborted a baby when I was 19, and I don’t regret it, not really. Which is not to say that I don’t think about it. But I do believe very strongly that it was the right decision for me, for the father AND for the baby. Still, it was a very difficult decision. It might be nice to see a movie tackle the decision to keep the baby,(or adopt,etc) and explore how and why the character came to that particular decision.

    flutter February 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    As a birthmom and as someone who had an abortion due to rape, I have been on both sides of the same choice.

    I can tell you which one keeps me awake at night.

    Chicky Chicky Baby February 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Can’t win either way. If either of the characters had abortions there would be equal press as to why she should have had the baby.

    My problem with Juno is that it’s often described as a young woman dealing with motherhood. Um, she delivered the baby and she gave it up for adoption (rightly so for the character). Does that put her in a place to deal with “motherhood”?

    Baby in the City February 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    In both Juno and Knocked Up, all of the central characters are underachievers and/or “alternative”. (Knocked Up: the guy is an unemployed pot smoker living with his four buddies, and the girl lives in a pool house and mooches off her sister’s life. Juno: she is a quirky kid into The Stooges – definitely not a ‘follow the pack’ cheerleader.)They all are the kinds of quirky, irresponsible characters that do quirky irresponsible things – like having a baby instead of having an abortion. In both films, it is clearly acknowledged that the women are expected to have an abortion, while having the kid is the ‘zany’ option. It is quite revolutionary actually, as the alternative, zany characters in films are also typically understood to be liberal, surrounded by conservative characters. These films reverse all that.

    This reversal seems to be overlooked in the general commentary (like the Vancouver article)about the movies.

    There is a great scene in Knocked Up where Judd Apatow is having lunch with his dad (also an underachieving pothead) who tells his son that having him was the best thing he ever did. It is a scene in which they are talking, father to son about abortion. The scene is paired with a similar scene between Katherine Hegel’s (is that her name?) character and her mother. Her mother is far more pragmatic and ambitious who completely reads as a conservative person – she clearly recommends abortion. Not only are these scenes quite ground breaking in their reversals of how we typically align conservative/liberal with pro-life/pro-abortion views, but perhaps more importantly, they could be viewed as revolutionary insofar that they depict young adults grappling with unwanted pregnancy, talking to their parents about it. This, too, happens in Juno when Juno, although making initial choices on her own, completely relies on, and gets support from, her parents.
    I am not suggesting these movies are masterpieces but they DO address abortion, and in ways that are different and refreshing.

    Redneck Mommy February 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I was a fresh 20 year old with a very bright future ahead of me when I found out I was pregnant. I thought long and hard about all my choices.

    I chose to have Fric. Because it was MY choice. And thankfully, as a woman in this country I had many choices to chose from.

    Anonymous February 25, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I am struck by how the two characters made *different* choices–one to keep the baby and one to give him up for adoption. The choices available to women don’t end with “abort” or “don’t abort”.

    braiding mommy February 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for writing this. I haven’t seen Juno, but it has made me think deeply about the choices I made with my own unplanned pregnancy at 20 and the choices my friends have made with their’s. Sometimes choices are seem like just choices – not good or bad. Not full of regret or relief. But moments where you are forced to be an adult before you wished and moments you will always remember. Times you truly cannot understand unless you lived them. Thank you for your always thoughtful insight.

    Miss Britt February 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    This man’s commentary is a fairly accurate picture of some common misconceptions.

    1. Smart, career minded, ambitious women get abortions. Because they are focused on their futures.

    2. Immature, love sick girls have babies out of wedlock – with no thought to the financial future of themselves or their babies.

    On one hand you have the woman who wants to get ahead and therefore has no heart or soul.

    On the other, the one who chooses something else because she obviously doesn’t have a brain.

    Knocked Up and Juno both display women in a much more multi-faceted, 3D, REAL way than any of the common stereotypes you see elsewhere in Hollywood.

    (Sorry to blather on – just watched Devil Wears Prada this weekend and was PISSED!!!)

    Miss Britt February 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    It surprises me how many people think Knocked Up was unrealistic.

    My husband and I watched it together and kept saying “OMG! That is US! This is OUR story!” over and over again.

    JaniceNW February 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    HBM~I salute your courage to write about this subject. It’s an argument I think cannot be won in that everyone has their opninion and no one wants to listen to other options. I am prochoice because I do believe women have a right to run their own lives and therefore their bodies.

    Bravo.

    Anonymous February 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I’ve not seen Juno either, thus can’t comment on the film.

    I did see another however, a few years back, where a young pregnant girl leaves Ireland and travels to England in search of her boyfriend having only sketchy details on his whereabouts.

    Directed by Atom Egoyan, the central premise is not pregnancy per se, but certainly her condition frames the story in many ways. In brief summation, while in England, she meets upon a man who aims to befriend and help her, but a man with a hidden, deadly past, and this chance encounter leads to harrowing consequences.

    While different in its story, message, intent than both Juno and Knocked up, it provided one of the most painfully realistic potrayals of young girls caught in circumstances that render them extremely vulnerable and somehow, after it all, inexorably changed.

    Anonymous February 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Sorry, forgot to mention. The title of the film is “Felicia’s Journey.”

    emma February 25, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve seen Juno twice. She does consider abortion, but is ultimately freaked out by the fact that the baby had fingernails already. And really, I completely disagree with that guy (you quoted). I think that, given unlimited options, I don’t think many women would pick abortion. I mean, if money and insurance and school and etc, etc, were not a factor. Its not an easy choice (and, yes, I have been there)and well, I don’t know what more to say aabout this, very emotional topic. Maybe that abortion is never the “easy” choice that I think some people (particularly guys (sorry guys)) seem to think it is.

    Catherine February 26, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Thank you for this.

    A few years ago when I was nearing 30 and married and had a great job with International travel and a Master’s degree and plans to have children soon, I watched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And at the end, I cried and cried, cried for days. I know, I know, everyone did. But what made ME cry was when Sam came home to his new wife and their already blossoming home of two babies. This scene triggered something in me I didn’t know was there. I am SO GRATEFUL that I live in a society where I can study and learn and work and achieve and decide when I want to be a mom and not have it forced upon me at the age of 14. But at the same time, I saw too that society is still making my choice to a greater degree than I liked. Because of what society tells me, I DON’T start having children at 14. Instead, I get educated and experienced and traveled. And then, have one or two in the time that’s left. Did I ever consider if I might have prefered to have 10, starting young? Did I even have a chance in my pre-baby innocence to know the love that would have entered my life so much sooner, and the perspective?

    In the movie, Sam’s wife fell in love with Sam, married him, and kids came fast and furious ever after. That’s how most women worldwide have lived their lives since the dawn of time. I’m not saying I want that, I’m not saying its better. But it made me think.

    I’m still grateful for how my life is playing out, but I don’t for one second think I have all the choices in my hands because I’m a modern woman. Society is still molding my choices, maybe as much as ever.

    di February 26, 2008 at 4:05 am

    I needed to read this. Thankyou.
    Not important- but i think you meant ‘militate against’ back there. You inadvertently typed out mitigate.

    wright February 26, 2008 at 9:04 am

    This was very powerful. I think you are right – no matter what the choice is it still must be a choice.

    Avalon February 26, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I was Juno. I was a quirky kid,my boyfriend and I ran with a rather ” alternative” crowd that prided itself on thinking outside of the mainstream norms.

    I got pregnant at 17. He was 16.

    I thought long and hard about my decision. I knew my options and I knew what I could handle and what I couldn’t……emotionally. Looking back, I had NO CLUE about the financial, career, relationship and long-term emotional implications of my choice. But at that moment in time, it wouldn’t have mattered. Ultimately, my decision was mine and I never really cared what anyone else thought. I still don’t. Some people may consider that selfish. I consider that the truest testament to women having a choice.

    The City Gal February 26, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I have previously written a lot about abortion:

    http://thecitygal.blogspot.com/2008/01/unspoken-option.html

    and I still believe it should be considered an option (not necessarily the solution).

    I am a woman who has worked so hard to prove herself in the work environment (And still has a long way to go) I would have been devastated if I got pregnant by one of my exs, especially that none of them were the type to stick around. Being a single mother with no firm career option is hard.

    For many of you who have a husband now and a stable income, ABORTION is a bad word….but for me….it would have been an option, a viable one.

    j February 26, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have been thinking the same thing; I’ve seen the film, and enjoyed it (although the phrase ‘honest to blog’ made me wince) and most of my friends have, too. A lot of them felt as the writer of the article you quoted did. I didn’t; I feel as you do, but was not able to articulate it as clearly and as intelligently as you have. I am now sending a couple of my friends your way to read this post! Thanks!

    Karen February 26, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Catherine – I think you are just exactly right. What alarms me the most is just what you said – that for certain types of women the choice to have an abortion is “the only” rational one – who decides what types of women get full choice and which ones must make do with limited options? Surely women don’t want anyone else making that choice for our younger selves, our poorer selves, our handicapped selves – any more than we want anyone making women carry fetus’ to term because they “can.”

    Anonymous February 26, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    this is a touchy subject for some of us…but if there is to be a choice than we have to have options….and to look closely at them before making our choice…i have not seen either of those movies so can not talk about them.but sometimes the right choice is also the hardest…i have children and have never had an ABORTION…i have though at one time taken the morning after pill and as a result of that choice had subsequent problems with depression….LAVANDULA

    sweetney February 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    you are brave and awesome and i’m more than a little in love with you. in case that wasn’t becoming apparent.

    Kyla February 26, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    You said this well.

    Leah February 26, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Whenever I hear the pro-lifers going on about how being pro-choice equals being pro-abortion, it makes me so angry because surely they don’t believe that those of us on the other side are chanting “Abortions for everyone! All the time! Woo!” Then I read the quote you posted and want to give that guy a firm shakes because he’s making the rest of us–those of us who stress the value of CHOICE in all its variations–look bad. Having a choice is just that–the freedom, the power!, to choose.

    Well said.

    Angela February 26, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Ah…I commend you for writing this. Excellent.

    motherbumper February 26, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    What Baby in the City and RedNeckMommy said. You are very brave.

    Anonymous February 26, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    My sister got pregnant last year at 22. Unmarried. On her own but still under our parents’ wings. Etc. Of COURSE she considered abortion – and I told her I’d support her whatever she decided.

    That baby girl was born this past Saturday, and she’s beautiful and perfect and I love her already. My sister had the assurance of love and support from her family in all walks of her daughter’s life.

    But you know what? Not all women have that, sadly. Which is why even though I’m pro-life for myself, I’ll fight to the death to give every other woman the right to be pro-choice.

    Because that’s what it’s all about – having a choice. No one ANYWHERE has the right to take our choices from us. No one.

    Actorgirl February 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I am honestly APPALLED at that reviewer’s statements… the “ONLY” choice??? Isn’t that what choice is supposed to be ABOUT? Actual CHOICE??? The choice to HAVE a child as well as the choice NOT to. I am FIRMLY pro-choice, but, IMO, to BE pro-choice, you have to allow each individual to make her OWN, NOT tell them that ANY given choice is the ONLY one. I am really sad that this kind of attitude, which, IMO, is no better than a ‘you MUST have the child,” ‘pro-life’ argument, still exists.

    The Estrogen Files February 27, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    This is an awesome post – no personal comments on abortion from me just now.

    nomotherearth February 28, 2008 at 6:32 am

    I DID see June (great movie!) and she didn’t reject abortion because the clinic was dingy at all. Her protesting friend outside the clinic told her that the baby already had fingernails, and she was so fascinated by this – and obviously hadn’t yet considered that the baby was, well, human – that she decided she couldn’t go through with it and that she would have the baby but give it up. I actually thought it was presented quite rationally.

    I also happen to love witty dialogue, though, and some people get offput because people “don’t talk like that”.

    I thought the movie gave a fairly reasonable alternative to abortion – having the baby but giving it up to a couple desperate to have kids. People should feel that they have more than one choice, don’t you think, so that they can make the one that works best for them – whatever that may be

    Anonymous February 29, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for making me think. You, and all the commenters too. I haven’t seen either film–and I wasn’t going to, because I was feeling defensive about the implied conservatism in both main characters choosing to have their kids instead of aborting. I’m so glad that instead, it sounds like they both made real choices (instead of straw-man choices) and even more, that it’s sparked this kind of discussion.

    I had an abortion about ten years ago. My thoughts around it are complicated–I tried writing them out but it’s hard. I’ll just say that it left me with an even stronger conviction that this choice belongs to each woman, alone in herself, and I support anything that helps each woman to make the choice a considered one and a free one.

    Shannon March 2, 2008 at 12:12 am

    I know nothing of Juno – thanks to my tvlessness I’ve never even heard of it. But I share a similar history, minus the supportive mother and I most certainly share your ambivalence (I know that’s not quite the right term – I’m just so tired I can’t come up with another one right now) about the decision you made, particularly after having children. I have so often wondered why I considered another decision so much more permanent than the one I made. Just wanted to chime in and say thank you for articulating (and for putting in writing!) something so, so, what? I can’t think. But boy do I understand and relate. BTW, your mother’s day post was a beautiful thing to behold. I suspect your mother must be, too.

    supertiff March 2, 2008 at 6:59 am

    i can’t wait until you see it.

    p.s. this won’t be a spoiler, because you already know so much about the movie…but i loved it. cried almost all the way through, thinking about my mother who got sent to a catholic home for unwed mothers in 1970, so her family could tell everyone she was an exchange student in europe for the year, and where she could give birth and hand over her child without anyone being the wiser. my mom literally did not have a choice. (unless you count the choice to keep her pants on in the first place) and then i cried thinking about the choice that i made when i was 20…i was basically a mess through the entire film…laughing and crying at what i think is the best writing i’ve seen in action in a long time…but, anyway.

    the point is, at the end of the movie juno is lying in the hospital, recovering, and her father has this tender moment with her where he holds her hand and says: “don’t worry. you’ll be back here some day on your own terms.”

    and, that part? made me a little mad.
    because juno did do it on her terms, just like so many of us do, wether those terms lead us to a hospital bed at 6 weeks, or at 40 weeks. and, dude, i know i just got all riled up about a fictional character…but i can’t believe that anyone could NOT get it.

    oh, and i love diablo cody. which one of us bloggers can win an oscar next year? shall we start a pool?

    Cynthia Samuels March 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

    You are as usual remarkable. JUNO was, I thought, a wonderfully respectful film – allowing this young woman, with wonderful support from her family, to make this decision. Her wisdom was so clear, her perspective so sharp, that I thought her an example of THIS side of the street. There is a scene in the film, after the baby is born, where she is weeping, and her father says to her “some day you’ll be back here — on YOUR terms.” OH I see that Supertiff also described that scene. It just shot right through me.
    Anyway as usual your meditation evokes tears, love and gratitude. Damn Catherine, you are some woman – and your writing lives up to your soul.

    Al_Pal March 31, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I haven’t watched either movie yet, but I think I will. Interesting.

    A combination of care and luck has prevented me from having to make that decision; I’ve certainly heard plenty of stories of people getting pregnant on BC.

    Great post!

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