Abortion is still marginalized in books and screens

Until recently, it was difficult to talk about abortion in public squares in the United States. It was overseen by Quebec filmmaker Marianne Farley, whose short film SnowfallWhich depicts an abortion in a dystopian Quebec where medical law would prohibit, was part of the film’s pre-selection for the 2021 Oscars. In her picture, a pregnant woman with a deformed child uses a secret abortionist, a meat truck hidden, unknown to her husband.

“I realized during the Oscar campaign that abortion makes people very uncomfortable. There were many media outlets in the United States who did not want to talk about it so as not to lose their audience, “he said in an interview. Now that has been the verdict [la Cour suprême des États-Unis a invalidé l’arrêt Roe v. Wade protégeant le droit à l’avortement, NDLR]I hope people will come together, ”he said.

In literature as well as in movies, the theme of abortion remains relatively marginal, for example rape, which also affects the female body and which is highlighted by the MeToo movement, noted UKAM author Laurie Saint-Martin, essayist, novelist, translator and professor of literary studies.

“With the MeToo movement, there has been a lot of focus on sexual harassment stories over the past few years, and abortion has been under-represented,” she says.

That being said, abortion itself is not a “completely new” subject. Already Second hand happiness By Gabriel Roy, written in the 1940s, Florentine realizes that she is pregnant by Jean, his impossible love. “The word ‘pregnant’ is also not used,” said Laurie Saint-Martin If the idea of ​​abortion touches Florentine at this particular moment, it quickly fades and Florentine finds a husband to whom she will trust that the child is hers.

The body is like a trap

Inside Second hand happiness As The second gender Written by Simone de Beauvoir, both before contraception and before the liberalization of abortion, “a woman’s body is a trap”, Professor Saint-Martin summarizes, in the sense that pregnancy is decisive for everything in a woman’s future.

Decades later, Nellie Arkan said Crazy woman Before aborting a man’s child she had a hesitation that she had left him and continued to love him, Laurie Saint-Martin. Finally quite a recent picture EventsBy Audrey Diwan, Annie Ernax tells the story of the same name, of an abortion that took place in France in the 1960s, where it was then banned.

Laurie Saint-Martin also mentions that Annie Arnax published the story in the form of the first novel. Empty cupboards, In 1974. When he came back with EventsReleased in 2001, The Shame of an Abortion, which shocked the first edition, seems to have disappeared …

But films dealing with abortion don’t always protect it, far from it. In 2019, the movie Unplanned, Inspired by the life of Abby Johnson, a former director of family planning, became an anti-abortion activist, much to the chagrin of select workers when it was presented at the Guzzo Cinema in Montreal.

In an open letter co-signed by various organizations, Veronica condemned Pronovst’s staging.Unplanned, Which appears to be a legal abortion in horrific situations, as well as a scientifically unfounded bias to show the fetus as a tormentor struggling for her life.

The weight of the woman’s voice

In some cases, the researcher, who specializes in antifeminism, said in an interview that “cultural products can express ideas, myths or misconceptions that abortion can cause cancer or infertility, for example.”

Inside Snowfall, Show Marian Farley to a woman who endangered herself by aborting a fetus at 14 weeks. He says he was very upset Scarlett MaidThis dystopia of Margaret Atwood is characteristic of a society where women are completely exploited for their fertility.

“There have been a number of feminist dystopias in recent years,” said Laurie Saint-Martin. They do not, however, portray abortion, as they portray societies where this right does not exist.

Yet, women’s voices have already gained the power to change something. In France, in 1971, 343 proclamations gave women a face, including several letter women who chose abortion. This movement, four years later, led to the veil law, which criminalizes abortion.

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