Monday, February 20, 2012


I keep watching this video.  Three times so far today.  Since I'm teaching Ecofeminism, it puts me in mind around reproductive justice, population control, and the politics of speech.

Because, although I love Amy Poehler in many ways (and I love a lady business joke even more), this skit has me thinking about a few things to do with class and race and reproductive rights.  Namely, Seth and Amy's "really!?!" reads as really white to me.  As in, who is surprised that there are laws restricting reproductive freedom?  Who is surprised that Congress doesn't make even a tokenized effort to represent the citizens who will be most directly/immediately impacted by its decisions on policy panels?  The moral outrage of "really!?!" is the outrage of a disappointed citizen and disappointment is a privilege.

As the ghosts swirl around my brain, I hear myself thinking:  well, we should all have access to reproductive freedom, therefore this "really!?!" is a humanistic reaction, not a privileged one.  But given the history and current realities of disproportionate access and reproductive oppression, I don't think so.

What seals it for me is the joke about the Chinese Olympics.  Really?  The point can only be made with a crack about overpopulation in Asia?  Really!?!   

It seems like a skit rooted in "the focus on legal access and individual choice", which has never really applied for a number of women (and men), particularly advocates for reproductive justice for women of color.