Friday, June 6, 2008
What if Juno was FLDS
Michelle and I rented Juno last night. It was a pretty good movie that made me laugh out loud several times. (“Your eggo is preggo.”) But, considering recent events, I couldn’t help but notice some cultural irony in the film.
Let's dress the main character in a pastel prairie skirt, make her boyfriend 3 years older and place them on a ranch in Texas. Suddenly we're no longer watching a light hearted, coming of age comedy about a quirky, precocious, pregnant teenager. Instead you have a Lifetime movie about "child abuse" and “sexual slavery” in a "religious cult."
Evidently it’s cute when teenagers have irresponsible sex and impregnate each other. We can even find humor in little Miss Juno’s ill-fated trip to the abortion clinic.
But there’s nothing cute about a pregnant 16 year old FLDS girl. In fact, her very existence is evidence of wide spread sexual abuse -- enough that the state should take away her baby and give him to a nice Baptist family in Dallas so he doesn't grow up to be a sexual predator.
I know from personal experiece on my OB rotation at University Hospital in San Antonio, where over half of the delivering mothers were under 18, that the state of Texas does not routinely treat teenage mothers as abuse victims; we sent babies home with 16 year old mothers and their 19 year old gang-banger boyfriends all the time. So, from what I can tell, the only reason the teenage FLDS mothers were singled out was that their religion and family life was just too weird and icky. Although I personally don’t approve of the FLDS lifestyle (and I find it weird and ichy myself), I think we should take a long hard look at our own cultural problems before we start casting too many stones in their direction.
It was still a great movie though. I'd give in 4/5 stars.