TV: Adoption, Men’s Rights & Desperate Housewives.

The moment Susan’s daughter Julie rocked up pregnant and with the intent to give the baby up for adoption, I knew there was trouble in the air. Susan tries to sabotage Julie’s efforts to find an adoptive family and, last night, she found out rambunctious little Porter Scavo from across the street is the father.

While initially Susan was appalled at the prospect of having a part-Scavo grand-offspring, she changes her tune when Porter decides he’d like to raise the baby. Susan offers her help to get Porter a lawyer and look after the baby when it comes. Susan expressly goes against Julie’s wishes and tells Julie that “birth fathers have rights”.

Well, in the current political climate of the U.S. (which has been popping up a lot on television in recent weeks), I had to double check that the foetus residing in a woman’s womb in the Western world is subject to her wishes, not the baby daddy’s.

While in some developing countries, men do have the legal backing to request their baby not be aborted or given up for adoption, this is certainly not automatically true in the U.S. I suppose Porter could apply for custody of the baby and relieve Julie of all her responsibilities but, as she puts it, how do you think she’ll feel having the baby she gave up for adoption living across the street and being babysat by her overbearing mother?!

I really feel for Julie here: last week she told her mother she doesn’t want to raise a child as a single mother as she’s seen what Susan went through. My reasoning is that she should have just got an abortion, but if that doesn’t align with her values (or she found out about the pregnancy too late), I understand her wanting to give it up to a family that can take care of the baby and give it the love it needs.

But I cannot believe (actually, Susan’s kind of flakey, so I can) that Susan is advocating for her daughter to lose her right as a woman to chose what happens to her body and what comes out of it in favour of upholding the patriarchy. Look, I don’t think that Porter’s feelings shouldn’t be heard and that they’re not valid, but at the end of the day, the father is young, unemployed and undereducated, living at home with his mum who doesn’t want another baby around and the mother doesn’t want the child, so who do you think the courts will side with?

Related: 2 Broke & Tampon-less Girls.

Grey’s Anatomy: “You Killed Our Baby”.

Image via The Voice of TV.

TV: The Slap & Men Who Cheat.

 

Three episodes of ABC’s The Slap down, five more to go.

While initially the first episode left me with chills, each subsequent installment has been less exciting than the last, despite the show’s anticipated debut.

But one thing that really shitted me about last week’s “Harry” narrative, in addition to cousin Hector’s story, was that despite having beautiful wives, nice homes and healthy kids and money, the men of The Slap are cheaters.

Sure, just having all these things doesn’t prevent someone from straying in an unhappy marriage, but it seems almost every depiction of middle aged married men these days also includes infidelity.

Don Draper, for example. Tony Soprano, Tom Scavo of Desperate Housewives and Dr. Chris Taub of House, to name a few more. Fatal Attraction’s Dan Gallagher. Bradley Cooper’s Ben in He’s Just Not That Into You. The list goes on.

Sure, cheating occurs IRL. But where are all the representations of good men? One’s who are secure in their marriages, in their masculinity, and who love their lives. Surely those men exist in real life, although you wouldn’t know it if film and television are supposed to imitate it.

Not only is this damaging to married men, but also to married women. Are they really as none-the-wiser as fiction makes them out to be? Do they never cheat? Unlikely.

And what about sexual health? Surely, if protection isn’t used, these fictional cheating men are spreading disease. Watch how Harry and Hector pursue relationships with other women, then come home and make love to their beautiful wives like nothing’s changed. But it has. Am I deluded in thinking you can’t have the best of both worlds?

Image via A Connected Life.