23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Hilary: I don't know if I want children.
Ashley: Why not?
Hilary: I just said I don't know.
Vivian: Hilary honey, you will. Having children makes life worthwhile.
It steadies me now but it won't forever. I've done my homework, read books, websites, and message boards, lurked on lists, and even questioned a social worker too exhausted to guard her words, and I know how bad the odds are for girls like me.
We wait to be rescued, but for whatever reason, no one comes. We figure that if no one protects us then we must not be worth protecting so we become prey and are easily picked off. Our wounded, kicked-puppy gazes attract sly predators and we sell ourselves for clearance sale prices, mistaking screwing for caring.
We binge, purge, sleep around. We drink too much and get too high, anything to blot out the past. We accept and endure beatings and humiliations because our fathers, our uncles, and our mothers' twisted boyfriends said they loved us, too, right before they broke our bones and tore our tissue, right before they made us receive them.
Oh yes, I have done my homework.
We have babies because we want them to love us, to make us important, but they only make us tired and fat and stinking of spit up because they're babies, not saviours. Their fathers leave us, sick of crap and sour milk, sweatpants and tears.
But the babies still need all of us, only there isn't anything left to give because we based our worth on the lowlifes who knocked us up and around.
So our babies end up screwed up and screwed with because now we're single again, too, so we're bringing home guys who secretly like pink satin baby skin more than our silvery stretch marks. We don't see what we should see because having anyone is still supposedly better than being alone.
I know the grim probablility of my own future.
— Meredith, Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess, viciously tearing this trope apart.
Ah, movie magic. Hollywood always manages to make difficult situations turn out well after two hours ó and nowhere is this more apparent than with cinematic treatments of unplanned pregnancy. [...]
Female characters rarely feel any ambivalence about carrying unplanned pregnancies to term ó and why should they, when life always works out so perfectly? An unhappy and unwilling dad-to-be will convert to a pro-baby stance in time for a happily-ever-after ending. If mom isnít too crazy about dad and would prefer to parent by herself, sheíll soon find that single motherhood is a cinch. Although childrearing seems expensive in the real world, money isnít much of an obstacle for film parents (and made even less of one by the fact that most movies feature middle-class women with plenty of resources).
— "Go Forth and Multiply: Abortion in Hollywood Movies of the '90s" by Eve Kushner
2. If circumstances make the pregnancy problematic, donít worry ó everything will work out somehow. Just be happy. After all, a baby is on the way.
3. You will glow with pride and femininity as you proceed with the noble mission of carrying to term.
4. When you deliver the child, there will again be irrepressible joy and widespread celebration.
5. If youíre a man, you may feel unready or unwilling to have a baby, in which case youíre just a party pooper. You should rise to the occasion and improve yourself if necessary.
6. Babies only strengthen romances.
7. What this world needs is babies, babies, babies. Bring them on by the caseload. Donít stop to think about the population explosion.
— Eve Kushner sums up Hollywood's views on unplanned pregnancy.