It sure is interesting what passes for “redeeming” in anti-choice circles. Anti-choice columnist Jill Stanek writes about the Kevin Costner movie Mr. Brooks, in which the lead character is a serial killer — a serial killer who, she says, is given the redeeming characteristic of being pro-life (um, irony?).
In Mr. Brooks, the teenage daughter of serial killer Earl Brooks (Costner) turns up pregnant midway through her first semester of college. When Jane tells her parents, Earl emphatically states abortion is out of the question and offers to raise the baby. Jane is equally emphatically abortion minded until that moment, when she says she will reconsider. Typical. If a mother in a crisis pregnancy is offered love and support, she will most often choose life.
I won’t give away the end of Mr. Brooks except to say the prospect of his seeing future grandchild became Earl’s motivation for a life or death decision.
All of this is way twisted, I know. But similar to Godfather II, even a schizophrenic serial killer knows abortion is wrong, and similar to Godfather II, this became a redeeming quality of one who had no others.
I have no idea as to the intentions of the screenwriters in Mr. Brooks, but I’m not sure his anti-choice stance was “an obviously planned juxtaposition,” intended as “Mr. Brooks’ one featured nobility, something they decided demonstrated the exact opposite of the schizophrenic killer mentality.” Now, I haven’t seen the movie, but from the trailer it looks like Mr. Brooks is into control and perfection — and so perhaps his anti-choice stance isn’t so much to redeem him as it is to illustrate his desire to cruelly control other people. Plus, you know, a pro-life serial killer — it’s perfect cinematic irony.
Stanek, then, brands this a “pro-life” movie — along with The Godfather II. And she does a pretty bang-up job of illustrating how the anti-choice mentality is tied to control and abuse of women — she even promotes hitting your wife as a justifiable response to her having an abortion:
One of the best scenes in the Godfather movie trilogy was in “Godfather II,” when Kay Corleone (Diane Keaton) told her husband Michael (Al Pacino) she was taking their two children and leaving him. The dialogue:
Michael: Do you expect me to let you take my children from me?…. Don’t you know that’s an impossibility, that that could never happen, that I’d use all my power to keep something like that from ever happening?…. I know you blame me for losing the baby. Yes. I know what that meant to you. Kay. I swear I’ll make it up to you…. I’ll change. And you’ll forget about this miscarriage, and we’ll have another child, and we’ll go on, you and I, we’ll go on.
Kay: Oh – oh, Michael, Michael, you are blind. It wasn’t a miscarriage. It was an abortion, an abortion, Michael! Just like our marriage is an abortion, something that’s unholy and evil. I didn’t want your son, Michael! I wouldn’t bring another one of your sons into this world! It was an abortion, Michael. It was a son, a son, and I had it killed, because this must all end. I know now that it’s over. I knew it then. There would be no way, Michael, no way you could ever forgive me, not with this Sicilian thing that’s been going on for 2,000 years….
Michael: You won’t take my family!
And she doesn’t.
That spontaneous slap was the reaction of a real man who a woman had just told she aborted his baby. Compare that to the modern day cowardly male response, “It’s your choice. Whatever you decide, I’ll support you.” Or worse, his threat to abandon her if she does not abort.
It was this fierce devotion to family that strangely endeared us to the Corleone men despite their otherwise heinous behavior.
That’s the right-wing, “pro-life” definition of ‘family’ for ya: A wife who you can control and slap around. Of course, Don Corleone was a murderer and a criminal (didn’t he kill his own brother? and didn’t he end up basically getting his daughter killed?), but so long as he’s pro-life and hits his wife when she steps out of line, he’s the image of a real Family Man. If I remember correctly, Corleone was specifically angry because he wanted a male child, and Kaye emphasized that had she continued the pregnancy, the baby would have been a boy — I suppose that falls pretty well in line with pro-life family values, too.
A few of Stanek’s commenters take issue with her promotion of domestic violence, but most of the anti-DV comments come from pro-choice readers. A lot of the anti-choicers seem to revel in seeing/reading about an uppity aborting bitch being put in her place. The first comment on her Mr. Brooks post says:
I sounds like what my friend Bob did to his ex wife. They were still married at the time of this incident. He explained that he and his wife were fighting. The fight escalated, and she turned around and yelled “Well, I was pregnant, but I took care of it.” “I went and had the little bastard sucked out of me.” *gasp* I asked him what he did. He replied “I slapped the sh*t out of her.”
Now there’s a “real man.”
You see, pro aborts support the murdering of children, however when it comes to other issues, they suddenly become these “bastions of tolerance.” Domestic violence? I think he snapped. Abortion is murder. The act is wrong. Domestic violence is also wrong. You can’t condone one and loathe the other.
I can also say that the lady must have been a real trash bag. Who says things like that? She meant to be malicious. I think he should have shoved a bar of soap in her mouth.
She killed his baby! What’s worse? The baby killer, or the woman beater?
And from the Godfather II post:
As for the character of “Kay” well that’s what we get when we marry a straniero/a (non-Italian). She’s not the only bride that deserved to be slapped but since Diane Keaton is such an annoying actress it is fun to see her get it.
Regarding Kay the unworthy marrying Michael, in words that any Irishman could understand:
NEVER MIX, NEVER WORRY.
Should a women who commits murder ever be subject to the death penalty? That’s pretty violent isn’t it? What about a woman who kills her own children? What makes women so sacred that they are exempt from the consequences of their actions? Just because they are female?
And then there are Stanek’s own follow-up comments:
As I responded earlier, my point was if a man has just been told a woman has killed his child, I would not fault him for responding with a slap. I cannot think of a better reason for righteous indignation.
The “real man” comparison was to that of a coward or someone who would threaten to leave a woman if she doesn’t kill his baby.
I’m not saying a slap in the a fit of anger is Scriptural. Jesus turned over tables but didn’t hit people. But I do understand, and in my opinion the man who has that reaction is more of a man than the other two.
Ingrid, one slap does not domestic violence make. Up until that shocking moment, speaking strictly of Michael as husband and father, he was ideal. He didn’t drink, refused to womanize, shielded Kay with his body when mobsters splattered the bedroom with bullets, and was affectionate and attentive to Kay and loving and proud of their children.
The slap demonstrated how horrible Michael considered abortion, a strange thing for a mobster, certainly, but showing there was good in him, although obviously misplaced.
In fact, Michael killed his own brother because Freddo played a part in mobsters attacking Michael’s family at home.
In actuality, who was the one really guilty of “domestic violence”? Kay.
Gotta love pro-life family values.
- Abstinence 4 Life by Jill February 24, 2008
- Violence-Abetting Anti-Choice Fanatics: Now in Congress by Jill June 19, 2009
- Who Killed George Tiller? by Jill June 1, 2009
- You know you’re a bad person when… by Jill March 25, 2009
- College Republicans Diaper Drive at NYU Today by Jill September 26, 2007