"Juno," which won an Academy Award for best original screenplay, is a movie sure to delight feminists. The script answers "No" to the question posed in the title of Maureen Dowd's book, "Are Men Necessary?"
Juno is the name of a bratty 16-year-old girl (and I do mean "girl" because she's too immature to be called a woman). She finds herself in what the feminists call an unplanned pregnancy after initiating a loveless one-night incident with a classmate named Paulie.
After the sex, Juno ignores Paulie, treating him as a total irrelevancy. He has nothing to say about her predicament or her decision any more than any other classmate on the high school's cross country running team.
Juno's first response to her pregnancy is to head for the abortion clinic. She changes her mind after passing a pro-life activist carrying a sign and being told that the baby has "fingernails."
The existence of fingernails seems to be what motivated her to reject abortion. Even so, Juno never refers to what she is carrying as a baby; she always calls her unborn child an "it."
Juno makes her decisions solely on a whim. She doesn't permit her parents, or Paulie, or anyone else to have any input or advice about what she will do with the baby.
Meanwhile, this Academy Award-winning script is laced with dozens of obscenities and references to teenagers' sexually active lifestyle. We get the drift of what they are taught in school when we see a public school teacher putting a condom on a banana.
Juno decides to give her thing to a prosperous childless yuppie couple who can provide all the material things of life. From a newspaper ad, she finds the perfect parents: Vanessa and Mark.
Juno's baby seems destined to live in a happy home until Mark realizes that his wife has suddenly pushed him out of the loop of her affection and attention. The movie's message is that no man should have anything to say about a baby for whom he is financially responsible.
With the impending arrival of the birth date, Mark realizes Vanessa doesn't need or want him anymore. So he decides to move on.
All Juno's happy talk about placing her baby in a good home with loving parents is forgotten. Mark's departure breaks the adoption contract, and Juno could easily have found another two-parent home.
But that was not important to Juno. She gladly gives the baby to Vanessa where he will become one more statistic of a boy raised in a fatherless home.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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