Planned Parenthood Loses Its Cookies Over a Depiction of Marilyn Monroe's Baby in the Womb

Damian Dovarganes

My wife and I watched Netflix’s “Blonde” a few nights ago. It’s based on a novel by Joyce Carol Oates. To say that I didn’t like the film is an understatement. As the credits rolled, and Oates’ name rolled across the screen, I realized I hated it even more. Oates is the clown who decided that she would get into a Twitter battle with my colleague Kira Davis. It didn’t go well for Oates. She accused Kira of white privilege or something. Except… Kira is black. Oops. Oates tackled her research of the life of Marylin Monroe like she tackled Twitter – with reckless abandon and by that I mean, just recklessly. In short, it was historical nonsense.


Monroe historian Scott Fortner described the film of “Blonde” as

….“a fairytale that straddles a very thin line between actual events in Marilyn Monroe’s life and the false narrative Oates fabricated for her novel,” he said. “In this film, Andrew Dominik has gone even further with graphic, grotesque and disturbing adaptations of the chapters in the book. It is the definition of exploitation. And worse, it is the assassination of a woman who isn’t even here to defend herself and clarify definitively what’s true and what’s false.”

Fortner went on to say: “Nearly every scene in the film portrays a mistruth or fabricated event. It does not tell the true story of Marilyn Monroe.”

The director thought the rape scenes and graphic sex scenes were part of the Monroe story, even though there is no support for them either as cinema or storytelling. Oates defended her trashy movie:

“I think it was/is a brilliant work of cinematic art obviously not for everyone. surprising that in a post#MeToo era the stark exposure of sexual predation in Hollywood has been interpreted as ‘exploitation’. Surely Andrew Dominik meant to tell Norma Jeane’s (sic) story sincerely.”


That’s a euphemism for “I made it all up”

I was gratified to see that a Monroe expert hated the film, too. Critics hated – and now, I understand, Planned Parenthood hated, too. Planned Parenthood hated it not because it was historical garbage (it is) or bad storytelling (it’s bad), Planned Parenthood hated it because it depicts babies in the womb and Marylin’s angst over aborting her baby. Twice in the film, it shows fully formed babies, and Marilyn speaking to them with reverence. It also depicts Marilyn not wanting to abort her baby, and men talking her into it. That is what set Planned Parenthood off. One cannot show an expecting mother and her sadness at one abortion and a miscarriage. No – one must depict a fetus as a clump of cells,and the mother happy to rid herself of her “burden.”

Planned Parenthood said:

“As film and TV shapes (sic) many people’s understanding of sexual and reproductive health, it’s critical these depictions accurately portray women’s real decisions and experiences.

“While abortion is safe, essential health care, anti-abortion zealots have long contributed to abortion stigma by using medically inaccurate descriptions of fetuses and pregnancy. Andrew Dominik’s new film, Blonde, bolsters their message with a CGI-talking fetus, depicted to look like a fully-formed baby.”


Planned Parenthood wasn’t upset at scenes that depicted alleged, multiple rapes at the hands of men (like JFK); it was upset that a baby in the womb looks like a human being, with a beating heart, a life, and a soul.

The film is still rubbish – but the fact that it made Planned Parenthood lose its cookies was a definite plus.

With that in mind, it went from one star to two for me.


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