Over four years ago, I joined quite a lot of others in opposing the sale of RU-486 and the morning-after pill. We predicted that nefarious men would obtain the drugs and slip it into the food or drink of the women they knocked up. After all, getting and using such a drug would be a lot cheaper than paying child support.
All of the secular newsies and commentators made fun of the idea. "RU-486 is tightly regulated!" they would reply, "No one will find this on the black market! The scenario is outrageous, bordering upon lies!"
Fast forward to February, 2007, and we see "Veronica Mars" contemplating an episode in which exactly this happens. As Salon.com said, "This week's award for major disappointment during prime-time network programming goes to the generally talented crew over at "Veronica Mars," who egregiously and stupidly conflated emergency contraception and RU-486 in Tuesday's episode..."
The article itself makes fun of the very idea that anyone would write a sitcom based on such an impossible set of events. That article is joined by articles from feministing, ThinkProgress, and StrollerDerby, among others. TVSquad even reports that the third season DVD of Veronica Mars features commentary on how much flack the writers got for producing such a stupid episode.
It is important that women not be misled by silly sitcom plots. After all, as Salon's Broadsheet points out in reference to this episode of Veronica Mars, "Television shows like "Mars" are, of course, entertainment, and no show should be anyone's sole source of medical (or other) information. But that doesn't mean viewers don't absorb messages from their programming, and as Think Progress pointed out this week, "'Veronica Mars' is extremely popular among young women, the very women who need accurate health information."
Alright, now fast forward again to Dec 3, 2007. We see a man do the impossible - apparently, he regularly slips RU-486 into his girlfriend's food in order to cause miscarriage. He succeeds not once, but twice. Now he is up on charges of manslaughter.
Now, pay close attention.
The sitcom was news because it was television fantasy. Such a thing couldn't happen. Thus, all the secular blogs commented on how stupid it was, how impossible it was, how important it was to write in a responsible manner and not pass on stupid myths.
The actual event - that's not news. It doesn't appear on Salon, on ThinkProgress or any of the other blogs. It is not even a blip on the national news scene.
Remember, fantasy is news, reality is not.
Real feminists know how to tell the difference.