I’m thinking of George Clooney. Angelina Jolie. Bono. Rosario Dawson. Cynthia Nixon. Even Tori Amos. I’m thinking of celebrities, but more than just that, celebrities with an easily identifiable cause. Clearly I err on the side of human rights and women’s health, but it would be right within that cross-section that one should be able to find a celebrity advocate for reproductive justice. And they are just not there. So why is it that the case? Do we really care who represents RAINN or V-day or UNICEF?
We live in a celebrity-saturated culture, and I’m certainly not here to judge. I check Gawker as much or more than I do the Times. Don’t you? And that’s my point. This fact of life is more than something we need to recognize in ourselves, we must leverage it as advocates… just like everybody else.
So why hasn’t empowered sexuality and reproduction attracted a sexy celebrity to play face to the cause? Now I know six degrees of Kevin Bacon may get all the fame, but I believe it is the degrees of Kevin Costner holds the key. Now I know what you are thinking Kevin Costner, really? Hear me out.
BUT FIRST it must be noted there are very legitimate reasons for not openly and actively supporting choice due fears for their own safety. We just spent the past couple weeks blogging about the tragedy of Dr. Tiller’s murder, and he’s only a doctor. Take a celebrity who may already be stalked for their fame alone and add this additional risks and it could be potentially dangerous. I would never discredit anyone for their hesitation to visibly support reproductive justice if they were to be made personally vulnerable.
Now back to my Kevin Costner theory. Did you know NARAL had not one but two famous faces at their 37th Anniversary Luncheon? None other than the Al Franken, our favorite new Senator feminista, and Amy Madigan. Who is Amy Madigan did you say? Only one of the stars of Field of Dreams. Remember 1989? You know what else she starred in that year? Roe v. Wade as Sarah Weddington (the attorney the argued Roe). Herein lies the lynchpin.
Kevin Costner “invented” a tool to clean up oil spills after his life changing experience in Water World. He was inspired by the film he was in. His work. Could it be that his Field of Dreams co-star Amy Madigan was similarly inspired by Roe v. Wade? Taking it one step further, could it be the almost complete absence of women choosing abortion in film and television that have left celebrities in cold? Do some actors need to try on the skin of the cause through a character before they come to truly understand it? Crazy, maybe, but completely unfounded, I think not.