Late Night Open Thread: Rabbit…Rabbit… Message…Message

Good Late Evening!

I’ve spent the night watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit? This film came out in 1988…can you believe it? I love this flick.

“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way…”

So…According to this article in RH Reality Check, the phrase “Pro-Choice” is going to become a thing of the past. Honestly, I don’t like the new slogan. After “Pro-Choice”: What’s Next for Our Messaging?

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) recently announced that it would move away from “choice” language in its messaging. As PPFA President Cecile Richards argued, the term “pro-choice” no longer resonates with many younger advocates and voters, nor does it reflect the complexity of reproductive health decision making. But the move raises an important question that the movement now must answer: what’s next for our messaging?

During the recent media coverage surrounding Roe v. Wade’s 40th anniversary, the term “reproductive justice” was often cited as a framework that better appeals to young people since it encapsulates economics, race/ethnicity, environment, sexual orientation, and other contexts that affect access to reproductive rights. While many of us advocates welcome the opportunity to have a discussion about reproductive justice (RJ), it’s important to note that individuals in the media are often unclear about how to discuss RJ and may not fully grasp what it means.

I don’t think Reproductive Justice is going to help get the message across, and RJ sounds like a damn low-testosterone condition.

As communications strategist and full-spectrum doula Miriam Zoila Pérez noted in a recent post, “Reproductive justice isn’t a simple concept that can be explained in a sound bite. But because of that, it also better mirrors the complex world we live in than a label like pro-choice or pro-life ever could.” Furthermore, RJ isn’t an identity, so it isn’t a replacement for “pro-choice.”

The fact that Planned Parenthood, the biggest, most well-known reproductive health provider in the nation, is abandoning “pro-choice” terminology is a sign that the movement needs to find more relevant ways to talk about these issues—ways that better connect to people’s real-life experiences. When abortion access is under attack at the local, state, and federal levels, holding on to stigmatized messaging that doesn’t work inside or outside the Beltway is obstinate and myopic.

What do you all think about the phrase, Reproductive Justice?

moving away from “pro-choice” language won’t mean that discussions about abortion will be displaced. Many vocal RJ leaders and advocates do significant work on the ground to promote abortion access. But an RJ framework is more inclusive than that; it allows us to deconstruct the conditions that limit access to abortion, contraception, comprehensive sex education, and more.

Eesha Pandit of Men Stopping Violence and the National Network of Abortion Funds points out that even if we drop the term “pro-choice,” mainstream reproductive rights organizers won’t suddenly adopt the RJ framework. “On one hand, there’s the co-opting of ‘reproductive justice’ within reproductive rights and reproductive health communities. That’s problematic because it makes the real point of reproductive justice and the work that women of color have done in creating the framework, completely invisible. Just using the term ‘reproductive justice’ does not mean that the framework or the perspective is in an intersectional frame,” she told RH Reality Check. Changing language is irrelevant if the reproductive rights community doesn’t shift its approach. But introducing RJ as a framework can help the media make these important connections.

When I think of the word justice, I think of someone being a victim and looking for justice….why not just call it reproductive rights? Or find another word salad that can be made into a catchy acronym? I guess Pro-Choice isn’t going anywhere soon, but this “RJ” sucks.

Since I am enjoying this fabulous classic movie, just a couple of more links for you tonight.

This next link is also about messaging, on the GOP side: A muddled message gets messier and more mendacious

With the sequestration cuts just days away, Republicans have spent the last several focused on rhetoric instead of policy. By any sensible standard, GOP policymakers have invested no real effort on resolving the problem, and have instead devoted all of their energies in winning a public-relations fight once the sequester starts doing real damage.

And with this in mind, one might expect their message to be amazing. After all, once a political party gives up on governing and focuses solely on messaging, it’s stands to reason they’ll be pretty good at it.

And yet, Republicans’ sequestration message “is all over the place.” GOP leaders believe the sequester will be awful but they want to let it happen. The policy was integral to the Republican fiscal plan and it’s entirely the White House’s idea. When Republicans say the cuts will hurt, that’s fine; when Democrats say the cuts will hurt, it’s evidence of scare tactics.

And now Republicans are simultaneously convinced the cuts will hurt and help the economy.

One of Georgia’s brilliant </snark> representatives is spouting off a load of crap:

Rep. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a likely U.S. Senate candidate, argued over the weekend that sequestration cuts “must” happen in order to “get this economy rolling again.”

As a matter of economic policy, Price’s argument is practically gibberish. Taking billions out of the economy and forcing public sector workers from their jobs does not get an economy “rolling,” unless we’re talking about “rolling” downhill. Independent economic estimates, including that of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, suggest these cuts will likely cost the U.S. economy 750,000 jobs just this year, which leads to legitimate questions about whether Price, a member of the House Budget Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, has the foggiest idea what he’s talking about.

But the larger point is, Price’s comments offer a reminder that Republicans don’t even agree with other Republicans. If the sequester will “get this economy rolling again,” why is Price’s party so eager to blame the policy on President Obama? Why are some far-right House Republicans saying these cuts will do real harm while other far-right House Republicans say the exact opposite?

More commentary and video at the link…

Perhaps both of these messages would be easier to get across if the politicians used the technique we saw Jennifer Lawrence use at her press interview after she won the award for Best Actress. Politicians Can Take A Lesson From Jennifer Lawrence’s Mocking Post-Oscar Press Conference

For the press who she ruthlessly mocked and whose questions she reluctantly answered in a glib but charming fashion, Lawrence may not have been their favorite interview of the night.

When asked what the “process” was for preparing to come to the Oscars, Lawrence replied – with all the sincerity and lack of affectation that one would expect from anyone other than an Academy Award-winning actress – that she woke up, took a shower, tried on the dress and “came to the Oscars.” That last bit delivered with a bit of faux pomposity she knows the reporter was expecting.

“I’m sorry,” Lawrence added. “I did a shot before I…”

Lawrence displayed humility and self-deprecation – it was disarming. Probably due mostly to that particular character trait’s conspicuous paucity in Hollywood, as well as Washington D.C.

“The fall up to the stage,” another reporter then asked regarding a minor trip that Lawrence encountered on her way on stage to accept the Oscar. “Was it on purpose? Absolutely,” Lawrence said, simultaneously anticipating and rejecting the reporter’s premise before it had even been submitted. “What happened?” the reporter asked. “What do you mean ‘what happened?’ Lawrence replied. “Look at my dress.”

Contentious, but entirely lacking in aggression. Mocking, but buttressed by a transcendent likeability.

You can read more about who else has that special touch when it comes to dealing with the press. (Can you guess which politician is gifted with such talents?) I don’t know if I agree completely with the article’s assessment, but it does make a point. I guess.

Alright, that is all I got for tonight…Enjoy this bit of fun from Roger Rabbit.

And this great tune by Jessica Rabbit.

BTW, Jessica Rabbit’s speaking voice was performed by Kathleen Turner, and her singing voice was performed by Amy Irving. Turner was uncredited.

This is an open thread…

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21 Comments on “Late Night Open Thread: Rabbit…Rabbit… Message…Message”

  1. Y’all hear about Pluto’s new moon? Capt. Kirk’s Vulcan entry wins Pluto moons contest (Update)

    “Star Trek” fans, rejoice. An online vote to name Pluto’s two newest, itty-bitty moons is over. And No. 1 is Vulcan, a name suggested by actor William Shatner, who played Capt. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” TV series. Vulcan snared nearly 200,000 votes among the more than 450,000 cast during the two-week contest, which ended Monday. In second place with nearly 100,000 votes was Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the gates of the underworld. Vulcan was the Roman god of lava and smoke, and the nephew of Pluto. Vulcan was also the home planet of the pointy-eared humanoids in the “Star Trek” shows. Think Mr. Spock. “174,062 votes and Vulcan came out on top of the voting for the naming of Pluto’s moons. Thank you to all who voted!” Shatner said in a tweet once the tally was complete. Don’t assume Vulcan and Cerberus are shoo-ins, though, for the two tiny moons discovered over the past two years with the Hubble Space Telescope. The contest was conducted by SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, the research base for the primary moon hunter. The 10 astronomers who made the discoveries will take the voting results into account, as they come up with what they consider to be the two best names.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-capt-kirk-vulcan-pluto-moons.html#jCp

    The names are not carved in stone, we will find out in a couple months if Vulcan was accepted.

    Oh, it is cold, I’ve got my daughter who is sick with a sinus infection…and the next film coming up on TCM is Dead Poets Society, O captain, my captain…I gotta watch it. Yet another movie from my teenage years. This one is from 1989.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I saw Roger Rabbit on the big screen when it first came out. Everything was moving so fast, it put me into an altered state. I’ve always been a big fan of Bob Hoskins, so I had to see it.

  3. quixote says:

    “RJ”? Uh huh. That really resonates. They care about it so much they can’t even be bothered to spend a tenth of a second saying “reproductive justice.” They’re sending a message, that’s for sure.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    What’s wrong with “pro-choice?” Is this like when all the liberals were afraid to be called “liberals?”

  5. About that little link up top, Jennifer Lawrence’s talent in talking over the press to the people and being self-deprecating. I will say this. Christie is self-deprecating…in an honest sounding way. That is one thing you don’t see Obama doing or Romney (remember)…I think that when someone is conscious of their own shortcomings, and is genuine about it, that brings a connection to other people. Like people see a bit of themselves in that kind of message. But it can be overdone. There is a fine line and when they go over it, like so many of these righteous wing nuts, they bring about a fake feeling.

    • RalphB says:

      Jennifer Lawrence is super charming and delightful in that press conference. Chris Christie is not popular because he’s some honest cuddly bear, He’s popular because he did a good job with the hurricane. Before that his ratings were not good and people thought he was a loud mouthed asshole, with reason.

      • Yeah you said what I thought when I first read that article…hence why I mention that I don’t agree with what it said. However, I do think admitting ones limitations does bring a connection to the people you are trying to win over. I don’t know it is late and I am soooooo tired.

      • RalphB says:

        I agree self-deprecation is very effective.

  6. RalphB says:

    On that Democrat who threw the Purim party in blackface…

    “DEM” — IN THE VERY LOOSEST SENSE OF THE TERM — DONS BLACKFACE

    Dov Hikind is a registered Democrat.

    But he’s a registered Democrat who campaigned for Mitt Romney in 2012. And endorsed John McCain in 2008. And George W. Bush in 2004. And Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush prior to that.

    Hikind has also backed Rudy Giuliani. And Al D’Amato. And George Pataki (whose administration subsequently gave Hikind’s brother a job). And Bob Turner, the Republican who took Anthony Weiner’s House seat in a special election after Weiner resigned.

  7. HT says:

    JJ – love Roger Rabbit. Kathleen Turner’s voice is seductive regardless of what she’s in. Don’t know how she does it, but that voice – her role as a wicked witch in A Simple Wish was sublime. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.
    Insofar as Dov Hikind being a registered democrat per Ralph’s comment one can register whatever – it doesn’t mean that one is a democrat. Similar to so many people who declare that they are “liberal – but”. Bollocks, they aren’t liberal at all, they simply want to appear to be so they can move forward in some circles. We are in a world of people who don’t have any values other than how they can make money and they will exploit whatever they need to in order to accomplish their goals.