Despite her mother’s Christian preachings, young Jane had a wild side. She wrote in her 1985 autobiography, “My Paths and Detours,” that during high school she had a back-alley abortion, which may have rendered her unable to bear children.
This comes from the Associated Press, as reprinted in the Pioneer Press. It’s in the obituary for Jane Russell (of whose passing I am sad to learn). Granted, this obituary has probably been sitting untouched since 2000, but if you were wondering “how patriarchy happens,” there’s an example above, in the lovely objective news item.
Instead of maybe indicating that “back-alley abortions do awful things to women” or (probably better) saying nothing of judgment at all, we are informed that Jane has a “wild side” where she goes and gets pregnant and has abortions and then is punished for it, ostensibly despite everything her mother told her. Why is this even mentioned at all unless there’s a quote or something from her talking about having had an abortion and how she felt about it? Is her abortion really a necessary thing to include in an obituary at all?
In lighter news, I highly recommend that you watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with my mother sometime because her running commentary will teach you so much about everyone in that movie. If you can’t watch it with my mother, it’s on Netflix Instant. I’ll be watching it tonight.