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Calvin Freiburger

Feminist Writer Tries to Put New Mother Natalie Portman in Her Place

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Posted on March 3 2011 8:00 am
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

The last time NewsRealBlog checked in on Natalie Portman, the actress was selling some new, decidedly-PC ideas about sex and love. But since her appearance at the Academy Awards accepting the Best Actress award for Black Swan, Portman has found herself on the other side of the feminist divide. LifeNews.com reports that part of her speech didn’t sit well with everyone:

After thanking fellow nominees, her parents, and the directors past and present who guided her career, Portman saved her concluding praise for “my beautiful love,” dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied.

Then, as if to underscore how the bright and promising career and the accolades she’s received up to that very moment paled in comparison, a visibly pregnant Portman thanked Millepied for giving her “the most important role of my life.”

The problem, according to Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams:

“At the time, the comment jarred me, as it does every time anyone refers to motherhood as the most important thing a woman can possibly do,” she wrote today. “But the reason why didn’t hit until I saw the ever razor sharp Lizzie Skurnick comment on Twitter today that, ‘Like, my garbageman could give you your greatest role in life, too, lady.’”

“When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, there are a lot of amazed and awed moments in between the heartburn and insomnia. But is motherhood really a greater role than being secretary of state or a justice on the Supreme Court? Is reproduction automatically the greatest thing Natalie Portman will do with her life?” Williams wondered […]

“Why, at the pinnacle of one’s professional career, would a person feel the need to undercut it by announcing that there’s something else even more important? Even if you feel that way, why downplay your achievement?” a clearly befuddled Williams writes.

“Why compare the two, as if a grueling acting role and being a parent were somehow in competition? And remind me — when was the last time a male star gave an acceptance speech calling fatherhood his biggest role?

Yes, how dare Portman celebrate bringing a child into the world? Doesn’t she realize that ignorant political lectures are the only non-industry topics allowed by Hollywood etiquette at major functions?

We could go on at length discussing the importance of parenthood, and how raising the next generation really is the greatest role anyone could undertake, but our Feminist Hawks and family crusaders have covered that territory pretty well; here let’s instead turn the question around and ask Williams: what is it about a great film performance that even comes close to the value of raising children? Do movies teach the young, heal the sick, or protect the weak? Do they make society better? What do they contribute to ensuring a freer, safer, more just, or more prosperous future?

Answer: not bloody much. Now, there’s nothing wrong with pure entertainment, but that’s all it is—entertainment. And while film can be a venue for spreading immortal truths and valuable ideas, more often than not it’s simply vehicles for leftism.

It seems that Natalie Portman’s real sin was, however innocently, revealing that elite left-wing culture isn’t the center of the world. LifeNews’s Steven Ertelt is correct to point out that Williams seems “unable to get past self,” and quotes Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright as cutting to the heart of the issue:

The selflessness of motherhood is the antithesis of Hollywood narcissism.

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