The Monstrous Regiment of Women
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Films and TV
The Monstrous Regiment of Women is an anti-abortion, anti-feminist propaganda film produced by the Gunn Brothers, featuring fact-free and fecklessly unattributable interviews with pregnant women and women who wish they were pregnant, railing against women who aren't, including Model Homemaker Phyllis Schlafly and other women of the religious right.
The film is named after Calvinist preacher John Knox's misogynistic screed, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558), which was largely an attack on the Catholic queens of England and Scotland of the time; his political strategy of attacking all women backfired against Knox when a Protestant woman inherited the English throne. Terry Pratchett's satirical fantasy novel, Monstrous Regiment, is also named after Knox's screed but is deliberately funny.
Central themes of the film
Single-parent households are described as dens of effeminacy. Scary pictures of so-called feminist icons are shown along with ominous background music. One woman claims that her former role in sex education had the intended purpose of increasing teenage pregnancy and abortion rates.
Mrs. Schlafly practices a form of hate-filled and hypocritical boosterism, but her hair looks firm and buttery.
The film was almost entirely ignored by critics. A user on Feministing's community pages praised it highly for comedy value:
My favourite parts have to be the cartoon feminists with the speech bubbles saying “nag, whinge, accuse” over their heads as cartoon bags of money pile at their feet, and also the woman who claims to have been an abortionist bent on becoming a millionaire by going to schools and making girls sexually active by giving them faulty pills so they’d “have three to five abortions before they turned 18″.
Website Ladies Against Feminism apparently took seriously its exposure of the "deliberate strategies, carefully planned efforts, and absolute, complete selfishness of" feminism and egalitarianism, but found the images of feticide a bit much for the delicate and young.
- The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women 1558 by John Knox; extracted from Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559. Archived from swrb.com, 2012.
- The Monstrous Regiment of Women, Nettle-Syrup, Feministing Community, 3 March 2010
- Review: The Monstrous Regiment of Women, Jennifer McBride, Ladies Against Feminism, March 7, 2015