Don’t mess with Tami!

Those of you who watch “Friday Night Lights” will know that this season, there is a currently a controversial abortion plot playing out on the show. Those of you who don’t watch can get caught up on the situation by reading Jos’ analysis of the crucial episode and Maya Dusenbery’s excellent piece on the Community site.

In short: Sixteen-year-old Becky got pregnant by accident and decided, after consulting her high school principal, to have an abortion. The principal, Tami Taylor, has come under fire for her role in the affair, and it appears that on tonight’s episode she will have to decide whether or not she will apologize for it.

In honor of the pro-choice plot-line, NARAL Pro-Choice New York has created a “Don’t Mess with Tami” t-shirt to show support for what Tami did:

NARAL Pro-Choice New York thinks that Tami did the right thing; it’s important that adults everywhere are able to offer guidance and support to young people –- regardless of what that young person ultimately decides– without fear of retribution.

The producers and writers of “Friday Night Lights” have received a good deal of applause from feminist circles, including a laudatory op-ed in the Washington Post written by Gloria Feldt, former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood. I had to echo Feldt’s sentiments when she wrote, “I want to hug the necks of everyone associated with ‘Friday Night Lights’ for being courageous enough to tell it like it is… By telling Becky’s story, they empower women and girls who have struggled and made their best, most moral decisions despite difficult circumstances.”

A important as it is to call the media out when they get something wrong, it’s crucial to congratulate and encourage them when they get things right. So if you’re watching FNL and you like the way they’re doing things, buy a t-shirt, write a letter or a blog post congratulating them, whatever it is you do to applaud a job well done, and send the message loud and clear to media that produces thoughtful, pro-woman content: we’ve got your back.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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