Cathedral Cultural Studies: The Obvious Child


Narrative is a method of controlling perception.  Tell a just so story enough times and people will start to believe it is the truth.  This is not to say that watching too many fantasy movies will make the public believe in magic, but create enough strong independent single mom movies and the public will start to believe that mothers are so strong and independent that they can do it themselves.  I don’t think that the Obvious Child is meant as a propagandistic film to normalize abortion.  It is propagandistic, but it is clearly written for the right kind of white people, not to offend and brow beat the wrong kind.  It is an invaluable piece of cinema in that it so concisely presents the values and traits of the modern Brahmin class.

Lets start with a the summary from IMDb

“A twenty-something comedienne’s unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront the realities of independent womanhood for the first time.”

To start off every character in this film is a Brahmin with one exception.  All of them in some was shape or form work in Cathedral jobs (again with the one exception which I will get to).  The main character is a female Jewish comedian, well actually she works in a book store, but she does stand up comedy at the place apparently run by her friends.  I’m not making assumptions Dona (our heroine) clearly states she is Jewish in the first five minutes of the film, this is repeated so many times that it is impossible to miss.  I will touch on that later though.   After her comedy show she meets her boyfriend in what appears to the sink area of the clubs bathroom which is apparently shared by both genders ( I’m not sure if the facilities are like wise shared ).  Anyways he is an effeminate Brahmin who takes his dear time telling her that he is leaving her for a mutual friend with whom he’s been cheating with.  Both I and Donna notice that he’s refers to his to decision to tell her as “our decision” (in reference to Donna’s friend).  He clearly isn’t the type to lead.  He is the type of male character feminists pretend to like also the kind they despise and degrade.  Naturally the writer chooses to have him cheat.  Donna takes this poorly and gets drunk that night making a number of drunk dials to her ex. Let’s pause for a second.  Drunk dialing doesn’t seem to be the behavior of an independent woman, not to mention that later in the film she stalks him.  Maybe IMDb got it wrong.  Lets go to the source.  Here is the description from the movie’s website:

“For aspiring comedian Donna Stern, everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her hysterical and relatable brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna winds up unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand, she is forced to face the uncomfortable realities of independent womanhood for the first time. Donna’s drunken hookup – and epic lapse in prophylactic judgment – turns out to be the beginning of a hilarious and totally unplanned journey of self-discovery and empowerment.


Okay well I guess maybe she’ll grow in the film and become more independent.  After all, the description claims that she learns her lesson after she get’s pregnant, not after she gets dumped.  One does wonder why getting pregnant forces her “to face the uncomfortable realities of independent womanhood for the first time.”  What was Donna doing for the rest of her womanhood?  Why is this the first time she had to face realities?  How is getting an abortion responsibility?  Isn’t that a method of abdicating from the responsibility of parenthood?  I mean if a decision, like abortion, creates no meaningful change in your life, then is it really confronting reality?  This is exactly the sort of narrative a feminist would think she was telling.   Feminists talk about being independent and empowered, and yet their most powerful weapon is the victim card and the white knights (men) it draws to defend them.  This sort of stark cognitive dissonance is unfortunately par for the course for this film.  Moving back to the film we see the bookstore she works at which is called “Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books.”  If that doesn’t set the tone for a film written by a Brahmin for Brahmins, I don’t know what does.  The characters are neck deep in Brahmin holier than thou signalling.  Donna is informed the book store is closing, perhaps signalling the struggle against big business.  That may be reading too much into the film, but given the rampant Marxism I would not be surprised.


Later she talks with her Dad.  Her parents are divorced.  A sad norm for the Boomer Generation. He talks about how the divorce affected him to relate to his daughter getting dumped.  He said after her mother left him he took a long with her uncle and talked about racism and identity which inspired him to write his first television script, a clearly Brahmin profession. Did I mention the film takes place in Brooklyn?  All of that Brahmin signalling happened in the first 10 minutes of the film.  So far we’ve yet to see any vibrancy or the wrong kind of white people.  Though the film will fix the latter somewhat.

Donna later talks with her mother, a Professor at a university. Her mother wants her to work for one of her students since she’ll soon be unemployed.  However Dona doesn’t want to sell out and do commercial work.  Though she did do an Organic Douche Commercial before.  Her mother seems like the cold business practical type.  She teaches business at a university though so nothing too dangerous.

When Dona performs stand up again, we meet her friend who is of course a gay man.  After a terrible performance, borne out of her grief from the break-up, which of course involves Holocaust jokes, Donna is once again drinking.  She ends up picking up a man (Max) at the same bar she performed at.  After the man steps out for a second she gets a chance to talk with her friend.  He (her friend) encourages her to sleep with Max.  She is reluctant because he’s “So Christian…” that “He knows Santa.” and that she would be the “Manora that would burn down the Christmas tree.” (As opposed to an earlier line “be the angel on top of that Christmas tree.” to give you some context).  It’s interesting that to the Jew the most famous aspect and distinction between Gentiles and Jews is Christmas.  Certainly it is the clearest outward difference in the modern materialist worldview, but the choice speaks both to the degradation of modern Christians and how Christian culture is absent from the Brahmin class ( and therefore unfamiliar).  Later we learn that he is from small town Vermont and went to school in a barn.  This completes what was already implied from his signalling, and Donna’s comments, that he is member of the Vaishya class.  Naturally they hook up.  As a consequence she becomes pregnant.


Donna goes to a clinic where she meets a doctor to talk about her options.  After the Doctor tells her she has a little time to decide she quickly state “I’d like an abortion please.”   I suppose the situation gives limited options for an appropriate response, yet “I’d like an abortion please.” summons images of ordering from McDonald’s or Starbucks drive through.   The callousness of this response is reflects the shallow hedonistic materialism of the film and the Brahmin class itself.

Starbucks Drive Thru

Moving on we see a scene with the gay friend and Donna’s female friend Nellie (a major character).  Still haven’t seen a vibrant character, only the token gay man.  You know the safe kind of diversity.  The discussion is about whether Donna should tell Max that she’s pregnant and having an abortion.  The discussion takes a hard left turn when Nellie righteously says.

“We already live in a patriarchal society, where a whole load of white men in robes get to legislate our cunts.”

This is exactly the type of false equivalency I’d expect from a feminist film.  If you’re expecting creativity or original arguments you should look elsewhere.  It’s clear that regardless of the fact that Roe v. Wade isn’t of any danger of being overturned from the Judicial or Legislative branch, that it was men who made it happen in the first place, and that government has a leftward bent that as a feminist she must de facto assume that all those white men secretly want to not only over turn it but pass more female controlling laws but just haven’t got around to it yet.  Clearly if women can’t be free from the consequences of their choices then their cunts are controlled.  Not by laws set about by white men in robes but by nature.  If feminism is anything it is a futile attempt to free women from biology, economics, and culture.  However like any Marxist movement it co-opts and accelerates the same forces it pretends to suppress.  Even in a climate where abortion is easy, the act of abortion itself reduces the genetic fitness of those who abuse it.

We soon learn that Max is Donna’s mother’s student at Business school.  This further establishes his Vaishya status as someone who wants to work to sell out and work ( or start an evil patriarchal business ). Donna fails to tell Max about the abortion and instead tries again during a dinner date.  Max appreciates an old couple.  Donna interprets this signal as desire to marry and have kids, the sort of attitude that the wrong kind of white people have.  Again she freaks out and fails to tell him.  Later we meet another friend one who has just written a script that is going to product a TV pilot ( he’s flying to LA soon).  Its is just me or are Brahmins only aware of jobs in the Cathedral?

When Donna finally tells her mom, about the abortion she’s going to have, her mom tells her a story about getting an abortion before they were legal.  It’s a typical “just so guilt” trip.  After the story they bond over their abortions.  As a side note Nellie the female friend also had an abortion so at this point it is clear that every major female character has or is about to have an abortion.  Like I said, the film may not be the brow beating sort but it does implicitly normalize abortions.

After Max is once again invited to Donna’s stand up, Donna uses her Comedy show to announce her pregnancy and abortion inviting Max to the abortion clinic with her.  Again the thoroughly Brahmin crowd enthusiastically approves Donna’s courage for having an abortion. The day of, she goes with Nellie.  While Donna is waiting for a taxi Max shows up with flowers.  As an ending note we learn that Max didn’t want kids or marriage now just wanted “….to be a grandparent someday.”  Because of course as a good Vaiysha Max adopts modern Brahmin values and doesn’t agree with those evil people like his family or those people who taught him in the barn ( wanting a family too early like before 40).  Like I said the film doesn’t brow-beat the Vaiysha caste or the lone Vaiysha character it simply assumes that they, like every reasonable person, have adopted Brahmin values.  After all that is what education is supposed to solve right?  No properly educated person can be also ignorant and hold evil reactionary views.  Someone who is going to business school clearly has enough education, so they must also be sufficiently enlightened.

If there was any question of what this film was trying to portray or what the writer thought.  Look no further than its own website to spell it out.  I pulled a quote from the website what I failed to mention what that it was  That is right, the feminist film is powered by Tumblr home of the SWJ’s and many young Brahmin.  If we look at their “Tumblin'” page we see the meat of the writer’s intent clearly.  All the images used above (and below) also came from the Tumblr site.


Again the author was portraying a strong independent woman.  This quote ( “thanks for the quickie,” ) never appeared in the film.  Never.  Nothing like it either.  The film portrayed Donna as infatuated with Max but conflicted.  The only character who was callous about their relationship was her gay friend who encouraged her to sleep with him to get over her ex.  The “WRITER/DIRECTOR Gillian Robespierre” could have easily portrayed Donna any way she liked.  She was the writer and director she had unparalleled control over the film.  If she didn’t for any reason, it is not like a feminist to keep their mouths shut when they don’t get their way.  What the author portrayed was more true to form, after sleeping with Max Donna became attached.  That is what will happen to most women, not all, but most.  It is interesting that the same cognitive dissonance that plays out in life also plays out between the writer’s outward portrayal and the content of the film.  Outwardly, in the promotional material, the film is about a strong independent woman, who can sleep around and become an empowered slut.  The type who adopts masculine behavior and attitudes about sex while chasing masculine forms of status.  The actual content of the film shows a girl who is very much affected by her relationships, who is not very strong and not empowered.  Donna is often led around by her friends and family and seems hardly capable of agency.  Either Gillian Robespierre realizes that women do not posses much agency or she realizes that aggressive women with lots of agency ( sluts ) are not very sympathetic.  Either way it seems that even with all full creative control over the film even a feminist can be mugged by reality and let a little biological gender realism shine through.


 “WRITER/DIRECTOR Gillian Robespierre has written and directed several short films including “Chunk” (2006), the story of an awkward and overweight teenage girl forced to spend her summer at fat camp, and “Obvious Child” (2009).”

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