Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What's the Alternative? Choose "Choice"?

They're all a-flutter at the HuffPo over those mean old "antichoice" (their word) organizations getting money from those mean old "Choose Life" license plates.

Of course, the rational, adult response would be to create a plate putting out one's own message. But with what can one counter "Choose life"? Choose Choice?

I decided to revisit the old Choose Choice plates theme by critiquing what's there. Please let me know if there is any update in the status of these plates. And please note that I'm not going to address any of the assumptions behind the plates, just the plates themselves.

To be fair, all of these designs start at a disadvantage. Abortion is not exactly an upbeat thing, like the birth of a new baby, so it's hard to come up with a cheery graphic.

Massachusetts. They seem to be struggling pretty hard with the inherent downer that most people find abortion to be. They just drag out the standard non-approved fetus-dislodger, the coathanger. This is the only plate that in any way acknowledges that the topic in question is abortion rather than the market-tested "choice" that everybody else sticks with. As a result, the plate is simultaneously militant and depressing.
Florida. Adorable! Look how the little aborted baby stars fly up to Heaven while the one little lucky "chosen" star ... floats .....  Um.... Mom? You're not even holding that baby. That's a bit disturbing. I'll push that thought away by assuming that Junior is in a snugli. After all, there's no point in getting your hands all tied up with even a chosen child.

Alaska. Like Florida, they go for the floating-baby theme, though it's hard to say if these parents are throwing the baby or trying to catch him as he flies away. Are they letting him go or trying to hold on? Either way, it strikes me as a bit unsettling in the abortion context. Just as an aside, the people also look a bit like sleds, particularly against the snowy background. This is the only plate I've seen that graphically acknowledges the existence of the father.

Virginia. This seems to still be in the proposal stage and not gracing the Prius yet. Featuring minimalist art like the Florida and Alaska plates, this one is utterly childless. It's hard to tell if the checkmark-woman is fleeing or celebrating. Maybe she's not sure herself. Is that elongated arm holding her back or is she unable to let go?

Hawaii. A ballot graphic with the ambiguous word "choice" is dull and boxy. Placing it atop the rainbow background that's on all Hawaii plates leaves the meaning even more ambiguous. Is it a gay rights plate? What's the driver trying to say? Where did the extra money for the plate go? Maybe it's best not to ask too many questions.

Montana. They're not content with mere ambiguity and are going for a total message-flip. They might actually be hoping to sell these plates to people who like the mother-and-child design and who would never dream that they're taking a stand for abortion rights.

Pennsylvania. The straightforward Planned Parenthood logo lets people know up front where their money will be going. Kudos for the honesty in that, PP, especially considering how little honesty your organization is known for overall. Pennsylvania plates typically have much more dynamic designs, so this one took zero effort, as if they just couldn't be bothered.

These are the only plates I've been able to find. I'd love to list more.


This last plate is totally unrelated to the  post but I spotted it and found it amusing, if somehow darkly ironic, considering the search that produced it:


Expose Prochoice said...

Here's one

Christina Dunigan said...

I'm looking for real license plates, or at least real proposed license plates, promoting abortion as a right.