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With Roe V. Wade Under Attack, The Met Gala’s Celebration Of The Gilded Age Is Eerily Dystopian

Photo: Instagram / Mark Reinstein / Shutterstock
Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Abortion Protest, Nicki Minaj

In a bitterly ironic twist of fate, one of the most regressive attacks on women’s bodily autonomy coincided with a night of celebrity fanfare and glamour.

While millionaires and billionaires graced the red carpet at this year’s Met Gala, elsewhere the news that the Supreme Court might be on the cusp of overturning the nationwide legal right to abortion broke.

The Met Gala’s red carpet coincided with the news that Roe V. Wade is in serious jeopardy.

A leaked draft opinion obtained by Politico revealed that conservative justices on the Supreme Court were pushing to end Roe V. Wade’s legal framework around abortion rights.

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And while the Met Gala has always been one of the most out of touch events in celebrities’ social calendars, this year’s spectacle suddenly seems all the more inappropriate.

The news about Roe V. Wade is disturbingly reminiscent of the Met Gala’s theme.

This year, the dress code for Met Gala attendees was “Gilded Glamour And White Tie” – a theme that had already drawn criticism for its insensitivity towards America’s widening wealth gap and worsening inflation.

The Met Gala’s prioritization of opulence over shedding light on the nation’s many other problems is nothing new but as celebrities stepped out to celebrate the luxurious US fashion of 1870 to 1890, it seemed as though that era wasn’t an all too distant memory after all.

As Roe V. Wade hangs in the balance, women across the US wouldn’t be misguided to think that their reproductive rights suddenly seem very similar to the women of the gilded age.

Anti-abortion legislation first appeared in the US in the late 1800s and the Catholic Church first condemned the procedure outright in 1869.

Before this time, abortion had existed in the US since European colonization and existed globally even earlier.

The announcement of a potential reversal in abortion access falling on the same night as a celebration of the Gilded Age almost seems like too much of a coincidence to be real.

Across social media, a similar comparison was made. 

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Many pointed out that the parallels between the Met Gala and the Roe V. Wade draft seemed both regressive and dystopian.

As some netizens noted, Anna Wintour and the Met Gala organizers asked for the Gilded Age, instead, they got Gilead as women across the US may now find themselves in a “The Handmaid’s Tale” type of reality, forced to carry pregnancies against their will.

Across social media, Roe V. Wade and the Met Gala were trending topics.

Author Wajahat Ali also noted the irony of the Met Gala theme. "The women wearing beautiful gowns and dresses at the [Met Gala] have lost their right to control their bodies thanks to the right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court overruling [Roe v Wade]. So we have gone back to the Gilded Age it seems."

Others commented on how American it seemed for this attack on women’s rights to not be the central news of the day.

“The Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade while the whole country is distracted by an inconsequential event celebrating extreme wealth is, unfortunately, the most symbolic representation of America rn,” wrote another user.

With the nine sitting Supreme Court Justices expected to issue a ruling sometime in early July, let’s hope that by next year’s Met Gala women’s reproductive rights will be restored to their protected state.

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.