Ejaculate Responsibly by Gabrielle Blair
Genre: nonfiction/ social issues/ abortion
I read it as a(n): paperback
Length: 135 pp
Her Grace’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In this slim book, Blair lays out 28 arguments why abortion is a major men’s issue. She quickly takes readers through the issues and argues why she thinks so. Using examples and logic, she shifts the focus away from moronic arguments like when life begins or legislating women’s bodies and into a discussion that is actually fair and makes sense.
I think this book ought to be required reading for every human, especially men and anyone who says they are pro-life. Blair herself is a religious (Mormon, I think) mother of six and is open about that but her arguments are not based in religion. She wants to reduce the number of abortions, and doing so makes sense when the blame for unwanted pregnancy is placed with men. Like it or not, 100% of pregnancies, wanted or otherwise, are caused by a man.
Of course, neither this book nor anything else like it will ever be compulsory because too many men are special little snowflakes who think that the sun rises and sets on them and whom all women want. They will not take responsibility for anything.
Men who are self-described allies, feminists, or who just love their wives and daughters and other women in their life may agree with everything in this book but I don’t hear many of them touting the benefits of vasectomies or condoms with other men. Conversations like that should not be considered emasculating or a stigma. Women talk plenty about menstruation issues, which tampons they like better and why, or what to do when your nursing baby makes your nipples bleed. I see no reason why men can’t have similar discussions about ways they can take responsibility – actually be a man – about one simple thing. It’s not unmanly to wear a rubber or have a vasectomy. It’s sexy as hell when a man actually cares about a woman and is willing to help keep her safe and respect her, as well as keeping himself safe. So please, be better allies, all you good menz.
My only real issue with this book, and why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars, was that it too often seemed to assume unwanted pregnancy comes from consensual sex. There IS a chapter on the uneven power dynamic between men and women, but it is #17 out of 28 arguments and uses the word rape only twice. Nowhere in the book does it discuss sexual abuse/ molestation of a child which also leads to pregnancy. I think this is the book’s only real failing. Yes, I appreciate that there is a discussion of sexual power dynamics at all. No, I do not think it is placed in a high enough priority in the list of arguments and I think there should be more emphasis on rape and coercion mingled throughout the whole book. No, this is not the only reason why unwanted pregnancies occur. Nobody is stupid enough to argue that. But I do think it happens more than anyone wants to admit and so it should have a more prominent place in these arguments.
As I mentioned above, Blair is very open about her religion and her views on abortion. I am not pro-life because it seems that almost no one who says they are pro-life are really. I think Blair is genuinely pro-life, and is using her desire to prevent more abortions by advocating for logical things that actually prevent pregnancy in the first place. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am. I am not pro-life by the standard definition, and I honestly don’t care one way or another about preventing abortions. It’s a woman’s decision, nobody else’s business, and it’s not like we’re running out of humans. So whatever.
If you want to say you’re genuinely pro-life and want to prevent abortions, too, then you had better also be in favor of universal health care which would help women find out they are pregnant a lot earlier; free birth control pills, IUDs, tubal ligations, condoms, vasectomies, etc; paid parental leave; free or nearly free childcare services; free, universal pre-K and K; tightened and enforced laws requiring men to pay half of all bills related to any child they father, like it or not, including prenatal care, delivery and hospital fees, and abortion if relevant; free school lunches at every grade level; comprehensive sex education at an age-appropriate level at ALL levels of school; and tax the fucking churches and corporations that spend so much time and money into pushing their legislative agendas. You know, just a few of the things that actually place value on human life, health, safety, and happiness.
If you are not in favor of these things and simply want to regulate women’s bodies, then you are a hypocrite and protecting life or whatever the fuck was never your goal. You only want to control women and children, punish us for having sex, and lack the critical thinking to make any meaningful and effective change.