Guest post by Shelbey Neil, a graduate student, amateur thespian, and primary caregiver. After a lifetime of perfect politeness, she is thrilled to have finally embarked on her “villain era.”
Gabrielle Blair’s newest book, Ejaculate Responsibly, is an epiphany. And the genius lies not in pointing out complex, hidden truths, but rather in pointing out obvious realities that have been both deliberately and accidentally obfuscated by ordinary and powerful people for as long as any of us hold memories. We all—knowingly or unknowingly—perpetuate the incredible imbalance of responsibility for unwanted pregnancies through our behavior and unexamined attitudes. Blair, in her new book, is urging us to stop.
This work, subtitled A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion, is a marvelously straightforward series of twenty-eight arguments whose entire purpose is to provide evidence for the claim inherent in the title: that the solution to reducing abortions is simply responsible ejaculations. And no, it’s not a bait-and-switch to trick politically pro-life people into yet another ineffective discussion on pro-choice talking points—moral, ethical, and philosophical arguments for or against abortions are completely absent. Blair puts a friendly arm around our shoulders, turns us around, and helps us see that by the time abortion is on the table, we’ve already missed the entire point.
Blair’s writing is unfussy, uncomplicated, and undeniable. It’s conversational, easy to devour, and repeats itself only when entirely necessary. The book is based on a viral Twitter thread she published in 2018 that has gotten an astounding 141,300 retweets (as of this writing) and still receives interaction on a daily basis, these four years later.
The genius of that Twitter thread and this book (which examines the same arguments, plus a few more) is that Blair saw the solution to abortion that has been right under our noses this whole time. She was the first one to publicly point out that irresponsible ejaculations are the real root cause of unwanted pregnancies. For decades, sexual conservatives have claimed that sex was the root cause (“If you don’t want a baby, don’t have sex”), but that is both biologically, logistically, and legally false, as Blair demonstrates masterfully and conversationally.
If you’ve read Blair’s Twitter thread and other similar content, many of these arguments will not be revelatory because you will have heard them from her or others before—or had the thoughts yourself. However, this book combines those points with several other important facets of the conversation such that all the main ideas can hang together nicely in one space and become, truly, an undeniable case for ejaculating responsibly. I, for one, appreciated how absolutely unflinching Blair—a mother of six—was about the incredible risks and dangers of pregnancy and the unfathomable workload that is parenting, without tying it up in pretty packaging at the end. Blair’s writing is so honest it took my breath away.
Now that Blair has issued the boundary lines for where women’s responsibility for unwanted pregnancies ends and men’s responsibility begins, here comes the scared waiting: Will men take responsibility for their ejaculations and end unwanted pregnancies? For men reading this, will you?
I agree with other reviewers: Ejaculate Responsibly is required reading, especially for men and teenage boys. Full stop.