Gabrielle Stanley Blair: ‘To stop unwanted pregnancies, get men to stop ejaculating irresponsibly’

The author of New York Times bestseller ‘Ejaculate Responsibly’ explains why the abortion conversation needs a crucial refocus

Listen | 58:39

In 2018, American blogger and author Gabrielle Stanley Blair published a lengthy twitter thread with her views on how to stop abortion.

“It’s a pretty simple thesis,” she tells The Irish Times Women’s Podcast. “If you really want to stop abortion, you need to stop unwanted pregnancies and if you want to stop unwanted pregnancies, you need to get men to stop ejaculating irresponsibly,” she says. “Men are causing these unwanted pregnancies”.

The thread, which instantly went viral and has over 300 thousand likes, was in response to the rhetoric around abortion she was hearing from mostly male, pro-life politicians in the United States.

Speaking to podcast presenter Róisín Ingle, she says, “I was just hearing so many men, typically politicians, talking about women’s bodies, grandstanding about abortion…It was so clear to me, they had no actual knowledge of this subject.”


“They have no interest in actually reducing abortions, they are just trying to control women…because if they had an actual interest, they would be talking to men, they would be talking to men about ejaculating responsibly,” she adds.

Stanley Blair says that conversations on abortion are for the most part, entirely focused on women and in her 62-tweet thread, argues there should be a crucial refocus of the discussion to include men’s bodies and their responsibility over their own bodily fluids.

“They [men] can absolutely prevent all unwanted pregnancies and they choose not to,” she says.

The viral Twitter thread is now a New York Times best selling book called ‘Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion’ and lays out Stanley Blair’s main arguments on how abortions could easily be stopped, if men would “step up and take responsibility for their own bodies”.

Expanding on her argument that ‘society clings to the idea that men hate condoms’, the author says, “If you talk to men now who have actually learned to use condoms, and I have talked to literally thousands of them, they will tell you that if you take a minute to learn how to use condoms… sex with a condom, sex without a condom is a negligible enough difference. If you’re a man that hates condoms… that just means you haven’t been taught yet”.

An advocate for condoms and vasectomies, she says “women are expected to practice and learn how to use birth control, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to ask men to learn how to use their birth control options.”

Stanley Blair is at pains to point out that her perspective on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, is not about taking the responsibility of birth control away from women and putting it onto men; it’s about creating equal responsibilities for both sexes, she says. “If it helps, instead of saying 50/50, let’s say 100/100, I want women to be 100% responsible for women’s bodies, I want men to take 100% responsibility for mens bodies”.

“That’s not asking men to do some hard thing, it’s not hard to cover your nose when you sneeze, it’s not hard to keep your sperm away from your partner, this is just taking basic responsibility for your bodily fluids,” she adds.

Elaborating further, the author points out, “we don’t just pee anywhere, we use a bathroom…we clean up our sneezes. If we threw up at the party, we clean it up, that’s just part of being human”.

Pondering why the same conscientious approach isn’t taken when it comes to sperm she says, “we give sperm this big exception… the only reason being again, we never want to inconvenience men, we want to make sure sex for them is as pleasurable as possible”.

Among the 28 arguments set out in the book, Stanley Blair also makes reference to the fertility disparity between men and women, explores how ‘holding men accountable for their actions does not make women victims’ and ‘how there are zero consequences for men who ejaculate irresponsibly’.

Online commenters and those sceptical of Stanley Blair’s observations, argue the book is ‘anti-men’, to which the author says “no one who hates men could write this book, this book has so much respect for men, because it’s me saying ‘men, here’s this simple easy thing you can do’, she says. “Shifting the focus to men’s bodies, actually brings men back into the conversation”.

And what about the response from men? “Men do care about this topic, I have had zero men read this book and argued with me about it. There are plenty of men who will argue with me on Twitter: they haven’t read the book,” she says.

Feeling hopeful for her message to spread even further, the mother of six says, “If they [boys] are taught from a young age that they need to be careful with their sperm and are taught about responsible ejaculation, they will ejaculate responsibly their entire lives… that’s wonderful”.

“I dedicate the book to men basically, to responsible ejaculators,” she concludes.

You can listen back to the full conversation in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search The Women’s Podcast in your podcast app.

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan is an audio producer at The Irish Times