Why You Should ‘Ejaculate Responsibly’

Regulate+Dick+Not+Jane+Digital+Wallpaper+for+Ejaculate+Responsibly.+%28Courtesy+of+Design+Mom%29

Regulate Dick Not Jane Digital Wallpaper for “Ejaculate Responsibly”. (Courtesy of Design Mom)

By Edie Raines, Copy Editor

 

Gabrielle Blair, a mother of six and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has made a name for herself sharing parenting and design advice on her blog Design Mom. In October, Blair released her second book. Entitled “Ejaculate Responsibly.” The New York Times best-seller details 28 arguments Blair feels prove pregnancy, abortion and protected sex are fully men’s responsibility. 

The Arguments

Blair adopts a witty, occasionally flippant and constantly conversational tone. She expands on issues from accessing birth control to the difficulties of parenting, touching repeatedly on cultural values that place men’s pleasure over women’s safety. 

The base argument of Blair’s work is that men (which, as Blair notes in a preface to the book, she uses to refer to fertile people assigned male at birth) are more-or-less always fertile and in control of when and where they ejaculate. Therefore, men bear the responsibility of ejaculating responsibly. This is meant to stand against the much more common idea that women (meaning fertile people assigned female at birth), who are fertile 24 hours a month, must bear the burden of insisting on using condoms and/or using their own birth control. 

Early in the book, Blair details the major complications that come along with accessing birth control for menstruating individuals. As someone who has struggled immensely with finding a form of birth control that works for my needs, considering pain levels, application method, time commitment, side effects and dependability as well as my own mental and physical health, I could relate. In fact, I just received a bill for more than $2,000 for an IUD replacement, an IUD that has proven incredibly painful. Luckily, I can send that bill to my insurance that still covers all standard forms of birth control. For many women, as Blair points out, that process is not nearly as simple. For others, it is simply not possible. Blair insists men should take on much more of the responsibility, but the question remains, will they? 

Who Needs to Ejaculate Responsibly? 

There were times while reading “Ejaculate Responsibly” that I had to put the book down and sit for a moment. It was painful to be reminded how little it seems society cares for the safety of anyone capable of bearing children. It was even more frustrating to read Blair’s words and think how obviously true they felt to me and yet how futile it seemed to say them out loud. Who, besides those who already understood these ideas, who had already lived them, would be interested? Of course, there are many men who do care about these issues, it just doesn’t seem to be the majority.

Considering how much of the readership would likely be women, there are times the book felt a little too facetious for my preference. The analogies Blair regularly makes to explain complex social events that have deeply impacted women occasionally feel shallow, oversimplified and almost never intersectional.

Blair makes incredibly important points that have and have not been considered en masse. There are likely many women who may not have the same reaction that I did, who may be empowered by Blair’s work for the first time. However I can’t help but ask, why speak on such painful subjects with such ease? 

Wearing a Condom is Not Like Eating Pizza With a Fork

Of course, the book doesn’t seem to be aimed at cis-women, but rather those who can (and, according to Blair, should) ejaculate responsibly. It is a common tactic to simplify your pain so those who don’t experience it can try to relate, consider how many times we’ve attached men to menstrual cramp simulators, as if that was all the pain that came with periods.

I don’t need to tell you sex, pregnancy and abortion are not easy issues to discuss. They are even harder to agree on, even down to the little things like tone. This is not a book that dives deep into the intersectionality of sexism and motherhood, from race to gender orientation to social and economic class.

Overall, “Ejaculate Responsibly” brings to the forefront ideas we have long been ignoring that we must now, post Roe v. Wade, consider thoughtfully. 

 

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