Recently Glamour magazine, in a joint project with GQ, published “12 Men Share Their Abortion Stories.” Given the potential un-wokeness of such a venture—“no uterus no voice,” right?—the author has to justify the article by explaining, “Most [women who get abortions] were impregnated by a man.”
Think of the project as mustering the other half of humanity in the effort to normalize what remains for most people a distasteful procedure. Organizations like “We Testify” and “Shout Your Abortion” provide a forum for women to discuss openly why they got abortions and what it was like. Glamour and GQ pick up the slack for men.
Clearly the effort falls in the category of “normalization.” Leftism depends on normalization for so much of its program, because so much of its program goes against what is normal. Changed societies need changed minds, and to change minds they need… encouragement. The left uses many propaganda tools—it’s not easy changing the world!—but repetition has always been a standby.
If those patriarchal tools of reason, rationality, and science don’t work, just browbeat everyone with your new normal until they give in. It worked with gay marriage. Perhaps it could work with abortion, and so we got the “Shout Your Abortion” movement and the attempt to normalize this brutal procedure.
The left has spent more than 50 years trying to normalize the monstrous, usually in the area of sexuality. But something happened with a generation raised in this era of normalizing the monstrous. The monsters didn’t go away.
No, emerging from suppressed psyches came lyrics like that of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” where a child prays the classic nighttime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep,” but is interrupted by a growling, “Hush little baby, don’t say a word / And never mind that noise you heard / It’s just the beasts under your bed / In your closet, in your head.”
Nice. But honest, and real. The monsters remain, blurted out in a desecration of what for many Americans has been among their most tender memories, the safe evening prayer. The benign, the fuzzy, and the harmless turned out to be the beasts in our collective head. This is an allegory of leftism for those ready to let the dead bury their own dead and seek something better.
E Michael Jones, in “Monsters from the Id,” argues that monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the alien in the movie “Alien” arise as psychic reactions in cultures where monstrous, immoral behavior is accepted. Attempts to normalize these behaviors only end up suppressing psychic horrors, which then surface in our literature and cinematography. It’s really a secular absolution, a technique of catharsis, a way of collectively distancing ourselves from a horror while living under the delusion that confronting it gives us some ownership over its horrifying realities.
Jones’ chapter on the development and production of the alien monster is illuminating. The monster emerged from the mind of the philandering artist Hans Giger, certainly a male who would have happily shouted the glories of aborting the products of his libido. Yet his art suggests a mind preoccupied with fetuses and babies, which he depicts as monstrosities. These themes carry over into his design of the alien monster. And how does the movie conclude? With the alien sucked out of “Mother.”
Babies as monsters. Again, nice. But it fits a leftist pattern. Feminist Donna Minkowitz describes the state of her mind as she engaged in sadistic lesbian sex, “Pleasure without restriction. Vulnerability without exploitation. To me, to most of us, gay love means all these things and more – an ecstatic knowledge, almost a gnosis, that sex is possible outside of the horrifying thickets in which the rest of the culture has hedged it.”
Horrifying thickets—by that she means, of course, babies and their care.
In the Glamour/GQ article, you detect similar treatment as the participants engage in what can only be described as catharsis, their attempt at secular absolution. Yet, throughout the article you also detect the seeds for those “beasts under your bed In your closet, in your head.” Sometimes the beasts aren’t even closeted.
Siggy (25) from New York City sets the tone. His parents, he wants you to understand, got pregnant right out of high school. They had the child and “had a really, really hard first 10 years afterward, raising the kid, my older brother.” He and his brother grew up poor as a result.
Siggy wasn’t about to make that mistake, so he encouraged his partner’s abortion. And what a happy ending: “I ended up going to grad school. I got my master’s. I’m making a healthy six-figure salary.” I wonder what his older brother thinks of his happy ending: “So, Sig, if mom and dad would have just aborted me, you could have traded the crappy life with me for one with more money.”
Nathan (40) from Seattle falls in the Hans Giger/“alien” camp, describing his child as an “invader.” That’s cute. He and his partner “made jokes” about it. He seemed especially impressed with himself that he held his partner’s hand before the procedure. Whatever it takes, I guess.
Travis (33) from North Carolina has perhaps the saddest account of his partner’s abortion. “One of the little things that starts to get to you is all the thoughts of what could have been with the baby. In your brain, you know this isn’t the right time. In your heart, you start imagining and dreaming about what could have been.” (Hush, little Travis, don’t say a word…)
Michael (23) of Colorado has a similar realization: “Getting the sonogram and seeing that she was actually pregnant, [I was] more sentimental than I thought I would get about it. Seeing that life that’s there, it doesn’t make it any easier than we thought it was going to be. A lot of old-school tropes really came into play, like, Are we killing this kid?” (…And never mind that noise you heard…)
Finally we have Diego (27) from New York, who admits he and his partner’s abortion is “something that we’re both going to carry the rest of our lives, the memory of what could have happened. I think about that baby—not, like, every day or every week—but I think about that baby a lot.” (…It’s just the beasts under your bed; In your closet, in your head.)
Most people know a fetus is a human life, and 96 percent of biologists realize this as factual. That means the only recourse is to become numb to the reality that abortion ends a human life. Hence the “Shout Your Abortion” movement.
But as Horace once quipped, you can chase out nature with a pitchfork, but it will come running back. In this case, nature, or reality, will exact its pound of flesh in those monsters in our heads. We see the fruits of those monsters: suicide rates rising, depression, opioid abuse, mental health issues. We see it in the monsters portrayed in our literature.
The word “monster” comes from the Latin for “to warn.” The idea is that a monster suggests something amuck in the cosmic order. A two-headed snake downstream from a factory, or people with bloodied faces staggering out of a bar, warn of something askew in the order of things. They frighten us. Our initial instinct when seeing such things is to rationalize it, normalize it, place it some context.
But some things elude normalization, and abortion is one of them. Until we remedy this horror, its effects will haunt us at psychic levels below our understanding, and from depths of the id we cannot fathom.