Updated: Oct 3, 2022
The question posed in this debate is…
Why are you against the movement of aborting Black male fetuses?
My first point against the notion of aborting Black male fetuses deals with the surface issue. To be frank, this movement is simply an ego-check against Black men’s self-importance, and it is getting out of hand. The defense of this power move is the premise that aborting Black male fetuses is merely one of many “selective breeding” tools that will ultimately lead to progress for Black women. Those who push this movement claim it is a way to teach Black women how to have standards, boundaries, and expectations. In reality, however, this polarizing opinion/suggestion is nothing more than a way to humble Black men, and it’s something that is jeopardizing Black women more than we are capable of currently acknowledging.
Heterosexual Black men walk around as if they are the prize, publicly embarrassing themselves with questions to women hoping to put women in positions to prove their worthiness to have a man. Black men also place themselves in a tragic spiral of delusion with nonsense about the man carrying the seed and people being the seed of their fathers. At one point, Black men had so much bravado and arrogance to throw in the face of Black women, going so far as to claim white women could step in our place and birth the Black race. Men have a history of centering themselves and their importance; it’s a symptom of patriarchy. Unfortunately for the Black male’s ego, Cynthia G came along and said, “Nigga, we will abort you into oblivion. Be the seed of that. Sow that seed and see what you reap.” Not her vernacular, but that was me cheerleading the strong and still undefeated clapback to the “seed of your father” rhetoric.
I am absolutely here for the clapback, the rude awakening, and the “get your shit together” bitch slap. I need people to understand it for what it is, though. Using the notion of aborting Black male fetuses as a way to build standards, boundaries, and expectations is nonsense. Aborting Black male fetuses is a fail-safe for the percentage of women who identify a dusty only after impregnation but before 24 weeks. The standard learned here isn’t to avoid getting pregnant by a dusty; instead, the standard understood is that it’s ok to only have a daughter by a dusty. By loudly defending aborting Black male fetuses, the message of having standards, boundaries, and expectations becomes a secondary concern so long as Black women are willing to trump all of that by selectively aborting Black male fetuses if and when the SBE Safeguard fails.
This concession is more evidence of this movement being an ego-check and not a lesson in growing standards, boundaries, and expectations. This movement has no requirement to abort the female fetus of the dusty. The argument for this nonrequirement is that Black women and girls are more resilient and won’t become a detriment to society. However, this scenario implies that the “Strong Black Woman” DNA strand will allow the selected fetus to deal with the impending struggles of life. Not adhering to the safeguard of standards, boundaries, and expectations produces more women who will have to be strong while normalizing using male fetuses as an ego-check.
This is beginning to move into my third point, so allow me to move on.
Second, I am against the notion of aborting Black male fetuses because this movement will adversely affect the psyche of the Black community by driving down the value of Black men and Blackness.
Before I can even finish this thought, I can already hear the rebuttals, “Black men have no value to the Black community, and they’re the reason for that. Their behavior and ineffectiveness eliminated their value.”
I will admit that is a fair statement when you grade them on effectiveness. Black men have become a dangerous burden to the community. However, I’m questioning our valuing of Black men’s humanity without listing what they could and should do for the collective. I am not insinuating that Black men deserve accolades despite not producing for the community, nor am I suggesting that Black women should ignore Black men’s flaws and disregard our happiness and safety merely for the “greater good.” I am not aligning with the notion that Black women should engage in one-sided loyalty or the draining task of speaking life into Black men. I entirely refuse the foolishness of praising Black men for the sole benefit of their ego. My point here speaks to the dangers of normalizing the concept of aborting Black male fetuses because that normalization destroys the notion that Black men serve a purpose—any purpose.
Reality makes it hard for some to argue for valuing Black men’s humanity because reality shows us that Black men are failing to live up to the commonly understood purpose of men. Not only are Black men, in general, shirking their responsibilities, but as stated, they are a danger to the community. Romantically speaking, it’s hard to ignore the “every 5.5 hours” statistic, nor can we ignore the rates of sexual assault, which often include perpetrators who are family members. Black men’s failure to perform their duties and the danger of being in their proximity causes Black women to vehemently refuse the concept of “potential and hope.” The understanding is, “We don’t have time to hope for them to change and reach for nonexistent potential! We are suffering now!” With that decision, however, Black women take away the expectation of having Black men become better.
I am not being indifferent to the plight of Black women when highlighting the flaw in this thinking. I am wholely looking at the situation, and it must be made clear that the ego-check of using a Black male fetus is not protection for adult women. Having an abortion comes after placing yourself in the proximity of someone creating the statistic of killing Black women every 5.5 hours. Adult women are being harmed by adult men who are already born, and we have no expectations of having them change because we don’t value them correctly. Instead of the argument being Black men are not fulfilling their purpose, so we can't value them correctly, the argument shifts to Black men are not valued because they serve no purpose other than destruction and sexual gratification. With this reactionary mindset, the next step has moved on to demanding retribution in the form of Black male fetuses.
The key here is understanding and regulating value. Black women are struggling with either deifying or demonizing Black men. We’ve yet to learn how to humanize them. Deifying them has led to Black Male Worship, and because the community over values Black men, some tend to excuse, justify, and ignore Black men’s faults. Black men perpetuate their ineptitude and detriment to the Black community, but because I humanize them, I can understand from where this behavior comes and have a “sympathetic” mind to the situation. At the same time, I can condemn their behavior and understand I need not put myself in relationship with Black men until they get their shit together. My value for Black men has not been tarnished because I have expectations for them.
SIDE NOTE: I must admit that I’m a particular case, however. I don’t have romantic expectations for Black men, and I don’t feel I’m missing out because I’m single. That, however, is because I actually feel drained by too much human contact, so I have no plans on ever being in a relationship, divested or otherwise. I’m a homebody who prefers “Me Time,” likes to sleep diagonally in my queen bed, and I don’t want nobody coming in fucking my shit up. Regardless, I still have community value and community expectations for Black men. I dive deeper into the analysis of Black men, their psyche, and expectations in my essay, “Black Men Can’t “Guide” Black Women.” I also display more food for thought about community value with my essay, “The Black Community and Our Relationship with the Word “Victim.”
To wrap up my point of this movement driving down the value of Black men, I must push the understanding that the way you treat people is determined by your value for them. Overvaluing Black men conditioned us to worship them. Devaluing Black men will condition us to believe they serve no purpose and never will serve a purpose, so they deserve to be selectively aborted. There is no healthy medium to humanize men and hold them accountable to meet our expectations. There are no negotiations explaining that meeting our expectations will convince us to stop aborting males. The hardline is, “Why are Black men here? What purpose do they currently serve and don’t give me woulda, coulda, shoulda?” Then after rejecting opinions swaying too closely to undeserved excuses and coddling, the decision is made, “Since there is no answer, a good solution is the abortion of Black male fetuses.”
Now to explain how this harms “Blackness,” which is still part of my second point. After explaining that Black men’s value is next to nothing, it stands to reason that arguing on behalf of their Blackness in any situation loses its validity. For the moment, disregard the initial resistance you feel to the thought of Black women “standing in their masculinity” in defense of Black men. That reflex to choke out alleged acts of defending Black men leaves Blackness vulnerable to attacks. When racist, anti-Black issues arise perpetrated against Black men, there is vitriol sent towards “Mammies” who feel obligated to defend Blackness. Unfortunately for Black women, the need to protect Blackness is corrupted by Black Male Worship. Those who understand the need to eliminate Black Male Worship choose to combat an extreme with another extreme and see no use in defending anything dealing with Black men, including their Blackness. Some even contend that defending anything dealing with Black men is harmful.
With this mindset, anything perceived as giving grace to Black men is open for attack, including Blackness. “I’m not going to defend him just because he’s Black.” “I’m not going to birth him just because he’s Black.” “I’m not going to ignore his degeneracy just because of a skin tone.” Instead of valuing skin tone enough to see it as something deserving of being saved and having expectations for, it becomes a thing to disregard. Instead of taking issue solely with the reaction of defending the indefensible, Blackness is attacked and seen as insignificant and an idiotic thing to wave as something valuable enough to protect and replicate. By default, Black women will begin to accept that racism and injustice are ignorable, tolerable, excusable, and justifiable as long as it happens to Black men. The shift in mindset that Black men have caused Black women has placed us between a rock and a hard place. Consequently, the caveats Black women will give to normalizing anti-Blackness will, unfortunately, provide cover for the dominant society to rest in denial of an anti-Black society.
This is not an attempt to force Black women to shoulder the responsibility of creating a racially just society for all to rest in, including Black men. I bring this up to bring minds to the realization that normalizing the idea of aborting Black male fetuses brings down the value of Black men, compromises the instinctual protection of Blackness, and does nothing to address the anti-Black society that has no intentions of going anywhere.
This leads me to my third point. As the ones deciding to normalize the notion of selectively aborting Black male fetuses, we will not have to deal with the long-term repercussions. The argument is that “thinning the herd” saves future generations from hordes of Black men causing pain and suffering. I won’t challenge that assertion because I know having no expectations for Black men to stop harming women will lead to them continuing to abuse women. We as a community don’t even use the “5.5 per hour” statistic to push change and protection for Black women or set an expectation for Black men to be less violent. We use the statistic as an example to showcase the barbaric nature of Black men. This violent summing up of Black men easily leads to the simple fix of thinning their numbers.
I assume the critically thought out notion of this singled-out option of “selective breeding” is to only create life with those who are emotionally intelligent, brave enough to challenge what needs to be challenged, someone who has a mindset of success, is determined to succeed, understands obligation, and responsibility, is caring, loving, sociable, perhaps race loyal for some, on and on a list of so many great qualities.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world of socializing men to be great partners. We live in a society of mastering the clapback, individualism, anti-Blackness, over-sexualization, low standards and expectations, and passing judgment. There is no movement to change the culture. We are not debating how to socialize men to be better partners; we’re discussing punishment for failures without considering the implications of using negative punishment that lack constructive expectations. There is no dialog with Black women to understand our reaction to “The Crooked Room,” a talking point used by Melissa V. Harris-Perry, to help Black women navigate citizenship without so much compromise to our authentic selves. Normalizing the notion of aborting Black male fetuses is a reactionary suggestion, not unlike Harris-Perry’s reference to our reaction to The Crooked Room. This reactionary suggestion also uses the vague concept of progress without focusing on the steps of progress. Undervaluing this course of action, i.e., steps of progress, will result in future generations dealing with our “tantrums.” None of the issues will be addressed because the problems are currently being summed up as “Black Male DNA.” I argue against this same concept in my essay, “Black Men Can’t “Guide” Black Women.”
Once we take this situation out of the isolation of the Black community and factor in the dominant society, one can only imagine how people will react to the concept that Black women started and normalized the idea that the world is much better off with the Black male fetus aborted. Again, it is not my intention to put the burden of morality on Black women’s backs. I am speaking about future generations of Black women having to shoulder the weight of an ego-check getting out of hand. While we are ego-checking ignorant ass Black men, issues such as re-socializing Black men, the harms of anti-Blackness and how to counteract it, and the burdens of patriarchy in white supremacy go undiscussed.
The idea to thin the herd means lesser numbers. If the herd that remains will in fact be these wonderfully great men, I would assume they would attempt to break from the stronghold of white supremacy. Perhaps it is my imaginative mind, but I don’t put it beyond this country to keep up stereotypes that Black men are these barbaric creatures who even Black women have decided to selectively abort, and so there needs to be a law to abort Black male fetuses.
Sure, call that extreme. Say it could never happen, but with the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, the Florida governor is passing laws prohibiting teachers from challenging the anti-Blackness the Daughters of the Confederacy cemented into the education system. Control over women’s reproductive system is already slipping away from individual control. Still, this scenario can be dismissed as a conspiracy theory as the two concepts should not be allowed to exist together. “The country is pro-life, but Black women must abort Black male fetuses.” Doesn’t make sense, but I don’t put it beyond those like Ron DaSantis and Trumpsters to think shit like that makes sense.
Also, do we imagine the billion-dollar prison industry will vanish and turn to congratulate the Black men left behind for turning around their legacy and stereotypes? Will Blackness suddenly stop being criminalized, so Black women’s hardships with the justice system will decrease? Or do we allow ourselves a moment to consider the conspiracy that after we thin the herd of males, we will have left our daughters to be the prime targets for the anti-Black criminalization we ignored, tolerated, excused, and justified?
Anyway, lets move away from conspiracy and focus on the legacy of demonizing Black men we will leave for our daughters. The same way I hear some lambast the women who came before us, who led us into Black Male Worship, I can imagine some of our daughters condemning the choice to normalize hostility towards Black men.
The women who came before had a reason to set Black Male Worship into motion. Number one, we’ve always been in a patriarchal system, so centering men was the norm. Number two, this country’s inception is covered in the blood of Black men attempting to fight back. How can one expect women to react in a patriarchy where the dominant patriarch constantly killed who was supposed to be her patriarch?
If you must, go ahead and heartlessly, ignorantly, and inhumanely call Black men weak for allowing death to take them and Black women mammies for wanting to protect their loved ones. Those with a modicum of decency would understand this legacy would be traumatizing to any human being. Those willing to consider history would comprehend that this socialization of complacency didn’t just happen during slavery and then BAM! docile Black men until 2022 and beyond. I understand for the purpose of ego-checking disrespectful, arrogant ass Black men, the continued dominance of white men makes it easy to verbally assault the traumatic history of Black men. However, this country has a history of a bloody campaign to condition Black men with negative punishment, as in, “If you want to live, you must behave in the way I dictate.”
Black men went through the Black Codes, Reconstruction, Jim Crow lynchings, and all the Civil Rights Movement leaders who were assassinated, and the hardline was to comply or face death. So the Black women’s way of coping with white patriarchy was to overcompensate. Black women faced the same issues, including sexual assault, but she was conditioned to center others, especially men. While dealing with the extremes of racism and patriarchy, Black women did their best as they attempted to stand upright in a crooked room.
This socialization of Black women had no choice but to flow down the generational trauma canal. However, towards the end of the Civil Rights Movement, Black women began to break away. After building the Civil Rights Movement into the powerhouse it became, Black women left the misogynistic mindset of the Civil Rights Movement. They broke away from Black men centering themselves as the only ones suffering under the oppression of white supremacy. Apparently, for the women they fought for, they didn’t fight hard enough to heal the generational traumas, which led to Black Male Worship being what it is today. With this mindset of blame and “not being your ancestors,” I wonder what our daughters will say about the decision to thin the herd. This era of Black women see this as protection because of what we are currently going through, but when it becomes stamped in Black American History that Black women's solution to undesirable Black men is thinning the numbers, what trauma are we adding to the canal?
Perhaps the argument is, “We’re not advocating death to all Black male fetuses, only those who come from dusties. So once the dusties die off, our daughters will have men they can value and happy be with.” However, that’s not the mindset being conditioned or expectation being placed. We’re in a state of proving Black men are wrong and deserve to be selectively bred. How do you think anti-Blackness and Black Male Worship became a thing? Society was in a state to prove Blackness is criminal and wrong, and Black women were in a state to prove Black men are humans who deserve to live and be loved.
Those for this notion of aborting Black male fetuses can say this is a movement for our daughters, but what this would leave for our daughters is nothing more than another mess to clean up. We want to punish adult men for their abominable behavior, but we’re using the future as a weapon.
The truth is Black men generally don’t deserve to replicate anything that resembles who they are today. However, we can’t leave things there because the solution is termination. The next step should be to convince Black men to become something deserving of replication. I understand that sounds too closely to “speak life into them.” On the other hand, it’s better than the negative punishment of “Act this way or die.” Negative punishment used in a manner to control does not build a desire; it builds fear. Fear can not sustain a nation nor produce a strong mind. Black men need to heal themselves and begin to see themselves as worthy. Their debased nature is reflective of how they see themselves. The argument often used against Black men is, “They just need to press on. Black women face the same issues, and we overcome them. We have the world on our shoulders and find a way to come out on top.” In my biased state of being extra, I say that’s Black Girl Magic and Original Woman Essence.
However, I have to question Black women touting educational statistics, careers, and resilience. When we consider how we angle ourselves in a crooked room, it’s fair to ask how many of us do what we must because we want to prove we are not that unflattering image constantly thrown in our face. We’re not the uneducated, ratchet, loud, government-assisted baby mama. We have degrees, have our own homes, we're starting our own businesses, and are absolutely unbothered. We respond to trauma with what is called resilience because we take on the added weight in a patriarchal system and perform statistically well. We’re doing things society praises, and regardless of the emotional and mental cost, we feel accomplished. As for men, they’re considered failing in a patriarchal system. Throughout previous eras of Blackness in America, Black men were dying in an effort to find a place in the patriarchy because they had to at least attempt to take the patriarchal lead. Black women couldn’t. Now with Black women holding more autonomy, Black men don’t have to take that lead. Regardless of failing in the patriarchy, the only repercussion is feelings of inadequacy and not death for challenging it. They deal with those feelings by taking their anger out on Black women. Black men are idiots for this scapegoating, but it makes no sense for them to respond with resilience in a SYSTEM designed to oppress and eliminate challenges to its power. Despite Black women’s resilience against oppression, the challenge to the white supremacy patriarchal system has decided to give in to the conditioning of negative punishment, i.e. “Behave this way or die.”
QUICK NOTE: Please understand that a system doesn’t take an off-season. No, Black people are not a monolith of struggle and pain, but those who make up any percentage of success, “those unaffected by racism,” should not be used to ignore structural racism. “If I can do it, you can do it.” A capitalistic system functions only with a permanent underclass. Racism provides that permanent underclass. The SYSTEM will not allow the foundation of its survival to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I’m breaking off into a whole other thing, but there’s so much to consider when focusing on Black progress.
I see aborting Black male fetuses as an excellent ego-check for the issues we face with Black men today. The craziness that comes out of Black men’s mouths needs to be checked and letting them know they exist only through the grace of the Black woman’s womb is necessary. But I implore Black women to do more than ego-check these bitches. The SBE Safeguard is wonderful. I would argue that the SBE Safeguard will weed out the Black men not socialized to be great partners. Our standards will weed out subpar partners. Our boundaries will weed out harmful partners, and our expectations will weed out partners unable to progress. That is a solid argument, but it’s muddied by the notion of aborting Black male fetuses.
This movement was started as an ego-check, and is now backed up by the commonsense advice to have standards, boundaries, and expectations. Running through social media defending the notion of aborting Black male fetuses was a stand-alone point, and it now overshadows debates supposedly focused on “selective breeding.” Black women now feel obligated to prove the notion of aborting Black male fetuses is a smart move because Black men currently ain’t shit. It’s leading to a dark future of devaluing the importance of Black men, diminishing the importance of protecting Blackness, and forcing coming generations to navigate the fallout of an ego-check instead of us dealing with our issues in real-time.
And can we not forget the future homosexual men and trans women we’re considering taking out for no reason other than collateral damage? There is so much to consider, and we need to analyze what we want from Black men today to create a progressible action plan.
That’s it. That’s why I’m against aborting Black male fetuses. It’s not going to get us anywhere as a people. I’m not a romantic, though. I’m not looking at this through a coupling lens. I think a better foundation of people will ultimately supply better partners for all, but for those looking for love today, I am of no help. The individualism of looking for love doesn’t interest me, so tactics to build better partners is not a good subject for me to expound on. I argue against this in the spirit of protecting Blackness, past, present, and future. Blackness is something I value. It is what it is.