A very, very fake story about a feminist who aborted a male fetus out of principle has been circulating wildly this week, even though it's absurd and even after Snopes looked into it and determined it "probably false." The story, titled, "I Aborted My Baby — Because It Was a Boy" ran on a bullshit site called Injustice Stories and has been picked up by dozens of outlets.
Injustice Stories, whose description says it's meant to "share stories of social injustice" was created on January 17, the same day "I Aborted My Baby" ran. The site has been accessible only intermittently because of a deluge of traffic. The story is available in a cached version here, but basically it's a first-person account from an evil feminist named "Lana" who verily tents her fingers like Mr. Burns as she describes the abortion, which was awesome and fun:
By the third day, I started regaining some of my mental strength and knew what I had to do. I couldn't bring another monster into the world. We already have enough enemies as it is. It didn't matter that I would be raising a son, he would still come into contact with boys, men, perhaps even the suit jockey who would inevitably twist his carefully constructed upbringing with their kindness. He would think "These men aren't so bad, why would mom say that they are holding me down?"
Not all men are bad, my driver showed genuine concern for my well-being that day and I may have taken my anger out on him. That may have been uncalled for. But I knew what I had to do.
A few days later, I went in for the procedure, as it was fairly later in my pregnancy, I was aware there were certain risks, but it went off without a hitch. My body's betrayal was no more, I was free, and for the first time since the airplane incident, I felt strong. I had done something positive, something that would actually make a difference, something good, even though as I would find out, many others wouldn't see it that way.
As Snopes was quick to point out, there are a number of red flags here, starting with the fact that to read the whole article you have to share the story. And before we even get into the abortion stuff, there's a long description of Lana flying to San Francisco to attend an Occupy Wall Street protest (dog whistles! So many dog whistles!) and shouting "ASSAULT!" at the man on the plane next to her after he whispers "Bitches like you need to learn their place."
There's also the fact that Lana claims to have gotten a late-term abortion, not a simple process legally or at times physically, and by no means something that most people would describe as "without a hitch." Snopes concludes:
The tale's lack of plausibility, combined with the use of a brand-new site to publish it, indicated the account was likely a troll for pageviews, not a real-life account representing the sordid state of feminism. While many skeptical readers believed the hoax was aimed at promoting an anti-abortion agenda, it's also possible the site's purveyor fabricated the tale primarily to generate outrage-based clicks.
The fakery of this fakeness is even more evident when you look at "Lana's" other articles, like "What It Takes to be a Modern Feminist," where she merrily admits to preferentially hiring women over men at her unnamed job, even when those women aren't very qualified:
Acting on a personal level can achieve immediate results that can directly affect your life. For example, my job required me to make decisions on who should be hired. I would choose to hire women over men the majority of the time. A little bit of qualification difference here and there doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. What does matter is that women are allowed to catch up to men's in workplace earnings. Technically, some might see this as breaking the law, and every woman will have to decide for themselves if this is something they are willing to do. Remember this though, role models committing civil disobedience will bring about change, Martin Luther King Jr. technically broke the law, Gandhi technically broke the law, Rosa Parks technically broke the law, but we all did it for a higher purpose: to see a positive change in our world.
Not everything on the site is conservative-baiting: there's some liberal-baiting too, like a story from a woman who supposedly lost custody of her child to her abusive ex. There's a trans man complaining that his parents don't support his transition. There's all kinds of bullshit. But the abortion story is the one that really took off: so far, dozens of outlets have picked it up, every one of them just shocked. An incomplete list: Life News, the Mirror, Metro UK, the Telegraph, Lifesite, Closer, the Scottish Daily Record, The Inquisitr, Her, an anti-abortion Patheos blog, Opposing Views, HuffPo UK, and World Net Daily, with new outlets picking it up by the second.
Besides the outraged blogging, there's hundreds of disgusted comments on the site itself ("What the author is describing, frankly, is full-on, cold-blooded, willful, premeditated murder, and a hate crime against that. Misandry doesn't begin to cover it.") And there are all the angry tweets, like this one, from Town Hall's web editor:
In other words, a perfect viral story. The virality of this story is sort of a nice reminder about confirmation bias: when something fits our preferred narrative just a little too snugly, it's probably time for skepticism. (For further proof of that theory, please see me re: the UVA rape story.)
The admin of the site, though, swears up and down that it's real. In an email to Jezebel, the administrator, who identifies himself as "Robert," no last name, had this to say:
I'd love to talk about the site. All the stories are emailed to me from other readers, except for Lana, who I know personally. As far as why I created the site and the message I'm trying to convey, it was mainly about my friend who went through a lot when she shared the true reason for her abortion with her family. I figured there would be more support for her online so I encouraged her to type it out and we could make a website together.
Well, there you have it, then. All totally legit.
Very fake baby via Shutterstock