"I stand by my decision to abort my baby because it was a male," a woman wrote last month under the pseudonym "Lana." She claimed that after several bad experiences with men, she didn't want to risk bringing another "monster" supporter of the patriarchy into the world. The story circulated all over the tabloid media this week, drawing hundreds of outraged comments, but is there any reason to believe it's for real? No, nope, and nah.
The story hits a smattering of culture-war hot buttons: Abortion, feminism, a gratuitous mention of Occupy Wall Street, and even a trigger warning for "extreme patriarchy." An evil man—"the suit jockey"—inspires Lana to get the abortion by saying rude, misogynist things to her on her first-class flight to the OWS rally. Eventually she gets a dangerous and difficult late-term abortion that "went off without a hitch."
Basically, the whole thing reads like some dude's caricature of the Feminist Menace, and a number of sites have called it out as an obvious troll post meant to incite pro-lifers, feminists, and anti-feminists alike. Judging by the blanket press coverage and the angry comments it's received, I'd say it worked.
Not everyone bought the story wholesale, though.
Sweden's "viral examiner," Jack Werner of Metro, points out that the previously unknown blog that published the personal essay, Injustice Stories, was started the day before the post went up. Another major red flag.
Snopes rates the story "false," noting that the site initially made readers share it before they could read the whole thing, and surmising:
[T[he 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.
Jezebel's Anna Merlan delivered the most thorough debunking of the tale, including email exchanges with "Robert," the suspicious-sounding creator of Injustice Stories. He claims Lana is a real person he's known for years and he started the site so she could share her experiences.
As Jezebel notes, though, some of her other stories on the site—including one about how she breaks the law by only hiring women at her work as an act of feminist civil disobedience—only amplify the already-screeching bullshit alarm here.
At first, the tabloids ran the story uncritically—unless you count criticism of the (most likely fictional) woman's (most likely fictional) decision. Metro U.K. had one of the most outraged takes, and even added a sidebar with the definition of misandry, which I include here because it's hilarious:
There's still a slim chance the story is true, but based on the evidence available right now, it looks like the only real abortion here is this fake, fake, blog post.