Was Planned Parenthood right to reject a $500,000 contribution from renowned misogynist ass Tucker Max? On the one side: It’s a contribution from a renowned misogynist ass, and it came with conditions like naming an abortion clinic after him. But Planned Parenthood of Texas, where Max tried to make his donation, isn’t exactly rolling in dough (thanks to some other renowned misogynist asses, who’ve made sure the organization can receive neither local or federal funding in the state). Half a million dollars seems like a lot of money to sneer at—as does the chance to talk about why even renowned misogynist asses should support women’s reproductive health.
According to Max—a Duke Law School grad whose book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, sold over 2 million copies—the donation wasn’t meant to be a stunt; it was meant as a tax strategy, at least initially. Writing in Forbes earlier this week, Max’s publicist, Ryan Holiday, said the author came to him and said:
“Ryan, I have a huge tax burden this year. I can reduce it with a large donation to charity, but I want to promote my new book at the same time. Can you come up with something cool that does both?”
The new book, Hilarity Ensues, came out in February. Holiday suggested the Planned Parenthood donation, which he said could bring “awesome” press. But the two “ended up seriously considering it out of a genuine desire to contribute to Planned Parenthood in a state where it was desperately needed,” wrote Holiday. “As long as I’ve known Tucker … he has been pro-choice.”
Well, I should hope so; Max’s whole shtick if chronicling a young adulthood full of casual sex. His support for abortion rights and contraception may be taking a page from the whole Hugh Hefner School Of Women’s Rights & Sexual Liberation (roughly: if it means I can fuck more girls and have less unwanted children, awesome!). And maybe Max is ultimately trying to stir up publicity for his new book. But does it matter? In deciding to make the Planned Parenthood donation, Max allegedly said:
“They really did help me and my girlfriend when I was poor, I really do believe in their mission, and if this money doesn’t go to them it goes to the government anyway. Let’s do it.”
And isn’t that what we’ve been asking for lately—for (straight) men to acknowledge the benefits they receive from women using contraception? From women having low-cost access to birth control? From other services, like STD testing, that Planned Parenthood and women’s health clinics provide?
PETA has chimed in, saying it will take the rejected donation money. I certainly don’t want Planned Parenthood to become like PETA, which puts on blinders to anything but animal welfare; where sexism, making light of horrific murders, scaring little children and more are all fine so long as you’re not eating beef or wearing fur while doing it. But I think Planned Parenthood may have missed out on an opportunity here, not just to receive some much-needed funding but also to talk about why Planned Parenthood is good for both sexes, and even bro dudes like Tucker Max should support it.
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