It Was Truly Difficult to Choose the Dumbest Parts of Scott Lloyd's Semi-Autobiographical Anti-Abortion Novel

It Was Truly Difficult to Choose the Dumbest Parts of Scott Lloyd's Semi-Autobiographical Anti-Abortion Novel
Image:Associated Press/Liberty Island

Scott Lloyd, whom you may remember as the anti-abortion ideologue who was so breathtaking bad at his job as head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement that he was demoted, has a new passion: writing fiction.

It was widely reported last year that Lloyd was working on a book, which I personally assumed would be a book-length version of his law school essay recounting how he became an anti-abortion zealot. But thanks to a helpful reader’s tip, we now know that his book had been quietly published last December under the name E. Scott Lloyd and that it is actually a novel. The Undergraduate is the story of a chainsmoking, hard-drinking, guilt-ridden Catholic college student named William who gets a women pregnant and wants her to carry the pregnancy to term to later put the baby up for adoption. But instead, William reluctantly acquiesces to the woman’s wish to get an abortion, and for the entirety of the book regrets that decision. Oh wait, so Lloyd’s book was actually a novelization of his law school essay recounting how he became an anti-abortion zealot! My mistake.

Unsurprisingly, The Undergraduate is delightfully awful. It includes:

Riveting dialogue:

“There’s a place—many places—where you can go and at almost any time a’ day you can watch ladies taike off their knickers an’ waive their bare asses in yer face. And ya never been ta one?” he demanded.
“Neithah has Sam, here. Are you two gay for each other?” he asked with a smile.
“I’m not,” I said.
“No,” Sam said.
“Well shit. Aye gotta get you two to a strip joint, then,” Doodles said.
“Whatever,” I said.

A life-changing scene involving a college event called Porn Storm:

You could tell from the poster hanging up in our dormitory as an advertisement that it was probably going to be trouble. I remember seeing it in the morning on the second day after I arrived at school on my way to breakfast. It said: “Cum on down and really get to know your neighbor at the PORN STORM.”
It had an amateur-looking picture of a girl in nothing but white panties with “MU” in block letters written across her butt in red, sitting with her back to the camera and her face turned towards it, her legs straddling a classroom chair. “PORN STORM” was written on a chalkboard just in front of her, and the image had been cut and pasted onto a plain white background. She was a pretty girl with dark hair that complemented the white panties and red letters. Her expression suggested she had been talked into the whole thing. According to the rumor, she was our R.A. Jason’s girlfriend. Jason we didn’t like very much, for no reason in particular just yet. But it wasn’t long before he started writing us up for our antics and stepped into the role.
Porn Storm was planned for a Thursday night at 7. The time was good, because it was early enough to watch some porn, go flog the dolphin, pregame, then go out and party the rest of the night and hopefully get laid.

Various descriptions of women:

She looked almost bohemian, but she wasn’t dirty or anything.
She could belch like a man, which was funny.
Marie was about five-foot one with a kind face and blue eyes. She had a nurturing demeanor and seemed wise beyond her years. All of our girls did.

Lloyd’s thoughts on Women’s Studies and oppression:

“We’re supposed to read a chapter from a book or an article or something, then the class is mostly discussion, which is a stupid way to teach. I don’t pay ten grand a semester to have my classmates teach me. They’re all idiots and they can’t teach me shit. The teacher at the beginning told us there was no such thing as politically correct and we could say anything we wanted, then anytime I speak up, I get fustigated for being sexist. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the women’s movement isn’t a women’s movement; it’s a phony, stupid, bitchy women’s movement.”
“Fustigated? What did you say to piss them off?”
“The latest was the other day. I said that I thought it didn’t make any sense that somehow women’s liberation became about birth control. I said it seems like women sold out, because if they really wanted change, they should have changed society to fit them, rather than changing themselves to fit into society. I was sort of thinking out loud, you know?”
“What did they say?”
“Nobody actually argued about what I said; they just told me it would take a man to say something like that, and that I was threatened by their sexual liberation or whatever. They’re a bunch of idiots, and the worst part is that I’m probably going to fail.”
“I don’t know. My grandmother did whatever the hell she wanted to do.”
“Exactly. It’s like, to them, women are nothing if they’re not victims who need the women’s movement. It’s such shit. In my religion class we’re talking about Islam. We should ship these women to frickin’ Saudi Arabia and show them what oppression is really about. They can’t even drive a car there.”

Lloyd on the miracle of conception, during a scene with William’s Italian-American friend Tony:

“We always knew you were a strong, virile young man, Willie. You got da Super Sperm, you know what I’m sayin’, my nigga? You gotta watch where you put that lightning rod, fo’ real.”

Lloyd on walking into an abortion clinic and also skydiving:

Walking the last ten feet felt as though I was chest deep in wet sand. I had felt that only once, when skydiving, and probably one other time when leaving the womb.

Lloyd forgetting he is writing a novel about a “character” named “William”:

“Scott, you are a good person, and you would make a wonderful father,” and “You will feel so blessed one day.”


“Here.” I reached in my pocket and gave her the folded-up poems I had written her. I had been carrying them around since Valentine’s Day, trying to find a good time to give them to her. That wasn’t it.
“Thank you, Will.” She opened them up and started reading the first one.
She looked up at me for a moment, then back down at the poetry.
“Excuse me,” I said.
I got up and walked around the bench toward the fountain and urinated in it.

Lloyd on toilets:

Inside I spent some time—a few puzzled moments—considering the name of the toilets. Dolomite. Like the pimp? Like Snoop Dogg in Nuthin’ but a G Thang? Pimpin’ hoes and clockin’ a grip like my name was Dolomite. Who names their toilets after a pimp?

A happy ending for William/Scott:

“I love you,” she said.
“I love you, too, Lily.”
“I hope it’s not too soon for me to say that, but I do.”
“It’s not. I just am surprised to hear you say it. I mean, I can believe it, but it’s just—I can’t believe it. I…uh, I was wondering when it would be alright for me to tell you that.”
“I’ll tell you again. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Lily.”
We smooched a little more, but there was no undressing. She had a lot of work to do, so she went home. We married a year later.

I wish Lloyd the best of luck with his writing career.

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