Thursday, October 1, 2009

Warning: Not for the squeamish (but why are you squeamish?)

I'm starting to feel like I blog about Penelope Trunk all the time... this is the third post where I mention her (the other two being Discovered: Penelope Trunk and my last J-School TA blog post where I link to her time management article). But I have to say, this video solidified my fan-dom.

There's been quite a bit of controversy over a tweet Penelope Trunk sent recently: "I'm in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there's a f----ed-up 3-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin."

I have to admit, when I read that, my initial reaction was shock. I clearly wasn't alone. She says 70 people un-followed her. OK, I thought to myself, I'm all for people getting used to and getting over "unprofessional" personal stuff floating around on the internet. But that has to be crossing some sort of line.

Then I read her blog post defending it, and watched that video where she totally takes the interviewer to task (in my opinion). She points out:
- A lot of women have a miscarriage at some point in their life. Miscarriages take weeks (I didn't know this). If they're working, women can't just take the whole time off. That means there are a lot of women having miscarriages at work. Why is no one talking about this?
- Almost all the reaction was about her talking about her miscarriage in such a public way. Only one person, apparently, commented on the fact she has to wait three weeks and drive to Chicago to get an abortion. Whether you agree with abortion or not, it's a right women have in Wisconsin, and that's a huge burden.
- To all the people who are shocked at what they see as her casual treatment of losing her pregnancy, she says: "A miscarriage is preferable to an abortion. Even the Pope would agree with that." Touche.

Are we really all so totally disgusted by women's bodily functions that we rush to shut up anyone who wants to talk about them? Apparently, the answer is yes. I've never had a miscarriage. But I can imagine that sitting at work or in class for three weeks while you go through one, knowing that everyone would think you're disgusting and unprofessional if you brought it up, would be a terribly lonely experience.

You convinced me, P-Trunk. Nice work.

1 comment:

jillian said...

Why aren't we talking about these things indeed!? I just read a novel called 'wetlands' that speaks to this exactly, if you ever have some time take a look its very refreshing!