As I just wrote about, I am a fan of Penelope Trunk and her blog Brazen Careerist. Her latest Twitter post was over the top and I still can't believe what she wrote. On Sept. 21 she wrote:
"I'm in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there's a fucked-up 3-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin."
She has written before about having an abortion but at least it was a thoughtful long piece on her blog and they (2) were in her past. It is about a real issue that does impact women today.
This one tweet is disturbing. I searched for her twitter name to see what responses she got to this post and I there were some people who said kind things like, sorry to hear that, hope you're ok, etc. while others felt it was too much information and disturbing.
What seems upsetting about this to me? she seems to have a flippant attitude about a serious personal issue, sends it out to thousands of strangers, and does not even seem to engage in any dialogue about it. No follow-up blog post, not replies to any of the people who wrote her (unless she did it through private messages). People have personal blogs and that is ok but it seems very one sided.
The other point is that she should be able to rest at home through her miscarriage and not working at an important meeting. Even if she was feeling ok, a bit of time off is ok. Is she trying to say, look how hard woman have to work or look how tough I am?
Why does she share these things? What is her point? Is it a cry for help? What do her co-workers and professional contacts to in response to this? I hope they give her a hug and offer their support but I am not sure. Imagine that you are in the board meeting and you check Twitter during the break and see this, what would you do? Ask her if she wants to cancel? Is this some weird game with her ex or her new farmer boyfriend?
Part of my beef with this is that you can't just say this without more about how you really feel. It is missing so much and leaves the reader with an empty feeling.
Then there is the whole birth control thing. According to Wikipedia, she is 43. She has 2 kids already and I assume that she doesn't want more given that she would have had an abortion had she not miscarried. Why would she not get her tubes tied if she is sexually active and doesn't want more kids? Even though accidents happen and smart people get pregnant when they did not intend to, she doesn't come across as very professional and smart if she tells they world that she got knocked up by accident. Would this make you want to invest in her company?
I will keep reading and following her but I wonder if she really needs a friend and some help keeping peace in her life and finding the love she needs.
EXTRA: Wow, I was quite surprised that this topic has generated so much interest. I posted this right after I read the tweet and since then, Penelope has posted a long comment on the experience on her blog (which got a LOT of comments) and there have been news stories and a she did a great CNN interview on this topic.
I think it is important to keep in mind that my comments here are not just about the one tweet but I follow her blog and on Twitter and it is in the broader context of her sharing about her personal life, her kids, her divorce, her farmer boyfriend, her sex life, etc. She got a lot into 140 characters and my reaction was mainly that it was was just a tweet and left me with so many questions and concerns which she has since responded to. It is not wrong for someone to write about a miscarriage or abortion because it is a real part of women's lives and a real issue in the workplace in this country.
I am am a clueless man and even though we have 3 kids and my wife had fertility treatments and a difficult miscarriage, I don't really know what this like to go through this stuff and I have little right to tell a woman how to live her life, what to do and what to tweet about. Penelope seems like a very thoughtful and smart person and her post and her interview expressed many good points, most women have had miscarriages and they take a while, you can't take 3 weeks off, no one should have to wait 3 weeks for an abortion.
I am glad that the CNN dude did not get into her personal stuff about her sex life, her birth control choices, that would not have been cool.
I am pro-choice and understand why she would not want another child and much of the comments and criticism of her is way to harsh. People are judging her without knowing anything about her and her life. Whether or not she intended to kick off a controversial fire storm, it is good that she started a bit of a national conversation about these topics. The end result is probably good for all of us and not bad for Brazen Careerist either.