Penelope Trunk blogs, founded three internet start-ups and demonstrates amazing writing ability. I’m a huge admirer of her work and a member of Brazen Careerist, one of her internet companies to help job seekers.
In late September, she posted a rather catching tweet from work:
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.
This caused a huge stir with her virtual community and with a large percentage of women in general. It also got her another interview on CNN.
Personally, I applaud Trunk for her transparency, her willingness to engage in the conversation and standing strong for her belief system. There’s no denying that miscarriages suck. It sucks to get pregnant when you don’t expect it. But in Trunk’s mind, the tweet wasn’t about the miscarriage. It demonstrates the ability to conduct your life accordingly in the midst of an unfortunate incident, and expresses frustration regarding an inefficient Wisconsin policy.
I have a dear friend who’s having a terrible time getting pregnant. She’s in her late thirties and has a beautiful three year old daughter. She and her husband would love to have a second child but her doctor stated that women in her age group have a less than 6% chance of getting pregnant. What’s worse, many of her friends are going through the same thing. She’s had two miscarriages since she started trying…high-cost fertility treatments and all. And you know what? She talked about it. She went to work. She’s cried and bitched and moaned. In both instances, she was sad. But she knew she couldn’t just stop conducting her life because of what happened.
It’s conversations like these that keep the virtual community engaged. Why can’t people talk about their circumstances openly? I think the line of what can be said to whom is quickly becoming a distant memory. If you’re getting divorced, people know. If you’re getting married, everyone knows. If you get an abortion (whatever your belief) fewer people may be in the loop, but they still know. If people choose to take part of the virtual world (which sooner or later they will), they need to be ready for the consequences.
Kudos Penelope. I look forward to reading more posts and having you push the boundaries further. Your posts make me think, laugh and learn. Since I’m in Chicago, if you’re ever down this way and can spare a half hour, perhaps we can laugh face-to-face.