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Posts Tagged ‘miscarriage’

twitterblackberryUSEA friend of mine alerted me yesterday to the hoopla surrounding a tweet from entrepreneur and career counselor to young women, Penelope Trunk, who posted the following last week: “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.” 

The tweet has sparked controversy throughout the blogosphere, particularly on women’s sites, from feminist protesting Trunk’s cavalier approach to abortion to concerns about the appropriateness of the material. Amanda Marcotte, controversial blogger and pot-stirrer par excellence, supported the tweet as “an elegant instance of the power of Twitter.” 

Comments ranged from the predictable “gross!” to the sympathetic “perhaps this is how she expresses her grief” and naturally, the moral implications of abortion have been front and center. 

My first question is: in our brave (or perhaps I should say, narcissistic) world of full and immediate disclosure, is anything off-limits?

I’ve always said that if content disturbs you, you are free to ignore it. In the good old days of print journalism, the “naughty” magazines came in brown wrappers and movies were (and still are, sort of) rated so you knew what you were getting into – or not.

But tweets go to the followers, who send them to others, who dissect and analyze them and then forward them to all sorts of outlets. How could I – or my nine-year-old niece – have avoided this tweet? Do I want her thinking everyone is (or should be) this seemingly easy-going about a miscarriage or an abortion? Will she be fooled into thinking these issues come with no more emotional complications than perhaps irritation or relief?

Trunk argues that miscarriage is a fact of life and life intrudes on work, and you can’t manage the balance if you can’t talk about it. I agree. Lots of things are facts of life: the messiness of grief, the reality of resenting one’s  offspring, the gracelessness of aging, or petty pleasure one occasionally takes from seeing someone else fail. Maybe these things do need to come out in the open. Besides, tweeting about the taboo is a great career-booster.

But to my second question: can you really describe anything important in 140 characters?

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