Recently I ran the following twitter:
“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.”
Why the uproar over this twitter?
Not only have bloggers written whole posts about the disgustingness of it, but 70 people unfollowed me, and people actually came to my blog and wrote complaints about the twitter on random, unrelated posts.
So, to all of you who think the twitter was outrageous, think about this:
Most miscarriages happen at work. Twenty-five percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Seventy-five percent of women who are of child-bearing age are working. Most miscarriages run their course over weeks. Even if you are someone who wanted the baby and are devastated by the loss, you’re not going to sit in bed for weeks. You are going to pick up your life and get back to it, which includes going back to work.
This means that there are thousands of miscarriages in progress, at work, on any given day. That we don’t acknowledge this is absurd. That it is such a common occurrence and no one thinks it’s okay to talk about is terrible for women.
Throughout history, the way women have gained control of the female experience is to talk about what is happening, and what it’s like. We see that women’s lives are more enjoyable, more full, and women are more able to summon resilience when women talk openly about their lives.
To all of you who said a miscarriage is gross: Are you unaware that the same blood you expel from a miscarriage is what you expel during menstruation? Are you aware that many people are having sex during menstruation and getting it on the sheets? Are you aware that many women actually like period sex? Wait. Here is a link I love, at askmen.com, telling men that women like it so much that men need to be aware of this preference.
To all of you who are aghast that I let myself get pregnant: having sex is playing with odds. There are no 100% sure methods of birth control. I am 42 years old. The likelihood of someone my age getting pregnant even with fertility treatment is less than 5%. The likelihood that a pregnancy in someone my age ends in a miscarriage is almost 75%. This means that even if I had done nothing for birth control it would have been as effective as a 25-year-old using a condom. So everyone who is complaining that I’m an idiot for getting pregnant should go buy a calculator.
To all of you who said I should not be happy about having a miscarriage: You are the ones short on empathy. Any woman who is pregnant but wishes she weren’t would of course be grateful when she has a miscarriage. Yes, there are many women who want the baby and have a miscarriage. I was one of them. I cried for days. I get it.
But if you have ever had an abortion, which I have, you would know that a miscarriage is preferable to an abortion. Even the Pope would agree with that.
And what is up with the fact that just one, single person commented about how Wisconsin has a three-week waiting period for abortions? It is absolutely outrageous how difficult it was going to be for me to get an abortion, and it’s outrageous that no one is outraged.
Wisconsin is one of twelve states that have 24-hour waiting periods. This puts a huge burden on an overworked system. These are also the states where there are few ways to get an abortion. For example, in Wisconsin, the only place to get abortion that is covered by insurance is at a Planned Parenthood clinic. There are 3 of them in all of Wisconsin. In Chicago, you can get an abortion at Planned Parenthood with less than 24 hours notice. In Wisconsin, there is a week and a half wait to get the first meeting and a week and half wait to get the abortion.
A digression: I’m linking to Planned Parenthood so everyone can make a donation. This organization is enabling women to have the right to abortion. Planned Parenthood seems to be the only effective, community-level force against states that are attempting to legislate the choice into oblivion.
To all of you who think this has nothing to do with work:
I think what really upsets people is the topic. We are not used to talking about the female experience, and especially not in the context of work. But so what? We can start now. The female experience is part of work. What we talk about when we talk about work defines how we integrate work into our lives. If work is going to support our lives, then we need to talk about how our lives interact with work. We need to be honest about the interaction if we hope to be honest about our work.