My miscarriage — on CNN, ABC and AOL


I don’t usually post clips of myself when I go on TV. But I’m posting this one, where I talk about trying to get an abortion in Wisconsin and end up with a miscarriage at work instead. It was a difficult interview, which is why I like it. And, remarkably, I have good hair without trying, which is another reason I like watching the clip.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about. Here’s my twitter that caused uproar. And here’s my post about it. To give you an idea of the recent coverage, here’s the link that is, right now, on the front page of AOL, and here’s a link to an article by Lara Salahi at ABC News — I really like that one.

If you are new to my blog, and you’ve gotten this far, maybe you’ll like staying here for a while. Here’s a good page to begin on: About this blog.

I know I said that that this week is Asperger’s at work week on my blog. Maybe me talking about my miscarriage to newscasters is part of this series. I’m not sure. But I’ve been learning a lot about women from the comments about the miscarriage twitter — on my blog and on other sites. So I’m sure that other people are learning a lot about the lives of women — at work and at home. And that has to be good.

523 replies
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    • lefty
      lefty says:

      This woman is so far beyond narcisistic, it is unbelievable. So unbelievable that one probably shouldn’t believe it — any of it. She is a PR whore, who teaches young PR whores how to be better PR whores. It’s her life’s work.. End of story. No miscarriege. No Asperger’s. No value as a human being. Just money, and what ever it takes to make more. Seriously, end of story. If you have been duped into thinking that this woman has anything to offer except lies and heartless self-promotion (seriously people this is her job, no joke — this is what these brainless turds sit around and comtemplate all day while finding angel investers for their latest start-up), if you really believe that a human being could be so callous and uncaring to just let as many people as possible know about something so painful and personal (who cares how common miscarrieges are? really what kind of sick argument is that?), if you really can not see through this PR farce, then you deserve to be duped. And you will buy what ever screwed up unhealthy product that she pushes from now until the whole thing comes crumbling down. Poor things …

      • Miriam
        Miriam says:

        Lefty, you are spot on.

        “Your Tweet appeared to have nothing to do with telling the “truth” and everything to do with shameless self-promotion. If your thoughts and ideas are truly intelligent and well spoken, you shouldn’t need to resort to such a blatent publicity stunt to garner attention and new readers for your blog.

        Where is your sense of privacy and dignity? Isn’t anything sacred anymore? What happened to people having friends and family, doctors and professionals to offer emotional, moral and personal support and validation? Apparently being honest with people who are close to you, and with yourself, isn’t enough.

        Just because you can say it doesn’t mean you should. Your comment begs for attention, a reaction, ANY reaction, as desperately as Britney Spear’s crotch flashing, Paris Hilton’s one night hook-ups and Lindsey Lohan’s tragic breakdowns. It’s not reality, it’s desperate, full-frontal exhibitionism. And what a poor disservice it does to real women experiencing real problems and genuine emotions. Everything you wrote smacks of inauthenticity and mocks the complex, conflicting and often overwhelming feelings that pregnancy and loss can evoke.

        What a damn waste of words.”

      • Mark, the parent
        Mark, the parent says:

        What an awful thing to happen to what’s left of any shred of humanity we Americans might have. What a clear consequence of people who have been brought up that there are no consequences. It’s just another tragic example of the total lack of personal responsibility that has taken our once great country and mired it in mediocrity. It just shows that anyone can put a CEO title in front of their name in the world. Let’s watch the bar be lowered from here on out.

    • Siobhan
      Siobhan says:

      I’m from a very well developed, western country where, nontheless, abortion is illegal and, due to our catholic background and traditions, intimate women’s issues are not discussed as openly as other issues. Thousands of young women travel secretly (though it’s very much an ‘open secret’) to a neighbouring country to have abortions every year, and suffer the humiliation and fear of being ‘found out’. I applaud Penelope’s attempt to bring female experience which, in this case, also includes a thwarting of basic constitutional rights, into the public arena. You may not agree to abortion (I hope personally that it’s never a decision I’m faced with) or to discussing miscarriage so openly and casually, but surely you agree to all women being allowed to exercise their democratic and constitutional rights to speak freely about and to share openly an experience of being a woman.

      • lefty
        lefty says:

        Unfortunately Siobhan, you have completely missed the point of the comments that you have responded to. You might have wanted to write these important thoughts to some right wing nut bag who still thinks that woman belong oppressed. That has nothing to do with what I said. Again, (and this is so important) this woman is a total fraud. She has changed her name several times in her “career”. Please do not consider anything she has to say about public and professional life as more than a sad, emotionally depraved, opportunist, who earns more money every time you give her more attention. I’ve seen her type at all the young and upward drinking holes in Sillicon Alley (NYC neighborhood where the whole internet start-up craze merged with the Madison Avenue ad world in a really disgusting way) back in the 90’s. People like her are completely unconcerned with issues of social reformation. They are concerned with self-advancement and sel-preservation. This is not the opinion of someone who dis-likes her views on an oppressive society. This is the opinion of someone who’s seen her type in action — “doing business”. It’s a vile world that she has crawled from. She has no intention of making the world a better place for the modern woman. Her intention is to GET RICH.

      • lefty
        lefty says:

        I caught wind of this grotesque “modern woman” through the twenty four hour news cycle. But since I’ve been back a few times to follow up, I can see what you’re saying. Why bother right? Well believe me, now that I know what she is all about and how my coming back only makes her more wealthy and somehow validates her horrific business practices, I will not be back. But again, her intention is not to take on the cause of the modern professional woman. Abortion, miscarriege, advancing the cause for women everywhere in some internet mogel, riottgirl kind of way — none of this should even be on the table. It’s all secondary to her ultimate goal — I hope there are still a few normal, decent people left who can see through this non-sense and make sure that she doesn’t

    • John
      John says:

      Hey, Penelope, some future money-making suggestions for your blog:

      Have another abortion. This time set up a camera and tape it. Call it “The Abortion Cam.” Charge the suckers on this site to watch. They’ll pay.

      Put a web cam in your bedroom and keep it on 24/7. Again, charge people for access.

      Have a contest for people to see the largest object you can stuff up your —-. The person who guesses the largest object wins a prize.

      Animals, animals! You’re in farm country. Get creative with animals.

      Fly to New York and run naked through Manhattan.

      Get a job on They’re always looking for models.

    • A. Realist
      A. Realist says:

      I haven’t seen anyone analyze the time line of events in this blog over the past 10 days, so here goes:

      Sept. 21 — miscarriage twitter post
      Sept. 23 — replaced as CEO, given newly created position with no management responsibility
      Sept. 24 — blog entry about twitter post generates >450 comments.
      Sept. 25, 28 — generic posts
      Sept. 29 — gives unusual interview on CNN
      Sept. 29, 30 — blogs about having Aspergers, describes many personality deficits
      Oct.1 — posts CNN interview on blog

      I think this is a career flame out. This blog and its author might even thrive from this publicity (although I doubt it), but there ain’t no more “careerist” around here.

    • terri
      terri says:

      GREAT SUSIE~! I totally agree…any broad who is TOO DUMB to use a reliable method of birth control before she sleeps around is NOT SMART ENOUGH to teach any person one valuable thing about career choices! SHE proves that so many women can literally sleep with enough people to get their foot in the door…I have read her writing and its boring and regurgitated from about 20 other similar writings! THIS pig should be taken off of her 15 minutes already!

    • Arin
      Arin says:

      Penelope, you do realize that you’re coming across as a complete fuckwad, right? You’re talking about a human life. My wife and I also endured a miscarriage and it was horrible. I don’t disrespect your right to choose; I take offense at your nonchalance. Not everything needs to be tweeted. And your tweet on your miscarriage seems nothing more than a misguided attempt at self-promotion. It is truly wretched.

  1. Starrie
    Starrie says:

    I support your right to an abortion and to twitter about it. I also think it is really cool that the interview ended up being a public service announcement! I am so sick of people in this country being so judgmental about women’s reproductive rights!

    • John McCarthy
      John McCarthy says:

      Ditto! Those that think there was something “wrong” with her twitter, and CNN interview, actually have something wrong with themselves.

      Good show Penelope!

  2. Anna
    Anna says:

    Wow, I admire how open and sincere you are.

    While I don’t approve of abortion under any circumstances, I’m really glad that you’re breaking the taboo of miscarriages.

  3. ResumeWriter
    ResumeWriter says:

    “Young lady”? How insulting!! There certainly was nothing ‘fair and balanced’ about his interviewing style, was there? Obviously Rick Sanchez couldn’t be bothered to do any homework on you before you came on to his show, otherwise he would have known exactly why you are so outspoken, honest and open about your life.
    I really wish CNN had been enlightened and evolved enough to have a woman interview you rather than this past-his-prime frat boy. Congratulations on sticking to your point (even thanking him for getting out the public service message-haha!) and keeping your cool.
    In the end, he looked like a buffoon. Great interview!

  4. Ulyana
    Ulyana says:

    Ha, you are AWESOME! And I can’t believe you had to do a “miscarriage for dummies” explanation on freaking CNN (!), how it’s just like a period when it’s early on. I just can’t believe that. Great interview.

    • Smith+Fritzy
      Smith+Fritzy says:

      “Now tell me, Penelope, because I didn’t have time to research this before we were on air, but what exactly is a miscarriage?”

      His pressing journalistic skills seemed to backfire on him at every turn. Well done, P.

  5. Kate
    Kate says:

    “Maybe me talking about my miscarriage to newscasters is part of this series”

    I think that is a definite. I think people with a normal range of emotions realize it’s not the best to talk about these things outside of your trusted circle. It really is in your best interest to not discuss these things with people you don’t trust. But then again, you’re getting the attention, and maybe that’s what you wanted.
    Whatever the case, I’m sorry you had an unplanned pregnancy.

    • C
      C says:

      What do you mean by “not the best”? It seems like one of Penelope’s goals is to expand the range of subjects that is acceptable to discuss frankly in public. If that’s correct, then it follows that talking about “these things” outside of a trusted circle is in her best interest. In any case, it’s really for her to decide what’s in her own best interest.

      On a side note, what exactly is gained by keeping talk about miscarriages, abortions, and other (women’s) health/body issues private? What are the benefits beyond avoiding judgment and criticism? In my opinion the costs outweigh the benefits.

    • John
      John says:

      > It seems like one of Penelope’s goals is to expand the
      > range of subjects that is acceptable to discuss
      > frankly in public.

      Yep, that sure does help one build one’s career skills, doesn’t it?

      Of course, P wouldn’t know anything about careers since she’s never had one.

  6. Susan Johnston
    Susan Johnston says:

    Wow, so they chose a Catholic male to interrogate you. Kudos on keeping your cool. I think the interview would have gone very differently had your interviewer been female.

  7. hooey
    hooey says:

    The guy really behaved like a jerk, hardly concealing his hatred towards you behind his grin. I wonder how you managed to stay calm and not fall prey to his provocations.

  8. Mike
    Mike says:

    Rick Sanchez is a mindless, arrogant talking head that detracts from the national discussion.

    You were graceful, thoughtful and that might be the first time I’ve ever seen a clip from CNN and thought “well, that’s different.”

    Oh, plus you and your hair looked gorgeous. ;)

    Bravo, P.

    • John
      John says:

      Mike said:

      > You’re incredible.

      That’s quite correct, in the literal definition of the world incredible and not the colloquial usage. Penelope is in fact “incredible.”

  9. Catie
    Catie says:

    You’re incredible. I admit it’s shocking because the topics are ones rarely spoken of so openly, but you’re so right.

    Sidenote, I notice a hint of a Wisconsin accent.

  10. John
    John says:

    You and Sanchez make some really bad arguments here:

    Women already have the right to abortion, whether or not you like that. Therefore, we should protect that right. So just because people are allowed to do something now, we never prevent them from doing it? Then how can we justify new laws?

    Most people are more complicated than one single answer. This is elitist comment. Just because a person’s views lie squarely on one side of the fence, doesn’t make them a simpleton.

    As soon as women are pregnant their hormones start taking over Everyone is ruled by hormones. All your values, hopes and fears can traced back to chemicals in your brain.

    I just think it’s a really complicated question. You proceeded to answer the question as if Sanchez had asked “Do you think abortion is wrong” or “Should abortion be illegal”. But all he asked you was whether you felt guilty about the abortion. Will you answer that question?

    And Sanchez makes a bad argument too:

    The hormones you feel are God’s way of telling you to keep the baby. I guess the “hormones” realeased when I smoke weed are God’s way of telling me to smoke more.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      “Most people are more complicated than one single answer. This is elitist comment. Just because a person’s views lie squarely on one side of the fence, doesn’t make them a simpleton.”

      No. This is not an elitist comment at all. All that was said was “most people are more complicated than one simple answer”, meaning not all situations are black and white. It has nothing to do with who is or is not a simpleton, but clearly you are.

    • Caitlin
      Caitlin says:

      >>-‘Women already have the right to abortion, whether or not you like that. Therefore, we should protect that right.’ So just because people are allowed to do something now, we never prevent them from doing it? Then how can we justify new laws?

      Enacting new laws through the process of democracy is one thing. Insurance companies acting as quasi legislators by creating additional hoops is another thing. I don’t agree with that.

      Terrorising the staff and patients at abortion clinics should NOT be legal. Animal rights protesters who harassed staff at a research facility (Huntington Life Sciences) in the UK were arrested as terrorists. Some of the tactics employed by abortion protesters in the US are equally bad. I’m not saying that waving a placard is terrorism but throwing blood at people, shouting abuse, making death threats, and shooting abortion doctors certainly is.

      If you disagree with abortion then you should lobby for legislative change and that’s ALL you should do.

      In my opinion abortion should be conducted in every hospital, not in specialised clinics.

      • thatgirlinnewyork
        thatgirlinnewyork says:

        how is it you think that most hospitals don’t “conduct” abortions? most do, if willing doctors (usually ob-gyns) are associated with them. the possible exceptions are those states where the blood-flinging is acceptable.

        specialised clinics are usually provided in areas where 1) there is a significant population that is not or under-insured, and 2) where the culture doesn’t necessarily find doctors willing to provide the procedure in hospital settings.

      • Caitlin
        Caitlin says:

        @thatgirlinnewyork I don’t know what happens in every part of the country, but I read a long, in-depth feature article about the recent murder of the abortion doctor. His clinic was basically the only place providing abortions in his whole state, which is part of the reason why he was such a target. I’m sure there are hospitals in his state. If there aren’t, that’s a bigger problem.

  11. Jason Pelker
    Jason Pelker says:

    We live in a culture of embarrassment and shame. I’m not sure how it benefits us (possibly the continuation of a male dominated society?), but I know it causes many professional and personal issues that could probably be avoided through communication.

    I’d like to see this story become a tipping point for a more honest and forthcoming work (and personal) environment. I’ll certainly look back on this event the next time I need to tell someone the truth even if I find it very difficult.

  12. Pablo Martínez-Almeida
    Pablo Martínez-Almeida says:

    A miscarriage rate of 75% of women is for those aged 45 years or more.

    According to the study cited by Wikipedia, “Overall, 13.5% of the pregnancies intended to be carried to term ended with fetal loss. At age 42 years, more than half of such pregnancies resulted in fetal loss. The risk of a spontaneous abortion was 8.9% in women aged 20-24 years and 74.7% in those aged 45 years or more.”

    You can check it here:

  13. fd
    fd says:

    that was brilliant! well done! and actually while the patronising ‘young lady’ from a CNN interviewer is unbelievable, he was quite open about his ignorance in the end and seemed willing to learn from you. mostly i think your ability to deal with his questions and talk about thigns that really matter to us all was truly admirable.

  14. Jen
    Jen says:

    I wish the media would displace more ranting editorials with civilised discussions like this one. It is rare to see two people of opposing viewpoints speaking candidly about their views without resorting to name calling and emotionally charged language.

  15. Laura
    Laura says:

    I find it interesting that people are upset and offended by this when they weren’t upset and offended that you were subject to sexual abuse as a child and you discussed it on this blog. To me these are both intensely personal topics that influence people’s careers and work life, and I think you are brave to discuss them.

    BTW, your hair does look great. :-)

  16. Bob
    Bob says:

    I think your transparency is a brave position. I have to think that you’re shining a light into areas that many share but go mostly unexposed. I think we all have aspbergers to some degree in that everyone falls into a continuum of emotional intelligence that is not the same as whoever we are interacting with, so the meta-cognitive ability to step back and humbly review our behavior is a valuable habit.

  17. ioana
    ioana says:

    Picasso suffered from visual migraines which caused him to see funny broken images. He considered this a gift (I got that gift too yey).

    I think that your Aspergers in a way is a gift too – it makes you bring up to the table issues that we the the “neurotypicals” would just accept by following the “societal norms” on top of which PT just tramples like a bull in a china shop. In a good way (sometimes).

    When I had my miscarriage, I was glad that I happened to tell everyone at work that I was pregnant – because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have found out that I was not alone.

    People need to know that miscarriages happen, and that when it happens for the 3rd time yes you might want to just stay at work and keep your mind busy – if it happened early enough that is, and there are no complications. When people judge me for taking it in stride, I take it in stride. Telling me how I should feel about it is very obtuse.

  18. H
    H says:

    First of all, everyone needs to stop accusing Rick Sanchez of being a jerk-he was completely professional in this interview. The purpose of media is to challenge opinions and ideas and that means that people on the news should ask questions that make you uncomfortable; if they aren’t, our society has bigger problems. If you can’t handle criticism of your views, you should be rethinking your opinions.

    Secondly, we should all be REALLY concerned that CNN invited Penelope on a show because she tweeted something that makes some people uncomfortable. People talk to each other about things, and everyone has different comfort levels with different issues. Invariably, someone somewhere is getting offended about something, that is not newsworthy. What would be newsworthy is if Penelope were to make a compelling argument as to why it’s important that every person in your workplace knows you’re having a miscarriage.

    The “female experience” idea makes no sense; every expression of feelings or ideas has context. That is why freedom of speech doesn’t include yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and also why every meeting at work doesn’t include a share-your-feelings session. Sometimes, other things, like public safety or efficiency matter more than conveying your emotional experiences. What value would this type of discussion add to the workplace? That is a question penelope should answer to make this discussion more than just an attempt at ruffling feathers.

    I am usually a fan of this blog because you use logic to back up your typically unique arguments (to greater or lesser degrees depending on the post…as a medical student, I have to say that your post about paying doctors less was so logically flawed it made my head hurt). I can only assume this entire tweeting about a miscarriage thing is just a publicity stunt and I suppose you are a businessperson first so these types of things are to be expected. I honestly felt like the interview was completely insubstantial and made no effort to thoughtfully address the real issues (like access to abortion)…I’d really like the old Penelope back.

    • Kathryn Rose
      Kathryn Rose says:

      I am puzzled that someone who spends their time studying bodies would read this post and conclude that it was all about “feelings”. A miscarriage is not a feeling. Neither is an abortion, last time I checked. Your insistance that these are somehow “emotional” experiences (i.e. not worth talking about?) rather than legitimate health concerns for women comes across as puerile, prudish, and ill-informed.

      If you do plan practice medicine, I suggest you get a lot more comfortable talking about the female body.

      • H
        H says:

        First of all, every single illness has a social and emotional component, don’t tell me that an abortion can be discussed in the workplace like yesterday’s football game. My point, which you seem to have missed, is that there is a time and a place for every discussion. I am all for more openness about women’s issues; if you want people to be more aware of the health aspect of miscarriages, encourage them to talk to a health professional about it. Encourage people to talk to their friends and families about the experience so they can get the emotional support they need. But I have yet to hear a compelling argument as to why this discussion should happen in the workplace with people who are your coworkers and not your friends.

        We don’t let students interrupt class with their opinions about whatever crosses their minds because they are there to learn and the expression of their opinions at that time is disruptive to the educational process. I’m just waiting to hear why you are encouraging conversations about an emotionally difficult issue with people who have neither the medical expertise nor the social ties to make such a conversation helpful.

        And if you’d like to talk about this topic, I suggest you address my arguments instead of giving unsolicited advice and making unfounded conjectures about my ability to be a doctor.

    • John
      John says:

      > I’d really like the old Penelope back.

      You idiot, this is the old Penelope. She’s just having to push harder with each sensationalistic post. Where she can ultimately go with this without crashing and burning remains to be seen. Janet Cooke could have learned a lot from her, I’ll tell you that.

      • Dree
        Dree says:

        Why all the commenting? You seem very, very interested in someone you profess to despise.

        If it’s the car crash thing, I get that. Just wondering.

  19. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    An amazingly powerful and far reaching media – Twitter – that started this whole discussion about a week and a half ago. Both Rick Sanchez and I agree on at least one thing – the female experience is an interesting topic.

  20. Jen Hinderer
    Jen Hinderer says:

    Wow Penny, with just 140 characters typed while in a meeting you have started an important national debate. Miscarriage, abortion, and the F bomb all in one short sentence!

    I love your authenticity, your candor, and how well you handled this really patronizing reporter. He seems to have a good handle on some tired OLD cliches about dirty laundry and young ladies, but no idea what is happening in the lives of women in 2009, whether they are in the professional arena or not. You go!

  21. Lesly
    Lesly says:

    Like I said in my email, thanks for doing the interview, Penelope.

    I just read comments on the miscarriage post. People need to get over themselves. I’ve never had a miscarriage, but I you’re absolutely correct when you say some women are grateful to have them. Not every pregnant woman wants to have a baby and NOT ONE of these women are obligated to feel bad for getting what they wanted: a terminated pregnancy. Women have the right to express that relief and help break down the public attitude that the only acceptable expression over a miscarriage is grief. The obligation in this discussion comes from people who think they know what you need to feel. Yes, get over yourselves is right.

  22. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Penelope, you have a very captivating smile! That is part of you that doesn’t come across on your blog, but adds to my already considerable regard for your ideas and personality, as expressed in your writing. Well done. Someone needs to talk about this stuff. If not you or me, then who? If not now, then when? Thank you for being so frank.

    • chris keller
      chris keller says:

      Andrea GOT Penelope’s point: that we need to bring up, discuss and confront everything. If it happens in the workplace, as the miscarriage did, then we must talk about it in the workplace. We should be looking at our colleagues, as well as at our families and friends, and saying “I can hear anything you have to say”. After all, we are at work 8 hours/day, giving our best energies, our longest blocks of time. It is total immersion at work–therefore, you HAVE to talk it out and confront issues, or you’ll end up an island. And no man (or woman) is (should be) an island.

  23. Nydia
    Nydia says:

    Wow. I am just now seeing all this controversy. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of so many people. It’s situations like this, backed by strong people like you, that will continue to advance the true equality of women — in the US, and with luck and time, abroad. Women can’t really be in control of their lives and prosperity until they can control their reproduction. Like the late, great Carlin said: anti-abortion = anti-woman. You are doing a great service by bringing the ideas of miscarriage as a normal, natural occurrence, abortion as a right to be protected, and waiting periods as an obstruction of our rights to the fore. And thank you for pointing people towards giving to PP, they need all the help they can get. Kudos.

  24. linz
    linz says:

    I sort of like that it was a man, and not a woman, conducting the interview. I guess it doesn’t really matter, but I think part of Penelope’s point is that when everyone understands the female experience, we’ll all be better off. I like that CNN didn’t feel they had to handle this situation with kid-gloves (or girl-gloves, if you will) by giving you a female interrogator who asked easy, sensitive questions.

    Penelope, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the interviewer.

  25. Moneymonk
    Moneymonk says:

    Oh pleeeze get over this CNN, Penelope had a miscarriage, so now she is a celebrity!

    CNN makes a big deal out of nothing.

    Penelope stand up for yourself and other women, maybe it can change the thinking of others

    Good plug for you company site! Kudos to u

    • Jessica
      Jessica says:

      Completely inapropriate comment. Doreen, I wish for you that your ignorance lessens and that you are able to develop compassion at some point in your life.

    • Anne
      Anne says:

      My gosh! How rude! Same should be said to you.

      This blog and comments are meant to be a forum for a conversation and feedback….not ridiculously childlike insults.

    • prklypr
      prklypr says:

      Doreen, I guess your mother never told you that if you don’t have something nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. This type of comment has no place on any blog, and I hope Penelope deletes it as innapropriate.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      I just feel sorry for you Doreen. Maybe one day you’ll actually learn the manners your slut of a mother (since you think all pregnant women are sluts) should have taught you.

    • Mindy
      Mindy says:

      What’s wrong about Doreen saying this? She was just using her freedom of speech just like Penelope did. And if you want to argue that P wasn’t saying something mean to another person, think again! She was celebrating the DEATH of her unborn BABY! (don’t dehumanize it by calling the baby a fetus) Not to mention, how bad do you think what P said might have hurt a woman that read it who would want nothing more than to be able to get pregnant and have a child of her own? Or a person who had a miscarriage who wanted nothing more than to carry the baby full term? I’m pretty sure when the First ammendment was written this wasn’t what they had in mind or else they probably wouldn’t have given us the freedom of speech in the first place.

      The baby didn’t ask P to be irresponsible and have unprotected sex so why is it that the baby should be the one to pay the consequence and be spoken about like it was just an inconvenience like having to go through your junk mail and throw it out? And then to post this why, because you liked your hair? Seriously?

      • Caitlin
        Caitlin says:

        @Mindy said: “What’s wrong about Doreen saying this? She was just using her freedom of speech just like Penelope did.”

        And the other commenters were just using their freedom of speech to respond to Doreen.

      • Caitlin
        Caitlin says:

        @Mindy, I quote: “What’s wrong about Doreen saying this? She was just using her freedom of speech just like Penelope did.”

        It sounded like you were criticizing Doreen’s detractors on the grounds that they were undermining her freedom of speech. In actual fact, while they disagreed with what she said and her choice to say it, no one attacked her constitutional right to say it. So I’m not sure why you bothered to make the point that she was exercising freedom of speech. So what? That doesn’t give her a free pass to avoid disagreement.

        No one has a free pass to avoid disagreement – you or Doreen are free to disagree with Penelope or me or anyone else. But why bring freedom of speech into it when it’s not in question? Why defend what’s not attacked?

        That’s all.

  26. David
    David says:

    P, been a long time follower of your blog now. From my readings, I can honestly say that one of your best AND worst attributes is your lack of tact.

    It’s your greatest strength — you gamely discuss topics that others would consider TMI. Good for you for addressing things in a brutally honest way.

    It’s your greatest weakness — while you are brutally honest, you don’t seem to care that your tone and style rub people the wrong way.

  27. Tzipporah
    Tzipporah says:

    Wow, look at the hate spilling over here.

    Kudos, Penelope, on not being afraid to be honest (while still being civil). Something we could all learn from.

  28. Jen the opinionated
    Jen the opinionated says:

    I think you are correct. Great hair!

    How can a man give a good interview on a topic that really only effects women. I didn’t appreciate his attitude. Isn’t the reporters supposed to be middle of the road, non judgmental reporting? Doesn’t he stating he is a catholic makes his interviewed skewed?

    My miscarriage was during a 10 hour flight back home from a work trip in Europe and it was extremely painful and yes heavy bleeding. The pain lasted 2 days and was horrible! And yes he was a stupid man for not knowing what his potential partner could go through. Love the start of the comb over he is rocking too.

  29. Eric
    Eric says:

    Hey P’,

    Good work with this interview. That was a though topic with a though interviewer who had his personnal opinion which didn’t match yours.

    You did great !


  30. Donna
    Donna says:

    I think the lesson of this interview is how well Penelope handled herself in front of the camera. All business people who may find themselves being interviewed should take note: She mentioned her company, she gave her url, she paused before answering questions, she didn’t get excited or respond emotionally to the reporter, she smiled, she was engaging, she made sure she got her point across in an easy-to-understand manner. I could go on. Bravo, Penelope. And for the people who commented on the interviewer: he was just doing his job, trying to get an interesting story on the air, sharing just enough of his own experiences and opinions to draw the subject out. His patronizing comments may have been part of his plan, or not. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how Penelope responded and if the interview was good for her and for her business.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I love you for this comment, Donna. Thanks. And I agree with you about the interviewer. He didn’t bother me. I thought he asked tough, direct, and interesting questions.

      Also, CNN edited the interview, and you don’t actually hear the most surprising stuff Rick asked about. For example, he asked me a lot about the farmer and his family and what they thought about an abortion.


      • Mark W.
        Mark W. says:

        Penelope, I agree with Donna that you interviewed well with Rick. The point you make about editing an interview is what I find interesting. I’m not talking about this interview specifically but interviews with the media in general. Some interviews are live and others are broadcast after having been edited. Many times while watching an interview it’s difficult to pick up on whether or not an interview has been edited. A case in point is this interview as we wouldn’t know Rick asked questions about the farmer or his family and their opinions. There’s also the article the NY Times did with you last year with your divorce. I remember that interview was not the best as I believe it misinterpreted some things you were trying to convey to the interviewer.
        It really comes down to the fact that you don’t have much if any control over the content you furnish to a given media if you don’t have control over the media itself. A perfect example is your blog which is your content and your media. This is what I’d like to see – a blog post on various media types and some of your experiences with them. I wonder how they determine what gets published and what doesn’t and also how they can take content and manipulate it to espouse a certain view. I agree that the ABC interview was a good interview.

  31. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Penelope, I am a fan. Your blog is well-written, literary, compulsively readable, provocative. I admire so much your ability to impart wisdom unapologetically, and to be both brazen and self-aware.

    But I almost unfollowed you after the miscarriage Tweet.

    You have the right to an abortion, you have the right to talk about it, to complain about the law. You have a right to be grateful that you miscarried a pregnancy you didn’t want.

    But I have a right to personal space, too. And when your Tweet popped up on my screen, it unnerved and upset me. It seemed callous and dismissive of a tiny life that had only you to protect it. It reduced that life to a public expression of joy at its loss, which is what it will always be in public memory.

    I grieved that more than I wanted to.

    I’ve read your writing about Aspergers with interest and agree that there may be a strong connection between that post and the ones around your miscarriage Tweet. There is huge benefit in your courage to Speak of All Things. But it can violate other people’s personal space.

    I don’t think the only question is “what are your boundaries in sharing” but also “what are your co-workers boundaries in being exposed?”

    I think you are a fantastic blogger, a great example of what this medium can do and who can do it right. But I am going to have to be more careful about reading your material because your boundaries are not where I need them to be, and the benefit I get from your work may not be worth the price I could pay reading it.


    • Steph
      Steph says:

      Elizabeth, while my boundaries are not the same as yours I found your argument here to be very well articulated.

    • Jen the opinionated
      Jen the opinionated says:

      Elizabeth, if you can’t handle the open discussion, perhaps it would be a better use of your time to read something that will not upset your delicate sensibilities? I rather have the choice of frank discussions that are honest than have her censor herself. I choose to read or I can choose not to. You are able to make that choice as well.

      • Elizabeth
        Elizabeth says:

        Thanks, Steph, I appreciate that.

        Jen — Yes, as I said above, I may choose not to follow Penelope any more. I thought she should know that at least one smart, pro-choice career woman was disturbed by the Tweet. How important that is is up to her.

        I had a coworker who Tweets about which women give him erections. I unfollowed the heck out of that openness, too. :)

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      Why don’t you stop being so thin-skinned and realize not everything is about you? If you don’t like what Penelope has to say, don’t read it. You do not have the right to personal space when you INVITE and ENCOURAGE people to post tweets that show up on your homepage. You asked for them there, so they are there.

      Grow up.

      • Sidney
        Sidney says:

        Wow, you were so proud of your mean-spirited, close-minded comments that you posted them anonymously. How brave of you. Elizabeth has you beat in the articulateness and intelligence game so you could only react as a little boy. Pity for you.

      • David
        David says:

        Sidney, give it a rest. I was not the anonymous poster above; but seriously, re-read what Elizabeth posted:

        “But I have a right to personal space, too. And when your Tweet popped up on my screen, it unnerved and upset me.”

        You have GOT to be kidding me! It’s twitter. In order to receive that message, you clicked a button marked ‘follow’ that specified you were going to get everything this person sent directly on your front page!

        The fact that you made a poor judgment about the person you chose to follow is your problem, not hers. She’s unlikely to change her personality, so just following her. Don’t complain about your ‘personal space’ on twitter, of all things!

        Of course, I suppose Elizabeth’s unlikely to change her personality too, so it’s probably not worth sending this response. But perhaps she might at least recognise the weakness in the particular logic that she employed.

        For the record, this doesn’t put me in favour of P.T.’s post. I think she’s pretty narcissistic, and incredibly immature for her age. The specifics of this particular story don’t especially make me feel that more than her other posts, though. And she struck me as fairly eloquent and logical on TV. It’s a shame her writing is weaker, and that she’s publicity-obsessed.

  32. Irina I
    Irina I says:

    You rule. It’s so funny how absolutely uncomfortable that guy is and how comfortable and in control you are! It’s clear who has the power in that conversation.

    I’m so glad you’re talking about this!

    Finally, your hair looks awesome.

  33. Lydia
    Lydia says:

    Penelope, this is the exact reason I searched you out. I read the Salon article the day after you posted about your miscarriage on twitter, and I am so happy I did. I, too, am overwhelmingly grateful for women like you who have the ovaries to not be delicate about basic biology and basic human rights and refuse to be shamed into apology. If it weren’t for the women and men who thought similarly, I’d be an involuntary mom, too, and so would almost every single one of my female friends, who are well-educated, successful, and happy. It’s okay to be happy to have a miscarriage, and it’s okay to want or need an abortion. Thanks for helping the rest of us out with your openness.

    (I’d be interested to know not how many followers you lost on twitter, but how many followers and new subscribers you gained.)

  34. David
    David says:

    I read your blog pretty regularly, but for whatever reason the other day when someone mentioned to me about a woman on the news talking about why she was happy she had a miscarriage, I didn’t make the connection and realize they were talking about you.

    I have to give you a lot of credit to go on the air with a guy like Rick Sanchez – I find him to be a bit of an arrogant/pompous jerk. You handled his questions quite well.

    You’re right though, miscarriages and other “taboo topics” should be talked about. Because how else are people going to learn about, understand and bring awareness to things that happen in everyday life if we are too scared to discuss them?

  35. Siri
    Siri says:

    Every time I read your blog, I feel thankful that there is someone intelligent out there who has the courage to talk honestly about difficult subjects. Watching this CNN clip only reinforced that feeling for me. Thank you and Bravo!

  36. Ange
    Ange says:

    “You were in a board meeting… did you just have it?”

    You have got to be kidding. Oops, I just had a miscarriage. Sorry to interrupt, carry on with stock summary.


  37. donna
    donna says:

    P.Trunk – you have messed up priorities too. You’re the subject of national defamation & you’re worried about your fre@king hair?

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the hair…you’ve got an ugly face anyway.

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