I wake up Wednesday at 4am to a phone call: The Guardian, in London, asking for an interview about my miscarriage twitter. Then a half-hour later, an Irish radio station. And then the phone kept ringing.

I tell Now Magazine (I think it's basically People magazine for the UK audience) to call back after I got the kids off to school. I ask my housemanager to come early because I can’t handle the sleep deprivation and the early-morning interviews and school lunches all in one morning.

I block out the morning to write a thousand-word essay for the Guardian to justify tweeting about my miscarriage. Which the Guardian wants done in the next 20 hours.

Now magazine wants to know if they can send a photographer to take a photo of my kids.

No.

Or the Farmer?

No.

What about if their faces are blurred?

No. (But this at least makes the Farmer laugh.)

The Today show called Tuesday to see if I could be on the show on Thursday. I said yes. They call in between the Guardian and Now magazine to ask if I can fly there.

The first thing I think is that my kids were so sad that I was not taking them to school as usual that I promised to pick them up after school, and I don't want to break the promise.

The only reasonable flight to NYC is at 3:08. I decide that the only thing to do is take my kids with me. I can't bear to simply be gone when they come home from school. I did that so much last year. I don't want to do that anymore.

So I tell the Today Show that I can make it only if they will fly my kids and the nanny with me. And pay for two hotel rooms.

The Today Show says yes. They start booking tickets. I finish interviews and the nanny starts packing. She calls the school to get the kids ready to leave early. She cancels violin lessons and cello lessons and a reading tutor.

I call the Farmer to offer him one last chance to go with us. He doesn't answer. He doesn't take the offer seriously because it is so far from anything he'd ever do. He says he can't believe I'm taking the kids on a trip again when the last business trip I took them on turned out so bad that the police came.

He has a point, but I tell him that I'm taking the nanny along this time.

Then the new CEO of Brazen Careerist calls. He's concerned. I have given a one-hour interview with a tabloid that was not recorded and it's being taken out of context all over the UK.

So we have a two-hour phone call about the Brazen Careerist brand. Should it be tied to me? Is miscarriage a workplace issue? What drives people to sign up at Brazen Careerist anyway?

Wait. Can you just go sign up at the site right now so the CEO can see that a post like this does not hurt the brand and I should just write what I want on my blog?

Okay. So the nanny is decked-out in black, with blown-out blond hair, and she almost looks a little New-York-y for her first-ever visit there, when the Today show calls to say they need to move me to Saturday.

Really?

This is what I thought: Is there enough time for me to get really drunk on junk wine in the fridge before I have to go pick up the kids?

I say no to Saturday.

Later, I get a death threat. This is not new. I have been getting death threats all month but today's death threats are different. They are from the UK, and then from the Australian Christian Coalition. No kidding. Three calls in a row.

This all might be the end of me catering to mainstream media. But. Wait. I'm so happy to be in Inc magazine this month where Max Chafkin wrote a great list of top bloggers. And Max was so easy to deal with. He scheduled a call. We had a nice conversation. And he wrote an intelligent article. He's so good, and considerate that he's almost like a blogger.

But for now, I'm exhausted. And I am thinking that dealing with mainstream media just isn't worth it. I get my own story out, the way I want it, on my blog. I have a smart, engaged audience that is fun to talk to and, when there's something really good, they tell their smart, thoughtful friends. I don't think I need mainstream media. And I know I don't need the ridiculous way they’ve been talking with me.

(Hi, Penelope Trunk? This is Steve from the early show —

What? What early show?

It’s the morning show on CBS.

Oh.

Can you tell me how you justify your tweet?

What?

Just quickly. I'm going into our 4pm meeting and I need a summary of your position.)

So, mainstream media, here’s my position. More than feeling compelled to justify myself to your audience, I feel compelled to protect my schedule and my family from your intrusive calls and seemingly random deadlines. I feel an urgent need to separate a sane online conversation about women at work from an insane media that is doing exactly what destroys women at work: Making it extremely difficult for me to have a manageable schedule for parenting.

179 replies
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  1. Rose Jeudi
    Rose Jeudi says:

    I re-discovered your blog during the whole abortion brouhaha and promptly signed up to follow your blog. As a woman and a business owner, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your honesty. I don’t always agree with you point of view; however, you are a wonderful example to those of us constantly worried about how authentic we can afford to be in our professional lives. While your detractors seem to be rather vocal, know that there are many of us out there attracted to you for the exact reasons you are being vilified. So, THANK YOU and keep up the great work!

    Rose

  2. Casey
    Casey says:

    I think it is pure silliness for anyone to imply that your candor and honesty is somehow inconsistent with the Brazen Careerist brand. I so appreciate that you are willing to discuss the challenging things that all working women face every single day of their lives. Women have often pretended that everything is always fine so as not to make others uncomfortable. I am seven months pregnant and every day I pretend like my hemorrhoids are not killing me, that I’m perfectly happy to trek to others’ faraway offices for meetings, that it’s no problem to work on a project from home while I have the fucking swine flu, that it’s a piece of cake to make it to 7:00 a.m. meetings looking fabulous when I really had to get ready by candlelight so as not to wake up my kids before I left. The shit women have to go through to be successful in their careers so surpasses that of men that it’s ridiculous. So for people to get soooo upset that a woman actually had the nerve to mention the personal difficulty she was dealing with one day while at work just really pisses me off.

  3. Mneiae
    Mneiae says:

    You’re absolutely right. This is one of the big challenges that working women face, and I’m so glad that you’ve publicly commented upon it.

  4. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    Good afternoon

    I’ve become accustomed to how you mix your personal and professional life and I wouldn’t think of asking you to be any other way. I am cautious though when I start seeing posts from people that feel you are somehow a representative of things they agree with and yet wouldn’t do themselves. I would rather hear their own personal stories of empowerment and if they can use you as a jumping off point then you are definitely doing something right. I guess what I’m saying is while you set a good example I wouldn’t set you up to be an icon. With that said I can’t wait to read another post that shows you coming into your own.

  5. Editormum
    Editormum says:

    “… here’s my position. … I feel compelled to protect my schedule and my family from your intrusive calls and seemingly random deadlines. I feel an urgent need to separate … from an insane media that is … Making it extremely difficult for me to have a manageable schedule for parenting.”

    QUOTED FOR TRUTH. Because you said it better than I ever could have. Calling you at 0400 is absolutely beyond the pale. Ludicrous. People who engage in global business learn to be acutely aware of global time-frames, and 0400 is simply not done without prior agreement.

    And the whole bit about your kids and your family. SO GLAD to see you finally having the self-confidence to say “oh hell no, I am not disrupting my family for you people. You want me, take me on my own terms.” GOOD FOR YOU!!

  6. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    You write very well and in a composed manner for dealing with such media insanity. Not ever having to deal with that before, it would make me completely frazzled! You’re doing a lot for women by continuing to write your blog and standing up for yourself and your beliefs. Thank you.

  7. Irina I
    Irina I says:

    So how does a death threat over the phone sound? “Hi Penelope, this is X, a representative of the Australian Christian Coalition. I’m calling to let you know that we’re issuing a death threat to you.” ?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Now that I’ve had a bunch of threats, I do have some commentary, actually.

      Do you know what’s so interesting about a death threat on the phone? It’s always a guy, and he always starts out with a very intimate voice. Like, the kind that a boyfriend who is missing you uses. It’s deep and soft and slow. So at first (now, it doesn’t work on me) but at first, the guy would actually draw me in. I would think I should be talking to him just based on the tone of voice.

      It’s very surprising to me. It’s amazing to me that all the callers intuitively know to use this sort of voice.

      Penelope

  8. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    I like what you wrote for the Guardian.

    I’m puzzled why this is suddenly making news in Australia and the UK a month later. I know that Mia Freedman wrote about it on her blog Mamamia.com.au and maybe that got the Australian press interested. But still, it’s seriously old news.

    I’m a freelance journalist for publications in both those markets and it never occurred to me that they would be interested in this as a story, after CNN had already interviewed you. Maybe I need to be more derivative as a journalist because clearly I was wrong about that!

  9. Leanne
    Leanne says:

    This is seriously blowing up as a media issue again, quite a ways after the fact? Get real. And as you’ve pointed out many times, a better conversation would be not about the perceived “shocking” nature of your tweet, but why we can’t talk about this sort of thing.

    Obviously miscarriages happen–otherwise women wouldn’t do so much to not tell their coworkers they’re pregnant until they are several months pregnant (never mind that they’re probably exhausted, distracted, and feeling like crap whilst trying to do their jobs those first few months.)

    If we could be honest about our pregnancies–without having to face subtle (or not) questions about whether we will be good little worker bees once the kid is born–the workplace would be a much more enticing place (and might do a better job of convincing women to return to work after their maternity leaves!)

    If we could be honest about our pregnancies, maybe we could have an honest conversation about how work doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and how there must be better ways to navigate work-life balance.

    If the new Brazen Careerist CEO doesn’t get that… I’d be mighty concerned that he doesn’t get the great idea behind the site in the first place.

    Thank you for standing firm amidst this ridiculous media coverage. I’m heading over to create my account at BC now.

  10. Chickybeth
    Chickybeth says:

    I always love your posts and tweets. I signed up already for BC, but if I could, I would do it again for you. I honestly haven’t gotten that much out of it because I am a scientist and the site seems to mainly cater to communications majors or office workers, but I still check in from time to time. I signed up for the site because I am not sure what I want to do with my career and I thought the articles there might help me decide.

    Thanks,
    Beth

  11. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    I don’t always agree with what you write on this blog, but I wanted you to know that I loved your piece in the Guardian. It was perfect. Thank you.

  12. Bluehill
    Bluehill says:

    I too found you through the Guardian piece and enjoyed it. Something quite different is always refreshing

  13. CCS
    CCS says:

    What a golden example of why Media 1.0 sucks and does not work. When blogs and other forms of self-publishing gained popularity, we started to hear all of the traditional journalists whine "but there's no quality control! ANYONE can publish anything on a blog waah buh blah!" Of course this is from people who are too intellectually uncurious to find out about "network effects" and why these things work. So they whine about no quality control on blogs and serve up this steaming pile of absolute shit for us to consume as news. These are the professionals, the gatekeepers, and they remind me of the record companies circa 1998. Sure it is scary when technology changes the business model. You can say, I'm going to whine and fight this and be the exception and the one person in history who will defeat a cheap and ubiquitous technology. Or you can say "wow technology has discovered a way for me to reach untold numbers of people that I couldn't reach before, there's an opportunity here." Newspapers are doing the first thing, sadly. They would not do this if they respected their readers and did not think of themselves as being entitled to this gatekeeper role no matter how many times they screw it up.
    I used to wonder why newspaper commenters are the dregs of all comments online. It is because people who engage with an online newspaper to the point of registering and commenting are engaging with a form of media that doesn't respect them. And if they don't respect their readers they certainly aren't going to respect Penelope Trunk's time.
    The fact is that this blog is getting maybe fewer readers in numbers but it allows you to engage with people who are going to add value whether to your blog by making a non-stupid comment or with your company. Old media hangs on to a sense of importance out of tradition but they could not be less relevant to your interests. It is interesting that the New York Times "TimesPeople" thing won't let you delete your comments or make it easy for you to post under an online identity as you see fit. They don't think you should own your information or control it, they think you should cede it to them completely. And that is how they treat people they interview. If Old Media pays attention to you and they decide it will be in a way that degrades you, you just have to knuckle under, according to them. Except you don't. I already know that Old Media is not going to tell me anything I want to know about Penelope Trunk. I am glad you told the cheeseball "Today" show or whatever the fuck it is to naff off. They are irrelevant.

  14. dc
    dc says:

    I’m behind you 100%. Found your blog from Jezebel & Guardian article. Bravo. Tell it like it is, girl! More people need to hear it.

    I haven’t checked out the hostile comments you received, but I can guess: its likely related to your relief at the miscarriage. If you had been devastated, it would have been considered “appropriate”. Subtext: anti-abortion maniacs.

    Also I totally get your impatience with the mainstream media. They don’t want the news. They want to manipulate events from their point of view. Bah Humbug. Had a good laugh at your recap of a conversation :)

    And I was somewhat bemused by Shandra’s disapproval of your take on the MSM…she seemed to assume it represented the “real world”!@#$%^&* Wouldn’t know where to start in repudiating that claim, so I won’t bother. Suffice to say: she is dead wrong.

    I do like your style of writing. I’m glad I found your blog. You are now bookmarked. :)

    • Shandra
      Shandra says:

      Well dc, what I meant is that using your blog to trash the MSM is not what most companies who want and need publicity would consider “good PR.” That’s what I mean by the real world. I don’t think it was necessary to do the interviews, but I also don’t think it was necessary to go off on a rant about them either.

      • Shandra
        Shandra says:

        And just to further clarify – if people are thinking that joining BC is going to give them professional credibility, I’m just not sure it is going to work out that way if this is the level of professionalism the company’s spokeswoman displays when it comes to media requests. And – that’s it, really.

  15. Amber
    Amber says:

    Looks like the Guardian piece got you a whole pile of new people, so yay for that. I spent a couple of hours truffle-pigging around here yesterday and have sent the url to pals. I clicked on the House Manager link before reading all of today’s post – I am a housewife – I think you’re fantastic! And I’m Australian – ignore the insane Christian Fuckers.

  16. Michael
    Michael says:

    I always thought death threats were a bit of a compliment for any blogger or writer. It says that people care enough to risk legal consequences because of something you wrote.

  17. Cyril
    Cyril says:

    I don’t even want to read your interview on the guardian because you don’t have to justify anything. It happened what it happened, I can understand your relief at that time, I can also understand that some people were offended by your tweet.
    But in the end, that’s your life, nobody’s else.
    I think your position More than feeling compelled to justify myself to your audience, I feel compelled to protect my schedule and my family from your intrusive calls and seemingly random deadlines.
    is the correct (and sane) one to have.
    So now people : move on !

  18. sophie
    sophie says:

    I’m so proud of you Penelope for standing your ground with the big media dogs. Way to go, for putting your children first!

  19. Tina
    Tina says:

    Soooo sorry to hear about all the stress, paltry treatment by the MSM, death threats, etc.

    I tweeted your post on Twitter. I have about 1700 followers.

    And yes, I tell my friends about you!

    You are a hero for some, and that includes me!

    Take care. Thinking of you fondly and wishing you the best as you go thru these trials.

    Sincerely,

    Tina

  20. Robin
    Robin says:

    Hi Penelope,

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and your honesty, passion and humor constantly inspire me. I also think one of the greatest things about your blog is that it helps remind people that they are not alone. Thank you for that and all the best to you.

  21. MDTaz
    MDTaz says:

    I started my career in the mainstream media (back then, that’s all there was) and for many reasons become disillusioned. I’m so glad to have found another way to work and not to have to play that came in order to survive professionally. You are lucky – but you’ve made that luck – to have our own options. Your stated “position” with the mainstream media is loud and clear and powerful. Maybe if everyone stopped kowtowing to their whims, they’d start reporting for real again.

  22. Harry
    Harry says:

    I read your article in The Guardian. At first, I expected to be annoyed but your comments about how we handle emotion were very well put and felt quite moved by the end. It’s no surprise that “religious” people are the ones attacking you. Organised religion hasn’t had anything relevant to say for a long time, so they need to find other ways to draw attention to themselves. Be strong.

  23. Sandra Jonas
    Sandra Jonas says:

    You go girl! Tell it like it is. We have been hiding these issues for generations. No more.

    Admire your courage and honesty.

  24. Kirk in Indy
    Kirk in Indy says:

    Excellent post. Demonstrates microcosm of the sad but true reality of Mainstream Media vs Social Media. In a Blog, MSG is rec’d directly from Blogger to Reader. No layers. Then you make a decision. Which is exactly why we like it & PRECISELY why Big Media doesn’t. Without these layers, they not only lose their job, they lose the ability to bias the story to their liking.
    1 word to describe big Media? ARROGANT. Guy from CBS? LAZY.
    People making threats? TERRORISTS.

  25. Barbara A. Zelnick
    Barbara A. Zelnick says:

    You are a brazenly brave woman! I am inspired by your work and read your blog regularly. Let your CEO know that the entire “you” is your brand and the whole idea of dicing you up into some kind of “package” so the brand in protected is very old media thinking. One of the reasons we blog is because of the freedom of expression and the ability to actually speak the whole truth, not just the tidy bits that make for cute sound bites or cardboard celebrities.

    Your tweeting and writing about all of what’s going on is great. Keep it up. This IS your brand and the CEO might want to reconsider whether he/she can handle new social media transparency and authenticity.

    I’m still in awe of one of your posts about your early family years and use it to be strong and honest in my writing.

  26. Beth V.
    Beth V. says:

    Women have what it takes in a tough world: they have thick skin.

    Everyone still dodge low balls in the public sphere, including women. They are ready to brush off personal attacks to focus on what matters to them in politics or in the workplace.

    Whether we are talking about Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin, we all agree that thick skin pays off in leadership positions. The most humiliating moments for either one of these two candidates may have been when their personal lives were questioned: for Palin, needing to “prove” to the world that her youngest son was really hers and not her daughter’s (a lioness in defense of not one but two of her cubs) or putting up with the media’s criticisim of a woman not being able to be a good mother and an effective leader at the same time.

    While hers has been a recent bout with the sometimes heartless media, Clinton’s putting up with her husband’s infidelity disclosed to the world while in power has been public for years. After something as embarrassing as her marriage made public, I don’t believe there is anything that nominee for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, can’t face. These women have what it takes in a tough world: they have thick skin.

    Pros of having thick skin in the workplace:

    1. Although most people like to be liked, others strive on getting things done regardless of whether they win the popularity contest or not.

    2. Disregarding both hurtful and senseless criticisms will allow you to focus on the bottom line, the common goal, without being distracted by personal attacks. This does not mean that leaders don’t listen to others’ advice; it just means they should be able to filter personal attacks and dismiss them.

    3. Inner strength shows itself not when the world is praising you but when others are critical. It is easy to feel powerful when everyone around you is smiling at you, but the criticisms truly show who your true friends and foes are.

    Some cons about having thick skin in the workplace:

    1. Many see this inner feeling of self-assurance as outward arrogance, creating distance between the leader and his or her employees.

    2. Because others may perceive this “arrogant” leader as cold, robotic, and manipulative, many will suggest that the leader does not care about or even understand them.

    3. This strength may be perceived as unemotional in others, particularly if the leader is a woman. The gender expectation is that a woman leader is generally more dramatic or more emotion-driven.

    Food for thought: Do you have thick skin or are you a drama queen? What are the advantages you’ve observed in leaders with thick skin versus the prima donnas? When is it a good idea to have thick skin and when is it a good idea to speak up about unfair comments? Do you notice gender differences in the way men and women control their emotions in the workplace?

    Beth V.

  27. Kerry Kimble
    Kerry Kimble says:

    This death threat stuff just blows my mind. I hope you’re spending a little time notifying the authorities about this and getting the information into whatever databases are out there. I suspect that people like this are targeting people other than you also, and disseminating information about them to the extent possible would be a service to others.

  28. mordicai
    mordicai says:

    Hi. I’ve been following the “controversy” about your miscarriage as it tempested around the teacup, & I wanted to tell you– you are great. People’s faux outrage at being forced to acknowledge their messed up standards– that there is an onus on you not to mess up their lives by telling the truth, that unethical attempts to make legal medical care impossible to get impacts actual lives, the whole kit & caboodle– is really messed up. You are doing an admirable job suffering the slings & arrows of outrageous fortune, & you’re story has helped me with a similar issue in my life. So thanks, & yeah– I’m on Team Trunk.

  29. Nancy Carroll
    Nancy Carroll says:

    I love your courage to say “enough already”. I admire your ability to stand ground and say “no” with clear boundaries around your priorities. The reason the media gets away with with their bullying tactics is everyone is so quick to have their ego’s massaged for exposure. As for your “brand” I am glad you CEO wants to protect you but from what…being misunderstood, being taken out of context? There is no protection for that anyway. Your actions speak louder than words and Penelope, your words are pretty loud.

    Like in Atlas Shrugged, the looters and the commentators only have as much validity as you are willing to contribute to them, a contribution you make by participating and responding.

    • Maureen Sharib
      Maureen Sharib says:

      “Like in Atlas Shrugged, the looters and the commentators only have as much validity as you are willing to contribute to them, a contribution you make by participating and responding.”

      That’s not the first time Ayn Rand comes to mind regarding Penelope.

  30. john
    john says:

    A DEATH THREAT?!? Ah, Pee, you do manage to keep ’em coming. I can never figure out what you’ll invent next.

  31. john
    john says:

    > But IMO it’s not a very classy way to build a brand.

    I wish more people stopped noticing how she’s building her “brand” and notice that she HAS no brand to build.

    “Branding is what you do when you don’t have a product.” –Roy Disney

  32. rennie
    rennie says:

    PT, I was one who initially objected to your miscarriage Twitter…not because I don’t think it should be talked about and not because of your stance on abortion. What bothered me was the perceived callousness of the post.

    Now I realize it’s because Twitter was the wrong venue for posting such news. Your Guardian piece is so well written and so explanatory of your thought process. Even though I personally am against abortion, because of your expressed thoughts and situations, I can better emulate where you were coming from. This is true especially when you worried about how a baby might affect the time and care you have for the two children you already have.

    We have such a wide range of online communications. Here’s an example, where sometimes some are better suited to specific situations than others.

    And, way to go, for standing firm to mainstream media. Those jerks.

  33. Angela
    Angela says:

    First of all, I am a career woman myself, and I understand how important it is to have courage and be strong and brazen in the workplace. Also, I am not religiously affiliated with any certain church, and I am pro-life. That being said, I think the way you were so happy at the death of your child is absolutely sickening. You say it’s wrong that people accuse you of belittling all the women who go through heart ache when miscarrying their child, but that’s exactly what you did. Abortion is not birth control! Wear a condom if you don’t want more children! I’m sure you could get the pill or the patch or whatever. Getting pregnant and then hoping that your baby dies is horrible. You are a heartless, pathetic excuse for a woman and I feel sorry for your kids. They are lucky to be alive, apparently. Good thing they weren’t conceived a few years later or they may not have made the cut. Miscarriage is a devastating thing to most women, at least the ones that have souls. Would you have told the world how happy you were in the middle of your abortion? Abortion is your choice. We don’t make the choice to have a miscarriage. Miscarriage is not something to be aired out publically, especially in a joyful manner. Take a good, hard look at your kids and think about how much they mean to you. That baby that died was just as special and beautiful as the children you have now. You are sickening. Wear a condom next time, and for goodness sake don’t put your miscarriages out there like they aren’t one of the most devastating things that can happen to a woman.

  34. rennie
    rennie says:

    My boyfriend’s extended family called to make sure he was dumping me (From PT. Guardian essay)

    Oh, how I can relate! I have always suspected my husband’s family thinks I’m a little odd. A lot of their feelings are simply characteristic of small town Wisconsin, where things are always done the same and diversity in people as a whole is very limited. Small, rural towns don’t know enough about the rest of the world to understand that “different from them” is not always wrong.

    I have to wonder if the farmer’s extended family fits into this characteristic. If so, then just smile and go on giving them something to talk about. It gets to be rather fun.

  35. Timothy
    Timothy says:

    Its what destroys WOMEN at work? Not MEN? Just Women……..If a male blogger had made that same mistake this comment is the only type of comments there would be.

    Just women… Thats insulting quite frankly….

    • Mitch
      Mitch says:

      @Timothy,

      She wasn’t saying that. She was saying it affects women particularly.

      One of the problems with mainstream media is that, in the rush for a sound bite, they tend to maul all intelligent distinctions inherent in a discussion, especially U.S. media.

      Your comment is welcomed at the same time as I will say that your feeling insulted originates with you. Nobody insulted men.

      I do think there are male issues that are never talked about, and that’s why so many men get resentful about “all the attention being given to women’s issues.” But that doesn’t mean you should take offense. Instead, take notice–and learn.

  36. Nichole Rhodes
    Nichole Rhodes says:

    Good for you. I worked in television news for the majority of my twenties and then for PostNewsweek after that… I now run my own company and couldn’t be happier to get away from the INSANITY and utterly low pay……..

    In defense of the mainstream media, I’m happy for the people and soon to be fans watching and listening to these networks/publications who wouldn’t have found your delightful blog otherwise….

    Use the mainstream media, as they use us……….. and ignore the rest.

    I do believe there’s more positive outcomes from your engagements with them……

    Carpe Diem.

  37. Ann
    Ann says:

    About mainstream media – I think you are right. On one hand, there is an opportunity to reach a mainstream audience, on the other hand, the hoop jumping…Maybe – at some point in your career – it is just not worth it.

    I blog, and my readership is nothing like yours, but I’ve been contacted by what I consider “big” media. Excited, I jumped through all of their hoops. Canceled an appointment at the last minute to arrange to speak at a different time. I even called the reporter (shouldn’t he have called me?) – and spoke to him for close to an hour. Imagine my surprise when he used all of the information I provided and DID NOT EVEN MENTION MY NAME! That’s when I learned that I was just a pawn.

    I have since been quoted in many “big” mainstream media stories. The only good thing about it is that I can say I was quoted. Because we still (as a culture) value that endorsement.

    Maybe, someday, I’ll be able to say “no” to the Today Show, too. But, first, I will wait until I have a chance to say yes!

  38. Kye
    Kye says:

    I subscribed to your blog several months ago. I subscribed to several others around the same time. A few months later I decided I needed to cut back on daily email and unsubscribed from all but yours and one other (Seth Godin’s, in case you are curious).

    If you stopped including your whole, real, life as part of your topic, I would unsubscribe within a few weeks. I’m not sure that the Brazen Careerist membership fits for me (I’ve been self-employed for decades) but I may well test that assumption and give it a whirl. But I certainly wouldn’t bother if you were just another ‘brand’.

    Also, I appreciate the stand you have taken in standing up for the right of women to talk about issues like miscarriage openly, but if you had written about miscarriage in the workplace without grounding your writing in your own experience, it would not have carried nearly as much weight with me.

    I’m interested in all of what you have to say, not a sanitized version. Hope your CEO gets the message that your blog is an irreplaceable asset just as it is.

  39. Sue
    Sue says:

    I found you through the Guardian also! And I too, want to say – thank you and more power to you (and us)!!!!!

  40. Annette
    Annette says:

    Wonderful Guardian article. Thank you for sharing it.

    My mother had four miscarriages. I wish she had discussed them with me. Until I read your blog, I had no idea that a miscarriage could be such a long, drawn-out affair. We’re definitely empowered when we discuss the details in our lives.

    Bravo, P.!

  41. wondering
    wondering says:

    I question whether you have the right person as your CEO. I also wondered when you previously mentioned you would need to separate your blog from Brazen Careerist.

    Isn’t Penelope Trunk Brazen Careerist? I think most readers view them one and the same. Be careful, CEO.

    • Jessica Hughey
      Jessica Hughey says:

      So true! Until this incident, I believed Brazen Careerist WAS Penelope Trunk and vice versa. Didn’t even know there was another CEO. No Penelope and I’m outta here! Be very, very careful, CEO.

  42. Ann
    Ann says:

    Who watches TV anymore?

    Yes, the influence of TV is dead. I imagine younger generations have evolved to see when another is true to one’s self. There’s demand for real, passionate people. And identifying these people isn’t transparent enough through the TV box.

    • rennie
      rennie says:

      Ann, you’re right. Who watches TV anymore?

      On this morning’s news (okay, I still watch TV – I’m one of the remaining relics that doesn’t have cable)…anyway, I saw that Oprah is considering leaving her syndicated talk show, moving to LA and starting her own network. Her reason, according to mainstream news sources: The conventional television audience is a dying thing, including those who watch Oprah.

      • Ann
        Ann says:

        Fascinating, rennie!

        I have a feeling that anyone that profited from mass audiences is now suffering from identity crisis.

        Well I’m 24 and Oprah is a world away in my view. I live where she has a vacation home (Santa Barbara) and her influence is all but a whisper in the wind here, a semi-home.

        Without roots, there is no echo. Without feet, there is no community.

  43. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Bravo. About time someone sets the stage for saying no to a stupidity we’ve all come to accept. Next step? Figuring out how to say no to the artificial hoop jumping in the corporate world as well.

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