Overheard around the blogosphere

Over the last few days, in another online community I’m a part of, there’s been a lot of conversation over this statement:

I don’t have to have gone through something to make a decision on how to approach it.

I’m bringing it up because it was made specifically in terms of infertility and pursuing fertility treatments, and it was made by a woman who is 4 or 5 months pregnant. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I don’t like to pass judgement on other people’s choices. I think individuals know what’s best for themselves and their own situations. But there’s a part of me that is deeply offended that someone who has never walked the road of infertility feels the need to say, ‘I would not pursue fertility treatments if I found out I was infertile’, as if she understands even an iota of what it means to make these decisions. As if the decision is an easy one. As if the decision doesn’t come wrapped with disappointment and heartbreak and so, so much anger. I actually tried to engage her in a conversation, but was shot down. I wonder, sometimes, why it’s so hard for people on the other side to consider how hard this path is for those of us on it. I constantly wonder if I’m being over sensitive. But then, as in this case, I remember that this is the same woman who said, a couple of months ago on twitter, that she wouldn’t be sad if she had a miscarriage cause she didn’t think it was a big deal. So.

  1. She sounds immature. It seems as though she’s not as worldly as she thinks she is.

    • hazel said:

      Yeah, this is what I think too.

  2. Well I think that’s bullshit. Personally I do think some of us have more empathy and an ability to sympathize with someone over an issue we haven’t experienced, but I ALWAYS preface my words with “I’ve not been in your situation, so there is really no way for me to truly understand how you feel”.

    • hazel said:

      “Well I think that’s bullshit.” Ha! That about sums it up, right?

  3. Kristin said:

    She’s wrong. I don’t think anyone can ever predict what they would do in situation X, Y, or Z. Would you fight for your life if diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer or opt for palliative care? Would you sacrifice yourself if caught in a mass shooting or cower behind the person next to you? Would you grieve if you had a miscarriage or blithely move forward with life? To make proclamations as such is patronizing, presumptuous, and, above all, egotistical. I actually know a woman that made such declarations. Mind you she has two children that she conceived and carried easily. She is also self-absorbed and lacks perspective. We aren’t friends anymore.

    • hazel said:

      I think this really hits what I was feeling. How great to make such statements from a place of privilege, you know? I’ve stopped reading her blog and unfollowed her on twitter.

  4. It was such a yucky thing the way that whole conversation unfolded, I couldn’t tell if I was more upset about the initial sentiment or about how all the comments (obviously my own but others too) were dealt with. I’ve unfollowed too but it’s definitely stuck badly with me on an otherwise emotional day.

    • hazel said:

      I thought your responses were thoughtful and respectful. Her response to you was so defensive. The thing is, this isn’t the first time she’s said something like this. She has a history of pushing back against the infertility community. Not sure why this is.

  5. EmHart said:

    Empathy seems to be something many people struggle with, some people more than others, so many people who I talk infertility to just don not get it at all. This particular person does not seem worth the effort, I suspect there is little you could say that would get through to her.

  6. Late reply is late but: you are not alone in feeling incredibly *angry* over the sentiments expressed over there. I feel like she was trying to hit every part of her readership, and the simple fact is, sometimes you can’t please everyone, and it’s often too fraught to try. By trying to “connect” with her infertile readers, she was overstepping. I ranted to my husband for hours about it and kept drafting blog posts about that same quote. That and the idea that she was both fertile and infertile before she started trying. No. You weren’t. You were never, ever infertile. Don’t even.

    • hazel said:

      That whole post (and subsequent commenting and twitter rampage) made me SO ANGRY, especially because just a few weeks prior she had been complaining about how “the infertiles” were bringing her down and not allowing her to be happy about her pregnancy. Argh. Just thinking about her makes me see red.

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