For the most part, the world of infertility blogs has been a safe place. We are endlessly supportive of one another. We cheer together, we cry together, we vent together. We are all bound by a monumental and elusive common goal – to have a baby (or even a few). Without you ladies, I just don’t know how I’d survive this never-ending roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. I count on each and every one of you to say all the right things (and you always do). Of course I’m grateful for the family and friends who have been nothing but supportive and sympathetic, but they don’t know what it’s like. Thank God they don’t know. I appreciate all the people in my life – online and offline – for the unique, important ways that they have helped me survive this shit. I’m so lucky.
That said – I got my very first hate comment! Woo hoo! I guess I was a little thrown by the whole thing. I’ve had this blog since 2011 and have been writing in earnest about infertility since last fall. In that time I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing negativity. Everyone has been all, “You go, girl!” for so long that I forgot differences of opinion even existed. MY BAD. A few words about The Hater:
1) I totally respect that she didn’t hide behind the typical “anonymous” cloak of secrecy. That’s pretty ballsy to put your real email out there on a stranger’s blog. Good for her.
2) Her email address is from HARVARD. Because… obviously.
3) Her comment, while out of left field and slightly difficult to understand, did give me pause. Maybe I need to be a little more sensitive.
The comment was in resonse to this post. As posts go, it was far from the most insightful or personal. It was just meant to give a little chuckle to all my knowing infertile ladies out there who have ever combated ignorance on any level. The basic gist of it is that I went to the nail salon, got asked about when I would have kids and ended up telling the nail tech I was infertile and even that I had just gone through a miscarriage. My hope was that telling him would perhaps curb this line of questioning for future clients. I also wrote out verbatim what he had said, so I was in essence “mocking” his broken English (but really not, I was just telling it as I heard it).
Here is her comment:
Sorry to bust the bubble here, but there was also a bit a cultural divide in this scenario. I’m an American (second generation Taiwanese-American) but now live as an expat elsewhere (Europe). From this vantage point, I can say that the entire school we’ve fashioned for ourselves about what constitutes personal and private information, what constitutes infertility sensitivity, and what constitutes a “tale of tragedy”…it’s completely and totally American. We love to name our issues, attach rules to what is or is not acceptable to say, do, and discuss, and cheer each other on for “schooling” manicurists on those rules… [N.B. I’m swallowing the Asian-American “rules” and not schooling you on your take on broken English by a foreigner.]
I’m not one who sets out to hurt feelings maliciously. Admittedly, I’m not always the most politically correct person nor am I especially careful about what I say on my personal blog. This is my home. This is where I come to express my opinions freely, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it. Of course the thing that bugged me the most about her hate comment wasn’t the fact that she disagreed or wanted to “school” me, but that she had the audacity to question my classification of miscarriage as a tragedy by using quotation marks. Really, bitch? I hate to say this and be “that girl,” but unless you have gone through it yourself, SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTH. It WAS tragic. Yes, I’m prone to hyperbole and dramatics. Yes, I often exaggerate. That’s in my nature. But when that happened, it was the first time in my life when an over-the-top reaction was actually appropriate. If anything, I under reacted to the whole event. So until you’ve walked a mile in my Target flip flops… just stop.
Next – I was not mocking the nail tech dude. It was endearing (though it’s probably so racist of me to be feeling this way over him) that he tried to offer me a solution to infertility, and even had a basic working knowledge of how IVF worked. It was surprising and adorable (shit, there’s that telltale condescension again). BUT, and here’s the BUT – if he was a caucasion woman, if he was an African American transvestite cross dresser, if he was a lesbian little person, if he was WHATEVER… it’s not OK to start questioning people on when they plan to have kids. Using her line of logic, isn’t that breaking a code? Sure, ask your sister or even your close neighbor. Ask your cousin. But I am a total stranger, and my uterus and it’s goings-on are none of your concern. Let’s talk about the weather. Let’s talk about the merits of French tips and the wondrous advances of shellac manicures.
I’m not really that mad about it. More than anything, I’m confused. First, what the hell was she searching that she stumbled upon my blog? Hopefully not infertility sensitivity, because if so, she’s not doing a great job grasping the fine art of that. And then, happening upon my silly little blog (silly to her, of course, it’s become more than very important to me)… what prompted her to think I would respond to her criticism?
At the very least, I will think twice before writing out my probably degrading imitations of the ways all the Asians in my life speak. I’ll think twice, then probably do it anyway. Cause haters is gonna hate.