What Was Penelope Trunk Thinking Twittering About Her Miscarriage?

Columnist, blogger, and CEO of the career site Brazencareerist.com Penelope Trunk sent a Tweet so unprecedented in its TMI-ness that it's now national news — but hopefully not part of the abortion debate. For the love of god, why?

When a friend told a group over drinks this past weekend that Penelope Trunk had "tweeted about having a miscarriage in a board meeting," everyone's first response was to ask if she meant it as a metaphor. I mean, we've all been in those kinds of meetings, right? But no, she sent this tweet last week:

"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."


It seemed like a joke, but apparently it wasn't, because when people started blogging and emailing about it, Trunk took to her blog to defend it...or try to. After claiming that "most miscarriages happen at work" (based on the number of miscarriages, the number of working women, and the length of the average miscarriage), she gets into, uh, this?:

"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?"

Trunk ultimately tries to put herself in some kind of martyr role, arguing that we should be talking about this because women will never be truly equal until we can talk about our miscarriages in the workplace. Except, no, because do you want to hear about your male co-worker's hemorrhoids in the workplace? Or the details of his wife's miscarriage? And, unfortunately for everyone, now that this has gone national, the context and way in which Trunk framed this confirms the worst and most fantastical ideas of the anti-choice movement: that women (especially career women!) who have abortions all do so casually and callously on their lunch breaks, the way one might get a manicure. If Trunk thinks she's done anything to help women in Wisconsin get better access to abortions (her defensive post asks readers to donate to Planned Parenthood), she obviously doesn't know anything about how the anti-choice movement works.

I'm trying to be sensitive here, because it seems like she's is going through a difficult time, but I don't think most people have a problem with Penelope Trunk's inner thoughts and complicated feelings about her miscarriage. We just can't fucking believe she fucking Twittered them.



I've had 5 miscarriages and I can tell you they're not just like having a period. I'm not offended that she's relieved to have had a miscarriage. I'm offended that she's minimizing the experience for the rest of us. I had to take time off work for my 1st three because I was so traumatized and didn't want to expel fetal tissue in the communal workplace toilet. I ended up choosing surgical procedures so I could get back to work more quickly. I was a career woman at the time but I think knowing about my attempts to have a baby made it much easier for my boss to lay me off when he had to pick someone from our mostly-male group to go. The only good thing I of having had the other 2 while I've been unemployed is that I didn't have to tell my personal business to my d-bag former boss. I hope men don't read about her tweet and think those of us who don't dismiss a miscarriage as akin to a period are drama queens.