A Satirical Fairy Tail
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a friendly (although at times not so much) neighborhood infertile, to whom we’ll inconspicuously refer as Sarah Chamberlin, was perusing the IF blogosphere. This led her to an article in a major publication on the lifetime scars of infertility. Excited to see her tribe front and center in mainstream social media, she clicked and read. Chamberlin was at first satisfied by a worthwhile article, however her spirits rapidly dampened as she stared at the
vast cesspool of humanity comment section ahead of her.
The questioning of infertility being a disease was Sarah’s first abysmal sighting.
Yes, those who are normally busy discussing whether or not major weather occurrences result from acts of angry Gods while being heavily entrenched in questioning whether planet earth is REALLY circumferential took a break from their usual intellect to grace the masses by publicly rejecting the notion of infertility as a disease.
Having no patience for a viewpoint fit all too well for a discussion in circa 1702, Chamberlin shuffled on.
With the only other option being to feel and openly embrace the emotional hardships of a stranger, the folks over at genius central began debating the meaning of the word survivor instead. Also included in their bastian of productivity was an argument over whether someone who had gone through something they knew nothing about was worthy of the title.
Sources report they followed their intense debate on the word survivor with a sharp divide over the difference between sweetened vs unsweetened iced tea, and finished off with convincing arguments on which direction toilet paper rolls should be hung.
One thing they would not debate, however, was their usefulness to society, as they were quite certain they had that one entirely sewn up.
Although her heart was dropping a bit, Chamberlin knew she had to prepare for the inevitable shit storm all infertiles worth their salt know is coming – yes – the “why don’t you just adopt?” brigade was methodically assembling their uninformed ranks by the second.
“Don’t you care about all of the children needing homes in the world” led the way, and was flanked by “how dare you want a healthy child that shares your genetics” as blame directed squarely at infertiles for all of the unwanted children FERTILE people create stridently brought up the rear.
Sarah smirked as the opposition pounded back effectively with heavy artillery. Basking in her momentary wave of bitter infertile satisfaction, she read on.
Notably absent from the mix were parents who had received the grand gift and privilege of easy child acquisition going to bat for those struggle.
While it is considered socially acceptable in other arenas of life to be mindful of those who have less, such as in the realms of food, health and loved ones, sources observe this ethic quizzically does not apply to the forum of human reproduction.
When one gets the short end of the stick in this department, “fuck you, you’re on your own” remains the acceptable standard of human compassion, researchers have noted.
However. Amid this field of desolation, there were precious flickers of resonance. Like liquid gold the “I’m an infertility survivor too” comments and the “I feel you” assurances and the “I’ve been there and I know the truth” proclamations slithered through the fecal matter of judgement and indifference with a subtle yet unrelenting defiance.
The bloggers and other members of the IF community, with their different stories and varying view – points in tow came together to raise their voices, and they all lived truthfully ever
after upward. In spite of it all.
And the moral of the story is:
Don’t take haters too seriously, they are not typically the smartest ones in the pack (getting upset totally allowed and normal though!!).
Our blogger voices sound good together – we all should join them in chorus more often.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
And hopefully compassion……and people knowing infertility is a disease…….actually, what I really hope is that it bends towards people who know nothing about adoption zipping it. Ahh, deep thoughts.
Thanks for taking one for the team, Justine!
And thanks to all those who came before us too!
19 thoughts on “Happy Fun Time in IF Blog Comment Land”
Meanwhile in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a infertility survivor blogger and proud owner of two asshat ovaries who goes by the pseudonym of BentNotBroken read the article and comments to which Ms. Chamberlin is referring. BnB, suffering from a nasty summer cold and the side effects of antibiotics and Albuterol breathing treatments, became enraged to the point that she had difficulty breathing, likely because she was shouting profanities (many rhyming with “truck”) at her computer screen. Since past experience has taught her to refrain from commenting on things when she is pissed off, she decided to wait a few hours until she had taken a nap and calmed down a bit. Several hours later she managed to craft a relatively coherent rebuttal to the idiots that she was satisfied with. None of the trolls felt it necessary to engage in civil (or uncivil) conversation with her, which was unfortunate and disappointing since was looking for a fight.
Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE this! And you! J
This is awesome. Satire is the gift that just keeps on giving. “Relatively coherent rebuttal” – hilarious.
I left 2 separate comments in response to Justine’s article at which point I informed myself I had morphed into a giant fireball and should stop communicating with the human race should I want to continue to consider myself a responsible human being.
Incredible! Thank you!!!! Justine
I think we should try and support each other as much as possible in mainstream media, with pieces we feel we can get behind anyway. Especially to back the correction of all the myths and misconceptions that are out there. If this isn’t already community “policy”, I wonder if it should be? Though I’m trying to be more on top of it, I don’t regularly read the NY Times or Huff Post, so I always appreciate being alerted as to when one of us has a piece that’s being run.
Thank you for this! I think its so important to publicly rally together on social media and to create a united front against a seriously misinformed and uneducated public. I only hope that the commenters learned a little, or preferably a lot, about infertility and how devastating it truly is. Cheers to Justine for reacting so gracefully!
I hope they learned something too, Jessica. It seems people constantly underestimate how strong and well schooled we are.
I know this whole experience has inspired me to focus more on the fact that when someone shows me disregard, it is still all of the enraging things it is but at the same time it’s also an opportunity to inform and educate. That’s my personal take away.
LOVE THIS. I am so proud of Justine for continuing to speak out on the Huff Post and for dealing with the haters in a classy way. I completely agree with your comment above about trying to support each other on the mainstream pieces. Haters on small blogs are annoying and despicable, but they don’t have the audience that they do on the larger sites. I find it very difficult to stand by and watch them post myths, false info, and hatred for so many people to see.
The classy way she dealt with the haters was the initial inspiration for my piece, actually. I found myself thinking that, one year and 5 months out of losing our children I’m not yet healed enough to be able to field such comments with the diplomacy Justine showed. At which point I also realized that I could, however, poke fun at the comments and offer some comic relief…..THAT I can do.
As far as handling negative comments in large audience situations, I’m glad we now have a precedent of sorts. The next time this happens our community will come on even stronger. Thanks for reading and commenting, Lisa!
Wonderful blog Sarah,
You hit the nail completely on the head when you say that ‘While it is considered socially acceptable in other arenas of life to be mindful of those who have less….. this does not apply to the forum of human reproduction.’ and … ‘“fuck you, you’re on your own” remains the acceptable standard of human compassion’.
Very sad and true.
Which is why we have to keep going, to keep blogging, sharing our stories and educating others.
One positive thing to come out of this is the that those in the infertility community have all got behind Justine & supported her. And by continuing to support each other we’ll achieve so much more.
Thanks, Lesley. I definitely felt, and enjoyed, albeit under rather precarious circumstances, the synergy of our community on this one.
And yes, it fascinates me how, even though most of us are taught from the time we are young children to care for those who have less and/or are struggling, this type of morality does not seem to apply to those of us who are fighting or who have fought to have children. “We are how we treat the least amongst us” is an ethic my own mother pounded into me – in terms of infertility, the word least does not imply less worthy or important, but rather being saddled with struggles and losses that are well out of the spectrum of normal – yet when it came time for me to be on the receiving end of that ethic in my infertility struggles I was taken aback at its absence.
BRILLIANT. Well played, Sarah!
My mind just can’t help but get trippy sometimes:-) Couldn’t resist writing this one.
I particularly loved two of your points. This one – “One thing they would not debate, however, was their usefulness to society, as they were quite certain they had that one entirely sewn up.” I just had to laugh. It’s so true!
And then this – “Notably absent from the mix were parents who had received the grand gift and privilege of easy child acquisition going to bat for those struggle.” Yes. True again. Though this one is harder to laugh at.
Thank you. And I believe I got the “just adopt brigade” from YOU so……chalk it up to yet another group effort of the week!
Brilliant & scathingly funny (as usual!), Sarah! 🙂
Having read many such nasty comments over the years, they no longer surprise me 😦 but I agree that Justine handled them all on with grace & class.
Thanks:-) Agreed regarding the hateful comments. I make an effort to remind myself they happen to people dealing with other traumas who put themselves out there too.
You might find this article interesting:
It was VERY interesting, thanks for pointing me towards yet another pertinent piece. It never ceases to amaze me how uninformed folk, even when attempting to be empathetic towards infertility, rationalize with platitudes such as “well at least you don’t have this” or “at least you’re not dealing with that”. I think the perspectives of infertiles who have endured other life crisis are so valuable and impactful.