Mother’s Day? It’s Complicated

Mother’s Day? It’s Complicated

Mother’s Day is far from black and white. For many it’s stress-inducing and, simply, complicated. I know. A decade or more ago around early May I would do my best to tune out. First I adopted a bunker mentality.  Then came humor. In 2009 I solicited greeting card ideas for women who don’t fit neatly into the Hallmark view. Later I asked for and received 46 ‘non-mom’ opinions about the day: Mother’s Day from Meh to Arrrgghhh. In more recent years I’ve contributed essays to capture the tortured moments many…

Human Nature Boils Down to This: We Want to Belong

Human Nature Boils Down to This: We Want to Belong

Human nature — and the human ability to surprise through actions, words and deeds — never cease to amaze. Sometimes the results delight; other times not so much. We see both results amplified in today’s political climate. The increasingly polarized nature of society is troubling. Makes one wonder about civilization and what led us to the current state of affairs. The fullness of this topic is far too complex to tease apart in one blog post. I’ll focus instead on a more basic aspect of human nature: our fundamental desire…

We’re Not Going to Sugar Coat Failed IVF: The Grief is Real

We’re Not Going to Sugar Coat Failed IVF: The Grief is Real

Updated 9/23/2016 with a link to The New York Times Letter to the Editor  ~~ Welcome to the blog book tour for Avalanche: A Love Story. The links (below) contain book reviews and opinions and insights on Avalanche by author Julia Leigh. Please share your thoughts on the ideas raised. Also, this blog’s readers were not the only ones who found Rachel Cusk’s NYT Book Review objectionable. My Letter to the Editor was one of several published in the Sunday, September 25, 2016 print edition. Let’s hope the letters and our…

How Honest Talk About Infertility Breaks Down Barriers

How Honest Talk About Infertility Breaks Down Barriers

You want to talk about a loaded topic? There are few disclosures as emotionally charged as admitting that you were unable to conceive children. If you think it’s awkward for a woman, try wading into that discussion as a man.  There are very few who possess the courage or emotional stamina to go there. As Eric writes: “Boxed in by the same profoundly evolutionary, not to mention social, archetypes, that can make a woman feel like a failure for being unable to get pregnant, what could make one less of…

Jennifer Aniston: Yes, Motherhood Obsession Needs to Stop

Jennifer Aniston: Yes, Motherhood Obsession Needs to Stop

Jennifer Aniston grabbed the spotlight this week in a fiercely worded Huffington Post piece. In 913 words she accomplished what many women (yours truly among them) have spent years trying to do: bring attention to a pervasive tendency by society to look down on women who are not mothers. She was helped along in her cause by a political misstep across the pond — more on that in a minute. First, Jennifer Aniston called out everyone who contributes to the devaluing and marginalizing of women who do not fit a…

Biological Clock and the Capitalizing of Fertility Fears

Biological Clock and the Capitalizing of Fertility Fears

Moira Weigel’s essay in The Guardian, The foul reign of the biological clock, casts new light on a little explored but powerful cultural phenomenon. It also revealed the fertility industry’s long history of capitalizing on fertility fears, with women paying the price. Let’s start with the facts. The term ‘biological clock,’ Weigel explains, was originally coined by scientists to describe circadian rhythms, the processes that tell our bodies when we should rise, eat, and sleep. In the late 1970s, however, the term quickly became a fixture in popular lexicon —…

Treasure Trove of Truth: Blogging Infertility

Treasure Trove of Truth: Blogging Infertility

Nine years ago tonight the blog Coming2Terms arrived on the scene. It started with a hesitant point and click … PUBLISH. The blogosphere in 2007 was still relatively new and more than a bit wild and disordered. It seemed the perfect place to explore taboo topics. Discussion about infertility and failed fertility treatment was, indeed, not discussed in polite society. It’s not altogether different today, but then most reproductive subjects are hard to broach.  Complicating matters further in the aughts: who can forget the cultural smothering emanating from the ‘mommy movement?’ …

Many Miles Later: Culture, Medicine and Us

Many Miles Later: Culture, Medicine and Us

In my ‘gentle yoga’ class the instructor began the weekly session as she always does. She asked us to close our eyes and turn inward to focus on our breathing. In a soft voice she encouraged us to explore any places in our body that felt stuck and to direct our breath to those areas. While I engaged in my physical inventory, breathing into those stuck places, my mind also gently skipped across a series of conversations, written exchanges and snippets of ideas that had been haphazardly parked.  This blog…

2015 Cultural Beacons: Amy Schumer, Frances Barden …

2015 Cultural Beacons: Amy Schumer, Frances Barden …

Inspired by the roundups that appear this time of year, it seemed only fitting that the Finally Heard / Silent Sorority blog and its readership weigh in. Let’s put our heads together and make a 2015 list of standouts. The contenders? New cultural beacons, particularly women, challenging conventional wisdom. Where to look? We’ll cast a wide net. They can be found either in real life society or portrayed in TV series, books or films.  I’ll get us started with my top five cultural picks. First up category… All Around Awesome…

Comprenez-Vous? Oui. We Understand Each Other

Comprenez-Vous? Oui. We Understand Each Other

On so many levels society today seems remarkably chaotic. Misunderstandings, loaded labels and dark suspicions are rampant. It seems we can all benefit from taking a step back and recalling some of what we share in common. Let’s look at the universality of confronting fertility challenges — both the personal as well as societal response. Some experiences transcend language and culture. This blog alone has had 54,604 unique visitors from 167 countries in the course of five years.  During that time one thing has remained clear: there is no easy…