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 —…

Our Modern Day Betty Friedan Moment

Our Modern Day Betty Friedan Moment

  Is this all? Those three little words — Betty Friedan’s simple question — went on to define an era. Her book, The Feminine Mystique, arrived on February 19, 1963.  Per The New York Times Back Story: When she wrote the book, Ms. Friedan was a suburban housewife and mother who penned freelance articles for women’s magazines. She had become disillusioned by the conventional wisdom that all women needed to be happy was a husband, a home and a family. 53 years later many of us are experiencing a life that is the polar opposite of Betty Friedan and…

Male Call: The Head Cannot Heal the Heart

Male Call: The Head Cannot Heal the Heart

Editor’s Note: When it comes to matters of the heart, there’s nothing quite so comforting and validating as discovering you’re not alone in teasing out complicated emotions. Whether in the blogosphere or in society as a whole male voices are in the minority on the topic of disenfranchised grief. It’s rare to hear men give voice to their feelings on involuntary childlessness or the finality of infertility. That’s just one of the reasons why this guest post from Brian Hawker — a self-described teacher, sometimes writer and bad trumpet player…

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…

Ending Fertility Treatment Equated with Madness?

Ending Fertility Treatment Equated with Madness?

Halloween may be over, but the chance to really scare the living daylights out of someone remains real 365 days a year. How you ask? Declare that you’re stepping away from the path to motherhood — and to really induce shrieks wave around a copy of Silent Sorority. That will seal the deal. Horrors! Of course, the scariness quotient depends on your vantage point. This morning over coffee I read a comment in response to last week’s open salon between a mom-to-be using donor eggs (Keiko) and moi, a woman…

Invisibility — Seen it Lately?

Invisibility — Seen it Lately?

“The minute you retire, it’s as if you’re invisible.” I had to do a double-take when I read that sentence in an article about how difficult it is to get Stanford profs to make space for younger faculty. What my brain read was “the minute you’re infertile, it’s as if you’re invisible.” Funny thing my brain, it loves a good Freudian slip. I felt a poignant kinship with the English Literature professor behind the quote. He was acknowledging what few of us in society truly want to admit — we…