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“Nothing is TMI, Unless It’s Boring”

September 15, 2011

Cleis Press (one of my favs) shared a link on Facebook the other day. It was to a post on the blog Feministe.

Here’s an excerpt so you get the gist of it:

Why is it TMI and uncouth for a woman to say she got HPV from her husband? Would it be equally TMI for her to admit that she got, say, chicken pox from him? I ask because Ayelet Waldman posted a few tweets today about HPV, in the aftermath of Michele Bachmann whining that HPV vaccinations intrude on parents’ rights (sure, enjoy your polio and measles also). Waldman said she got HPV in a monogamous marriage, and ended up with cancerous cervical lesions. The New York Observer called it “a new height in oversharing.” New York Mag’s Daily Intel also covered it. And people on Twitter were like, OMG TMI BE A LADY YOU’RE BEING PUNISHED FOR BEING SUCH A SLUT SO BE QUIET ABOUT IT.

Read the rest of the post here.

It reminds me of that woman (I forget her name or her occupation) who tweeted about having a miscarriage and the whole world pretty much crashed down on her head, because she had the nerve to speak publicly about such a private matter.

I think we make certain situations (i.e. rape, stds, miscarriages) worse by making them taboo subjects of conversation. We’re just adding shame and a whole other bunch of messed up shit on top of shitty situations. If you don’t want to talk about it fine, that’s you’re business, but to tear someone apart for having the nerve to talk about something so “private” really doesn’t help anyone, especially the ones going through it in the first place.

Those of you who know me know I don’t think there are any taboo subjects. There’s no limit in my house. However, it’s unrealistic of me to hope or think the rest of the world is the same. I just wish people would examine the reasons why they won’t talk about certain things or why they get offended when other people do.

There are some very private people out there, and that’s fine. We need different types of people to make this world such a great and interesting place to live in, but when that need for privacy or censorship comes from a place of shame, condescension, or some fucked up imagined higher moral ground, I’m just not okay with that.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Cate permalink
    September 15, 2011 8:25 pm

    I completely agree with you. However, I have found that speaking about such taboo topics with certain people is just not worth my energy for they are dead set against anything but their own opinions. In those cases, I’m not interested in raising my blood pressure—ergo your last sentence. But on the whole, I am a most open person who tends to share probably way too much!

    I’m quite smitten with you, maybe it’s because you offer such stimulating challenges!

  2. September 15, 2011 8:35 pm

    Yeah, I used to enter into those kinds of debates a lot more when I was younger. I would get so rilled up, I wasn’t helping anyone..just making myself angry. I mean, you’re not suddenly gonna change a racist’s mind just by debating the issue with him until you’re blue in the face. I guess, my point is that you have to speak up where and when it counts, and try to not let the whole world drive you crazy in the process.

    And like I said in the post, just because I’m an open book when it comes to the most private matters, it doesn’t mean I think everyone else should be like me. Just don’t give me a hard time for being open about something, when that’s my process. I don’t go around bullying people into talking about their period. But if you want to, I’m all ears and I’ll never judge you or make you feel ashamed, ya know.

    Anyhow, rant over.

    Thanks for commenting Cate, I’m glad you’re smitten with me. Hehe.

  3. September 15, 2011 11:03 pm

    I agree Olga…and I think the minute you go onto a social networking site you are automatically approving information and openness to other people’s lives and lifestyles. The idea of berating, scolding, or shaming someone for expressing themselves (ESPECIALLY in such personal matters) is just a reflection of someone’s lack of perspective and sensitivity. I hope those who have had to deal with such comments know this.

  4. September 15, 2011 11:05 pm

    Me too, Jess.

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