That Sound Was My Head Exploding Again (or Why Sites Need to Take Responsibility For What They Post)
We still don’t have power in 2/3rds of homes in our area, though plenty of businesses have gotten power again and streets have been cleared. So since I have time on my hands and the ability to recharge this battery, you get my thoughts on the Carla Bruni post on The Stir. And yes, I am falling right into their link-bait trap, but I’m cranky from a perfect storm of shittiness beyond the power outage, and I think this post is the best example I’ve seen lately of the ABSOLUTE LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY of online sites. Because yes, if you’re positioning yourself to be a major site of news for women, you should probably take a little responsibility of what you put on the Web. But that is a sentiment that extends to every single site on the Internet — from the personal blogger to online magazine sites such as The Stir or Jezebel or Huffington Post.
Especially starting a post like this:
I’m going to get a lot of flack for saying this, but that’s okay. I think there is a big infertility myth that goes on with women over 35.
The bold is their emphasis, not mine. Anyone who begins by saying they are going to get flack pretty much puts up a flashing neon sign that says, “I am so desperate for page views that I’m going to put up something really crazy/offensive/off-putting in order to get people to click over and read it. Look at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.” And yes, as I said, I did fall into their link-bait trap by posting this, but unfortunately, there was no other way to point out this stupidity without giving you the opportunity to see it in all its glory.
She then goes on to hem and haw about how there’s a chance it may be harder to get pregnant and there may be more risks, and yet still states, “I believe it’s easier for women over 35 — or even 40 — to get pregnant than they think it is.” So science has it wrong, but Kiri Blakeley who writes about celebrities for publications such as Forbes and The Stir knows better than doctors.
And her evidence? She like totally doesn’t think that Carla Bruni did fertility treatments (Valley-girl emphasis mine because… come on):
Did Carla use fertility drugs or IVF to get pregnant at 44? It’s certainly possible — but I don’t think so. Here is why. Carla gave birth to her last child, daughter Giulia, only nine months ago! Plus, it’s reported that she suffers from postpartum depression. And since her husband lost the election, she wants to return to her former career as a pop singer.
Additionally, Carla doesn’t sound like she enjoyed pregnancy too much.
Super sleuth Kiri Blakeley* — think of her like the female Shaggy — sniffed out the situation and realized (without needing to resort to using Scooby snacks) that it was not likely that she used any assistance at 44 because apparently you can only conceive naturally if you just gave birth recently. Additionally, postpartum depression precludes the ability to utilize treatments. Did you know that? PPD means you can’t do treatments; you need to conceive naturally. And then there’s the fact that Bruni wants to be a pop singer. Pop singers absolutely never take hormones.
But not only that — she deduces that just because Carla Bruni conceived naturally, it means most women who are 44 can conceive on their own too.
And she knows the culprit, who would have gotten away with it if not for those pesky kids: fertility drug companies.
So why would there be an “infertility myth”? Sure, much of it is NOT a myth. Your chances of getting pregnant do decrease with age. But they don’t necessarily decrease to zero — or even decrease to the point where drugs are needed. Let’s think about how many millions of dollars the fertility industry makes — and whether or not it might be to its advantage to perpetuate difficulties beyond what might actually exist.
Or clinics. Or your friendly neighbourhood RE. Wait! It’s the whole ding dong industry!
I understand that The Stir wants page views. Most sites want page views, so I don’t fault them for wanting them. I fault them for how they’re trying to get them. Because yes, it matters what you put out there. It matters what I put on my personal blog, and it sure as hell matters what you put on an online magazine site such as The Stir. It matters the exact same amount in both places; people need to take responsibility for what they put out into the universe.
* Her bio reads: “I like to tell it like it is, almost as much as I like cats. I know a lot about celebrities and nothing about my neighbors.” Really, is this a person you want doling out medical advice or talking about fertility drug conspiracy theories? Seriously, The Stir?
Apologies to Kiri Blakely: I’m sure you’re a lovely person, and I’m sure you write celebrity pieces well. But your editor should have never run this post. And if you want to read up on the subject of age-related fertility, I’d suggest you start at ACOG — the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. No one has ever said zero, but they have recorded deeply reduced fertility after 35.