A Dignified Response
Here’s my letter to the editor, which was published in this week’s paper:
Grossness and All
Fellow local author, Tracie Hotchner, wrote up an extremely nasty review of my book, Frankly Pregnant in last week’s Arts section. She starts out by saying, “a book so obnoxious in tone and demeaning to women that if 12-year-old boys could get pregnant, this would be their book of choice. Given that ‘grossing each other out’ is an essential pastime for prepubescent fellows, this book would be as satisfying to them as it is grotesque to a mature female.” I wonder how Ms. Hotchner could conclude that 12-year-old boys would enjoy my book? Is she a psychologist? Did she thoroughly study the mind of prepubescent boys? Does she have boys of her own, from which she draws such conclusions? No, she does not have boys of her own. In fact, Ms. Hotchner has never been pregnant.
Regardless, I don’t think Ms. Hotchner gets the point of my book. In Frankly Pregnant, I acknowledge many pregnancy books, including What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Ms. Hotchner’s Pregnancy & Childbirth in order to clarify the difference between my book and the others. I feel these books are extremely useful to pregnant women as they cover many aspects of health and medicine. I wanted to write a different kind of pregnancy book, one that tells more about the experience, as if talking to a pregnant girlfriend. My aim was to share the journey of pregnancy, yes- grossness and all, with other pregnant women to give them some assurance in knowing they’re not alone with all the strange, wonderful and sometimes extremely embarrassing changes you and your body can go through. During my first pregnancy I remember thinking, “wouldn’t it be fun to have a girlfriend who was pregnant and due about the same time, so we could share the experience and compare notes?” I wrote Frankly Pregnant so that other pregnant women could have what I didn’t– a week-by-week chronicle of the hormonal highs and lows and everything in between. I hoped that by sharing my story I might give a more personal insight into the real experience of pregnancy and giving birth.
My book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as I warned in the introduction, “not for the dainty-mannered gal,” but for those pregnant women who are looking for something more candid than clinical Frankly Pregnant may be a welcome addition to their library of pregnancy books.