DETROIT —An Ann Arbor woman’s Facebook post lamenting rude questions about 20- and 30-somethings’ plans to have children went viral over the weekend, drawing international media attention.
Emily Bingham posted her comment Sept. 21 accompanied by what she said was a random ultrasound image of a baby to underscore what she called “just a friendly P.S.A. that people’s reproductive and procreative plans and decisions are none of your business. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.”
The sentiment struck a chord, and as of late Sunday evening, the post had been shared more than 36,000 times by other Facebook users.
The post caught the attention of two British news sources that published stories this weekend about the post: metro.co.uk and dailymail.co.uk. ABC’s Good Morning America was sending a camera crew to her home Sunday night for an interview for an upcoming show, she said.
Bingham said in an interview Sunday afternoon that she had no idea the post would catch on so strongly, but it’s pretty clear it hit a nerve. The post, she said, came about after a last-straw conversation recently.
“I had had dinner with some of my boyfriend’s family, and someone had made a joke about grandkids, pointed at me, and it wasn’t the first time I’d had somebody make a comment like that,” Bingham said. “I’m 33. I’ve never been married. I’ve had people say things like, ‘You’re getting older, do you want to have kids? Your clock is ticking.’
“I think I finally felt mad enough about it to say something,” added Bingham, a Michigan State University graduate and a freelance journalist for regional magazines who also does social media consulting and copy writing for corporate clients.
Bingham said it’s not just about the insensitivity of asking those kinds of questions of those like her, single or unmarried people in their 20s or 30s. It’s also about the grief it can cause newly married young couples grappling with whether and when to have children, and those who deal with infertility or other health issues that preclude having children, not to mention singles and couples who have decided parenthood isn’t for them.
All of those matters and decisions, Bingham said, are “incredibly private.”
“It’s a sensitive topic,” she said. “People aren’t intending to be hurtful, but the questions can be insensitive and cause people grief.”
Bingham’s full post is available at www.facebook.com/ebingham.
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