An Open Letter to Dr. Wendy Walsh

Most of you have probably by now read this delightful little missive from self-important windbag Dr. Wendy Walsh. But if not, brace yourself for a giant pile of thoughtless, idiotic and judgmental garbage and click on over to read what she’s got to say. Here follow some thoughts upon reading her, ahem, oh-so-brilliant-and-insightful thoughts on something that she never has and never will experience.

Dear Dr. Williams,

Fuck you. Fuck you sideways with a rusty chainsaw. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. Oh, and just for good measure: Fuck you.

If there’s one thing in this world I simply cannot abide, it’s a know-it-all busybody with a condescending attitide, someone who merrily tells people exactly how they should live their lives and then tacks on, “but that’s just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt.” In short, somebody exactly like you.

Tacking a meaningless, hollow platitude about how your “heart goes out to parents whose homes are barren through no fault of their own” doesn’t make your entire lunatic screed about how people should adopt rather than have a go at IVF any less insulting, any less foolish, any less condescending, any less asinine.

As you yourself note, Dr. Williams, you have not experienced the pain of infertility. So how can you so smugly explain to infertile couples what they ought to be doing? What in the name of Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ do you think gives you even the slightest qualification to tell us what is right in this situation?

Here’s an analogy for you: I’m a young, straight, white male of Protestantish background. I therefore don’t get to tell black people how they ought to feel when the KKK burns a cross on their lawn. I don’t get to tell Jews how they ought to react when they hear someone making tasteless Holocaust jokes. I don’t get to tell gay people what they ought to do when Fred Phelps and his cult of morons show up on the nightly news explaining that soldiers die because God Hates Fags. You get it? I do not directly experience racism, anti-Semitism or homophobia, so I wouldn’t presume to tell those who do how they ought to respond to such things. You, likewise, have no personal experience whatsoever with infertility, so you should, perhaps, not presume to tell those who do what they ought to be doing.

Look, adoption is a wonderful thing. Adoptive parents are, generally speaking, wonderful people who are doing a great thing that should be lauded. I want to raise children with my wife in part because I think we’re going to be pretty damn good parents, and adoption may in fact be something we pursue at some point, regardless of what else happens.

But I also want to have a child with my wife because I want the experience of HAVING a child. I want the experience of sharing pregnancy and childbirth with my wife, and I want the experience of creating and raising a person who is half me and half her mixed together to create something – someone – entirely new. So tell me, Dr. Wendy Walsh, just who the fuck are you to tell me that it’s not okay for me to want these things? Who the fuck are you to tell me that, because of a quirk of my biology, I shouldn’t have the things I want when modern medicine makes it possible? Just who the fuck do you think you are to tell me that I should suppress the single most basic instinct not just of human beings but of all life – to reproduce, to pass on my DNA to another generation – just because what comes so easily and thoughtlessly to people like you is difficult for me?

The smug superiority radiating from your every word astounds me, Dr. Walsh. The utterly baffling idea that those of us cursed with infertility should subsume our own desire to reproduce into some sort of ill-defined Greater Good is so smarmily insulting. You claim some sort of concern for the population of the planet, but then go on to mention that you, yourself, have contributed to the population by having “biological” children of your own. Which is it? Infertile people should be concerned with environmental issues and not contribute further to the population of the planet, but fertile people are under no similar constraint? That’s not just condescending and thoughtless; it’s actively vile. If you’re concerned about such issues, YOU, Dr. Walsh, need to do something about it, not just say, “You infertiles are required to carry this burden for us.”

Your entire column is so thoughtless, so tone-deaf, so judgmental and shows such an astounding lack of empathy that I must say I’m glad I’m not your patient. And truly, I am surprised: I didn’t know that Ringling Brothers Clown College was giving out Ph.D.s in psychology these days.

In conclusion, Dr. Walsh: fuck you. Fuck you running with a splintery broom handle. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. In the future, please stick to your areas of actual expertise and experience, whatever those may be…because they are clearly unrelated entirely to the issues that infertile couples face. Fuck you.


N. Swimmin, Not a Doctor But Plays One on TV


2 responses to “An Open Letter to Dr. Wendy Walsh

  1. That article was was ridiculous – but I suppose we should have considered the source and the “news” affiliate who published it.
    Here was my comment:

    “Dr. Walsh,
    You are so obscenely uninformed on this topic that you really have no business whatsoever giving your opinion on it. It is more evident than ever to me that all the degree’s and PhD programs in the world cannot teach a person compassion or common sense.

    Adoption is in no way a path of least resistance, nor is it the answer to over population – How about mandating birth control programs, or eliminating crimes of rape that result in pregnancies in third world countries??? But I doubt you’d leave your cushy writing gig to get your hands dirty and actually making a difference in the world instead of spreading misinformation about topics you are ignorant about.”

    Oh, and by the way No Swimmin’, I second the “Fuck You”

  2. Freaking awesome post. AWESOME. I couldn’t bring myself to actually read the Dr. Walsh article, preferring not to fill my brain with crap like that, but your response was LOUD and CLEAR and so so so Appropriate.

    If I’ve learned one thing from this experience it is the power of compassion. Especially compassion from my doctors and their staffs. This is the most painful, consuming, grief-inducing experience, one that I wouldn’t wish on my very worst enemies. Anyone who thinks that they have a right to ‘judge’ us deserves the response that you just gave this witch.

    * You’re also making me feel good about getting angry when I think that we deserve better. Sometimes I just feel so alone, but it is great to see that you are letting it all out!

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