Masculinity Reduction Surgery

Today at the Register:  Masculinity Reduction Surgery.  In a delicious irony, a few lines of text were snipped from the post, rendering it somewhat less potent than I would have liked.  Oh well.

Also, we had some technical problems, and weren’t able to include this video, which should have appeared after the line, “THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A MAN.”

Okay, the whole world is against me today.  WordPress won’t let me post the video.  Well, here’s the link.


  1. If people are pissed off, it’s because you asked them to critically think about something that’s become so commonplace that people blithely announce it on Facebook when their husband is undergoing the procedure. People don’t like to analyze attitudes toward their sexuality, their money spending habits, or their food supply.

    Not only did you ask them to think about the ramifications of vasectomies, but you did so without being apologetic about it. If you had been wispy and approached the subject with kids gloves they wouldn’t be mad at you. They’d write you off in an instant, but they wouldn’t be pissed.

    This way, they can’t stew about your article without actually thinking about your message.

  2. Please, I would really like to know what the original should have read.

    I though the piece was great and the video would have been really epic — and that video totally explains my Italian heritage view of men I have inherited. I have no sympathy for men who act like cry babies… I am worried for when and if I have sons. This will have to change; hopefully maternally it will shift, automatically.

  3. My atheist husband can’t figure out why anyone would willingly do that to himself. He said something like, “It’s stupid to willingly give up the ability to create life.”

  4. And also, for the record and because it’s Friday, I’m going to make some small talk here. Did you know that in your tags at the right, the words “babies” and “sex” rank second in size to “Catholicism” & “Kids” & “Seven Quick Takes”?

    I find this amusing, but that’s just me. And plus, it’s Friday (as I’ve said) and I’ve had a glass of wine to celebrate.

    Happy Memorial Day weekend!

  5. Cari, people are upset (not pissed off so much as upset) for other reasons too, that have nothing to do with being prodded to analyse our attitudes towards sexuality. Perhaps you could read the comments on the post to find out more about it without implying we prefer blissful ignorance (perhaps you weren’t implying that, but it did seem so). Some of us have thought LOTS and still felt upset.

    • I’ve never understood people who claim to have thought LOTS about a particular subject, made a decision about that subject, then get angry (upset, pissed off, whatever) at people who don’t support that decision.

      Why should you be upset when someone voices an opinion that doesn’t support your lifestyle choice? Why should you care? Isn’t it enough that you were free to make your own decision? Does everyone you meet have to affirm that decision for you as well?

  6. (Sigh). I will reprint the email I sent Simcha. I’m not “claiming” to have thought a LOT, I HAVE thought a lot. I’m not upset when people don’t agree with my choices, but I did think a lot about why this upset me. Here is my answer:

    “I was thinking about why your words upset me so much, you, a blogger across the globe, who I don’t know, and who doesn’t know me. This is what I found:
    I hold you to high standards. You are a very public face of Catholicism. I realise this may not be what you want, and it is probably a burden. Whether or not you like it, you represent many, you may say they are only your views but you are an ambassador. I can say this with certainty. Because the second reason I was upset was because your blog was the springboard from which I lept back into faith (I was schooled in Catholic schools, but am Presby for the record, currently in the process of entering the Church). I ran for a long time. But I stealthed around blogs. I had the odd hidden Christian song on the computer. And I found your blog. You just made it so real. You are so real, yet so faithful, so devoted to God. I looked at the picture of your wild toddler in the pantry. There was a bottle of…vodka? Was it that picture? I remember looking at lots of your posts that day and realising ‘Yeah, I can do this’. I realised that because you were a woman who struggled, who had a bottle of spirits, who had a drink, who dealt with the “Mummm”, the vomit, the pregnancies, and you were joyful. And real, not some pious (ugh, 1am spelling), self-righteous, judgemental shrew. The reason it so upset me, and disappointed me is because I hold you up as a role model, and I admire you greatly, so it felt like a personal attack. Because my husband and I did that, and you said men who snip are no longer a man, and that hurt. It was meant to be funny, but it was simply untrue, and hurtful, and mean, and reduces the wonder of manhood (I know I sound soppy but I’m in love very much with my fantastic husband and provider and protector) something awful. The reason it so upset me is because, as I said, I hold you up to high standards Simcha, not of conduct, or parenting, although I think you excell in both areas. No, Simcha, I hold you up to high standards of love.”

    Cari, people make decisions for lots of reasons, and we did this with nothing but good intentions, no matter how misguided. Had I had family, or church, or social support, or my current faith, we would have chosen differently. But we didn’t. I don’t need peoples approval for this, I don’t even have my own. But I don’t need judgement. I don’t need the judgement that my husband is “Not a man” with hurt widdle feelings either. So you see, I have thought LOTS, and Cari, people change, people fail, and I am not looking for Simchas approval, but that comment did hurt. Being insulted and belittled, albeit indirectly, by a role model and someone who’s opinions and worldview have helped shape my own, hurts and upsets. It was an insulting and unfair characterisation of a man who undertook the proceedure with nothing but love and self-sacrifice in his heart, something we are trying to fix (pardon the pun), but something we feel bad enough about alread. Have I thought about it enough and explained myself enough that you will allow me to be upset yet, or do you require further details or our decision and subesquent growth in God?? Sheesh.

    • Just b/c I’m a wimpy, non-conflictful sort of person, can I say “both”? A, I get what you’re saying and why this would be hurtful to read, esp. if it seems to imply something negative about your dh. But I think it’s also true that some folks, guys in particular, need to kind of be smacked upside the head to point out to them that they need to change. And I think Simcha’s article was meant to do that. I mean, at the moms’ group at my parish, the various sterilizations were openly talked about as a matter of course. No one seemed to think at all about what this meant for their faith or their marriage. And, as far as I could tell in those conversations, none of them really thought about the very real implications of what they were doing (so I get Simcha’s yelling b/c I wanted to do exactly that at every meeting, but didn’t have the gumption).

      You and your dh, at this point, *have* thought about it – which is why you’re sorry you made that decision. I gather from your post that you and your dh wouldn’t consider his operation his finest example of manliness and husbandly sacrificial love – b/c it wasn’t, regardless of intentions at the time (but that doesn’t, of course, erase the good of his many actions that are in line with God’s plan, just as good intentions don’t erase bad consequences). Simcha (hope I read it right; I’m sure The Jerk will correct me if I didn’t) wasn’t talking about people who’ve repented and done what was feasible to make things right; she was just giving the smack upside the head to people who think sterilization was/is a jim-dandy thing to do. She doesn’t strike me as one to kick a repentant person down, just one who will holler loudly at those that haven’t got the clue yet…
      At any rate, welcome home to the Church and sorry if we who are already here manage to play into the devil’s plan to discourage you.

      • Thanks Anna:) You can say ‘both’ without it being wimpy, because I see Simchas point, I really do. I know people who declare, at all of age 21, that they are never having children. I have known people who opted for sterilisation very young because they couldn’t accept the sacrifice family entails. And that is very sad. In any case, the operation is sad. I realise it wasn’t mean badly, and Simcha said in a comment that she hadn’t considered it could be done out of love for a wife. I also don’t thing that a spirit of meanness matches the humility and compassion shown in other posts, like the one on all sin being ugly a few weeks back.
        It wasn’t our best decision! It wasn’t the best example of sacrificial love either, but it was the best we knew to do at the time, and I just mean that he had reservations, but due to my stress and problems, set himself aside to do what he thought was best, however misguided we were in that decision. I do think that people who do it so they can separate sex from reproduction and shag with mad abandon need a boof up the side of the head too. I realise that it was just a generalisation, but as I said on the other page, behind all generalisations are individuals who don’t fit that and feel hurt by it. I make generalisations too, and I’m sure I’ve done the same to people.
        We all make mistakes, in many areas of life, and no-one (speaking very generally here, about us all) likes to be belittled or put down for it…most often we are beating ourselves up for it anyway. Insults and put downs do not help, compassion and love help (and I often show a deficit in that area too). We are all sinners, we all fall short, we need to try and treat eachother with compassion not ridicule, and we all need grace to pull us through the other side

    • A, I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m sorry that you’re struggling. Life is beautiful, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t also going to break our hearts, right?

      But what your email sounds like to me is someone who maybe placed a little too much on the shoulders of a mere human, and then got shaken when she realized what she’d done.

      I love Simcha, too. She is so much of what is great about smart, funny, joy-filled Catholics. But she is going to hold opinions that are different from mine. I remember specifically when she announced that she wasn’t homeschooling all her her children anymore. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I had more than a flicker of defensiveness when I read her post about it. See, I *do* homeschool, and I have no intention of stopping. So how do I reconcile that with the actions of a woman I admire?

      Easy- I remember that Simcha is not who I have to answer to at the end of my life. I don’t have to reconcile a single action of mine to her judgement. And because of that, it doesn’t really matter what her opinion of any of my choices are. And so it is with you, A. It really doesn’t matter what Simcha’s opinion of your husband may or may not be. Maybe this whole emotional struggle you’re feeling is less about a decision made when you were in a different spiritual stage in your life, and more about an unfruitful attachment to another.

      • Thanks Cari. (I say the following without a trace of sarcasm, I’m totally serious in this reply). You make good points. I do feel for Simcha, and I’m not sure why I hold her to any standards at all, goodness knows I can’t live up to any. Being mocked for a well intentioned (but ultimately wrong) decision hurts, especially by someone you look up to, but you are right, my intentions, conduct and efforts to repent are between myself and God. In future, if I am upset by something such as this, I will try to not take it so personally, and my comment will go something more along the lines of “Wow, that wasn’t nice. Tis mean and uncharitable to mock people who get things wrong”. And of course, when my husbands (or any family members) good intentions and character are spoken of like that, I am a bit of a pitbull. I like “fruitful unattachment”…I don’t normally hold anyone as a frame of reference, but this is such an emotive and painful issue that when it’s written about with mockery, people are going to be doubly upset. Hopefully we all learned something from this though, and it’s nice to have a happyish ending. Hope you are feeling ok too Simcha, because although no stranger to controversy, I don’t think it was your intention to hurt, and I hope you haven’t been hurt in the process. Sigh. Well onwards and upwards.

  7. I sent it last night and it seemed to go through. I can’t tell if your second comment was sarcasm or not? (Kind of sad about this whole thing I guess, takes my perspective). I wouldn’t ever make something public that was sent to me, but as it was sent BY me, and saying that I was upset because I admire Simcha as a role model of openness to life, something I hope to emulate some day (once we get a reversal), I didn’t think it was a bad or insulting thing to post it. It is not something I feel I should hide, that is was this blog, specifically, that turned me back to my faith, not just Christianity, but the Catholic faith, for which I am so glad. I’m sorry if it was sarcasm, and that somehow I upset you by posting it, and I’m glad if it wasn’t sarcasm, because it’s a wonderful, and joyful thing to be able to open peoples hearts through your writing, even if you sometimes, inadvertently, hurt them along the way. I highly doubt this was the intention of your article.

  8. What I am still wondering is, how do you read Russian literature with a ‘reading buddy’? Or really, why read Russian novels at all?

  9. To A: no, I truly didn’t get an email from you. I don’t know why that is, but I always make a point of responding to personal emails.

    To everyone else: I feel like some kind of horrible, unhinged windmill that goes stalking across the landscape, hacking at people indiscriminately. Anyway, I have written a longish response on the Register comment box. It’s more in response to the conversation there. I hope eventually to have the time to respond to the conversation here, which I haven’t had time to do more than skim.

    In the mean time, if you would of your kindness say a prayer for me and my family, I would appreciate it. It’s been a bad week and keeps getting worse. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but it’s the kind of week that makes me feel very unequal to the task of being “insightful Catholic person who always represents the Truth well three times a week.” I know, what a complainer, right? But thanks.

    • Is it bad that the image of a crazed windmill walking around terrorizing the countryside made me laugh? Anyway, St. Paul said he was all things to all men, but he didn’t say he was all of them at once. I presume he took each in their turn and so do you. So you weren’t talking to the “A”s this time, you were talking to the guys who brag (no, really, that’s what it amounts to with some) about being “fixed,” so what? Everyone else will get their turn…
      And please keep writing as often as possible!!! What would I do without your writing? And, if it helps, I cite your “why doesn’t God make a list” column regularly now in my archdiocesan marriage prep talks – so your particularly outstanding work is getting exposure too. 🙂 (I mean, I tell people to read this site all the time just for things like that hamburger in the washing machine story or the search terms poetry, but you seemed to need encouragement for the “insightful Catholic” side, not the make-people-cry-laughing side.)

      • Thank you, Anna! That does make me feel a lot better, because I liked the “why doesn’t the Church just make a list” one too!

    • Oh, I believe you, my email has sporadic meltdowns for no particular reason. Didn’t go to spam? I ask because I wrote you a nice email today, and I hope you get it! I’m using the email on the contacts page…maybe I’ll try from my other address.
      Aw, look, we are all sometimes over-enthusiastic/over-sensitive/far-too-easily-offended and I put my hands up for all of them. I feel bad about the whole thing too, because I didn’t mean to, or want to, make you feel bad. You are not an unhinged windmill. But none of us can be a perfect windmill (despite others high and, cough, unreasonable expectations of you). I will pray for you because those weeks suck the big kumara, and I am sorry if I contributed to it. You know those crazy women who get all kind of…hurt and angry, and generally crazy when something hits a nerve? The ones with empty Mc Donalds cups held to the top of their head with tin foil? Yeah, I’m one of those. I also didn’t realise that some men brag, and that some men do it for ‘sport’. I didn’t think anyone would EVER do it if not for their wife. So I’m a little surprised too! You do a great job of “insightful Catholic person who always represents the Truth well three times a week.” I don’t know how you do it. I’m sorry that I unconsciously expected you to be perfect. You’re doing a blimmin good job, but no-one can be perfect. I mean, some of us wear pants.

      • Nope, it’s not in the spam, either! Are you using the simchafisher @ gmail . com? Are you spelling “Fisher” right? Lots of people stick a C in there.

        You are extremely gracious, and I really appreciate you sticking around and helping me to see the bigger picture here.

  10. Thanks for the links, I will check them out. And just being nice about the whole thing. I so often don’t see the bigger picture so I’ll take that:)
    I’ve been using:
    I wonder where they are going? I’m in NZ, but still, shouldn’t be that much of a time difference??

    • A quote from Heather’s “thoughtful rebuttal:” “What. A. Bitch.”

      I’ll summarize the rest for you: Her entire argument is, “NUH-UH!” with a pinch of “CATHOLICS ARE STOOPID.” The number of her factual errors and logical fallacies rival the numbers of my children, which she variously reports as “six’ and “a bajillion.”

      Heady intellectual stuff here, folks – don’t read it on an empty stomach.

    • Heather, I haven’t read this yet, but “What. A. Bitch” counts as a ‘thoughtful rebuttal’ these days?
      I might read it…but then again, probably not. I have skimmed it though and saw the accusation of “self-righteous interference” and think you are really, really misguided. You CLEARLY did not read the comments, and I’m not sure how often you read Simchas blog, because she loudly maintains that family size is a personal issue, that lots of issues are private and personal, and has apologised for some of the hurt caused by this blog. You might not like her argument, but throwing out personal insults is not the way to issue a ‘thoughtful rebuttal’. It must be hurtful to have such insults thrown at you for a different opinion, and I think you were out of line and just plain mean. There is no point in that. That is not clever or funny writing. That is just mean, petty, and the kind of rebuttal issued on the playground.

  11. Simcha’s right, guys. You ought to eat a warm meal first. On second thought, maybe you should just take her word for it and render all contrasting opinions as illogical and factually inaccurate. And to all of you hardworking women nearing and/or in the midst of menopause, may God have mercy on your waning femininity. Simcha’s logic, not mine.

    • “You ought to eat a warm meal first.”

      Wait. Seriously. You decided that was a really good comeback? Huh.

      • Hi, The Jerk. Thanks for your reply. What went through my mind first was that Simcha’s audience deserved to hear both sides. I’m sure they’re intelligent, reasonable people (like yourself) who could benefit from seeing both sides of the coin. My second thought was that they might even have a sense of humor. So to answer your question: Yes. That’s what I decided. Seriously.

        • Look, obviously no one in your life cares enough to tell you the truth, so let me. You’re not funny, and you’re not a very good writer. Go away and practice a bit before you try this again. You may be ready for this kind of thing in a few years.

  12. You’re right. I should go away and practice being a better bully on a mom blog. Thanks for the sound advice, TJ and best of luck to you and your testes!

    • I thought The Jerk was saying you should practice writing, practice forming an intelligent argument (there may be some intelligence in there…I haven’t read it yet but I don’t see much in the insults) not being a bully?? You seem to be pretty skilled at that already?

    • So, when The Jerk is mean to you, he’s “a bully” because he’s a man. But when I’m mean to you, you demean my writing by calling it a “mom blog.” My stars! What sexist thinking! What are you, some kind of heteronormative conformist? Why don’t you call ME a bully? Who’s to say The Jerk isn’t a mom? Why do you feel like you know so much about us, when all you really know is what kind of genitals we have? I’m starting to think I’m in the presence of some good old fashioned narrowmindedness here.

  13. Oh, Heather. You seem like a nice person, more or less. It’s definitely smart to link to your piece on a big blog to get some hits for yourself; but I think you’ll find that whoever to draw to your blog will quickly drop away once they realize that pure snottiness doesn’t make for very interesting reading. You have to have actual ideas, not just go “nyah nyah nyah, you’re a poopy dumb head with your dumb poop ideas.”

    Your entire argument, at least as you present it here, are straw men arguments: you misrepresent my statements, and then you argue against things I didn’t say.

    I understand that people disagree with me (and I spoke directly to them in the comments section, which you haven’t read yet); but I have no respect for people who read carelessly and then call ME an idiot.

    Here we go. Your words are in italics:

    She’s a mother of six (I think)

    Nope, expecting #9. It says so on the bio right next to my article. This may not seem important, but it was kind of a red flag to me that maybe, just maybe, you weren’t going to read very carefully. Man, was I right.

    There are so many offensive ideas lurking in this article that I don’t even know where to start. For one, right off the bat, I object to Simcha’s idea that “feminine” equates with “wanting plastic surgery.” That’s patently untrue.

    See, if you had read carefully, you would realize that I never say it’s feminine to want plastic surgery (nor do I believe this). I describe the subject’s wife as having a “bronzed, frozen forehead” and “nylon hair” and as having “nakedly loathsome priorities.” I clearly have no respect for the type of person who goes in for cosmetic surgery, whether they are male or female. I think it’s feminine to want to look pretty, and that extensive plastic surgery is a perversion of this natural desire. So, no I don’t equate feminity with wanting plastic surgery. That’s patently untrue, I agree.

    The MAIN beef I have with this parochial, narrow-minded, condemnatory pedagogue is, of course, equating a vasectomy with a loss of manhood. Does that mean that women who get tubal ligation (ha, I almost wrote litigation)– does that mean that they are no longer women?

    I would say that women who get an elective tubal are denying their femininity, and are diminished (not that they’re “no longer women” I used the phrase in the original post “You’re not a man” because that’s an established turn of phrase in English. In literal terms, I believe that a man who’s had a vasectomy has diminished his manhood). They may have the finest of motivations, but the physical fact can’t be denied. Because when a man or a woman deliberately AND ELECTIVELY cuts out an essential bodily function which is at the core of their gender, then — yes, it’s a big deal.

    I wonder if there’s anything that you believe that a man COULD do that would make him less of a man? Ditto for a woman? If a man pays someone to make his testicles stop working and that says nothing about him, then what WOULD say something about him?

    I never, ever anywhere say that physical virility is ALL that makes a man a man. In fact, I explicitly say, “It’s not everything. But it’s not nothin’, either.”

    By Simcha’s logic, does that make them masculine?

    This is “Simcha’s logic?” Simcha Who? You seem to imagine that I think men and women are some kind of empty bags of flesh that can are filled up with either man juice or lady juice, and when the level of one goes down, it gets filled up with the other. in fact, what I think is that men who become less masculine are simply less of men; men who become less feminine are simply less of women.

    Is Simcha, to get personal, more of a woman than I am because she has a bajillion kids and I only have one?

    *sigh* No, but I can see that no matter how many times I say that I don’t believe that, people won’t believe me. You could check out my posts called “My children are not a statement” and “Why doesn’t the Church just make a list,” among others, if you want to know what I actually think. You say you like my blog, but it’s hard to imagine that you’ve read much of it if you think I consider myself more of a woman because of my large family.

    That sounds about as ridiculous to me as saying she’s more of a mother than I am. Or is Simcha less of a woman because she is uninterested in plastic surgery? That would follow by virtue of the fact that she says men are becoming more feminine by getting this procedure done, because afterward, they’re more likely to get plastic surgery. I’m sorry. It’s a little hard untangling the frayed threads of vitriol.

    I agree, the arguments which you present as mine make very little sense. I’m having trouble following them myself, since the are entirely unfamiliar to me.

    You say you don’t want to talk about Catholic teaching on birth control, and that’s just as well, because your reading comprehension worries me more and more.

    Here, for instance, in the comments, you said:

    And to all of you hardworking women nearing and/or in the midst of menopause, may God have mercy on your waning femininity. Simcha’s logic, not mine.

    Sighing again. No, not MY logic. Women are designed to be fertile for a time, and then for their fertility to wane.

    Imagine this: there’s a lamp that’s on for several hours. It’s on a timer, and goes out when it’s no longer needed — that’s how it’s designed. When the light goes out, it’s still a lamp, right? It’s just doing its job, which at the moment happens to be NOT shedding light.

    Now imagine a second lamp, same deal. But someone comes in and decides that we don’t need light right now — so they smash the lamp with a hammer. Now, they could have done a number of things instead of smashing it: they could have turned it off temporarily, or put a shade around it, or gone into another room, or unplugged it, or taken the bulb out.

    That’s how I see sterilization: ruinous.

    Part of femininity is understanding phases of life. Menopause means that the child-bearing years are over, and another phase of womanhood can begin (sort of a larger picture of the way that fertility waxes and wanes each month during the fertile years). Your argument that menopause makes one unfeminine is just silly, and please understand that you are the one making it, not me.

    The only thing worse than a parochial, narrow-minded, dogmatic individual is a parochial, narrow-minded, dogmatic, creative individual. Because then what you end up with are extrapolations of control mechanisms. That means that some brainy individual has wasted her grey matter on interpreting a set of man-made rules and is now finding new and inventive ways of foisting them on other people around her. The last thing we need these days is more control mechanisms. Actually, the last thing we need these days is more self-righteous, insulting interference in to someone else’s seriously private business.

    This is probably my favorite part about your post: you are practically choking on your outrage over the fact that I expressed my opinion on a blog. According to you, this is “a new and inventive way of foisting my interpretation of a set of man-made rules on people around me.” Because as we know, the very act of reading what I write contractually obligates people to change their lives to conform to my opinions.

    But when YOU write a post for a blog, that’s . . . how would you describe it? Not foisting, certainly. Not interpreting anything. I guess you speak with the voice of pure reason, unadulterated by any manmade interpretation, and every time you call someone a bitch, an angel gets his wings. Right?

    Okey doke, Heather. I put more time into this than I really wanted to, put I hope at least you will be more careful in the future to understand what you are reading before you argue against it. You seriously sound like you burst some blood vessels there. Good luck with your blog, though. I totally like the way you write complete sentences! That’s a good start. Now work on complete thoughts.

  14. Simcha, I’m not the author of the blog and I have no other motive but to share a contrasting opinion, for the sake of healthy debate. I didn’t read your response here, but I will share it with my friend who is the author of the rebuttal. I’m sure she’ll share her opinions with you if she feels compelled.

    • Okay, sorry for the confusion. I’m really not interested in further debate with your friend, though – the depth of thinking in that essay was really unimpressive.

      • I thought there already was a healthy, thoughtful debate going on in NCR and here. Oh, right, no one was calling you a “bitch.” Glad we got that intelligent perspective into the mix.

  15. This comment thread has absolutely had me laughing my ass off. I don’t remember the last time a Catholic blog had me laughing. Good lines:

    1. “I feel like some kind of horrible, unhinged windmill that goes stalking across the landscape, hacking at people indiscriminately.” – Simcha

    Sorry, Simcha, don’t mean to make light of your suffering – but this was funny.

    2. “I’ll summarize the rest for you: Her entire argument is, “NUH-UH!” with a pinch of “CATHOLICS ARE STOOPID.”” – Simcha

    3. “Thanks for the sound advice, TJ and best of luck to you and your testes!” – Heather

    4. “My testes thank you.” – The Jerk

    5. The winner: “You have to have actual ideas, not just go “nyah nyah nyah, you’re a poopy dumb head with your dumb poop ideas.”

  16. Just wanted to say that I can’t imagine running a house with 8 kids while probably dealing with 1st trimester exhaustion and keeping such a strict writing schedule. You ARE doing a good job.

    Nothing to do with the article per se but with your less than perfect week mentioned above.

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