Dear Oprah

18 Jan

Dear Oprah,

First of all, congrats on your new network. Really. I think it’s awesome for you.

I have some stuff to tell you and I know you’re a really busy lady, but I think it’s time we put our cards on the table.

A comment from Onetokeep on a previous post of mine got me inspired to finally, after watching you for all of my life, write you a letter.

First, allow me to gush – though I’m sure you get this all the time. I truly think you are an amazing, inspiring lady.

I’ve been watching your show for as long as I can remember. I haven’t seen every episode, but I’ve definitely seen plenty.

When I was doing my mandated IDF service in Israel, I used to have to wake up at 4am every morning to get out of the house by 5am. I was only 18, and I was going through a really hard time. At the time, your show aired at 4am on a network called Star World and I would watch you every morning.

This was around the time when you were talking a lot about strength and gratitude. And having your comforting voice every morning, really, truly, helped me get through a tough period in my life.

I haven’t always supported everything you’ve done. I admit, as a person who deals with media for a living and who spent 7 years studying it, I see through some of your salesmanship.

However, I do believe that you – at the end of the day – have good intentions.

But Ms. Winfrey, I have a beef with you.

You are a role model for so many women around the world. They read the books you recommend, they write in gratitude journals, they see you – just like I did at one point – as a source of comfort. As an old friend, a role model, or even a mother-figure in their lives.

Such is the power of media.

You have shed light on some incredibly important topics. As a survivor of rape, I very much respect how openly you’ve addressed that issue on your show for so many years. As a supporter of gay rights, I honestly appreciate you bringing the AIDS epidemic to light when it was still a taboo subject.

So Ms. Winfrey – this is why I must admit that I’m a bit puzzled.

You see, I’ve had two miscarriages in the last six months. They have devastated me. I was never aware of how common they were, because nobody ever talked about it.

Through this blog I have discovered an amazing network of women who have gone through what I have gone through, and worse. They have been a tremendous source of comfort through this very hard time.

But Ms Winfrey, if I can find so much solace in a handful of strangers- and I know that they are just the tip of the iceberg – I honestly do not understand why, in 25 years of doing your show – I cannot for the life of me remember one single episode that has dealt with miscarriage.

Just think of what a comfort you would be to the millions of women who have gone through that loss – if you’d just talk about it.

I read recently that you had an interview with Pierce Morgan, in which you talked about your own pregnancy at 14, and the fact that you felt no emotional connection to the child, and you were relieved when the baby was stillborn.

I understand that. Really I do. You were 14, completely vulnerable, and living in an abusive environment.

I’m not a psychologist, but I do have a feeling that this experience may be what makes you shy away from this topic.

But Ms. Winfrey, as a dominant media figure I do believe that you have a responsibility to your audience. You have the power to comfort and to inform.

And for us ladies who have gone through this tragedy, that is precisely what we seek out – comfort and information.

I can only imagine what would have happened had I seen an episode or two of your show that dealt with the subject. I assume – and I believe I’m right about this – that I would have had a few more tools to cope with my loss, and that I would have felt more comfortable about sharing my pain with others.

Just imagine it. You start off with your studio completely dark. Your powerful voice ringing out through the darkness.

“Today – the silent epidemic. It happens to millions of women every year. It’s devastating, and nobody ever talks about it.”

The lights come up – hundreds of women stand on your stage.

“These women are here to finally open up and share their pain with the world.”

Think about it. You could do a whole week. Dr. Oz could be there, and Dr. Laura. There would be lots and lots of crying and comfort to go around. And by the time it was over, thousands, if not millions of women, would feel just a bit better.

This is your power Ms. Winfrey. This is what you do best. And I strongly encourage you to do it.

Thanks so much for your time.



7 Responses to “Dear Oprah”

  1. runnyyolk January 18, 2011 at 16:12 #

    Hmm, interesting and a very good point. I’d watch that. Correction–I’d make everyone else watch that.

    And can I bring up the rape survivor comment? Say what?

    • mommyodyssey January 18, 2011 at 16:22 #

      I was a victim of date rape when I was 14. I’m pretty open about it. I think it’s a really important issue. Watch that film I embedded a few days back (only if you feel like it!) – it was my “purge and deal with it” project. I’m really proud to say that Women Organized Against Rape use it as an educational tool for high schoolers. That’s probably part of the reason I finally decided to start this blog – I get through stuff by creating.

      • runnyyolk January 21, 2011 at 15:32 #

        I’m so sorry to hear that you went through that. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. And I still need to go watch your video! For sure I want to. Creating something helps me too…

  2. Hemlock January 18, 2011 at 17:09 #

    What a beautiful post. Reading it, I got to thinking about how she hasn’t covered miscarriage yet. Like you, I was raped, and I find her openness about the topic strengthening and refreshing, but I’ve been so out of the loop when it comes to cable TV, that I never noticed she lacked coverage on the topic of miscarriage. It really is a shame.

  3. missohkay January 18, 2011 at 22:52 #

    Hi, I just discovered your blog. I’ve had three miscarriages myself, and I was also shocked to learn how common they are despite being rarely talked about in the public sphere. Looking forward to following along on your journey.

  4. Marie January 19, 2011 at 08:15 #

    I think you’ll be glad to know of the existence of this article, in the Sept 2010 edition of Oprah’s magazine (which I love):

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