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controversially in praise of Facebook

Sometimes Facebook is a wonderful place. I know Zuck’s creation is reprehensible in many ways. But yesterday I posted about my finalist status, and before day’s end there were over 50 messages of support. Such a diversity of people, from high school, the neighbourhood, family, people I’ve never met, former colleagues, fellow writers – friends from all phases of my life, saying Congrats! Used that way, FB does what it’s intended to do: create a warm community in the ether of the internet. Let’s not, for now, think about all the other horrible things it does.

Chris is having a pacemaker installed today and will be going home tonight. He’s got the fantastic Gabriola community supporting him; apparently, people have cleaned his house – the door was not locked – cleaned the old stuff out of his fridge and put in a lasagna and salad for his homecoming. He will weep, I’m sure, especially when he holds Sheba in his arms once more.  

I’m always alert for absurdities of language. Was reading about a new kind of vibrator today; the company CEO said, We always seek to provide pleasure for vulva-havers, and for people of all sexualities and those with varied familiarity with sex toys.”

Vulva havers. That’s us, girls. Like “menstruating persons.” I do understand there are trans men with uteruses who give birth or menstruate. But I wonder if it’s worth twisting our language into such preposterous knots to avoid acknowledging billions of women, in order to accommodate that incredibly small population. If I wrote this on Twitter, I would be besieged with hate mail as a TERF. My daughter would say, Who is hurt by being more inclusive with language? I’m excluding or hurting no one, I just wonder about excluding the word ‘women.’ It’s a fine old word, better I think than ‘vulva havers.’ How do we solve these dilemmas – inclusive versus ridiculous? 

My good news: John drove me to Home Depot today. Haven’t been there for 18 months or so. Thrilling. Barbecue briquets! Sheep manure! Dustpan! I went nuts. Later today – Ben’s sixth birthday party; Glamma will be bringing Hot Wheels. And more good news: the rose of Sharon came out last night. Yesterday, just buds; this morning, covered with pinky-mauve blooms. Beauty. 



2 Responses to “controversially in praise of Facebook”

  1. Unknown says:

    I have also read about hospitals that now use the term 'people who lactate'. So some of us have vulvas, menstruate and, on happy occasions, lactate. If you can do all three how does that define you? The more informed will have an opinion…

  2. beth says:

    Dear unknown, yes, how does that define you? There's a word I'm struggling to find, what could it be …?

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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