Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Is it just me, or do Abortioneers have a wickedly amazing sense of humor?

Humor as a coping mechanism cannot be underrated. Our work is incredibly stressful, let alone isolating. We spend time with women who can be in crisis mode, and we, by default, take the brunt of their stress. In the very least, we carry their stories in our hearts, taking on a bit of their lives with us (even if we try not to). Stories can weigh on our shoulders, but we can’t exactly go home and unload to the non-abortiony people in our lives. They wouldn’t get it anyway. And we can’t violate patients’ privacy. So, the people we really rely on our are truest allies: our co-workers.

Enter humor. My co-workers are hilarious and can make fun of the most “dark” of situations. Like protesters and violence that ensues: “Hey, Kara! If you don’t come back from escorting that client, can I have your penis pen? No?! Shit! What about your original Tiller Attitude is Everything button?” They make fun of each other with quick wit. There are things you’d only hear abortion workers wittingly joke about: aspirators; forceps; stuck condoms; flavored lubricant; sex; vaginas; cervixes and uteri. We laugh about tampons and periods. About blood. The humor lets us speak the unspeakable. Express fears of violence and discuss the visceral aspects of abortion (like the smell of blood + the autoclave = “clinic”).

So give us some humor love. What are some of the super funny things you’ve recently heard your co-workers talk about? Let it out. Have a good laugh.


  1. Man oh man, do I have a twisted sense of humor. Likely because I've lived much of my life in turmoil, it's one of the only ways I can actually deal with life's curveballs. Turn them into jokes so they can't hurt me. I know many people, and not just those on the other side of the clinic door, get offended. But I can't help it. I need that comic relief to cope with the stress.

    Here's one that I exchanged with a coworker:

    Her: When you describe (a D&E) like that you make it sound like an arm and a leg will fall out of her vagina.
    Me: Well, if it did, at least she'd have exact change for her procedure.


  2. Oh man, I don't even know where to start, but I totally agree. My abortioneer coworkers have brought me so much joy in the workplace - I think we do tend to be less inhibited about topics like sex, body parts and so forth (otherwise how could we work in sexual and reproductive health?), topics which are often pretty funny precisely because they're misunderstood or popular sources of embarrassment. Yes, really funny and honest people who make my workday go by easily!

  3. HAHAHA, Anti-Anti, that was pretty quick on your feet! (Also, when people say gallows humor about abortioneer joking, more often than not, things like that -- the shitty fact that second-trimester abortions cost too much for many women, for example -- are the kind of stuff I think of.)
    Anyway, thanks for sharing that.


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