Doing away with the Sit of Shame

I spent an hour in the Family Planning Clinic at the Health Department this morning, doing the Sit of Shame with about a dozen other people.

Although I was there to joyfully confirm a planned pregnancy and get lined up for Medicaid, nobody else knew that. As far as they were concerned, I may as well have had gonorrhea like the married guy begging for an appointment at the front counter, or been on my way to talk to the RN about abortion options like the nervous lady across the waiting room.

But I've been those folks before (ok not the gonorrhea guy, but definitely the abortion lady). Everybody has been those folks before. And while we all kinda avoid eye contact and hope to be as anonymous as possible during the Sit of Shame, all that psychological pressure is bullshit.

There's no shame in an unintended pregnancy, or in a rogue case of the crabs. Those kinds of things can happen to sexually active folks, no matter how good their intentions are or how sexually responsible they are.

So let's do away with this whole Sit of Shame thing and make the Health Department waiting room a place where we can just acknowledge that shit happens.

And to all the folks I tried to be friendly with this morning: lighten up. I know you're embarrassed to be here, patient. And nurse, maybe working in a family planning clinic isn't a dream job for you like it would be for me. But the fact that we all are here this morning is evidence enough that shit happens.


One response to “Doing away with the Sit of Shame

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