I’ve written before about Hannah Gadsby’s special on Netflix. But I didn’t include a comment that she made that has stayed with me. She was talking about making jokes about herself, and why she wants to stop.
I’ve mentioned before - here, or perhaps as comments on another blog - that I don’t think that jokes about people without children are very funny. I was told, by members of the infertility community, that I had no sense of humour. What they – the women who were now raising their post-infertility children with their oh-so-hilarious senses of humour – failed to realise was that we, the No Kidding childless, are on the margins. Even as they laughed that childless women were "extraneous!" They failed to think that it isn’t funny for the minority to be laughed at by the majority. That they were happily, and willingly, humiliating us. Clearly, it still irks me!“Understand what self-deprecation means for someone who already exists in the margins. It’s not humility. It’s humiliation.”
So I think it’s worth stating again for those readers who have come out of infertility with children, or for those who are reading this to learn more about those of us who don’t have children. We get the jokes. We just don’t think they’re funny.
And perhaps again, to continue a recent theme, it is a reminder to me to think before I tell jokes to someone or about someone, or even before I'm being self-deprecating about myself. Is this funny, or humiliation? Would I want someone suffering to hear this?