We are living in a extreme world, going back 40/50 years it is as though we have executed an 360 degree circle.
In the 50’s, people who were different were made to feel ashamed, having to hide away their sexuality, their desire’s, their confusions for fear of being ridiculed, tormented or even locked up. Today we live in a completely different world, some would go as far to say that being a certain gender, a stay at home mother, a man and women being married, girls wanting to play with dolls and boys wanting to play with trains, is frowned upon.
Gender neutral school uniforms, the ability for 11 year old children to go to a Dr and ask for gender reassignment surgery, books such as sleeping beauty being considered “dangerous” (as the prince did not give consent before kissing the princess) postmen and policemen not being called men anymore, the same applies for policewomen/ postwomen, who are now known as police person, or post person all point to a society that has done everything it can to move as far as possible away from the “norms” of the 1950’s.
We are afraid to say anything in fear of insulting someone. We have to stop and think before we call someone male/female girl/boy. Government forms now give the option to add ” other” where it asks if a person is male or female. All in all we are living in an extreme world, where one has to be careful every time they open their mouths.
So why, I asked myself when seeing the picture below on Facebook, is this ok.
The idea is to fill out the answers with friends names, and then post it on their walls, in turn they will post others names and send on etc.
The picture above, which went around the Facebook galaxy at an alarming speed is so full of insults, hurtful words, and misconceptions. Lets look at another picture, one which I put together myself this morning, the only things I have changed are the ward and a couple of other details, take a minute and compare the two.
Just writing the above made me shudder. Would any of us, ever share the above, inviting others as a joke to fill in the blanks with people’s names? If not, why then is it ok to share the first one, both are illness’s, both destroy lives, both bring destruction and heart break in its tidal wave.
There is an underlying attitude that it is ok to poke fun of mental health illness. Perhaps it is ok for those suffering themselves from a mental health issue to have a joke, as it is ok for example, me as a Jew to make a joke about Jews. But again there is a very thin line.
The underlying attitude that people who suffer from Mental Health illness’s are somehow “crazy” and different, people whom are to be feared stems in no small part from posts like the above on Facebook.
In a generation where we are so careful not to offend, perhaps we need to take a look at why ridiculing those with mental health issues is ok.