Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The joke that just isn't funny.

Yesterday I took a little walk over to the Facebook page of Glossybox (review of Januarys box coming soon)

First point I need to make. Wow, the GlossyBox UK social media team deserve a medal, I imagine that the pub nearby to their office does a roaring lunchtime trade, (next time I'm nearby guys, I'll buy you a drink. hell, I'll buy you a bottle)

Second point. Let's talk about mental illness.

Now I know that seems like kind of a jump but let me start at the beginning and hopefully it will soon make sense (I did say hopefully)

Yesterday someone I respect posted a comment on the Glossybox UK page. Not everyone had to agree with it, It just so happened that I did.

But one class-less person replied.

"*****, has the nuthouse let u out on day release"

Words absolutely failed me, (actually, they didn't but you know what I mean)

Doesn't mental illness have enough of a stigma surrounding it without people using it as an insult?

Is it any wonder that some people with depression, schizophrenia, anxiety or other forms of mental illness are still concerned in this day and age to share what they are going through?

My reply to this person? (I really can't bring myself to type lady, I'm sorry I can't)

I sincerely hoped that a member of her family never had to go through the trauma of mental illness as she would obviously have no sympathy for them, I explained that it is people like her that help create the stigma of mental illness. and then I walked away.

Her reply?

"It's a joke for effs sake"

Ooooooooooh a joke?

Did I just forget to find it funny?

Oh, I get it now. (I actually told her next time to start with something simple like a knock knock joke and build up to something more difficult like how does the chicken cross the road)

So we can say what we like now as long as we add the words "it's a joke"?

We can be cruel, we can be cutting, we can try to rebuild walls that places such as MIND, SANE, Blurt Alerts and The Samaritans have spent years trying to knock down?

We can make insinuations that people are mad, insane, should be locked away, as a joke?

NO WE CAN'T

WE MUST NOT.

Let's not go back to that time when people were scared to talk about mental illness,

Mental illness should not be suffered in silence, and people should not be making jokes about it, trying to force people to once more see it as something shameful they need to hide from the world.

It needs to be kept in the open, people should be able to talk through their problems and issues without the fear of someone trying to shame them into silence.

I will not stand by quietly while someone tries to make mental illness once more something to be ashamed of by using it as a "joke"

And I hope neither do you.

Let me know your thoughts.


Big Fashionista x x
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17 comments

  1. Brilliant, I couldn't agree more. There's already a stigma attached to mental health issues without thoughtless people making jokes about it. It's really quite sad that there are still people out there who think its acceptable to make a joke out of mental health. Let's hope this person is never affected but they could really benefit from being educated in being a little more understanding

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  2. As I always say, just because you were joking doesn't mean it was actually funny.

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  3. If 'It was a joke' can be used as an excuse imagine what things could be done in the name of a joke...
    Mass genocide.. Sorry it was a joke.
    Murder.... joking totally.

    l

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    1. It's along the lines of, I'm not being funny but...........

      Idiotic person made me so angry yesterday

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  4. Brilliantly written & a subject close to my heart
    The less stigma the better, keep up the fantastic work

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  5. I feel the same! It shouldn't be socially acceptable to be "a joke". I feel this way about the fact that "rape" has become a socially acceptable word used by lots of people. "fraped" for example for Facebook raped.... Or "raped" of money for being skint!? How has a horrific crime become a well used word for young people? Does this desensitise the crime and make them think it is ok? Or how about the media using the crime for entertainment? Is The horrific scene in girl with the dragon tattoo actually enjoyable to watch?? For a victim of the crime it's a reminder of the past that they are trying to forget. Sorry bit of a tangent but if we all just start joking and not actually realise these issues effect real peoples lives then what the he'll is wrong with the world?!?

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    1. Completely agree with everything you wrote, I have pulled up celebs and even OK magazine twitter in the past for using the term Frape and Twape.

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  6. i completely agree, i get the same level of mad when people use the words cretin and retard... now banded about like they just mean loser when they are actual words for people with real medical problems... arghhh

    www.missmathful.blogspot.com

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  7. Thank you for addressing this matter and taking the time to reply to that person!

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  8. I dunno. I think banning words and how they're used is a slippery slope. Helluva lot of mental illness in my family (and I'm talking heavy duty stuff) but we regularly banter about our straitjackets and the loony bin. There is still huge ignorance about mental illness, for sure, but I think (and yes, it's controversial) we guys with mental health issues need to get our self-esteem up there and use those terms with elan, and pride. Censorship fosters a victim culture and I, for one, won't be a victim. I'm a proud nutjob. :)

    Frape is an example of language shifting. It's valid. You can't put language in aspic.

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    1. I would disagree with you there, Exmoorjane. I also have a wide variety of mental illness in my own family, and I do feel justified in making 'nutcase' jokes, but ONLY to an audience who is aware of my background.

      The public domain of FB, Twitter, blogs etc is not the place for such jokes, as it proliferates the stigma amongst people who have NOT experienced mental illness first hand, and you cannot explain your own background every single time you make a joke on Twitter to say that 'actually, I know all about that stuff, so it's ok for me to joke about it'.

      I also take exception to the word 'frape', as much I took exception to the word 'spaz' when I heard it in the US, used as a day-to-day word. Just because it is a word used commonly doesn't make it any less likely to offend or hurt, and when speaking in the public domain, it is always wise to choose your words carefully, as much as you would when writing a letter or speaking to people you care about. In fact, it is always wise to use language appropriately fullstop. Your words can remain on the internet forever, and your words are a reflection of what is in your heart.

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  9. As someone who has been around mental illness from a very young age I pray the awareness that's raised doesn't get crushed, and people are forced to hide away.
    I have always been open about my experiences with mental illness and friends say my honesty can sometimes be quite frank, but as we would discuss a heart problem, or dodgy knee, mental illness needs to be addressed, it's a growing problem and more needs to be done to help those who suffer.
    The idiot who posted the nuthouse nonsense probably had no idea that her comment may be deemed insensitive or hurtful, but then that's just the type of person you'd imagine would blurt things out before engaging their brain.

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  10. I thought I knew what my reply would be and then I saw Exmoorjane's reply. And she has a point I think.
    Having battled all my life with Bi-polar, agoraphobia, breakdowns (the list really does go on) it does piss me off when stigma comes into play but at the same time I do joke about it - I need to as sometimes I feel I'm drowning and laughter is a great medicine.

    In saying all of that, what that specific person had initially said on the FB page was RUDE it wasn't funny and I'm having a very hard time accepting it was meant as a joke as it doesn't come across as a joke in ANY light.

    It's a hard one. We all love the thought of Freedom of speech but we all believe in a little censorship it's a difficult one.

    She shouldn't have said what she said though and having come up again that stigma far too many times in my life - that point of the post is grating on me.

    Well handled in any case, as usual!

    Love, Sera x

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  11. I totally agree with you! Mental illness (oh how I hate that term) needs to be given more positive and open discussion. Its such a difficult thing to even talk about let alone overcome. It really breaks my heart when I hear about anyone who has give up their life wethers its due to mental illness, bullying or the pressures of life. No one deserves to feel trapped and anything we can do to destroy this negative stigma is a step forward.

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  12. I think the charities you mention here are doing a fantastic job breaking down the stigma attached to mental health but sadly, there are still people who just don't 'get it'.

    There seem to be two schools of thought - the first, people who do understand, know that it's a struggle, know that is not the fault of the person dealing with it. The second, well, these guys have a 'pull yourself together' attitude. 'Get a grip' they scream from every pore, 'you are weak' their eyes tell you... and even though this school of thought riles me beyond belief I still wouldn't wish any form of mental illness upon them.

    We (the first school of thinkers) just need to keep spreading the word.
    Thank you for making a stand against our 'joker'.
    And thank you for this post.

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  13. Thanku for writing this post and standing up for all those who quite often suffer in silence, as well as standing up for what is right.

    Such ignorance is what makes people scared to ask for help.

    xxxxxxx

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