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if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the shit going on now:
Russel Brand is surprisingly reflective, and on the ball.
I didn’t know Stephen Fry was a fellow in the struggle. His reflections on people’s reaction to his admission of a suicide attempt are poignant, all the things I wish I could say. Kudos to celebrities like him who are being so open in their struggle with mental illness.
Suicides like these are scary, as Brand reflects. Those of us who struggle keep hoping that it will get better. That as we age we will conquer that dark monster that torments our minds. The thought that at 63 the thoughts and impulses can still get so strong is a terrifying one. Will we constantly be fighting for our lives? Will there ever be relief from the constant, nagging thought that we are a drain on the world and those we love?
For me, at least there are many moments of brilliant reprieve. My depression subsides, my confidence rises and my anxiety eases into a smile. I wonder if there are times when I bring on my own depressive episodes by spending so much time, during my good times, wondering when the dark monster will return.
It is so easy for people to call suicide selfish. It’s common to say “if only they’d talked to someone.” The next time someone dies of a heart attack try saying “if only they’d eaten less red meat”, I doubt it will be well received. The callousness with which we treat the tragedy of suicide and mental illness is appalling.
Depression is a cruel manifestation of anxiety and fear. It pollutes the brain into believing all the things we fear the most are true about ourselves. It highlights every wart, every wrinkle, every fault and flaw. It repeats these over and over and over again. It refuses to let your mind move to happier times. It holds onto thoughts and permeates them onto your consciousness. The monster is strong, and smart, it knows your weaknesses better than you do. It knows how to disable your strengths. Depression makes you forget everything and anything good about yourself. What’s shocking is that more of us don’t give in to the monster.
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
I was appalled, dismayed and outraged to see Amanda Hess’ recent “article” online. Maybe if media organizations like you spent half as much effort considering the woman who survived the assault as the sick creeps that committed the horrendous act we could take a real step in discussing rape culture. Wouldn’t it be great to foster an open discussion about how best to make people of all genders free from the fear of sexual violence. Rape culture, and rape apologists are pervasive and true road blocks to a united community against rape and sexual violence. There are countless victims of sexual violence each year who are shamed, harassed, and outright abused. There are countless survivors of sexual violence who face years of difficulty following their assault. Most often, the victim, sometimes luckily a survivor but many times not, is blamed. The media focuses it’s empathy on the perpetrators. The victim’s veracity is attacked in defense of the humanity of the perpetrator. We are wiling to believe the most inane of excuses and absurd lies.
"She was in a bad part of town."
"We warn students not to go out alone late at night."
"She was wearing a revealing outfit."
"He was under the influence of drugs and alcohol."
"She was one of those types of girls"
"He’s making those claims for attention"
"[the rapist] didn’t know s/he was that drunk/high"
"they were making out earlier"
"[the rapist] was just as drunk/high"
"This is what happens when you drink irresponsibly"
We bend over backwards as a culture to explain away rape or pretend like it’s not really rape, or that maybe it doesn’t really matter.
This is rather common within cycles of abuse from bullying to state torture. First we don’t believe the claims. We tell ourselves lies to justify the abuse. We find a way to blame the victims. We relate more to the perpetrator to the victim because the victim makes us feel…. uncomfortable and icky. It would make all of us feel so much better if we could just get on with our lives and stop talking about it, okay? Amanda clearly dislikes that the media is still focused on this criminal. She spews statistics, many hacks do to prove their moronic claims. Statistics are a great tool to defend nonsensical arguments. In Amanda’s case she uses them to plea for compassion for a rapist. A rapist whom media outlets mourned over more than the actual woman he raped. This creep and his creep friends fucked a passed out girl and video-taped it while others watched in glee. This is a sick display of male entitlement and rape culture. This is a display of depraved indifference to an actual human woman who would have to wake up and learn what happened to her the night before. The fact that the media bemoaned the “lost future” for these creeps instead of even feigning concern for the woman brave enough to survive the assault and fight for her own justice only affirms that privilege. So, too does Amanda’s “article.”
I suggest you spend some time volunteering for a rape crisis hotline and listen to some primary and secondary survivors. PTSD, nightmares, STD’s, overwhelming shame and guilt, confusion, desperation, self-blame, depression, eating disorders, thoughts of self mutilation and suicide are all common topics, even years after the fact. By focusing your empathy on the perpetrator you are continuing to contribute to an environment where rapists (even convicted ones) enjoy more privileges than the person they raped. The woman who survived the assault and the aftermath and the ordeal of pressing charges will have to live with the consequences of the senselessly criminal people who raped her with delight and videotaped it. Is it too much to ask that maybe, just maybe his one time, the perpetrators of this horrifically cruel act pay for consequences of their actions just as much as the survivor will?
Clearly I am no longer supporting Slate, or any organization supporting Skate until Amanda is either fired, resigns or at the very least apologizes for being yet another rape apologist and promoter of rape culture. Thank you Slate, for making the world a more dangerous place for men and women everywhere. Thank you for reminding survivors of assault that our lives, our souls, our bodies, are less important than the comfort of our attackers.
I urge you all to educate yourselves on patriarchy, rape culture, male privilege, and similar topics. Or maybe just stick to vapid “news” about Game of Thrones.
Print a retraction, fire that stupid cunt, and use your influence to fight rape culture instead of outwardly promoting it. You should be ashamed. Act accordingly.
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