2017 is a very cool time to be living when it comes to feminism. There is still a ton of work to be done, but it’s definitely awesome that everyone who reads anything knows about feminism. Even people whose reading material is limited to internet clickbait (hey-no judgement here!) know the basics of feminism. We’ve got huge superstars on our side; from Jennifer Lawrence to Will Smith, society is decrying sexism. Multi-million dollar companies are sponsoring media campaigns aimed at closing the wage gap, promoting positive self-image, and erasing gender role expectations.
With all of these amazing advancements we’re seeing, you’d think something as basic as compliments would be safe from sexism. Compliments exist to make people feel good, right? So many people are aware of feminism these days that there’s really no reason why compliments shouldn’t make us feel good. Yet the most well-intentioned, educated people are still saying some really oblivious things. And it’s not only guys doing it. These sexist compliments are so common, even women say some of them. I’ve been guilty of a few.
On top of everything, a lot of these super common sexist compliments also feed right into mental illness stigma. The front lines of the mental illness battle are still very hairy. People constantly misrepresent the mentally ill, or use disorders as insults. Ever called someone a psycho, or just plain ol’ crazy? That’s what I’m talking about! Even health care workers perpetuate mental illness stigma by deprioritizing complaints from patients with known mental health issues. For those women living with a mental illness or illnesses, like me, dealing with both sexism and mental illness stigma on a daily basis can be downright exhausting. Can we please just keep compliments out of it?
Hello and welcome to Off-Fridays. If you’re new here, Off-Fridays is a blog share that converts to a link library and themed resource page once it closes for links. Anyone is welcome to join so long as your links are on-topic and not abusive. The rules page can further explain what Betty’s Battleground considers abusive (hint: controversial does not mean abusive). This week’s topic is addiction.
Addiction is a big scary word that not a lot of people think they know much about, even though many of us have experienced it in some form or another. If you want to test just how much you know about addiction, check out “Is/Is Not: Addiction,” a game I created this month to test people’s ideas about certain commonly misunderstood topics. Addiction is so widely demonized and misunderstood that I have begun to make it a personal mission to very publicly overshare the realities of my own addiction. Before I send you to the page where you can leave you links, I want to share a brief story.
I read an article the other day by a well-versed writer who had some heavy duty, prestigious credits like Al-Jazeera and CNN. The article was well-written–no complaints there. Engaging too. I even shared it around some. But at one point the writer described her ex-husband, who she had discovered using drugs. First, she found a tinfoil with burned, tarry traces zigzagging across it. Then, she noticed his pupils were the size of pins. Finally, she confirmed what she’d been suspecting: he was high on METH! Does anyone else see the problem here?
I have something new for you today! There are a lot of misconceptions about various topics that affect many people in this world. So many misconceptions. I’m sure I hold a few. But, having been through some things that sit or cross those borders of “normal human experience” I also know the reality of many misunderstood topics. So I’m starting a new game! It’s called “Is/Is Not,” and in this game we’re going to dig into some common misconceptions about certain topics. Today we’ll be exploring addiction.
Addiction: the big scary beast that people oscillate between demonizing and appropriating. Everywhere we go, we constantly see misrepresentations of addiction. It is a loaded topic, and one that I have tons of personal experience with. But I have also held misconceptions about addiction and addicts in the past, so I’ll be addressing some of my own weird stereotypes here as well. Let’s play, shall we?