This post is going to be different than usual, but I think you should read it.
I've made a very conscious effort not to have any *Spoliers* in this post, but be warned, one or two may have slipped through. Also *Trigger Warning* for bullying, rape and suicide.
|'13 Reasons Why' Poster|
Last night I finished watching the new Netflix Original show '13 Reasons Why,' based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher. It was amazing, but incredibly hard to watch at times, especially towards the second half of the series.
'13 Reasons Why' covered a wide range of topics from; suicide and depression; loneliness and relationships; to rape and gun culture.
I don't even know how to articulate my thoughts properly. I'm still reeling after watching it, but I'll try.
It made me sad, angry, furious, terrified and ashamed. By the end of it I was in tears.
If you're reading this, can you honestly say to yourself that you've never made anyone feel bad about themselves? Have you ever stood by while someone was being bullied? Have you ever laughed unkindly at somebody, called someone a name, or gossiped about them behind their back?
Your answer is probably yes. I know mine is.
Then there's the other side of those questions.
Has anyone ever made you feel bad about yourself? Have people ever stood by if you were being bullied? Has anyone ever laughed unkindly at you, called you names, or gossiped about you behind your back?
My answer is still yes.
There is something wrong with our society.
A society in which suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people.
A society in which the majority of sexual crimes go unreported.
A society in which repercussions for bullying and sexual assault are few and far between, and often ineffective.
A society in which the victim gets blamed.
A society in which people think: 'Well at least it's not me'.
It's even upsetting me to write this post. But things need to change. People need to talk about this.
The amount of hate I've seen on social media lately is staggering. From Facebook groups that seemingly exist to bash people; to the comments section on News or celebrity posts; to bloggers being attacked on various social media platforms.
These 'trolls' see nothing wrong with what they're doing! I can only imagine that they think they're being smart or witty, or that they have the right to act like this.
Hiding behind their screens, they don't see the impact their actions have.
When trolling celebrities or bloggers, the go-to excuse for their behaviour is that they should expect it because they're 'public figures' or that they're 'putting themselves out there'. But no one, NO ONE, should expect to receive this hate. No one deserves it. These people are people. There are human beings on the receiving end of these comments. This seems to be something people conveniently forget when typing out these hurtful words.
In the last day. ONE DAY. I've seen two Bloggers/YouTubers being attacked on social media. One in a Facebook group, that, believe it or not, I'm afraid to name for fear of what they'll say about me if it reaches their computer screens. The other incident was on Twitter.
People taking time out of their day to ridicule and attack a blogger that they don't personally know, based on what they see of them on their screens. Disparaging young women for what they choose to show on their social media accounts. Body shaming them, tearing them apart. Delighting in it.
What gives them this right?
Why do they do it?
What do they get out of it?
It actually hurts me to see these things. I don't know how they handle it. I sure as hell know that I'd fall apart if that amount of hate was directed towards me. I can't even begin to image how celebrities cope, being in the world eye.
I no longer read comments on posts that I know will be full of hate and vitriol directed at the poster or the subject of the post.
I saw a Tweet on Twitter last night, aimed at a vlogger who has 551K followers on that platform, telling her that she should stop making videos if she didn't want people to comment on her weight.
If you were being bullied and abused at work, how would you feel if someone you don't know told you that you should quit your job if you want it to stop?
I bet you'd tell them where to go.
And thank God, this woman did. She called out the people hurting her. Told them the impact that their words have on her.
I hope she's ok. I hope both of these women are ok.
But these people get it every day.
Why is that accepted?
It makes me so mad.
I'm lucky. I've received next to no rude or mean comments online aimed at me and my blog. But it makes me scared of Fairly Fabulous ever getting big, because of the cyber bullying that seems to come with the territory.
It's wrong. It shouldn't be like this.
I seem to have diverged from the original purpose of this post, which was to talk about '13 Reasons Why', but I think that this is what the creators of both the book and the TV series wanted to happen. They want people to talk about this. They want people to take a second and look at the way we treat other people. They want us to see the impact our actions can have on other people.
People can latch onto comments you throw out in passing, without thinking. It can have an impact beyond what you can imagine.
I think we, as a society need to examine how we treat other people, and make a concerted effort to be kinder to each other.
You have no idea what is going on in someones life.
'It's nice to be nice,' and 'If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing,' are cliches for a reason.
'13 Reason Why,' has started this conversation, but it is up to us to continue it.
If you've finished watching '13 Reasons Why,' watch '13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons.' It's very important.
Peace and Love,
Aoife :) x
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P.S. If you need to talk to someone, here are a few people who can listen:
The Samaritans: Free Phone 116 123
Aware: 1800 80 48 48
Pieta House National Suicide Helpline: 1800 247 247
Rape Crisis Ireland: 1800 77 88 88
Woman's Aid: 1800 34 19 00
Teenline: Text 'Talk' to 50015
If you're looking for another number Mental Health Ireland, have a list of people who can help.
THESE 1800 NUMBERS ARE FREE TO CALL. PLEASE TALK.