Setting time-limit on National Service and demobilization is overdue; the constitution is overdue; elections are overdue; freeing prisoners is overdue; ending undeclared state-of-emergency is overdue; and rule-of-law is overdue.
WhatsApp Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. In our multi-part series on 13 Reasons Why, one mental health professional will explore the psychological aspects presented in the show.
The following article contains spoilers for the Netflix television series 13 Reasons Why. Please be advised this may trigger some folks who struggle with mental illness or have any personal experience of, or connection to, sexual assault, rape, or suicide.
The premise and the sensitive issues addressed in the show made it impossible for me to binge-watch it. For those who are not familiar, the basis of the show is that Hannah Baker chose to record 13 audio tapes for 13 people in her life to listen to after she kills herself, because she claims that they are the reasons why she took her own life.
The show has become a lightning rod for suicide awareness and the ethics of portraying suicide in entertainment. One of my biggest struggles while watching the series was not knowing how I felt about Hannah Baker, or how I should have felt about her.
Each passing episode brought more competing thoughts and emotions about her character. One moment I really liked her only to find her smug and extremely sensitive the next minute.
And then my last article profiling the risk of suicide contagion was posted on Reddit and I realized a great many folks also had very strong opinions and feelings about her. Just a sampling of some of the comments: It never occurred to me that anyone would want to copy this.
Others comment on how Hannah did not report Sheri for knocking over a stop sign, which later leads to an auto collision in which causes the death of Jeff. I struggled with my feelings toward Hannah.
Does that make her unlikeable? I think it just makes her human, warts and all. Because in the end, no matter what type of person Hannah was, she was assaulted, stalked, and raped.
And that changed everything for me. The show has been a lightning rod for debates about mental illness and suicide. Communities and social media are debating the ethics of a fictional show depicting a graphic suicide.
Throughout the recorded tapes, Hannah recalls how classmates sexually harassed her in the hallways, spread rumors, objectified her, and stalked her and violated her privacy.
In one episode Hannah witnessed her former friend Jessica, who was blackout drunk, raped at a party by the star football player Bryce.
Hannah was later raped by him at a party at his house. And I have some theories as to why. This is obviously a plot device constructed to have the more minor slights and offenses happen early in the series.
But what this does is that the viewer spends more time focused on other characters and the minor offenses of Alex, Zach.
And the show avoids any hints that Bryce is a rapist until the sexual assaults occur. And because Hannah kills herself shortly after Bryce rapes her, the focus and attention quickly shifts to her hopelessness and the suicide scene.
Rarely did it advance the storyline or focus on the female victim. Hollywood believes rape is horrible, but the industry consistently uses it in a casual and insensitive way that diminishes the destructive power it has on its victims.
And the problem is not limited to just Hollywood.
Jaclyn Friedmanauthor Yes Means Yes: Men who are sometimes our sports heroes, political leaders, buddies, boyfriends and fathers? Justin takes a photo of Hannah that is shared throughout the school. She is mocked, groped, slut-shamed, stalked, and finally Hannah is raped. It is the everyday normalization of objectifying and sexualizing women that sends the message to both genders that it is inevitable and not viewed as problematic.
Rape culture is not ONE thing in particular, it is a cultural and societal norm that shapes how we view both men and women.
When women who come forward are questioned about what they were wearing. When cyberbullies take pictures of sexual assaults and harass their victims online after the fact, which in the cases of Audrie Pott and Rehtaeh Parsons tragically ended in their suicides.
When college campus advisers tasked with supporting the student body, shame survivors who report their rapes. Maybe we should be focusing more on the connection that rape and trauma have with suicide. According to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey1 in 5 women has been the victim of attempted to completed rape in their lifetime, and nearly half of women have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime.
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