Thursday, July 03, 2014

People fight for their right to mock mental patients

Recently I've left two Facebook groups because the moderators insisted they had the right to make fun of people with psychiatric disabilities. People who would bite your head off if you used the word "retarded" or some ethnic slur get extremely offended when you ask them not to make fun of you and your friends.

being popular on the internet is like sitting at the cool table in the mental hospital

That's what one insensitive person (IP) commented on an online thread in the "OTD and Sane" group. Another person jumped on the bandwagon.

Hey, that's the closest some of us are going to get to sitting with Napoleon, Elvis, Genghis Khan, and Oscar Wilde. And that's only when one other person is at the cool table

I didn't bother talking to him about this flagrantly offensive rant. I thought I could talk to IP, woman to woman, because she's emailed me a number of times to complain about other group members and we've had a decent rapport. So I tried:

I've actually been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, so I would prefer it if you didn't make fun of mental patients as a group. Thanks.

And failed. She became defensive.

I dont think i made fun of mental patients. How is that making fun of ANYONE

I didn't think I was being unreasonable, and tried to reason with her.

It's making fun of the people at the "cool table" in the mental hospital

She insisted it wasn't offensive:

A table with elvis genghis khan oscar wilde would be amazing conversation

I tried to educate her:

That's not realistic. Neither as a patient nor as a clinician have I ever seen that scenario.

I guess some people would interpret that as having somewhat of a testy tone. She certainly did.

Ok im not going to apologize for what i said. I dont feel i made fun of anyone. Im sorry you feel that way.

That's not really an apology, and is she really that ignorant?

You did put down people in mental hospitals, and I'm surprised you don't see that. There's no need to get defensive. I'm not asking you to apologize in public. I'm just asking you to be a little more mindful before making jokes about psychiatric hospitals and hte people in them.

Trying to emphasize our common humanity. She's not having it.

Im sorry but you are totally over reacting or bring super sensitive. Im sorry you think i was making fun. I disagree

That got me a little annoyed.

You actually were making fun. I'm not overrreacting.

So I posted a thread in the group asking if others found this offensive or inappropriate. And was roundly denouced. I left. I should have known that people in a group called "OTD and Sane" would jump at the chance to make fun of people with psychiatric disabilities. Like me.

Mental illness is the last acceptable stereotype. I try to educate people, but it doesn't seem to be working. They think mocking people who are suffering is funny and resent your attempts to assert that it's not. Not sure what the answer is, but I'm pretty angry right now.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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