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comment by empty
empty  ·  1751 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Everything is Broken - computers are terrible and everything is hackable

The word "nutty" wouldn't have the connotation of "bad idea" if we didn't stigmatize mental illness, and we stigmatize mental illness because we use words like "crazy" and "nutty" to describe bad ideas. See how it's a self-perpetuating cycle?

Whenever people phrase things like that, what they really mean is "I don't understand why you want to do X." But instead of phrasing the dialogue in a way that asks why they want to do X, instead the mentally ill are scapegoated. This is literally the definition of scapegoating. You don't want to actually talk about why you think the idea is bad, or just tell someone that their judgement is bad... instead you choose a group of people with a biological illness with negative connotations to associate with the behavior that you don't understand the motivations for, because OF COURSE no one would want to be associated with that group of people.

People with mental illnesses are not stupid. They are not irrational. I am stable the majority of the time. But because of language like the example you gave, and because of the way the mentally ill are portrayed in fiction, I have to keep my disability a secret at work because otherwise people will question every single thing I do and use my disability to discredit me when I disagree with them. That is the life I have to live because people use the same words to refer to my disability as they do to refer to unpredictable, dangerous behavior, even though there is no correlation.

Am I calling for the banishment of that usage of the word "nuts" or "nutty"? Not really, but in my ideal world? Yeah. Like, is it really so hard to phrase it in a way that doesn't promote the stigma? Instead of saying "You'd have to suffer from a disability that will likely lead to your death to try to code that up in Javascript!", why not just say, "I don't understand why you'd want to code that up in Javascript!" or "Why the hell do you want to code that up in Javascript?"

It hurts me a lot more than the benefit you gain from being able to use that word. By using that sort of language, you are directly contributing to the complex of memes which hurts me directly on a daily basis. And when I say it hurts me, I don't mean "oh you made me feel bad by saying that". I mean you contribute to a culture where people mistreat me and get away with it in the workplace, in my own family, in school, etc.

briandmyers  ·  1751 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You could have just said "yes", but thanks for the lecture as well, I guess.

edit: I'm sorry, that was flippant. I DID ask you, and I appreciate your taking the time to explain (although I'd have assumed something very like that, if you hadn't). No offense intended, I apologise again for my off-the-cuff disrespect.

empty  ·  1751 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for the edit. I really do appreciate it. I saw your message without the edit in my inbox and I kind of went, "Fuck, another asshole I have to unfollow now."

I really couldn't have said just yes, though. Then people who have been poisoned by toxic opinions will look at it and go, "Yep, she's one of those batty social justice warriors, just like /r/TumblrInAction told me.".

But that's just crazy obvious filterbubble brainwashing. They only are exposed to these criticisms of themselves through the filter bubble that shows them how the critics are obviously crazy. See how deep it goes? How many meta-levels there are to how the mentally ill are stigmatized and politicized even in everyday personal politics?

So if I just said "yes", I'd only be hurting people like you, who are trapped in this crazy internet hivemind of mind-control through filter bubbling. WAKE UP, PLEASE, I'M BEGGING YOU.

I can't think of a day that's gone by where I haven't heard someone say something about the mentally ill in a way that wasn't either 1. saying the mentally ill are CURAAAZZZY and unpredictable and violent, when pretty much the opposite is true (I'm very set in my habits and I've been a victim of violence throughout my life, even into now, because of my mental illness and NOT because of my actions), or 2. saying that someone they disagreed with was "crazy", effectively labeling then with my disability because they disagreed with or didn't communicate well with some person.

briandmyers  ·  1751 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I won't deny the "asshole" label, though. That's fair.

However - people do need a way to describe aberrant behaviour in others (it happens so very often!), and I think it's asking a lot, to ask them to forego each and every mental-illness-related term - so many. Good luck with that, but I'd urge you to try not to take it personally, and to pick your battles, lest you exhaust yourself. Have a good one.

empty  ·  1751 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't take it personally, unless it's actually personal (i.e, directed at me). But still, I'm going to call it out when it makes sense to do so, especially on social media forums like this, where I don't have to suffer the extra emotional impact of having this sort of conversation face to face. My voice, and the voice of millions others, won't be heard otherwise.

I have a disability that is the subject of mockery in mainstream society. Can you imagine if it were the same for cancer or AIDS? It USED to be the same as AIDS, but we fucking stopped, didn't we? One out of five people with my disability, which is hereditary, die because of it. It killed fucking Robin Williams. People like me are highly functional, higher than average, sometimes, and you use the same words to describe my disability as you do to call into question the judgement of your rivals.

Do you not see how this makes life far more difficult for me?