Terms like “bipolar”, “autistic” and “schizophrenic” are often used in jest to describe character traits. But how harmful is it to bandy the names of such conditions about?
It’s a common form of hyperbole. The neighbour who keeps his house tidy has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). A socially awkward colleague is autistic. The weather isn’t just changeable, it’s bipolar. Such analogies are so familiar they surely qualify as cliches. They are also inaccurate and, to many, deeply offensive.
As Mental Health Awareness Week begins, campaigners are targeting what many say is an increasingly common practice - deploying the language of clinical diagnosis to describe everyday personality traits.
Using these terms metaphorically is just a joke, not to be taken seriously, argue some. Others, however, warn that this serves to further obfuscate conditions that are widely misunderstood and stigmatised.
Facebook has been criticised for not removing a controversial page which victim support charities say trivialises and jokes about rape.
The group page, called “You know she’s playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway”, has 194,370 likes on the social networking site.
Victim support groups have called it “disgusting”. Companies that advertise on Facebook have demanded their adverts be removed from the page.
Orlagh, a 22-year-old student from Belfast who did not want to disclose her full name, saw the page and became concerned. She said: “This is not just a joke. There are people on there who are advocating rape and there are people on there apparently confessing to rape. Facebook is a significant social force and it gives quite a worrying picture of how they view women if breastfeeding is considered obscene and rape is not.”
On its terms and conditions Facebook said: “You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”
Tinamarie Smith agrees with Facebook and said it was about freedom of speech. She said: “This group has nothing to do with rape its only a bit of fun if u don’t like it then don’t read it… I’m not saying rape is a good thing its very bad but when ur stressing someone about a joke then u really need to get a life.”
So, what I have concluded from this is that some people think rape is hilarious and some female users of facebook think that rape survivors should, “get a life” if they find jokes about rape offensive. What a lovely thing to say, seeing as rape normally ruins people’s lives.
The breastfeeding element that Orlagh speaks about is Facebook banning pictures of breastfeeding mothers deeming them ‘offensive’.
This is disgusting. I can’t help thinking if this were a race hate related joke page it would be taken down immediately. Any hate/violence condoning groups or pages should be removed. Especially when it openly dismisses rape as a joke. I’m not laughing.
“The government has indicated it is committed to changing the law to allow gay marriage by 2015.
While civil partnerships were a “welcome first step”, she said the party was committed to confronting “prejudice and discrimination in all its forms”.
The recent riots which broke out across England prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to say he wanted “rocket boosters” under efforts to turn round the lives of thousands of troubled families.
“You wouldn’t believe how many parents don’t know how to cook even a simple meal.”
“Some of these parents, you ask them when was the last time that they cooked, and they say ‘I think it was in April’,” she adds. “You have to take them to the shops and tell them what to buy because they just live on takeaways.”
The borough of Sandwell borders the city of Birmingham and is one of the poorest in the country. It is here that Rachel’s client lives, a 34-year-old unemployed woman who had so many problems in her previous neighbourhood that she was eventually moved by the Sandwell FIP to another house elsewhere in the borough… … But although her family life improved, her children stopped menacing their neighbourhood, and her FIP ended, she has recently been referred back to it, because she began a relationship with another man, became pregnant by him - and he too became abusive towards her. This raised concerns about her children’s welfare.
I snipped bits of this article, but it talks about the program and what it does, it’s worth a look.
I find this whole thing outrageous on two levels. One, that people are having kids who obviously can’t take care of them and secondly that this is being allowed to happen, parents trying to raise children with a severe lack of help I mean. You shouldn’t be allowed to have children unless you can take care of them properly. And by properly that means providing them with education, proper food etc etc. This is a privilege issue and the government needs to start properly helping the poorest people in the poorest communities. Birth control needs to be widely available and given free, abortion and adoption should be given in equal measures as an alternative to birth.
I feel as though the whole reason the government is doing this is to cut costs on damage caused by riots/anti-social behaviour etc which I think is disgusting. Every damn child deserves equal opportunity regardless of the costs! It’s not just children, it’s the mothers too. The mothers which are often beaten and abused in their own homes by the fathers of their children. They need help! The priorities in this country and America are all wrong. It starts with the people, then you can work up.
The lifetime ban on blood donations by homosexual and bisexual men will be lifted in England, Scotland and Wales.
Ministers have agreed to let men who have not had sex with another man in the past 12 months to donate from November…. …However, the latest medical evidence presented to a government panel argued the [total] ban could no longer be justified.
“I can’t actually see what the point of it is. I’ve been in a committed relationship for 16 years, my blood is as good as anyone’s. It still seems very discriminatory.” Sean Calvert, Milton Keynes
“A gay man in a monogamous relationship who has only had oral sex will still automatically be unable to give blood but a heterosexual man who has had multiple partners and not worn a condom will not be questioned about his behaviour, or even then, excluded.”
“I can’t believe it could have taken 30 years to lift such a discriminatory practice. How many people may have died because our blood wasn’t good enough?” Anthony, Edinburgh
As much as this is such a wonderful and HUGE step forward I’m still disgusted that this is still an issue. I am very well aware that it is said that gay men are at a much higher risk of HIV than any one else, but honestly I’ve never seen proof of this. Especially now in the 21st century where condoms and other forms of protection are widely available and more people have been educated about HIV.
I’m just so annoyed that it’s a gay man’s issue. Surely by that reckoning, any one who’s been sexually active is at risk for HIV, not just gay men. You do not have to be a homosexual male to get HIV and I’m at loss to reasons why homosexual men could give blood but then that blood be tested; at least then he can give and that blood be put to good use if it’s clean (which I’m sure it would be in the majority of cases.) I’m forever seeing adverts about the shortage of blood, and I’m aware that HIV is obviously a big risk but it’s a risk! Just like anything else when it comes to medicine and the human body. Malaria can lie dormant for years and so can other conditions that can be transferred by blood, why are gay men alone subjected to these rather ludicrous measures? If sex is the problem then disqualify any one who’s had unprotected sex.
For all the faults in this, I guess this is the start of the steps in the right direction.
Ivory Coast: UN presses Ouattara over Duekoue massacre
The UN secretary general has urged Ivory Coast’s internationally-backed president to investigate hundreds of deaths blamed partly on his supporters.
“They’re still finding more bodies here - local Red Cross volunteers searching the undergrowth, trawling through streets lined with burned and looted buildings.
And it’s still tense - UN soldiers guard the teams as they drag out the corpses and bury them in mass graves. One soldier tells me he’s seen four dead children. He turns and scolds a group of local fighters lounging at a nearby roadblock. “No more killing,” he says. They nod.
In the centre of town some 40,000 civilians are packed into a church compound. “I’m scared to go home,” one man tells me, pointing out onto the street towards dozens of young, heavily-armed men.”
Hundreds of arts groups lose funding
“More than 200 organisations that received regular funding from Arts Council England have missed out after “a series of painful decisions”.
About 1,300 venues, theatres, galleries and arts groups applied for grants from the council, which had its budget cut by £100m in October’s Spending Review.
“Insurers cannot charge different premiums to men and women because of their gender, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.
The decision means that women can no longer be charged lower car insurance premiums than men, and the cost of buying a pensions annuity will change.”
This pisses me off.
Women have been unfairly treated monetarily for years. Even now, it is more common for men to get paid a higher wage than women for doing the same job. Even if both people have the same qualifications and do the job exactly the same. Suddenly now people are paying attention because it’s men under discrimination. It’s not even discrimination really. (On average) Men get into more car accidents than women, and that’s the only thing that matters for insurance. But when it comes to jobs, wages and fairness in that- oh, no one cares.
Blue Valentine film ‘opened censorship debate’
“It’s started a big discussion in America about why is sex taboo and why is violence okay. I think the MPAA has to re-evaluate its stance on things.
“I feel like my kids will see far worse things during commercials on football games - violence and guns. Blue Valentine is just about intimacy and emotion. There’s very little nudity in the film. It’s more about naked emotions.”
Exactly my opinion.