Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. I only just heard the sad, sad news of Robin Williams’s death. My wife sent me a message to tell me he had died, and, when I asked her what he died from, she told me something that nobody in the news seems to be talking about.
When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”.
The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide…
But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that.
Wil Wheaton, mensch.
do you sometimes just start reading fanfiction and you’re like
Tell me again why a women’s liberation movement is no longer needed.
Dear “I don’t need feminism” crowd…
“The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stood by its ruling that a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive and worried he would try to start an affair. Coming to the same conclusion as it did in December, the all-male court found that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender." [x]
oh let’s ignore the fact that this human being probably wouldn’t consent to the affair her boss wanted to have and let’s focus instead on the fact that it’s easier on the male ego to remove someone from their means of income than to let some nasty pasty fat balding middle aged dude getting rejected and having to think with his brain instead of his dick. the poor guy.
dude like how do you hear this guy’s story and your first impulse ISN’T to require he get psychiatric care to figure out what the hell is problem is??
drzaiustheape said: In your picture talking about how in the 100 thousands more women are abused or some shit along the lines of that. I think you need to compare those 'statistics' to countries like Saudi Arabia and China where women are really disadvantaged. Fuck you
Newsflash: Women Are Not In A Competition For Human Rights
Here’s an idea: If you hear about a horrific injustice perpetrated against girls and women, try not to use that story as a weapon to silence other women who are fighting their own battles against violence and discrimination.
When a South Korean ferry capsizes and hundreds die do you see media pundits tweeting that the victims of boat crashes in the U.S. should stop talking and take a hard look at what a really terrible disaster looks like? When prisoners in Egypt die, do they say to those raped or shackled while giving birth in U.S. jails, “See, those prisoners over there have it really bad”? When members of the LGTBQ community in Russia are brutally assaulted, do you hear people say to those here, “Now those people, they have something to complain about”?
But, women? Well, like you, everyone’s an expert on exactly what level of misogyny and violence is acceptable. You sound like Tom Bevan who recently tweeted: “Real war on women: Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death by own family for marrying the man she loved.” Within hours of Bevan’s tweet, journalist David Frum shared the sad and enraging news about two Dalit girls, gang-raped, who hanged themselves from a tree: “The next time somebody talks about ‘misogyny in American society,’ forward them this.”
What are you, six?
This is a “stock” formulation, a knee-jerk response for many people, especially conservatives. There are people suffering far more violence and social ills elsewhere, always, and we should think about that. But, it’s immediately insulting because it implies that those protesting violence and talking about sexism in the United States (and the rest of the developed world) are too stupid to understand that there is a spectrum of violence.
Your statement ignores the glaring fact that the spectrum we live with, globally, is one where women aresubject to gender-based violence. There is nowhere that this is not true. Everywhere, we face the political, legislative, and legal regulation of our bodies and reproduction in ways men don’t and we live, daily, with the real and abiding costs of avoiding or living with violence perpetrated almost exclusively by men. Many men apparently still doubt this, even after millions of women tell them that it’s true.
This commentary was more visible because in the days since Elliot Rodger’s killing spree the trending of #YesAllWomen catalyzed unprecedented media conversations about gender and misogyny. Quick as a flash the Misogynistic Theory of Women’s Relative Rights made its rote appearance: Women “here” are so much “better off” than women “over there.” Pick your “here,” “better,” and “over there.”
Women are not in a competition for female human rights.
The implication is that we, “here,” are supposed to be comforted that two girls were raped and hanged themselves in India. Do more men in India, per capita, throw acid on women than men in the United States douse them in gas and light them on fire? Every woman on a South African women’s soccer team has been raped, isn’t it better that on our national team chances are only two or three? I don’t understand why anyone thinks this is a “reasonable” and “balanced” thing to suggest. What is the point of this equation other than to put on display the sexist notion that women’s safety and rights are relative and contingent on other women’s lack of safety and rights? What is it about the notion of non-negotiable rights, human rights, for women, that is so hard to understand?
In case it’s not clear, this is what that way of phrasing says to the people who work to end this violence:
- Women’s rights are a zero sum game played by women only, apparently outside of the scope of human rights.
- Your concerns, “here,” are trivial.
- We treat “our” women better than “they” treat “their” women. You are “lucky.” We could be doing this to you here.
- There is a just-right goldilocks temperature for global gender-based violence and the cultural subordination of women. Really. I’ll decide what it is.
- I am hugely privileged and have no real idea what I am talking about, but feel I have the authority to speak.
- Stop talking. Stop talking. Stop talking. (Actually, “Stop whining” is more the suggestion of the “I’ll show them what’s really bad.”)
Comparing women’s security and freedom in this way does nothing useful or helpful at all. Instead, it demonstrates an inability to consider privilege and power when it comes to matters involving women.
Have a nice day.
I love her “god hates facts” profile picture. On a pro-feminist group on Facebook.
Well said, Jim C. Hines
Unfriendly reminder that in America it’s reasonable to say an unarmed black kid deserved to be shot six times because he might have robbed a convenience store, but a white kid shouldn’t be kicked off the high school football team just because he violently raped a girl.
I spent like 10 years of my life pretending to fly around on a broomstick and you’re asking me if preparing for a love scene was ‘tricky’ because the other person also had a penis?
That second to last panel is chilling.
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