People have a long history of being right.. Or at least that’s what we’d like to believe. How dare you challenge my view of the world?
Aristarchus was the doctor.
Remember that dude who first suggested that the earth wasn’t the center of the solar system? The audacity. Back like 2300 years ago, Aristarchus was surrounded by a society that was fully confident in their geocentric model of the solar system. He figured it out, but no one listened to him. Then 18 centuries later Copernicus finally published his theory of the heliocentric solar system- he almost gave Aristarchus credit, but took that part out before publishing. Again, the audacity. Point is, it took society another 100 years to finally accept fact. In the face of empirical evidence it took a total of over 1900 years for society to accept this new, correct worldview. We’re, um, slow.
Aristarchus was the doctor, even though he couldn’t have fixed what was broken on his own. Okay, no more science examples. We can’t quite run parallels between what’s quantifiable and what’s societal. I’m choosing to believe that you’re a smart person and can see where I’m going with this.
Stigma hurts everyone.
Let’s look at some more recent and societal stigmas. We can run parallels between the fight for racial equality and the fight for women’s rights. How long did we fight over something so trivial as the colour of our skin? The fact that this is still an issue is sickening. And women, fighting for the right to vote. I have a vagina, which I think we can now agree makes me no less of a human than a human who has a penis or other paraphernalia. The American Civil Rights Act was just implemented in the 60s (along with the Canadian Charter of Rights with Trudeau in ’79). We’ve made progress, but we still have a long way to go.
Check out the LGBTQ movement – society has made huge progress here. People who don’t identify with one of these newfangled sexual orientations or genders can’t possibly understand those who do. I didn’t get it until I realized that I myself am non-binary and pansexual. There is no us and them. We are all us. We are all people.
Now let’s look at the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Some people say that stigmas surrounding mental illness will always exist. After all, anyone who hasn’t experienced something like major depression can’t possibly understand it. Such is the nature of the illness, and I agree that this is true. However, I submit that this is not a lost cause. We as a society can learn to accept THAT we don’t understand, and then we can learn to accept WHAT we don’t understand. These stigmas hinder our progress as a society, and they hurt everyone.
Men who cry are men.
Sex work is work.
But seriously, we’re all fucking human. We’re all made from the same stuff. Let’s stop judging each other for taking our antidepressants or using our sexuality to pay our bills. Let’s try being brave and supporting each other instead.
Fear is the sickness that holds us back.
Fear of failure. Fear of loss. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown and those things we don’t understand. Fear holds us back as individuals and as a collective society. Fear is the root of stigmatization. Fear of being wrong. Ultimately it’s this reluctance to embrace change that may just be our downfall.
Rock my boat, baby.
I’m open to the introduction of new evidence that would challenge any assumption I make. I know I’m not alone in my desire to challenge the status quo and perpetually move forward. I want so badly to see humanity make real progress.
Who will stand with me? Viva la revolution! But seriously, we need to speak up and heal society with our voice. Stand up and for the love of kittens save us with your vote.