To the brim
To the brim
SPOILER ALERT—Read at your own discretion.
I’m in the middle of season one of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and I find myself constantly asking questions. I read a post just last night in which the writer wondered whether the show was romanticizing or glamorizing suicide. There are many instances in the show that I’ve found myself wondering just that.
The main problem is that most people who kill themselves, like 99.9 percent of those people, are not going to leave tapes behind with commentary, a map with marked locations, and cause even more drama after death. Many people don’t even leave a note. There is really no way to tell why these people killed themselves unless the people they loved paid attention to the very obvious signs.
This show turns suicide into drama in a way that’s both wrong and intriguing. For me, so far, and I haven’t gotten to the biggest reason why Hannah killed herself, it seems like the show both gets it and misses the mark. One thing I really like about this series is that it talks about what it’s like to be a girl in high school. It’s so easy to become ‘the whore’ and literally everything is about who is sleeping with who. Your body is violated and everyone treats it as if it’s a normal human experience not realizing the impact it has on the victim. This is something I feel like even the greatest writer would never be able to convey to people who have never been sexually assaulted. It’s kind of like explaining being black to a non-black person. Or what it’s like to be disabled, gay or Muslim to people who don’t belong to these groups. You can try but it almost never works.
Sexual assault and harassment are prevalent in this show. And it’s very high in high schools across the nation and the globe. A guy grabs your butt or touches breasts and you’re told that he’s just being a man. The oldest and most used excuse in the book. We don’t realize that not reprimanding people for disgusting actions such as trespassing someone’s body affects not just the victim but society. The fact that no one stood up for Hannah created a school environment in which rape and sexual assault flourished. The perpetrators felt strong and invincible because they knew they wouldn’t be held accountable. Sound familiar?
This show also seems to imply that if people knew they would’ve done something but as I look at the show I see Hannah presenting the information to people she thought were friends. They didn’t care. I even questioned if Clay cared. He basically called her a slut and easy after the entire school bullied her about something that never even happened.
In real life, when people take their life—they may be spoken of by family but no one stops to pay attention because no one cares. If anything people continue the same rhetoric that made the person take their own life in the first place.
Jessica, Jessica, Jessica. Idiot girl blames everything on Hannah because she’s in denial about the fact that she’s a user and abuser. Jessica is the worst kind of backstabber. She never really liked Hannah. She only viewed her as a pastime and even after her death she blamed the entire situation on her. She claimed that Hannah only cared about herself. If the only thing you have to do is be is kind why can’t you, Jessica?
Alex is no better but he’s a story for an entirely different day. What’s heartbreaking is thinking of what would’ve saved Hannah’s life. Maybe if she didn’t wear a skirt. Or if she wasn’t pretty or friendly. Maybe she shouldn’t have trusted anyone. Maybe she should have just been ‘socially awkward’ like Clay. Maybe if she didn’t have a butt or a vagina or breasts. Maybe if people weren’t disgusting savages. Maybe if she would’ve just stayed home.
In honor of the good hearted. Those who’ve always thought to do right in a world of yes-men and women. Those whose eyes have opened wide and wider than before. The spirited folk who withhold conjectures and heavily armor their senses with skepticism in a world where simply thinking is believing and mere assumptions are truth.
To the people who make strides in their community. The givers of all and receivers of none. To the fool who believes that civility can win. The persons who move towards a better world through action—the wise individual who knows that it begins with them.
To the child who thinks boldly but not taken seriously—
This is for people who don’t blindly follow the ‘shepherd.’ Embrace your individuality because being unique, truly unique, is blessing.
Some people believe that collateral damage is necessary. I often find myself wondering to what extent. How far should we as a society be willing to go?
When it comes to war, I’m constantly left wondering what the grounds are. Or what the source of the conflict is. I find that many people like to mask every war as a battle for democracy only to find out the conflict has little or nothing to do with us.
When it all comes down to it, I’m not sure that I’m capable of coming up with an excuse to kill innocent people. What are your thoughts? When is right, when is it wrong?
© Kyanna Kitt
We live in a world where saying the wrong thing at the wrong time has big consequences. If you are self-aware, and as a human person I expect you are to some degree, you may have the tendency to be hard on yourself. For me, it was always feeling like I wasn’t doing enough.
It’s funny because some people argue that how we feel about the world is how we feel about ourselves. While this is a cute thought, I don’t feel that it’s the truth at every point in everyone’s life. I am often judged as judgmental or ‘opinionated.’ I think this assessment is fair in the case of myself because I judge myself in a way that I feel no other person is capable of. It’s why backhanded responses, critiques and accusations don’t get under my skin. I’m truly my hardest critic.
Sometimes I find that my self-criticism follows me elsewhere. As many of you know, I love to read and observe. When I observe, and learn about new thinks I have the urge to talk about them and tell everyone what I think and feel about these topics.
For some strange reason when I speak about what I feel, I am often met with responses as if I am a professional journalist being held to a high standard where I shouldn’t make mistakes and have opinions. I’m none of that. I’m just a person with thoughts who likes to share them. Notice how I never say I’m right. I just share my perspective.
I could lash out at people for perceiving me as a know-it-all or uptight but I don’t. Instead, I look at why they may think that and why it would make them so angry. I converse or shrug it off. Snapping would be an easier response but I choose to be rational and respectful and they can too.
Every night before I went to bed I would pray. I would seldom pray for myself. I lay on my Barbie princess bed and press my hands together and press my eyes tightly shut and just go in. I would hope that Jesus and God would take away the illness and suffering. I hoped that somehow people wouldn’t have to know pain—true pain.
I revisit that childish dream often. Not because I am naïve, on the contrary, I’m a person who is quite skeptical and very in tune with the reality of the situation. I know that romance is nothing like I read in dozens of stories as a child. I know that people hate. I know that abuse, murder and mayhem exist. I know that someone somewhere wants to take their life or the lives of others amongst other things and I also know that most of all there is nothing I can do to immediately stop it all.
I don’t revisit my childish dream for wishful thinking rather because child me, despite knowing of the horrors of the world, still believed that somehow it could change. She thought and desperately believed that somehow the world could be truly beautiful for everyone everywhere. She was very aware but she dared to dream in the impossible. I admire that kid for that.
Do I still believe in that little prayer? The simple answer is yes, the more complicated response is I don’t know how anymore. I don’t know if we can change the direction of the world but what I DO know is that it’s going to take more than prayer and kindness.
How do we turn this world into one children believe in?
© Kyanna Kitt
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