13 Reasons Why is a heavily emotional show and requires a certain amount of maturity to handle its subject matter. However, are the increases in censorship necessary? Should schools and parents be upset? I can see both sides of the argument, but to me, #13ReasonsWhy should be watched and discussed.
Yes, censorship is definitely needed for this show. Mental health awareness is still not widely talked about or accepted. There are situations in this show that may trigger someone with mental illness. If you have been abused in any way or struggling with thoughts of suicide, this show may trigger a serious reaction from you. It is better to be warned about a possible trigger than to be too caught up in a story and unaware of how to sort out your reaction in a healthy way.
This show is not meant to hurt anyone. It is meant to inform and encourage people to help others who feel alone or without hope. I would like for those that are struggling to know that someone always cares, even if it seems like no one does. If you need help, do not be ashamed to say it. It's true that not everyone understands what you may be going through, but just one could be enough to help.
School And Parent Reactions
I think schools and parents are reacting the way they are because our society is not open about mental issues and how to deal with them. I do not agree with schools and parents being angry towards this show. Becoming angry about the subject of this show and claiming that it glorifies suicide is horribly inaccurate. Suicide is heartbreaking and 13 Reasons Why does nothing but show how horrible it is. It shows how lives are affected afterwards and just how important each and every person is.
If you believe that a student or your child will react this way by watching the show, then I think that means that you should be seeking mental help for him or her. There is nothing wrong with helping someone try to overcome their mental illness. If this is the case, then yes, that particular student/child should not watch this show. I'd be worried, too.
Mental Health Awareness In '13 Reasons Why'
Instead of trying to shut down 13 Reasons Why, I think it might be more beneficial to watch and discuss the subject if you are not personally suffering from a mental illness, as a way to raise awareness and how you can help. The show is based on fictional characters who have dealt with very real problems. Bullying occurs all of the time, not just in high school; it happens everywhere, no matter what age you are.
I think some people resort to bullying because it makes them feel better about their own insecurities. Others resort to it in response to other people's actions. A lot of bullies do not understand that sometimes the one being bullied will stand up against it. I'm not sure if bullying leads to clinical depression or different forms of mental illness, but it sure as hell doesn't help it.
Hannah was unable to handle the bullying because it was consistent and sexually degrading. Also, she was most likely struggling with a form of depression and was good at hiding it. There aren't always obvious warning signs. Some of those dealing with depression purposely hide the signs because of social taboos. I'd rather someone not hide it and gradually reveal their confusing behaviors and mood swings. However, maybe someone who has depression isn't able to control these behaviors and mood swings. If this is the case with some of our peers, then shouldn't we be discussing how we can help these people? Is it possible that sometimes we just cannot help them?
Jessica was somehow able to survive her bullying and sexual abuse, but what she went through was absolutely horrific. She may have turned to drugs, alcohol, anger, and sex, but she was different than Hannah. She did not commit suicide though the other stuff was obviously a coping mechanism and a terrible cry for help. The rape culture we are living in makes it so it is very difficult to discuss sexual abuse — "Oh, the girl wanted it, look what she was wearing." "She was drunk and forgot she gave consent." "That was just 15 minutes of action." No! This shit should never be said and accepted.
Now onto Alex — what the hell? How were the others completely oblivious to Alex's suicidal feelings? It's not like he hid anything; he said up front how he didn't care about anything, he purposely sped the car without fear, and he was beating the shit out of people who he knew would beat him up in retaliation. He stopped caring. He called people out for their bullshit. His suicidal thoughts were incredibly obvious, compared to Hannah's.
Others must've been too wrapped up in the tapes to recognize that another one of their peers was going to attempt suicide. The school should have been ashamed by how they handled Hannah's situation, ignoring her attempts for help, then doing so again with another student who showed the signs clearly to their face.
Do you think that 13 Reasons Why is being overly censored? Do you think schools and parents are overacting?