“Stigma” isn’t the Only problem We Bipolars have

It’s DISCRIMINATION

We are discriminated against.

Period.

I’m not saying the stigma battle isn’t an important one and I have used the word a lot.  It just means something different than what we want it to mean.  Than what I am talking about right now.

The definition of this word is not about fair treatment. It is about getting people to like us.  That is what the WORD means.

I’m just pointing out that we shouldn’t NEED everyone to like us. We need to have rights ANYWAY.

Whether or not people think we should have them.  Whether or not we scare people and therefore have to dance around on the edges of society wearing our scary stigma ghost costumes.

I started thinking about all of the different isms out there. Racism, sexism, ageism, ableism. And homophobia of course. I wondered what our term is. What is the word for discrimination against the neuroatypical or blah blah blah the “mentally ill”.

Wiki says that it is…get this…

Mentalism or sanism

Ew and ew

And that’s just Wiki so if you want to believe wiki go ahead. I didn’t search too much more but I did not run past those terms again.

Plus I hate them so I don’t even care if they are the right words.

How awesome is that that even the words used for describing discrimation against us are indeed stigmafying (yeah my word) and stigmatizing. That’s so gross.

This made me wonder why we have to use the word stigma when all of the other discriminated against groups get to use the word discrimination.

Because that’s what it is.

Let’s say it

LOUD

WE ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST

and so far in this world it is OKAY for people to discriminate against us

People who don’t have a racist or homophobic bone in their bodies still recoil at the idea of the “mentally ill.”

and the people who are worked up about how we are treated often don’t use the big serious accurate word discriminate. They have to use this little word…

Stigma

And what is the difference you ask?

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace on a group or person etc.

Uh EXcuuuuse me?

do you see this??

A mark of fucking DISGRACE

You have got to be kidding

So that is what everybody is working for in fighting “stigma”???

Do you mean fighting stigma isn’t necessarily about receiving better treatment, being portrayed accurately not salaciously by the media, and ending discrimination against us so that we don’t lose our jobs and apartments and children?

It’s just about trying to get everyone to know that we aren’t disgraceful? That it isn’t a disgrace to be us?

Now that is important.

But

Yeah

Can’t we ask for more than that?

I guess if people thought we weren’t disgraceful they wouldn’t discriminate and fear us as intensely. That’s not a bad idea.

But I’m not sure that this isn’t a backasswards way to go about it.

Couldn’t it be that we deserve rights and less discrimination EVEN THOUGH people don’t really like us.

EVEN THOUGH they think we are a disgrace.

EVEN THOUGH they are frightened by us.

Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t there (unfortunately and unbelievably) still people out there who think being gay is a disgrace?

But have people been working to end that stigma and change everybody’s minds BEFORE bringing up the discrimination stuff?

There is a lot to be said for awareness and education.  Helping people to realize that gays/us are just people like everyone else. That’s great. But there is more to it than that.

And that is just one example. The same is true for all of these groups.

Women were given the right to vote way before everyone got on board with the idea that they could actually think. Etc etc etc.  (Not that everyone is aboard that ship either. Woe is me.)

I admit that I have not researched this ad nauseam but I’ve been around and most of what you see are anti-stigma campaigns.  Some of these may be working on discrimination issues and calling it stigma.
Discrimination is different than stigma. Discrimination is about treating people unfairly and differently.

I see a very big difference there. Yes it would be nice to end stigma and to make people realize that we aren’t disgraceful. But the thing is….

We are not disgraceful (although we are all working on undoing that societal stigma mongering in our own hearts ).

So why should we have to prove to people that we aren’t disgraceful before we get to be treated fairly?

Couldn’t it be that ending some of the discrimination against us might communicate to society that we aren’t disgraceful?

We ARE discriminated so let’s USE this word.

Let’s use it more!

Let’s still fight stigma

AND

say DISCRIMINATION when we MEAN discrimination.

Whip it out and throw it around.

Stigma Shmigma!

It’s DISCRIMINATION

We are so discriminated against that nobody even really KNOWS we ARE discriminated against.

We are invisible to the average naked eye.

We are so discriminated against that we don’t even get to use the word DISCRIMINATION.

We aren’t disgraceful so just treat us fairly already!

sheesh

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