Why We Shouldn't Joke About Serious Things

Why We Shouldn't Joke About Serious Things

Mental illness, racism, etc are not punchlines
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I remember one time, while I went to public high school, there was “alter-ego day”, and I remember seeing a bunch of girls dressed in all black with red pen marks horizontally drawn on their wrists, and I remember thinking, “Why the hell would you make fun of such a serious thing?” At the time, I was in the worst place mentally, suffering from severe depression, and hiding my self-harm cuts whilst these girls were making it seem like a joke. I remember actually snapping on one girl whilst her and her friend were laughing about it, drawing the red pen marks like it doesn’t actually happen, and I said something along the lines of "be careful who you say that around, you never know who might actually be suffering with that issue". The girl was shocked that I said something, and responded along the lines of, "it’s just a joke". No, it’s not.

You shouldn’t joke about depression, self-harm, weight, abusive relationships of any kind, racism, terrorism, etc.

I remember in middle school my friend Austin would joke around with me about my weight, when in all honesty, I really wasn’t at my biggest at that time. The thing he didn’t know was how serious I took those jokes, until one day, knowing he’d take my iPod at some point during study hall, I put my background to a quote that had to do with how I was feeling and I remember the look of shock on his face, he had no idea that his jokes really got to me, or that I thought of myself so poorly. Another time that same year, after Austin knew how I felt about myself, he knew someone had a crush on me, but refused to tell me who, and another one of the people in the group, Logan, said , “Ew, who would have a crush on Gabbi?” I snapped, I turned around and said, “I know right?! Why would someone have a crush on someone fat and gross like me? I don’t know why anyone would have a crush on me!” and broke down crying. I remember the look on everyone that I was actually friends with in the group's faces’, they were shocked at my reaction, shocked to hear me say that, because I hid how I felt from them so well, they had no idea. I remember Austin just putting his hand on my knee, speechless. Everyone was speechless. Logan was just joking, but his words really hurt. I went home that day and just laid on the couch, listening to my iPod, and stared at the ceiling. My parents had, and still have no idea, why I did that that day, for all I know they don’t remember that day. But that day was the true start of my long road of severe depression.

My most recent experience of jokes that aren’t funny was actually here at college. This one girl asked an African American male, “Why do you wear sunscreen? It’s not like you get burned.” I, having been in a relationship at the time with an African American male, was shocked at such a stupid statement. The girl laughed at what she had said like it was a joke, and the male responded with, “That was SO arrogant and rude.” This girl thought because someone has a darker pigmentation to their skin that their skin doesn’t burn! She didn’t understand why her comment had been in anyway rude.

What I’m trying to say with all of these stories is, DO NOT, BY ANY MEANS, make jokes about self-harm, depression, the color of someone’s skin, etc because you have NO IDEA how anyone around you may react, what those people might have gone through, or what they are going through. Just don’t be rude in general and ask stupid questions.

Cover Image Credit: SiliconeAngle

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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My Journey With Divorced Parents

I realize now that things are better this way.

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When I was about 4 years old, my parents got divorced. Now, I know that kids having divorced parents is not something that is uncommon at all. But everyone has a different experience and story to share.

Since my parents' divorce happened when I was at such a young age, I don't really have very many memories of them ever really living in the same house. Don't get me wrong, I have tons of childhood memories with my parents, but a vast majority of them are either with my mom or dad.

And I never really knew why they got divorced, aside from what they told me when I was older. It wasn't until my senior year that I really thought about what it was like for them to have to explain their situation to such a young kid. I'm not an only child, but my sister is four years older than me, so she had a bit more of an understanding. And my brother was just a toddler, so it wasn't much of an issue for him.

I think one of the hardest things to get used to was having to move cities when my mom got remarried. We moved from Overland Park, Kansas to Lee's Summit, Missouri. I was a very shy kid and absolutely hated the idea of having to change schools. It also made things even harder because my dad was still in Kansas, so everything I did revolved around my schedule of going between my mom and dad's houses. It eventually became a normal thing as time went on, and I got used to it.

Having your parents get divorced is a big adjustment for anyone, especially when it comes to them getting remarried. With my mom, she got remarried when I was in first grade and has been married ever since. He has a daughter just a few months older than my sister, and we all get along great. My dad got remarried around the same time as well, but ended up getting another divorce when I was 14 years old.

This is something that took a major toll on me, mentally and emotionally.

See, I was very close to my stepsister from my dad's second marriage. We were less than a year apart in age and got along insanely well. We did almost everything together. But after the divorce, she never talked to me again. I tried to keep in contact with her for some time, but eventually gave up when I never heard back. It gave me a lot of trust issues because family is the one thing people say will never leave.

After that, I struggled a lot with the idea of my dad dating. I was afraid to let them into my life because I knew that nothing was guaranteed, no matter what people told me. Because every time I even slightly started to let my walls down, something would happen and I put my defenses back up.

Eventually, my trust issues began to expand into relationships of all kinds. I was just afraid that people would leave and take a part of me with them and I hated the idea of that. It's still something I struggle with today. But as time went on, and I opened up to my dad about how I felt, things got easier. I realized it's okay to have a guard up when meeting new people, but that it's also okay to let them in at a pace that you control.

As I look back at my past today, I realized that everything I have been through because of my parents' divorce was meant to happen. I wouldn't be the person I am today if things had played out differently, and I'm thankful for the way things went. My mom is still happily married, and my dad is with someone who is absolutely perfect for him and I completely adore.

And I know that if my parents hadn't split, they would have never found the people they were meant to be with. I know I wouldn't have met certain people in my life that have made huge impacts on me in a multitude of ways. I wouldn't have gotten the chance to experience lots of the things I have throughout my life if things had gone differently.

We all just have to remember that everything happens for a reason. And I couldn't be more grateful for that.

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