Don't worry no spoilers here! Like most people, I've been obsessed with the new Netflix series "13 Reasons Why." I finished it in two days, and lost sleep over it because it was so good. But other than being suspenseful and packed with drama, the takeaway from it is even greater reason to watch it.
1. It brings awareness to suicide.
Everyone knows what suicide is, but some people think it is selfish, and others understand the reasoning. The show brings awareness to the signs of suicide. Of course, everyone is different, but common traits include losing interest in hobbies, change in sleeping and eating patterns, and withdrawing from others.
2. It educates about rape culture.
The show captures what rape culture is in our society, and how often it actually does happen. It shows how it affects girls and women.
3. It's relatable in some aspect.
Whether it's one character you can relate to, or multiple, everyone that's gone to high school at least knows about the buying and the gossip that happens, and the everyday things like a relationship, class, sports, a conversation, or party,
4. It highlights male privilege.
I hope that boys and men can watch this and understand what their privilege is and how even just "locker room talk" and gossiping with friends has huge effects.
5. It shows the damaging effects of bullying.
Everyone knows bullying goes on but they never think it's bad enough that someone will kill themselves over it. But "13 Reasons Why" shows the constant abuse and antagonizing eats away at someone, especially if the victim is getting bullied by multiple people.
6. It's a reminder that we never know what's going on in someone else's life.
The show is a great reminder that you may know someone or know about them from school or work and how they are there, but you never really know what goes on at their home life, or if they have a disability, or who they are behind the happy face. It's just another reminder to be kind to others, because they could have it way worse than you may think.
7. It shows how small things make a large impact.
To relate to #6, one thoughtless action can be huge to someone else because you don't know what the other person is experiencing.
8. It could imply that social media is not the cause of cyber bullying.
This may just be a theory of mine, but what I mean by this is that yes, social media has made a huge impact on cyber bullying, but how do we know it hasn't always been there? Since Hannah uses tapes to record her messages, it could be implying that bullying has always occurred, it just has been talked about until now.
9. It brings light on the misogyny prevalent in schools.
Girls are called numerous names all the time. Slut, whore, skank, etc. Having it written on bathroom walls or having people spread rumors about girls happens in every high school, I guarantee. And showing the boys being directly sexist and thinking they can do whatever they want is important, because it shows how not to be.
10. It's raw.
Yes, it is explicit. It might make people uncomfortable, but I think for some people, this is the only way they can start to realize the disturbing rape culture, and the emptiness and heartache of suicide.
11. It sheds light on what schools can do to help.
It also shows what schools shouldn't do. Schools should help to do something before it has happened. For example, they shouldn't hang bullsh*t suicide posters in the school after someone already kills themselves. Schools should have counselors, programs, something set in place so someone in need can go.
12. It's a reminder for adults on how hard it is to be an adolescent.
This is a reminder that it's not always "teenage angst" and that most kids go through at least one thing that one of these characters has gone through. It helps parents also recognize signs, and what they can do to help.
13. It's a reminder of how we should treat others.
We brush people off and are rude to those we don't know or aren't friends with, and it's dangerous. Just to reiterate, we don't know what other people experience, we only know what we see and hear about them. It's a reminder that we should be kind to others.