Another excellent post; thought provoking as ever.
I had a discussion today about how to react when people use offensive terms about mental illness or speak about someone with a mental health problem in a stigmatising way. The idea came up that a very small fraction of people mean to be offensive – the majority of people just do it through ignorance. The implication being that we should mind less when people are offensive through ignorance – they didn’t mean to do it, so we shouldn’t get upset.
Which brings me back to this point again: stigma is pervasive. It’s not just the horror movies based on mental institutions or people being called “crazy” or “nuts”. The small things can be just as devastating to someone’s life even if people didn’t mean it.
The idea that something should affect you less just because the person didn’t mean to do it doesn’t make any sense. Intent matters in…
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