Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Tyranny of Labels and Their Politically Correct Bullies

OMIGOSH!!! Will Smith is homophobic‽ It must be true; I read it on Twitter!! I mean, they wouldn't make up stuff like that, right? What a total homophone!

What on Earth does this have to do with ADHD or Depression? More than you might realize. Read on.

Last Friday there was a small fury over Will Smith's antics on the red carpet in Russia. He was promoting the release of Men in Black 3 when a reporter attempted to get friendly with him in the press line. If you read reports of the incident on Twitter, Will Smith was a culturally insensitive rube who took offense at some guy's friendly greeting. News sites were more nuanced, but check out the lurid headlines:

Will Smith Slaps Reporter Who Tries Kissing Him on Red Carpet (VIDEO)

Will Smith Slaps Reporter For Trying To Kiss Him In The Mouth At The MIB 3 Red Carpet!

Will Smith ATTACKS Kissy Reporter

Is Will Smith homophobic? (Democratic Underground says mostly "Yes!")

Is Actor Will Smith a Homophobe? (Hollywood Investigator says "No!")

All that reporter wanted was to greet a celebrity to his homeland. And Will Smith smacks him. What a jerk, right?

Well, maybe not. A better account of the incident can be found at the Daily Mail (I can't believe I just typed that…): 'He's lucky I didn't punch him': Furious Will Smith slaps TV prankster for trying to kiss him on the lips on red carpet

In short, a Ukrainian TV prankster, famous for attacking celebrities when they least expect it, waylaid Will Smith at the press line. That's his shtick. He gets into celebrities' faces, embarrasses them on camera, and applauds his cleverness. On Friday, he attempted to embarrass Will Smith by giving him a sloppy greeting.

This is no friendly greeting—no cultural kiss; this is a mauling. And this was the repeat attack, too. He went for Smith's mouth first.

If you watch the video, you can see Smith is none too pleased. Did he react inappropriately when he back tapped the prankster's face? Maybe. Was it excessive? That depends. Wouldn't you have applauded if Will Smith was a Willamina?

If Willamina Smith had beat off an overly aggressive display of affection from a creepy guy, would she be labeled a man-hater? No. World-wide she would be applauded. But the press quickly defines Will Smith's response as anti-gay. What a crock of garbage.

This reminds me of the labeling some ADHD folks and depressives deal with.

How many of you have been told you're just lazy or making excuses because you mention that ADHD makes certain tasks difficult for you? Or perhaps you've been told that you "need to get your act together" by family members with no tolerance of your depression or ailment. Maybe you've even been told by other depressives that you are not actually depressed because they take medication and you don't! In each case, somebody is defining your experience by their terms. For example, I cannot take meds for ADHD or Depression. The meds (of which I have tried countless many) are dangerous to me. Anti-depressants make me suicidal. And I just spent the last twenty years getting over the last bad ADHD prescription—most of which are stimulant based and give me tics. I'm not about to lose 20 more years to another med experiment just to gain somebody else's approval. If I want control over my problems, I need to find other solutions, not the ones foisted upon me by advocates.

When advocates control the news, they control the narrative. They control what words and actions mean. Will Smith doesn't like having his personal space invaded by a stranger? Forget context. He's a homophobe. Similarly, the same intolerance is at play in the mental health arena. Do you experience side-effects taking psychotropic meds? Too bad. We've struggled to like ourselves because we take meds, and you've hurt our cause. You're not really depressed. You don't really have ADHD. You don't really have a problem. Shut up! Go away! Stop talking. You don't represent us, so we'll silence you.

I call these guys what they are: bullies. I don't care if they think their cause is just. They're just bullies.

It is vitally important that you do not allow politically correct bullies to define you by their terms. They will lift up their cause by building on the grave of yours. Just as every man who doesn't like to be face hugged by a stranger isn't a homophobe, every person who uses alternatives to psychotropic meds isn't promoting stigma. I respectfully disagree with those that would label me a man who "doesn't have real Depression" because I treat it with Cognitive Behavior Therapy and not meds. They are entitled to their own opinions until they try to tell me what mine should be.

Don't let the bullies silence and coerce you. Fight back. Get on Twitter and voice your opinion. Get a blog. Speak out on Facebook. When we timidly let the politically correct define the narrative, we participate in our own marginalization. We must be ever vigilant against the advocates who demand compliance to their way of seeing things. When we allow a few bullies to define us, we give up our freedoms of speech and our liberties. We lose our voice. I aim to not let that happen to me. What about you?

Still unemployed today, though I'm sending out résumés. If you like what you read here, any tip would be appreciated. Coming up next will be a review of the ToDo list app, Wunderlist, which I hope you will enjoy reading. Thanks for your support.