Etikettarkiv: depression

Konkreta politiska åtgärder för feminism

Innan du läser vidare och irriterar dig på att jag använder ordet ”feminism” och inte ”jämställdhet” – Göran Widham sammanfattade detta jättefint i en bloggpost. Läs den först.

För en tid sedan skrev jag en artikel om feminism och varför det är en viktig politisk rörelse i 2013 års Sverige. Där sammanfattade jag några av de största problem som kvinnor möter i dagens Sverige:

Vi lever i en kultur där det är okej att kalla en tjej knullbar. Där det är okej att kalla någon en hora för att hon gillar sex. Där det är okej att skämta om att hon ska sticka tillbaka till köket. Det är universellt – i skolvärlden, i föreningsvärlden, i företagsvärlden. Jag har suttit på möten där kvinnor helt hoppats över i talarlistan. Jag har i min smala bekantskapskrets fyra vänner som blivit våldtagna, och av dem är en majoritet inte öppna med det för att de är övertygade om att de fick skylla sig själva.

Men jag skrev också det stora problemet när vi politiker försöker lägga oss i detta:

Problemet med 2013 års jämställdhetsdebatt är att allt är väldigt rent på pappret – det finns inte längre lagar som bestämmer kvinnors klädsel eller begränsar deras rättigheter. Det är inte längre en strid om lagar, utan om någonting som är mycket jobbigare att förändra – kultur.

I många och långa diskussioner med partikamrater har jag fått höra att det inte finns någonting politiken kan göra för att göra vårt samhälle mer jämställt, just på grund av detta. Det är helt åt skogen fel. Politik handlar om mycket mer än att skriva lagar – det handlar till exempel om att debattera och diskutera för att vända åsikter (någonting vi i Piratpartiet gör nästan uteslutande), och det handlar även om att lägga om resurser och planera statlig verksamhet.

Så vad kan vi göra, rent konkret?

Psykisk ohälsa

2013-03-18 15.44.25Psykiska problem som depression drabbar idag kvinnor betydligt mer än män, bland annat som resultat av postpartumdepression som inte drabbar män (det är oklart om exempelvis ojämställdhet i samhället eller krav ställda på kvinnor också inverkar). Psykisk ohälsa är ett extremt problem idag, som dels kräver många liv i självmord, och förstör ännu fler liv när offren tappar all vilja för jobb, skola och socialt liv. Psykisk ohälsa leder ofta även in i missbruk av mer eller mindre tunga droger, vilket både kräver och förstör liv i sin egen makt.

Vi behöver riva bort det stigma som finns kring bland annat depression och andra mentala sjukdomar, behöver informera bättre om mental ohälsa och dess negativa effekter, och behöver uppmuntra fler att söka hjälp så tidigt som möjligt. Detta är ett väldigt konkret exempel på någonting som behövs för  alla grupper i samhället, men speciellt för kvinnor som idag är de som drabbas värst av bland annat depression. Att arbeta mot psykisk ohälsa hjälper också enormt efter bland annat våldtäkter och sexuella övergrepp, som nästan uteslutande drabbar kvinnor.

Detta gäller inte heller enbart depression. Många andra mentala problem, exempelvis allvarliga ätstörningar som anorexia och bullemi, drabbar kvinnor mycket värre och mer frekvent än de drabbar män.

Lägga om polisresurser

Jag skrev i min förra artikel om att jag har fyra kvinnliga vänner som någon gång i sitt liv blivit våldtagna. I tre av fyra fall valde hon att anmäla till Polisen. I två av dessa tre fall lades förundersökningen ned nästan omedelbart. I det sista fallet som gick bortom förundersökning friades våldtäktsmannen trots vad jag tyckte verkade vara väldigt fällande bevis.

whatiwaswearingJag är inte juridiskt utbildad, så jag ska inte kommentera på individfallens slutliga utkomst. Det jag däremot gärna kommenterar på är det faktum att förundersökningar läggs ned trots så otroligt allvarliga brott, där det i flera fall fanns flertalet vittnen, där mannen vid ett av fallen erkände sexuella övergrepp. Jag kan inte se att detta är någonting annat än dåliga prioriteringar, där Polisen inte anser att våldtäkt är tillräckligt allvarligt för att ges en ordentlig rättegång.

Enskilda poliser agerar ofta exemplariskt vad gäller dessa saker. När en nära vän hade en man krypa ned i hennes tält när hon sov på en festival var Polisen där nästan omedelbart, tog hand om henne och pratade länge och väl med henne om polisanmälan, vad som kunde göras och så vidare. Men vad poliserna på plats gör är mindre relevant för hur allt går till i slutändan, hur polisanmälan tas omhand och hjälpen som fås efteråt.

Vi behöver ett fungerande rättsväsende som prioriterar allvarliga problem som våldtäkter, sexuella trakasserier och andra brott mycket högre än de gör idag. Ett rättsväsende som tar dessa brott på allvar, som tar hand om offren och som sköter sitt jobb.

Detta var två rent konkreta förslag.

Två förslag på slag vi kan slå för samhället, för mänskligheten, för alla, oavsett kön. Två förslag som samtidigt hjälper oss att att bekämpa sexismen, hjälper oss besegra symptomen på kort sikt och orsakerna på lång sikt. Hjälper oss slå ett slag för de mest drabbade.

Vad är dina förslag?

Day n-1: Death

A section from my (hopefully) upcoming book, ”Home”.

 


I have been thinking a lot about Death.

Yes, I guess that’s how this chapter starts after all. I guess it’s the cleanest way. The most honest way. I’ve been thinking a lot about Death.

Always.

When I was about eight or nine, my great grandmother, who I love dearly and who I will always love dearly, was… there was something wrong. I can’t remember the circumstances, being so young, but as I remember it the idea was floating around that it probably was cancer. That she was dying. They were pretty sure.

It was expected. She was old, just around eighty or so. Past her life expectancy.

At the time I was still religious (in some shape or form, read more in whatever chapter I wrote about religion). More than that, I was still a child. I have grown away from the concept of childhood since, I think, even though I might not want to admit it (see, I admitted it). So, I was a child, and, like most children, childish. And, in being childish, I believed, in some shape or form, in magic and miracles.

When I was told (or learned or something, I don’t remember) about my great grandmother’s illness (or whatever it was), I prayed. I prayed for a miracle, I prayed for a cure, I prayed for something to be a mistake. I prayed for her to live. I prayed for her to stay with us. With me.

The day after, I learned that it had been a mistake. She did not have cancer. Something was weird, but it was alright – it just seemed like cancer on the surface and when they looked deeper it was alright. She was going to live. She was going to stay with us. With me.

At that time, as you, dear PR, probably guess, I assumed it was my prayer which helped her. In hindsight, I realised that I was wrong. First of all, it is possible if not even likely that this story is all a figment of my imagination. This is how I remember things going, but it’s likely that it really went very differently. It’s just an anecdotal memory of an eight-year-old brain a dozen years later. Second of all (as I discuss in too much detail in the chapters on Science, God, Superstition and other such topics), there’s no such thing as a miracle. There’s no such thing as a cure. There are aweinspiring advances in medicine made every year, and we should thank the amazing scientists and doctors for what they accomplish with that, but they are only postponing the inevitable –

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

*

I have been thinking a lot about Death.

When I was thirteen, a classmate of mine was killed by a large wave of water crushing his body, killing him instantly. It was the 2005 tsunami, and my friend was in Thailand. I knew he was there when it happened, but only learned that he had been a victim a week or so later. I remember my mother telling me after she had taken the call. I remember not being surprised.

In hindsight, ofcourse I was surprised. My friend had died. But I had no concept of what it meant. I had no idea of what Death was. I was only thirteen, and apart from my paternal grandfather, who I had had absolutely no contact with, I had had absolutely no contact with Death.

After trauma you often go into denial, and only later crash down completely. I did so after learning my father had been in a drunk driving accident. I did so after my most severe break-up, for that matter, not realising what had actually happened until later.

The scary thing is, I don’t remember crashing after my friend died. I can still see his smile and I can still remember him much better than I can remember any other classmates I had at the time. I feel like we are closer now than we were when he was alive. And we were never that close. Death took him away, and I don’t think I ever even realised it. I don’t think I was ready. I think I am now. I am waiting to learn that any of my close friends or my brother or my father or my mother or my great grandmother has died, I am waiting to hear it and to crash. In some sense I want to crash. In some sense I want to feel it. I want it to destroy me.

In some ways I still feel guilty for never crashing after my friend died. Some days I regret not going to his funeral, even though I know he’s gone and don’t mind.

It’s not only strange to imagine he has gone. It’s impossible. I am slowly starting to realise, day by day, that Death is a real thing and not an imaginary monster god in a Lovecraft mythos. I am slowly starting to realise, day by day, that Death is coming, and that Death is eternal.

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

*

When I was maybe five or six, I lay in bed trying to sleep when
I suddenly realised that Death is for all of us.
The concept had never truly struck me before, but now it did.
I started to cry and I ran to my parents’ bedroom.
I told mom what had made me cry.

She embraced me and didn’t let me go. I think she cried too. I think she too realised – even if not for the first time – the horrifying concept in it all.

Even the most religious person must find it hard to one hundred percent believe in an afterlife.

Everyone, everyone, everyone, will be scared to look beyond the veil. It is easy to imagine a paradise.

It is easy to imagine hell.

It is even easy to imagine, like I long did, an emptiness to stand in. I long imagined Death to be an empty hall for me alone, where I could never again talk, or read, or run, or explore

I cried for hours the day I realised how wrong I was.

Death is not only an emptiness to stand in. Death is an emptiness. Death is nothing. Death is an end.

There is an old, possibly aprochyful story about a believer who asks a non-believer where we go when we die, if there is no afterlife. The non-believer (and I have heard many famous names attributed, I have no idea who it really was or if it really took place), is supposed to have said

“When I die,

I go to the same

place where I was

before I was born.”

 

This is truly horrifying in my mind. It is not only a life changing abruptly. It is not a prison camp. It is not eternal sleep. It is nothing. It is a moment of last chance of thought, and then nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

 

For in that sleep of Death, what dreams may come?

I see, I hear, none more, none less, none now.

Forever and always, together in life,

An end to all eternal stuff of dream, of love,

Of legend.

And end to all adventures, thoughts and hopes,

of Her.

 

To love, to dream, to dream no more

To sleep

Ay, there’s the rub.

To dream, to love, to love no more

To Die.

Ay, there’s the

Fiona: The Purpose of About a Boy (English essay)

About a Boy 2

 One of the main characters in Nick Hornby’s novel About a Boy and the eponymous film based upon it is Fiona. Fiona is Marcus’ forty-year-old mother, who tries to raise Marcus as a perfect person into a falling world on her own, ever since she divorced Marcus’ father several years ago. Until the very end of the story, Fiona is incapable of seeing her own wrongs, and thus, she raises her son as a boy who seemingly is every parent’s dream, but also is unfamiliar with social norms in areas such as clothing, music and speech, and all this results in that he’s being bullied at school. Even when she finally hears about the social slaughter he experiences every day, she’s still of the opinion that everything that matters is that he is himself, and that he shouldn’t care about them and what they think. This whole side story about Fiona slowly understanding how the world works, and the difference between theoretical and practical ideologies, has an obvious moral: Ofcourse you should always be yourself, but you should also adjust after the world; if everyone goes as they want, nothing will work. Another moral of the story can simply be that you can’t always save everyone; sometimes you just have to help yourself and try not to think of the others. Fiona’s life was already a mass of grief and sorrow because of herself, so when she tried to help Marcus as well, it all fell apart for both of them. Her suicide attempt was ofcourse the biggest break-through, leading Marcus to worry much more about her for a long period of time, leading the two of them into an evil circle where neither could help themselves simply because they cared too much about the other.
About a BoyEven though she in the beginning of the novel sees herself as the perfect mother as she doesn’t raise her son to be a sheep, she realises more and more throughout the story that she’s wrong, and that she has been too ignorant to understand that everything she does isn’t always right. Towards the end of the end of the film, for example, she has totally change her mind about forcing Marcus to be a vegetarian, even suggesting that they should go eat at McDonald’s. To simplify, I can explain how she sees herself in three states: in the first half of the book, she sees herself as a perfect parent doing nothing wrong in raising Marcus. When she at last realise that everything after all isn’t perfect, she sees herself as an awful human being. When she’s gotten over the shock, she instead focuses on trying to better herself, and again she sees herself as a good mother, which she is, in the very end.
                      It is hard to tell how other characters see Fiona, as this varies a lot. Marcus obviously cares very much about her, but love can also turn into temporary hate, as for example when he lost respect for her after her suicide attempt. He cares for her and tries to help her, but when he realises he can’t help her, he instead ignores the problem, going home to Will instead of coming home to face the problem. Will finds himself annoyed by her and how ignorant she is towards the norms that destroy Marcus, and how she simply won’t listen to him when he tries to help Marcus.
                      Even though Fiona is one of the less important main characters, she is the obvious connection between Marcus and Will, as well as what sets the entire story of with her attempted suicide, as it makes Marcus start going to Will’s house after school, instead of home, where he would be forced to face her depression. Her suicide attempt was ofcourse not a good thing, yet it was what started the entire story, changing her, Will’s and Marcus’ lives forever.
                      To me, About a Boy is a happy ending-story, in which I mean it seems like everything goes fine in the end, and thus, I don’t think that much could happen to change this. I would believe her life continues without a sign of her depression again, and that she soon finds a boyfriend to live with her and Marcus, and well… live happily ever after.

D'oh.

Do you need to be an alcoholic to understand such a problem, to understand an alcoholic? Do you have to have tried to commit suicide to understand depression? If so is – damn. A horror writer not going through troubles such as losing relatives or having drinking problems, well, that’s me. Sounds quite strange, I guess, but I think I do understand any way. I heard Stephen King based the drinking father in his novel The Shining on himself, even though he didn’t realise it himself for several years. Guess that means that this inspiration came from his drinking problem, and that he wouldn’t have written this great novel if he never had it. So I need to start drinking to get inspiration now…?

My ass I will.