The series “Thirteen Reasons Why” was recently released on Netflix. Based on Ray Asher’s eponymous book, the series introduces untried topics in society such as bullying, slut-shaming, rape, depression and suicide.
I do not spoil realizing that the protagonist narrates 13 reasons for which she committed suicide. And here I emphasize the terms that are used for these cases: Committed suicide, She killed herself / He killed himself.
Words like committed and killed are used to define a crime. In this case, should we use such words that imply that the person committed a crime as serious as the murder of another person? Is not punishment enough what happened to him/her to reach that point and the loss for the people close to him/her?
This (and the popular opinions) will confirm the thesis of the series on how difficult is to live in society.
In this case, the initial difficulty is the bullying suffered at school based on the slut-shaming that … Oh, that escalated quickly! Leads to sexual harassment. There are several films about bullying but most do not go into the subject. One of the most popular is “Carrie” (1976, sequel 1999, remake 2013), with elements of supernatural terror, where the protagonist also commits suicide.
The series incorporates the subject of bullying in digital media, treated in the film of the same name “Cyberbullying” (2011). In this film is also present the theme of slut-shaming and suicide.
This series is located in the time after the suicide and the life of close people. Stories like this are captured in films like “Prayers for Bobby” (2009), where a mother shows a rejection of her son’s homosexuality, which push him into suicide and she has to recover showing empathy in the community. It is also the case of “The perks of being a wallflower” (2012), where a teenager has to deal with the suicide of his best friend and his own depression.
In his book “The suicide” (1897), Emile Durkheim analyzes suicide as a sociological rather than an individual phenomenon. It is considered a consequence of a poor social adaptation of the individual and a lack of integration. Giving rise to three types of suicide: selfish, altruistic and anomic. Thus selfish and altruistic suicide are the result of a weak or strong integration of the individual into society, respectively. Anomic suicide was determined by weak and excessive regulation by society.
Whether it is a phenomenon of social adaptation or an individualistic process, no person has the right to judge the psyche of someone who is going through a difficult time. Each of us have our way of coping with difficulties in life. Suicide will always be a taboo and what we can do is not be part of the harm and suffer, we must offer our help. If you know a person in depression, help them get medical attention and stay on top of them if they need anything. Sometimes, people can not directly help others but offering our support and listening carefully is helpful.
Other films dealing with these topics:
What do you think about suicide?
What do you think about bullying?