5 Things To Take From 13 Reasons Why

In Highschool I was asked to read the book 13 Reasons Why as part of a summer reads program and of course I didn’t think of it much because it was an assignment. What I ended up taking away from it was much more than an essay I had to write for a grade but instead I took away lessons on human decency that I’ve carried with me throughout the years. Now with the series on Netflix and half of the population binge watching it, social media is filling up with things to take away from it. Although most of these things are trivial and lessons that most feel that you should know if you have the slightest bit of a decent person, they are important to keep them in mind. Who knows, by following these things you might be saving someone’s life.

Victim Shaming

13 Reasons Why shows the ugly truth when it comes to victim shaming. It shows that when you shame a victim all you are doing is telling them that their voice doesn’t matter and that what happened to them is considered okay. You are showing them that whoever wronged them is considered more valuable and that they don’t matter. The show wants you to see that everyone should have a voice and that the victim should be treated with the respect that they deserve and shouldn’t be dehumanized because what happened to them was real and because, more importantly, they matter. They aren’t just being a drama queen when they’re actually crying for help.

Bullying

This one hit close to home because at one point or another everyone has been bullied. It shows that everything you say and everything you do has a consequence. No matter how small the comment or how trivial the gossip it affects someone. Additionally, it shows what happens after the bullying takes a life. How no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. If you are about to say something or do something you won’t want to take credit for later, then don’t do it.

Rape Culture

After coming to college I realized how common it is for girls to be taken advantage of and pressured into sex, even if their first response was no. A girl could say no a hundred times and that answer could still not matter to the other party. Most of the time it goes unreported and when it is they get asked trivial questions like how much did you have to drink that night?  And what type of clothes were you wearing? Our society blames the victim instead of the party who didn’t take no for an answer. No matter what she was wearing or how much she had to drink no means no.  In 13 Reasons Why, the rape scenes were graphic but they proved a point. The show shows that our society is teaching people to stay silent and that it was their fault. Instead they should be given the respect they deserve and have it be treated like the serious issue it is. So don’t be afraid to report a rape. If it happened than it happened and don’t stop talking until someone listens to you.

Masking Depression

Of course, social media has made depression and anxiety an accessory of sorts however it is a real problem in teens. Many teens walk around hiding the fact they are depressed and masking it with a smile or a joke. In fact, many of the saddest people are the ones who seem happiest on the outside. What I took away is to learn the signs of depression and address it when you think someone has it. Don’t take "it isn’t my business" for an answer. Help them.

Suicide

The scariest part about the show is how it shows many teenagers in America view suicide as a solution. They see it as a way out. Like Hannah, kids don’t see a future and they don’t see things as getting better. All they see is what’s in front of them now, which is terrifying and bleak. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 18 and 24. The statistic shows that this is a growing problem that needs to stop. Learn the warning signs of suicide, educate yourself, and then help make a difference.