Stephen Fry should resign from being President of MIND (warning about sexual abuse)

(258 Posts)
EnthusiasmDisturbed Tue 12-Apr-16 17:19:36

According to Stephen Fry from an interviews he gave in the US

There are many great plays which contain rapes, and the word rape now is even considered a rape,” he said. “If you say: ‘you can’t watch this play, you can’t watch Titus Andronicus, or you can’t read it in a Shakespeare class, or you can’t read Macbeth because it’s got children being killed in it, it might trigger something when you were young that upset you once, because uncle touched you in a nasty place’, well I’m sorry. It’s a great shame and we’re all very sorry that your uncle touched you in that nasty place, you get some of my sympathy, but your self-pity gets none of my sympathy because self-pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity.

“Get rid of it, because no one’s going to like you if you feel sorry for yourself. The irony is we’ll feel sorry for you, if you stop feeling sorry for yourself. Just grow up.”

How can he keep his position with such an attitude. Everyone who works in MH knows of the horrendous impact that sexual abuse can have on someone's life for some it's a life long struggle.

Maybe it's his own feelings that he is fighting against, this is not the first time he has been shown to lack empathy but to have such opinions

I hope he steps down

witsender Tue 12-Apr-16 17:21:20

Urgh. Him of all people.

misswrite89 Tue 12-Apr-16 17:22:49

That's awful. He appeared to be full of self-pity when he flew into a rage about the public reaction to his "bag lady" comment and vanished from Twitter! People are entitled to be full of self-pity when such terrible things have happened to them.

ConfuciousSayWhat Tue 12-Apr-16 17:23:16

Tbh he has a point that you can't not show a play or study literature for fear of upsetting someone's sensibilities. That's the point of the arts, the push boundaries and make you think. People ARE too precious these days

He went about it wrong though.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 12-Apr-16 17:24:01

Coming from this old fucking creep, I'm not surprised.

OurBlanche Tue 12-Apr-16 17:27:07

Well, he is right. And his propensity for being so blunt and honest is why he holds that position.

There is a difference between fighting for justice and censorship... that's all he is saying! Just in a manner that will make people think, debate, argue and come to an understanding about the point rather than nod and be facile, twinky about it, then forget it 10 seconds later...

... just as we are doing now!

LivingInMidnight Tue 12-Apr-16 17:27:16

I get what he's saying about the arts in general but just grow up? Seriously? I just lost a lot of respect for him.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 12-Apr-16 17:27:20

He is a self important pompous arse and his comments are dreadful.

ImNotThatGirl Tue 12-Apr-16 17:28:08

He's a complete wankbadger, no idea why he gets so much praise and adoration. He actually turns my stomach a bit.

DerelictDaughter Tue 12-Apr-16 17:28:19

Your self pity gets none of my sympathy

It's a bit of a line in the sand, that. Talk about wilful misunderstanding shock

Waltermittythesequel Tue 12-Apr-16 17:28:49

Telling abuse victims to grow up doesn't make him right.

It makes him a fucking asshole.

ConfuciousSayWhat Tue 12-Apr-16 17:29:39

But self pity is an ugly emotion. It also makes you hold onto things for longer, makes you a victim and means you lose more of your life to an event (whatever that event is).

raininginspringtime Tue 12-Apr-16 17:30:48

But he isn't telling abuse victims collectively to grow up, he is telling those who are using that abuse to prevent art being free to grow up.

I am sorry but I agree with him.

WonkoTheSane42 Tue 12-Apr-16 17:32:22

This doesn't surprise me at all coming from a guy who wrote a play about pederasty.

TheCrimsonPleb Tue 12-Apr-16 17:33:53

I get the point he is trying to make about censorship but dear god what a stupid way to go about it ... and the man is educated and allegedly an intellectual.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Apr-16 17:34:36

YANBU OP. To describe the MH anguish caused by sexual abuse as "self pity" is a fuckwitted thing to do.hmm

Stephen Fry used to be good and now he's a dick.

BlueJug Tue 12-Apr-16 17:34:46

Agree that if you "protect" everyone from possibly being upset you will never read a a book, see a play, listen to a song, watch tv - anything.

He is also right about self-pity - it is not the same as trauma, stress, anxiety, depression etc. He is talking about the fashion for indulgence.

He has expressed it badly but people are always ready to jump on him and they don't necessarily really read what he says.

Self pity is the enjoyment of one's distress, the wallowing, the attention-seeking, the constant need to make sure no-one else ever forget that you are a victim of whatever. He is right about that; it is destructive and horrible - and very fashionable now - but his example was very poorly chosen.

I don't think he is talking about true trauma or distress or despair at all.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 12-Apr-16 17:35:32

I think part of the problem with Steven Fry is that if someone doesn't like him, they're not going to like what he says however he says it.

I think it's a valid point of view that he has there to a certain extent. We see it on here a lot in the "may be triggering" debates. How much do people tread on eggshells round others for any reason, and should we be living our lives like that?

WannaBe Tue 12-Apr-16 17:35:45

I don't like him, but I think he has a point.

You can't amend the world because it might offend someone. Everything now is considered to be "triggering." Yes, awful things happen to people. But we now also have mechanisms and systems to help those people deal with those awful things and thus be able to continue to live normal lives.

And now that he has essentially said that people need to be responsible for their own reactions, he needs to take that on board himself.

2ManySweets Tue 12-Apr-16 17:35:56

He's changed. He's changed into a creepy, unsettling weirdo.

He's also in the stupid EE ads which is bewildering to say the least.

AliceScarlett Tue 12-Apr-16 17:36:27

I think he is very much talking from his own unresolved issues.

I agree with him that free speech is important and we should not censor things in case someone gets upset, but there is a way to say that which doesn't involve saying what the said.

National treasure my arse. I can't stand him.

WannaBe Tue 12-Apr-16 17:37:59

And I agree re many people needing to wallow in self pity. That's not the same as trauma. But equally the need for people to walk on eggshells because it might upset someone is often over emphasised.

IoraRua Tue 12-Apr-16 17:38:34

Well,I agree with the idea behind it - you can't make everything trigger free. But he certainly could have phrased it better.

Chippednailvarnish Tue 12-Apr-16 17:39:27

He's become a parody of himself, I can just imagine Fry and Laurie taking the piss out of an overpaid Brit actor pretending to be an American and his best friend who married someone 30 years younger than him.

raininginspringtime Tue 12-Apr-16 17:39:38

I don't have a problem with how it was phrased to be honest.

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