Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Warning: If you intend to watch 13 Reasons Why, please exit my blog and come back when you're ready. If you're done watching it or don't intend to ever do so, then.... feel free to carry on reading.

Disclaimer: This is not an entry where I debate if 13 Reasons is a shit show or glorifies suicide. I am neither encouraging nor discouraging anyone from watching the show.

I just finished watching the show and I'm..... disturbed. I'm not the sort to be easily shaken by out-of-the-norm graphics or gore. However, one scene in particular from the last episode really got me hard. I gagged a little watching.

It was a sexual assault scene. I believe we have all seen sexual assault scenes onscreen and we're not new to this - or at least, I'm not. I watched Sinner on Netflix. There was a rape scene. I was disturbed, but it was on an emotional level - I was connecting with the character and empathising with her as a fellow female. But this... it was an experience/a feeling I've never felt before.

The sexual assault in question was inflicted onto a boy in the show. Not that this is news in itself (however, a lot of such cases definitely go unreported). It was the way the director, and/or the team who shot the show, decided to portray the scene the way they did to send a message across.

I watched the interview where the executive producer spoke on Beyond 13 Reasons Why. He explained how the victim who got assaulted was not a popular character. He was the kid that was labelled negatively in school - loser, 'Peeping Tom', stalker etc. His character is unrelatable to the masses, compared to the others. Then... they built the whole thing up to this scene where he got violated with a mop handle. The stick was shoved in behind him and when pulled out, you see how much blood was on it - that also illustrated how deep it went. The executive producer explained the tactic they employed was called "radical empathy" where the scene was shot deliberately for viewers to feel pain with Tyler - for us, to be in his shoes too.

Another lady was also interviewed, she mentioned how 1 in every 6 boys in America was assaulted and it is much harder for boys to speak up.

Long story short: the victim then proceeded to become a school shooter. I watched the last episode with my mom. I explained to her, I'm glad that they highlighted gun violence issue. I've read articles where authors think that only people with mental illness arm themselves with gun(s) and the intent to hurt. 13 Reasons Why clearly depicts how one can be a sane person and still end up behind a gun with the intent to harm. Anyone, if pushed too hard to his/her wit's end, can become a shooter.

I talked to my mom about why the victim would, quite naturally, choose not to speak of the problems he had with his parents. To preserve whatever dignity they have left, how can one bring him/herself to tell their parents that he/she was bullied? raped? violated? etc. If I were Tyler, I would still want to maintain some normalcy in my life and for my parents to not treat me weird. Sometimes... you just want to hide. I completely get where the character was coming from and why he did what he did (disclaimer: not that that made his actions justifiable or okay, I do not condone gun violence in any shape or form).

I don't know where I'm going with this but I knew I just had to write to make myself feel better somewhere. Lastly, as cliche as this is gonna sound, you never know what the other person is going through or where is that tipping point..... let's be kind to one another, including ourselves.

Love you guys x

P/S Reread the post and thought how my entry is bland and essay-like(?). I wanted to pen down this piece quickly while I'm still emotional. Maybe its how heavy the subject matter is - the delicacy of the issue has probably weighed down on my writing, and I feel like I'm a little more sombre than usual. Over the years, I've grown accustomed to let such feelings pass and they're usually fleeting. In times like this, I no longer know how to explain how I feel....

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for typing all these out Irina! I totally feel the same when I have done watching 13 reasons why season 2..there's a weird feeling growing inside my head that I took very long time to get rid of...
    Though the scene is heavily-taken, I do hope it would be a wake-up call to the world that there are many victims suffered without being seen, and many sinners were once kind. We should not let "What you see is what it is" to blind us, instead, try to understand each other more before spilling out any judgement.

    With love,
    Lorraine from HK