A periodic feature in which we highlight some of the more ableist posts and comments in the blogosphere – the things that made us throw up our hands and ask “FOR CEREAL???” *
Today’s edition: a post at Jezebel titled “Woman, Go Take Your Pills!”: Schoolgirls Respond To Samantha Bee’s Christmas Conspiracies. Which, already – are you for cereal, Jezebel? The post reviews a Daily Show segment in which Samantha Bee meets with schoolgirls and, in the tradition of the Daily Show, presents outlandish and absurd positions to them as serious arguments. For example, she tells them that she doesn’t believe that Obama was born in the United States. The humor in the segment is the shocked and outraged responses from the schoolgirls to these positions and arguments.
At one point in the segment, one of the schoolgirls tells Bee “woman, go take your pills.” Which is problematic for a whole slew of reasons – the assumption that irrational or absurd political arguments are a sign of underlying mental illness, the assumption that medication is an appropriate treatment for all mental illnesses, the assumption that bystanders have a right to dictate the treatment a person pursues or receives for a mental illness. But none of these problems seem to have occurred to Anna at Jezebel, who chose the phrase to title the piece.
And the immediate response of commenters wasn’t to push back against this ableism, or to explain why using such a phrase is problematic, but to embrace the phrase as their “new smackdown,” per boobookitteh, or celebrating the “straightforward verbal beatdown these girls delivered so awesomely,” per BillyPilgrimisnotmylover.
So I award a “FOR CEREAL?” to Jezebel for approving of the phrase and using it to title their post, and a second “NO REALLY, FOR CEREAL?!” to the commenters for enthusiastically embracing this offensive phrase as their new go-to insult.
*(Actually, what I say, and what I considered titling this, is “Are You Fucking Kidding Me With This Crap, Internet?” but I’m trying to use less salty language.)