Saturday, September 8, 2012

Judged by the Colours in my Skin

Liz Braun writes the column, "You're Bothering Me" in the Toronto Sun. On Friday, Sept. 7th, 2012, the Ottawa Sun  published the article, "Think before you ink!" .

I guess it's socially acceptable to judge a person by the colour(s) of their skin.

She says, "A generation ago, psychiatric textbooks noted more than 3 tattoos was a sign of psychosis".

Homosexuality was considered a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association up until 1972. Does that mean we're justified in judging, discriminating and looking down upon the gay community? According to Mrs. Braun's logic, apparently so!

The Michigan study done 'just a few years ago' in the journal of Personality and Mental Health, and its suggestion that there's some kind of link between heavily tattooed patients and signs of suicidal tendencies, sexual abuse, or substance abuse, was nothing less than manipulative.

Oh yes, but there's Liz Braun's passive disclaimer, "Calm down: The statistics refer to psych patients, not members of the general population".
Really? Than why list it at all?
I put this in the same category as saying, "No offense, but you're ugly". Prepping your insult with "No offense but..." does nothing to take the offensiveness away, nor does it give permission to say one's harmful words.

I think it is fantastic that the social value of tattoos have changed over the past 2 generations. We've become more tolerant and open minded. That's a good thing. (Maybe that's something the WWII soldiers brought back with them as well as their tattoos).

There can be no denying that tattoos shouldn't be gotten on a whim. But why list celebrities who have removed their tattoos and body art? Why not list celebrities who have gotten tattoos? (And since when  are celebrities suddenly a beacon of wisdom? Britney Spears? Definitely a roll model for our younger generation! Not.)

I think it's a good thing that we have the science and technology not only to provide beautifully tattooed artwork within a safe and sterile environment, but also the ability to have them removed for those who make that choice.

And that's my point; Choice.
I don't discriminate against the un-inked. I would like to think those who are tattooed should not be judged either, but apparently this article states otherwise. Regardless of whether you, or I are tattooed, not tattooed, or 'ex-tattooed', I don't want to be judged by the colour(s) of my skin.

I think what I find most offensive about this article is the fact that it attempts to hide behind the facade of simply giving advice to think twice before getting a tattoo. It is anything but.

Liz Braun is not making the point of 'think twice before you get a tattoo', regardless of the article's opening and closing paragraphs. Her point is that getting a tattoo (and by implication, being tattooed) makes you mentally deficient, mentally questionable, damaged, or somehow less of a person, and she backs this up with misinformation and half-truths (isn't that propaganda?)
To me this is inciting discrimination.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts or comments.
You can contact Liz Braum directly at her email, or at twitter, @LizBraunSun


Lydia said...

Wow, I can't believe that not satire. I'm angry, too (and I don't even have any tattoos!)

Lydia said...

Oh, and I sent her a public note on twitter. We'll see if she responds. ;)

'Seph Sayers said...

You don't need tattoos to be offended by this.

It's no different than thinking Martin Luther King Jr. was only about Blacks. No, he was about putting an end to discrimination and about equality.