I genuinely enjoyed rob dykes content for several years on Youtube, but I have several issues with the arguments and ideas hes presented in his latest video, “This Movie is Pretty Much a Hate Crime”
In this video Rob details why he’s defending the movie “Split” by M. Night Shyamalan. Some of the issues he touches on is how some have viewed the movie as transphobic as well as ableist for its portrayal of DID. He claims that people are just too sensitive and people having issues with this movie are invalid and simply play into “victim culture”.
Not taking mentally ill and transgender people seriously when they say “Hey this is transphobic” and “hey the portrayal of this mental illness isnt right” is nothing new, of course. But the sweeping generalizations Rob makes in this video as well as calling people who genuinely ARE hurt by these portrayals as oversensitive wimps too concerned with their own self pity are deeply troubling.
Now, I can detail why I personally have troubles with this movie. It’s portrayal of DID is at best misinformed and at worst down right humiliating and villainous. While mental illness is not and should never be considered a identity it is an important aspect of how one is seen and how they live their life. it contributes to how one is treated by others as well as how they see themselves. To have a portrayal of DID that further alienates an already misunderstood illness really…isnt acceptable in my opinion. No has it ever really been acceptable. What Rob seems to not be realizing is that people having problems with portrayal of mental illness, gender, and sexuality in movies isn’t new. Minorities have been speaking about the issues they have with portrayal in media for years. In most cases to smaller groups or close friends.
The reason the supposed “New” uproar of calling out unjustifiable portrayals of mental illness or gender or race is because now is the time its easier than ever to speak to a wider audience of people. Yes, i’m referring to the age of internet. Groups of people upset over portrayals of themselves or their family or close friends arnt simply a group of people playing the victim, they literally are victimized by ideas like this. By people who hold the idea of mentally ill people, of people with DID, as evil or strange. I can speak from somebody whos actually been diagnosed with and hospitalized for DID here when I say the idea of “multiple personalities” and just being mentally ill in general absolutely changes how people treat and see you. Even in my own family ive gone from “weird cousin” to “scary psycho” simply for having this diagnosis.
I don’t want to have DID, nor any other mental illness that affects me, but these labels of “DID” or “BPD” or “OCD” are important. Not because they’re a supposed “identity label” but because they are an important explanation to behavior and a subsequent jumping off point for people to get therapy, help, and just live as they are. We aren’t proud for HAVING mental illness, but for surviving with the pains and struggles we go through while living with these permanent illnesses. If you think we’re wimps or misguided or stupid for wanting proper representation that doesn’t hurt how people view us even more than they do already, then you are absolutely part of the problem.
Now, I understand this little ramble of mine has gone on quite long, but I have a final point to speak about. My other problem with this video is that Rob is speaking for issues that don’t effect him in the slightest. As a cis he really cant speak for Trans folk (This would still be as such even if he was a cis female. The problem here is not that he is male at all. Its that he has no experience being trans, and until otherwise stated, has also had no prior education about gender sociology.) The only real informed place you have speaking about being trans is well, being trans or studying trans. Otherwise you are uninformed, plain and simple.