[Content Note: Disablism; guns; misogyny; racism.]

Here is just a whole article about how Congress is too fucking useless to do anything about gun reform, so they're once again fixing to pretend like they still have a purpose on the planet by talking about mental healthcare reform in the wake of another mass shooting.

I encourage you to read the entire article, because there's a lot to talk about but I'm only going to highlight one part:
"Our mental health system has failed and more families have been destroyed because Washington hasn't had the courage to fix it," Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., said in a statement over the weekend after the shooting. "How many more people must lose their lives before we take action on addressing cases of serious mental illness?"

...Murphy says his bill would also expand access to psychiatric treatment and it would encourage states to set a new standard for committing people — the need for treatment, not that they present an imminent danger. It would also make it easier for family members to take action.
It would also make it easier for family members to take action to commit people who need treatment. The idea here, of course, is that we're meant to imagine that Elliot Rodger could have been stopped if only his family had been empowered to commit him. We're meant to imagine that every man who picks up a gun and kills a lot of people could be stopped if only their families are empowered to commit them.

This is a dangerous, and disablist, fantasy.

It is also tasking individuals with finding solutions to systemic problems, which doesn't work. It never works.

Even if we imagine that committing Elliot Rodger would have stopped his crime; even if we imagine that traditional mental healthcare could have meaningfully addressed the violent misogyny and racism underwriting his killing spree; even if we imagine that some finite consignment to a mental healthcare facility would have "fixed" him; even if we imagine that there was a law that empowered his family and that his family made use of that legal power and that Rodger was compliant with therapy into which he was forced against his will; even if we imagine all of these things in this one specific instance, we are required to cast aside everything we know about how our culture works.

And one of the key cultural habits which we are obliged to ignore to imagine that this sort of legislation could work is that "mental illness" is often deployed as an excuse on behalf of murderous misogynists and racists, and routinely deployed to discredit women and/or people of color who are addressing misogynist and/or racist harm done to us.

It isn't MRAs and PUAs and other lifestyle misogynists and chronic harassers and vengeful abusers who are called "crazy" by society; it's the women who are their targets. It's the woman who raise our voices in opposition to misogyny and harassment.

We are the ones who are seen as "crazy." As "hysterical." As "narcissists." As "delusional." As "paranoid." We are the ones who are dismissed out of hand by law enforcement, by human resources departments, by friends and family. We are the ones accused of seeing things that aren't there.

This is the reality of the culture into which Congress wants to unleash legislation empowering families to forcibly commit people they believe are in need of treatment—a culture in which patriarchal and white supremacist beliefs and behaviors are the norm, and challenging them gets you called nuts.

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