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BBC: I made a film from my bed to prove my illness is real - Jen brea

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Cheshire, Nov 9, 2017.

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  1. dannybex

    dannybex Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hate to be the Danny-downer here...

    While it is a great review, especially coming from the BBC, and truly a GREAT documentary, the picture of Jen and her husband in bed (about halfway down the page) looks almost like an photo one would see in 'House Beautiful' or dare I say, Oprah's 'O' magazine.

    Too posed, too relaxed, and almost too "glamorous"...like they're in some ad for a high-end hotel. No doubt the producers suggested they needed that kind of image to get pull the public in, but it does us a disservice in that it may send the wrong message if one just glances at the article without reading the details.
     
  2. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I didn't really see it that way @dannybex. OK, so maybe it is a bit posed and artificial, but to me - and many others I think - it is more a statement, telling a story in a picture, than intending to be taken 100% literal. Just getting across that they are a fairly young, loving couple, whose lives are thoroughly messed up on every level by ME and society's attitude to PwME. You, as an ME sufferer, are on the inside looking out. The film, and these articles on it, are aimed at the people on the outside looking in; as a person who does not have ME (my wife does), I believe they are the people who most need to be educated.
     
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  3. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks Val and Skippa and I am happy to copy my review of Unrest to our new board. I should get to it over the weekend. Would you want me to start a new thread for this or put my review in this thread?
     
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  4. dannybex

    dannybex Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I hear what you're saying @Barry and agree in general, but I guess for me, it reminds me of the "But you don't look sick!" criticisms we get from friends, family members, etc., especially when compared to the scene in the film when Jen is convulsing on the ground as her husband struggles to help her. That to me, is a far more powerful and impactful image than the posed one, where, IMO their lives don't look too 'messed up'.
     
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  5. Skippa

    Skippa Moderator Staff Member

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    It'd be cool to start a review thread for Unrest in a new thread :)

    Thanks :thumbup:
     
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  6. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I liked it except for this bit:
    I remain to be convinced there is a gender difference in terms the percentages of male and female partners who leave or stay around.

    I remember looking at the membership list of a group I helped run. It had around 400 members. I didn't know the circumstances of all of them but did for a lot of them. When I totted up the figures, the percentages where a relationship had ended was pretty much exactly the same (to within one percentage point)
     
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I remember reading some study which seemed to indicate that women were more likely to be abandoned. Can't remember to details now, but google found this Time article: http://time.com/83486/divorce-is-more-likely-if-the-wife-not-the-husband-gets-sick/

    There's this older paper [edit: on cancer patients]:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.24577/abstract

    The figures might be different for something like 'CFS', which brings so many of its own prejudices and challenges. I've certainly heard some horror stories about how both female and male partners have responded.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  8. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It also makes you wonder how much of that abandonment could be due to the supposed professionals/experts convincing people that it must be "all in their partner's head", and not really wanting to get better. Professional medical advice is a very potent influence, because an average person typically cannot imagine it to be wrong when stated with such "knowledgeable" assertiveness.
     
  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I didn't make it clear, but those figures were from a study on cancer patients. I haven't seen anything specifically on CFS, but I've heard from a lot of people about how the biopsychosocial stuff has led to problems in their relationships.
     
  10. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I would add that there would be a problem with extrapolating social data from the US and applying it to different cultures.

    There is the whole area of social safety net and medical costs difference to most other European cultures.
    I would predict that this alone would magnify any effects found, similar to if there was a study about unemployment instead of illness.
     
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  11. Trish

    Trish Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have no idea what the proportions are of genders of partners who leave when their partners become chronically ill.

    The point I thought Jen was making was not the behaviour of the spouses, but the attitudes of other people to those who stay in a relationship and care for their sick partners.

    I thought she made a good point that if a woman looks after a sick husband, that is often seen as unremarkable, but if a man looks after a sick wife, he is a hero.

    I think it's an extension of the idea that if a man does housework or child care, he's helping his wife and therefore praiseworthy, if a woman does it, it's normal and unremarkable.

    Of course all this is a huge generalisation, probably coloured by my experience which is not relevant to this discussion.
     
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  12. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  13. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    A lot of carers are not caring for their spouse. Also if a couple has somebody they want to care for the man may continue working or work longer hours compared to the woman while the woman does the caring.
     
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  14. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I agree, provided we add unpaid labour before descriptions of caring in the context of caring and "work" :)

    I'm just in an argumentative mood, and the quote from Jen rubbed me up the wrong way, both for personal reasons, and the fact I know of quite a few carers of both genders who are socially isolated, treated with contempt and ignorance by the DWP, and generally ignored by society.

    Respite care, provision and support has been severely cut in my area, and there has been little comment from media or the general public, and it frustrates me.

    An offer of a cup of tea and a chat isn't enough for all these people, of either gender or circumstance.

    I noticed that even the census doesn't seem to collect data for carers under the age of 16, which is even more frustrating.
     
  15. Trish

    Trish Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's certainly true, and I don't think we should get too sidetracked by gender ratios.

    The only acknowledgement that I've been sole carer for my daughter for 20 years while being sick myself was my GP saying to me recently, I suppose I should put you down in your notes as a carer.

    There followed an invitation to me to attend a 'carer's meeting'. Cue hollow laugh from this housebound carer! I am lucky to have a few friends and a couple of family members who still visit occasionally, and PIP that pays for the physical help we need.

    There are huge numbers of unsupported lonely carers, and huge numbers with no-one to care for them. My heart goes out to all such folk.
     
  16. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I do agree with that. A woman is still stereotyped in a way that looking after a sick husband is seen as "part of the role", more so than if the roles are reversed.
     
  17. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It may depend how things are defined. I think there might be at least as much if not more sympathy on average if a woman had to become the sole bread-winner for a family if a husband/male partner became unable to work than if the genders are reversed where a man might be more expected to take on that role.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  18. Trish

    Trish Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's a good point, @Dolphin, I bet there are a lot of men who can't work because of ME who are supported by wives, partners or parents who face criticism for not fulfilling their 'male role' as breadwinner. We (edit- I mean society in general, not us in particular) really do need to get past these gendered judgements in both directions.
     
  19. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm not a mod and I have the power to write in orange. :D
     
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