Stereotyping the Mentally Disabled in the World Wrestling Federation
The ongoing misperception of the mentally ill/disabled, has led me to research the topic in further depth. Since many people don't come in contact with the mentally ill/disabled, where do they get their beliefs or understandings? The bulk of perceiving the mentally ill/disabled comes through stereotyping, and all the outside influences that generate ones beliefs. Besides the fact that some people are a little slower or have a disability, they live their lives as ordinary people.
When one visualizes a mentally ill/ disabled person, most people envision someone that has a deformity, a violent behavior, or an altered state of mind that isn't considered normal. All of these perceptions that people carry can be misleading and inaccurate. Instead of looking at a mentally ill/ disabled person on an individual basis, society has stereotyped the mentally ill and disabled into what they believe the category entitles. Stereotyping the mentally ill/ disabled, falls into the social-conflict paradigm. This unending inequality has demeaned the social prestige of anyone that may have a mental/physical disability. There are many outside influences that contribute to the misperceptions of the mentally ill/disabled, but in most recent times, the World Wrestling Federation has become the nucleus in which society gets their information on the mentally ill/disabled. The constant use of wrestlers that are scripted to have a mentally illness/disability has not only created many misperceptions, but frustration to the mentally ill/disabled and their families to live their lives.
The stereotypical view of the mentally ill/disabled person, stems all the way back to biblical times. But what is a mentally ill/disabled person? Well, anyone that falls into this category must have a psychological or behavioral syndrome, which is not typical of ordinary human beings. It seems that society has always had a negative view on anyone that wasn't considered to be "normal." The Bible for instance depicts that insane people was a punishment by God himself. "The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart" (Deuteronomy 28:28). Rather than generating ones own view or stand on such people, society has created their perceptions through a source, other than their own. In ancient times it was from the Gods, deemed the mentally ill/disabled because of some kind of wrongdoing. In today's age however, the media is the prime source for producing societies insight on the mentally ill/disabled, especially TV programs, which are mostly fiction.
The mentally ill/disabled wrestler is one that gets it's roots from the early 1900's. Although there are few professional wrestlers who fill the criteria of being one in today's age, the whole focus of professional wrestling was based on the mentally ill/disabled wrestler. No matter how good a wrestler was, wrestling was for the "freaks." A promoter...