July 23, 2024

Abuse and violence is not romantic

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This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade

Domestic, verbal and physical violence against women occurs more and more as each year passes. People try desperately to stop the violence, hoping to create a safer world for everyone. Yet, there is still a problem that we have yet to address and barely bring any attention to: romancing of violence in the media.
Many of the “beloved” stories (such as “Twilight” and “Fifty Shades of Grey”) romance domestic violence and teach people that if you’re in love, it doesn’t matter if the relationship is abusive.
As a teenager, I recall asking my mother why couples on the television shows I watched and adored never stayed together and always had problems. Her response was simple and memorable, “Because that wouldn’t be entertaining to audiences.” Abuse, drama and problems are entertaining to the mass population, yet, we are teaching people that these things are normal and should be accepted.
How are women expected to recognize abuse and get out of the relationship before it goes bad if the media is teaching them that it’s normal and okay? An abusive relationship is not okay, no matter what package it comes in.
There has been a sudden increase of trailers and marketing for the upcoming movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Based off a novel (that was originally “Twilight” fan-fiction), the story is basically soft porn for women. Adults are free to do as they wish and I understand that people do live the sexual lifestyle shown, but beyond this, the relationship (if you could call it that) at the core is abusive.
Abuse shadows over nearly all the interaction between the two main characters (Anastasia and Christian). Including but not limited to, Christian stalking Anastasia by “appearing” at her place of employment without her telling him before where she worked and anger towards his discovery that she is a virgin.
The entire novel is glorifying abuse and abuse is never okay, not even subtly. A similar situation can be seen in “Twilight.” Bella Swan’s relationship with the vampire, Edward Cullen, drives her into a deep depression and beats her down until she is a completely different person (both figuratively and literally).
Edward has forced Bella to leave her home, accused her of cheating, controlled what she does and controlled who she talks to or sees.
Edward controlled every aspect of their relationship and left Bella merely a helpless victim who couldn’t talk to anyone. In what world is a relationship like this one considered acceptable?
I fear for my friends, my family and myself. The media romances violence against women and the rate that these stories become popular is alarming. People have lost their ability to see through the “charming” package and see how unacceptable these stories are.
We need to begin teaching that relationships like these ones are unhealthy and should never, ever be something someone should put up with. We deserve a healthy and loving relationship and not a farce. It’s time to recognize the signs of abuse and stop romancing it in the stories we convey to others.