Abusive Relationships: Why are they attractive in literature?
I think I missed the memo on when possessive partners became sexy. It seems ownership, belonging to and being called property is something people want. I’m seeing a huge trend in this within fiction. It’s something I’ve been debating on taking about for a while. I personally don’t agree with it. I don’t know if the authors even realize that they’re doing this. However, possessive tendencies often result in the reality of the facts I share with you at the end. While the stats almost entirely focus on women this can and does affect males as well.
Recently I saw a t-shirt that stated “Property of (insert name)” It actually made me feel a little bit sick. Especially in third world countries children of each gender are sold and bought. The definition of property is: a thing or things belonging to someone; possessions collectively. So, when I read a book (or even a blurb) that has one interest treating the other like such I can’t continue to read it. I don’t care if it’s a best seller being turned into a movie. It’s promoting something dangerous that doesn’t sit right with me. The underlining and often invisible facts are that they are labeled property. Not really so wonderful.
Side note: I’m not saying people reading this are bad or gross. Personally, I think there is a huge difference between taking the lead and being strong over possessive. Aggressiveness in the bedroom as long as mutually consented and the parties involved are enjoying themselves, then go forth! I won’t say I don’t enjoy reading a little rough smut. What I’m trying to showcase is that outside of the heat of the moment telling someone “You’re my property, I don’t want you looking at other men.” Is stepping towards a dangerous line.
Signs that are heavily associated with this are as follows: excessive jealously& possessiveness. Note the bold word, excessive. (to a greater degree or in greater amounts than is necessary, normal, or desirable; inordinately.) I get uneasy when I read teasers or blurbs that feature constant statements that relate to this. I take part in a lot of book tours and over time I began to see the same things. I didn’t want to stop supporting authors and yet I felt I was promoting something I stood against. Until the last few weeks I hadn’t noticed what this post discusses. Sometimes we don’t realize things right away and well we’re allowed to change our minds, we’re lucky that way. (well maybe aha)
This is why I reference the difference between a playful aggression and excessive aggression. There completely two different things because one is an acceptance between involved parties while the other is not. There’s nothing wrong with sexual exploration and this post is not at all referencing BDSM
As Mariah said, “People respect people. People do not respect things.” Also adding to her awesomeness. “I think it’s because some women have it in their head that a possessive man loves you more than a non possessive man, but that’s stupid. Possessive men love themselves. They love what you do for them, they do not love you how they should love you. Love should come with respect, not a label of ownership.” Ps. Credit for the title goes to this fabulous poet.
Here’s an example:
Do you respect your iPod, kitchen stove, shoes? Probably not. These are ‘things’ they belong to you. Do you like them, love them, feel awesome in them? Sure! (also see the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ another great example) Do you respect people you care about, admire even? That’s because they are people, human beings with feelings. Treating anyone like earlier mentioned is wrong. It’s not sexy, it is degrading. On the women front I add this: 5 wonderful women did not fight to give us freedom for us to throw it away. The past is the past so we can learn from it not become it.
“Separately, these five women were champions of the rights and welfare of women and children. They worked hard and courageously in the face of the prejudices and resistance of the day. Together, they formed an unstoppable force that changed the world for women in Canada and in all Commonwealth countries.”
Update: Throughout some discussion I would like to state that what I wrote above isn’t about books WITH abusive relationships in them. Books that feature this are bringing to life a real part of our world, and the reality many face. It can add to the story or characters. That is fine and I am able to understand that.
I’m more focused on when a character is consistent in this without any explanation. Overtime I’ve read more modern day books and these romances are featured. If it were historical as Anastasia V. Pergakis mentioned below, part of the characters culture, history, and or past it would clear things up. This would be representing something on a grander scheme. I’d be able to comprehend and continue reading. I feel many books lately have this aggressive character with a possessive relationship. Furthermore the pages continue without any (or even an attempt) to give reasons for. This is the problem I’m having. Its not acknowledged and tends to feel like its being promoted as something to desire.
It doesn’t mean the books are bad, the books can be quite great. Sometimes a reader like myself take away a different message. What have I taken away? Well, I’m confused because I realize certain tendencies are not healthy. Others might not and began to believe these are good relationships to have. So, I decided to publish this post so we could talk more about it. Break down the barriers and be able to learn. Please do not take anything I say the wrong way, I’m a very open minded person and enjoy learning. I hope we can continue to discuss this and figure it out together 🙂
Share your thoughts and let’s dicuss this topic 🙂
- Why do you think this scary trend is going unnoticed?
- Why are these possessive relationships becoming appealing?
- What couples in the fictional world do you think promote more of a healthier relationship?