Dear Teen TV Shows: Can We Please Stop Glorifying Toxic Guys?
A representation on a few of the biggest programs, figures and relationships that shaped this generation of women and a demand healthiest depictions of love and boundaries.
Content caution: this short article contains themes of intimate attack, and emotional and abuse that is physical.
Once the teen mystery sensation вЂњPretty Little LiarsвЂќ first aired on ABC Family when you look at the fall of 2010, I happened to be nine yrs old.
My older cousin ended up being nearly 13 and since she was viewing it, needless to say, therefore ended up being we. I happened to be conscious that the showвЂ™s themes had been a touch too complex it felt cool to watch something that all the girls in middle and high school were raving about for me, but. A 16 year old girl, fell in love with her 22 year old English teacher, Ezra in the first season of the show, I watched as Aria Montgomery. Even though it absolutely was revealed that Ezra had additionally dated AriaвЂ™s friend that is best, Alison (when she had been 15!), and deliberately pursued Aria so that you can compose a novel about her life, fans remained rooting for alleged вЂњEzria.вЂќ Because of the time the show ended in 2017, Aria and Ezra had been cheerfully hitched together with used a child together: satisfying the dreams of audiences whom purchased into this undeniably unsatisfactory relationship. But why? Why would a lot of women, including myself at one point, glorify objectively pedophilic behavior from the grown man and offer the ups-and-downs of an relationship that is extremely toxic?
Before вЂњPretty Little Liars,вЂќ the generation that is same of had been embroiled within the ultra-rich, fast-paced NYC lifestyle of Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf regarding the CWвЂ™s вЂњGossip Girl.вЂќ When you look at the pilot episode, which premiered in 2007, Chuck Bass tries to rape 15 year old Jenny Humphrey at a rooftop celebration in Manhattan. When you look at the 3rd seasonвЂ™s finale, authors decided it might be a smart idea to ask them to sleep together as being a throwaway plot point, not realizing, or i guess maybe maybe perhaps not caring, what type of message that may deliver to victims of intimate attack.
Through the entire six period run, Chuck manipulates, berates, verbally and actually abuses the вЂњlove of their life.вЂќ
During period three, Chuck offers per night with Blair to his equally creepy Uncle Jack to be able to gain ownership of a hotel that is new. Into the 4th period, whenever Blair informs him sheвЂ™s involved to a different man, Chuck declares, вЂњYou can't ever marry someone else, youвЂ™re mine!вЂќ before forcing himself behind them, cutting her face in the process on her and punching the glass wall. In a job interview with E! following the episode aired last year, executive producer, Josh Safran, ended up being expected if this scene verged on punishment.
вЂњThey have volatile relationship, they usually have, but i really do perhaps maybe perhaps not think вЂ” or i ought to say we usually do not believe вЂ” itвЂ™s the two of them,вЂќ Safran said that it is abuse when. вЂњChuck doesn't you will need to harm Blair. He punches the glass because he has got rage, but he's got never ever, and certainly will never, harm Blair вЂ¦ this woman is frightened for Chuck вЂ” and just what he may do in order to himself, but this woman is never ever afraid of just what he could do in order to her.вЂќ
The implications among these toxic and storylines that are offensivenвЂ™t just that girls start to idealize problematic fictional figures, nonetheless they commence to appreciate this given that status quo. That this behavior is normal. That an adult man interest that is expressing a teenager is anything aside from predatory. That when an abuser or even a serial manipulator is conventionally appealing and additionally they let you know they вЂњlove you,вЂќ that relationship will probably be worth fighting for. It is maybe maybe not, and then we shouldnвЂ™t be advised to feel otherwise by manufacturers like Safran.