June 22, 2018

Stalk Her Until She Loves You: Abduction As Romance @PopDetective

Via Pop Culture Detective (@PopDetective), a video essay discussing the way pop culture (often film) depicts the relentless way that a man pursues a woman in order to transform her initial dislike into attraction, desire, and ultimately love. Link here to Abduction As Romance. Pop Culture Detective has also posted a related video essay, Stalking For Love, which covers the ways in which pop culture seems to show society seeming to reward a man who won't take a woman's initial "no" for an answer. He continues to follow her and repeat his question, "Will you go out with me?" (or something similar) until he gets the answer he wants. Of course, because he's the "hero" in the situation, society usually excuses such behavior. In addition, the woman who finally (and charmingly) agrees to be wooed can give up responsibility for her actions and her choices. It's an all too comfortable position for many women, even today. It allows men to continue to be aggressive and seductive at the same time, and for women to play the victim and the prize. "Win, win," as they say. Or "second verse, same as the first."

Pop Culture Detective isn't the first pop culture observer to comment on this aberrant message, but these videos are very effective. For more on the "hero male as stalker," see these links.

Julie Beck, Romantic Comedies: When Stalking Has a Happy Ending (The Atlantic)

Radhiga Sanghani, Ten Times Pop Culture Romanticised Sexual Harassment (BBC)

Stalking Is Love (TV Tropes)

Why Is Stalking Romantic In Our Favorite Movies? (AAUW)

But for a contrasting opinion, see Cathy Young, Romantic Comedies Produce Stalkers? That's Laughable (The Observer)

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