Last week, Kristen Lamb shared her thoughts on ‘that movie,’ and the comments ranged from “thank you for writing this” to “it’s only a movie (or book) and we all know it’s fantasy so what’s the big deal?”
How many books have had a profound effect on a wide section of the populace? Mein Kampf, anyone? For that matter, what about Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? Jonathan Livingston Seagull? But even when a book sells in the millions, it will not have the potential impact of one fifteen second Super Bowl commercial. Not only is the exposure greater, a visual image will stay with the average watcher long after they have closed up their book. Once the actions of the book’s characters are played out on the screen, the impact will reach much further and there will be an even greater need for some people to THINK for themselves before they allow the characters on that screen influence their own lives.
Even so, and not all that long ago, the big strong domineering man was all too popular in books, especially Romance books. I remember one of the early authors I admired adding a scene in some books where the ‘hero’ is ‘forced’ to ‘discipline’ the heroine because she’s put herself at risk. He doesn’t like doing it but he puts her over his knee and administers a few swats to her sitting area. For her own good of course. Being of independent nature she’s upset at first but then somehow sees his actions as necessary for their relationship.
WHAT? And HUH???
Anyone who has worked successfully with horses or dogs or dolphins or…any animal…knows you can’t train with force. Sure you can get a form of obedience. But actual training needs
communication and respect, not abuse. Yet here we readers were, inundated with the idea that a few (loving) swats on the back end were necessary to assure his beloved didn’t do that awful thing again. And of course they had the obligatory Happily Ever After.
That’s just wrong on so many levels. Sorry, no matter how hot and hunky and panty meltingly handsome, no man has the right to hit a woman. Unless, of course, she started the fight and he couldn’t walk away. Nor does a woman have the right to hit a man without a darned good reason. Certainly not as an expression of loving concern.
Is there a time and place for violence? Perhaps. But that time and place is not in a relationship, and not to pump up the ego of the stronger partner. I also
believe hope we are closer than ever to the day when we won’t have to have these involved discussions about books and movies that advocate violent relationships under the guise of ‘love.’
We can dream.