Abduction As Romance

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Izzy : Wow. This is unbelievably creepy and disgusting. Just because lazy writers need an easy out....they end up romanticizing abuse.

amazingpm3 : Wait, so they didn't wake up at the same time in passengers? The trope could have been subverted SO easily by having the malfunction waking them both up. If they still really, really wanted to dedicate a portion of the film to J Laws character being angry- just have her think that he woke her up even if he didn't. God, and the added layer that he became obsessed with a woman he had never spoken to, or had any interaction with? Thank god I didn't spend money going to that movie.

sambeawesome : THANK YOU for calling out Passengers because good god did that movie make me angry. Even worse, as I watched it with my parents, they raved at how loving and great the romance was and I was sitting there like...UM...WHAT?

raebele : OOH! Nerdwriter1 made this a video about Passengers as well. His video was about how he edited the movie to start with Aurora's POV so the tone of the film shifted into more of a psychological thriller. It looked much less of a love story and when we see Jim for the first time as we follow the story from her perspective, he seems so creepy and we're already suspecting him to be the bad guy.

Epiphany Paige : I'm actually writing a short comic right now which centers on "abduction as romance" being shown as what it really is: abuse. This was wonderfully germane and perfectly timed formy current project--thank you for making and posting this video.

Voltairine Kropotkin : In the comic _V for Vendetta_ , the character commits the same acts (and worse), but they're framed in a completely different way. Alan Moore wanted the audience to make up their own minds as to what extent V was the hero or the villain, asking themselves to what extent violent and cruel actions are justified in service of a good cause. V is depicted as being motivated at least as much by vicious bloodlust against those who tortured him as by his anarchist and antifascist beliefs. And Evey, despite agreeing with his beliefs, in the end rejects his methods, saying "I won't kill for you" as she bids him farewell. Mental illness also plays a much more explicit role, as it's implied that the experiments done on V when he was imprisoned have left him in the equivalent of a never-ending LSD trip. This begs the audience to ponder to what extent this makes him enlightened vs unhinged. In the movie, they took several things V did which were meant to be ethically ambiguous and portrayed them as heroic and noble – even torturing and (effectively) brainwashing Evey. And they had the audacity to try to work a love story into the story when their original relationship is more of a manipulative mentor-apprentice relationship.

Deebo Molina : He’s back *BABY!!*

Lauren Bennett : Taming of the Shrew, anyone?

HiopX : I'm more interested a the horror version of passengers then the actual film

6 ! : Could you possibly make a video essay discussing the way that trans characters are usually portrayed? Specifically trans women, most of the time. They’re seen as “deceiving” cis men, or they’re prostitutes (or there are trans characters played by cis people, which is NOT okay, in my eyes— as a trans person). Someone needs to call out how terrible our (trans) representation is! LGB representation is severely lacking as well, but trans “representation” (if you can even call it that) only ever makes people hate us even more. The stories are never framed in a way that shows our humanity. It’s always either a tragic, depressing story about trans folks who are killed and/or assaulted, or they’re about trans people who “deceive” others, simply by being trans. It’s ridiculous.

TJ Hastie : And this is why I don't understand people who walked out of The Force Awakens shipping Rey and Kylo Ren.

Reyhan Joseph : You're the greatest at explaining cliches and tropes that affect relationships in our society. Thank you for your contribution for helping me understand how to write better characters and set an example.

Lawrence Calablaster : Welp, I enjoyed Stardust. Now you've wrecked that and Big Fish (my third favourite film) for me, it seems. V for Vendetta as well (not necessarily a complete favourite, but OK), though I did find it questionable then.

Thomas Kilmer : I grew up with an abusive father, who abused my mother as his primary target until she divorced him (and I ended up in split custody), at which point I became his primary target. And it wasn't until after I in turn manage to escape him that I began to recognize these scenes as the horrors they are. Before then these scenes all seemed like perfectly reasonable things to do or perfectly romantic things. It was rather horrifying to finally realize what I've been overlooking as normal the entire time. But the most horrifying part was when I realized that many movies like this? Had been favorites of my father's. Many of which he insisted we watch together many times, commenting positively during the movie on just these scenes. That scene from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in particular was difficult to watch, because the movie was a favorite of my father's and he was deeply enamored with the 'romance' those two characters' relationship. These movies don't just serve to inculcate these attitudes in potential abusers, or normalize them in the rest of society, or damage victims' ability to recognize abusive situations. They are also sought out by active abusers as a way of seeking validation for their violence. As a way of proving to themselves and those around them "this is romantic, *I* am romantic". And if that doesn't send a chill up your spine I don't know what will.

Michael Obiabumuo : when you realise how deep rooted this is in our everyday society, its even scarier.

lil Gal : Kidnapper: "I'm not gonna rape you" Victim: "I love you" Audience: "wow he's a good guy"

Supernaturlisch : Nerdwriter1 suggested "Passengers" would have been much better if it had been from Aurora's perspective. I wholeheartedly agree.

Jennifer Odd : "Abusive men don't change overnight...especially after a lifetime of being a dick." So true! And such a great line!

Maricris R. : OMG! This is so disturbing.

Yorgos Athanasiadis : I think Woody Allen deserves his own dedicated video on how he views women.

artemismeow : Dude bros "but there's no rape culture" Literally all media: rapey plots! X(

hydrangea : It's disturbing that a lot of these hostages in the examples are east asian women........ Horrific amount of racial fetishisation in the film industry in particular.

Ruks : You have no idea how great and powerful your work is. I am watching this from Nigeria. Thank you for producing such an informative body of art.

Uejji : I love this channel, and I love your work. Though I can't help but notice that massive praise is heaped upon you in the comments, while your message is practically identical to Anita Sarkeesian's, who has always had to disable comments and ratings due to the enormous vitriol she receives. It really goes to prove her point that men will accept being introspective about analyzing toxic masculinity in media, as long as it's a man leading them there.

ToyKnives : So glad you’re talking about Passengers. I thought the trauma Jennifer Lawrence was put through was horrifying, but the guy I saw the movie with didn’t see any problem with Chris Pratt’s actions at all.

imbara33 : I found the comment on Stockholm syndrome quite mind-blowing and pertinent that was well thought man

Blue Moon : Misery by Stephen King swapped the genders and called it a horror. Does that tell you something?

AmeriCossack : Goddamit, why do you have to ruin so many movies for me!? But seriously though, thanks for these videos, they are really eye opening. It's amazing how much nasty behavior in media ive overlooked simply because these tropes are depicted as normal.

nerdwithapurpose : I cannot even begin to fathom how long it must take to create such videos and the sheer amount of effort put into it. Thanks for the great content!

Sara Mantilaro : You called out two of my favourites, but I love you anyway because this video is extremely necessary

Aki Vector : And when movies are made where women aren't victimized they put lines and characters in to point this out. You know the mandatory "womz can't do the thing!"-line right before the woman does the ting. Why must it be so hard for Hollywood to just... write women like capable, respectable people? -_-

Ryan Robotham : What's scary about Passengers is that this was initially going to explore this trope, but it was ultimately changed because of FOCUS GROUPS! A large group of people so conditioned to a problematic trope, that they didn't care so long as Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence got together.

Deus Ex Machina : I got accepted to the university which was my first choice. Next year I will be majoring in Film Theory along with English Lit and Philosophy and a huge part of that is thanks to you. Your videos have inspired me a great deal, they have made me aware which helps me become a better writer and story teller.

LPS Louise : Was gonna go to sleep but then saw this! These videos are SO GOOD!

Sarah Shaffer : some of those clips made me physically ill... fantastic vid as always

Daniel King : I'm haunted by the idea of this film being a dark sci-fi horror directed by someone like David Fincher. It could be such a great film if they had just leaned into the creepy aspects of the story.

ZacharyDBrooks : Did you know John Wayne humiliates and beats Maureen O'Hara into loving him in not one but two movies? In the Quiet Man (1952) he drags his uppity wife through the streets by her collar and kicks her while an elderly woman hands him a stick to beat her with. In McLintock! (1963) he hunts down his fleeing (uppity) wife, who is stripped to her undergarments and spanked, to the delight of townsfolk. His farmhand hands him a shovel to beat her with. There is actually another scene in that movie where the farmhand beats Wayne's daughter into loving him in the same manner. It's a pretty problematic trope to show up so many times in one actor's movies!

Chris : These scenes always made me feel very uncomfortable as a man and I didn't really know why. This video describes precisely what I could never turn into words. Quality content as always :)

RiseKujikawa : You said "people of all genders" instead of "men and women" ❤️ thank you. These little speech things mean so much

RoseanneEllen : Fantastic video. It's actually quite depressing seeing all these scenes bunched together like this.

Goodzillo : It was always so disheartening to see women in these situations react with very justified horror, fear, anger, etc to being kidnapped, abused, isolated or sexually assaulted, only for that to melt away as the plot forces her to fall in love with someone she should, and up to that point, did, hate.

Liz Ard : This video is the one that finally conviced me to make a patreon. I never noticed this trope in some movies I've seen a bunch of times and love. We need to be critical of our media and your channel does a fantasic job of explaning how insidious some tropes are. I look forward to every video!

Ally kat : It's much more Stockholm-esh then romantic in fact it's down right creepy. It also tells men that it's okay to victimize and or brutalize women for there own personal pleasure with no respect for the woman as an Independent party worthy of respect and to be treated with decency as an equal to them. Which is possibly the most egregious part of it all

vikaofthenorth : I started crying halfway through, because you are spot on. I was in a relationship with a person like that (only difference was that he was mostly abusive in an emotional way) and I didn't get out until I was severely traumatised because I had this romantic, Hollywood-infused view of "I'm the special one to fix him". A brilliant essay, as always. And an important one.

Kelly Rosenfeld : im surprised you didnt mention the cult favorite phantom of the opera!! though i suppose its VERY similar to beauty and the beast

softmoon : I love watching your videos but at the same time they make me so mad! How are these violent tropes so popular and overused??And then when violence against women is brought up in conversations its treated like a joke, violence against women is so closely woven into our culture and media it's terrifying

A. Dola MgMk : Would love a video about the Madonna-Whore complex. Anyway great job as usual!

Kimberly Terasaki : 17:30 I agree with this statement, especially since Mrs. Potts says "Oh you must show her to look past all that" as though Belle was viewing him as a monster for his looks and not for his behavior. However, I do believe that Beast's growth is a touch more gradual than the single redemptive action typical of most abduction romances (at least in the original animated version). He does not harass Belle, instead he changes his behavior so he is no longer beastly, culminating in him releasing Belle, knowing she probably won't come back, and sparing Gaston. Not to say that there isn't still some abusive undertones (there are articles / documentaries that cite Beauty and the Beast as a main influence on children's perceptions of abusive behaviors), but I thought it was worth mentioning as for me that's one of the most aggravating aspects of abduction romances.

Ivo Sotirov : This Movie would’ve been so much better if it started from Aurora’s perspective in the beginning. She wakes up, she sees all the weirdness that the creepy dude’s been making. You as the audience try to piece out the facts. Would make for quite a decent thriller.

GritsnBeans : Passengers would have been more interesting had Pratt died leaving Lawrence's character to eventually make the same decision.