With DC’s “Suicide Squad” about to release, everyone’s eyes are on the world’s favorite villain, Harley Quinn. Unlike other supervillains, she has a bright, outgoing personality and isn't too shy to start casual conversation in the midst of a fight. However, there is one thing everyone needs to learn from our light-hearted bad girl: No one should ever strive to have a relationship even remotely like that of the Joker and Harley Quinn.
One thing people who fawn over the Joker and Harley seem to frequently say is, “He’s just as crazy as her!” or, “He understands her!” He also repeatedly physically and emotionally abuses her. I don’t care how much he “gets” her. There is absolutely nothing romantic about how the Joker treats Harley Quinn and the worst part is, Harley acts like many victims of domestic abuse. She shrugs it off because he loves her, right? He’s not trying to hurt her. She insists he wasn’t being mean, he just gets angry sometimes. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time so he took his anger out on her. But it’s fine, he loves her.
Except that’s not how a relationship should work. No one should ever feel the need to excuse the actions of their partner. They should never feel used or worthless because of the treatment they get from their significant other and they should never have to hide anything from their partner or because of their partner. Real women are experiencing the awful treatment Harley receives regularly, and there are people who think it’s cute or romantic because both characters are mentally insane.
To make matters worse, some people who are aware of the blatant abuse believe Harley Quinn promotes or excuses domestic abuse when she’s doing the exact opposite. With all the news surrounding the Joker and Harley, women who relate to their relationship are now realizing their relationship is unhealthy and unsafe. Women who have spent years being controlled, manipulated and humiliated by their significant others are realizing they are in a bad position and need to get out.
There are multiple signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, but some of the most common and easy to identify include putting you down or degrading your opinions, making you feel like you need permission to do things, placing the blame on you for something that goes wrong in their own life, regularly pointing out your flaws, bringing up events from your past to make you feel guilty, etc.
There are also multiple signs of physical abuse, the most evident being physical injury like sprains, bruises, blisters or fractures. This can also include cigarette burns or “wrap around bruises” from being held too tight, usually on the arms, legs or neck. Effects of physical and emotional abuse alike can lead to social isolation, depression, anxiety, etc. and should not be ignored.
If you or anyone you know relates to the Joker and Harley – or identifies with absolutely any of the above indicators – please notify someone. If you need help getting out of the relationship, call 800-799-SAFE for help or contact the local authorities.
For the love of women everywhere who spend their daily lives in fear, stop romanticizing the Joker and Harley Quinn's inexcusably abusive relationship.