The Over-Sexualization Of Harley Quinn

The Over-Sexualization Of Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn was never meant to be a character that merited imitation.
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Harley Quinn is an odd enigma in comic lore. She is unique in that she was created through the animated series and became so widely popular that the comics adopted her into comic canon. Now you can't consume anything Batman without Harley Quinn being plastered on it as a selling point.

Such as stuff like the Suicide Squad film, the Arkham video games, Odyssey articles and most recently, debuting on the moderately successful TV Show "Gotham." However, once a character becomes hugely popular, some character tampering and misunderstanding sets in. The problem really arose when "Suicide Squad" was marketed by showing of Margot Robbie's booty. That is the root of the issue when it comes to modern Harley Quinn portrayal.


Nowadays, when somebody is asked to describe Harley Quinn, nine times out of ten, they go straight to the fact that they think she is hot. They talk about her romantic relationship with The Joker. They talk about her obnoxious voice and how hot it is. They also claim her to be dumb and very fun. Hell, I've heard some girls aspire to be like her -- they believe she is a strong female character.

This was not always the case. If one were to go back to her origin on the terrific 90s animated "Batman" series, they would know what Harley Quinn was all about, and how important and engaging her character was. Harley is the rare exception to the rule where the comics and the fans have ruined her character, for she is far from a strong female character, and she is not someone any girl should aspire to be. Quite the opposite, actually.

Harley Quinn's character and story are metaphors for domestic violence and the tragedy of being caught in one. Her backstory was that she was a psychiatrist who was assigned to treat The Joker. He did his Joker thing and manipulated her, and twisted her into loving him and making her his pet.

A common misconception is that The Joker and Harley are a couple. The Joker is not capable of being in a relationship. He doesn't function like a normal human being. He uses Harley Quinn for his own personal gain and cares very little for her. He would only be upset if she were to die if it directly affected his plans. She is just a stooge who is a cut above his usual stooge.

Harley, on the other hand, is desperately in love with The Joker and truly believes he loves her. That's the tragedy of it. Joker is just as vicious to her as he is to everyone else. He is verbally and physically abusive, yet she never leaves him because she believes he loves her as much as she loves him -- a common trait in many domestic abuse situations. Harley Quinn was never meant to be a character that merited imitation.

She was meant to teach young girls about the dangers of domestic violence and to be an example of what not to be. She is a tragic character.

However, that has somehow now been lost in translation. It seems that the objective of Harley Quinn is to please hormonal teenage comic book geeks by making her outfits skimpier and to sell a bunch of Hot Topic T-shirts. She is a consistent cosplay choice at most comic conventions.

It honestly upsets me every time I hear someone say they want to be like Harley because she is badass. It upsets me even worse when they say they want a relationship just like Joker and Harley. It shows they don't know what they are talking about and that they completely missed the point of her. Domestic violence is a dumb thing that exists, but the hard reality is that it does exist. Harley Quinn was made with the best of intentions and those intentions have now been squandered by the culture we now live in.

So, now when you go see "Suicide Squad" and oogle at the beautiful Margot Robbie as she plays Quinn or when you talk about how powerful and strong she is when you play her in "Batman: Arkham Night" or read a comic where she gives The Joker a gift, just remember how tragic her character is and what she was meant to represent. Then let the cold breeze of reality chill your soul. The joke is most definitely on you.

Cover Image Credit: Kotaku

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To The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority

Sorority girls seem to be getting more and more backlash, but why?
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To The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority,

I buy my friends? Wow. First time I’ve ever gotten that, good one.

Do you feel better now? Was it all you hoped for?

I doubt it.

I’m not the “typical” sorority girl but I’ve also come to the realization that there isn’t a “typical” sorority girl. We are all different and believe it or not we are all just like you. The letters I wear on my chest don’t make me stupid. They don’t make me a bitch. They don’t make me spoiled. They don’t make me an alcoholic. They don’t make me fake. They don’t make me a slut. And they sure as heck don’t make me any better than you.

What my letters made me is better than I was before.

Some sorority stereotypes are inevitable. Yes, I love my Big. Yes, my Littles are my life. I’m guilty of being a master with a glue gun, and I’ll admit that new letter shirts make me giddy as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.

But here’s what you don’t know — before I joined my sorority I couldn’t speak to a group of five people without turning red. Now I help run meetings in front of 45 women. Before, I would never have had the courage to go up to a group of girls and sit with them for lunch. Now I’m actually invited (crazy, I know). Before, I struggled with my grades. Now I have sisters in my major offering help. Before, my resume was empty. Now, it's full of leadership positions and community service hours. Before, I didn’t quite feel accepted. Now, I’m welcomed lovingly into an extremely diverse group. What’s so bad about all of that?

I get it. Sororities aren’t for everyone. I’ll even go as far to say that some of us sorority girls can be a little much. But what’s the point of dissing something that you don’t understand? Next time you’re about to make a cruel stereotypical joke, think about how you would feel if someone did that to you. Instead of making fun of sorority girls, sit down with one and find out why it’s so important to her.

Sincerely,

A Proud Sorority Girl

Cover Image Credit: Megan Jones

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There's A Difference Between Healthy And Unhealthy Competition

Competition quickly goes from being healthy to unhealthy when it begins to spark feelings of jealousy and inadequacy.

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A little competition is never a hurtful thing. Healthy competition often serves as a motivator and challenges us to reach our goals. However, there is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy competition. Competition quickly goes from being healthy to unhealthy when it begins to spark feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. It is important to take a step back and analyze the competition we feel in our daily lives to ensure it is coming from a healthy source rather than something that makes us feel less about ourselves.

I think that the healthiest form of competition is one in which we compete against ourselves. When we challenge ourselves to become a better person every day and set daily goals to achieve our dreams, we are pursuing a healthy form of competition. This form of competition helps us to continuously grow and challenges us to find creative solutions to the problems we face. This competition is healthy because it serves as a motivating factor. We are not focusing on comparing ourselves to the successes of others, and instead, are comparing the person we were yesterday to the one we want to become today.

Competition can easily become unhealthy when we begin comparing ourselves to others. We all have different natural talents and abilities. It is important to recognize that we can't be good at everything. Some people are better writers, while others are more talented in playing instruments. However, this doesn't mean that we don't "measure up." We should never compare our natural talents to those of other people. We must recognize our abilities and celebrate the areas in which we are the most skilled.

Unhealthy competition often leads to a scarcity mindset. When we start comparing ourselves to others, we believe that there is limited success in the world to go around. This scarcity mindset stems from a feeling of fear and inadequacy. It makes us feel that since someone else is experiencing success, our ability to be successful is diminished. There is plenty of success and achievement to go around for everyone to experience. The successes of others do not limit our individual success.

Competition is also unhealthy when it is motivated by seeking attention and validation from outside sources. Many of us constantly compete with others so that our successes can be validated and recognized by outside sources. This mindset impacts our self-worth and serves to lessen our ability to perform and reach our goals. Seeking validation from outside sources is a losing game. Your efforts do not have to be validated by others for you to know that you are worthy.

In my opinion, the unhealthiest form of competition is when it is used to diminish others. Competition is often used to sabotage the successes of others in hopes that we can advance our own personal success. This form of competition leads to unhealthy relationships and an overall unhealthy environment.

It is crucial that we recognize the difference between unhealthy and healthy competition. When used to motivate ourselves and celebrate others, competition can be a healthy thing in our lives. We must learn to use competition in a healthy manner to pursue our goals and help others achieve theirs.

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