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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10 Things You Need To Stop Saying To Girls With Tattoos

Mind your own business and life will be gravy.
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What is it about other people that make them feel entitled to tell you how to live your life or what to put on your body. If it's parents or another close family member and you aren't in a state to make the rational decisions for yourself, that is one thing... But if you are perfectly capable to think and act on your own, who are they to stop you?

I have four tattoos right now, do I want more? Yes. Will I get more in the future? More than likely. Should you tell me that I shouldn't? No.

1. But you're so pretty...

Is this a roundabout way to insult me? Because I wouldn't look the same with or without the tattoos? Because having tattoos somehow makes women less pretty? Whatever you're getting at, please stop.

2. I don't understand the meaning of your tattoo.

That's okay because it isn't for you to understand. That is why it is on my body. I understand the meaning, and the ones I care enough about to explain it to also understand the meaning, therefore, you don't need to.

3. Aren't you worried about them sagging or running together or becoming unrecognizable when you are older?

No, no I am not. They do and always will hold a special meaning in my heart, whether you can tell what it is or not. I will always know. It is no secret that the older you get the more the skin sags. If you care that much, then I'll just show you pictures of what they used to look like, and it will give me a good way to reminisce about my younger days.

4. Do you only date guys with tattoos?

No, I don't. But, it just so happens that my boyfriend has one, and we have been together since before either one of us got tattoos. He did actually get a little hotter after the fact, but that is beside the point.

5. Did it hurt?

No, I just had a needle being rapidly punctured into my skin at who knows how many times per second.

YES, it hurts.

But, not for long, and to me, that might even be the appeal of getting tattoos because it is nice to feel pain every once in a while to remind ourselves we are all human and we all bleed red.

Yes, depending on the spot and your body type sometimes you bleed. I got my first tattoo on my rib cage, and I got my second tattoo a short few months later, not to say they didn't hurt but for me, the end result outweighs the pain in that moment.

Pain is temporary, but tattoos are forever.

6. What do your parents think?

Whatever they want to think, honestly. Luckily, I'm fortunate enough to have parents who love me for who I am regardless of my tattoos.

With that being said, they all have tattoos themselves.

They can give me their opinion on the design I choose, but at the end of the day, I am an adult and they aren't going to love me any less if I were to get a tattoo that is not appealing to them.

7. You're going to have such a hard time finding a job.

Actually, I have a job, I know plenty of people in their "adult" jobs that have tattoos and mine are all easily covered if the problem ever arises. Also, you don't know me or my career goals so once again, who are you to tell me about my life?

8. I'm thinking of getting [insert tattoo here], what do you think?

You do you, boo boo. If you like it, GREAT. If it has or doesn't have meaning to you, also GREAT. I don't want you telling me or judging me on the tattoos I decide to put on my body, so I'm sure as hell not going to do it to you.

I may not think it would be good to put on my body, but once again, I am not the one getting it, you are... So have at it!

9. Why would you waste your money on those things?

Idk Sarah, why do you waste money on that expensive ass bottle of liquor knowing it's going to be gone in a few hours, and you will feel like crap the next day? At least mine is permanent and makes me feel empowered ALL THE TIME, unlike your alcohol, that is temporary.

10. When are you going to stop?

When are you?

They all have a very special meaning to me. I won't get a tattoo that doesn't have meaning to me but I WILL NOT judge you for doing it. Because who am I to tell you what to do with your own body. So stop saying these things to women.

Mind ya own business and life will be gravy.

Cover Image Credit: Kayce Davis

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This One’s For Africa

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Read through to the end for an amazing Toto reference.

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It's now been a week since I stepped foot on the African continent for the first time in my life. I first visited Johannesburg, where my dad and I spent a day on an 'apartheid tour.'

This tour consisted of visiting Shanty Town, one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The living conditions were indeed different. They had to steal electricity through homemade wires connected to the telephone poles. They had only a few porta potties for ten families to share. They had several spickets to obtain fresh water from. There was no heating in the houses, which were made from pieces of painted aluminum.

Such inconvenient circumstances have come from years of oppression towards black people in South Africa. It was incredibly sad to know that these problems still exist and that apartheid only ended so recently.

On the other hand, the people showed very little anger. Despite their living situations, the people of Shanty Town were so kind and welcoming. Everyone we passed smiled and waved, often even saying hello or asking about our wellbeing.

It brought some serious warmth to our hearts to see their sense of community. Everyone was in it together, and no man was left behind. They created jobs and opportunities for one another. They supported each other.

The next part of the day included a tour of Nelson Mandela's old house. We then made a trip to the Apartheid Museum.

Overall, Johannesburg did not disappoint. The city contains a rich history that human beings as a whole can learn a lot from. Johannesburg is a melting pot that still contains a multitude of issues concerning racism and oppression of certain cultures.

After two days in Johannesburg, my family made our way to Madikwe game reserve, where we stayed at Jaci's Lodge.

The safari experience was absolutely incredible. Quite cold (it's winter in Africa right now), but amazing enough to make up for the shivering. We saw all my favorite animals: giraffes galore, elephants, zebras, impalas, lions, hyenas, wildebeests, rhinos, you name it. While my favorite animal will always be the giraffe, I don't think any sighting could beat when two different herds of elephants passed through a watering hole to fuel up on a drink.

Finally on June 1st, I flew to George to start my program with Africa Media in Mossel Bay. On Sunday, we went on an 'elephant walk.'

The safari was certainly cool, but that makes the elephant walk ice cold. We got to walk alongside two male elephants - one was 25, the other 18. They were so cute!! We got to stroke their skin, trunk, and tusks. They had their own little personalities and were so excited to receive treats (fruits and vegetables) at the end of the journey.

My heart couldn't be more full. Africa, you have become my favorite continent. And it sure is going to take a lot to drag me away from you.

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