Break The Cycle intern Stephanie loves to laugh, but she won’t do it at the expense of dating abuse victims. Read on to hear about what makes her LOL and what she simply won’t tolerate when it comes to humor on TV.
Like a lot of people, I tend to turn on the television for some mindless entertainment after a long day. But recently even some of my favorite shows have begun to bother me. Watch even one hour of television, and it’s easy to see that a lot of TV producers apparently think abuse and unhealthy relationships are something of a joke. From making fun of guys who get beat up by girls, to guys purposefully plying dates with alcohol, finding a healthy relationship on television is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.
I think that if you asked most people, they would say that dating violence and abuse are not funny. And it’s rare that you’ll see a more stereotypically abusive relationship, generally a guy being beat up by a girl, shown for laughs. But for some reason, when it’s a woman behaving in the same manner to a man, the producers of sitcoms decide that it’s just all one big joke. Getting “beat up by a girl” is something shameful or funny, but never abuse. It’s even easier to find shows that poke fun at a man’s decision to buy his date drink after drink, trying to improve his chances that she will sleep with him. But being hit by someone is never really funny, and getting somebody drunk in order to have sex with them is rape. The victims of these types of abuse deserve better, as does everybody else.
Everyone is affected by the culture that surrounds them, and people shouldn’t be sent the message that these types of behaviors are acceptable, or something that they have to put up with.
But by consistently playing these situations for laughs, television shows are telling people that these behaviors are normal or acceptable. Everyone deserves healthy relationships – even fictional characters! So let’s start showing healthy relationships on TV, and no more treating abuse as a joke.