For those critics out there that pointed out the many unhealthy elements present in the “romantic” relationships in the popular Twilight book series, I’m sorry to say that America is by no means alone in having issues with drawing some strong relationship lines.
If you’re not a chick, you may be confused as to why this is an issue at all. Well, it really has a lot to do with writers trying to one-up each other in having their male leads be more “protective” of the heroine and whatnot because girls like feeling safe. Of course, in the race to compete with one another they lose sight of the original goal (the feeling of safety) and end up in creepyville. The strange part isn’t so much that this happens in stories, but that girls often take it as legit. Take the anime Amnesia, based on an otome (girls) game, for an example. At one point, one of the male leads keeps the heroine drugged and eventually puts her into a small cage to “protect” her. As a female myself, I find this uniquely disturbing on many levels. The fact that the dude actually believes abuse protects from abuse. The fact that most fans seem cool with it. The fact that it was even written at all AND approved AND marketed. All along that production process no one raised their hand to say, “I may be new, and this is crazy, but this is clearly abuse so trash it maybe?” Honestly.
Yes, it’s true that many females like feeling safe and protected. But that only really happens when we can trust those protecting us. And, no, it’s not only love interests or anything. This includes parents, family, friends, etc. It has a lot to do with trusting the other people with you, something the above mentioned situation clearly lacks in spades. Trust and respect for one another are basic foundations of a relationship, yet these kind of extreme scenarios are becoming more common on both sides of the Pacific as companies try to out shine each other, ultimately leaving the whole purpose of a healthy relationship forgotten. I can only hope that a few creators out there will start getting a clue and writing more solid material in the future. But that means fans need to start being a bit more critical of the stuff they’re getting. Just because it’s labeled “for girls” doesn’t mean it’s respectful to women. Not by a long shot.