Forgiveness is a Plot Device
The heterosexual romantic narrative in all cultures is boring and stinky as shit and as transparent, fragile and scary as an ultra-ultra-thin condom.
And yet so many people buy into it.
Boy meets girl, usually showing himself to be a playboy or outright misogynist. Girl is intrigued: “Boy is an asshole, but I can’t. stop. thinking. about. him”. Boy shows some tiny vulnerability which serves as the ‘hook’, the thing girl remembers years down the road when wondering “what the hell did I dooooo?”. Boy eventually traps girl in holy matrimony, abuses her, and then keeps her there through enforced pregnancy and by mouthing the word love before penis-insertion and after slapping her around physically or verbally or psychologically. Well, this general progression forms the plot of most het lives and most of the rom-coms and steamy novellas out there. And not just in the West.
Part and parcel with selling this garbage as what women want is the programming of feelings: acceptable and unacceptable feelings.
In the romantic narrative, as girl begins to question why she is with boy, in come plot devices – the preferred feelings allowed to girl. You see if these plot devices weren’t employed, the story would end. Girl would leave. Girl might not go down the garden path in the first place. Unacceptable feelings, the effective ones that are programmed out of us at an early age and through the reading and viewing of acceptable film and literature out there, are the feelings that might actually save us from sexual slavery and throw a wrench in Patriarchy.
One of the most popular Patriarchy approved feelings or plot devices is FORGIVENESS. This device, the lack of which would end a romantic story toot sweet, says that no matter what boy does to girl, she must not retaliate or exit stage left. She cannot kill a boy who rapes or tries to kill her. She must forgive him. She must not adopt an eye for an eye mentality. She must forgive him. She must not get angry, take the kids and run. She must forgive him. She must not challenge his rape-supporting porn use. She must forgive him. She must not divorce him because he cheated on her. She must forgive him. And on and on. Several basic events revolving round the same theme.
We are told forgiveness is a virtue. Hmm. I’ll tell you, forgiveness does have some merit – when a woman forgives herself for ‘being so stupid!’ in believing a man has her best interests in mind or makes her a priority or sees her as an equal and free human. When a woman forgives herself for making the mistake of blaming women instead of men for her oppression, forgiveness has merit.
But forgiving men for abusing her, raping her, denigrating her, not fighting for her liberation and humanity? Nope, then it’s just a plot device.
That’s all folks!
Posted on November 21, 2015, in Feminism, Male Privilege, Misogyny, Patriarchy and tagged forgiveness, heterosexual, marriage, plot device, romance, violence. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Forgiveness is a Plot Device.