Sunday, July 19, 2009

the ways that we are taught to recognize love

So I just finished reading the final installment of the Harry Potter series. I started them long ago with my little brother, who is now 19, and then finished them on my own. But I'm not really going to talk about Harry Potter per se, but rather, about the way that love is represented in the series and my issue with it.

Now, before I start, my disclaimer: not all of the love relationships are portrayed in this way, but for the 2 that are, I take issue!

Something about pop/romance culture seems bent on teaching girls that love follows antagonism. That true love starts off with tension and feuding. Both pairs of characters, Ron and Hermione and Lily and James both dislike each other in the beginning and then end up being each other's great love. Ron insults Hermione and James insults Lily's friend. Both women are deeply offended or hurt by this and thus the antagonism begins.

Eventually of course, these differences are reconciled and the characters after many years, finally come to realize that they love each other (this is more developed in the case of Ron and Hermione as James and Lily, being Harry's parents, are actually dead when the story begins). And so the stereotype continues. Harlequin romances, rom-coms, and hell, the entire chic-flic industry is based on this premise of eneminity turning into true love (hello "you've got mail" much?). The premise: the lovers are inherently at odds with one another, while secretly attracted to the other person and eventually recognizing, once they work past their conflict, that they are each other's soul mates.

Ok, now I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I have yet to fall in love with any boy that I originally hated. I've befriended people that I originally didn't feel much of a connection to, but madly in love. I think not.

I'm so sick of this set up. Seriously. Does this ever happen? Really? Cause I'd like to know about it if does.

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