You Don’t Want to Be the Joker and Harley Quinn in the Same Way You Don’t Want to Be Romeu and Juliet

I’m not big on comic books, I never was because everything changes faster than I can throw china ink all over me and yet I watched the birth of Harley Quinn in the Batman: The Animated Series. What confuses me deeply about this is how couples go around identifying each other as the Joker and Harley Quinn. I’ve only realized this once it actually show up in my newsfeed and it started to make my skin crawl because I knew the nature of their relationship, even though I only watched the 90s cartoon.
Before anything, let me clear, I have nothing against cosplayers who do this. I think it’s cute to cosplayer together as two characters both like and that form a couple in that universe, BUT only as long as you’re aware that’s a cosplay and doesn’t start breathing into your real life. Cosplay is when you become an actor to the character you’re playing as, a bit like role playing a certain character, and often doesn’t breath into your real life. It’s innocent and you don’t go around being that character all the time unless you played that character for too long which I doubt it happens to cosplayers.
I have nothing against you if you do this nor I’m trying to attack you, but simply saying that it bugs me and why.

It makes me sick because it is an abusive relationship. Even if the Joker loves Harley Quinn, even if he genuinely loves her and has not just manipulated and seduced her into helping him escaping Arkham Asylum, it’s still an abusive relationship that involves violence, rejection, and even murder in some story-lines.

It’s very jarring to me why anyone would enjoy identifing themselves as two criminals who engage in such an unhealthy relationship, especially taking in consideration the efforts that have been made to stop women and men from staying in such relationships.
What makes it worse for me is that I was in an abusive relationship. Surely it wasn’t as bad as the Joker and Harley Quinn, but it had all the little shades of red of an abusive relationship, and knowing that the dynamic of such relationships isn’t very far from what is shown in The Animated Series and the few comic books I’ve looked upon this is very upsetting for me.

Of course, you don’t have to do what you like just because Aya here is annoyed and disgusted by Mr. Js and Harley Quinns out there, but I do wish people thought a little harder about the implications of calling each other by such nicknames. The chances are you’re not in an abusive relationship, but do you really want to even have the slightly implication that you might be? Maybe you just like the crazy ones, but do you really want that to transpire into your real life?

This is a bit like that old Rome0 & Juliet thing for me.
You know how the play ends? They die because of a misunderstanding. Romeo thinks Juliet is dead, goes into the Capulet crypt where she is laid to rest (because everyone thinks she’s dead when in fact she’s asleep) and finds Paris there, the two engage in a fight where Romeo kills Juliet’s fiancĂ©e and still believing she’s deader than death he drinks poison and dies for real. When she wakes up and finds him dead, she stabs herself with a dragger.

 

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by Joseph Wright of Derbys

 

This is what a lot people consider an ideal romance: two teenagers dying because they may or may not love each other. Let’s remember that Juliet is 14 years old in the Shakespeare play (which is the most famous incarnation of the tale) and she knows absolutely nothing about life. People are idealizing a rebellion of two teenagers as the most perfect and pure form of love when I doubt that they even love each other. But that’s just me. I cannot idealize relationships that stand on pure illusion of childhood and abuse.

But you know what, you can idealize whatever you want. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re happy. I would love if people were aware of the implications, but the closest I’ve seen to my ideal romance is a dumb idiot who always gets in trouble and a bitchy arrogant witch who sometimes gets in trouble.

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