Why I disabled the comments on the TVD video:
So, over the past 3 days I have been completely and utterly overwhelmed by the amount of response the video has garnered. And it’s completely and utterly terrified me. A lot of it has been positive and people have understood what I was trying to say and that’s wonderful. But, a lot of people - while loving the video, only like it because I talk about Damon and Delena. And an alarming group of people have taken personal offence over the fact that I used their favourite ship and character as examples of how the show promotes negative things like rape culture.
I need you to know that I uploaded the video with good intentions - I didn’t upload it out of hatred or because I wanted attention. The amount attention I’ve been getting isn’t something that I’m happy about, I’m not the kind of person who likes being center stage. The video wasn’t about me. It was about addressing issues that I have with a show I used to love.
Yes, a show I used to love. I loved the Vampire Diaries and I was emotionally invested in the characters. And I loved Damon AND Delena. I loved Damon because he was interesting and compelling to watch on screen. I thought his lines were hilarious and his “I don’t give a crap” attitude has appeal. I enjoyed Delena because it was exciting and kept me watching while Stelena would put me to sleep. I liked Delena because I felt like vampire Elena worked better with Damon than with Stefan.
I shipped them so, so hard.
And then they became canon.
And that’s when everything went downhill for me.
I know I’m not the only one who felt like season 5 was the worst season of the show. But it’s really when I started to realize how problematic the relationship was. It went from being interesting to being annoying. I realized Elena wasn’t even a character anymore - just a plot device and a reflection of the guy she was with.
And I began to reflect on earlier seasons and I realized how problematic a lot of stuff was.
I love morally grey characters - they’re compelling and a lot more interesting than characters with strong moral compasses who are inherently good - and that’s why Damon appealed to me.
But the problem I began having was how the writers allowed him to get away with his abuse towards women.
My problem isn’t with the character of Damon, it’s with the writers portraying him to be a wounded hero when he hasn’t had a redemption arc.
Has Damon developed as a character and gotten better? Absolutely. Has he redeemed himself? No.
Does that mean he may never redeem himself? No, it doesn’t.
But it’s about accountability.
What wasn’t sitting well with me was how the writers were okay with letting Damon get away with abusing and raping Caroline and Andie.
I understand a lot of people don’t think Damon raped them, but it seems clear as day to me that he did. Taking their fear away meant taking away the thing that was stopping them from wanting to be around Damon. Fear is what made Caroline hit Damon with a lamp and tell him to get away from her. Would she really have slept with him again? And, their relationship continues for quite a few days after that. And I think it’s a little naive to assume they weren’t physical during that time.
I understand that both women consented the first time. I understand they were attracted to Damon. But taking their fear away wasn’t fair to them. Treating Andie like a distraction wasn’t fair to her. And verbally and physically abusing Caroline was beyond disgusting.
He objectified and degraded these women. He tells Andie he kills people and he immediately compels her to not be afraid - without giving her a chance to think about whether or not she still wants to sleep with him.
And whether you think it’s rape or not, it was abuse. And it’s not something Damon ever apologizes for.
And that’s not okay, you can’t portray a character to be a hero if he can’t even apologize to someone who he took advantage of and abused.
And me talking about and saying rape out loud doesn’t undermine the crime or the trauma real people who have been raped go through. What undermines it is people putting a long list of requirements and nitpicking at what is considered rape and what isn’t. What undermines it is people going to the ends of the earth to defend Damon’s actions.
BUT IT’S NOT THE CHARACTER’S FAULT. They’re fictional, they don’t have control over their actions - the writers do.
And that was my issue. The writers allowing the abuse of female characters to go unacknowledged while simultaneously glorifying their abuser.
And that isn’t okay. Especially on a show where the main viewer demographic is young and female.
I understand a lot of people aren’t influenced by the show. But a lot of people are. I have personally met girls who want guys like Damon, young, 12 and 13 year old girls. And that’s terrifying.
So, if the show isn’t influencing you in that way and you understand what Damon does is wrong THAT’S FANTASTIC. But that doesn’t mean it’s not influencing people out there. And, there a lot of people who don’t realize how wrong a lot of the Damon has done is. And that’s who this video was for.
And, on top of that, It was MY opinion, which I’m entitled to. And that I don’t expect you to agree with.
I was respectful in the way I presented my thoughts in the video and I’ve been respectful while replying to comments - and I’ve actually apologized if someone has found my reply to their comment disrespectful.
I’ve been nothing but respectful and polite yet I’m getting bombarded with abuse I don’t deserve. People are telling me to go kill myself and that I’m a whiny bitch, for doing what?
I don’t deserve that.
I’m not asking you to agree with me, but, if you’re going to disagree, you could be respectful about it.
And a lot of people have been extremely respectful even though they disagree with me. And I appreciate it immensely, that they’ve opted to talk to me like I’m a human being who feels all the same emotions they do.
And I will be making a Q&A video addressing other characters and ships as well as questions people might have about the video. That won’t be going up for a while though, because I have exams and I’m moving country.
But, for now, the comments will be disabled because the comment section is becoming a battle of the ships and a hate fest.