Joseph is not a bad person
Yeah, I said it, the thing that so many people in this fandom are not happy to admit. Joseph is not a bad person, not by a long shot. Hell, there are far more issues with Robert than there are with Joseph - the only real moral difference between the two is that Robert gets a happy ending, and Joseph does not. That is literally it.
“But Joseph cheated-” Yes, yes he did. Joseph cheated on Mary with Robert, and he cheats on Mary with the MC. However, there is clearly a lot more to the Joseph/Robert story than we know, so there’s nothing that we can glean from it other than speculation. Somehow, a lot of people like to speculate that Joseph is the bad person because…Robert said so? Why on Earth would we believe one person? Even Mary doesn’t say her husband is a bad man, and she has every right to do so as his wife. Robert is not reliable. Then, when Joseph cheats on Mary with the MC, the two of them are actively about to get a divorce.
That’s it. Those three things, the two instances of cheating and Robert saying that Joseph isn’t a good person is literally all we have to say that Joseph is a bad person. That is it. The cult ending is still not in the game, and literally everything else is entirely speculation. There is no other evidence saying Joseph is a bad person.
“He lost track of his kids-” At a park, in the morning, in a safe neighborhood. Yeah sure it’s a little squiffy, but if we’re going to get on Joseph’s case for that then we should also be yelling at Mary for not only losing track of Crish, but completely disregarding her husband’s concern for the toddler.
Joseph actively gets upset if you lie on his route, Joseph actively tries his best to make sure that his youth party goes well, that his children are happy. He encourages his children’s weird behaviors and appears to have a good understanding of his autistic son as well. He spends time to create a man cave for him and the MC to relax and joke in, he supports Damien and all the other dads despite their gender and sexual alignment. He actively tries to help Hugo with Ernest and doesn’t lose his temper at the clearly troubled kid. There is so much good to this man, and this fandom is reducing him to an abusive manipulator based on no evidence other than “Robert said so”. The devs themselves have said before that you can’t take everything in this game at face value, and Robert is friends with Mary. I go into this more on another one of my posts, but Robert only ever sees Mary upset, so he only ever hears that Joseph is at fault. Is it so hard to imagine that maybe Robert is over reacting because he’s being over defensive of his friend? Is it really?
And as for Mary - again, Mary never says her husband is a bad man and, honestly, she’s more at fault for the shitty place their marriage is in than Joseph. That might be a touchy subject for some, but I’m serious. Mary goes out drinking most nights, she flirts with almost every man she meets, staying out until God knows when having ‘fun’ with Robert. Neil and Robert may insist that she isn’t cheating, but uh, flirting is still cheating. It is still 100% cheating on your partner to go out and flirt endlessly with another person. It is not okay, and will never be okay. She also lowkey makes fun of his religion, is obviously super flippant about caring for her children (she let her kids watch an R rated movie, and didn’t seem to care one lick about Crish), and is incredibly passive aggressive. Hell, at some points in the game, she is just aggressive towards the MC and Robert has to tell her to back off.
Mary is not a bad person, nor is Robert, but that’s kind of my point. None of these people are bad people, but somehow this fandom has turned Mary and Robert into pure cinnamon rolls and Joseph into a literal demon because…I don’t know. I really don’t know. There’s even a comic going around that keeps getting reblogged with tags like “yeah, fuck Joseph!” “Joseph is so cruel to Mary” “I wish Robert and Mary would get together and leave Joseph”. These tags are incredibly upsetting because of how short minded these people are. The comic has Mary coming home late at night with Robert practically shouting a song at the top of their lungs. People somehow see this as harmless fun and Joseph is totally just ruining it by being a bad husband…But seriously?
First of all, walking around incredibly drunk and screaming songs in the middle of the night is public indecency and you could have the cops called on you for disturbing the peace. Would you be happy if your drunk neighbor woke you up at night? What if you had a baby, like Craig?
And, secondly…How on Earth is Joseph the bad one in the situation for ‘stopping their fun’? Humor me for just a second if you’re having trouble understanding me. For just one second, imagine Mary is a man. We’ll say his name is Marty. Marty has a wife named Josephine. Marty goes out most nights to get incredibly drunk with his female friend, Robin. Josephine knows and has seen how Marty gets when he’s drunk, she knows how Marty flirts with the girls at the bar, sitting next to them, wrapping his arm around them, getting them to buy him drinks with a wink and a smile. Josephine has to put the four kids to bed each night - the autistic one, the hyper ones, and the toddler. Josephine waits up for her husband to come home, nervous for her safety, and nervous that…What if tonight was the night she brought another woman home? Or, came back in the morning smelling of another woman’s perfume? Then, she hears the tell tale singing of Marty and Robin on the way home, followed shortly after by the Crish’s cry and a light across the street turning on…
Does any of that sound even remotely okay? Could you imagine if the situation where truly reversed like that, with a husband getting hopelessly drunk most nights, flirting with women, and coming home late? Do you still think that he is totally at fault for being angry that his wife came home drunk? Honestly, there is no difference between the people telling Joseph to go fuck himself for ruining his wife’s ‘fun’ and the men I’ve seen my father hang around with joking about how my own mother was his ‘ball and chain’ for the exact same reason. There is a good reason my mom and dad are not together anymore.
Mary is clearly an alcoholic. Even if she’s not an angry drunk, I’ve known plenty of people and read plenty of stories of children who were raised with drunk parents. You usually only hear about the father, so again if you’re having trouble understanding why Mary’s alcoholism is an issue then imagine she’s Marty. Imagine Marty as a father who is constantly drunk or with a drink in hand, a father who accidentally lets you watch movies that you know you shouldn’t watch, a father who just waves you away and ignores you, a father who disappears every night…Why is mommy the only one home at night? Why are they fighting? Is it your fault?
That got a little heavy, but at this point I just want this to stop. I am so tired of going into the Joseph tag and finding nothing but hate post after hate post after hate post. I am so tired of seeing posts blaming Joseph for Mary’s alcoholism and Robert’s…Issues when we all know damn well that can’t possibly be the reason. Robert was a terrible person in his past and he’s upset about it, and we really don’t know what’s going on with Mary. We don’t, sans speculation. End of story. There is no way we can reliably blame Joseph for everything, and it’s even getting to the point where the anti-Joseph posts are actually becoming abusive to Joseph using Mary AND Robert as the assailants.
tl;dr: Joseph is not a bad man, Mary and Robert are not flawless, the way Mary acts is seriously problematic, and some of stuff you guys are posting is actually kinda hurtful. Can we reel a back a little?