mental poison

Worry is the most popular form of suicide. Worry impairs appetite, disturbs sleep, makes respiration irregular, spoils digestion, irritates disposition, warps character, weakens mind, stimulates disease, and saps bodily health. It is the real cause of death in thousands of instances where some other disease is named in the death certificate. Worry is mental poison.
—  William Jordan, Sell-Control Its Kingship and Majesty.
Concerning Harley/Ivy and Queer Representation in DC Comics

I am going to preface this post with the following: I have always been a fan of DC comics, especially those concerning female characters.  I am also a hard-core supporter of increasing diversity in all media, including comics.  You can imagine that I wwas overjoyed when I heard the news that the romantic and sexual relationship between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy had been confirmed.  I was outright flabbergasted when I read that the relationship was one polyamorous in nature.  (x)

After my initial joy had subsided slightly, I started thinking.  There are a lot of ways that this relationship could be handled incorrectly.  It is here that I will outline some of my most pressing concerns.

The Dr.s Harleen Quinzel and Pamela Isely, better known by their codenames, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, respectively, are two very well-known and recognizable characters in the DC multiverses.  They are also two of the most sexualized.

(Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, pictured with Catwoman [Selina Kyle])

I fear that the writers and/or the “predominant” (read: white cis straight male) fandom will use this as an excuse to further sexualize these two already highly sexualized characters, which will also further contribute to the rampant lesbian fetishiztation which is found in modern society and pop culture.  The relationship between Harley and Ivy will likely become a way to sell more comics to people who think “lesbian sex is hawt,” not as a way to introduce more diversity.  What I fear is that there will be more scenes of them having sex than there will be of them actually interacting as a couple, which only serves to dehumanize the characters and delegitimize polyamorous and lesbian relationships.

DC’s move to cannonize the relationship also acts as a way to increase the characters’ “mysteriousness,” since what’s more mysterious than a woman who hes been in relationships with both men and women, potentiay at the same time. 

This might also be attributed to the characters’ histories of being mentally ill, that the writers/fandom might attribute Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn’s polyamory and/or polysexuality to their being mentally ill.  Only crazy people, these comics might end up implying, enjoy relationships with people of multiple genders.

I also highly doubt that either character will be correctly identified in the comics as bi/pan/other, but rather have one or the other write off the relationship as “experimentation,” which is another tool used in queer erasure.

Most importantly, I fear that the fact that Harley has been/still is in a relationship of a sexual or romantic nature with Pamela be an excuse for the Joker to comic violence against Harley.  The Joker is a highly abusive partner for Harley in most, if not all media in which they are presented together.

(multiple instances of the Joker physically abusive Harley, found in various comics)

Harley’s being polyamorous and/or polysexual might be a reason for the Joker to harm her; he might interpret Harley’s polyamory as her “cheating on him,” or, worse, as her starting to escape from his abusive grip.  He has reacted ver poorly to the idea of Harley cheating on him in the past, as was the case in the recent DC animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham, and other media.

This would not abide well by the Joker, who would be equally as likely to punish Harley or Ivy with violence, which would only act to further reinforce that polyamory/sexuality is bad and cheating and is something that needs to be punished.  He can and very well could injure or kill either, a death that would undoubtedly be defended by thousands of comic book fans of the “target audience.”

tl;dr: I am excited that DC is recognizing a queer relationship, especially one with such well known characters as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, but I also fear that, if not handled correctly, that this relationship could only act as a tool for queer erasure, the fetishization of queer relationships, the association of polyamory and/or polysexuality with mental illness, and violence against women and queer people.

We should regard anger as a poison that has no function other than to harm us. When we feel ourself becoming irritated and on the point of getting angry we should immediately remember the faults of anger and prevent it from developing. If we always practice in this way our tendency to get angry will gradually diminish and eventually disappear altogether. Then we shall have become a person who never gets angry!
—  Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Ocean of Nectar”

So in case anyone was wondering… this was my face today. During my first session of cognitive behavioral therapy. It took me half a year, and an alcohol poisoning to get here. Forgive me for just dropping that bomb on you. But this is what it took for them to take me seriously. I didn’t do it to achieve that obviously. But this is what it takes in this country, for them to see the seriousness of your situation. Anywho… I’m finally receiving the therapy that I need, to work on my fears, traumas and insecurities. Since it was my first time meeting my therapist, I did my hair/make up and wore something I felt good in. To give myself a little self confidence boost. cause I’m an emotional wreck with extremely low self esteem This is a pretty general therapy, consisting out of 13 sessions. And I’m probably going to need more than that. So I’ll be moving on to a more specialized treatment, after completing this one. All negativity aside, though. I do feel very hopefull about this treatment. And I got a good feeling from the therapist that I spoke to. *sigh* I really hope this is going to be a turning point in my life.

Today is a new day. Don’t let your history interfere with your destiny! Let today be the day you stop being a victim of your circumstances and start taking action towards the life you want. You have the power and the time to shape your life. Break free from the poisonous victim mentality and embrace the truth of your greatness. You were not meant for a mundane or mediocre life!
3857) I hate that when cis guys say they're gay, they really mean they only like guys with penises. A lot of my partners have dumped me after finding out I'm trans because having a vagina apparently means that I'm not a real man. This is such a twisted and poisonous mentality and I hate it.
Can we talk about the real implications of crying queer-baiting ?

I think people who genuinely cry queerbaiting about a relationship which is clearly to most a friendship, are bordering on dangerous.
What an utterly POISONOUS mentality to have, to suggest that two men can’t love each other without fucking?
What an AWFUL message to be spreading that strong, masculine men aren’t allowed to express affection to one another, be open about their feelings, support each other and respect each other without being perceived as ‘in a sexual relationship.’
How fucked up is it that in our fandom, portraying a strong emotional bond between two attractive men who are not immediate relatives, can not possibly be interpreted as ANYTHING but QUEER BAITING- a conspiracy suggesting that no implied homosexual love story should come to fruition because the media is pushing a homophobic agenda.

The reason Dean reaffirms his straightness is because he IS straight. There is nothing wrong with being gay or bisexual, Dean ‘don’t judge’ -but Dean is straight.
You’re AS BAD as man haters that call themselves feminists. You’re as bad as anyone who says they want equality while exercising inverted bigotry.
Guess what. I’m bi, and I support straight people. Guess what, straight people are a big part of this world. They are not all out to get you, but by the looks of it, you are out to get them.
Ask yourself what kind of message you are pushing yourself before you drape yourself in the flag of liberal mindedness.
Stop being disgusting. Stop hindering a wonderful story that is trying to accommodate our community in its own way, while sticking to the fundamentals of its message, which have NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!

If literally ALL you can do is look for ways to ‘queer bait’ yourselves and get legitimately offended by that not becoming a reality then I honestly don’t know how to help you. You probably can’t see the good in anything! You must feel the need to put everything under a microscope until you can find something that is perceived as politically incorrect. You certainly can’t enjoy something for what it is.

Let me put it to you this way, if Dean were canonically gay, and Cas was a girl, would it be considered straight baiting?

This internet conspiracy theory nonsense is getting very old for me. Do you really expect that all creativity should bow to your whim? Do you really think that making writers walk on eggshells is going to give you a good story? Back in the days when puerile Tumblr politics didn’t exist, people could relate to a character as a human being. It didn’t matter about 'representation’. It shouldn’t matter what colour you are, what gender you are, what sexuality you are when the story is about a HUMAN experience.
Fuck off and leave supernatural alone.
Some of us want the show to go on and we are so beyond done with this absolute nonsense.

Authentic Happiness

‘In modern Western societies, happiness is often equated with the maximization of pleasure, and some people imagine that real happiness would consist of an interrupted succession of pleasurable experiences. This is far from what the Buddhist notion of sukha means. Sukha refers to an optimal way of being, and exceptionally healthy state of mind that underlies and suffuses all emotional states, that embraces all the joys and sorrows that come our way. It is also a state of wisdom purged of mental poisons, and insight free from blindness to the true nature of reality.

Authentic happiness can only come from the long-term cultivation of wisdom, altruism, and compassion, and from the complete eradication of mental toxins such as hatred, grasping, and ignorance.’

Matthieu Ricard, Why Meditate from the Fall 2010 edition of Tricycle, The Buddhist Review.