i thought abuse didn’t get much more obvious than a victim standing with his arms out in a sign of “i mean no harm”, hospital band on his wrist, and he’s suddenly shoved to the ground and then he’s the ones apologizing (p.s. he was hospitalized because she’d almost killed him) — but the reaction this scene got in the fandom downright astounds me, specifically because people just don’t see this relationship as abusive.
what makes this especially troubling for me — not that abuse and abuse apologism isn’t always troubling and awful — but there’s this whole other level to it: the fact that this character is a male abuse victim. he can take care of himself. she’s just a girl, what can she do to him? men aren’t victims. he probably deserved it. this is empowering and feminist, because she’s a girl and he’s a guy and #weaponized femininity, she can beat up any dumb boy with her winged eyeliner. this mindset (men aren’t victims) is the exact reason it’s so hard for male victims of any kind of domestic or sexual violence to come forward and talk about their experiences. women are the socially acceptable victim, and even most women aren’t believed when they try to come forward.
this character, mike, is canonically neurodivergent: it says that he’s ADHD and he’s written with ADHD traits, and after he’s hospitalized (when she almost killed him) he develops an addiction — a mental illness — to painkillers. the fact that he’s neurodivergent and an abuse victim isn’t a coincidence. it’s the same reason so many fans call him “crazy” and “stupid” and “boring” and make fun of his neurodivergent traits and say “lol mike whose fault it this” and “see what happens when you do drugs, mike?” during his addiction storyline. neurodivergent people (including men) are very commonly victims of domestic violence because abuse is almost always linked to a power imbalance: abusive people see their victims as weak and therefore easier to control. in an abuser’s eyes, neurodivergent people are weak and easy to manipulate. this is why women are the more socially acceptable victim in a patriarchal society: according to this system, women = weak and men = strong. the only victims who are allowed to exist are women who appear to be weak — not that they actually are weak or that there’s anything wrong with them or their reaction or with a victim showing weakness, or that women in this bracket have an easy time coming forward, but abuse against a neurodivergent man is basically unheard of; it’s just not something that’s recognized.
continuing to use mike as an example: his neurodivergence, coupled with the fact he’s a guy and therefore not allowed to be seen as a victim, were all that was needed for this fandom to split into three distinct groups: the ones that hated him and thought he was pathetic, boring, and whiney; the ones that shipped him with his abuser and romanticized the abuse; and the few that saw this as abuse and mike as a victim.
someone once reblogged one of my gifsets of mike and added “nobody liked you, mike. you were boring and had to be literally injected with personality.” this injection being a reference to mike’s drug addiction that almost kills him (his abuser and when she almost kills him are why he develops this addiction, she makes fun of him for “going crazy” aka being high sometimes, and when he goes through detoxification, he wakes up at one point and she’s touching him — he tries to move away from her and says “don’t touch me,” and she shushes him and keeps touching him. great example of the power imbalance and how she believes she has complete control over him). to the person who said this, mike has no other personality besides his season 3 drug addiction, which isn’t even though of as a mental illness but instead a character flaw. there are no traits of ADHD, no reactions to abuse. the fact that this character always forgives people who hurt him? how, when he finally told someone about his drug addiction, he cried and apologized for letting that happen to himself? not relevant. pathetic. boring. whiney. his fault. more and more often, i see people calling abuse victim characters “boring” and “whiney” when the characters react with fear, cry a lot, are in pain, etc. people who say this, like the abusers, see the victim as weak, their pain easily swept aside or mocked.
as for people who ship abusive relationships: i get it. people can ship whatever they want, or whatever. i’m not trying to ~start a ship war~ like i was accused of the last time i made a post talking about mike being a victim. the problem here is that when you ship an abusive relationship, other people see your posts and thoughts. through your pretty edits and fluff fics, they see you saying very clearly: “what happened to you was romantic. what happened to you was okay. what happened to you was how people are supposed to be treated.” when real life abuse victims watch a show and see a character like mike, they relate, and then they see a bunch of people talking about how much he deserved it or how sad the shippers are for the characters ~not getting along~ or how pathetic he is for being in pain. the fact that people can prioritize how cute or sexy they think a fictional relationship is over the mental health of real life victims says everything you need to know about what kind of person they are.
how we see fictional characters sets the precedent for how we treat real life people in the same circumstances. and, if you publicize in any way how you see the character, real life people in the same or similar circumstances will see what you’re saying. the sooner we see characters like mike as a victim, the sooner we can improve the way real life victims (including male and/or neurodivergent victims) are treated.
victims of abuse reading this, please feel free to add on commentary (as long as nobody adds on any garbage like “men can’t be abused”)
Anon Request #54: “Why’s there a pregnancy test in the trash?”
Summary: Johnny finds a pregnancy test in the trashcan which leads to him thinking over your last few secret encounters
Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of scalding hot water. A life inside of the seemingly toxic walls of Graceland can lead to you to appreciating the small things in life.
After three days of working undercover, Johnny was finally back at the house. He had been treated to thirteen hours of relaxed, uninterrupted sleep courtesy of the momma of the house. Charlie had threatened to put a bullet through the head of anyone who “fucked with Johnny’s sleep.”
When he did finally wake, Johnny found he was the only one upstairs so he seized the opportunity to man the shower for a bit. He was in the process of brushing his teeth when he noticed it.
A pink and white box. It was shoved hastily into the trashcan, whoever had discarded it had not taken the time to do away with it more discreetly.