The Abuse Double Standard

I was discussing the idea of people thinking of Harley as an innocent angel the other night with someone and I just had an epiphany. It’s something I’m pretty sure I’ve seen before, but I never paid any mind to it.

Let me start off by giving you a list of Batman villains that have been abused in their backstory (or currently in one case).

  • Jonathan Crane - Bullied relentlessly and abused by his grandmother.
  • Thomas Elliot - Suffered emotional abuse at the hands of his mother even before the car accident. His father’s death just made it worse.
  • Harleen Quinzel - Continually abused by the Joker both physically and psychologically.
  • Oswald Cobblepot - Mocked for his appearance both by other children and his own parents.
  • Pamela Isley - Manipulated and experimented on by Jason Woodrue.
  • Edward Nigma - Beaten by his father often.
  • Roman Sionis - Dropped as a baby and his parents paid off the hospital to pretend it didn’t happen. And his parents were overall neglectful.
  • Waylon Jones - bullied for his appearance and had an abusive alcoholic aunt.

Okay now. There are a lot of villains that happen to be abuse victims. However, there are only two of them who are consistently treated as innocent in spite of the horrible things they’ve done. And I think you know which two they are.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

Black Mask, Scarecrow, and Hush are almost never excused for their abhorrent actions (Scarecrow on very rare occasions). And the Riddler, the Penguin, and Killer Croc don’t have nearly the same outcry of victimhood as Harley and Ivy do. This is one of the reasons why I believe that it’s based on the idea that people (especially on Tumblr) cannot accept the fact that a woman can be just as cruel as a man or need to be pushed into it. Therefore they cling to this idea of victimhood as a means to justify whitewashing the morality of (originally) intentionally morally complex characters.

The idea that Harley chose to join the Joker is immediately shot down because of the idea that it perpetuates victim-blaming and makes it look like she asked for the abuse. Clearly, she didn’t ask for the abuse. She asked for the criminal lifestyle. The excitement of causing chaos and destruction to get into the spotlight. She only puts up with the abuse because of her mad love for him and that desire to cause chaos and be seen. It’s not like she always wants to hurt people, but she does sometimes enjoy it. And it’s an aspect that is often ignored in favor of her sympathetic traits.

Same thing goes for Poison Ivy. Ivy is an ecoterrorist with good intentions. However, people see her “protector of mother nature” thing and emphasize that aspect. They often forget or ignore the often borderline genocidal methods that she has used to carry this out. And they’ve forgotten the fact that while she deserves some sympathy, she’s still a homicidal maniac at the end of the day. And no amount of good intentions can justify that.

When’s the last time you ever saw someone defending Hush in spite of him cutting out Catwoman’s heart? Do people ever try to bring up the abuse victim defense for him? No. He’s almost always considered a horrible person with no consideration taken for his past. Probably has something to do with his misogyny and racism. When’s the last time you ever saw anyone defending Black Mask in spite of him sadistically and brutally torturing a teenage girl? Do people ever try to bring up his neglectful parents? …Well, now that I think about it, people barely bring him up at all, which is a shame.

And how about Scarecrow, huh? I have yet to see someone try to use his past of bullying and abuse being used to justify performing horrific experiments on innocent people using his fear gas. Never. Even the people who acknowledge his past never sugarcoat his actions. He’s still portrayed as fairly sadistic and often remorseless. The only one who gets any kind of consistent pass is Croc and yet rarely will you ever see anyone ignoring the fact that he eats people. But as a whole, the male villains don’t get that consistent pass.

So you can’t tell me that Harley being an abuse victim is a good reason to excuse or ignore her villainous qualities. In spite of her good qualities, she has aided in some terrible things and done terrible things on her own. She isn’t an innocent angel who was corrupted and needs to be protected. She was already shady. Batman even says she was no angel in Mad Love! If you wanna bring up the fact that she was abused (and this includes bringing up Ivy as well), think of all those other villains I mentioned and tell me if you would extend the same sympathies to them as you do to the female victims.

Easy-to-Understand houses in planets

House I - talks about your ego and how you project your image to the world. People say this is your social mask but what we present to the world is strongly related with our perceptions of the world and personal values, so don’t take this as fakeness. This is more you than you expect. Is related with the boldness of Aries.

House II - talks about your wealth and resources, surviving and the material world. Also about heritage, or lack of it, and how you will deal with money. Is related with the abundance of Taurus.

House III - talks about communication. How we make boundaries and our relationships - in terms of socializing with people, friends, family. To relate with others we must communicate so this is also about studies and education, basic learning and learning through others. Is related with the discourse of Gemini.

House IV - talks about family. How you deal with emotional stress at home, your relationships with relatives, memories of the past and family traumas. Also talks how you deal with the mother figure of your life. Is related with the caring nature of Cancer.

House V - talks about creation. It can be future projects, work, children, what makes you be who you are through what you do in life, what you build. This is working with passion and impulse of wanting to express and to be seen. Is related with the performer nature of Leo.

House VI - talks about work, professional image and career. It can be your work environment or your dream work, or how you deal with responsibilities and pressure of criticism. While house V is about creating with the heart, house VI is creating with the mind, doing the cruel work of availing and judging with perfectionism. Is related with the sharpness of Virgo.

House VII - talks about love and romantic partnership. What you’re looking for in a romance, what makes you feel attracted, what makes your mind blow and your feelings boil, and how you deal with these passionate emotions. Love usually brings balance to our life, so is also about personal equilibrium. Is related with the seductiveness of Libra.

House VIII - talks about life changes. It is a fatal house of development in life: can be through falling in love, experiencing sex, facing death, going through sickness, getting out of the teenage years and into the adult world, learning through traumas and hardships. Dealing with sudden changes and overcoming them to get the reward. Is related with the intense nature of Scorpio.

House IX - talks about wisdom, moral and ethics, and also your beliefs. It can be about your faith, which religious path you will follow, how you will deal with it. While house III is about knowledge and communicating, IX is about knowledge and reflecting. To learn one must be open to new ideas, so this can also be about traveling to meet new cultures, or going through studies like college and post graduations. Maybe all. Is related with the expansive nature of Sagittarius.

House X - talks about social position. This is about nobility, family pride and social power. Not necessarily about finances, like the house II, or work, like the house VI, but about being in charge of a leadership, or a very important role. Also about your relationship with your father figure, leaders and bosses, and how you deal with authorities and hierarchy. Since all these things are related with “successful” roles, this house also shows how you deal with difficulties and failures in your life. Is related with the ambitious nature of Capricorn.

House XI - talks about your place in society. Unlike house X that looks after power, this house is about what you do of remarkable in your society, in your groups, to make it better - or if you run from it if everything feels overwhelmingly wrong. Is about social development, and how you deal with and solve social problems, and everything that “upgrades” our present and build a better place. Is related with the inventive nature of Aquarius.

House XII - talks about your dreams and unconscious. This is how you imagine things to survive the cruelty of the world. Like the house XI this is a place for upgrades, but while the XI is about the collective, the XII is about the individual. They say what you think becomes real, and in this case is how you deal with your inner hopes and fears, expectations and rancors, and how they influence your life. Also talks about remarkable moments of joy and traumas that unconsciously shapes you, and if you use this to inspire or destroy yourself and others. Also your relation with places where you deal with your shadow self for recovery, karma payment, or escapism: prisons, therapy houses and rehab centers, or online games. If you believe in past life, this is about the karmas you’re paying from them. Is related with the romanticism of Pisces.

Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice, Italy. The masks are typically worn during the Carnival (Carnival of Venice), but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status. The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.

Bauta (sometimes referred as baùtta) is a mask which covers the whole face, this was a traditional piece of art, with a stubborn chin line, no mouth, and lots of gilding. The mask has a square jaw line often pointed and tilted upwards to enable the wearer to talk, eat and drink easily without having to remove the mask thereby preserving their anonymity. The Bauta was often accompanied by a red cape and a tricorn.

In 18th century, the Bauta had become a standardized society mask and disguise regulated by the Venetian government. It was obligatory to wear it at certain political decision-making events when all citizens were required to act anonymously as peers. Only citizens had the right to use the Bauta. Its role was similar to the anonymizing processes invented to guarantee general, direct, free, equal and secret ballots in modern democracies.

It was not allowed to wear weapons along with the mask, and police had the right to enforce this ruling. If a citizen was caught carrying a weapon while wearing a Bauta, they had to turn their Bauta in to the police.

What to say when you use the technique:

“…yeah I find psychology so FASCINATING, it’s like one of those concepts that really grasps your interest. One of the most interesting parts of psychology, to me, is that theory of social masks. Freud touched on this a bit, but basically we all go about life wearing social masks. We use these masks to ward off unwanted people and sometimes to gain influence. However, there are these rare people who you trust completely, people who you know would never betray you, and the kind of person you have a strong powerful connection with.  You intuitively just know that you could drop the mask with this person, and as you let the masks fall (physical motion of removing the mask) you discover that everything is okay now, it’s like when you know you’ve made the right decision, and how all the little moments of your life have lead up to this powerful moment.”


This Muslim cop is the fallen hero of the Charlie Hebdo shooting almost everyone is overlooking

In the hours following the deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, much of the public support has been directed toward the victims that worked for the magazine, like editor-in-chief Stéphane Charbonnier, 76-year-old cartoonist Jean Cabut and economist Bernard Maris.

The recognition of their ultimate sacrifice in the name of free speech and open discourse is beautiful, but it’s equally important to remember that the lives of the victims extended beyond the confines of the magazine. Two of those killed, 42-year-old Ahmed Merabet and 49-year-old Franck Brinsolaro, were police officers — the very people tasked with protecting Charlie Hebdo’s staff. Merabet’s death was captured on film during a French television broadcast and shared quickly across social media. Two masked gunmen can be seen approaching him, ignoring his pleas to spare his life.

Ahmed Merabet’s sacrifice matters

You wake up in the morning and you instantly are wishing you hadn’t. You get up out of bed, dreading the day to come. You get through your daily activities even though they feel as they may be dragging on hopelessly. You get home and you go straight to your bed and you pry at the pieces of the social mask that still refuse to leave you. You wish you could be happy but you don’t remember how. That is depression. Depression is the literal monster that lingers in your shadows, murdering your social butterfly. Depression is only a monster that feeds off of the fear. To kill it, you must stop letting it control you. Stop letting it consume you as though it is starving and you are the only source of food available. Turn towards that shadow and lift your head and continue telling yourself you are not afraid. Depression may be a monster, but you are human. You are stronger than anything you can think of. Talk to your friends and let them talk to you. Try finding pleasure in different sizes. Look straight ahead and do not look down. You are so much more than the demons that are pinning you down. Keep fighting, eventually you’ll come out on top. A winner.
—  CA ( @fractured-writing )
The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.
—  Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Authenticity Is Determined By

NFP: Being true to one’s own standard of right and wrong. In the face of opposition, it is showing one’s true character and principles.

NFJ: Same.

Social Masks

NFP: Should be unnecessary. Everyone is entitled to be themselves, free of the nuisance of social convention. Conforming may be better for short term effects, but the ultimate goal is to see individual development.

NFJ: Individual development is important, but social masks are necessary. Masks are ultimately tools. One can convey their true self through moving along with the current than against it.

NFP: And if they get stuck in another’s current?

NFJ: Defenses are built so that won’t happen.

NFP: True enough, but what about your self-expression?


Keep reading


It takes a lot of bravery to be authentic and honest and to take that social mask off in order to connect with another human being. So much of what makes us who we are is smoothed away online. And what truly connects us is the wrinkles, not the smoothness. Besides, my brain is just way too fragile for both. I am susceptible to what people think; I think we all are. So it’s just easier for me to not engage with it too much. - Taylor Schilling for ELLE Canada (June 2015)

Billie Joe Armstrong: I love performing sober

Billie Joe Armstrong “loves” performing sober.

The Green Day frontman spent four months in rehab after an onstage meltdown in 2012 and though he was anxious about returning to the stage, he now finds performing live more fulfilling than ever.

He said: “I love it. I was having all these crazy neurotic thoughts like, ‘I hope I remember how to play guitar and how to sing’, but then as soon as you get up there, it’s just intoxicating to feed off the energy and adrenaline that’s going on in the crowd, and to be able to remember it all afterwards.”

The 'American Idiot’ hitmaker admitted he turned to drink and drugs to mask his social anxiety.

He said: “I definitely suffer from my own forms of neuroses and depression and phobias.

"I always feel like the most awkward person when I’m in a crowded room. I have social anxieties and stuff like that, and I used drugs and booze to take care of that.”

The 44-year-old singer felt he had to go into rehab and face his problems “head on”, though he doesn’t want to draw on the specifics of what he was addicted to.

He told Q magazine: “I don’t wanna get too deep into my drug of choice … I had to deal with the situation head-on, because the thing about getting sober is, like, if you don’t do it the right way, you end up becoming a hermit and I definitely didn’t wanna lead that kind of life.

"So I had to sort of expose myself and be raw, which was great. It was something I needed to do. If you look at what I do on stage every night, it’s like those songs are every form of depression and anxiety, and I’m putting it all into a crowded room. So for me, it was always 'drink a six-pack of beer before I go on stage’. But I can’t do that any more so it was definitely all about facing that in one good go.”