Um, hey, Kylie, you okay? You seem really worked up, and it feels like you are focused more on hating on jasper or the people who stick up for her rather than on actually critiquing stuff or holding a dialogue. I know internetting about such sensitive topics can be tough, I certainly don't have the courage to do it. So I appreciate what you do here, but please take it easy on yourself, yeah? I haven't seen you this negative or salty even on your GOT blog. Take care, dude. - Love, a follower.
Okay, off the bat, I know that this is kindly meant and I really do appreciate the message of self-care. However, to be perfectly honest, this kind of made me doubt my own reality for a little because…no? I’ve barely posted about this (especially compared to like, any sort of conversation I took part in surrounding GoT, be it “Hold the Door,” Sansa’s revenge arc, Yara the rapist and abuser, etc.).
I summed up my thoughts on the episode, I got a message from a survivor that I found compelling in response so I posted that, then that led to another message that to me read as apology, so I answered that, and Gretchen elaborated on my response with a cogent reply. This is very standard for like, normal dialogue the night an episode airs. Then I woke up to some really disturbing messages and a dash full of “they’re both abusers and both survivors” posts with TONS of notes, so I explained why I didn’t like that at all.
And I think what bothers me the most is that this is not me being viciously aggressive (or “salty”, but I don’t think that’s how you meant it), this is literally me being upset about very literal abuse apologism. Like seriously, the narrative of “you’re just as bad to fight back,” or “you’re the real monster” (which oh hey, Jasper outright said) is a tactic of abusers. Then there’s the element of “well we know Lapis is actually stronger”; um, once again this is apologism, this idea that to be a victim you have to be completely lacking in any recourse against your abuser.
Add to this the fact that Lapis fusing with Jasper was framed as her protecting everyone?? It’s very much like the trope of a parent who stays with an abusive partner to protect their kids. I’m sorry, but there is really no ambiguity in what the narrative was going for when you have Jasper swinging Lapis around like a ragdoll, Jasper saying “just say yes,” the way Jasper promised to change, her cold eyes and terrifying smile… This held NO punches in how it realistically explored that dynamic, which is why the utter perversion of the message that I’m seeing is so upsetting. This is shit people live. The “I’m bad too” anxiety is one that many many survivors internalize and need to combat.
Like, fuck, I’m all for positive butch representation, and not just for smol characters like Ruby (which based on previews we may or may not be getting it in a different character? Kinda too early to tell), but I’m seeing literal posts of Jasper’s biceps with “fuck me up” as the caption…that is SO disturbing! This is seriously glorifying a very clear abuser. I haven’t seen the likes of this anywhere outside of 50 Shades of Grey.
So this idea that I’m lost and committed to negativity, like…no! What is everyone on? I’m not trying to say Lapis’s actions are 100% free of problem and justified, or that Jasper herself didn’t have a horribly abusive upbringing (Homeworld creating secondary abusers for millennia, yo), but the narrative outright recognizes how damaging perpetuating the abuse cycle is, and how though lashing out at her abuser may have been cathartic for Lapis on some level, she lost something of herself in the process and that’s not easy to come back from. She is *haunted* by what happened, and she fiercely rejects continuing on that path so that she can allow for self-healing. This episode was all about Lapis breaking the cycle of abuse and asserting her agency in a safe way; realizing what she had been doing and how it made her feel, and choosing to stop it. It was her gaining recourse not through violence, but through healing. And the mental gymnastics people are doing to create a false equivalency here is incredibly concerning to me.
At most you could say that there was an unintended narrative (a “reverse honeypot” as I call it) that Lapis is truly the perpetrator of violence since we don’t *see* her being thrown in the cell or what that experience was, and how goddamn powerful she is when she chooses to use her powers (so I guess she doesn’t “look” like someone who could be coerced into fusion?). But given the crystal clear way their dynamic is framed and the way Jasper’s coded (I’m not talking “butch” here; I’m talking her eyes and smile, and entire mannerisms/speech), I think it’s really reaching to suggest that it’s somehow irresponsible to not run with that implication. And that’s the dialogue I’m seeing. And that’s why I’m upset. This is not blind hatred towards Jasper; this is me trying to engage in a dialogue that I see harming a lot of people.