Harley Quinn and The Joker; Abusive Relationship or Relationship Goals?

Harley Quinn and The Joker; Abusive Relationship or Relationship Goals?

Everyone has been waiting to watch Suicide Squad since the moment the first trailer was released in Comic Con 2015. Maybe even before that, when Jared Leto was cast to play The Joker. Now that it’s out in cinemas, everyone is racing to watch the movie, which has been given bad reviews by critics, but loved by some fans. Unfortunately, I have seen many people misjudge Harley Quinn and The Joker’s relationship.

For those of you who don’t know how Harley Quinn became Harley Quinn, she was actually The Joker’s psychiatrist in the infamous Arkham Asylum. Her name was Harleen Frances Quinzel which then becomes Harley Quinn (pun on the word harlequin). She is insanely devoted to The Joker to the point that she does not even recognize his psychotic ways, or even his lack of affection towards her.

“The Joker continues to physically and mentally abuse Harley throughout the comics and the movie”

When people think of Harley and the Joker as relationship goals, they usually back it up with “he’s just as crazy as her”, “they’re so devoted to each other” or “she understands him”. While in reality, their relationship is far less endearing. The Joker continues to physically and mentally abuse Harley throughout the comics and the movie. There is nothing romantic about it. Harley acts like most domestic abuse victims do.

He loves her, but he just gets angry sometimes, right?

He doesn’t mean to hurt her, he loves her.

It was a misunderstanding, she happened to be there when he was angry, but he loves her.

There was no other way except to hurt her, but it’s okay, because he loves her, right?

Except that no, that’s not how a relationship should go. You should not have to always find excuses for the way your partner treats you. You partner should confide in you and accept your help, but not take it out on you. You should never feel worthless because of how your significant other treats you. Your partner should not make you feel scared or like you have to hide anything from them. Lots of women and men go through abusive relationships and are traumatized by them. Harley and The Joker are not cute nor romantic, they are both mentally insane. They should not be romanticised, or even acknowledged as “goals.”

“It’s very hard for victims of domestic abuse to leave their partners. They are manipulated into feeling dependent on their partners and are therefore scared of leaving”

However, I know seeing The Joker and Harley’s relationship could be a good wake-up call for many people going through abusive relationship. Your significant other does not need to physically hurt you for it to be an abusive relationship. Abuse comes in many ways, but it always hurts. It’s very hard for victims of domestic abuse to leave their partners. They are manipulated into feeling dependent on their partners and are therefore scared of leaving. Not to mention, how gruesomely their partners might react always holds them back. So, I hope we won’t make this harder by calling abusive relationships something they’re not.

There are many signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. The easiest to identify include your partner putting you down, degrading your opinions, making you feel like you need permission to do things, placing the blame on you for something that goes wrong in their life, guilt tripping you, pointing out your flaws… etc. There are also many signs of physical abuse. The most evident being physical injury like bruises, sprains, fractures… etc. Effects of physical abuse usually lead to social isolation, depression, anixety, and should not be ignored.

“We should learn not to look down on men who are abused, and to instead provide them with the needed help”

Let’s not forget, victims of domestic abuse are not only women. Yes, in most cases women are the victims, but that does not mean that men don’t face abuse as well. We should learn not to look down on men who are abused, and to instead provide them with the needed help. They should not be laughed at, mocked, or not taken seriously because they are men. If you know anyone who’s in or might be in an abusive relationship, try to provide the emotional support needed for the victim to leave their partner. If you are in an abusive relationship, know that you deserve so much better and take the step needed to leave your partner. If they love you, they won’t hurt you, and it’s never unintentional.

 

 

 

Manar Zakaria

Manar Zakaria hopes to smash the patriarchy, and fight misogyny with a perfect bejeweled nail-polished hand. And yes, she thinks your sexist jokes are boring.

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