Title is pretty controversial already. Either you agree with this or you are a Harley fan about to let me have it. So why do I bring up this question? I recently posted the photo below on my DC fanpage and instantly started getting love for Harley and the other side of things, a distaste for what she represents.
Where do I start with this subject? I would have to agree with my one fan to some extent, that yes she does promote domestic violence but before you go chewing my head off keep reading. First before I get into the nitty gritty, why do we love Harley so much? Honestly she is the most loved female villain I believe created. Girls want to cosplay her and even have a little crazy in their eyes for their comic loving men but does that mean us females instantly accept an abusive relationship? Lets break down some numbers really quick (only could find statics for US population)
Human Population: 7,000,000,000+
United States: 318,833,000
Comic Fan Population: 25,000,000
(Based on FB users for US population)
Males: 15,000,000 – 13,500,000 (60%-54%)
Females: 10,000,000 – 11,500,000 (40-46%)
Female Population USA: 158,600,000
Female Domestic Violence: 37,429,600 (23.6%)
Out of 10-11.5 million female comic fans we can assume that majority are Harley fans and maybe around 20% of them die-hard Harley fans. So estimated 2 - 2.3 million females truly enjoy Harley to an extent of cosplaying, reading her comics, and/or relating to parts of her personality. Now we are assuming that because these fans like Harley they are okay with domestic violence? I honestly would like to thinks we women realize the difference between a fictional character and reality. To quote one of our fans Timothy Ong (could not have said it better):
"I think that Harley Quinn serves of more of a cautionary tale, showing people from a third person perspective of how destructive an abusive relationship can be. Like how we see joker treats her and how injured she gets while she still comes back for more. I think people love her because she's a character that has layers and that she can make mistakes. Makes a character much more relatable.”
I truly think a chunk of us female comic fans love having a character written about our crazy. We are all a little wild and Harley over exemplifies that in us. It is a female villain that is so extreme and broken, she shows us sides we fantasize to be and destructive sides that wards us away. So no, I believe we love Harley for so many more reasons than the violence the Joker bestows upon her.
That aside I cannot fully disagree with our commentators that she does promote it in some aspects and I am sure there are a very small number of fans that truly embodied her character on that level to accept violence from their partner (I would say younger more impressionable fans). Domestic violence is a serious issue. It is rooted much deeper than a Harley comic, if a female or male is being abused in a relationship the variables involved are much more greater then a fictional character. IF you are a victim or know someone who is a victim of domestic violence linked below are a few places to seek some assistance, you are not alone. <3
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
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