How Pop Culture Has Romanticized Stalking

By In Life How To's, Lifestyle — April 16, 2015

This is personal . . .

Whenever someone says his name, my skin crawls.  I still can’t believe that what he did is considered romantic, both in his mind and the minds of his friends.  However, the explanation of his excused behavior isn’t merely found in the deranged minds of a small group, pop-culture has also established his actions as widely acceptable.  I call it what the legal system calls it: stalking.

. . . . . .

Sadly, many media outlets have established stalking, both cyber and physical, to be not only acceptable but welcomed.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s your proof:

Warning: Sexually graphic content.

Maroon 5’s song, Animals, contains many disturbing portrayals of what it means to be “in love.”

“Yeah you can start over you can run free
You can find other fish in the sea
You can pretend it’s meant to be
But you can’t stay away from me

Baby I’m preying on you tonight
Hunt you down eat you alive
Just like animals
Like animals

Maybe you think that you can hide
I can smell your scent for miles
Just like animals

Not only are the lyrics graphic, but the video is even more explicit, featuring a disillusioned Adam Levean following and photographing an unknowing woman.  He fantasizes about making love to her under a waterfall of blood.  Passionate fascination mixed with violence.  At one point, he even watches her as she sleeps.  Remind you of another well known movie scene?

With the release of the first Twilight movie in 2008 came the up-rise of a very passionate fan base.  Why?  Because this movie was considered deliciously romantic, especially this particular scene.  Young girls imagined this kind of fascination and attention to be what they longed for in a relationship.  But what if all of this attention was coming from an unwelcomed source?  This type of unwelcomed facination is what causes many woman and men to be the victims of violence or even murder.

Consider for example, this music video by Robin Thicke (Blurred Lines) of a song that he wrote for his ex-wife:

The music video features actual texts between Thicke and his ex-wife.  Many of the texts are of a threatening nature such as “I kept trying to warn you you were pushing me too far,” and “this is just the beginning.”  These texts’ threatening nature are outlined by images of Thicke with blood on his face and a model look-alike of his wife being drown.  The model is also featured several times with a skeletal mask.  Furthermore, there are shots of Thicke pointing a finger gun to his head.  All of these elements combine into Thicke’s main message: I literally can’t live without you, and I’m taking you with me.”

Unwanted persistencestalking statistic in trying to get one’s partner back is at the least considered harassment, the most extreme cases being defined as stalking.

These are just three of many examples of how our society has glamorized the notion of stalking.  It should also be emphasized that stalking and harassment victimization are not isolated to women.  Men suffer as well.

So, what can you do about it?  Be aware.  If one of your friends complains of another harassing him or her, take it seriously.  The kind of behavior described above is far from excusable.  To protect both yourself and those around you from the harms of stalking, don’t add support to videos and movies such as the ones listed.  Additionally, keep both yourself and your friends educated on what dangerous relational behavior looks like.

In summary:

  • Be aware of what stalking looks like
  • Don’t share content that supports stalking
  • Educate yourself and those around you about harassment and stalking

As for me, I must live as a 1 in 6, if you get my drift . . .

For more information on this subject, visit the links below:

A Man’s Hunt for ‘Girl of His Dreams” In Supermarket Causes Controversy

The Media Construction of Stalking Stereotypes

Robin Thicke’s Video: Further Evidence That We’re Romancing the Stalker-Esque

Stalking in Popular Culture

Why Is Stalking Romantic in Our Favorite Movies?

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