What Jessica Jones Can Teach Us About Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships are a very real and very horrible problem in our society….Here is what Marvel’s Jessica Jones does to shine a light on this fact.

 

jessica_jones_ritter

 

So I’ve recently watched the TV show Jessica Jones and as I made my way through the show, I started to notice something about the antagonist of the show (played by actor David Tennant) I’ve seen signs on how the antagonist of the show, Kilgrave, though he has super powers, is actually an abuser.

 

Here is what I’ve noticed: In terms of abuse it seems her abusers approach was that of emotional abuse.

What is emotional abuse? It involves a regular pattern of verbal offense, threatening, bullying, and constant criticism, as well as more subtle tactics like intimidation, shaming and manipulation. Emotional abuse is used to control and subjugate the other person, and quite often it occurs because the abuser has childhood wounds and insecurities they haven’t dealt with — perhaps as a result of being abused themselves.

Yes, he has mind controlling powers but the way we have seen them being used, especially on this one character (and the side effects it all had on Jessica Jones) we have seen how he uses it to abuse and control people.

 

  • He is controlling in the sense of always needing to know where she is going, what she is going to be doing, taking her phone and making sure (by making threats he goes through with) she is back within certain time frames.

 

  • Her abuser also plays the victim. (common trait in most abusers) That the actual victim of the abuser is making them do things or something else made them do it. Like things are his victims fault. an example was a conversation in Episode 7 that Jones has with her abuser. (its a little later in the post) There was a time where he would make Jessica Jones hurt herself then make himself save her, pretending to protect her and be the hero or he would make statements such as: “You never appreciate anything I do for you.” making himself the victim and turning it around on Jones herself. Making her think he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

 

  • After her leaving him and getting out of his control, Kilgrave is dead set on finding her and has developed stalker like behaviors (which he probably had before to some extent). Taking photos of her, having others take photos of her and follow her (etc.) Which leads into my last point. Abusers isolate the victim of the abuse. In the scene I’m gonna share in a moment you see this play out in terms of the fact that her abuser is trying to isolate her from everyone she knows. (In this case, killing people close to her doesn’t stop this guy but this is a TV show and a super villain we are talking about in this sense.) In return he is telling her things, professing feelings for her and in result trying to make sure she is isolated and only hearing his words and his opinions.

*spoilers following as I am going to discuss the conversation in this specific scene*

Kilgrave: “I will admit to keeping eyes on you. Spies are easy to come by for me.”

Jones: “Do whatever you are going to do to me, but let them go.” (There is a hostage scene taking place here as Kilgrave is using his powers to hold a whole room of people hostage)

Kilgrave: “Well I have to protect myself so…”

Jones: “Then control me, not them.”

Kilgrave: “I have absolutely no intention of controlling you. I want you to act on your own accord.”

She (Jones) asks: “Act how? Suicide? Is that why you’ve been torturing me?”

Kilgrave, her abuser, then states: “*chuckles* Oh my God, Jessica, I knew you were insecure. That’s just sad. I’m not torturing you. Why would I? I love you.

 

The scene continues and Jones calls her abuser out on his actions calling them a ‘demented declaration of love.’ and how he ruined her life in this act. She couldn’t be any closer to the truth.

Her abuser then says he was trying to make her see “That I’m the only one who matches you… Who challenges you… Who’ll do anything for you.” – In any other case this might almost sound romantic because who doesn’t want to be with someone who will do anything for you or challenges you for the better? But as you can see its not romantic. Not in this sense. Not when he is stalking her, killing her friends and family (he killed a young man who claimed to love Jessica), and becoming obsessive….Trying to get her back.

He then becomes angry (he’s very short fused.) when someones cell phone rings and it interrupts his professing ‘eternal love’

 

 

 

Now sure, no one has superpowers either so this whole abusive situation might be over-dramatized for the show but I feel Marvel was clever in this sense. They took a mind controlling super villain and used him and his abilities to shine a light on abuse. What that looks like and how it might appear to the victim as well. You don’t have to have powers to control or harm someone. If you did this wouldn’t be a real problem, would it? But despite the fact that this character has powers it doesn’t change the fact that he is an abuser and I think Marvel did a really good job in conveying that and not portraying an antagonists actions as okay or somewhat acceptable as most media might convey things.

 

Advertisements

Spotlight Saturday #6

Hello Readers!

Sooooooo its Monday…and I only just realized now that I forgot to schedule my next Spotlight Saturday Post! It was done, but I forgot to schedule it. So, please, excuse my blonde moment, jump on in the TARDIS and lets time travel back to saturday for another SPOTLIGHT SATURDAY!

So, today I am joined by Alyssa from The Devil Orders Takeout! So lets do this thing.

The Devil Orders Takeout

Welcome to The Librarian Files, Alyssa! First off, tell us a bit about you! 

I’m Alyssa, a high school student in Hong Kong. I don’t have a day job, but at night I breathe ink and paper and Kindle. In between bouts of writing, I dabble with laboratory bacteria and post on my writing and book blog.

 

 

What is the title of your blog? Where did you get the idea for the name? Any specific meaning behind it?

My blog is called The Devil Orders Takeout, because takeout is awesome and I am evil. It’s also partially inspired by the importance of takeout in Hong Kong, a busy city even on its best days. It took me a while to come up with this so my URL doesn’t match it, but I like the iambic meter in it. Go on, read it. I’m totally the next Shakespeare.

 

 

What gave you the idea to start blogging? Was it sort of just ‘Hey, I should write a blog!’ or did someone suggest the idea?

Initially, I wanted to share my writing and just started posting. Like most everyone else, I was shouting into the void then. I picked up blogging later thanks to the incomparably lovely Christina’s influence, this time with more of a focus on writing tips. When I started reaching out into the blogosphere, I started to incorporate readerly love in my takeout too.

 

 

What can or will people find on your blog upon arriving? Do you have a target audience in mind?

First of all, you’d find my posts, basically the flailings of a writer and reader with an emphasis on Chinese culture. You can also sign up for my newsletter, where you can receive exclusive updates on my writing and even take part in my creation process. I didn’t start out with my target audience in mind, which was a mistake, but most of my readers are in a similar demographic to myself: YA-NA book or writing bloggers, mostly ladies, liberal, opinionated, just a little on the evil side ;P

 

 

Is there any social media sites where people can follow you and still get notifications about your posts or something? 

I’m on Bloglovin’, which is my favourite way of following blogs. I also feature new blog posts on Twitter (@AlyssaC__HK) and Pinterest (HKAlyssa).

 

 

And last, but not least. Feel free to give me a link (or links) of a couple of your favourite posts on your blog 🙂

I’ve debated the legitimacy of literature teachers and the usefulness of eBooks before. I’m also a supporter of diverse representation in the media, so I’ve also advocated a Black Widow movie and explained the ins and outs of the original Mulan.

Thanks for having me, Adriana!