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[personal profile] superuser
continued from this tumblr post


abuse and even bullying isn't just about physically imposing people intimidating people who aren't so much, it can come in any form, because abuse is not necessarily about anything physical. small people can abuse larger people, women can abuse men (though i SINCERELY DOUBT the statistics mra assholes throw around, and while women abusing men isn't right they do not have the of heavy historical weight and privilege behind their abuse as the reverse does)

interestingly, in the latest panels vriska is doing something that's actually a common behavior to abusers; self-flagellating while still being a bully about it. they can use this behavior to later justify to themselves that they are fair and honorable people. this behavior also upsets their victims since then they become prone to believing the lie too and rationalizing away the reality of abuse.

her being portrayed as deeply self loathing and complicated is a surprisingly insightful depiction of an abuser, considering it's a silly webcomic. almost everyone reaches for the stereotype of abusers as very simplistically, cliche evil, which i know seems like the right thing to do, but it's kind of demeaning to abuse victims. abusers are not abusers because they scream at and punch you all the time. most abusers ARE self loathing and have a lot of personal issues that drive them to try to control and intimidate people. they have good intentions most of the time and can make a pretty compelling case for their behavior or hide it extremely well (otherwise it is unlikely their victim would get sucked into the cycle of abuse).

abuse is a game where they constantly hurt you and reel you back in with kindness and sweetness and apologies, or gaslight and demean you to the point where you think you deserve what they're doing to you, or any number of manipulative fucking rollercoasters. it is /demeaning/ when media constantly trivializes it into sheer physical intimidation and constant punching. this feeds into the horrible wide-spread notion of abuse victims as simply being too dumb to leave their abusers, thus it's really THEIR OWN FAULT.

homestuck has avoided this by mostly making vriska more of an outright bully than an emotionally manipulative abuser, though she has signs of it (her weird fixation on tavros, vacillating between violence and affection, insisting it's tavros's own fault she abuses him, etc). i don't know what hussie has in mind for them but he needs to be careful of making them 'put aside their differences' or 'be friends' or anything (or god forbid shipping them), because i suspect THAT'S when vriska would start to look like a really fucking creepy disturbingly realistic abuser.

i don't need that in my silly funtime webcomics.

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