Things I am tired of seeing in fiction
The whole naive innocent girl meets bad/dangerous/mystery boy and subsequently starts to experience life, etc. And all of its derivatives:
- Girl begins to fight with family, chooses boy over family
Why I hate it: Stupid. Like boys come and go, while families are forever. I hate how the parents are always painted as just some evil bitches out to ruin fun. These parents most of the time aren’t painted as abusive but overprotective or just normal parent shit. So I am not talking about abusive parents here. In real life, even with difficult parents, things are still more textured and nuanced than that. A child may still love and defend a parent in front of others and privately in their mind as a show of loyalty. Even difficult parents have their good and soft moments, moments when the parent and child actually get along. Not every child with a difficult parent wants to rebel or ‘stick it to their parents’ in some way. In short to reduce it to this trope is to dehumanize your characters.
- Girl begins to uncorrupt boy who softens because of her
Why I hate it: Just sets people up for failure. This trope is one I am going to intentionally break in the next chapters of my story. A messed up guy doesn’t suddenly become okay just because you’re dating him.
- The girl never fully becomes corrupt, just well-rounded and more experience and has a good influence on the boy
Why I hate it: Well, I guess the girl can’t be the Madonna in the Madonna/Whore complex if she goes full-on whore :rolls eyes: I just think the girl becoming completely ‘corrupted’ would be more realistic and more interesting. I feel it is just like the girl turns from naïve virgin to a respectable type of sexuality. Like the bad boy is always going to be her soulmate, the first and only person she sleeps with, like where does that happen in real life?
- Girl (good) takes boy away from more popular girl who is almost always painted as a whore.
Why I hate it: Sexist. Girls only exist in a story to serve as competition for the male gaze. Next.
- Girl experiences self-actualization, freedom and sexual awakening all thanks to hot, mysterious guy in her life
Why I hate it: Girls, I promise you can experience self-actualization, ‘find yourself’ and experience the world without a male guide. I mean, in these stories the girl never rebels against abusive or difficult parents, never goes out to experience things on her own , until hot, mysterious guy shows up. Like, does this say girls cannot think or act on their own? And I hate how it is like girls (naïve/innocent) only become women (more experienced/worldly) when they get with a guy.
- Girl is almost always, always, always a virgin, because non-virgins apparently cannot be innocent or naïve and always has world class experience.
Why I hate it: I feel this classifies girls into groups that are harmful to them and dehumanizing. If virgins are innocent does that mean non-virgins are guilty? If virgins are pure does that make non-virgins dirty? Men are not shamed for their sexuality in this way at all. I do not like classifying women as good or bad based on what they do and don’t do with what’s between their legs.
- Something is wrong with being innocent, naïve etc.
Why I hate it: If that is the way someone chooses to live their life, it’s their life. I hate how in these books the characters seem coerced into giving these things up and shamed for them as being to stuck-in-the-mud etc. If the person chooses to get more experience or experience more of the world on their own and by their own choice that’s different, but being repeatedly teased for your own choices? It seems in these stories either they are being groomed to agree with the boy in his behavior or being coerced. Nah. Next.