When Fictional Things Make Me Sad
Disclaimer: This is my point of view based on my specific life experiences. Don’t attack me for it, tumblr.
I had a dream last night that Daryl handed Beth another bottle of alcohol and told her “You’re gonna have to blow me.” Which she then went on to do. And that was my subconscious making it glaringly obvious why I’m so upset over what these writers appear to be doing.
It’s my firm belief that whatever they’re leading up to with Beth and Daryl, it isn’t a romance. In my opinion there’s no foundation for genuine non-platonic love between them. It’s about sex. Not romance; not love. Sex.
Why does that upset me so much? Firstly, I’m going to diverge hugely from the majority of Tumblr here and tell you I think promiscuity isn’t okay. I don’t think it shows respect for oneself, nor the person you sleep with. If I respected someone I wouldn’t use them for their body. Consent doesn’t stop it from being disrespectful in my eyes.
But there’s more fueling my disappointment.
A few years ago I was raped. That same year my ex-boyfriend, who I still loved, exploited my feelings and manipulated me into giving him a blowjob, after which he told me he was still all wrapped up with another girl. For a while I didn’t allow myself to feel the full pain brought on by those situations. Then on New Years Eve of this year I found myself at a party at my best friend’s home. By the end of the night my best friend was passed out drunk in her room and I kept watch over her while four guys who are our friends called me a cock-blocking bitch. One of those guys came in the room and demanded I get out. I don’t think you can blame me for being furious. The next day those guys and my best friend told me I was overreacting. It was all just a joke.
It was that situation that brought everything to the surface. In all these instances I felt truly objectified, belittled, used and betrayed. Stripped of everything that made me a human, an individual with thoughts and feelings and worth. Reduced to nothing more than something to stick a penis in. Good only to help a guy out with his lust.
Understandably, I’m a bit sensitive about depictions of love, intimacy and sex.
I believe all that crap is what lead me to shipping Carol and Daryl like my life depended on it. After my experiences I’ve had trouble trusting the intentions of guys. The relationship between these two helped me believe in good men. Because here was a man who cared about a woman without seeking sexual gain. He valued her. Finally a romantic relationship rooted in compassion, understanding and friendship. Not lust. That’s more refreshing to me than an alpine lake. When have we seen this before on television? They were/are in love and they don’t need to be sleeping together to validate that. Gasp.
But now we have this awkward, forced monstrosity going on between Daryl and Beth. I wouldn’t be nearly as disgusted if I thought for one second these two characters genuinely had feelings for each other. But that isn’t what’s going on here. You know where everyone’s mind goes during their scenes together. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. That’s all she’s good for and that must be all he desires. Another girl reduced to being a walking vagina. And another man reduced to thinking only with his penis.
The writers are throwing away at least three seasons of realistic love and growth between two characters in favor of the same shallow, sexist, ageist, lust-driven bullshit we’ve already seen a million times on TV.
Maybe I care too much. All I know is the interactions between Daryl and Beth have reinforced the same objectified feeling that I’ve become well acquainted with in this sex obsessed, womanizing culture. Whether or not the writers keep this up and make it indisputably clear what’s going on between the two of them, they’ve ruined his relationship with Carol for me. What was once a beautiful, unique bond has been screwed over and replaced with predictable and trashy nonsense. I look at Daryl and now all I see is the leering face of every guy who mistreated me. It pisses me off and breaks my heart.
One last thing. I say this as a fan of the show, trying to ignore my history of abuse. It’s bad writing. It’s not believable. It came out of nowhere and isn’t consistent with these characters’ pasts and personalities. I can’t take writers seriously when they contort their characters so drastically for asinine reasons.