I think this is going to be more of an observational post than it is anything with a conclusion to it. But this is something I’ve noticed popping up lately in movies. Well, the few movies I’ve managed to see lately. Namely Divergent, Vampire Academy, and Transformers 4. Three very different movies, with one intriguingly common theme.
Romantic Pairings that technically violate Statutory laws.
And when I say statutory laws, I mean those laws that say two romantic partners cannot be together if one is underage. This has been the bane and ruin of many an unfortunate young man who’s girlfriend’s parent’s didn’t approve and wanted him gone. But that is an article for another time.
The first case was Vampire Academy, which was an average movie that really wanted to be a very good movie, but editing cut it off at the knees. It was good enough to make me want to read the book though. But the primary character (a high school girl of about 16 I think) falls in love and by the end of the movie starts a relationship with her 26 year old instructor. Now, to be fair he did say they shouldn’t and that it was wrong…but she convinced him anyways. The was set in modern day America, so such laws exist, but they were part of a Vampiric Society, so there might have been different rules, but still. I was surprised by not just the mentioning of such a relationship, but the active condoning and promotion of such a relationship.
The second example was Divergent. Again, young girl (probably about 16) falling in love and having a relationship with her instructor who was in his mid twenties. (I’m sensing a pattern here). This one didn’t mention the age difference being as much a problem as VA did, but to be fare it was set in a future utopia with different laws and caste/tribe systems. But still, it was promoting such a relationship quite openly and there actually was a relationship during the movie, not just “following” the movie.
Then we get to Transformers 4. This one…well, I don’t want to say it was shoehorned in, but…this was certainly the most blatant of them. And most approving. It even went so far as to have the guy pull out a laminated card about the Romeo and Juliette statute that some states have. This one was set in modern America as well, but there was no apologies, just a “shut up and accept it” attitude to the whole thing. This…rankled some hackles, along with the apparent “over sexualization” of the underage girl. I disagree with the article, but it does point out just how blatant the attitude kinda was.
So…three movies all promoting such relationships. Now, don’t think me a prude about this. In fact, in a way, I found it refreshing. Such relationships were the norm through human history, and this attitude that young women can’t make up their mind and consent to a relationship based on age is extremely insulting and misogynistic. The fact of the matter is that I suspect the “hot for teacher” thing is as common, if not more common in young women than in young men. After all, male teachers often have the markers for being evolutionarily successful. If some reports that most teacher student relationships are consensual, as put forth by Washington Post columnist Betsy Karasik on page 131 of Glenn Beck’s book Conform (which is about the education system), then most of those Teachers arrested for statutory rape in fact had a completely consensual relationship with their student, and the student wanted it.
Now, Ms. Karasik could be wrong, or lying, to put forth her own agenda. But this shift in attitude towards the desirability of older men to teen girls may deserve some study. Two different genres of Teen Fiction, a mainstream movie, and those in the education and news industries. The fact that it shows up in the teen fiction, both getting aproval by publishers and the fact that both series above have fairly large fan followings, means either that young women are being “programed” for such relationships to be normal or…
Or they actually want it, and those books are popular because they fulfill the fantasy young women have.
What that truth is, I suspect only time will tell.
Leave your thoughts below, I would love the input.