Monday, January 19, 2015

Let's Not Slut-Shame Barbara. Okay???

Who is Barbara?

Barbara is Barbara Kean of "Gotham". She is engaged to Det. Jim Gordon and let's just say there's a lot of trouble in paradise. I'm not going to summarize the whole plot here, so if you don't watch "Gotham," you'll probably be confused. Sorry.

Anyway, Barbara and Jim are busy being all gorgeous together in Barbara's gorgeous penthouse when it turns out that there are many, many more problems in Gotham than Det. Gordon had realized when he came on the job. Most people would take all that gorgeousness and move someplace safer, but not Jim. Jim is stubborn and tenacious and righteous. And -- by golly -- he is going to fix Gotham.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Barbara has many, many more problems than Det. Gordon had realized when he proposed to her and moved all his suits, ties, and spare guns into her gorgeous penthouse. These problems involve past (and current) difficulties with alcohol, drugs, and a beautiful former (not-quite-gotten-over) lover who works with Jim Gordon. Jim, apparently -- for all of his detective skills -- knows nothing about the alcohol (well, he knows a bit about the alcohol), drugs, and former beautiful lover (even though he works with her). Jim is a very trusting person, for a detective. Bless his heart. I have known a few law enforcement types. And they are usually quite suspicious. Of everybody and everything. I'm glad, though, that Jim has not yet fallen into that cynicism. It is rather refreshing, except it does keep him from noticing a lot of things that would be worth noticing. Like the smell of pot that certainly must permeate that penthouse, from what I've seen.

Barbara, though, for all her problems, really does love Jim. She wants to stand by his side and be strong and helpful. She desires greatly to be helpful. And in her desire to help her man in his time of need, she ends up getting kidnapped by the bad guys. And in the aftermath of this undoubtedly traumatic event, she ends up leaving Jim and going back to her former, not-quite-so-gotten-over, beautiful lover. Poor Jim. You see him leaving a pleading, heartfelt message on her cell phone. He tells her he loves her and begs her to come back to him. (After all, who is going to pay the rent on that penthouse? He is on a detective's salary, after all. No, no. Sorry. That is SO cynical of me. And it isn't true, either. Jim really does love Barbara and wants her to come back.) And while Jim is leaving this heartfelt message, we see Barbara in the arms of her beautiful lover. It really was quite sexy. And I am straight as straight can be. So, that is sexy. Believe me.

After this episode of "Gotham" aired, I noticed something. I noticed a lot of people on Twitter slut-shaming Barbara. Some of them -- in their passionate vociferousness -- seemed to forget that she is a fictional character. There was a lot of real nastiness going on toward Barbara. Downright mean comments about what she was doing to poor Jim. (And yes. Ben McKenzie REALLY knows how to do those hang-dog eyes. He can work it with those "feel sorry for my character" facial expressions and voice. It is quite something. And this is not an insult, in case you're wondering. It is a compliment. The guy knows how to make you feel for his characters, without going all overboard and sappy. He plays it just right. Go, Ben.) I kind of had a hard time, though, dealing with the cut-to-the-bone insults being hurled at Barbara, all about how she's a slut. I mean, wait just a freakin' minute here. Let's think about this.

Now, I am not saying that Barbara did the right thing. But, looked at compassionately, I think she did an understandable thing. She definitely isn't a slut.

First, she and Jim had kinda been having a rocky time. She felt that he was shutting her out of his life. He was shutting her out -- to a large degree -- but, this was to protect her. He could have done a better job in getting this across to her, though. A great communicator, he is not. He is a very, very good guy. Absolutely good. But, he is a little stubborn and a little reticent in expressing himself and -- perhaps -- a bit prideful and self-righteous. And these traits do not combine to make a person a good communicator during stressful times in a relationship.

Secondly, Barbara is in no condition -- dealing with all the baggage of her past and present life -- to be able to form a healthy romantic relationship. She needs to put her own house in order. But, she also really wants to be strong and good. She wants to love and be loved. But, she doesn't know how to make peace with her past in order to give and receive love in a proper fashion. Like a lot of us. A lot of us are like Barbara, at least at points in our lives. We go through crap. We don't know how to put that crap to rest. And it affects how we form relationships. So, before we go hurling stones at Barbara, we should take a look at ourselves and our moments of vulnerability.

Thirdly, if you recall, when Barbara was being held by the bad guys, one of those bad guys made a remark to Jim about having to rough Barbara up a bit in order to make sure that she didn't have any valuable information. Hmmm... It was kind of a passing remark, but maybe more significant than we realize. What, exactly, did they do to Barbara? Did they -- possibly -- sexually assault her? If she was assaulted -- sexually, or otherwise -- that would explain a lot of her subsequent behavior, especially her return to her former lover. I mean, she was already having a struggle with substance abuse. She apparently has crappy parents. Jim was not being the easiest guy in the world to deal with. And then she gets assaulted, perhaps in a sexual way? You put all those things together and her decision to leave Jim and go back to Renee would not be surprising.

Anyway, this is just my two cents, for what their worth. And thank-you for taking the time to read this. Hope to be seeing you in Gotham!!! ;-)









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