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OPINION: The Only Reason People Keep Talking $hit About After

OPINION: The Only Reason People Keep Talking $hit About After

I am all for opinions. I welcome them. I feel like every single time that we listen to other people’s opinions – we are educated. We hear something that we didn’t expect to hear, are offered a different point of view, are given an opportunity to see things in a different way.

But just because you have an opinion, doesn’t make it fact. In fact, there is a lot that is open to interpretation. There is a lot of things that are based less on fact, but more on people’s opinions, values, and sense of what they consider right and wrong.

I spend a lot of my time ingesting everything that I can about fandoms. I am an insatiable reader, and read both the positive and negatives of each fandom. So I will say this, what I am about to write is MY OPINION. You can choose to think what you want of it and I will welcome every response that you give.

I was told the other day that my promotion of After by Anna Todd is irresponsible and promotes violence. It tells girls that it’s okay to be abused. And I don’t agree.

I will be the first to tell you that verbal abuse is just as destructive and wrong as someone putting their hands on you. I will tell you that it’s not okay. I will also be the first to tell you that Hardin is a jackass with some serious issues that need to be addressed. I will tell you that the way he speaks to Tessa is not okay and that she deserves better.

But I will not tell you that I think that it’s abuse. Because I don’t. I think that it’s not a healthy relationship, but what I don’t understand is how people think that the After Series is the first to address unhealthy relationships. If you watch television or movies, it’s littered with unhealthy relationships. But we all buy into those unhealthy relationships, watch the television shows, and read the books.

You watch The Originals? You think that Klaus has a healthy relationship with anyone? No – every relationship – be it with Caroline or Cami – is based on manipulation and fear. But, I am not judging – I love me some Originals. 

You watch The Vampire Diaries? Damon kills people, pushed Elena to the point of no return, and kills people for sport. But Elena keeps coming back – even though she knows that he is destructive. I mean why go for the good guy – Stefan – when you can have the man who is going to fuck with your emotions every second of every day?

You watch General Hospital? Luke raped Laura, but they are one of the most iconic couples in TV history.

You watch Awkward? Matty uses Jenna for sex, treats her like she’s invisible, dates her only when it’s convenient for him, and cheats on other girlfriends with her. Jenna is so screwed up that she doesn’t know what to think or do.

You watch Pretty Little Liars? Aria’s under age and sleeping with her former teacher who used her as research and has put her in compromising positions. How is that healthy? We won’t even get into Paige and Emily’s relationship and how Paige has used her left and right, manipulated her and screwed with Emily’s head so bad that she doesn’t know left from right.

You watch Twilight? Umm… Edward is a possessive, controlling and sometimes an asshole. But no one says anything about that – because he’s not real.

I could go on and on – but I love all of these shows. I know what I am watching.

But we pick this one out because of one reason and one reason only – One Direction. 

I get tweets and emails about how it is not right that Anna Todd writes about One Direction in Fan Fiction and depicts Harry Styles as an asshole. But here’s the thing about Fan Fiction – and you can debate it with me – it’s not about the fandom that it’s written using the characteristics of a person, but it is not about the person. It gives writers a springboard in which to bounce off of.

And quite frankly, if you think that One Direction doesn’t know about fan fiction – you are not seeing the bigger picture. Those boys know everything that goes on. And I assure you know that they know the name Anna Todd. So, if they wanted to stop it – they could have a long time ago.

I can appreciate anyone wanting to protect the celebrity that they love. But, when I have sat and asked those who run the anti-after accounts, the fans that tweet that they hate the book and all that it stands for – they can’t really tell me why. All they can tell me is that it’s bad.

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But what makes it bad?

What says that this book shouldn’t be read?

And no one can give me a straight answer, except to say it depicts Harry Styles in a bad light. No one can tell me anything beyond that. Here’s my guess – if Harry Styles had a problem with the way he was being depicted, he’d have the balls to say it.

You can tell me that Tessa gets raped in the book – which I don’t agree with. Passages that have depicted that have been cut short and taken out of context. I do understand that sex scenes interpretation can be based on personal experience.

I respect the fact that people don’t like the book. I respect the fact that some may not agree with the sexual situations, subject matter, and the way that it started out or ended.

But, I would also challenge you to think beyond the book and to other things that are out there. But I also challenge you to look at the reasons why you don’t like it. And if you can give me a reason other than Harry Styles – I will listen. I will be open to your remarks.

But, I will still promote After and I will still believe in Hardin’s redemption.


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