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May 18, 2022 335 Faustina Cotter, Canada
Encounter

This Ain’t True Love

Before you fly away from your humdrum life into another romantic vampire story, consider this…

As such, you can imagine that I am very fond of romance. A lot of us are. I am also single. Not being a hideous goblin (no girl is), I could get a boyfriend easily enough. The question is: what are my standards?

I am a soldier of Christ and willing to fight to defend the truth. An important part of this truth is Christian marriage and sexuality. This topic is scorned by society at large, hence my lack of male companionship. If I am going to date, my minimum requirement is respect for my faith and boundaries. This is hard to find, but I’m not lowering my standards. I’ll tell you why.

Shocking Truth!

Forgive my bluntness. Girls my age are turned into easily- accessible entertainment for any male with eyes. In the name of empowerment, women are told to “dress how they want”. Translation: dress in the way those creepy guys on the street like. Virginity is a shameful secret. Any who dare suggest a sense of the sacred around women, marriage, or sex are evil misogynists. Poor female minors, enslaved by self-respect and safety.

One useful tool for turning women into commodities, products, or slaves is young adult fiction. Every time I open a YA book, I see this:

“McKayla is just an ordinary, plain girl with flawless skin and hair. Except she has a dark, mysterious past. ~insert stereotype. Evil or negligent parents are preferable.~ Then she meets… Brad. He’s dark, brooding, and impossibly hot (of course). What will happen, and will their mysterious connection win out against all odds?!”

Next, you get to watch McKayla describe Brad in agonizing detail every three pages. She inevitably gets mixed up with him. He’s an assassin, a vampire, or preferably both. McKayla gets sucked into a dangerous relationship. Vampire cults are encouraged. Brad will attack her, pressure her, and attempt a seduction. He will go through periods of cruelty, the silent treatment, and possessiveness, interspersed with passionate statements about his love for her. Because of this passion, our heroine will gladly cut out every healthy influence in her life, following her “true love” like a lamb to the slaughter.

Something about this feels just the tiniest bit off, doesn’t it? No? Is it only me who thinks it’s a romanticization of abuse?

Alas, I am not exaggerating or joking. Here’s a paraphrase of a random page from a teen novel I picked up: “I couldn’t quite forget that he had tried to stab me with a knife ten minutes ago, but I couldn’t take my eyes off how hot Jason looked in those white jeans. His hair was… his muscles were…” Etc., etc., etc., another uncomfortably detailed ogling of our darling attempted murderer.

I started the next book at the beginning. Page one was from the perspective of a male vampire prostitute. A girl comes and gives him money. She bares her throat for him to bite. He begins rubbing her thighs and pretending to groan in excitement. I close the book.

Finally, in a very popular YA novel, the male lead breaks into the girl’s house and watches her sleep. Oh, how romantic!

No Compromise

 Books like this groom young women to be the slaves and tools of evil men. Nothing is sadder than a young girl staying with a man who abuses her because he “loves” her. She thinks she can change him, or worse, sees nothing wrong at all. In a way, these men really are vampires. They will drain a girl of her self-respect, her virginity, and anything else they convince her to fork over. They leave their victims sucked dry in the dust.

Where does this start? What makes women believe the lies? The shameless and evil romanticism attached to abuse, seen in the media, in movies, in the teen section of the most innocent public library. There isn’t even any bad logic in it, just malice.

Marriage and sexuality are created by God and built on love. Love is built on respect, self-sacrifice, and honesty. Marriage is a union of equals, not a predator-prey relationship. Here’s a hint: this should be obvious.

Still not convinced of the damage this attitude causes? Well, no hard feelings. I mean, I’m just a teenager watching this happen. Who can we ask about this? Hey, what about Mom and Grandma? They’re pretty experienced… oh wait. Everyone knows that no one born before the 2000’s can have anything useful to say on this (or any) topic. Of course today’s youth know better than to honour their father and mother. My bad.

Alright, No more complaining. This shouldn’t be all problems and no solutions. We can still make progress in the right direction. The world might be dark, but luckily for us, the light of Christ is easier to see in the dark anyway. We, as Christians, need to fight for the concept of true love. It still exists. My parents show it. When you see an eighty-year-old couple still holding hands, remember. When you go to a wedding, remember. When you see a couple choosing children over wealth, remember. And hey, girls like me—Christian teenagers who just can’t seem to find a partner who will respect you! Don’t give up. Don’t settle for a dark, brooding guy who’ll suck you dry. Look for true love, cheesy as it might seem. It’s real. We have it every Sunday in the Eucharist. We deserve this self-respect. We deserve a partner willing to honor Christ and see Christ in us. It will be worth it.

And quit reading those vampire novels.

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Faustina Cotter

Faustina Cotter is a high school student. Her goal is to live a life exemplifying Christ. Faustina lives with her parents and brother at Winnipeg, Canada.

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