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Defeating Toxic Masculinity

Seven years ago I wrote a post about Ramona Flowers, simply meaning to express my admiration for her and for how incredible it was to see consent and sexuality presented in a positive way in popular culture. I thought the post was good, but nothing earth-shattering, so you can imagine my genuine surprise at the fact that this particular blog post has actually been visited more than any other post I’ve ever written since I started blogging with WordPress.

I was first introduced to Ramona and the rest of the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World universe through the movie and somewhat shortly after the film came out Nathan and I purchased the comics by Bryan Lee O’Malley which I then read. I am so glad to have read the books, although I’ll be the first to admit that reading comics certainly requires the development of a new reading skill set. O’Malley created a truly fantastic, yet realistic, world where Ramona’s backstory is fleshed out.

At its core, although I don’t know that O’Malley really did this on purpose (if he did, awesome!), Ramona’s story as an adult is a cautionary tale of the effects of toxic masculinity. Ramona has dated seven people over the course of her life (up to the point that we have met her) and has broken up with all of them upon realizing that she just didn’t want to date them. Each of the “jilted” love interests then form a league bent on defeating the person Ramona is currently dating in an effort to win back her affections. Through it all, Ramona does her best to hold on to her sense of self and the knowledge that she is worth an incredible amount. The clear-headedness and determination Ramona displays as her sexual history (which, to be clear, includes the one kiss she shared with her seventh-grade boyfriend) is constantly paraded around is something that I think many of us can relate to and can draw strength from.

 

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Photo by Ev on Unsplash
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