Psycomedia Episode 90 – Manipulandum Download: Psycomedia90.mp3 References: Blakemore, S. J., Wolpert, D., & Frith, C. (2000). Why can’t you tickle yourself?. Neuroreport, 11(11), R11-R16. Festjens, A., Bruyneel, S., & Dewitte, S. (2013). What a feeling! Touching sexually laden stimuli makes women seek rewards. Journal of Consumer Psychology. Robles-De-La-Torre, G., & Hayward, V. (2001). Force […]
One aspect of Padme’s character that must be kept in mind is her age in the trilogy; she begins the story arc as a 14-year-old, and it must be assumed she led a sheltered life as a child and then moved into a position of high ceremony and heavy responsibility at a time of great psychological and hormonal upheaval - adolescence. When we next see her in Episode II, she is twenty-four, but, again, it seems clear she has a led a protected and rigidly controlled life; as a senator, it can be safely assumed that she would not have been allowed to date freely or have much of an un-chaperoned social life. Her relationship with Anakin thus becomes increasingly secretive and isolated, leading to a marriage that further isolates her from any kind of support network. Finally, in Episode II, as a 27-year-old, trying to balance her political duties and her still secretive marriage, she must then keep her pregnancy hidden, and her whole world is reduced to, essentially, Anakin who becomes increasingly controlling, paranoid, and obsessive.
Read through that lens, Padme’s character is disturbingly symbolic of the rising statistics of domestic and relationship abuse among young women in this country - the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that, in 2003, 5.3 million women age 18 or over experienced Intimate Partner Violence (CDC). It especially concerned me to read several posts on two of the more popular Star Wars fan forums from fans that identified themselves as teenagers (under eighteen) or young adults (under twenty-five) that saw the ending as highly romantic because it showed just how deeply Padme loved Anakin. As one young fan wrote: “She just lost it; she gave up; now that’s love people. To love someone so much that to live without them would be death anyway. She lived long enough to give birth and name her children that were made with the love of anakin and her [sic]” (Angelhonest).
Padme’s giving up the will to live after Anakin’s betrayal is alarmingly analogous to the countless stories of women who lose their voices, independence, and their very souls in order to “keep” their lovers or husbands. Vanessa Bush, in her 2002 Essence article, reports that “approximately one in five girls ages 14 to 18 has experienced physical or sexual violence while dating” and “an astonishing 40 percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 17 knew someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.” Young girls with little or no experience with relationships (like Padme, it must be assumed), consider dramatic, excessive emotions on the part of a boyfriend (like jealousy or an obsessive desire to always be in touch with her to “protect” her) to be expressions of his overwhelming, consuming love for her (Bush). Psychologist Jill Murray says of the rising statistics of teen relationship abuse: “What is most alarming is that the signs of potential abuse [from their boyfriends] are also behaviors that young women find most flattering” (7), like wanting to spend all his time with her and eventually isolating her from her friends and even family, which she often interprets as love (9). Given how many comments I read on the fan forums that were similar in tone to Angelhonest’s post (see above), it seems that this definition of love is an all too-popular one. That kind of love leads to a loss of identity and autonomy, as Padme’s character so strikingly symbolizes.
Diana Domingues, “Feminism and the Force: Empowerment and Disillusionment in a Galaxy Far, Far Away,” Culture, Identities and Technology in the Star Wars Films: Essays on the Two Trilogies, ed. by Carl Silvio and Tony M. Vinci (Jefferson, NC: McFarland &Company, Inc., Publishers, 2007), pp. 109-133. (via womenofstarwars)
Overthinking It sort of stuff using Star Wars to talk about domestic abuse
Psycomedia Episode 89 – Plenty More Fish in the Science Download: Psycomedia89.mp3 References: Fraley, R. C., & Shaver, P. R. (2000). Adult romantic attachment: Theoretical developments, emerging controversies, and unanswered questions. Review of general psychology, 4(2), 132. Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of personality and social psychology, 52(3), 511. Ireland, […]
I finally saw Pacific Rim last night. On my new big TV, and thus as close to cinematic viewing as I could make it. I obviously loved it - soyonscruels is right, as she always is, in loving it. Stacker obviously could lead me, conflict-hating me, to the ends of the earth. A classic action movie filled with just the right amount of Guillermo weirdness to stand out from the crowd. And I can think instantly of who my drift partner would be and how much he might resent being in my head because he’s already half-way there. Brilliant brilliant brilliant.
Anyway, on seeing the soundtrack featured contributions from Tom Morello, the above image came instantly to mind.
Psycomedia Episode 88.5 – Never Yawn at a Tortoise Download: PsycomediaDemiEpisode88Point5.mp3 References: Selterman, D. F., Apetroaia, A. I., Riela, S., & Aron, A. (2013). Dreaming of You Behavior and Emotion in Dreams of Significant Others Predict Subsequent Relational Behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science. Millen, A., & Anderson, J. R. (2011). Neither infants nor toddlers catch […]
I’ve been giving it some thought, and I think with some elbow grease (to flesh out the stories), you could write at least three very solid seasons that follow the main stories in The Silmarillion. It would kind of be structured like Game of Thrones, where different or minor characters become main characters later on.
Season 1: Beren & Luthien
Season 2: The Children of Hurin
Season 3: Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin (ending with the War of Wrath)
The whole series could start with an hour-long opener of Feanor crafting the Silmarils and the War of the Jewels kicking off. Also it should be animated and someone should hire me to do the designs. Obviously.
Psycomedia Episode 88 – Stay Out Of Westeros If You Value Your Memories Download: Psycomedia88.mp3 References: Bauer, P. J., & Larkina, M. (2013). The onset of childhood amnesia in childhood: A prospective investigation of the course and determinants of forgetting of early-life events. Memory, (ahead-of-print), 1-18. Devore, E. E., Kang, J. H., Breteler, M., & […]