Thursday, August 06, 2009
I’m a fan of “True Blood” on Facebook, and yesterday the fan page put up a notice of new tee shirts that say “Sookie is mine.” For those of you who don’t watch the show, the reference is to vampire Bill Compton’s statement concerning his mortal love, Sookie. This declaration is more than simple romance: it guarantees Sookie’s safety in the face of the covetousness of other vampires. Possession is just that big a deal in vampire world.
Well, this posting set off a slew of comments, needless to say. And not a one was negative. Not a single “isn’t this chauvinistic?” remark. On the contrary, everyone was wishing they were Bill’s, or Sookie was theirs, or they were Eric’s or Sam’s or Jason’s, etc.
It would seem that possessiveness, in spite of all society’s politically correct efforts to the contrary, remains sexy.
I’ve touched upon this topic before, in my 3/9/08 post about “Lost’s” Benjamin Linus. His fierce proclamation regarding Juliet —“You’re mine”—is still haunting the dreams of infatuated fans everywhere. To those who find Ben attractive, this greedy, covetous, jealous statement is just about the hottest thing he’s ever said.
Possessiveness, in practice, is not the most desirable trait in a mate. In its most dysfunctional form, it has driven psychopaths to kill. More typically, it causes strife in relationships and makes money for marriage counselors. But in fantasy, fiction, and shows like “True Blood” and “Lost,” it’s all kinds of sexy and romantic.
This is another one of those throwbacks to our more primitive days. When females depended upon males for protection, food and shelter, it was a boon to have your man ferociously possessive of you. You didn’t want him to take it lightly that a competitor or enemy might steal into your camp or castle at night and abscond with you. Men were (and in many ways still are) hardwired to look upon women as prizes to be won in competition with others, and the words “she’s mine” meant victory. Women were flattered to be considered the object of such competition, to be favored enough to be a “prize.” The words “you’re mine” meant a man had found her worthy of fighting for, perhaps to the death.
As obsolete as such concepts are today, we can’t completely put off those primitive feelings. The resulting phenomenon is that a female’s emotions are stirred by the storylines of “True Blood” and “Lost.” We love the concept of a vampire so desperately in love with a mortal woman that he forbids any other to dream of possessing her, and puts his fury behind the words. We even experience a sexual thrill when a diabolical villain declares his possession of a woman who shuns him, knowing it is a demonstration of his desperate desire for her.
I have lately been making my way through the Twilight books, and I must confess there is a recurring problem for me. It’s Bella’s aversion to marrying Edward. I understand her feeling some shame for marrying so young, but I know in her position I would give more weight to my delight at having such a fellow want to bind himself to me. I wondered if perhaps the teens of today are the first generation to not feel such traditional emotions on the subject.
I admit I’m incorrigibly old-fashioned, but I fall back on those things that thrilled young girls in the 60s and 70s: getting “pinned” or having your boyfriend give you his class ring…carving your initials together in a desk…getting an engagement ring. I wondered sadly whether it was becoming passé to feel you belonged to someone, and they belonged to you. Should candy manufacturers stop making those hearts that say “Be Mine”?
Well, the comments about that “True Blood” tee shirt were very heartening to me. The old instincts, apparently, are not dead.
I’m not alone in wishing I could hear Bill or Eric growl “[your name here] is mine.”