We need to stop making a joke of controlling girlfriends

Abusive relationships are not something to make light of. There’s nothing funny about controlling girlfriends, this can be a sign of abuse. And yet, continuously, society seems to make a joke of it, or even romanticise it, particularly within the media. The NHS guidelines for emotional abuse include: ‘Telling you what to wear, who to see (and not see), where to go, and what to think’. Following those guidelines, here are three things we have to stop making jokes of:

Liking other girl’s pictures

How many times do we see jokes about this on the net? Newsflash: MEN ARE ALLOWED TO LIKE OTHER GIRL’S PHOTOGRAPHS. A double-tap on an Instagram photo is not cheating, and it’s possessive and controlling to get angry over such a harmless act.

Having female friends

Let’s refer to the NHS guidelines again: ‘telling you who to see/not see’.

If your girlfriend prevents you from being friends with someone because of their gender, it is a massive red flag that you are dating a controlling girlfriend. It also perpetuates sexism, because really, it’s sad if you think that females can’t just make valuable friends.

Telling you what to wear

There’s always loads of posts knocking about on social media in summer where lads have been told by their girlfriends to wear a t-shirt that says something like “I hate all the other girls in Ibiza, and I love my girlfriend”. Sure, it could just be a joke, or it could be possessive as fuck. Seriously, when a man tells his girlfriend she isn’t ‘allowed’ to wear a low-cut top, it is controlling and wrong, just as this is, here.

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