Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hope vs. Steffy: Virginity vs. Promiscuity in Young Women Represented by a Soap Opera

Kimberly Matula (Hope) and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy)
Courtesy of: The Bold and the Beautiful website
There's this soap opera on CBS called "The Bold and the Beautiful" that I watch with my mom. There are a bunch of storylines but the main one that ties them all together is a rivalry between two families: the Forresters and the Logans. I'm not going to get into it in-depth because the only characters I want to focus on in this post are the two female descendants of these two families, Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) and Hope Logan (Kimberly Matula). Both these girls are around my age, so I feel a connection to them and can relate.

This is a brief background story of what I want to talk about. These two have a rivalry mainly because Steffy hates Hope's mother, Brooke, and all things Logan. Brooke is her stepmother and the reason why her parents Ridge and Taylor never get together and live happily ever after. Ridge loves both Brooke and Taylor, but his true love is Brooke. Steffy's constant bitterness can be really irritating, but yet it is understandable that she wants her family together. It is suggested that every move she makes is a ploy to gain revenge against the Logans.

Scott Clifton (Liam)
Courtesy of: Soap Opera Digest website
Because of all this, Steffy has some Daddy issues. She is fed up with Ridge walking out on her and her family. The most recent time he has done this, the man with whom she has been in love with, Bill Spencer, who is married to Brooke's sister Katie, runs to her aid. He claims that he loves her and plans to leave Katie. Before he is given this chance, Katie has a heart attack, reinforcing Bill's love for her. He then decides to stay with Katie, leaving Steffy angry and depressed. Steffy goes to take a bath and ends up tripping and hitting her head unconscious on the tub, almost drowning. Liam, Bill's son and Hope's boyfriend, shows up and revives her, saving her life and thereafter giving her a pep talk about how special she is. It is suggested that Steffy is now falling in love with Liam because of his heroic actions. She also kisses him, a move that I was expecting, thus proving this further. To me, I think it is possible that we might see Liam leave Hope for her.

Why, do you ask? Well, that is what this blog post is for. ;)

Steffy and Hope are like night and day. If you want to differentiate them, refer back to my genital piece. Going by that, Hope is the more "pure, beautiful" one whereas Steffy is the "sexy" one. Both are attractive but belong to two different categories of attractiveness. Hope, due to her mom's sexual background, is still a virgin and wants to wait for marriage to have sex. However, Steffy often makes fun of Hope's virtuosity. See, Steffy is the type of person to constantly throw herself at men and feel like she falls in love with them each time. I think this has something to do with Ridge's role as her father. Granted, Ridge is not an absent father for he's always in Steffy's life. It's just that they aren't a full family and she always feels abandoned and second best next to the Logan clan. Hope isn't even his kid and yet he is married to her mother. Steffy uses the men in her life as a replacement for the lack of one Ridge Forrester. But see, Steffy should be grateful that Ridge is actually around. Hope hasn't even met her father, Deacon Sharpe, so Steffy has to stop acting like the Logans get everything they want and quit playing the victim all the time.

I am actually writing this piece to come to Hope's defense. Her character doesn't seem to have a lot of fans. People criticize her because of her "innocence" and apparent dullness as a character and don't give her enough credit. I know she's not perfect but it is so refreshing to see a girl my age on TV saving herself for marriage. I feel like more characters should be like her.

I know there are women out there who don't save themselves for marriage, but there are women who do and I feel like those women are very rarely, if never, represented in the media. Young girls who do plan on saving themselves should be proud of their values but yet they feel outnumbered and think something is wrong with them because they see a bunch of women on TV having sex before marriage and think that's the only choice they have.

This is why I admire Hope and I hope she stays this way. She is so different and confident with her feelings and yet people seem to ridicule her and think she should give up the whole virginity thing. Liam also admires this about her, but he also has made it known that he wants sex. Lately on the show Hope has been preaching about saving herself and leading a different reputation than her mother has. Normally when I hear something like this being emphasized so much on a soap opera I get nervous because then irony kicks in and something bad happens. This makes me think that Hope is going to get hurt or betrayed somehow. And this isn't the first time it has happened on the show regarding her love life.

This show also has a history of revisiting old storylines and dragging them out, which gets really annoying and I have a feeling it's going to happen again here. When Hope was with her ex Oliver Steffy pinned after him and when Hope first got with Liam she pinned after him as well. When Steffy started pinning after Bill it was a breath of fresh air because she was away from Hope for a little while and I was happy. It was actually a pretty interesting storyline that doesn't follow the same mold of a teenage love triangle. Now she's back after Liam. The thing is, Steffy's problem is with Brooke, not Hope, so she should stop lashing out at Hope because in my opinion Hope did nothing to deserve it. She is a really sweet girl so I feel bad for her.

Liam is all concerned now for Steffy's well being. Why? Who knows! He claims that he still loves Hope, but I feel like after the tub incident he is being drawn to Steffy as well and you can tell he is trying to repress these feelings. Steffy is a person who isn't hesitant to have sex with a man and if Hope keeps holding out, he just might go for Steffy. Steffy is just as talented and pretty as Hope so Liam might think he would have the whole package with Steffy as opposed to his relationship with Hope that deprives him of sex. He has admiration for Steffy as well. This may be why he leaves Hope for Steffy.

All I know is this BETTER NOT HAPPEN! Because if it does, I will be mad! It sends out a totally wrong message to young women and men.

Here's why:

  1. If Liam leaves Hope for Steffy because of sex, that tells young women everywhere you have to have sex with a man in order to keep him interested in you, even if he does "love" you.
  2. This is also offensive to young men. This says that men will always and should leave the women they love for women who are willing to give it up to them, making them out to be stereotypical sex hungry beasts.

Believe it or not, there is a population of both men and women who believe that sex in a relationship isn't everything and are willing to save themselves for their true loves. I feel like this practice is constantly looked down upon but I find it pretty honorable. Not all women are like Steffy, and if Liam does do what I am predicting, not all men are like him either. I refuse to believe that. If Hope exists as a character and the writers created her this way, there has to be people like her to exist in real life as well. Why would they base a realistic character on something that doesn't exist in the real world? They had to have gotten this idea somewhere and Hope can connect with this demographic.

I get that this practice isn't for everybody and I'm not taking sides. But people who practice abstinence do exist and should be represented just as much as those who don't and should be respected. Why should the norm be the only thing acceptable as if nothing else is an option? Stop making it out that all people do the same things and that those who think differently should be ignored or are misguided. Why should those who think differently change their points of view to match everyone else's?

Right now Hope is pretty much the only character on TV right now exercising abstinence and I am grateful for "The Bold and the Beautiful" being the one show that showcases this, so I'm "hoping" for a pleasant result for her.

8 comments:

  1. Excellent article. Too bad more people are not abstinent before marriage - I think it would save alot of heartache and lead to better marriages.

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  2. Thank you very much! Yes, I agree. More people should practice abstinence before marriage. I just think it makes everything better. :) Thank you for your comment!

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  3. Nice article but while I agree that abstinence is an excellent practice and praise all young women who practice this, this show is about this kind of drama. There must be the good girl/ bad girl and what is really an interesting twist is that both girls seem to have come from the wrong parent, lol though in the long run i'm certain that both girls will turn into there parents in one way or another... This Liam/ Hope/ Steffy thing is sort of ridiculous in my opinion because Hope wants to wait I liked that idea but it was done in the wrong way and put undue pressure on Liam. Men have such huge egos and for the whole world to know that he isn't getting any for the long but temporary haul is very emasculating. Yes Liam agreed to this wait but to have the public hound u and your friends to hmm that can have some serious problems written there. Then we have Steffy who has severe daddy issues and so desperately wants to be loved and give that love back clinging to any semblance of it she can muster up. Poor girl. Liam on the other hand, while I believe he is in love with Hope I think had Hope not just played the little girl role and spoken to Liam and still left I think he would have ultimately turned to Steffy because lets face it he has a serious weakness for her which doesn't spell love but lust but we've seen Bridge and if it happened for them given the right circumstances it could happen for these as well ... I am a STILL fan but even I see the possibility of a Leffy pairing that could last for some time mainly because at the end of the day love will grow true feelings for her will emerge the sad part is that she might want to leave and get back with her true love Bill but he might actually want her even more and may fight tooth and nail to keep her while Hope will ultimately get with either Thomas or Oliver..... Lovely post Stef Sears

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  4. Hey there! I really appreciate the lengthy comment and I like your points. :) I'm going to hit on a few of them haha.

    The thing is, I'm not a huge fan of the word "emasculating." I believe Bill said it a few times in a few episodes. Having sex doesn't make men "men" and I guess that mentality annoys me.

    And, not every couple is going to have the public hound them lol. This was a special case because of "Hope for the Future" and I did not agree with how everybody knew what was going on in their love life.

    I agree though that Hope probably should have told Liam why she left the ring. Then, Liam wouldn't have drawn conclusions, not try to figure out what was wrong, and let Steffy brainwash him, which was dumb on his part. But, seeing Liam and Steffy kiss was obviously very upsetting to Hope, so obviously she's not going to have a clear mind of what to do at that moment. Of course she's just going to want to leave and not face him. She felt betrayed. I actually wished she stayed and confronted him or ran up to the car! lol Then we would've seen him (and maybe Steffy too) squirm!

    I'm really glad you like my post! If I have any more responses to your comment, I will post them! :)

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  5. hello i watch the show too and hope is my favorite character. im a teenager and sometimes this society makes me feel as though there is something wrong with me because i want to wait for sex. it can be hard sometimes and hope is awesome (: haha i dont blame her for needing anxiety pills

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    1. Hey! Thank you for your comment! Hope is my favorite character too and an excellent role model, but I really hate how her storyline has went downhill since this post. I don't like and admire her like I used to. She's annoying me now with this whole Liam thing. I'm fearing that she is going to become a drug addict or something because of this. And all because of sex and that Liam couldn't wait? That's how this all started and now everybody is involved! I can't even watch it anymore. It's such a stupid bland story now that has been dragged out for way too long. None of the other characters have any screen time either. I just really wish she waited until her honeymoon like she has always planned because he is making it clear that he loves her and was okay with waiting for her. This doesn't say much about their relationship because she obviously doesn't trust him or their love for each other so it makes me feel like they shouldn't get married if that's the case. I am very unhappy with this outcome.

      It's great that you commented on this post during this point in the show. It gave me a chance to make my own comments about the updates on here lol.

      By the way, there is nothing wrong with you. Great job with you decisions so far! Best of luck to you in whatever you decide in the future! :)

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    2. Sex before and during marriage rocks!! Hope is totally lame and boring!

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  6. I see a 'Anonymous Poster on this great site/blog"is adaging how sex "before" u r married,and or ever GET seriously committed/married,/engage "rocks"
    so i c he or she has low moral,sorry JMHO

    and i too love HOPE logan. what is there not to love about her perfect
    smile great teeth, unlike steffy SORRy some think she is gorgeous,not even klose,and hope has great everything,but most of all great mature/good soul/pure beautiful gorgeous,independent-and ASTUTE.if most here do not know that mean simply a very smart woman HOPE is, and the pill thing to me that has happen was ONLY FOR DRAMA,hell who wouldn't need em! lol after all the loser fast chick wit NO MORAL still steffy done put her thru.
    Common Sense is SEX B4 MARRIAGE,is no way a great thing,and most women say they wish they will/would have WAIT,
    instead of /"givin in"for the guy and or try to HOLD ON TO HIM.

    "REAL MEN"respect SEX ONLY AFTER MARRIAGE,not before hand,and Little boys
    ALL AGES,"feel a need to cheat,and or have SEX before the actual marriage.
    As,we are now seeing liam being written sadly as a lil boy-man,and but i do believe,the ENDGAME WILL BE HOPE LOGAN WIT LIAM,happily married,with some
    Drama,but nice to know some bloggers,beside my self,and others i know my
    friends,few others on net,all agree with YOU stef,that STEFFY is not the better/best woman,and hope is,and i am so happy to see that at least now
    LIAM IS LEGALLY DIVORCE from the lush.Steffy deserve ALL the pain she get
    from what she did so nefariously to hope,no step-sis do that,or a friend.
    Steffy is insecure STILL,and is STILL a loser,and always will be until sh
    realize,that NO GOOD nor REAL LOVE,NOR happiness come from BEING LOOSE
    and giving it up fast,and NOT caring about,who get hurt in the process.

    SAME AS BROOKE LOGAN HOPE WILL ALWAYS BE LIAM GREAT LOVE.not steffy and
    whether the marriage of hope and cute liam last or not? I am happy at least
    knowing,unlike steffy HOPE get a great beautiful wedding the works,while
    steffy looks on with GREEN-ENVY. great blog can i post in my very popular,
    and growing forum at Soap Actress? thx again for this blog,i lov hope always will! she is clearly the BEST WOMAN FOR NOT ONLY LIAM,BUT ALL MEN."REAL"men.


    adios!

    Moderator over at
    www.SOAPACTRESSCENTRAL.com

    Geena Romano
    on facebook
    staten island,NY
    NJ tri-state

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