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Twilight Series: Sexist/Anti-Feminist!

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ShadowKisses

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Posted: 27 August 2008 at 10:27am | IP Logged
Note: There are going to be spoilers from various books of the series. Haven't read them all? I suggest you don't continue. If you want, go ahead but at your own discretion ;)
 
I'm astounded that this issue has never been brought up here considering that a vast majority of the readers are female.
 
I've been a feminist practically all my life. That is, I 've subscribed to the basic ideals of feminism. I don't have a problem with authors showing abuse, sexism, classism, and rape in their novels. My problem lies within the fact that these problems aren't ever addressed. The biggest reason these books are sexist is because Bella never notices it. It doesn't occur to her even once - the idea of abuse and sexism. I know a lot of fans will disagree with me when I say the Twilight Series are sexist and at times, misogynist. Whether it is deliberate or unintentional, we may never know but one can be certain it's definitely there in the books.
 
Why do I say so? Because of four major reasons: Bella, Edward, other female characters, and werewolves.
 
Let's start with the "protagonist" of the series:
 
1. Bella
"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. - Elbert Hubbart."
 
Generally, stupidity amuses me. However, Bella - I cannot stand. She is the weakest character to ever grace the pages of literature. We're told Bella is smart because she reads classics such as Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and so on. That's it. There is not one intelligent action in the books to back it up. I read and constantly, the books I've read pop up in discussion, I often compare and contrast books I've read to TV shows, movies etc but the most Bella says about the books is "English class will be easy since I've already read those books". She is a physically, emotionally, logically and mentally feeble character. Despite writing an essay on Shakespeare's misogynistic tendencies, she fails to notice the abuse and sexism in her own life.
 
She has no ambitions outside of Edward and even goes to a crappier college just to be near him. Bella has no amount of self-respect or independence as seen when Edward leaves and Bella becomes a zombie. What kind of message does that send? That one should have no life outside of one's girl-/boyfriend?  Sorry, but the very notion is ridiculous. Moving to her stupidity, Bella apparently "knows herself" but it takes Jacob to force a kiss on her (a sexual assault, by the way) to know that she loves him as well. Bella is extremely dependent on both Edward and Jacob. She constantly needs someone supporting her. Is this the kind of heroine that we want influencing millions of young impressionable hormonal girls?
 
She plays the typical Victorian temptress who wants to seduce the morally superior 'gentleman', Edward. She is unable to wrap her mind around the fact that sex with Edward will kill her since he's so - you know - strong, making her an illogical idiot and a too stupid to live heroine. But wait, Bella's stupidity doesn't stop there. She walks into dark allies where she knows she might get raped. She gets lost in the woods within sight of her own house. In New Moon, Bella repeatedly puts herself in danger to hear Edward's voice inside her head. She labels girls like Jessica as 'Barbie dolls' and shallow while her own thoughts consist of praising Edward's 'perfection'. She claims to hate all the "superficial" girls at school whereas her own relationship with Edward is based more on his shiny lustre, his Adonis-like marble figure rather than the fact that he has a great personality. Bottom line: Bella is shallow, stupid and not someone you want influencing young girls around the planet.
 
2. Edward and Bella+Edward's relationship
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. - Karl Marx"
 
- Edward is abusive. On an emotional and mental level.
- Bella+Edward's relationship is unhealthy.
 
Ask anyone in a relationship: Jealousy is NOT a trait they seek in their lover/boy-/girlfriend. However, Edward is jealous of Jacob and he tries everything in his power to keep Bella away from Jacob. In Twilight, he pushed Jacob aside when Jacob asked Bella if she'd like to dance and said something along the lines "I'll take it from here." Sure, Bella may have preferred to dance with Edward but that again, is HER decision to make, not Edward's! This only increases with time. In Eclipse, when Bella mentions that she is planning on seeing Jacob alone, he goes to say "I'll stop you." Moreover, he removes the engine from Bella's truck and has Alice kidnap her. Now, he may have done this with good intent in mind and yes, he did replace it. However, the fact that he later replaced it is irrelevant. The fact stands that he did an abusive act in the first place. Good intentions don't matter. That's equivalent of saying "I'm going to kill you because I think it's best for you" and then later feeling remorse for it. The irreversible fact that I committed a murder is going to matter not that I feel remorse over my actions.
 
Edward promotes isolation of Bella. When he criticizes her friends as being "shallow", Bella stops all and any contact with them. While it is understandable to spend time with your boyfriend, it is unhealthy to have no life outside of them. This is jarringly obvious in the beginning of New Moon where it takes Bella three months to rediscover her other friends. Edward has no right to decide what should be Bella's personal decisions. He keeps Alice - her best friend at the time - from meeting her to ensure a clean break. However, this is not his decision to make and he's merely trying to control Bella's actions. It's Bella's call on how long she wishes to cling on to her relationship with Edward. Likewise, he has no business hiding things associated with him in order to control her healing process. Destroying someone's belonging should NEVER be OK and is always considered an abusive act. Also, Edward watches her sleep, often without her knowledge. Contrary to what giddy fangirls think, it IS NOT romantic and any normal girl with an ounce of intelligence would take a restraining order out on said stalker. 
 
Edward threatens suicide. Romeo & Juliet aside, suicide is most definitely not romantic and is a control tactic. This is the trait of a mentally unstable person and an abusive boyfriend. When abusive boyfriends claim that they "can't live without you", most women remain with them in hopes of getting a glimpse of a person they were enamored with and to not be held responsible if said boyfriend wants to commit suicide. Bella stays with Edward in fear of his life and she feels his death would be "because of her" and that is a burden no one should bear. Maybe Edward didn't realize Bella was alive at the time when he went to commit suicide which truthfully proves that he is unstable enough to do it.
 
Forging other's signatures/handwriting is wrong and can be attributed to control said person's actions. Edward forges Bella's handwriting in his note to Charlie the day he and Bella go out into the woods. Why write in her writing? Couldn't he have written something to the effect "Hey Charlie, Bella and I are going to the woods. - Edward"? Plus, when Bella decides she doesn't want to go to Darmouth, Edward ignores her decision and forges her signature on to the paperwork. This is a violation of privacy and not the sign of a healthy relationship. Their marriage in itself is a perfect example of him not letting her make decisions and controlling her actions. In the end of New Moon, he agrees to make Bella a vampire, only if she marries him. Anyone in a relationship will tell you that he is manipulating her emotions to his own wants and needs. 
 
Fear is a form of emotional abuse. It can be used to impose control. Edward is constantly telling Bella how much he wants to kill her and giving unnecessary displays of strength in order to convince her not to stay with him. In retro-respect, why doesn't he take the initiative to stay away from Bella? Why doesn't he change Biology classes? Even if he's unable to stay away from her, he doesn't need to scare her. The fact that his shoulder left a dent in the car is proof enough to Bella that he is stronger than your average human. Why, then, does he feel the need to constantly demonstrate that he is dangerous, to get her to stay away from him?
 
For supporting my argument, I ran Bella and Edward through the basic unhealthy relationship check list (From GoAskAlice) and so far:

    Try to control or manipulate the other - Edward manipulated Bella into marriage. Make the other feel bad about her-/himself - He tries to make her feel guilty about his suicide. Ridicule or call names Dictate how the other dresses Do not make time for each other Criticize the other's friends - Edward criticizes Jacob. Are afraid of the other's temper Discourage the other from being close with anyone else - Edward isolates Bella from everyone else around her when he tells her that she must keep her newfound knowledge a secret. This causes her to lie to her parents. Also, the whole Jacob episode. Ignore each other when one is speaking - I'll say tick off a 50% for this because while Edward does hear what she has to say, he does NOT compromise her idea with his. Are overly possessive or get jealous about ordinary behavior - Edward forbids Bella from seeing Jacob and in the first chapter of Midnight Sun (available on Meyer's website), wants to protect Bella from Jessica's "corrupt thoughts". Criticize or support others in criticizing people with your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or other personal attribute Control the other's money or other resources (e.g., car) - Edward took the engine out of Bella's car thus, making sure she wouldn't see Jacob. Harm or threaten to harm children, family, pets, or objects of personal value - In New Moon, he hid, took or destroyed things that belonged to Bella that he felt were "associated with him" to give her a "clean break". Push, grab, hit, punch, or throw objects
  • Use physical force or threats to prevent the other from leaving - Edward gets Alice to kidnap Bella and removes the engine from Bella's truck to make sure she doesn't see Jacob.
That's 8.5 out of 15 in a list which doesn't include dictating other's actions, making the other counterpart feel guilty and threatening suicide. Edward believes he has the RIGHT to tell her what to do (i.e.. "You can't see Jacob because he's dangerous." which is ironic considering his own brother Jasper almost killed her once.). This and the argument before this show that Bella and Edward's relationship is one where Edward has an unequal amount of authority and is emotionally abusive. However, this never occurs to Bella who believes her relation with Edward to be "perfect" thus sending the message that even if your boyfriend is controlling and downright domineering, his intentions are good and it's all great. It sends a very anti-feminist message to thousands of impressionable hormonal teenagers out there.
3. Other Female Characters
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt"
So, I'm going to take the long route xD
 
Esme: She exists because she is the mate of Carlisle - who has a strong intriguing personality, by the way. Period. What? That's all we really know about Esme. She doesn't have any special powers. She isn't strong. She's just the semi-visible mother figure who doesn't have very strong relationship with her "kids". Her relation with Edward is not nearly as strong as Carlisle and Edward's.
 
Renee: Bella's mother is described as "childish". Along with childishness, her personality traits (for lack of better term :P) include being eccentric, silly, unorganized and flighty. Also, she lacks the ability to take care of her self - paraphrased: She is dependent - first on Charlie, then on Bella and finally on Phil. This is emphasized by Bella's "unselfish" decision to send herself to her father so her mother can go gallivanting off into the wild with her newfound guardian. Sorry, couldn't resist the last line.
 
Rosalie: She had a lot of potential, this one. She was the only one in the Cullen household who didn't take an immediate liking to Bella but throughout the first two books, she was portrayed in negative light. In Eclipse, we find her victimized back-story which ultimately ruined her character. Cry me a river. While it is sad, Rosalie is portrayed to be a shallow person who wants babies and be pretty. Before becoming a shallow vampire, she was a vain and arrogant pretty human. Cheerful.
 
Alice: Initially, I liked her character a lot. Charismatic, quirky and interesting. But that's just at first glance. When we really get to know her, she is nothing more than a stereotypical teenage character at the age of 100+. She's obsessed with parties, likes to shop and dress Bella up like a "three dimensional paper doll". Alice is far from independent. She rarely goes anywhere without Jasper and it is safe to say that she is infatuated with him. Alice agrees to kidnap Bella simply because Edward asks her to (Can't Alice think for herself?). In comparison to say Edward or Jasper, her power is limited. She can't see werewolves and her visions don't always come true whereas Jasper can control their [werewolves'] emotions and Edward can read their minds. Why is her gift inconsistent and inferior to her male counterparts? This brings in female = unreliable concept. Also, she can fight which apparently, in Meyer's world, makes her a stronger character. However, when pitted against Buffy Summers (who kicks arse) or Hermione Granger, she doesn't fare well at all.
 
Human Females: Apart from Angela in Eclipse, all are Barbie dolls and shallow according to Bella. Bella takes all girls to be superficial, unintelligent and vain - which says a lot more about her than it does about the girls she classifies. These girls aren't given half the personality their male counterparts (Eric, Mike etc) are.
4. Werewolves
"Never let the hand you hold, hold you down. - Anonymous"
 
Leah Clearwater is the only female in the La Push pack. I believe that Leah turning into a werewolf is great. What I don't like is how it's handled. Instead of Leah becoming an integral part of the pack, she is cynical, "harpy" and a complete nuisance to the entire pack simply because she is heart-broken. This sends the message that let your heartbreak take over your life or that your contentment is dependent upon your love life. Jacob walks away with the sympathy for Bella's rejection of him yet Sam's betrayal of Leah doesn't earn her compassion. Not from her pack, not from Bella. This is another example of blatant sexism in the books.
 
Imprinting is sick, gross, awkward, pedophilic and SEXIST!
 
In the books, imprinting is only done by male werewolves for the sole purpose of "passing on the werewolf gene." Think of it as another form of reproduction. If the only purpose of imprinting is reproduction, then it is sexual. Now, to get out of the whole pedophilia mess, Meyer defends it by saying "the imprinter will be whatever the child (Yes, CHILD!) wants him to be. The major contradiction is the fact that an understood sexual relationship is going to occur. Quil take the authoritative role in Claire's life with the intent of a sexual relationship later on and this violates Claire's rights. She should be given the right to CHOSE who she wants as a lover rather than the tribe and Quil expecting her to marry Quil. Everyone in the pack expects her to have a sexual relationship with Quil and if she doesn't, then she becomes a social pariah. Sure, Quil didn't have a choice but he never tries to mold his and Claire's relationship as something other than a pedophilic relationship whereas Claire is never given the choice. However, the males are happy with the chosen imprintee. They have found their soul-mate while the females HAVE to accept their mates, without exception. This violates the females' rights but apparently, they have "a hard time resisting the devotion", says Meyer.
 
How else is imprinting sexist? Leah, it is hinted, is infertile. This sets her apart from other females, other werewolves and takes away her right to imprint (if she has one). So far, only males have imprinted. Why should she be infertile when her male counterparts are completely fertile? Same for vampires, too! The females are infertile while the males are fertile. Imprinting is a form of reproduction of the werewolf kind so why on earth would a werewolf be infertile? Biologically speaking, if males can keep their reproductive system it makes no sense for the female reproductive system to lose feasibility. Obviously, if Quil has to wait 16 years to get it on with Claire, then it's safe to say he's not losing his reproductive ability anytime soon. Why, then, is Leah infertile? It's suggested that werewolves rarely age as long as the 'phase' regularly. Yet, Leah is aging, going through menopause/losing her ability to be fertile. Why does the woman get the shorter end of the stick while the males are free to promote pedophilic relationships? The only reason I can think of is because she's a women and Meyer wants to show that reproduction is the most important thing to Leah. Sexist, much? I certainly think so.
 
Fangirls usually say something along the lines that: it's "just a book/fiction",  it "has no real message", "you're reading too much into it" and my personal favorite: "Bella doesn't mind" xD. The fact that 'Bella doesn't mind' IS the problem. As for the other arguments about it "not sending a message": Just check out the Edward War Zone thread. I'm not trying to demean, degrade or slander the characters of those who post there but merely giving proof that several young girls today - and I use the term "young" very loosely - want their very own Edward (More so, it pains me to admit that a while ago, I used to be one of them). The thought makes me hurl and fear the future of my generation. Truly, it makes me feel sad. After all what feminist activists did, we're open to abusive - Oops! - perfect relationships? The very thought that this Bella and Edward's relationship what Meyer believes is a "perfect" relationship makes me shudder... and not in a good way.
 
Sorry about the length but I just had to rant :D

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jpatel

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Posted: 27 August 2008 at 1:47pm | IP Logged
Wow preety long Rant! lol I've only read the fist two topic so far cuz im to sleepy to go on and ill few thing later....
Well from what i have read of your opions it does make it look like Bella is sort of shallow...i do agree that she  doesn't really focus on Edward's personality and keeps on chirping on about his looks but i think that just captures the immaturrity of teenages girls in a realationship...im prety sure there are teenage girls out there who are OVERLY obseesed with their bf's and once they grow up they will realise what love and realationships really is. I also agree with you about the part that Bella is weak at pretty much everything (which is humanly impossible) and is very dependant on basically everyone.
Comming on to your views about Edward being over possesive over Bella again I feel its sorta the boyfriendish adolescent thing comming across...we all no that in love their should be no jealousy but in teenage puppy love there is that problem...I think in time their love will mature and so will they and they will really appreciate everything about each other more...i mean emotionally and mentaly as well as phsically...
 
But the most important thing teenage girls should not forget while reading this book is THAT IS ALL FAKE!!! I no im heartbroken my self that EC is not real but thats life and we just gotta deal with it...Girls should not take it too seriously and actucally start acting like Bella or anyone else to get their "Edward"!
 
Good Topic!!!
 
Love
Radz
xxx

pink_pari89

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Posted: 28 August 2008 at 9:17am | IP Logged
u know what ...every point u wrote is right...........I love Twilight saga..but I would NEVER want to be a vampire, marry at 18/19, leave my dad, ready to kill myselft for my bf............and deff I would not like anyone watchin me when I'm sleeping................
but still I LOVE TWILIGHT SAGA.......because its different............tho the females characters r weak...and the male characters are over perfect............................................
but c'mon every femae character is not like Scarlet O'hara............even most of the female characters are weak...........even in fairy tales........................Twilight is sort of like fairy tales..(just my opinion) happily ever after......with ever green parents, grandparents,kids and son-in-law.....

ShadowKisses

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Posted: 28 August 2008 at 6:04pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by converse_chick

Well from what i have read of your opions it does make it look like Bella is sort of shallow...i do agree that she  doesn't really focus on Edward's personality and keeps on chirping on about his looks but i think that just captures the immaturrity of teenages girls in a realationship...im prety sure there are teenage girls out there who are OVERLY obseesed with their bf's and once they grow up they will realise what love and realationships really is. I also agree with you about the part that Bella is weak at pretty much everything (which is humanly impossible) and is very dependant on basically everyone.
 
Interesting point... I like to believe that there aren't girl out there like Bella. I also like to believe that girls today have more brain cells than Bella. It's a lot more comforting than the alternativeOuch. However, yes, girls do obsess over their BFs which is unhealthy. My chief complaint is that Twilight glorifies this. This unhealthy obsession is classified, even glorified, as true love. Through this crazy obsession, which according to Meyer is actually true love, Twilight encourages the idea of girls going crazy when they find their "Edward". Reference to Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: Marianne Dashwood (the second protagonist of the book) had a very optimistic outlook on life, love and particularly Willoughby. One can argue that she was infatuated with him. The difference between Marianne and Bella? Austen acknowledged that Marianne's obsession was unhealthy and rectified it by marrying her to the Capt. Brandon, whom Marianne initially respected but grew to love. Twilight doesn't do that; instead, Bella's infatuation isn't considered immature but true love and is encouraged. I feel this sends a terrible message to the pre-teens and teens who read the books. Personally, I can say none of the people I know are as dumb to be completely reliant upon their boy-/girlfriends at the tender age of 16-18.
 
Originally posted by converse_chick

Comming on to your views about Edward being over possesive over Bella again I feel its sorta the boyfriendish adolescent thing comming across...we all no that in love their should be no jealousy but in teenage puppy love there is that problem...I think in time their love will mature and so will they and they will really appreciate everything about each other more...i mean emotionally and mentaly as well as phsically...
 
I acknowledge that young boys often have the whole saviour complex going. Ha! It's sort of amusing. Anyhow, I believe Edward's over-possessiveness is much more than an immature saviour complex. Jealousy is not love. Jealousy is wanting to be the only person in someone else's life. Love is acting in the person's best interests. Stopping Bella from visiting Jacob is not in her interests especially since she wants to see him.  I understand that teens usually have trust issues and get extremely jealous but Edward? He takes it a step farther than just possesiveness. When Bella claims that she's going to see Jacob, he makes a remark to the effect "I'll stop you" and then he removes the engine of her car - which, in my book, is an abusive act because he violates her belonging and keeps her from seeing one of her best friends. Edward tries to control Bella's actions and that is unhealthy yet the books never shed light on this. Instead, this relationship is touted to be "perfect" and gives the warped idea to pre-teens and teens alike that a relationship where the male has an unequal share of authority is perfectly OK.
 
Originally posted by converse_chick

But the most important thing teenage girls should not forget while reading this book is THAT IS ALL FAKE!!! I no im heartbroken my self that EC is not real but thats life and we just gotta deal with it...Girls should not take it too seriously and actucally start acting like Bella or anyone else to get their "Edward"!
 
Being a teen myself, some teenage fangirls freak me out. They really do when they do things like white-out Bella's name and put their name in the book instead so they can "fantasize properly" or when they proudly say that they asked their boyfriends to munch on ice before kissing them >.< There was a time when I'd agree with you about Edward. Not anymore. I feel he's abusive, extremely controlling, domineering, and he doesn't have any respect for her privacy, her belongings or her decisions. These are not the traits I'd want in someone who I'm going to spend an eternity with but to each, his/her own.
 
Originally posted by pink_pari89

u know what ...every point u wrote is right...........I love Twilight saga..but I would NEVER want to be a vampire, marry at 18/19, leave my dad, ready to kill myselft for my bf............and deff I would not like anyone watchin me when I'm sleeping................
but still I LOVE TWILIGHT SAGA.......because its different............tho the females characters r weak...and the male characters are over perfect............................................
 
Thank god for rational fans =D Oh, by no means am I trying to dissuade you from liking Twilight. Love it, like it. I have no problems with that. My problem is with the blatant sexism in the books. If instead of sexism, there was racism in the books I'm sure a lot of people would be offended and wouldn't shrug it off so lightly.
 
Originally posted by pink_pari89

but c'mon every femae character is not like Scarlet O'hara............even most of the female characters are weak...........even in fairy tales........................Twilight is sort of like fairy tales..(just my opinion) happily ever after......with ever green parents, grandparents,kids and son-in-law.....
 
I agree, whole-heartedly, that not every female character needs to be a Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet or Scarlet O'Hara. I don't open a book expecting a Buffy in every female character and I have no problems with books devoid of feminism - some of them, I even like. However, I have a problem with books that are counter-feminist. 
 
Intriguing point about fairytale female characters. While I can see where you're coming from regarding fairy tales, Edward and the fairytale princes have the whole saviour complex going, I must disagree. In the original version, Snow White makes her step-mother dance in red hot iron shoes at the end of the story and she disobeys the dwarfs regarding not opening the door to strangers. That sounds like headstrong and independent to me - something which Bella isn't. Snow White is resourceful - she manages to stay alive in the jungle by herself before meeting the dwarfs. Gretel from "Hansel and Gretel" is also quite an effective decision maker and resourceful throughout the story. Against the wishes of her step-mother, Cinderella colludes with a fairy god-mother, goes to the Royal Ball and has the guts the leave the Prince hanging abruptly before the end of the Ball (which would embarras the Prince of the kingdom she lives in and that is a huge feat in itself).  So, even against these supposed weak fairytale female characters, Bella fairs miserably. She's kind of like the evil step-sister instead: she's mean to her dad - refering to him as Charlie instead of "dad", she's not a very good friend to Jacob - leading him on when she really "loves" Edward and she whines a lot.


Edited by ShadowKisses - 29 August 2008 at 1:18am

Mini786

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Posted: 28 August 2008 at 8:28pm | IP Logged
This is by far one of the most interesting and compelling posts I have read!  I really want to write a whole essay down here for this!  But sadly, I am in a hurry just checking out posts real quick!  But no worries, I am definately going to back here and write :]

*Edit*

OKay, before I begin, Anu, I have a question,  Uhh...Im just honestly curious....YOu said that you were a crazy fan of Edward, right?  I just wanted to know, how you came to the conclusion about the anti-feminist?  I mean umm...were you just re-readign the books and you realzied or did something spark the though?  Not that im disaggreeing with you!  Just curious!

Okay, so Every word you said here is true!  Bella is being rather stupid, I mean for the way she discribed herself in the beggining of the first book, taking care of her mother and being the mature one, I would have thought she was indipendent and could stand up for herself!  And that she would be mature enough to handle thigns that came her way in the best possible manner.  But, than she becomes to dependent on people. 

Not that im saying, you can't be sad if your BF leaves you, I mean there was attachment ther, so obviously you would be sad...

Edward, yes, i feel the whole teenage jealousy thing here.

I just hope no one took this book and was trying to be liek anyone on the book, me, myself would never do thigns that would harm my family, I would never jump off a cliff and stuff...

I still do like twilight, it is a nice read, fiction, and so i like it!

BUt


Edited by Mini786 - 30 August 2008 at 12:58pm

sabrinaa.

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Posted: 29 August 2008 at 4:45pm | IP Logged
I LOVE YOU!!! This explains everything that I couldn't .. not that I even tried .. LOL
 
But, overally, I agree with EVERY single point you have, no disagreements whatsoever!!
 
 

sabrinaa.

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Posted: 30 August 2008 at 4:56pm | IP Logged
^^ Imprinting .. but see, the wolves can imprint, and then that doesn't exactly give the girls the choice of who they want to be with .. my thoughts. :)

ShadowKisses

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Posted: 30 August 2008 at 8:21pm | IP Logged
^^That and the fact that female werewolves can't imprint - much like how male vampires are fertile while female vampires are infertile. Plus, to me, imprinting sounds a lot like child grooming.
 
Originally posted by Wikipedia

The deliberate actions taken by an adult to form a trusting relationship with a child, with the intent of later having sexual contact, is known as child grooming. The act of grooming a child sexually may include activities that are legal in and of themselves, but later lead to sexual contact. Typically, this is done to gain the child's trust as well as the trust of those responsible for the child's well-being. [Jacob + Bella scene in Breaking Dawn!] Furthermore, research has shown children are less likely to report a crime if it involves someone that he or she knows, trusts, and cares about. Additionally, a trusting relationship with the family means the child's parents will be less likely to believe any potential accusations.
 
Sound familiar?
 
Imprinting starts out good enough - male werewolves are attracted to kids (BARF!) and "imprint" with the *intentions* of having sexual relationship later on. From a male werewolves' point of view - they've found their eternal soulmate. It's debatable whether the female has a choice in the matter but if they are brainwashed with the mindset that they are supposed to engage in a sexual relationship later on with the imprinter and probably (this is pure speculation) will be considered a social pariah if they don't accept their imprinter as their future mate, since everyone in the pack expects it - then, there's not much choice in the equation, is there?
 
I really don't think Meyer realizes what she's trying to publicize/romanticize. Meyer really believes Bella is a strong non-anti-feminist character - she said so in an MTV interivew (I'll see if I can find it. Edit: Here you go it's near the part interviewer asks her What's one of the harder questions you've had to answer?) and finds Edward + Bella's relationship to be better than Scarlet+Rhett's (I have a major beef with her for that. Scarlet O'Hara's like my fictional hero - right after Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet), Anne+Gilbert's, Romeo+Juliet's, Catherine+Heathcliff's, among others. Source - From paragraph 15 to 21 If you've read her other novel - The Host, it's almost the same thing only Jared (The Host's Edward Cullen) is physicall abusive, as well as emotionally and mentally. The book's second protagonist doesn't EVER think he's at fault when he's abusing her and instead of retaliating, she forgives him for it. This again exploits the angle male > female when it truly should be male = female.

@Sophia: hehe My name's Anu not Preety although that's a nice name too, now that I think about it. Welcome to the forum, btw =) And I completely agree with the points about Bella. She's really a piece of work.  Half the time in New Moon, I really itched to slap her when she became a zombie.
 
@Sabrina: LMAO. I love you too even though I have no idea who you are Tongue
 
Originally posted by Mini786


OKay, before I begin, Anu, I have a question,  Uhh...Im just honestly curious....YOu said that you were a crazy fan of Edward, right?  I just wanted to know, how you came to the conclusion about the anti-feminist?  I mean umm...were you just re-readign the books and you realzied or did something spark the though?  Not that im disaggreeing with you!  Just curious!
 
Truthfully, I never liked Bella and Edward's relationship. It just seemed unrealitisc and very unhealthy because Bella's too dependant and Edward seemed to have total authority in their relation. The feminist thing hit me when I was trying to explain imprinting to my friend who only read the first book. It stuck me as odd because the females were given no choice in the matter. It also reminded me of the other female characters who were given very little personality as opposed to their stronger, more interesting, more morale male counterparts.  It started off from there and one thing led to another - which ultimately led to me, a pencil, my sticky-notes and my very afraid copies of the Twilight series.

Originally posted by Mini786

Edward, yes, i feel the whole teenage jealousy thing here.
 
I'm not sure exactly how far teenagers go in the whole jealousy thing - mainly because I've never dated guys who are controlling but I think Edward is far from a jealous irrational person in his teenage phase. The most I've experienced teenage guys do is rant and throw a hissy fit over it  - Edward, on the other hand takes it TOO far. In my opinion, He's downright controlling and domineering.  Regarding Jacob, he is very vocal about his dislike and I feel it effects Bella's opinion of Jacob and their relationship (Bella+Jacob) which further isolates her from the people around her. That's a sure-shot sign of abuse. Plus, He has no right to dictate her actions. If teenage jealousy entails dictating actions - it's even more terrible than I thought. >.<

Originally posted by Mini876

just hope no one took this book and was trying to be liek anyone on the book, me, myself would never do thigns that would harm my family, I would never jump off a cliff and stuff... 
 
I really hope so too. The popularity of Twilight freaks me out because thousands of girls are reading about - and getting a bad idea of - what they believe to be a "perfect relationship" when it's quite the opposite. The sexism is easy to miss without a careful reading - mainly because it's romanticized - and there's a high chance they won't see the early signs in their relationship.


Edited by ShadowKisses - 30 August 2008 at 8:23pm

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