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Twilight: Volvo (for men only!), sexual deviance, and abusive relationships

June 27, 2010

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2010 6:03 pm

    One woman I know, who begged me, then dared me to read the books. Told me that “Edward’s love for Bella is so real, so true. I wish my boyfriend was like that.”

    Turned out he was. She got a restraining order on him months later.

    The thing that sickens me is that I also saw women that had gone into abusive relationships, and got out, scars and all. A few kept going back to the same type of man. Then this series comes out. I can see the warning signs. I don’t care how much she tried to hide it in the fantasy. Its all about abuse. And women love it. They want their husbands, boyfriends, lovers, to be just like that.

    And not just the teenagers. Women my age and older a now swooning over this. Some one said it was the Gone with the Wind of our time. I said no, because Scarlet would not let Rhett control her, and he left!

    Just as I was loosing hope and thinking I was the only woman that saw how bad of an example this series was. A co worker asked me how I liked the series. I said I don’t. She sighed. Thank you, I was thinking I was the only one that thinks Edward needs to be locked up and Bella has to go to a shrink.

    • June 27, 2010 6:14 pm

      I completely agree. It scares me to think how defensive people get when you point out the obvious to them that Edward is abusive. They’re so quick to say, “Well, it’s because in the book…” People fail to realize that they learn from everything and that media can’t help but to influence everyone in some way. The books are entertaining for sure, but it takes a really careful eye to deviate from its harmful life lessons.

    • bjulman permalink
      June 27, 2010 6:15 pm

      The opening anecdote is quite frightening and, sadly, telling.

      • June 27, 2010 6:23 pm

        It’s really insane how often Bella apologizes for killable, for putting Edward through the pain of wanting to kill her.

  2. bjulman permalink
    June 27, 2010 6:12 pm

    They just get better with every passing entry! I appreciate this deeper psychological probing (heh, “probing”) of this disturbing “saga” (oh how I loathe that word in the context of the marketing; it just sounds so stupid.) These are important issues worth noting and I commend you on doing so, sacrificing both time and effort (writing, especially of this caliber, does take something out of the writer) to point out the many things wrong with this series.

    As for the prevalence of the deviant sexuality I think that it might not be as troubling for the younger audience, for I fear – nay, HOPE – that much of that is lost on them. However, subliminal messages don’t always have to be understood to be received. As for why they’re here in the first place, I fully blame the author, of course, just not in the way you think. I blame what appears to be a very repressed sexuality on her part. Look at the stories she’s written; look how much of herself she must clearly pour into Bella. It’s as if she is consumed so much by an unrequited love that every single permeation of sexuality with him has played itself out in her mind, even though she would likely never admit to it, especially being a Mormon – which, sadly, could set off yet another tangent about repressed sexuality within their religion (especially its roots).

    That’s all I have to say in a scholarly manner.

    In a wee grammatical manner, please, dear friend, change “can’t help but be excessively violent” to “can’t help being…” It takes nothing away from how wonderfully smart and witty this piece is. Rather, it’s just that I loathe that this double negative has become accepted – even in professional publications (!) – and would hate to see you fall victim to it, as well.

    • June 27, 2010 6:22 pm

      How is it a double negative? A double passive, perhaps, but I don’t see negative. But I will appease you despite my disagreement. Also, you’re a nerd. And by that, I mean, you can’t help but be a nerd. 😛

      I was taught to not analyze the author in the writing in every English class I’ve taken, but in this case, Meyer’s psychological dysfunctions are too apparent, especially when you compare her take on her own book to other opinions of it. I completely agree with you that she mirrors her own sexual oppression and desires in this book.

      • bjulman permalink
        June 27, 2010 6:59 pm

        In keeping with my (adorable!) nerdiness, here’s a little assistance for my claim:

        However, it’s apparently one of those things that grammarians have just given up on and I think it just comes down to personal preference. Whereas the now-forgiven “ending a sentence with a preposition” is OK with me, forgiving that hideous “can’t help but” construction seems unfathomable to me. I suppose either one just comes down to pet peeves – the pet peeves of nerds who apparently have nothing better to worry about. 😉

  3. Lauren Rinehart permalink
    June 27, 2010 10:38 pm

    I’m very glad I’m not reading these books. But I think it’s really cool that you are so I can read this awesome critique/analysis. First Prize!

    • June 27, 2010 10:41 pm

      “First prize! First prize! First prize!” Good episode.

  4. June 28, 2010 5:14 am

    I think another aspect, is the lack of male readership. I have two teenage sons. One got so sick of hearing about twilight at school he started to read Dracula out loud during lunch. His table was filled with guys, that would listen just to drowned out the twilight chatter around them.

    Not many men have come out and said why they will not or if they have, do not like the series.
    I did find one great article on it

    So I asked my husband to read this and the last post. His response: “Most guys can see right through Edward right away. They don’t like men portrayed so stereotypical, control freaks. So they don’t want anything to do with it.”
    I asked what if they are an abuser.
    “They don’t like the mirror to themselves.”
    Then he added. “Bella is unbelievable. No woman is that submissive, not now-a-days, anyway.”

    As for the sexual side. All good vampire literature uses that, thanks to Bram Stoker. But you said it, with Twilight the message is mixed and muddled. Dracula was a response to the sexual repression of the Victorian lifestyle. Twilight tries to titillate you while saying DO NOT DO IT. Fail.

    • June 29, 2010 8:54 pm

      Interesting article! Your husband’s perspective is very interesting, although it makes me wonder why the female fans think Edward’s controlling nature is romantic? As far as Bella being submissive, I’ve seen a bit of growth to her character. She is slowly but surely developing a spine, not really a personality, but at least it’s something. I also agree that good vampire literature is inherently sexual, which is why I believe it’s so popular, but these books are so confusing because, like you said, the message is muddled. Mega fail.

  5. bjulman permalink
    June 29, 2010 1:15 pm

    Eclipse reviews are pouring in! Away we go…

    “The best film in the series, though that’s the equivalent of declaring Moe to be the sharpest Stooge.” – Sean O’Connell, Hollywood News

    “When the face of ultimate evil is represented by the bland visage of Dakota Fanning, something has gone terribly wrong.” – Drew McWeeny, Hitflix

    “Forget romantic thriller; this is an abstinence thriller.” – Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm

    “Wooden dialogue echoes across beautiful British Columbia.” – Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve

    The runner-up for best soundbite is…

    “Eclipse basically treads a whole bunch of the same ground we went over in the last terrible movie, except this time Jacob keeps coming across like a rapist in training.” – Devin Faraci, CHUD

    AND NOW THE No. 1 Soundbite… *Drumroll please*

    “Edward admits that if Jacob were not a werewolf, he would probably like him, and then Jacob admits that if Edward were not a vampire — well, no, no, he couldn’t. Come on, big guy. The two of you are making eye contact. Edward’s been a confirmed bachelor for 109 years. Get in the brokeback spirit.” – Roger Ebert

  6. June 30, 2010 11:57 am

    I’m so glad you pointed out the subliminal sexual messages in these books! I’ve heard COUNTLESS mothers and young women interviewed saying that they love the books because they advocate abstinence before marriage.

    This is the first article I could find from a conservative blog that applauds the purity message: It was written in 2008, but please note their comments on the purity message in Twilight: “The sexual content is minimal, with only two kissing scenes and even a scene when it starts to get more serious, the main protagonist backs off. That is great, but what goes unnoticed is the fact that in such scenes and many other scenes, the young couple are always alone in a room. Watching such scenes constantly makes a young couple being in a bedroom together seem “not too bad” as long as nothing happens, but it is precisely that situation that brings the temptation to begin with.”

    …is them being alone together really the only issue they could find in Twilight?

    My friends and I laugh whenever we hear reviews like this, parents applauding that Twilight is teaching their daughters the value of waiting until marriage. It’s hilarious that they don’t notice the undercurrent of sexual messages running throughout the books. We all agree that the books sound like the lead up to a really crazy sex scene, but then the sex scene never happens. (Well kinda, wait until you read Breaking Dawn. I can’t wait to read what you think about that, it’s pretty messed up.)

    Rather than teaching their daughters to have healthy views toward sexuality, they are pushing sexual ideas on their daughters that are way way way out of the mainstream. How ironic is that?

  7. J. Parker permalink
    July 12, 2010 10:09 pm


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