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Bite Me! (Or Don't)

Bite Me! (Or Don't)
Article by Christine Seifert, published in 2008; filed under Books; tagged abstinence, fan fiction, objectification, porn, sex, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, vampires, YA fiction.
Stephenie Meyer’s vampire-infested Twilight series has created a new YA genre: abstinence porn

Abstinence has never been sexier than it is in Stephenie Meyer's young adult four-book Twilight series. Fans are super hot for Edward, a century-old vampire in a 17-year-old body, who sweeps teenaged Bella, your average human girl, off her feet in a thrilling love story that spans more than 2,000 pages. Fans are enthralled by their tale, which begins when Edward becomes intoxicated by Bella's sweet-smelling blood. By the middle of the first book, Edward and Bella are deeply in love and working hard to keep their pants on, a story line that has captured the attention of a devoted group of fans who obsess over the relationship and delight in Edward's superhuman strength to just say no.

The Twilight series has created a surprising new sub-genre of teen romance: It's abstinence porn, sensational, erotic, and titillating. And in light of all the recent real-world attention on abstinence-only education, it's surprising how successful this new genre is. Twilight actually convinces us that self-denial is hot. Fan reaction suggests that in the beginning, Edward and Bella's chaste but sexually charged relationship was steamy precisely because it was unconsummated—kind of like Cheers, but with fangs. Despite all the hot "virtue," however, we feminist readers have to ask ourselves if abstinence porn is as uplifting as some of its proponents seem to believe. 


Given that teens are apparently still having sex—in spite of virginity rings, abstinence pledges, and black-tie "purity balls"—it might seem that remaining pure isn't doing much for the kids these days anyway. Still, the Twilight series is so popular it has done the unthinkable: knocked Harry Potter off his pedestal as prince of the young adult genre. The series has sold more than 50 million copies, and Twilight fan fiction, fan sites, and fan blogs crowd the Internet. Scores of fans have made the trek to real-life Forks, Wash., where the series is set. The first of a trilogy of film adaptations of the books, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, was scheduled to hit theaters in time for Christmas.


Nowhere was readers' multigenerational infatuation with Bella and Edward's steamy romance more evident than in their "engagement" party at a Sandy, Utah, Barnes & Noble store. On the evening of August 1, 2008, before the fourth book was released, guests flocked to the store wearing formal wedding attire to celebrate the happy fictional couple. Preteen girls in princess dresses, "My Heart Belongs to Edward" stickers plastered to their faces, posed for photos. Grandmothers in flowing gowns or homemade "I Love Edward" t-shirts stood in line to play Twilight trivia. Clever teen boys in Edward costumes fought off ersatz Bellas. 


The air in the store was electric as fans broke into two groups: the much smaller group of Jacob fans (Jacob is Bella's best friend who is hopelessly in love with her, but it's a doomed relationship since Jacob is a werewolf, a lifelong enemy of the vamps) and the group of rabid Edward fans. The questions of the night were: Will Edward and Bella finally do it? If so, will the magic be ruined when the abstinence message is gone? But nobody seemed to be asking an even more important question: Has the abstinence message—however unwittingly—undermined feminist sensibilities? 


The answers came sooner than expected. After the engagement party, fans rushed home with their copies of Breaking Dawn, only to discover that Edward and Bella go all the way in the first few chapters, after they get married, of course. But it seems that in the context of marriage and parenthood (which comes quickly, natch), Edward and now-19-year-old Bella are just like our traditional grandparents. Or the Moral Majority. 


Breaking Dawn's Bella is a throwback to a 1950s housewife, except for the fact that Edward has turned her into a vampire. But this act is one of '50s-esque female self-sacrifice: It's precipitated by Bella's need to let her human self die in order to save their half-vampire baby. Their monstrous offspring is frightening, but what's really frightening is Bella and Edward's honeymoon scene. Edward, lost in his own lust, "makes love" so violently to Bella that she wakes up the next morning covered in bruises, the headboard in ruins from Edward's romp. And guess what? Bella likes it. In fact, she loves it. She even tries to hide her bruises so Edward won't feel bad. If the abstinence message in the previous books was ever supposed to be empowering, this scene, presented early in Breaking Dawn, undoes everything.


What's worrisome is that fans are livid about the last book not because of the disturbing nature of Bella and Edward's sexual relationship, but because they consummated it in the first place. Shimmerskin, a poster on the message board Twilightmoms.com, summed it up best for a number of defeated fans: "The first three books were alive with sheer romanticism but I never felt it in [Breaking Dawn]. The sweep and scope of a grand love affair in [the first three books] was absent. The brilliantly innocent eroticism that took our breath away was also gone." Some fans are so upset at this loss of "innocence" they've created an online petition demanding answers from Meyer and her publisher, Little, Brown. "We were your faithful fans…," the petitioners write. "We are the people that you asked to come along with you on this journey, and we are disappointed." 


Perhaps some of this bitter disappointment stems from book four's departure into adult territory, where Bella becomes a traditional—and boring—teenaged mom. The removal of the couple's sexual tension reveals two tepid, unenlightened people. Neither character has much to offer outside the initial high school romance storyline: Bella doesn't have any interesting hobbies, nor is she particularly engaged in the world around her. Her only activity outside her relationship with Edward seems to be cooking dinner for her father. Edward hangs out with his family, but the bulk of his 24 hours a day of wakefulness seems to go to either saving Bella from danger or watching her when she sleeps—you know, that age-old savior/stalker duality. Romantic! 


As other feminists like Anna N. on Jezebel.com have pointed out, Edward is a controlling dick, a fact that becomes abundantly clear in the leaked pages of Meyer's first draft of Midnight Sun, a retelling of Twilight from Edward's perspective. In those pages, available on Meyer's website, Edward imagines what it would be like to kill Bella. "I would not kill her cruelly," he thinks to himself. Ever the gentleman, Edward. His icy calculation of how best to kill Bella is horrifying, and it illustrates the disconnect between the two characters.


By extension, readers who interpreted Edward's reluctance to be near Bella in Twilight as evidence of his innocent "crush" on her are forced to recognize that even Edward—the dream guy—is not at all he's cracked up to be. Digging into Edward's mind reinforces the old stereotype that underneath it all, even the best guys are calculating vampires, figuring out how to act on their masculine urges. Edward holds all the power, while Bella—and female readers—romanticizes the perfect man who doesn't exist. It's no wonder that Midnight Sun has not been widely released: It would likely spark even greater fan ire. 


Such disappointment suggests something about the desire readers have for abstinence messages; it may also suggest readers' belief that, pre-sex, Edward and Bella were the perfect couple. In reality, the abstinence message—wrapped in the genre of abstinence porn—objectifies Bella in the same ways that "real" porn might. The Twilight books conflate Bella losing her virginity with the loss of other things, including her sense of self and her very life. Such a high-stakes treatment of abstinence reinforces the idea that Bella is powerless, an object, a fact that is highlighted when we get to the sex scenes in Breaking Dawn. 


Of course the paradox is that the more Meyer sexualizes abstinence, the more we want Bella and Edward to actually have sex. This paradox becomes extra-convoluted when we find out, in a moment that for some is titillating, for others creepy, that sex could literally equal death for Bella. In one scene in Twilight, Bella asks Edward in a roundabout way if they would ever be able to consummate their relationship. Edward responds, "I don't think that…that…would be possible for us." Bella responds, "Because it would be too hard for you, if I were that…close?" Yes, Edward tells her. But more than that he reminds her that she's "soft" and "so fragile" and "breakable." "I could kill you quite easily, Bella, simply by accident." 


And it's not just Bella's life that's at stake—it's her very humanity. The closer she and Edward get, the more tempting it is for him to bite her and turn her into a vampire, and the conflation of his vampiric and carnal urges is obvious. As Midnight Sun reveals, Edward's bloodlust is every bit as potent as his romantic love. It doesn't take a Freudian to read Edward's pulsating, insistent vampire lips pressed against Bella's pale, innocent neck as an analogy for, well, something else. From clandestine meetings in Bella's bedroom to time spent in a forest clearing, Edward almost always has his lips on Bella's neck—a dangerous activity, as we learn in Twilight that "the perfume of [Bella's] skin" is an unbearably erotic and tempting scent for Edward. When they do kiss, Bella often loses control of herself, which means Edward must be ever-vigilant in controlling "his need." After their first kiss, Bella asks if she should give him some room. "No," he tells her, "it's tolerable." He goes on, "I'm stronger than I thought." Bella responds, "I wish I could say the same. I'm sorry." 


Fan fiction reveals fans' tacit understanding of the serious dangers of sex and the excitement of it, illustrating that readers have picked up on Meyer's analogy where the sexual penetration of Bella's human body is akin to the vampiric penetration of Bella's skin. One piece of fan fiction was posted to TheTwilightSaga.com on June 22, 2008, before the release of the fourth book, by a particularly ardent fan (hardy'sgirl). In the story, Edward and Bella have gotten married and are on their honeymoon. Edward begins kissing Bella (on her neck, of course), and then begins removing her jeans. Bella, with a pounding heart, asks herself, "Would I really let him go all the way?" Keep in mind that within this story, Bella and Edward are married; waffling about "doing it" with your husband might point to the age and maturity of the writer, but it also taps into the fear of intimacy that Meyer establishes in the books. The fan writer picks up on that fear as she continues her story: As Edward becomes more sexually aroused, he turns into something Bella doesn't recognize, and she begins to fight him. The fan writes: 


Edward had become a monster. that dangerous vampire he held hidden away from me…and I was the one about to pay for it…he held my arms above my head pinned onto the bed in iron clasps. i was panicking and my breathing was fast. Edward sat up above me…and the look in his eyes weren't ones ive ever seen before…unless he was about to feed. 


The rape fantasy is apparent, of course, but even more salient is the fan writer's subconscious understanding of the theme Meyer has been establishing: that sex is dangerous and men must control themselves. It's a matter of life or death, and ultimately men are in charge.


It's clear from both the books and the fan fiction response to them that Edward has taken on the role of protector of Bella's human blood and chastity, both of which, ironically, are always in peril when Edward is nearby. Bella is not in control of her body, as abstinence proponents would argue; she is absolutely dependent on Edward's ability to protect her life, her virginity, and her humanity. She is the object of his virtue, the means of his ability to prove his self-control. In other words, Bella is a secondary player in the drama of Edward's abstinence. 


Reader Shimmerskin again astutely notes, "…it's so clever that these books aren't just about sexual abstinence. Edward is fighting two kinds of lust at the same time. Abstaining from human blood has probably been good practice for tamping down his sexual appetites now that he's with Bella.…"


It's arguably clever, sure, but it's also a sad commentary on Bella's lack of power. Ultimately, it's a statement of the sexual politics of Meyer's abstinence message: Whether you end up doing the nasty or not doesn't ultimately matter. When it comes to a woman's virtue, sex, identity, or her existence itself, it's all in the man's hands. To be the object of desire, in abstinence porn is not really so far from being the object of desire in actual porn. 


Christine Seifert is an assistant professor of communication at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. She teaches classes in professional writing and rhetoric. 


Comments

403 comments have been made. Commenting is set to read-only for this post.

My aim isn't to arrest

their development, but to capitalize on the fact that though they've been lured in by SHINY. After they see the payoff the act of reading offers, then you work on getting them into different genres, authors.

If you've spent any time in a public high school, you know that kids who read for pleasure aren't the norm.

I'm not assuming that kids who read Twilight are going to continue in life as if they are on some shopping spree of doom, filling their carts with just any old bullshit offered, a box of Patriarchy, a packet of Abuse, a can of Degradation. I'm assuming they're on an evolving path and this involves growth. It's really easy to be alarmist or impatient when contemplating the dumb shit teenagers are capable of, but it is a phase that generally ends.

This article, the American population, and Intelligence

Well, this is the first time I've ever read anything from... "Bitch Magazine" (?), but I'm quite impressed by this article. I might be, and most likely am, influenced by my extreme dislike of the Twilight series, but I thought the article made many valid points and was very well written. This is not to say that I do not think Stephenie Meyer writes poorly, quite the opposite. I simply am not at all fond of her books, and when I say books, I mean their plotline, characters, and just overall basis.

Spoilers(?): Anyone who was bitching about a lack of a spoiler alert in this article is, to be honest, stupid. I am not going to exhibit restraint on those who do not deserve it. There is a fine line between ignorance and stupidity, I like neither, but can, at times, forgive ignorance. Stupidity, on the other hand, I cannot. There were pictures of all of the books at the top of the article, the article was, quite obviously, about the books as a whole, and yet you chose to read it. Therefore, if you read any "spoilers" in this article it was by your own doing and, therefore, your own fault. Anyone who wishes to argue this point with me, may.

People who like this book: Initial response; WOW. I apologize for regressing to acronyms but...WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU!? The writing style of the author is good, true. But the storyline of the book is horrid. To make changes regarding the "lore" of a certain aspect of the Fantasy genre is acceptable, it is, after all, Fantasy. However, to make such changes as allowing Vampire to travel in sunlight unscathed, or to make them...sparkle?!!? That, is ridiculous. Stephenie Meyer's books took an extremely creative and well thought out race of the imaginary, motion picture, and writing world, and butchered it. Horribly. A Vampire would not be able to restrain themselves if someone's blood seemed that attractive to them, they simply could not. The mind of a Vampire is a paradox in itself; They're intelligence is greater than that of Humans, but, when they feel a need to feed, they revert to their more primal and instinctive brain functions. Meaning, when they needed blood, they would take it from the nearest available source, regardless of what it is.

One of the above replies stated something about people not being quite as smart as they think they are. On this, I agree wholeheartedly. For the sake of this rant I shall stick solely to the American population; The vast majority of Americans think themselves attractive, intelligent, and above member's of the world's other nations. For most Americans, 0/3 of these things are true. Many Americans are, put simply, stupid, pompous people who are so full of themselves and comfortable in their ignorance that they contibute nothing to society, whatsoever. To prove a point, it is largely these people who make up Twilight's audience. It is these people, who think this book great literature. It is also these people, who shunned proper education and think reading to be "lame", with the exception of this book.

That is all.

I read a lot of crap when I

I read a lot of crap when I was teen.....I turned out alright though. :)

Perhaps teens reading Twilight will want to read other vampire books....which in turn will lead them to non-crappy books!

re: I read a lot of crap when I

Thank you! I read crap, crap and more crap when I was a teenager. Slowly I started to read better books. If I had only read books with strong female role models and politically correct themes, I never would have worked my way up to more mature books and themes. I would have stopped reading all together. I had to slowly work my way up to good literature and nonfiction. I started with bad teenage horror novels moved to equally bad adult horror novels and worked my through so many poorly written books that I could tell tales (if I could remember the god awful books) until I started to read great literature, non fiction and a whole library's worth of feminist critique. I still enjoy some brain candy now and again - not everything in life can be serious.

I read this article before I read the Twilight series. Knowing the criticism, I still enjoyed it. It was an easy read and a good love story - a few hours escape. My 17 year old niece and I have been talking about the series for weeks non stop now and she clearly recognizes many of the issues with the book. We both enjoyed it for what it is... escapism and brain candy.

The best part is, now that we're done debating "team Jacob" vs. "team Edward", she's interested in reading some of my books that do have strong female role models. We sighed, we swooned and discussed plot holes. I lost two hours of my life watching that terrible movie so I could discuss who was cuter. Now she wants to read some books that may well change the type of books she reads here on out. I wouldn't call that a bad thing.

A little common sense anyone?

This Article: This is the first article I have ever read from "Bitch Magazine" (?) and I must say I'm impressed. Not only was it well written, but it had several very valid and well stated points. I may be biased since I have a strong...distate for the Twilight series, however. To clarify though, I do not think that Stepenie Meyer writes poorly, quite the opposite. I do, however, dislike her books, as in, their plotlines, characters, etc... In my opinion, it is quite acceptable to modify things about an aspect of the Fantasy genre, it IS Fantasy after all. However, it is NOT acceptable to entirely change the "lore" of a race in the imaginary, motion picture, and written world. To make Vampires, who have a very respectable and well designed background and story of their own, able to walk under the sun unscathed and sparkle, is a horrid abomination. Also, to make Vampires able to resist their need to feed, especially upon blood they find extremely "attractive", is ridiculous. The mind of a Vampire is a paradox in itself; Their minds hold an intelligence beyond that of Humans, but, when they need to feed, their brains revert to primal and instinctive functions. Allowing a Vampire that needs to feed on blood to resist their urge when in close proximity to an easy kill, is akin to having a starving lion keep itself from eating the carcass of the pack's latest kill. The need for Vampires to feed on blood, any blood, is simply too deeply embedded into their instincts to allow them to abstain from it.

About "Spoilers": Anyone who complained above or complains below this post about "spoilers" in the above article is stupid. I will show restraint to those who do not deserve it. There is a fine line between ignorance and stupidity. If pictures of EVERY BOOK IN THE SERIES, including Breaking Dawn, had not been included at the top of the article, then reading ahead and finding "spoilers" could be labeled as simple ignorance. However, since the pictures WERE there, and the title implies that the series will be discussed, to continue to read and then bitch and moan about "spoilers" is sheer, simple stupidity, and borderline hypocracy, in a way. Those of you who bitched; The pictures of the books were there, the title implied, simple Human ability to infer something would tell you they would be discussed. Since you read on, it is by your own action that you read the "spoilers" and therefore no one's fault but your own.

Feel free to prove my point in the above paragraph by bitch more. If you say nothing, then you prove my point in the paragraph below this one, which states that those who read this book are stupid. The inability to formulate an intelligent argument to my above paragraph and simply bitch in your response will exhibit your stupidity, and by being too stupid to formulate any response that does not make you yourself feel stupid, causing you to make no response, also shows stupidity.

Twilight Readers: My initial response is; WOW. Forgive me for degressing to acronyms for a moment...WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?!? These books, while well written, are horrible examples of literate and I for one am thoroughly disgusted that this is the kind of story idolized by America's youth, which I am a member of. Until these books became popular, most of those my age considered reading "lame", or, "uncool". Now, however, many people read these and think themselves intelligent, and brag because of it. It disgusts me to see people acting haughty because they managed to read a four hundred page book at the age of 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, etc... I myself have been reading 1,000 page novels since the age of eight. It should come as no surprise that the bulk of Twilight's audience are Americans, many of whom consider themselves to be intelligent, attractive, and above other nations. While, in reality, the vast majority of "my fellow Americans" exhibit none of these "traits", if the last of the three can be labeled as such. Those who read these books and think it an accomplishment, or that they are truly reading good literature, are idiots.

You may argue that these books have more younger Americans reading. I argue this; These books are simply filling the minds of young American girls with stupid ideas of "perfect" boys who will whisk them off their feet, which will never happen. More and more women in our country will be taken advantage of, and it saddens me.

I am a male, I believe in women's rights, and these books upset me because of that. I am sorry to say that I share Stephenie Meyer's Surname, though, as far as I know, I am in no way related to her.

Feel free to bitch at this post because, like I said, you will prove my point(s).

It's so ironic that you use

It's so ironic that you use the word bitch as a word so much. I think I'm in love with you. Suck my blood please?

Sir,

I could not agree with you more. (Hell, I'm an American, and I still agree that the majority have decided to switch off their brains.) Can we be e-friends? :)

Ii is a romance novel. Yes,

Ii is a romance novel. Yes, it is silly and poorly written, it is unhealthy for consumption by impressionable minds, but what romance novel isn't?

How about the suicide attempts, psychosis, pedophilia?

Beyond the "abstinence porn" there are MANY other very creepy aspects to these novels:

1) Religion. In the Twilight universe there is "hell", "heaven", "soul" and "sin", although there is no God. Killing, stealing, lying and treating your parents like dirt are all perfectly OK. Sex before marriage? not OK, that will take you to hell.

2) Psychosis. After Edward breaks up with Bella she develops something similar to post traumatic stress disorder, with numbness, recurring nightmares etc, which is interesting as actual physical assault in book 1 does nothing to her. Bella's way of relieving her pain is to have auditory hallucinations which occur when she undertakes particularly dangerous and stupid activities. Your boyfriend dumps you= developing psychosis is OK

3)Rescue from Suicide Attempts. Various suicide attempts by Bella, including jumping off a cliff of which another guy, Jacob rescues her. Your boyfriend dumps you= suicide is OK, another one rescues you= that’s the new right man for you coz loves means being rescued by men.

4)I hurt you because I love you. When Edward comes back, Bella has an epiphany: she knows he always loved her because she could hallucinate about his angry voice towards her, his anger and the fact he hurt her are the proof of his love. Wife-beaters the world over should send flowers to Meyer, finally someone understands that if your man hurts you is because he loves you!

5) Perversion galore. I’m not even going to go into the fact that Bella has to beg her husband in tears for sex, pregnancy =baby sucks all her blood and breaks her bones, the cannibalistic C-section where Edward chews Bella’s uterus to get the baby out, and the pedophilic “imprinting” relationships. All this is presented as “cute”, “romantic” and “fun”, not as a horror story.

How this is supposed to be suitable for children and teenagers is beyond me.

1. I don't know where in the

1. I don't know where in the Twilight books it says that having sex before marriage = going to hell.

2. It doesn't say that developing psychosis is OK.

3. Um, Bella didn't try to commit suicide. She was cliff-diving. It's a sport/recreational activity and people do it for fun. People do it in my area all of the time.

(Not the original commenter

(Not the original commenter but)

1) Edward INSISTS that they marry before consummating their relationships several times over the course of the books. His reasoning? Saving Bella's soul/ saving his own soul (not that he's sure he has one) from hell. They essentially get married in order to maintain Bella's "purity" many avoid the only sin Edward hasn't comitted - just re-read any of Bella and Edward's debates about marriage and sex.

2 and 3) Meyers never provides a consequence, or a reasonable voice that tells Bella to stop throwing herself into danger just to hear Edwards "voice" thus, she does a lot of dangerous things - to the point where it becomes obvious that she is psychologically damaged, all because she CANNOT cope with the loss of her boyfriend. As for cliff jumping? Yes, it is recreational but for someone like Bella, who lacks proper training, experience, and knowledge, the act itself was insanely reckless if not suicidal - I think one could safely say that a person willing to risk their well being to the degree that Bella did isn't trying very hard to stay alive at the least.

Agreed. The cliff-diving was

Agreed. The cliff-diving was certainly borderline suicidal. She jumped off the top cliff she was warned against in a storm with no one there. That level of recklessness has to be more or less equivalent with a desire to die. Plus, when she is drowning, she sees Edward and is pleased to be dying to be with him again.

Further to Bella's cliff-diving, we have Edward's suicide attempt when he thinks she is dead. This is portrayed as romantic and grand, not selfish and weak. Nevermind the fact that on top of committing suicide over lost love (and screw your family), had Edward not been stopped, he would have taken a bunch of innocent people in the square in Volterra with him.

As for the sex before marriage bit, I'm fairly sure there was even a line in Breaking Dawn where Bella realizes how right Edward was, and tells us she is glad they got married before sex. It may just be that she is glad they got married period, but even if it is, the implication is still very much there.

I don't know whats funnier ...

the article or the comments.

Even though the novel was pretty badly written ( i can only speak for the first.) It is very fun and amusing to roleplay as the characters, as they have such gimmicky lines. Reminds me of a Michael bay movie.

I also don't like the reinforcement of the "sex is dangerous" theme. It's very unhealthy even if taken out of the feminist concept. It's unhealthy for boys, girls, teens, adults, just about everyone.

I'm not completely against "abstinence porn". It's cute to a certain degree if the characters are teenage. The big problem is the climax and the complete turnaround.

Why doesn't someone write a book about how sex is really pretty normal and having it doesn't change your life and when you first do it you're gonna suck at it for a million years. Oh yeah, that would be a boring book.

Cheers - NK

Why doesn't someone write a

Why doesn't someone write a book about how sex is really pretty normal and having it doesn't change your life and when you first do it you're gonna suck at it for a million years. Oh yeah, that would be a boring book. -- NKey

LOVE.

I would probably read that book, though. Now and when I was a teenager.

that would be a disturbing

that would be a disturbing book besides people would never read it on the contrary people (such as teenagers)
would not be aloud from there parents to read the book but also i do think that book is kind of ridiculious!young teenagers are just reading it for the young man named robert pattison aka (edward cullen) and such more... but how does a book about sex is more intresting i read a chapter from my daughters book and it most clear that i see why my daughter is intresting in it but again i dont beleive in such thing...

Actually

Judy Blume wrote that book in 1975. Still in print, still fairly popular, called "Forever...".

Forever

is merely okay. But the depictions of sex are ridiculous. "They I came and he came..." give me a break, plz.

Still, I've saved all the Judy Blumes for my daughter, including that one.

I guess the trick is that Young Adult publishers aren't geared to put out books with graphic sex. And graphic is generally code-word for "informative" - so forget ya literature teaching kids about how sex works realistically, at least if things continue as they have been.

Hey, not only is it

Hey, not only is it physically possible, but it describes sex as a teenager would perceive it.

That makes it a much better description of sex than you get from most fanfics. I know this from horrifying experience. You will never want to read fanfiction again when you see things like M-preg.

R U Serious....?

It's hilarious the amount of time that has been wasted on this article. I liked the Twilight series even though the last one sucked. Feminists need to calm down. Throughout women's history, feminists have always been the minority while the majority of women excepted their roles as mothers and wives and condemned women who wanted to change that. Bella, as a character, has her flaws. She is dependent on Edward and her whlole episode with depression after he left was a bit extreme. Dont knock her for doing what every woman does in this world. How many times do you pass a woman's magazine cover without seeing titles such as "101 ways to please your man in bed" or "25 tips to keep your man happy." Bunch of hypocrites.

I R Serious.

I might have given more weight to your post if you even knew the difference betweeen "except" and "accept". And I find it highly amusing that you lump Bitch with magazines like Cosmo....

I think she's mostly

I think she's mostly criticizing Bitch for NOT criticizing and calling out magazines like Cosmopolitan since they promote women only wanting to please their men, even though they also have self-improvement articles about being happy, how to curb the need to cheat, wardrobe improvement, etc. (For the record, I am not sure if Bitch has or not. At any rate, I like Cosmopolitan because those magazines don't treat sex as taboo, and embraces women's sexuality.

Anyways, I don't see anything wrong with articles on women wanting to please their men (even though they are redundant after the third one). And don't men's magazines have articles in them on how to please women?

And isn't feminism all about choice? If my boyfriend left me, I don't think I'd be able to recover. He's been with me through everything, a deployment, cancer, college, etc. Does that make me a bad feminist? And since when did feminism become about being 100% able to live without men or not be dependent on them? I'm just as much dependent on my boyfriend as he is to me. And in the Twilight books, both Bella and Edward are equally dependent on each other. In the second book, he tells her that his whole world went black, same as what happened with her. I don't see anyone commenting on that.

Sex DOES have consequences: pregnancy, STIs, HIV/AIDS, heartbreak, etc.

Other consequences of sex I

Other consequences of sex I have noticed: orgasms, muscle soreness, pleasure, intense bonding, self-knowledge and growth, physical awareness, and well, did I mention the orgasms?

Choice is a big part of feminism and I have to agree with some of what Anonymous says there. Why the hell would a woman like myself who identifies as feminist find these books absorbing and fascinating to discuss? Why would I burn through all 4 of them in less than three days? And even though a friend posed the question to me - can you be a feminist and still have enjoyed/read the Twilight series - I'm afraid I'm not going to turn in my NOW card nor cancel my subscription to Bitch because I got caught in the net of fantasies Stephenie Meyer created in her books. While I can see all the garbage messages in the books, it doesn't mean that they aren't powerful.

I don't think believing in feminist goals makes you immune to Cosmo bullshit, either. Just recently feminist writer Katha Pollitt published a book of essays about her personal life that had many feminists wondering what the fuck was up with her, how could she be so dependent on a man, a love relationship, etc. I wasn't hatched into a fully aware feminist - there were years of stupid moves in my life and probably more to come - but I think it is important that this discussion is going on, namely because these are young adult books being read by tweens and teenagers.

Well, sure, when your

Well, sure, when your partner is a human. ;-)

I don't think there is anything wrong with Meyer sending the message about sex after marriage. It's a perfectly acceptable choice, and nowadays with the number of STIs and how risky it can be, I think it's a good option. I know I will encourage my future children to consider waiting until marriage. I certainly wish I had waited. I don't regret anything, but looking back, I now see how risky and quite frankly, stupid my behavior was.

I think this discussion is important. I think it's very important to remember, too that feminism is about choice. So what if Bella cooks for her father every night? I happen to enjoy cooking for my partner, cooking is fun. Does that make me a bad feminist? Hell no! I also love to do his laundry. And I also love to clean and I can't wait to have children. Am I still a bad feminist?

However, I think these books are too much to the extreme. It's too perfect. Bella and Edward don't have real problems, only supernatural problems that no one else deals with. I think these books would have been more effective if they had real world problems in their relationship. Sure, Bella has a jealous and angry friend, but only because he's a shape-shifting wolf and vampires are his sworn enemy.

I was disturbed by Twilight

I was disturbed by Twilight and the message of female powerlessness and dependency on males. It's a new world and Meyers is telling an old story that is a lie. It's not true. I assume the popularity of the books is like eating deep fried twinkies. How about I write a new story? - The Antidote - a re-telling of the Twilight story from a new heroic point of view, recreating, developing the Bella character?

....."He's been with me

....."He's been with me through everything, a deployment, cancer, college, etc."
I think the point is Bella's never been through anything like that, she never has any goals or any life outside of him. Of course it would be devastating to lose a true life partner who had been there and supported you through everything. The thing is, Edward never supports her because she has nothing in her life to support except her relationship to him. Also, Bitch constantly is calling out magazines like Cosmo. Pick up any issue, and you will find examples.

But every relationship is

But every relationship is different. Every couple has different things that they go through... and obviously in these books, it's supernatural things. I did think that it was over-the-top regarding her depression, but who hasn't felt like that after being dumped by someone they were in love with? And especially a first love? She had set goals, she wanted to go to college. You have to remember, Edward didn't want her to become a vampire at all because he wanted her go to to college and grow old. You also have to remember, her parents weren't encouraging either for her to go to college. It's been my experience that people (male and female) generally don't have a lot of ambitions if their parents aren't supportive of them or encourage them to pursuit higher education. Unfortunately it seems that Bella's parents are in that boat.

The thing is though, people give up things all of the time for their partners. I put my career on hold so my partner could finish college. And if he wants to go back into the military, I'd support him with that. I want to move to NYC for my career, and I know that he'd support me in that.

p.s. I was like 99% positive that Bitch had called out those types of mags, but I wasn't 100% sure so I didn't want to make a false argument.

Bella never showed any

Bella never showed any interest in college. Edward was the one writing to Dartmouth behind her back.

Throughout the series, Bella never really showed any interest in anything besides Edward, being young and beautiful forever like Edward, and reading the most obvious of romance classics that she could clumsily and superficially relate to her love affair with Edward.

Oh, she was interested in Jacob too for a bit. But really only as a means to an end. The end? Hallucinating Edward's voice.

that is true she had no

that is true she had no intrest in college i would have i taken the application if edward wanted me too but every thing is just fictional so there really is no problem...

Ah, lucky you. you get to

Ah, lucky you. you get to enjoy all the benefits of feminism without appreciating it or understanding all the work it takes!

the Power young girls hold

This series shows the power that young girl hold in our consumer America. The books may be very bad writng with messages that promote a male centered world but they do show us what young girl in america are looking at. It is so sad that every young girl in america has read those books but so few have read anything that will make a difference in their lives.

I just wanted to apologize

I just wanted to apologize for that comment-it was totally not directed at the poster above it, it just got put in completely the wrong spot as I was posting something else.

If minoritties didn't speak

If minoritties didn't speak up just because they're minoritites, nothing would ever get done. And just because a majority of people go along with something doesn't mean it's ok. Hello, slavery? women's suffrage?

R U Still Serious....?

I'd like to think that every woman that comments here is intelligent, independent, kick ass bitch which seems to be the case. I do find fault however, with the feminist bashing of housewives or housework. Lest we forget that it was housewives and traditonal women in the 1830's and 40's who paved the road for the women's movement. Bella's dependence on Edward is not an uncommon theme. At the 1848 Senecca Falls Convention in New York where the likes of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were present, none of those women felt qualified enough to preside over the gathering. It was Mott's husband, a man, who presided over the first women's convention. And moreover, it was Garrisonian men who helped put the women's movement out there. I do agree that feminism is a choice. Nobody likes to be treated an inferior second-hand citizen whether you are black white, male or female. Everytime I encounter a housewife I tip my hat to her for what she represents: a hardworking, self-sacrficing being as free, valiant, and uniquely indepedent as a female CEO. So lets honor those housewives who made it possible for us to have the freedoms we enjoy today.

PS...thanks to whoever corrected my first post..."accepted"

Let me get something

Let me get something straight. I am a feminist. I understand why some women would want to choose housewifery over a job. That's their choice, and as long as they weigh the options and make that choice responsibly, I applaud them for it. It's not my personal preference, but it's still a perfectly valid choice, and it's a role women have filled for millenia. It's a beautiful thing, when chosen for the right reasons.

But, as has been pointed out, there's a HUGE difference between choosing to be a housewife "because I've looked at the other options, and this just feels right for me," and just automatically assuming it's the only way to go.

Bella is the latter kind of stay-at-home mom, not the former. As has been pointed out, she did not even consider the possibility of a job, college, or even finding a mortal, non-obsessive boyfriend. Her entire personality revolves around Edward, Edward, Edward. That is not psychologically healthy. It's like a twisted version of what Erikson referred to in his developmental studies as "role foreclosure." The difference is, instead of being pressured by parents or society to automatically assume a given role, Bella forecloses herself, literally refusing to contemplate any future that doesn't involve slavish devotion to an abusive vampire husband.

If you can't see the difference, then you don't understand how feminism works. There is nothing wrong with criticizing a woman who jumps into a role without thinking about it, or even considering the possibility that there are alternatives. I came perilously close to that way of thinking myself, and I refuse to just sit back while people pretend that activism against being brain-dead is the same thing as activism against the simple pleasures of being a stay-at-home mother.

Bite Me! (Or Don't)

The first book in the Meyer' s series "Twilight" is a very beautiful touching love story. New Moon is all about what happens after the two love birds break up. Eclipse is all about a love triangle and Breaking Dawn is what ends this story. I liked all of the books until I read the last one. I don't like the fact that Bella gives birth so violently. I know that birth is a beautiful thing but why did she have waste away and then die. What was the purpose of making her have a kid??? After the child was born the book should have ended but it didn't. The rest was just boring. I liked the idea of Bella and Edward courting and I liked their characters as well. Bella's virginity is in Edward's hands through all of the books. Then when she finally has sex its so violent to the point where as she has bruises all on her body. Ugly bruises. One gripe I have about the book is why does sex have to be synonymous (sp) with death. If he has sex with her he may kill her . WTF. Its like Meyer is trying to tell young girls not to grow up like the author of this article says. Sex only leads to death!!! Come on. I went to Catholic school that was damn near drilled into my head from age 5 to age 17. To quote Shirley Manson from Garbage "sex is not the enemy"

Interesting, very interesting....

Thought y'all would find this interesting, but out of curiosity I wanted to look up that fanfic by hardy'sgirl on that website, and lo and behold, it's not there anymore. Does anyone think she was notified about this article and decided to remove her story? I really want to read it now.

I didnt read every single

I didnt read every single comment, but did anybody mention that Meyers is a Mormon? I'm not sure if devout Mormons believe in sex before marriage, but I think her upbringing definitely had a lot to do with the way the series was written.

At any rate, I 100% agree with the author of this article. Sure, you can make the argument that "every relationship is different!" and blah blah blah, but her "choice" in staying in an abusive crappy relationship is NOT coming from a feminist perspective. period. Anyone who thinks that writers make decisions like that arbitrarily obviously hasn't honed their critical thinking skills sufficiently. Also the idea that feminists are somehow the minority is laughable. Right. That's why there are an overwhelming amount of people who supported a pro-choice presidential candidate this past November. Laughable.

Mormonism

No Christian religion believes in sex before marriage. And Meyer has said herself that her faith plays a large part in her writing. From her website:

I am also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormon, as we are commonly called—for more info on what that means, see www.mormon.org ) and that has a huge influence on who I am and my perspective on the world, and therefore what I write (though I have been asked more than once, "What's a nice Mormon girl like you doing writing about vampires?").

I believe Stephenie Meyer

I believe Stephenie Meyer has also said that her manuscripts were all reviewed by her pastor (!) before publication.

It would seem he was the only editor, as well - perhaps the books would be shorter if they'd bothered to really slash through the filler.

Heh. No wonder why the

Heh. No wonder why the editing was craptacular. I'm mostly pissed as all hell with the publisher for allowing some of that shit to fly.

I am Mormon. And we don't

I am Mormon. And we don't have pastors.

I suggest doing your homework before passing on spiteful rumors and hearsay.

Pastor, minister, shaman.

Pastor, minister, shaman. Whatever passes for her "spiritual guide" in that faith - she asked for his approval.

Why is it spiteful to say this?

Religious Matters...

My mother and I bought all 4 books for my 17 year old sister and I think this is more appropriate material for a Christian teenager, or any teenager for that matter, (talking about abstinence til marriage and everything along those lines) than a lot of the material that is out there today. I don't know how many times I've read the outside covers of teen books, bought them, started to read them, only to find out that there are all sorts of sexual encounters that should not be broadcast for such a young audience. I think that there is a time and place for them, but not for such a younger audience. Preteens that are 13 and younger are reading Meyer's novels, and I know that they need to be informed about such matters, but seriously? Most of the literature for young adults is now so convoluted with ideas of sex before marriage, one night stands, and "flings", that I've laid aside such trash. It's like we're teaching the "young adults" that it's ok to have sex before marriage, it's ok to not take it seriously, and that nothing'll happen. Sure, there are a few books out there that show the consequences of such behavior, but not enough. It really makes me wonder about what the world is coming to if I can't even find something that doesn't include "abstinence until marriage" or something along the same lines as this idea anywhere except in the "Christian Fiction", "Religious" or "Children's Section" part of a bookstore.

I really think it's great that Stephenie Meyer promotes the idea of abstinence before marriage. It teaches the idea that you should wait. I know that we can't shelter the younger generation from everything, but don't you think that if we're feeding these kids books about being sexually active at an early age, along with the media saying that it's ok too, that they're going to get the notion that it's ok to just go ahead and do it since everyone says it's ok? Shouldn't the parents be the ones to talk to their children instead of them getting the notion from a book or movie or tv show? I think that Meyer is wonderful in using her faith as a grounds for her writing. I only wish more people would do it.

I'm not sure I completely

I'm not sure I completely agree with this wonderful Christian idea that Stephenie Meyer's novels supposedly contain an abstinence message...for starters, Bella is completely repulsed by the idea of marrying Edward. What she is not repulsed by is consummating their relationship (in the later chapters of Twilight), swooning at his every touch, and desiring to be made into a vampire so that she can be with him for eternity...

Add her flightiness and quick mood swings on top of everything, and we are literally delving into the mind of an extremely horny high schooler, who gets married at nineteen and pregnant soon afterwards. But, oh - it was aaaafter they were married. Sorry. That negates everything.

To be frank, Stephenie Meyer created nothing more than a teenage version of old lady smut. The girls who read Twilight and the subsequent novels are not fantasizing about finding the perfect young man who wants to wait until marriage unless that marriage is tomorrow and a sexually intense night is the precursor.

If you want actual authors who use their 'faith as a grounds' for writing, try some Lewis or Tolkien. Meyer simply created a fictitious escape - whatever message she may have intended is completely lost amidst the sexual innuendos and consumer fetishism.

control f or command f

will let you find a key word of your choice on a page. Then you can out if "mormon" has already come up without having to read all 200 comments.

It is (near the top I believe).

Thank you!

I am so glad that I am not the only one who was disturbed by this glorification of a truly dysfunctional relationship. I read this series because I was curious what all the fuss was about, and found it to be mildly entertaining barring Meyer's poor literary skills. I was willing to accept that the books were rather poorly written given that Meyer's is not trained, but am horrified that these stories are being marketed to young girls. Four of my young girl cousins have become obsessed with this series and want nothing more than to be Bella and dream of Robert Pattinson biting them. They have idealized Bella and Edward's relationship at a time in their lives when they are forming the foundations of their self esteem and what they deem desirable and acceptable in their own relationships. I really don't think that anything good can come of this. Bella is weak and whiney, Edward is a complete controlling dick and both of them are ridiculously melodramatic. I was not at all surprised that Wuthering Heights was an influence to Meyers, whose own romantic views seem to be on par with the dysfunction of Brontë's. Whatever happened to "girl power?"

Context please

I know that as responsible feminists we are supposed to be deconstructing almost everything and taking nothing at face value, but it must be said that this is a story about vampires and werewolves. Taking Bella and Edward's relationship out of that context turns it into something entirely different and I don't think it's totally fair to look at this way. Is there no such thing as a good story anymore? Do we have to ruin everything by tearing it apart and analyzing every piece in a million different ways?

But, putting that aside, I think the author of this piece has been irresponsible in her characterization of the series' fans. She only tells part of the story, about part of the fan base. A lot of us aren't wearing promise rings or pushing others to do so, and a lot of us were really satisfied and felt the romance even more intensely (not less so) when Bella and Edward's relationship was consummated sexually.

This article just felt totally one-sided to me.

I'd like to offer a humble

I'd like to offer a humble series of thoughts and observations of a young man. I've been reading this magazine since high school when my girlfriend at the time lent me an article on Saudi Arabian women. I find these books positively reprehensible; they only reinforce what I suspected during adolescence. A guy can be a dick and horrendous individual in a relationship, but as long as he looks good, he can generally get away with it when dealing with a subset society. I can completely identify with wanting someone to see you as a special person in a relationship, but damn it you better actually bring something to the table. An interest in something, a talent, a personality, the ability to maintain conversation are just a few possibilities. A flat personality, and lack of self confidence does not make for even a desirable lunch companion. I can't help feeling that Bella's scent was a pathetically veiled substitute for physical attractiveness (the modern media standard of which Edward is the male counterpart). Her name was Bella Swan! Can anyone really find anything in the relationship other than a phsycial characteristic the other person found irresistable that kept them together for so long? That may indeed be the shallow reality of the immature relationship (mostly teen, but obviously not always constrained there to ) but it is certainly not romantic by any stretch of the imagination. That adults can find these things an acceptable notion of romance to be absorbed by young women just floors me.

An interest in something, a

An interest in something, a talent, a personality, the ability to maintain conversation are just a few possibilities.

Absolutely. This is one of the failings of the book - and also one of its seductive, successful gimmicks. Readers can project themselves onto Bella quite easily - she doesn't have any quirky traits that distract from the fantasy of the Hot Jake Ryan Guy Picking You.

I have to say, as much as it embarrasses and pains me, I still carry around the load of horseshit that was high school and it affects me. Even though I have a college degree and solid understanding of literature and politics and feminism. That vulnerability is still something that resonates and I'm guessing that's why so many older women get sucked into these books, too. To remedy this, I'm trying to teach as many young people as I can about these issues, go beyond the fandom, I guess.

Unfortunately, I have come

Unfortunately, I have come to understand why people read these books (mostly young women). These books are terribly written with only a pathetic excuse for a plotline, but if you ask most people that read them, these are people that hate to read. And being a feminist, this series is just insulting. Bella Swan is a young women with no personality, no interests, and she thinks she is too good for everyone around her, except for the "unhumanly beautiful" people. Its pathetic. All she sees in Edward is his physical attributes. If she had half a brain and did not like him, the whole series would be a creepy stalker horror-story. Honestly, the things he says to her send shivers down my spine, and not the good kind. Edward has complete control over her. She cannot fight against him, physically or mentally. The fact that she feels that she needs such a domineering male in her life to make it worth anything is just sad, and I just want to smack her. Her character is nothing but a vessel for Edward's sexual impulses. Is anyone else reminded of "The Stepford Wives"? And this is the kind of man Stephenie Meyer is influencing young women to want. This is the last thing that young women should be told, they need to know that they don't need this male oppression. Feminist Power!

Take the discussion futher than the web

I began reading the books when a high school student brought their popularity to my attention. She and her mother were disturbed by the messages within the books and even more disturbed by their popularity. My mother, a middle school teacher, and I are currently working with this high schooler to create a panel discussion of the books and the messages they give. I would encourage those who are disturbed by Bella's relationship to foster discussion among the girls in their community.

I don't care how much sex is in a book, it is about the quality of the relationship that matters. Whatever happened to Alanna and consenting sex in teen novels? Why is sex now a commodity, a black and white relationship definer? I would recommend the books of Juliet Marillier as a positive, well-written alternative to the popular teen books of today.

Books exemplify relationships to young readers; I would rather have a book talk openly about sex than a book convey something negative, especially as this is a role model that they will follow (especially as sex is not often enough an open discussion in our society, especially with teen girls). Furthermore, one can't define escapist fiction in one's mind until one knows what's not escapist. Perhaps adults should use the popularity of this series to have open and frank discussions about relationships (both sexual and not) with teens of all sexualities.

hey guys

I had to stop reading the comments halfway through because I got tired of how mean spirited the many of the avid BITCH readers were being towards those who had differing opinions/viewpoints. I'm in love with BITCH and I'm really disappointed that those who share this love don't have the self control to make their arguments without opening insulting and berating the other posters.

On a side note, I have a 12 year old family member who loves these books and the movie. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of alternative books that I could get her hooked on that might be more empowering, without being something she would already be reading in school. You know, something that's fun without being as potentially harmful.

My favorite? His Dark

My favorite? His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass/The Subtle Knife/The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman.

CleMentine

Hi! Saw you were looking for rec's of books for your younger family member. If she's reading Twilight, I can recommend some books that are much better written and fun too. :)

The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
The House of Night series by PC & Kristin Cast

The Heralds of Valdemar series (starts with Arrows of the Queen) by Mercedes Lackey
The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey

Depending on how mature she is, I can recommend some Adult novels that have little to no sex in them that are written extremely well.

The Gardella Vampire series by Colleen Gleason. Buffy meets 1840's London. Sexy with hardly any sex and the sex that's in them is pretty tame.

I read erotica, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, etc. etc. I'm all over the board in books. :) Hope this helps!

Anne McCaffrey!

I love Anne McCaffrey. the way that she treats female characters and sexuality will be a great contrast for any reader after twilight. however, her style is very different from the style that characterizes Twilight. that might make her books hard for someone to sink into right after Twilight.

as far as Bella "making the choice" to be the vampiric equivalent of a housewife, is this really a choice that she makes? as in, does she think about her options for the future and consciously choose the life of a housewife over alternate career paths? I have no problem with women choosing the lifestyle of a housewife, but I do have a problem with blindly skipping into a path for the future that has not been completely thought through. I admit that I stopped reading after the first book (I am a fanfic reader, and the style of Twilight is exactly the same as the style of typical fanfics; you start to get a feel for it after a while. It's a bit sad that Twilight is so popular, because there are many unpublished fanfic writers who could blow Stephanie Meyers out of the water) But somehow I doubt that Bella is seen doing much thinking.

thanks! that's awesome!

thanks! that's awesome!

Tamora Pierce

for the love of God, get her into Tamora Pierce books - I particularly reccomend starting on the Immortals. Also - the Terry Pratchett novels which are geared towards younger readers are excellent.

Tamora Pierce is a must!

Yes, Tamora Pierce is fantastic - lots of very strong young adult characters in a fantasy setting and they're also very, very fun to read. The Immortals is my fav quintet but also the two Trickster books are also pretty good - with a bit of romance to get the blood going as well.

Another good YA author is Isobelle Carmody - lots of good, though provoking books that are flowing to read.

Um.. Other authors with strong female characters include Traci Harding (The Ancient Future is a thick book but reads a bit like a movie) and Jennifer Fallon (Rshiel as the Demon Child in Harshini comes across a lot of conflicts and definitely isn't passive) can definitely deliver and are good for that mid to late teen range.

I also love Anne McCaffrey but can agree that her writing style and approach to romance (at least in the Pern books) is pretty different to what a teen would be used to. If you're a mature teen then read her Crystal Singer trilogy and the Tower and the Hive books/Talents series.

If you're a bit older and looking for something a more pornographic/adult but still keeping those positive messages then Mordant's Need by Stephen Donaldson is amazing (about Terisa, an extreeeemely passive female character who learns to think for herself and ends up saving a world) and Clan of the Cave Bear (and the following books) by Jean M Auel are good too (although Jean M Auel's books are very, very pro-sex and extremely descriptive...)

Unfortunately I was never really into Vampire books so I can't really suggest anything along those lines (the above books are all pretty much fantasy) however I have seen the movie Interview with a Vampire and it definitely paints vampires in a different picture that might just turn a few girls off their beloved Ed :P

YA books

I know I'm a little late! But I would highly highly recommend the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. The first is called "Sloppy Firsts." I started reading the series in middle school and I absolutely adore it. There are five books and they start in sophmore year of high school and go all the way up until Jessica has reached adulthood and graduated college. The character is a great example of a girl who does not fit into the social norms and has her own activities and does things for herself. MUCH better than Twilight.

Thank you for this article.

Thank you for this article. When I read Breaking Dawn, I couldn't quite figure out why I didn't enjoy it. After I read this article, it all made sense. The book basically spoon-fed readers the idea that a woman should give up every sense of self to be happy. However, I do not find the fanaticism surrounding the series a problem. Girls obsess over Jacob and Edward - not Bella. As long as readers are not fantasizing about acting like bella, the insecure and mindless character, there should be no harm. Edward and Jacob did not display any sort of misogynistic behaviors

why hate Twilight?

uggh! im so tired of people posting stuff about what they DONT like about the Twilight saga! what about the good things???

i have to be one of the BIGGEST Twilight fans ever, im not afraid to admit that im obsessed!!!

well, what ever, you guys are wasting your time reading Twilight if you hate it!!!

That's because there's

That's because there's nothing good about the series. They're total shit.

I want to go into publishing, and I worked at Barnes and Noble and saw first-hand the Twilight fever when Eclipse was released. I read them out of curiosity, partly because I want to know what is being published now and why so many people were buying them. ANd I admit, I relatively liked them the first time around.... then actually READ them again and they're poorly written. Edward is an asshole. Jacob sexually assaults Bella. And Bella is a doormat. There are no interesting people in her books.

If you want something fun to read, pick up a Candace Bushnell novel.

SPOT ON. I wish I had put it

SPOT ON. I wish I had put it this way when I tried taking the Bella is NOT a strong female lead debate.

Thank you for writing this!

equation sums up social behavior

Let me see if I get this straight.

I don't like the books. I express that I don't like the books. You agree with me. There is no exchange.

I like the books. I express that I like the books. Maybe in my expression I manage a few typos because I'm not paying all that much attention, or maybe I have a learning disability (I am actually lysdexic, beyond the hypothetical for the purpose of making a point). You disagree with me. The exchange is comprised primarily of, "If you honestly like these books, you're an idiot with about the intelligence of a pea. Go home and read your trash, because clearly you can't think like an intelligent human being; and while you're at it, learn to spell, you moron."

Oh, and a few anti-Mormon comments get thrown in for good measure.

personal opinion+someone else doesn't agree+internet anonymity=immature responses & childish behavior

I miss live, face-to-face debates, where people actually TALKED, instead of blithely flaming each other simply because the anonymity of the internet makes it so easy and so nearly-irresistible to do so.

Let me fix that for you

More likely, your first scenario would go like this:

I don't like the books. I express that I don't like the books. You agree with me and express relief at finding someone else not drooling over them. I tell you the parts that bother me the most. You reply in kind. We continue to have this discussion about how inappropriate/annoying/unrealistic the books are until we part ways or drift in to a different sort of conversation (ex. books that are better than Twilight, funny pictures of RPattz as Edward, KStew smoking pot, the weather, etc.).

And, for me, the second tends to go like this:

I don't like the books. You express that you like the books. I admit that I see now value in them/don't like them, and I remove myself from the conversation because I know it will go absolutely nowhere. Or, alternately, I change the subject.

That's just in my experience, in any case. I'm not sure about yours. I just noticed that your examples are pretty black and white.

pretty much.

pretty much.

twilight

When my sister sent me an email saying that Paul whoever with the Dark Materials books were from the devil or something, I showed the email to my 12 year old. And read the first book. We talked about it. I told her I thought it was boring, it reminded me too much of running away, church being creepy, etc. I let her read the whole series, we watched the movie, we talked about it. The subject died.

I read all of the Harry Potter books together with my 9 and 12 year olds. It's been great for conversations and games.

Now all of her classmates have read Twilite. I told her my first impression was that it was creepy and that she would have to wait until I read it to read it, so we could talk about it. I'm not in a hurry to read it, but I will maybe when it's passee or whatever. She's reading other stuff right now, and doesn't seem like she's in a big hurry to read it.

I think it IS creepy. I'll get to it eventually .

Lisa

I don't think this author is

I don't think this author is using anything new with "abstinence porn." Unresolved Sexual Tension is a great, well-used plot device, from Moulder and Sculley to every other pairing out there.

This is not a simple matter

This is not a simple matter of UST. In this case we are talking about two people who are in a committed romantic relationship, but are refraining from sexual activity (until after the wedding in the fourth book).

Please. Just don't mention

Please. Just don't mention Harry Potter, there's no need. Twilight is nothing in comparison to the god that is harry potter.
I have big issues with twilight, but it really bugs me when people who criticise the books from a feminist perspective take things out of context, or make things appear much worse than they are just to prove a point.

lots of hate...

way to take down a female

way to take down a female author and make the girls/women who read her feel like shit for enjoying her books. bravo!

Criticizing a female author

Criticizing a female author for the content of her books isn't a blow against feminism, which celebrates equality of genders but doesn't excuse all of a given woman's flaws. To commend (or exempt of disapproval) a woman simply because the alternative would be "chauvinistic" isn't feministic in the slightest: it wouldn't promote women with successful writing careers so much as excuse poor writing on account of the author's gender, the kind of problem most feminists would disagree with. I doubt that reasonable feminists aim to reverse sexism and glorify all women, even those undeserving, so much as neutralize it--fairly criticize men and women for more valid reasons than gender, but still to criticize both.

Furthermore, it's only the author being critiqued, not her fans--and according to the commenters of this article, those Stephenie Meyer fans who have read the article haven't been overcome by guilt for liking the series. Enjoying Twilight is fully within one's rights, however much some may not understand that pleasure, but if fans can voice a positive opinion, surely dissenters can fairly voice a negative one to counter it.

I am a female who detests Sarah Palin on the merit (or lack thereof) of her political beliefs, and yet I am happily with a boyfriend of fifteen months--whose house not too long ago boasted of a McCain-Palin sign--with whom I regularly (but friendlily) debate politics. Surely a similar to Stephenie Meyer's books and fans can be taken freely by her criticizers.

Shiny???

What, so because she has a vagina we must respect her as a female author? What about female authors who write misogynistic texts and undermine women? So now we're supposed to love every female author because she's a woman? "Oohhh vagina, shiny!" If she's a shitty author we're gonna call it out, and likewise, if a man is a shitty author, I'm gonna call it out.

Sure, she's very popular. And she's a millionaire, and successful, but that doesn't mean that we have to love what she does, or enjoy what she does, or enjoy what crap she writes.

hands down, the Twilight series is bad for young girls/women/tweens because it gives a realistc unrealistic expectations about relationships, love, marriage, and sex, and childrearing. Bella is weak, and I've really noticed that my second time reading the series. Her "best friend" sexually assaults her (just read the description of the first kiss), and then guilts her into kissing him again, and both guys emotionally abuse her. And she is, like, totally in love with both of them. If my friend did that to me, I would have pressed charges. Especially if my dad was a cop.

anyways, we should give *major* props to female authors who are great writers, send a good message to female readers and who are successful. Not "oohh she has a vagina, we must respect her as an author!" Because that's just like saying that Sarah Palin should be respected only because she's a woman, and not for her policies or smarts. She brought nothing to the Republican table, and cost McCain the election because he played the sexism game, and thought that female voters were stupid enough to vote for him solely because he chose a female running-mate, who proved to be the most god-awful annoying candidate in my 23 years on earth.

But cunts are shiny and

But cunts are shiny and delectable! (I don't use 'vagina' anymore, it only refers to the birth canal and not the clit or any of the other great stuff- plus, did you know it literally means 'sheath for a sword'? In the words of Inga Muscio- 'ain't got no vagina') But back to the subject. I thought using Palin was also the stupidest move McCain made- I respected him more than I respect most conservatives until then. Oh, and just because Palin has a vagina doesn't mean she cares about *your* vagina : )

I was planning on voting for

I was planning on voting for McCain until he chose Palin. And now the idiot is probably planning on running in 2012.

And yes, I agree, cunt is a much better word :-)

sensitive much?

Everyone has a right to an opinion. It sounds like some are just taking it a tad bit personal...

sensitive much?

Everyone has a right to an opinion. It sounds like some are just taking it a tad bit personal...

Would you vote for Sarah

Would you vote for Sarah Palin just because she has a vag? Cause I wouldn't. Same with reading female authors - some rock, others suck. It's not anti-feminist to criticize a woman if you disagree with the message she's putting out there. In fact, I think it would be anti-feminist to not criticize someone just because they're a chick. Do we need to be babied because we're female? What exactly are you saying here?

Thought I was the only one.

I have recently turned 18, and, as you might expect, quite a few of my female friends seem to be taken with the notion of Edward.

Not gonna lie -- I was quite the avid Twilight fan when it first came out, and now I am on the third book -- Eclipse. However, I find that my interest is waning rapidly, precisely for the reasons in this article.

The other night, when I was trying to get through another chapter in Eclipse (in my never-ending quest to be the typical teenage girl, hah), I found myself wondering:
What does Bella do for fun, besides pine over Edward, think about being with him, think about being a vampire, etc.?
She has no hobbies. No interests other than Edward.
That struck me as inexplicably sad.

On the other hand, I find myself sympathizing with the character Jacob -- he isn't obsessed with protecting Bella. He knows she can protect herself. He doesn't come into her room at night like a creepy stalker. He resents Edward's controlling nature, and the fact that he forbids Bella to see Jacob (I mean seriously, FORBID?! What is he, some kind of creepy fascist father figure or something?!)

Point: They both need to get a grip.
Spending the early years of your life devoid of any personal interests and completely obsessed with someone else seriously inhibits your personal growth.
And frankly, will most likely warrant your transformation into a dull housewife driving a minivan.

End rant.

What does Bella do for fun,

What does Bella do for fun, besides pine over Edward, think about being with him, think about being a vampire, etc.? She has no hobbies. No interests other than Edward.
That struck me as inexplicably sad.

Bingo.

I said in an earlier post that she's virtually friendless too. Meyer only put her "friends" in there for filler. How often does she hang out with them? Never. Edward is her only interest. if my boyfriend was my only interest, I'd go crazy. The only other thing she seems to like to do is read dreary Victorian literature (gah).

What about her friends from Phoenix?

Bella is there only to serve Edward's interests.

words of wisdom from a young one..

I'm 24 years old and have an 11 year old sister who has gotten on the Twilight bandwagon. For christmas, I got her some Tamora Pierce books (young adult fantasy with strong female main characters) just for good measure. However, I haven't read Twilight yet, though a lot of the things I have heard about it make me feel kind of queasy. I was driving my sister somewhere the other day, and asked her what she thought about the message of the book because I'd heard it was kind of sexist - Bella being portrayed as somewhat weak and only interested in getting the attention\approval of Edward, etc, and she said..
"Well, I think it's just interesting, it's not something I want to be like. I mean, she's into vampires and werewolves, she's not going to be a dominating person! Everyone's different."
That made me feel a lot better. I guess I should have given her the benefit of the doubt, she's a smart kid.

Great article!

Wow! Great article- much more interesting than the actual Twilight books, that's for sure! ;)

Yep.

I agree. While vampire stories lend themselves easily to narratives on sexuality and power - frequently exploring S&M semi-intentionally - the abstinence spin in Meyer's writing turns a subversive genre into a non-ironic (and highly sexualized) reiteration of traditional gender roles. I would be curious to see if/how female fanfiction writers re-work the story towards more empowering themes. As with all Bitch articles, very thought-provoking and well-written.

funny

I agree!

funny, my sister loves the series, and you know being the young feminist I am and older sister, I wanted to show her this article.
I have read all the books and i was a little disturbed by the controlling Edward was trying to do and the fact that it was his word at the end, that decided if they could have sex.
so anyways, I realize it was important for me to point out these things to her, she is 13 and i just didn't want her to think that it's okay for some guy to control her or tell her what is good for her.

When I told her, I was happy to see she admitted that it was bothering her while she was reading the books and that she understood why it was a disturbing.

I think we have another young feminist on our hands =]

hey hyper-intellectual: stop ruining my guilty pleasure!

Yes, the writing is bad.
Yes, it romanticizes abstinence.
Yes, it made the feminist in me shudder.

And I still loved reading the series. Why does everything have to be so cerebral? Sometimes it's just about the good old limbic system. I enjoyed getting swept up into an IMAGINARY world. For heaven's sake, Edward is a VAMPIRE! It's a fantasy, and the teenage girls reading this know it's a fantasy. Sure, I see all the symbolism and (thinly) veiled social and religious commentary, and you can read all of that into it if you really want to. Indeed, it could spark an interesting discussion between adult women and teenage girls about feminism, sexuality, and the history of women's rights. But does it HAVE to? At the end of the day, it's like Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Let me read my tawdry teenage romance in peace! It's a GUILTY pleasure, admittedly, and I'm guilty as charged.

Yes, I agree

I agree with everything this person says:

"Yes, the writing is bad."
"Yes, it romanticizes abstinence."
"Yes, it made the feminist in me shudder."

"And I still loved reading the series. Why does everything have to be so cerebral? Sometimes it's just about the good old limbic system. I enjoyed getting swept up into an IMAGINARY world. For heaven's sake, Edward is a VAMPIRE! It's a fantasy, and the teenage girls reading this know it's a fantasy. Sure, I see all the symbolism and (thinly) veiled social and religious commentary, and you can read all of that into it if you really want to. Indeed, it could spark an interesting discussion between adult women and teenage girls about feminism, sexuality, and the history of women's rights. But does it HAVE to? At the end of the day, it's like Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Let me read my tawdry teenage romance in peace! It's a GUILTY pleasure, admittedly, and I'm guilty as charged."

**I didn't say any of that...someone else did.**

The underlying problem is

The underlying problem is that when you buy her books, Stephanie Meyer gets money from you. She is obligate by LDS Doctrine to contribute at least 10% or that to the LDS Church.

You don't want to give the LDS Church your money, believe me. They are going to spend it on things that are completely counter to your beliefs and scruples. For example, if you bought any of the Twilight books or saw the film, you indirectly contributed to the removal of the right for same sex partners to marry in CA with the Prop 8 bill. A bill whose major supporter and financial contributor was the LDS Church

You wouldn't give your money to a group like al Qaeida, why would you give it to the LDS Church?

I actually like the series.

I wasn't aware that every time I picked up a book I was supposed to be having some life-altering experience. I have books by all authors in all genres--Bronte, Austen, Vonnegut, Palahniuk--all greats. But I also enjoy this series as well as Harry Potter, and Charlaine Harris' series about Sookie Stackhouse.

Reading isn't just always about learning. Whatever happened to reading just being plain FUN? Thats why I read!

I just like a story with vampires and werewolves...

I can't lie, I'm a big Twilight dork. I've always been a fan of fantasy in any form and these books were just fun. Everyone seems to agree that Stephanie Meyer is not the best writer on earth so I really don't think she was doing more than writing from her own experience. She married young, had kids young put herself into that life, it's what she knows so that's what she wrote. I don't think there was some great conspiricy about making sure little girls stayed in the kitchen and never have sex before marriage.

From the first description of Bella (clutzy, pale, brown hair and eyes) my attention was grabbed, since I am in fact clutzy and pale, and I have brown hair and eyes. From there the resemblence ended (except her slight interest in S&M...who knew?) and I realized that Bella wasn't a character I could get behind. Sure she's not a feminist role model and she certainly doesn't share my values so I have the good sense not to emmulate her. If I was 14 I'm sure I would have come to the same conclusion.

Alice on the other hand is a great role model. She's a girl who was given the short end of the stick in her human life (had visions and wound up in a mental hospital) and when she first became a vampire with her maker leaving her on her own to basically figure things out, but she rises above. She goes out finds her love and basically strings the boy along with her. Most of the family's movements are based on what she sees and of course at the end of the series she saves the day. The same argument could be made for Rosalie, she may have her downside but the girl certainly runs the show in her relationship with Emmet.

Just Sayin'...

Wow, so this is what Twilight is all about? Sounds hot to me.

Allow me to air some of my

Allow me to air some of my feelings about Twilight...

Stephanie Meyers is a piss-poor writer. 'Nuff said. (Had to get that off my chest.)

Yes, I agree, the books are escapism and fantasy. So are movies. So are video games. Clearly, though, those other forms of escapism and fantasy prove that anything as trivial and fluffy as non-reality could not POSSIBLY influence someone. It's not like there are rating systems for movies and video games. It's not like both media types don't occasionally get embroiled in censorship debates. Everyone knows that teenagers are perfectly capable of distinguishing between Doom and Grand Theft Auto and real life; there's never been any controversy over those. Surely, then, all the Twilight hype is overblown because it would be preposterous to think critically about the content young minds are exposed to. (FYI, I may soon be a grad student, but I'm also 19 so technically I classify as a 'young mind'.)

Furthermore, as my mother--a huge Twilight fan--snottily informed me, 'mature and confident' people can just appreciate 'art.' Of course! We all appreciate porn because it is artistic. The moans... The costuming... The objectification... We can all maturely and confidently appreciate the 'abortion artist' [artist discussed in Bitch who induced multiple abortions on herself and called the resulting flux 'art'] because we should not think about what 'art' or 'literature' says and just rest assured that some critic somewhere has assured us that it is important.

What's (one of) the feminist mantras? Could it be, 'the personal is political?' Does not the innocuous fluff we celebrate reveal our deeper values and mores?

And finally, lest anyone think I am unduly prejudiced against vampires, romance, or vampire romance, I invite you to peruse my bookshelves, admire my Jim Butcher, Charlainne Harris, and Kim Harrison collections, and be disproven.

You can't really say

You can't really say anything about the new book Stephenie Meyer is writing, Midnight Sun. She herself has stated that those pages that did leak out into the net were only drafts. Drafts often get scrapped and changed, ALOT. So going off of what some thief put out on the net isn't really something to keep me from reading it. The whole series has been fan-freakin-tastic so far. I'll wait until the actual book comes out, than to listen to what other peoples opinions.

I think it is important

I think it is important to keep in mind that whether or not the Twilight series conveys sexist messages, at least it is encouraging people to read - which is a huge accomplishment. I was so thrilled to see my little sister carrying a book around that it didn't matter if it was poorly written or what have you.

In my opinion, Twilight can be no worse than Grimm's fairy tales or the Disney movies that I grew up with as a child. Most of the kids of my generation were exposed to them, and I do not necessarily think they are the worse for it. It depends on the individual.

twilight reviews

C'mon women, female teens are sick of the "friends w/ benefits," and other scams exploiting their sexuality, which they've been forced to go along with to be cool or to be accepted by the guys - and their friends who are controlled by the guys approval.

Flirting can be exciting for a teen girl, but the physical, genital thing is a little too gross for most. Girls and women are desperate for any entertainment that doesn't cater to the mechanistic, grossly genital male idea of sex that most movies portray when they're not showing explosions, implosions, gore and interpersonal competition. Celibacy can be a relief, phew! Why characterize it as the religious right does with terms like "abstinence?" And he's a Vampire - so you know you'll never have to encounter him in real life, but can safely shudder and be be titillated by a danger you will never have to experience.

The real problem is the dearth of books, movies and entertainment which girls and women can enjoy; a vacuum which is now being filled by the religious right. Lifetime channel might cater to a female audience, but it's relentlessly pilloried by men because it often shows the realistic, but ugly side of men - with women overcoming the experiences of molestation, rape, battering, unpopularity and so forth. So Lifetime gets excoriated as being low-brow, poorly written and unrealistic by men and their allies. Gimme a break. So Nightmare on Elm Street # 7 or Hostel, or James Bond, Die Hard#5 or Bride of Chucky are realistic or great literature? Yet, men love 'em, make 'em and remake 'em by the tens of thousands. We women will have to cultivate and distribute our own means of entertainment. Hey, we still love Jane Austin, Flora NWapa, the Brontes, Buchi Emecheta, Barbara Cookson etc. Let's promote more narratives like this and get them made into movies. How entertaining would that be - and profitable for women who made them?

forgetting women's history

It's true that the money from the "Twilight books and movies industry" will benefit the Latter Day Saints=Mormons, an institution that's misogynist to the core, and for that reason alone we shouldn't buy their products and strengthen their empire built on the exploitation of women and children. They didn't allow African Americans to become ministers/pastors until three decades ago, and to this day they ban women from their ministries and would rescind the voting rights of women if they could. They played a large, maybe critical, part in blocking ratification of the ERA. It's true they oppose the Equality for Marriage Act, but we should also remember their war against women as well, which affects over half the population. In the case of the FDLS in Texas where the women and children were taken in custody, while the FDLS men were left to enjoy their homes see below:

From Sara Robinson on Alternet:

Almost every feature of these women's lives is determined by someone else. They do not choose what they wear, whom they live with, when and whom they marry, or when and with whom they have sex. From the day they're born, they can be reassigned at a moment's notice to another father or husband, another household, or another community. Most will have no educational choices (FLDS kids are taught in church-run schools, usually only through about tenth grade -- by which point they girls are usually married and pregnant). Everything they produce goes into a trust controlled by the patriarch: they do not even own their own labor. If they object to any of this, they're subject to losing access to the resources they need to raise their kids: they can be moved to a trailer with no heat, and given less food than more compliant wives, until they learn to "keep sweet."

At the very least, women who do decide to leave the sect leave without money, skills, or a friend in the world. Most of them have no choice but to leave large numbers of children behind -- children who are the property of the patriarch, and whom many of them will never see again. If a woman is even suspected of wanting to leave, she's likely to be sent away from her kids to another compound far yonder as punishment for her rebelliousness. For a woman who's been taught all her life that motherhood is her only destiny and has no real intimacy with her husband, being separated from her children this way is a sacrifice akin to death.

At the very worst, death is indeed what awaits them. The FLDS preaches "blood atonement" -- the right of the patriarchs to kill apostates who dare to defy them, usually by slitting their throats. And they've done it: Krakauer hung his entire book on the murder of Brenda Lafferty and her year-old daughter, who were both killed by her husband's brothers because Brenda rejected (and mocked) her husband's desire to take plural wives. (Warren Jeffs also liked to rouse people out of their beds in the middle of the night for dramatic mass meetings testing their readiness for the Final Judgment -- meetings that had dark shades of Jonestown.) Brenda is the only one known to have been killed, but others who've left report being threatened with the same fate. End Sara Robinson quote.

Then there's Sonia Johnson the former Mormon/LDS who rebelled against her Mormon masters, was ex-communicated and ran for president or the United States.

Sonia Harris/Johnson, born in Malad, Idaho was a fifth-generation Mormon. She attended Utah State University and married Rick Johnson following graduation. She earned a Master's degree and a Doctor of Education from Rutgers College. As a part-time teacher of English in universities both in the United States and abroad, she followed her husband to new places of employment. She had four children during these years. They returned to the United States in 1976.
Johnson began speaking out in support of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 1977 and co-founded, with three other women, an organization called Mormons for ERA. National exposure occurred with her 1978 testimony in front of the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, and she continued speaking and promoting the ERA and denouncing the LDS Church's opposition to the amendment.
The Mormon church began disciplinary proceedings against Johnson after she delivered a scathing speech entitled "Patriarchal Panic: Sexual Politics in the Mormon Church". Johnson denounced as immoral and illegal nationwide lobbying efforts by the LDS Church to prevent passage of the ERA.
Because the speech drew national media attention, leaders in Johnson's local Virginia congregation immediately began excommunication proceedings. Sonia Johnson was charged with a variety of misdeeds including hindering the worldwide missionary program, damaging internal Mormon social programs, and teaching false doctrine. Her husband divorced her soon after.
Johnson continued promoting the ERA, speaking on television and throughout the country, including the 1980 Democratic Convention. She also protested venues like the Republican Party headquarters in Washington. She and twenty ERA supporters were jailed for chaining themselves to the gate of a Mormon temple in Bellevue, Washington. She stated "It was a grand day in my life. Women have to risk civil disobedience for their rights." In 1981 she published an autobiographical book about her embrace of feminism, titled From Housewife to Heretic (Doubleday, 1981).
Johnson ran in the 1984 presidential election, as the presidential candidate of the U.S. Citizens Party, Pennsylvania's Consumer Party and California's Peace and Freedom Party. Johnson received 72,161 votes (0.08%) finishing fifth. Her running mate for the Citizens Party was Richard Walton and for the Peace and Freedom Party Emma Wong Mar. One of her campaign managers Mark Dunlea later wrote a novel about a first female president, Madame President.
Johnson became increasingly radicalized, especially against state power, as reflected in the books she published after 1987. They include:
* Telling the Truth (Crossing Press, 1987)
* Going Out of Our Minds: The Metaphysics of Liberation (Crossing Press, 1987)
* Wildfire: Igniting the She/Volution (Wildfire Books, 1990)
* The Ship that Sailed Into the Living Room: Sex and Intimacy Reconsidered (Wildfire Books, 1991)
* Out of This World: A Fictionalized True-Life Adventure (Wildfire Books, 1993)
In Wildfire Johnson elaborates on her beliefs and answers her many critics in and out of the feminist movement. Her bottom line argument is that state violence is male violence and that women relate to the male-dominated state much as women relate to battering husbands who alternately abuse and reward their wives to keep them under control. She compares both relationships to the Stockholm Syndrome in which hostages develop an emotional attachment to their captors.
During this time Johnson also declared herself a lesbian and began a relationship with an African American woman. After ending that relationship, she wrote in The Ship that Sailed Into the Living Room that even relationships between female couples are a dangerous patriarchal trap, because "two is the ideal number for inequality, for sadism, for the reproduction of patriarchy. Nearly four years after I began my rebellion against relation/sex/ experience my Wise Old Woman are telling me that sex as we know it is a patriarchal construct and has no rightful, natural place in our lives, no authentic function. Synonymous with hierarchy/control, sex is engineered as part of the siege against our wholeness and power."

So a loyal Mormon, Stephanie Meyers, has written a book garnering great profits for her misogynistic community, profits drawn from the paltry resources of women - the very people whose lives Mormons work to diminish. This is a problem for us women - funding our attackers because we want entertainment, as everyone justifiably does, but because of the paucity of book/movie choices we've turned to our adversities to provide it.

As far a choosing entertainment involving a vampire, yes, women sometimes like the "bad boys" over the nice guys. Who hasn't sometimes opted for the more unpredictable, risky, spontaneous, exciting choice. We don't expect, or ask to be mistreated, maybe we just expect an exciting adrenaline rush - but we get in over our heads and, too late, we find ourselves trapped by "love" or that hormonal surge which masquerades as love. Anyone, male or female, "in love" knows how their judgment is derailed. It's a chemical intoxication which often feels lovely, but renders us unable to see the person of our desires as the weaselly wretch he may be. People, especially women people, can become addicted to the object of our affections - or is it just especially dangerous for women to be "in love" because the imbalance in power leaves women "in love" so much more vulnerable than men "in love?"

I would like to make a few

I would like to make a few comments in response to what you have said about the LDS church. First of all, the FLDS is not at all a part of the LDS church. Contrary to popular belief, they are completely separate.
Secondly, I noticed in the second article which you posted it talks about the excommunication process. LDS members take the covenants and promises they made when they became members of the church very seriously. As a member of the church, I have come to understand the process of excommunication. Our leaders do not take it lightly, and after much time taken to ponder and pray, they come to the decision of what they should do.
Now I understand that from my aforementioned comments you may see me as an extremely religious "freak." But I can tell you quite honestly that I am not, and I guess that it's now up to you to decide whether or not you believe me.
Lastly, do not judge the church today based off the way the church was back in the 70s and 80s. Times have changed. And along with the changing times, the church has changed in its own way. But we continue to stand to our beliefs and morals.
The women of the LDS church are free and independent to do whatever they would like. They are not subject to do what their husbands tell them - most of the relationships go 50/50, which the unfortunate few where the husband takes all power away from the wife. But, if you look outside the church you see just as many of these man-ruled relationships. It is true that women do not hold ministering positions in our church, and i'm sure that you look at this negatively, because there is a reason for it...a reason which i believe any feminist would be proud of.
The men are the holders of the priesthood and the ministers of the LDS church because it is their job to serve the women. They do not only have men as ministers because they believe that men are better and the women are not worthy, but because they want to serve the women.
I truly hope that after reading the few comments I have written, you will have a better understanding of the LDS church and maybe next time you are thinking about the church in a negative manner, you can remember the few things I have written and realize that the LDS church is not nearly as bad as you seem to think it is.

Friend or foe

Okay, I am 100% a loud and proud feminist but still I find my self enjoying the Twilight series. Sure there are some things that as a feminist I don't like in the story lines, but that is true of many things that I am exposed to everyday. I think rather than tell our children not to read books they enjoy, rather help them to read critically. Really the books do have some good messages and are very relatable for teen girls. In the end it is more helpful to teach them to notice the sexist or non feminist themes and messages in books and media than to ban it from them altogether. They will be faced with it eventually, we should be equipping them with the tools necessary to defend themselves against it. So I say rock on Twilight moms and daughters, just keep feminism in mind while you do it.

be discerning

I agree wholeheartedly ---for young women and all women to be critical, thinking, concious and aware--as we enjoy, or don't enjoy --all pop-culture "art."

college humor portrays him well

Oh my, I'm so tired of those

Oh my, I'm so tired of those Twilight books. I am a freshman in High School and every person I know has read those and have become completly obsessed. It's crazy. I've seen the movie and read all the books, I don't see what's so interesting about sparkly vampires. Now everyone thinks they are one!! Yes, 17 year old kids are running around, thinking that they are immortal and live off of blood. What happend to Dawn of the Dead, Interveiw With a Vampire or Queen of The Damned? The classic vamp. movies.

Twilight

The author is trying to make a feminist point out of Twilight? Kind of like trying to decipher the worlds economic problems by playing monopoly. The author feels she has something important to say, just isn't quite sure what that is. The kind of lofty academic person who in real life can't figure out how to work her coffee maker. Love the phrase Abstinence Porn though.

I am a Feminist and I've read the books

Okay, I'll come clean. I had never even heard of the Twilight series until I saw the article on Bitch's website. I was initially drawn in by the terms "abstinence porn" and then curious as to how some young adult books could draw such a response. But I wasn't going to go to the trouble of reading them. Until I was at home sick and saw the film - I expected the worst but it wasn't....horrible. The scenery is lush and gorgeous and I suppose that since I hail from the Evergreen State when I found myself in a bookstore, in front of a large display of the Twilight books, I thought: "Why not?"

Unexpectedly (to me) the story is a compelling one. Meyer doesn't excel in high-brow writing but she doesn't need to. She spins a good yarn. I tore through the first three books - the last one I'm a bit luke warm over, the fourth book is so dissimilar to the first three in tone, cadence, plot etc that I would suggest the series jumps-the-shark with this last book. And not only because the anticipation of *spoiler alert* Edward & Bella doing it is over but rather it seems to me that Meyer forced this one and tried to throw everything into it to make it a great swan song, when really it just feels a bit disjointed and bloated.

There are some things I especially enjoyed about these books:

1) Bella is hot for sex (throughout the series sex is never, not once described as bad, evil or something not enjoyable) and its the boy (Edward) who says no. Bella is not portrayed as a "bad girl" because she wants to have pre - marital sex. Just a normal young woman. I thought this was some nice role reversal. For a change.

2) Bella is not keen to get married. Edward is. Its more important to him than it is to her. Again, I enjoyed the role reversal here and Bella's resistance. I thought this was a nice message to send to our girls in the face of the uber-wedding rite of passage dictate that mainstream society tries to gag down our throats. Not all women want to get married (even when they are passionately in love), and that's okay.

3) I didn't find the character of Bella weak at all, nor did I find her tragically one-dimensional. I enjoyed how Bella isn't a (stereo)typical female lead in pop culture. She's not the prom queen. She's not the head cheerleader. She isn't into makeup and clothes and hairstyles. She likes to read and enjoys time on her own. She resists peer pressure to fit in (for the sake of fitting in) and being popular with the in - crowd in order to do her own thing and be her own person. She is selective about the people she lets into her life.

4) Bella (the female lead) is in love with two male characters, at the same time. From a literary standpoint, I didn't completely buy into the storyline but I enjoyed how (for once) a female was allowed to (romantically) love more than one person at the same time.

Because of the reviews I read prior to reading the books, I was on alert for controlling and / or abusive behaviour from Edward. Excepting one instance in the first book where Bella wants to go one way (after school) and Edward grabs her to steer her in another (which annoyed me), I didn't find anything inherently abusive or controlling in their relationship. I think its important to remember that this is Fantasy. The fictitious character Edward, as a vampire, has super-human strength and is scared witless that he's going to hurt Bella (another reason he tries to put off sex). Its only at Bella's insistence (and their compromise) that he gives it a try. He is absolutely horrified that he is going to hurt her and doesn't want to. As a free thinking Feminist woman, I think its my right to engage in some rough sex if I choose to, just as its Bella's own choice in these books. Edward doesn't enjoy hurting Bella, doesn't want to hurt her. Bella doesn't want to get hurt either but is willing to withstand some superficial bruises if it means she can finally consumate their relationship. Her choice.

I read that Bella gives up her human life to save their half-vampire baby. Actually, Bella's been begging Edward to bite her from early days. And its a choice she happily makes. I don't see how anyone who has read the books can miss that.

I guess I'm glad I read them and wouldn't fault my daughter for wanting to...I don't think they are as good as the Harry Potter set but that's just my preference. From the critiques I've read about them, it doesn't seem like half the people complaining about them have actually taken the time to read them. Its not difficult reading - it doesn't take long. Good airplane books.

You want a good female hero for young girls?

.....Try this on for size: Jesse Sanchez: Street Angel

  • www.streetangelcomics.com/
  • Thanks for the tip!

    Oooh, thanks - will do.

    I agree with much of what

    I agree with much of what you've said, but the main thing here is that these books are not directed at adults that have already formed their own opinions, and that can spot undertones (poorly hidden as they may be). The target audience is pre-teen girls, who don't take away what you have from the series. People would not be having quite the same reaction if Meyer was writing adult fiction. Again, I'm not arguing with any points you have made, but you don't seem to be part of the demographic that these books are intended for.

    Demographics, what?

    I couldn't agree with you less. Diminishing my opinion because you don't believe me to be in the "target" audience is belittling at best and actually quite discriminatory.

    What, exactly, are you so scared of? I've read many posts by parents/adults on this blog who are scared. And we all know fear = ignorance.

    I am a parent, I have a daughter and if she wants to read these books so what? Does reading Romeo and Juliet encourage teen suicide? Does reading The Scarlet Letter foster extra-marital affairs?

    I am consistently appalled at how other adults and parents treat pre - teens and teenagers as if they were mindless beings who are not capable of thinking for themselves.

    Instead of worrying about what our kids read or want to read, isn't it much more prudent to teach them to think for themselves? To question and to enter into informed dialogue? I am glad I will be exposing my daughter to these books (if she wants to read them) along with other authors and genres.

    ok so if all of you people

    ok so if all of you people are on here reading this thing then that just means your totally lame.why would you waste your time to get on a computer,go to this website,read this article,and then hate?thats just saying you have no friends and nothing better to do.and if you're wondering why im on here its because me and my friends decided to look up bitch on google and saw bitch magazine which we've never heard of and died laughing at the word bitch.and then we saw twilight which we are OBSESSED with i might add and if you have a problem with that then you can go suck your moms dick :]

    Hang on a minute. You're

    Hang on a minute. You're saying that people sending comments on here, discussing a book they dislike are lame, and have nothing better to do? Well quite apart from considering discussing the moral implications something rather important, i wonder how you can say that without complete hypocrisy. You were here because you like typing swear words into search engines. Sad

    I have to say that this

    I have to say that this post, in some instances, makes sense, but in a lot of points is completely off base. I am a feminist college student who has read everything within grabbing reach, which includes everything from Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" to Lolita to Harry Potter and, yes, to the whole Twilight series.

    The argument that Bella is completely helpless, and that Edward holds all the power, is just too broad of a statement for such an intricately worked, developed relationship. Yes, Edward is a deadly vampire, and yes, she is a weak person. But in the end, he is a complete slave for her, just as much if not more so than she is for him.
    Every action made in the book is meant to be for her, and she has the power to sway everything he does. Not only that, but she actually has the choice in the series to choose between him and Jacob, another equally young man. There is not so much of an emphasis on how much more powerful Edward is than her, but rather how much he would be willing TO do for her, using that power. And he is not the only one in possession of that super-human strength. There are many female vampires in the story, equally deadly and powerful, and independent from the sway of any men in their lives (Alice, Rosaline, and Esme are just to name a few). And in the end, even Bella possesses that power; she becomes just as strong as Edward and all the rest, and even ends up saving Edward and his entire extended family solely due to her own strength and ability - something that Edward was incapable of doing. This is after she gave up her virginity.

    Annnd by the way, to all those haters out there: just because you don't like it does not mean it's complete crap. It was one of the most engaging series I've read in a long time, and frankly I think it's downright idiotic to completely dismiss something that has been eaten up voraciously by millions and millions of people. If you don't like it, cool. Just not judgement, please.

    Intricately worked and developed?

    She smells good and he's a sparkly super powered Adonis...there's intricate and developed for you. How often in the book do they really delve into the things that they do for each other as a couple? Where does Meyer show you how Edward supports Bella/ or vice versa? She tells you that the other cannot seem to live, or unlive w/o the other. And that Bella seems incapable of living w/o Edward, kind of dissolves your free choice for Jacob argument when Edward forbids her to see him, doesn't it?

    As far as saying that something embraced by millions being safe from criticism or deep analysis is silly. Sarah Palin anyone? The complete revocation of abortion rights even to victims of incest and rape? Torturing people against international law if it works? These are all things embraced by millions and millions of people that I don't want anything to do with. Need I go further and violate Godwin's law? Everything you mentioned following Gender Trouble is hardly considered feminist anything at the college level. Or anything remotely resembling a well rounded reader for that matter.

    Let's not forget that Bella only loses her virginity after they are married, any empowerment that comes from that comes after she becomes the wife, and has her pelvis crushed during the birth. Stay in school...

    I have my degree in English

    I have my degree in English Literature. I know what is crap and what is not. Twilight, simply put, is poorly written. The story might be engaging, but the actual writing is horrible.

    Just because it was "eaten up voraciously by millions and millions of people" doesn't mean that it's good, it means that millions and millions of people like melodramas.

    Totally Agree

    I stopped reading these books after the second one when I realized that Bella is living for the men in her life. She has no friends, no hobbies is doing poorly in school because of some loser guy! These books are terrible, the writing is bad, the message is 50's right wing-get barefoot and pregnant for your man. I can't believe young girls and boys read this, it is complete smut. I am 32 years old and couldn't imagine my 5th grade students reading this, but they do and it is completely sending a terrible message!

    This discussion reminds me

    This discussion reminds me of my gripe with the Disney version of The Little Mermaid -- it's a fine film for kids , but has almost nothing to do with the more serious intent of Hans Christian Andersen's original work. The whole point of the original is tht the mermaid's crush on the Prince leads to grave physical and moral harm to herself. Her sisters effect her release (in a fashion) at the end , only at great personal cost to themselves.

    Vampire Lovin aint never tender

    I haven't read these books, and saw maybe half an hour of the movie before walking out. I'm in no position, nor claiming to be, to challenge the interpretations of the book in this article. From my understanding of the plot, the main bitch does sound like something of a doormat. I find it admirable to challenge sexist notions which are being spoon fed to the next generation. That said, you have to play by the rules.

    I don't see it as fair to use the violence in the sex scene as evidence of the story's bigotry. Yeah, the shits fucked up, but what else would be reasonable to expect when you pork a monster? I saw this dude backhand a moving truck out of the way? Would it be at all reasonable if he didn't leave a mark after grabbin her titties? I don't think I'd enjoy getting dicked by a superhuman even if i swung that way, but whatever floats her boat. It was rough sex, it had to hurt, maybe that's the way she like it twerp

    "abstinence porn"

    Actually, there's an aspect to the abstinence porn that I don't see mentioned enough... It's NOT that Bella and Edward mutually eroticize waiting 'til marriage, it's that EDWARD wants to wait. The power of their sexual relationship is still in the man's hands, even if his desire is unconventional. Bella did not choose abstinence because that's what she wanted, she waited on Edward's desire.

    "it's that EDWARD wants to

    "it's that EDWARD wants to wait. The power of their sexual relationship is still in the man's hands, even if his desire is unconventional. Bella did not choose abstinence because that's what she wanted, she waited on Edward's desire."

    I'm afraid I don't see your point, are you suggesting that a more pro-feminist Bella would have tried to force Edward into having sex before he wanted to?

    The eroticism applied to abstinence is some balls-ass creepy shit, but switching traditionally held views on gender roles does not seem like the man trying to shackle America's youth to the oven door

    Edward didn't want to wait.

    Edward didn't want to wait. He was just withholding sex so that Bella wouldn't become a vampire...and so he could discover if she really loved him.

    When he discovers that Bella has agreed to have a big wedding, something she does not want, he asks her to have sex, but she declines (she's probably exhausted from all the stupid back and forth).

    "it's that EDWARD wants to

    "it's that EDWARD wants to wait. The power of their sexual relationship is still in the man's hands, even if his desire is unconventional. Bella did not choose abstinence because that's what she wanted, she waited on Edward's desire."

    I'm afraid I don't see your point, are you suggesting that a more pro-feminist Bella would have tried to force Edward into having sex before he wanted to?

    The eroticism applied to abstinence is some balls-ass creepy shit, but switching traditionally held views on gender roles does not seem like the man trying to shackle America's youth to the oven door

    I completely agree, but what about

    the blatant anti-choice propaganda? She becomes a vampire (for all intents and purposes, dies) to save her fetus. Sounds kind of creepy to me...

    Someone Save Literature.

    I'm currently reading New Moon and from story to story, I am increasingly worried about how abusive Edward is. His tone of speech, I just don't like and how he drags this girl around as if she's nothing more then a pet. I lack the full understanding on how some mothers let their daughters read these books and then say let them make their own decisions. When a lot of young girls are falling all under one banner: "Team Edward." Granted I find Jacob Black to be a little less intense and realistically-written. I still worry about that relationship too, because Bella is just using him as a crutch.

    These books are droll and have nothing to offer as an escape and something to expand your mind whatsoever. I find myself half the time rolling my eyes, gawking at Meyer's undertones of misogyny and the lack of skills to truly come out with anything new. She just rips off of better written work before her. Twilight: is a poor man's Pride and Prejudice; New Moon: is Romeo and Juliet.

    What I really didn't like

    What I really didn't like about the Twilight saga (I read up to the first chapter of "New Moon" and that's when I stopped with those books) is that they are poorly written, and the vampires are a bunch of faggots that sparkle during the light. I mean, if we pretend that all the books these days have feminists plots, I'd be very boring (do we really need thousands of Elizabeth Bennets in our bookshelves?!). I'm a social feminist, and sometimes I think there are women who want to oppress men; that's not what feminism is about, is about equity (men and women are equal and me must work together to achieve a better world). The real problem with Twilight is not that the main character is a traditional female character, but that the books are poorly written, with poor vocabulary, and no background research done by the author (she says that she made them all up, without the need to research about what are vampires).

    Wow this article is so

    Wow this article is so absolutely ridiculous and so far off from the actual story of the saga. When I think of the Twilight saga I do not think about sex, if anything Meyer's message about sex was to wait until marriage and nothing else.

    My god the sex scenes in breaking dawn were nothing, I actually had to read the scene twice just to clarify that they indeed had sex! Also what you said about "Midnight Sun" couldn't be more wrong! Why does everything have to come back to sex? He was invisioning ways to kill her not ravish her, he's an effing vampire, not a sex fiend!

    Re-read the books and maybe stop trying to think so much about sex and actually pay more attention to the love story in the books!

    What love-story? Really

    What love-story? Really reread those stories again and you will see that it's more lust then love with Edward for Bella.

    Okay, really?! I just have

    Okay, really?! I just have to say that I kinda love these books. I don't care if they are considered bad literature, or have underlying meanings. I didn't think about them while reading, I just enjoyed reading. It's fiction! Vampires and werewolves! Sometimes it's just fun to escape! So get off your high horses and go worry something that really matters. I don't want to BE Bella, and I don't think many others do either. And why the LDS comments anyway? Does the fact that the author may be Mormon have ANY effect whatsoever on the content of this book? So you don't enjoy it- go read something else! Not everything needs to be analysed. Sometimes are just plain fun.

    interesting . . .

    some of these points are extremely valid. Yet what is not mentioned is the delicate balance stephenie Meyer has managed to create, between a fragile delicate human and a supernaturally strong vampire. Bella does have power over him, but her power isn't physical, simply emotional. As Edward himself says "Only she has that power" when jacob asks him who has the power to send him away. Edward is in control of the relationship, as you can see from the entirety of the new moon plot, when Edward leaves bella for 'her own good'. Yet she has the power to bring him back to her. And when Bella does indeed get turned into a Vampire, she is far more powerful than Edward. Not only is she more powerful physically, she can control him as no one else can. She is the only one in the world that he loves, yet he has to put up with knowing that Bella once loved Jacob as well, and that he lost a tiny part of her heart when he left in New Moon. Their relationship is also matched in their supernatural powers, yet here even bella has the edge. Even when she was a human she kept him out of her thoughts, reflecting her power over him - as she was the only one who could manage that. I certainly don't agree with some of the issues and themes in this story, yet i do believe the author has done well to create such a perfect balance between a strong male character and a much physically weaker female. Bella is not my idea of a strong, female character and she has certain qualities that are not impressive, but she does represent the majority of teenage girls of today. I am one and i understand how Bella is acting. She doesn't fight for power over him. She believes that there is a balance between them, as there should be in most contemporary romances.

    Not female friendly

    The Twilight series is not a female friendly series at all. It seems to me that Bella has no life or interests of her own, and any choices that she does make put her in need of rescue by a man. These books do nothing more than reinforce that women should be homemakers and allow men to guide them through life. The abstinence message is equally anti woman as it shows that women should have no control over their own sexuality or needs. These books are garbage

    While reading the books I

    While reading the books I kept noticing Bella's disordered relationship with food-does she ever once enjoy eating, even though food is often described? Not until she is turned and can safely consume blood without getting fat...Vampirism as the ultimate anorexic fantasy....did anyone else pick up on this?

    Uh oh. I've been Twilighted.

    I was kinda hoping Bitch would be the place to go to find a more nuanced discussion of abstinence in Twilight. Though I love the coinage of the phrase "abstinence porn," you didn't really dig into its allure. So far, the only person who I think really gets it is the director of the film adaptation Catherine Hardwicke. Delayed gratification is hot! It's all about sustaining that exquisite feeling of bliss before the climax and resolution. I'd hazard to guess that the reason why young and not-so-young adults are so enthralled with the series is that heart-stopping feeling of falling in love (or lust) for the first time and not Meyer's reinforcement of severe gender roles.

    Meyer strikes me as an incredibly bright woman, she taps into that desire and just when we think we're going to get what we really want (crazy sado-masochistic sex that defeats all logic), she swoops in with the Mormon family values (imprinting on new borns!) and the importance of keeping women in their place (the height of absurdity comes when Bella and Angela talk about how much they like to stay inside).

    So yeah, we can (and should) talk about how Bella is constantly being rescued and so fixated on male attention that she can't maintain a constant female bond--even with her own mother--and how Meyer undermines Bella's every attempt to take control and keeps cornering her into those few roles women from her culture are allowed to inhabit: daughter, girlfriend, mother, wife.

    Still, from there, I think you need to admit that a lot of women strongly value their roles as nurturers, protectors of their families, and keepers of the hearth. And that these are indeed very powerful roles. In Meyer's world, women should be powerful, they should have a say in their destiny, but there's a right choice, and we all know what that is. I guess for those women, the Twilight series must be perfection, unless they have an aversion to repetitious vocabulary.

    I know, it's hard to stick up for them when you so yearn for a story about a woman more independent than Bella, but they're out there and should be counted.

    In the meantime, I'm officially converted to the vampire genre. So where can I get me some hot crazy vampire sex, bruises and splintered headboards included? Written well, fueled by Catholic guilt preferred.

    If you want vampire books

    If you want vampire books that are sexy, funny, and intriguing, with characters who are well-developed and have outside hobbies outside one another - may I suggest the first four books of Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles'? They aren't Shakespeare by any means, but they're much more interesting. In a way, they're almost historical fiction that just happen to feature vampires. Charlaine Harris' 'Southern Vampire' mystery series is quite good too; it's lighter in tone, and the stories are genuinely mysterious. Sookie Stackhouse is a fascinating lead character, and she's no wimp either.

    It is a work of fiction

    Seriously, some people have WAY too much time on their hands.

    The Twilight series is simply a work of fiction, a rather good work of fiction.

    Intriguing in its story lines, twists and turns, oh's and ah's and Gosh's! all the way.

    Why is it so hard for some people to simply allow the novels to be read and enjoyed, as they were simply intended to be.

    Stop wasting time over-analysing every detail, and just enjoy reading!

    Sitting down and enjoying a good book.

    I completely agree. I am so sick of people wasting my time with their complaints such as, "It was poorly done". If you want to go around and bash someone's work like that then how about you write your own. See if you can sell as many copies or acquire a movie deal, I bet you can't. Sure we could spend a lot of time dissecting Meyer's books, but where is the fun in that??????? I mean really? I know so many intelligent people (Both women and men... because this is not just a chick saga.) who have read these books for the joy of reading, and guess what? They loved them. I mean are you people happy? Are you really happy? You sat through all four books just to "bitch" (ironic) and complain about it. Get over yourselves!!!!! I mean you make fun of people who don't read (which makes those people continue to not want to read), and then you go around on your high horses telling people what to read???? Arghhh... That is a tuffy. I say let the people read what they want! You can read your book about ... a hermaphrodite struggling to fit in, and we can read our books about vampires. I guess what I am trying to say is you can take any good book and dissect it down to a level where the author doesn't even understand your analyzation, but why? Reading is for fun, and that's what we want to teach our youth. duh. If they start of reading books like Twilight they will eventually progress to I guess whatever level you intellectuals are at. What is that Oprah's book club? Anyways, just let them be kids and figure it out for themselves. the end. analyze that suckers.

    Oh sweetie. You really don't

    Oh sweetie. You really don't get it. A person doesn't need to prove their own writing skills to point out that someone else's aren't up to par. I'm not a professional opera singer, but I know when someone hits a bad note. I'm not a tailor, but I can tell when a piece of clothing is badly made. Get my drift?

    As for letting kids figure it out for themselves - no, that's what parents are for. Kids won't sort it out for themselves because they're kids!

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to read for fun. That's why the grand majority of people do it. But since when has reading something that insults the reader's intelligence and condones misogyny and domestic abuse been fun? Plenty of works that were originally written for entertainment purposes only have sparked some seriously fierce literary debates. But...you probably wouldn't know anything about that, not being one of them readerly type people yourself.

    P.S. Had the author of this piece not read the books, you'd be bitching that she didn't even read them so how can she possibly know what she's talking about.

    Get off your high horse

    Oh, get off your high horse lady!

    There are so many different genres in the literary world for a reason.... if you like a genre read novels from that genre, if you don't like a genre then don't read novels from that genre. Its really that simple.. sweetie..

    Your interpretation of the Twilight series is simply that. It does not mean that you are more intelligent than anyone else who has read the novel and enjoyed them.

    The question must be asked, why, when you discovered your utter distaste for the novels, did you subject yourself to further pain and anguish by continuing to read them? Why not simply book the book down and pick up a warm fluffy novel that has no potentially offensive material contained and read that instead?

    Why also continue your pain by posting your opinion online? You are not allowing yourself closure darling, that must be very emotionally difficult for you.

    Like is said, get off your high horse, get yourself some therapy for your insulted intelligence and leave others opinions to themselves.

    P.S. I have read the series and found them very entertaining. When one reads with an open mind they are able to enjoy the experience and take with them what they like, and leave behind what they don't. They can themselves analyse the novelists skills and decide for themselves whether to read more from the author or not.

    Tsk, tsk, Twi-hards!

    I would think the person that posted the blog and the people that commented had open-minds, while reading these books and that's how they came to said conclusions. I think you need to come down off your soap-box and stop being condescending about a shoddily put together book.

    The premise of the PUBLIC blog is to state your opinion with others, by telling someone, they need to stop expressing themselves on a PUBLIC forum, where it is encouraged you debate intelligently is rather redundant don't you think?

    You need to reread this blog and truly let the authors thoughts rattle in your head a little bit longer. No one is claiming superior intelligence over anyone else that reads these books. The concern is the underlining content within the books. How Bella is a virtual doormat and how (even I have seen this) teenage girls claim Bella to be a relatable character. Also that Edward seems to come off as abusive and domineering.

    I am currently reading the Fourth Book and only guffaw and cringe at majority of what is written, and you can't contradict yourself like you did before; for the the simple fact that if my mind wasn't open I wouldn't have even bothered reading any of the books at all. I am a person that loves all genres of books, I wish to at least have a little better knowledge of what people find to be good literary, other then what I deem to be good books.

    And please refrain for using ad hominems in your replys, when trying to make someone believe your stance, it makes you look like you only have a shallow knowledge of what you are saying.

    Oy vey

    Never heard of the phrase "know thine enemy" have you? Why read something that troubles you this much? Perhaps to form a nuanced and proper argument for why it troubles you.

    Perhaps some of us would like to voice our opinion on poorly-written tripe so that people don't get the idea that since there's no negative criticism of it that everybody likes it. Maybe these opinions are expressed with a desire to clue in those who clearly do not understand why things are poorly written. Mayhap the goal is to increase the population's ability to actually gauge whether something is crap or not.

    Furthermore, allow me to ask you a few questions.

    Why, on reading opinions that are negative toward something you like (a phenomenon which clearly seems to distress you to some degree) do you continue to read such opinions? Why not simply close out the windows in which these opinions appear? Why draw out your pain by posting your thoughts on them online?

    Indeed, your reason is probably some variation on the idea of enlightening us - that much is clear in your comments about reading with an open mind. If so, then why not consider that we might be trying to do the same thing?

    The pre-sexual relationship

    The pre-sexual relationship between Bella and Edward was fantastic. But you have to think that that couldn't last forever. The life go on and the things happen. I think their honeymoon was fantastic, Bella and Edward want that and happen just like we would expect. It is really sexy feel the tension, Edward's self control, but it was even more hot image (because we don't really read it) how it was for him (and for her of course) but specially for him, experiencing this new kind of love, the physical love. I found it very sexy moment. And the new experience, when Bella was already a vampire, i think that it was such a beautiful moment... really, the way they feel which other. It was natural, the result of the all expectation, the consumation of love of Bella and Edward. They love each other so much, why would it be bad or transformate their love? I disagree when you say when Bella gets close to Edward less human and pure she was, i think it is the opposite. When Edward is close to Bella more human he gets. I like very much that Edward is a vampire, but when he find is human instints is when he is happier. So, i think it is really cute feel the desire that they feel. They still feel it after the first sexual experience. I think that you are thinking that the sexual relationship of Bella and Edward it is an end, I see it like a really beginning. I think when they do it when she was a vampire was really really hot.

    The pre-sexual relationship

    The pre-sexual relationship between Bella and Edward was fantastic. But you have to think that that couldn't last forever. The life go on and the things happen. I think their honeymoon was fantastic, Bella and Edward want that and happen just like we would expect. It is really sexy feel the tension, Edward's self control, but it was even more hot image (because we don't really read it) how it was for him (and for her of course) but specially for him, experiencing this new kind of love, the physical love. I found it very sexy moment. And the new experience, when Bella was already a vampire, i think that it was such a beautiful moment... really, the way they feel which other. It was natural, the result of the all expectation, the consumation of love of Bella and Edward. They love each other so much, why would it be bad or transformate their love? I disagree when you say when Bella gets close to Edward less human and pure she was, i think it is the opposite. When Edward is close to Bella more human he gets. I like very much that Edward is a vampire, but when he find is human instints is when he is happier. So, i think it is really cute feel the desire that they feel. They still feel it after the first sexual experience. I think that you are thinking that the sexual relationship of Bella and Edward it is an end, I see it like a really beginning. I think when they do it when she was a vampire was really really hot.

    these books are horrid, on

    these books are horrid, on so many levels. leaving aside the fact that meyer's can't craft a unique story, or write worth a crap, twilight presents a story that is incredibly detrimental to young girls. while i have a ton of issues with the books (most of them mentioned here), my biggest problem was with bella giving up her family, college, and her human life for a dude who wants to eat her for dinner, and a demon child who eats her from the inside out. the allegory is heavy handed, and obviously an outlet for meyer's own stunted sexual development (she's a mormon, are you surprised?). notice that anytime she describes what bella looks like, or what bella has gone through, she's describing herself.

    Twilight

    Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight from the point of view of a teenager and she captured it beautifully. I can’t speak for anyone else, but as a teen I was filled with self-doubt.

    Like so many others I kept asking myself, ‘at what point did Bella fall in love with Edward?’ I think that was her point. Most teenagers don’t understand these feelings that they have. I do think SM addressed that issue by making Edward so hesitant to change Bella. He knew she wasn’t mature enough for such a commitment.

    In the end, Bella truly figured out what SHE wanted in life; love, a man with integrity, and a family that takes care of each other.

    Teens girls are having sex with boys and men who walk away when they become pregnant. They’re having group sex with other men and women to keep their boyfriends interested in them, or to fit in. One in five in the U.S. have an STD. They’re wearing 6 inch heels and are considered real women if they can take it all and swallow. We have allowed ourselves to become blow up dolls that are disposable and interchangeable.

    Even Bella caught on to the standards of our society. She equates marriage to a punishment for having sex. ‘I am not the girl who gets knocked up by her boyfriend and has to get married’.

    Being abstinent is difficult. We clearly see how Bella struggles with it. We can figure out that Edward wants sex, but Edward, being the guy with integrity that he is, puts the love he has for Bella above his desires. He was able to do this because his family(s) raised him that way.

    We’re foolish to believe that teenagers aren’t going to have incredibly strong sexual desires. We can however, raise our children, both boys and girls, to respect themselves and others. We need to help them learn how to process actions and consequences in their minds.

    SM is not the world’s best writer. But what she wrote brings us into several worlds; modern day teenagers, old world teenagers, vampires and werewolves. She shows us that there are choices and consequences. She shows us that we make mistakes. She shows us passion and doubt. She makes us speculate and debate and hold conversations and THINK.

    I believe the Twilight books will be read by teens long after we’re all gone.

    As far as what these books mean in the struggle for women. I see a lot of women still “gossiping” and throwing stones at each other for their choices in life.

    I reject female inferiority.

    "‘I am not the girl who gets knocked up by her boyfriend and has to get married’." Oh, no. Get married first, and then get knocked up AND beat up at the same time. Then you won't be breaking any of "the standards of our society" that society has placed on you because you're female. Sure, he's abusive and you know he wants to kill you, but he's a sweetie, really. Right. A "man with integrity" who will wait until he's married you to show his cards. Goody. That sounds like fun.

    "Teens girls are having sex with boys and men who walk away when they become pregnant. They’re having group sex with other men and women to keep their boyfriends interested in them, or to fit in." I am a teen, and I don't know anyone, male or female, who falls into the second sentence. As to the first, my cousin who is two years older than I am just had a baby, and her boyfriend has never deserted her.

    If we want to "raise our children... to respect themselves and others", then we should steer them clear of this drivel. Do we really want to reinforce the the negative steryotypes heaped upon us by the media and others? You say, "I believe the Twilight books will be read by teens long after we’re all gone." I sure hope not. The Harry Potter series is a much better legacy for my generation to be remembered by. Or go back another twenty or so years. Anne McCaffrey is a literary genius. She wrote (and still writes) compelling stories interwoven with complex characters, male and female. Check out her The Rowan for some excellent reading material. Or is a fantastical book not good enough unless a religious person writes it?

    Have your cake and eat it too

    I'm all for literary criticism, but please! On one hand there's the argument that Meyer is stupid and her books are total and complete rubbish; on the other, she's the mastermind of a plot to subvert feminism and take over the minds of teenage girls everywhere.

    I have to say that, having read all four, I'm hard pressed to find an evil, disempowering message for young women within. Bella is a ballsy, confident, emotionally genuine and courageous character. Yes, she centers her life around her relationships but a) so does just about every other character in the book and b) building a life around strong relationships is hardly a negative trait. In terms of the relationship between Bella and Edward, I found that the power play between the two young lovers was markedly balanced in many places - they are both equally afraid of hurting the other and equally keen to make the other happy. I also think it's worth noting that, on the sex front, once she becomes a vamp they basically go at it like rabbits for the rest of the book. Hardly a censorious message.

    Finally, I gotta say that this is a story about vampires. Vampires eat people. By all means critique the existence of the myth or the genre of vampire novels as a whole but reading this much into a specific fantasy novel is really a bit pathetic.

    Interesting

    I don't believe Mayer had in mind all this. I do believe that the book is a bit lousy, but...
    Anyway. I've never thought all this. It's really interesting. Though, I believe, the text is a bit extreme at some points.

    Really? It took you until

    Really? It took you until Book4 to realize that the Twilight saga was a disgusting display of completely anti-feminist attitudes? Really?

    Actual Teenager Here

    I'm going to guess (perhaps inaccurately) that most people who have commented are outside the teenage demographic. As a teenage girl, I read and enjoyed the Twilight series. And while I think Ms. Seifert makes a compelling argument for the obvious bloodlust/lust-lust analogy and what it means for feminism, I do believe she's done a bit too much reading between the many, many lines. Most teens who are entranced by the series don't walk away with the message "sex is bad" or "women are subject to men's lustful urges" or any other social aphorism outlined here, to the point that a more valid criticism would be that the books' are disappointingly devoid of meaningful moral/social stances (unlike the beloved HP series, for example).

    Twilight, like any media phenomenon which grips youth culture, has been analyzed ad nauseum by parents, journalists, and sociologists. And once again, young adults are underestimated. They, or rather we, don't pull values systems and world views from movie theatres, TV screens, or juvenile romance novels. Mothers, if you're concerned that your daughters will develop anti-feminist self-images, look in the mirror. Examine the gender roles and attitudes towards sex presented in your own household. If no red flags appear, let the girls ogle Edward to their fluttering hearts' content. Chances are, they'll lose interest before adolescence is over. I did.

    From a teenage girls' viewpoint...

    I hated the first one. I never read the other three books (couldn't make myself sit through more than one). However, I've heard all about them from girls in my school, and it really pissed me off how much Bella needed that stupid vampire. Apparently in the one book, there were literally blank pages because-wait for it-her life was nothing without him. Greeeeeeaaat message to send to young, impressionable girls:
    Without a man you are NOTHING, and your life is just like a blank page. And you have the right to treat everyone in your life like crap. Oh, and it's quite alright to jump off a cliff to get him back-whatever it takes, sweetie, as long as you've got your man. Don't worry if you die because he doesn't save you, well that's okay too, because your life was meaningless without him anyways. And that nice guy who actually liked you and doesn't want to kill you-forget him, he doesn't mean anything. He isn't perfect. He doesn't sparkle. And when you finally have sex with that sparkly, perfect guy - finally, because he was being an upstanding guy and witholding it from you, because clearly he's the one in control- it's fine if he almost kills you. Just be sure to hide those bruises so he doesn't feel bad. Yeah, and that kid you're now pregnant with because he was an ass and didn't use protection, don't worry about it. Yes, yes, I know that it's killing you but you have that damn baby you selfish girl! Maybe if you hadn't been such a selfish, sexual slut in the first place, you wouldn't be in this predicament. The baby won't screw up your life at all, because it's not like you had plans to do anything with your life anyways. Oh, and be sure to not have any interests outside of your "boyfriend". Read books and cook dinner for your father, that is all. And be a complete ass towards anyone who isn't your boyfriend, they're not important anyway. Make sure you always have a guy to save you, because you're just so clumsy and might hurt yourself breathing or something. You're a girl and therefore need a guy to be your saviour. The end.

    That's basically the message I got from the book. The good thing is, I realize how utterly ridiculous and stupid it is. Unfortunately, most of the girls who read Twilight don't realize this and honestly think they need an Edward and should be a damsel in distress just like Bella.

    Well...

    I think this article was right on the money for the screwed up sexual politics Mrs.Meyer plays in her books. Although I think it's perfectly normal for a woman to have a rape fantasy (as long as it remains a fantasy or is roleplayed with another consenting adult with a safeword, but I digress), I dont think this type of material should be aimed at teen girls. All this sexual-abstinence politics in the books just seems very 'off' to me, but I guess on the brightside it's encouraging reading...

    As a vampire-fan (the sexual nature of the characters included), I really hate what Twilight has done to Vampires in literature. Meyer claims she didn't even research any vampire lore....

    Twilight Series

    i started reading twilight before it became overrun with this media/preteen phase. & i think the books are fantastic all FOUR of them, they are just books for petes sake. get over it people. personally the fourth book is one of my favorites. <3 & p.s. to all the people who haven't read them and critisize them anyway...get.over.yourselves. & quite being so damn rude.

    don't take it so seriously ppl

    c'mon it's just a fiction book, nth else. You shouldn't treat it like if it was some very important book or sth. just don't read it if you don't like a little bit o fantasie in your lifes.
    vampires can glamour humans you know. don't you watch true blood? lol

    GET OVER IT

    I think the books are fantastic all four of them. Get over it people they are just books. I understand your concerns about what your kids read. I have one too. But remember they do not tend to OVER analyze everything than we, adults, do. For them it's a story. FICTIONAL!!! The ones who are more problematic are 14/15 years old girls... who tend to idealize everything... So you sit down with her and make her understand that it's a BOOK that vampires are just legends... that Edward it's not perfect, not a person and not even real. And that Bella sometimes makes wrong choices and that's also fictional.
    As from Bella's lack of interest in anything but Edward... Bella it's just another 17 years old girl who has a boyfriend and thinks HE is everything... (I was one of this girls). When you are 17 everything is bigger and wider but you grow up and knows better. You are trying putting a 17 years old girls in 20 something or 30 something mind... Bella's it's 17 and almost 19 at the end of the book. SHE'S A TEENAGER and she acts like it.
    About the forth book I love it... everything you want to happen on the first 3 happens. And of course the sexual tension ends... DUH!!! We (the people with just a bit of sense) know that at the end of the 3rd book. The will got married dunno they will go "all the way"... before or after she became a vampire... that was the big question.
    Ask this question to yourself and the answer will come in mind to you. What would I do if I was Bella? With Bella's background of course. So, a girl who wants to be part of the wall and disappear. A girl who is interested on books and nothing more. Who's life just pass to her.
    I made that question myself and the answer was... probably the same thing than Bella. For her this new life... this characters.. so different from the flat life she lived till now is exciting. And apart from that the incredible and without scape attraction she felt to this guy. This unspeakable love she felt for him and attracts each other.
    About the fact he protects her "virtue". Of course... and if you read the 3rd book you will know best. He's from 1918 and grow up with that knowledge of world. And of course she "attacks" him and want to have sex, she grows up on the 2000's and with a mom who talks about sex and protection to her. So... both are acting as his nurture as they were raise by their parents.
    So If you want your kid learn something... TEACH them. If you teach them a book will not erase that.

    This is my honest and clear opinion. GET OVER IT!!! And think a book it's more than a book if you make it more. I used to watch 90210, Melrose place and all of that and I do not want to make out or have sex with every friend I have as they do on the sitcoms.
    The trick is know how to teach the kids to balance the reality and the fiction. And you know, a 10 years old kid... on that matter knows best. My 5 years old told me... but MOM Cinderella it's JUST a cartoon... it's NOT REAL... she knows best... I'm just the moron.

    As a feminist, and an avid

    As a feminist, and an avid reader of fiction and non fiction alike, I actually enjoyed the Twilight books. The characters were a little young for me, but as long as I ignored the whole high school thing, I was ok. While there were certainly some elements in the books that precipitate the 50's housewife idea, I have to completely disagree with the violence felt toward the honeymoon scene. First of all, it was not Edward's overriding lust that caused him to basically fuck her brains out...Bella practically had to molest him to get anything going, precisely because he *didn't* want to hurt her. And yes of course she liked it-- it was the "consummation" if you will, of her uber-passionate love with her new husband, and bruises or not, it was probably very enjoyable. Now, I'm sure had Bella protested or expressed pain during the sack session, Edward would have stopped (obviously having demonstrated incredible will-power already), and even if he was a normal human being, there would still have been some very obvious pain involved for Bella as a first-timer. Anyway, overall I thought this was a good article, but dismissive of some very important elements.

    I agree, and I would add

    I agree, and I would add that, if you think a woman who chooses to go on with a relationship because she wants to, to have a child because she wants to, and become stronger and starting a whole new life is a weak woman, then I think you should change your concept of "feminist". To accuse the "Twilight" series of being anti-feminist is not only crazy, but stupid. Now we women can choose, why should we all do exactly the same? That's also sexism.

    Ugh

    I finally gave in and read Twilight, even knowing what to expect.

    I wouldn't say that Bella is completely powerless--she does tend to manipulate Edward--but she sure doesn't react to things the way most normal girls would, and I think that's one of the problems I had with the book and where I would make a distinction from other comments here. I can see her getting over the vampire issue...that's kinda cool. But the stalking, the watching her sleep? No. Physically intimidating her and telling her that he would just overpower her and do what he wants so she might as well go along anyway? No. The fact that Bella just shrugs and decides that he's so handsome that anything he does is fine...yuck. Whereas poor Mike, who is described as merely nice, doesn't stand a chance...

    The endless descriptions of Edward's "perfection" and godliness/angelic face/statuesque figure started to make me nauseated...truly, if anyone is a Mary Stu here, it's he! Or both of them, I guess--blarf. The other human characters just faded away by midway through the book as Bella became so obsessively engrossed in Edward that she literally felt physically ill if Edward left her side...arguably both unhealthy and how a "real" teenager might feel (like the ones that run away because their parents disapprove of their relationship, which happened around here recently). So yes, teens do relate, and though we might see Bella as being stupid, boring, and obsessed, guess what? Teens act that way sometimes (note: "act," not "are").

    Will these books cause a spike in young teen marriages and violent honeymoon sex, really? Hmmmm....really? Insipid though they are, thank goodness these books are NOT the only guide girls have. Most teen shows do not portray girls like Bella (who'd have thought I'd champion television?!), and most teen magazines are all about self-confidence and independence. I would never in a million years want these books to fall into the hands of any kid under the age of 13 (that thought just made me retch a little), but I think that most readers who like them and even obsess over them won't actually become little Bellas. Besides--where would they find a boy as perfect as Edward?

    Physically intimidating her?

    Physically intimidating her? LOL. When? And I don't know why people think watching her sleep is stalking. I guess all parents that watch their babies sleep are stalkers too.

    It's different if it's your

    It's different if it's your boyfriend who sneaks in through your window to watch you because you're entertaining when you sleep.

    I find it so sad that these

    I find it so sad that these books are actually on summer reading lists for high schools, instead of the brilliant literary works of authors like Shakespeare.

    That says something terribly frightening about today's society.

    No they're not!

    You've got to be fucking kidding me? Wanna know what was on my summer reading list for my incoming freshman year? The Odyssey and The Return of the Native. I also had to read Invisible Man for my incoming Junior year summer, and for senior year AP English, Hamlet, He, The Art of Loving, and two others that are escaping my mind. Which is why I'm going to send my future children to private Catholic school simply because I can't rely on public school to give my future kids the same education I received at a private Catholic institution.

    It's just so sad that high schoolers aren't being challenged anymore.

    2 Bite or Not to Bite

    In a world where pressure to have sex so soon after meeting someone is so strong, I can see how it might be appealing to some people to have the thrill of "waiting" glamorized. It seems dating and waiting have been lost to a new culture of sex first and then the dating. I think we have lost that sense of longing that getting to know someone before you share a sexual experience with them gives you. Pleasure is so easy to access now we almost take it for granted. Which in turn makes us take everything for granted, especially ourselves.
    For me when I read the first two books I actually thought it was empowering for Bella that she didn’t have to “give it up” to be liked by Edward. Which I think is pretty cool for young people to know. I guess I thought Edward was just trying to control himself more then anything. Not let himself be pushed around by his own pleasure delusions. And setting by him setting clear boundaries she was controlling but it was himself that he was controlling. I felt like he was giving his heart and she was giving hers but they weren’t unrealistic about it. Realism is the sorrowful heckler at the end of every relationship that taunts us and says “You weren’t being realistic. You were projecting on to the other person what you wanted them to be. “
    When will we as a society grow up a bit and realize Love is not a drug to get lost in. Love is a mirror to be able to see yourself more clearly in. It is the ultimate reality check, of your self. I think that Self control isn’t valued at all anymore. Almost like we can’t let men take it slow and fall in love too. We all need indulgence and abstain. It is the yin and the yang. We should have wild passionate soul gazing sex. But damn it’s fun to wait and not read the last page of the book before the first page.
    A fantasy where a dude likes you enough to honor your desires is sexy. For me however a fantasy where a dude believes he is worth it enough to honor his own values make it even sexier.

    Really, BITCH? Really?

    D***, are you guys still posting about this???

    Great article. I wish all my

    Great article. I wish all my friends who are into Twilight would read it.

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    طربي طرب


    طرب نت


    طرب - موقع طرب -'vf


    محمد عبده


    راشد الماجد


    عبدالمجيد عبدالله


    طلال مداح


    مواقع متنوعه


    منتديات عامه


    منتديات اسلاميه


    منتديات ادبيه


    منتديات بنات


    منتديات التقنيه


    منتديات فنيه


    اخبار الفن


    برامج الجوال


    قصائد صوتية


    بلوتوث


    دخول السوابر


    الأشتراكـات


    زخارف شات


    دردشة شباب الخليج


    دردشة خليجي رومانسيه


    دردشة شات بنات الخليج - شات
    بنت الخليج


    دردشة بيروت


    دردشة صبايا لبنان


    دردشة ستار اكاديمي


    دردشة لبنان شات لبنان


    دردشة قلب لبنان


    دردشة دلع لبنان


    دردشة بنات لبنان


    دردشة عاشق لبنان


    دردشة اللاذقيه


    دردشة بنات الشام


    دردشة بنات سوريا


    دردشة صوتية


    دردشة عيون فلسطين


    دردشة غزه


    دردشة زهرة فلسطين


    دردشة بنت فلسطين


    دردشة النصر - شات النصر


    شات دلع سوريه


    شات صبايا سوريا


    شات بنات المغرب


    شات دلع العراق


    شات بنات العراق


    شات بنات المنامه


    شات دلع البحرين


    شات بنات البحرين


    شات جوكر


    دردشة شات خليجنا واحد


    جدة غير


    شات هوى العشاق


    شات الدوحه


    شات مون قطر


    شات قطر


    شات تراث الإمارات


    شات الامارات


    شات بحور الامارات


    تعارف بنات - تعارف شباب بنات


    دردشة شات تعارف - شات تعارف


    شات المتون - ahj hglj,k



    مواقع  دردشة


    دردشة الهلال
    - شات الهلال


    دردشة الاتحاد
    - شات الاتحاد


    دردشة الشباب
    - شات الشباب


    دردشة الاهلي
    - شات الاهلي


    شات حارات
    الاردن


    شات بنات
    الاردن


    صور مشاهير
    عرب صور مشاهير اجانب منوعه


    برامج
    الجوال - برامج حماية للجوال


    ثيمات_خلفيات-نغمات-العاب

     رسائل-مسجات

     

    مقاطع بلوتوث


    صور
    للفنانه الشابه بثينه الرئيسي


    صور
    زينب العسكري


    صور
    ساندرا


    صور
    الفنانات العربيات بلباس الجينز


    صور
    الفنانه حنان ترك


    صور ميس
    حمدان


    صور 
    عبادي الجوهر


    صور طلال مداح


    صور
    الفنانه شهد الياسين


    صور
    رزان مغربي


    صور كـــــــاظــم الســـاهـــر


    صور منى
    بطلة مسلسل لامكان ولاوطن


    صور ×
    باسكال مشعلاني × صور


    صور
    الملكه نجوى كرم


    صور
    السندباد راشد الماجد


     
    صور
    الفنان حسين الجسمي


    صور
    الفنان العرب


     صور لميساء مغربي


    صور
    للفنانه  امل العوضي


    صور شذى
    حسون


    صور جميله - صور حلوه


    صور رومانسيه , صور رومانسيه جديده


    صور حب - صور حب رائعه


    تصاميم
    - فوتوشوب - فلاش - دروس _سويتش


    اخبار
    الفن - اخبار المشاهير - اخبار النجوم


    مطبخ
    - اكلات - حلويات - معجنات


    الأسره
    - الطفل - الحياه الزوجيه


    الديكور
    - المنزل - الاثاث - غرف


    ازياء
    - موضه - فساتين


    رياضه
    - اخبار الرياضه


    قصائد
    صوتيه


    قصص
    - حكايات


    خواطر


    شعر
    - قصائد - همس القوافي


    سياحه
    - سفر - سياحه خارجيه - محليه - دليل سفر


    الاخبار
    - الصحف - الاخبار المحليه - الاخبار الدوليه


    قضايا
    ونقاشات- حوارات- نقاش ساخن


    مواضيع
    عامه


    نصرة
    الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم


    الخيمه
    الرمضانية


    دليل
    المواقع والانترنت



    الاتصال بنا

    -
    الإدارة
    -

    المراقبين
    -

    الأرشيف
    -

    الأعلى

    تعارف بنات - تعارف شباب
    بنات


    دردشة شات تعارف - شات تعارف

    شات بنات الود - دردشة
    بنات الود

    دردشة شات دلع الرياض -
    شات دلع الرياض

    شات بنات الرياض

    شات بنات - دردشة بنات -دردشة
    البنات

    شات بنات 19 - دردشة بنات
    19

    شات
    بنات 21 - دردشة بنات 21

    شات بنات العرب - دردشة
    بنات العرب

    شات بنات السعوديه - دردشة
    بنات السعوديه


    صور بناتيه للماسنجر - صور مسنجر للبنات - صور بنات - صور ماسنجر ‏

    شات
    التحليه - شات بنات التحليه ahj hgjpgdi

    شات العين


    دردشة بنت القمر

     


    شات
    سعودي فله

     


    شات
    فور دبي

     


    شات
    العين دوت كوم

     


    دردشة دبي مون

     


    دردشة بنات الامارات

     


    دردشة بلقيس اليمن

     


    دردشة يمنية ، شات يمني

     


    دردشة عدن

     


    دردشة ابن اليمن


    صور ماسنجر بنات


    صور ماسنجر اطفال


    صور ماسنجر شباب


    صور ماسنجر فنانات


    صور ماسنجر حزينه


    صور اسماء ماسنجر


    صور ماسنجر مضحكه


    صور ماسنجر سيارات


    صور ماسنجر اسلاميه


    صور ماسنجر رياضيه

    دردشة


    دردشة
     

    منتديات,

    موقع شات
    ,


    دليل دردشة

    , دردشة شات ,
    شات
    ,


    ادلة مواقع
    ,


    دردشة كتابيه
    , شات السعوديه , دردشة  كويتيه ,

    دردشة بحرينيه
    ,

    دردشة اماراتيه
    ,

    دردشه قطريه
    ,

    دردشه عمانيه
    ,

    دردشة يمنيه


     دردشة فلسطينيه
    ,

    دردشة مغربيه
    ,

    دردشه مصريه
    ,

    دردشة
    عربيه
    ,

    دردشة لبنانيه
    , دردشة سوريه ,

    دردشة اردنيه
    ,

    دردشة شاميه

    ,

    دردشة عراقيه

    ,
    دردشة سودانيه
    ,

    دردشة ماسنجر


    دردشات كتابيه
    ,


    شاتات سعوديه
    ,

    شات خليجي
    , شات سعودي ,

    شات
    عربي
    , شات البحرين ,

    شات  كويتي
    ,

    شات  قطري
    ,

    شات لبنان

    ,

    شات عراقي
    ,

    شات سوري
    , شات اردني ,

    شات الامارات


    شات مغربي
      ,


    شات الشمال

    ,
    شات جده
    ,


    شات الرياض

    ,
    شات الشرقيه
    ,


    شات الجنوب
    ,


    شات  مكه

    ,
    شات المدينه
      ,


    شات
    المجمعه
    , شات القصيم
    ,
    شات بريده
    ,


    شات عنيزه


    شات الدوادمي
    ,


    شات  الحدود الشماليه

    , شات حفر الباطن
    ,
    شات عرعر
    ,


    شات حائل
    ,


    شات القويعيه
    ,


    شات النعيريه
    ,


    شات البكيريه

    ,
    شات الزلفي

    ,
    شات الخبر
    ,


    شات البدائع


    شات  الدمام
     ,


    شات الهفوف
    ,


    شات الاحساء
    ,
    شات الرس
    ,
    شات تبوك
    ,

    شات  الخفجي
    ,


    شات سدير
    ,


    شات الارطاويه


    شات الطائف

     شات بنت السعوديه
    ,

    شات
    الشله
    ,

    شات الود
    ,

    شات الحب
    , شات الخليج

    ,

    شات  الرومانسيه
    ,

    شات قلبي
    ,

    شات
    قلب
    ,

    شات ود  السعوديه
    ,

    شات غلا السعوديه
    ,

    دردشة غنج - بنات غنج

    ,
    كازنوفا
    - دردشة كازنوفا
    ,
    دردشة شات بنت 18 
    ,

    دردشة الحال
     
    ,

    شبكة تفداك العين - دردشة شات
    العين
      , 
    دردشة نوركام
    ,

    دردشة عيون العرب
     
    ,

    شات تحب

    ,

    دردشة شات الهنوف

    ,

    دردشه سحر العيون

    ,

    دردشة333

    ,

    شات الهمس

    ,

    دردشة اصايل

    ,
    دردشة
    عيون
    ,
    دردشة
    الجامعة
    ,
    شات
    الحوطه
    ,
    شات
    الحريق
    ,
    شات
    سكاكا
    ,
    دردشة
    القريات
    ,
    بنات
    الرياض
    ,


    دردشة عبير

    ,

    دردشة محافظة ابوعريش

    ,

    دردشة شات روحك

    ,

    دردشة منوة المشتاق


    دردشة الحايره
     
    ,
    شات
    دردشة احلام
    ,
    دردشة
    بدوية
    ,
    دردشة
    شات شموخ
    ,
    دردشة
    هوى روحي
    ,
    شات
    رانك - أفضل مائة دردشة عربية

    ,

    دردشه الخيال

    ,

    دردشة شات دردشه قمر14

    ,

    دردشه عسل

    ,

    دردشة ماسه السعودية

    ,

    دردشة ازهار

    ,

    دردشة تيرا

    ,

    شات دردشة المها

    ,

    دردشة وجودي

    ,

    دردشة يا عمري

    ,

    دردشة شات الساهر2000

    ,

    شات دردشة غلاي

    ,

    دردشة بحر الشوق

    ,

    دردشة سارق القلوب

    ,

    دردشة صدى الاهات

    ,

    دردشة دلع نجد - شات دلع نجد

    ,

    دردشة خجل

    ,
    شات
    دردشة سعودي في اي بي
    ,

    فله
    ,

    شات دردشة حبي - شات حبي

    ,

    دردشة لؤلؤة

    ,

    دردشة شات ناعم العود

    ,

    دردشة حبنا

    ,

    دردشة المميزة

    ,

    دردشة غرام
     
    ,

    دردشة مياسة


    دردشة فنتزي

    ,

    شات فله


    شات عبق
     
    ,

    شات الغلا


    شات دلع

    ,

    دردشه مزنه

    ,

    دردشه ، شات ، دردشة سعودية ،
    الموسوعة العربية للمواقع
    ,

    دردشة شات برق


    شات سكون الليل
     
    ,

    شات حدود - دردشة حدود


    دردشة شات كيف - شات كيف


    شات الليل

    ,


    نت لوق 
    , اقوى الدردشات ,


    مواقع متنوعه
      ,


    شات  دلع جده
    ,


    شات بنات جده
      


    شات بنات الجنوب

    ,
    شات جازان
    ,

    شات ابها
    ,


    شات بنات الشرقيه
     ,

    شات بنات القصيم

    صور


    توبيكات





    دردشة
    بسمة عمر

     

    دردشة
    الخليج

     

    دردشة
    سيمفونية الروح



    شات
    بنات



    شات
    آل البيت



    دردشة
    الاميرة نوف



    شات
    حلا



    بحبك



    شات
    الكويت



    شبكة
    كويت بلس



    شات
    ود الكويت



    كويتي
    شات



    شات
    القز



    شات
    الكويت 25



    شات
    كويت 50



    شات
    كويت 60



    شات
    كويت ماكس



    كويت
    777



    شات
    كويت دلع



    شات
    كويتي - شات كويتي كتابي- شات بنت الكويت



    شات
    عمان



    شات
    دلع عمان



    شات
    روح عمان



    شات
    عمان2



    شات
    جوكر



    دردشة
    شات خليجنا واحد



    مجلة
    بحور الالكترونيه



    شبكة
    عرب ويب



    دردشة
    ليالينا العربية



    دردشة 
    سكايب



    دردشة
    محشش


    دردشة مملكة الرومانسيه



    دردشة
    خليجي رومانسيه



    دردشة
    شات بنات الخليج - شات بنت الخليج



    شات
    روعه الخليج



    الولع



    هدوء
    القمر



    شات
    قلب

    شات
    اماني

     

    شات
    جالكسي

     

    دردشة 
    لمى

     

    دردشة
    نهر الدلوعات

     

    دردشة
    دانة

     

    شات
    نهر الحب



    دردشة
    كلك حنان

    دردشة
    الحواري



    شات
    روعه الخليج

    شات
    رحاب المملكة

     
    دردشه عسل




    حبي

     
    شات
    علي بابا

     

    دردشات خليجيه

    دردشات عربيه

    دردشات شاميه



    بانوراما



    تعبت
    قلبي



    دردشة
    السعودية



    دردشة
    الحب



    دردشة
    البنات



    ادلة مواقع


    chat



    العاب - العاب
    بنات


    بلوتوث - مقاطع
    بلوتوث


    اغاني - طرب



    مواقع صور - موقع
    صور



    مواقع الفنانين -
    مواقع فنانات



    مواقع اشهار -
    مواقع تنشيط


    طرب انين القلب


    طرب الكويت - موقع طرب الكويت


    طرب فايف - طرب 5


    طرب مي


    طرطعه - اغاني طرب


    طرب قطر


    طربي طرب


    طرب نت


    طرب - موقع طرب -'vf


    محمد عبده


    راشد الماجد


    عبدالمجيد عبدالله


    طلال مداح


    مواقع متنوعه


    منتديات عامه


    منتديات اسلاميه


    منتديات ادبيه


    منتديات بنات


    منتديات التقنيه


    منتديات فنيه


    اخبار الفن


    برامج الجوال


    قصائد صوتية


    بلوتوث


    دخول السوابر


    الأشتراكـات


    زخارف شات


    دردشة شباب الخليج


    دردشة خليجي رومانسيه


    دردشة شات بنات الخليج - شات
    بنت الخليج


    دردشة بيروت


    دردشة صبايا لبنان


    دردشة ستار اكاديمي


    دردشة لبنان شات لبنان


    دردشة قلب لبنان


    دردشة دلع لبنان


    دردشة بنات لبنان


    دردشة عاشق لبنان


    دردشة اللاذقيه


    دردشة بنات الشام


    دردشة بنات سوريا


    دردشة صوتية


    دردشة عيون فلسطين


    دردشة غزه


    دردشة زهرة فلسطين


    دردشة بنت فلسطين


    دردشة النصر - شات النصر


    شات دلع سوريه


    شات صبايا سوريا


    شات بنات المغرب


    شات دلع العراق


    شات بنات العراق


    شات بنات المنامه


    شات دلع البحرين


    شات بنات البحرين


    شات جوكر


    دردشة شات خليجنا واحد


    جدة غير


    شات هوى العشاق


    شات الدوحه


    شات مون قطر


    شات قطر


    شات تراث الإمارات


    شات الامارات


    شات بحور الامارات


    تعارف بنات - تعارف شباب بنات


    دردشة شات تعارف - شات تعارف


    شات المتون - ahj hglj,k



    مواقع  دردشة


    دردشة الهلال
    - شات الهلال


    دردشة الاتحاد
    - شات الاتحاد


    دردشة الشباب
    - شات الشباب


    دردشة الاهلي
    - شات الاهلي


    شات حارات
    الاردن


    شات بنات
    الاردن


    صور مشاهير
    عرب صور مشاهير اجانب منوعه


    برامج
    الجوال - برامج حماية للجوال


    ثيمات_خلفيات-نغمات-العاب

     رسائل-مسجات

     

    مقاطع بلوتوث


    صور
    للفنانه الشابه بثينه الرئيسي


    صور
    زينب العسكري


    صور
    ساندرا


    صور
    الفنانات العربيات بلباس الجينز


    صور
    الفنانه حنان ترك


    صور ميس
    حمدان


    صور 
    عبادي الجوهر


    صور طلال مداح


    صور
    الفنانه شهد الياسين


    صور
    رزان مغربي


    صور كـــــــاظــم الســـاهـــر


    صور منى
    بطلة مسلسل لامكان ولاوطن


    صور ×
    باسكال مشعلاني × صور


    صور
    الملكه نجوى كرم


    صور
    السندباد راشد الماجد


     
    صور
    الفنان حسين الجسمي


    صور
    الفنان العرب


     صور لميساء مغربي


    صور
    للفنانه  امل العوضي


    صور شذى
    حسون


    صور جميله - صور حلوه


    صور رومانسيه , صور رومانسيه جديده


    صور حب - صور حب رائعه


    تصاميم
    - فوتوشوب - فلاش - دروس _سويتش


    اخبار
    الفن - اخبار المشاهير - اخبار النجوم


    مطبخ
    - اكلات - حلويات - معجنات


    الأسره
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    Loving this...

    This is great. I don't read Twilight, but found your analysis incredibly insightful. New to Bitch, but will come back for content like this!

    Step back for feminism

    This is long but great read. I refuse to read Twilight but I did watch the movie to see what the fuss was all about. In my opinion, a bunch of overrated bullcrap. Bella has no personality and I frankly don't understand why all these characters like her and seem so enchanted with her. She is quite dull. Plus, if I was to chose a team I'd go with Team Jacob since he seems like a nice, less-freaky guy.
    Yes, it's great that kids are reading but damn!
    Children, if you want something to read pick up Harry Potter today! There are 7 books in this series and it's a classic.

    Oui! J'adore Harry Potter!

    Oui! J'adore Harry Potter!

    I am a teenage girl, and I

    I am a teenage girl, and I have to say that I really dislike the Twilight series. I read them all several times, and I finally realized what made me keep going back. The book is such an interesting concept and has some potentially good plots. However, Stephenie Meyer creates totally boring characters. Edward is totally overbearing and broing, while Bella can't do anything for or by herself without need ing some supernatural creature to come and save her butt. AND, the only other female characters in the book(namely the female vampires), while totally stronga and able to protect themselves unlike Bella, are unable to have kids and must settle for substitute relationships. I think this is just an nference that strong, powerful women aren't good moms. The only one who gets to be a mom is Bella, who just lets herself be constantly dominated by Edward

    The misogyny and dysfunction

    The misogyny and dysfunction of Bella and Edward is a blend of classic co-dependency with a dash of Stockholm Syndrom thrown in (loving your captor and abuser!) I say captor insofar as she seems to believe that she cannot live a life without him, not to mention that he polices her whereabouts and in the specific case of Jacob decides who she can and cannot see...as if he were her gaoler...

    Both Bella (a bland, walking vortex and a Sue-ish vampire who drains the life out of the narrative even before she ever encounters the Cullens) and Edward (ridiculously idealised) are Sues and Stus respectively; the gothic overtones of the text (vampires, werewolves, damsel-perpetually-in-distress and allusions to 19th century authors and texts) are more Hollywood than "Castle of Otranto". The book fails as a 'bildungsroman' insofar as it celebrates arrested development (the two protagonists remain teenagers for eternity and never emotionally progress beyond an insubstantial high school romance). And while Twilight meditates on predatory sexuality and chastity (which is nothing new for vampiric tropes) it is disturbing, to say the least, how the series manages to divest the mythology of the vampire of its ability to meditate on life, death and the human condition. While in most vampire fiction, mortality, the lure of immortality and the notion of sacrifice is a central moral dilemma for Bella at least, mortality is an irritating inconvenience while immortality is like, too cool.

    The responses that interested me the most were the those that questioned how Twilight had allegedly re-fashioned or 'subverted' the vampire as a mythic figure - especially those posts that concluded that, other than throwing a handful of 'glitter' (!) at Edward, Meyer had in fact bought very little that was new, interesting or original to the figure. Much of the 'originality' she was being credited for (vampire vegetarianism, psychic mind-reading vampires, dhampires and so forth) had already been used by other authors (Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice, Joss Whedon etc.) Heck, even J.K. Rowling (another mediocre pop-lit phenomena who also borrowed rather heavily from any number of other authors) had beaten Meyers to the punch in terms of using the rather ridiculous "he-caught-her-scent-and- fell-in-'love' meme.

    (Edward is driven wild by Bella's mouth-watering scent while Harry catches a stray whiff of Ginny Weasley's amazing scent then develops a roaring monster in his "chest" and falls for her - all of which belongs to the pheromonal world of deodorant advertising. Both are incredibly tacky but I guess that Twilight gets more credit for at least being more open about the fact that it *is* 'alluding' to sexual attraction.)

    I agree with the article and many of the posts that are critical of how the series deals with sexuality. Kudos to the poster upthread who pointed out that only Edward's libido is affective and only he posesses true sexual agency. Bella is allowed to express sexual desire but it is peripheral. Edward desire is central and ultimately decides if and when they are permitted to have sex and dictates the terms of their circumstances. There is no sense that they mutually arrive at a decision as a couple - she bargains/wrangles and he dictates. It inverts the traditional script of the woman being forced to assume responsibility for sexual refusal and restraint but instead burdens the man with it - which is hardly an advancement. Worse, Bella is then thrust into the predictable role of 'temptress/Eve' and male sexuality is still typecast as dangerous, potentially out-of-control and above all central to any proceedings.

    That said, I actually think that Twilight is far more convincing than the Potter series in at least acknowledging and demonstrating the existence of sexual desire, sexual tension tension and the erotic whereas in the Potter series, the characters are as sexless as Blyton characters. All of the eventual snogging (or even the instance in which Ginny nobly offers herself as a 'gift' to Harry) feels forced, perfunctory (look! They're teenagers!), contrived and *flat*. It's not organic in the least. Rowling symbolically puts them through the motions of burgeoning adolescent sexuality but primly steers clear of ever showing the physical sensations/desire that go along with that process. (I'm not talking about an absence of sex scenes - graphic or otherwise - but of the real lack of sexual feeling, sensation or emotion in the text. To be fair Harry Potter isn't a romance, but it is a curiously blank slate on the matter of real sexuality as it is on so much else. Twilight is at least *genuinely* hormonal - but to rather dubious effect...)

    While I'm highly critical of Twilight, I don't think that Rowling's series makes for superior reading, especially since the quality of the writing (and editing) goes rapidly downhill from book 4 onwards. (Rowling's adverb-addicted prose at best is only marginally better than Meyer's.) It also has it's own problems in terms of gender roles and sexuality while it's simplistic Calvanist framework is just as apparent as Twilight's LDS morality.

    Sorry, that should be

    Sorry, that should be 'Calvinist' framework but the point remains the same.

    Get over yourselves.

    So you don't like the Twilight Saga? Get over it. It's a work of fiction, and it's not the end of the world. It's a damn book, who cares if people enjoy it? Typical human move here-always looking for something to complain about.

    Please.

    First, I just want to say I think the poster is reading way too much into the story. Please, this isn't Faulkner where every other line has a double/triple meaning and symbolism is leaking off the page. All Meyers did was follow the basic "vampire love formula." You know, vampire (good or evil) finds love in a human who saves his humanity or kills him. I emphasize the "love" part of the formula because of course, some vampire stories the vampires really are just evil and there's no saving them. It just comes down to horror vs. romance. This, obviously, is romance.

    Secondly, I want to say that when you read the book, you can't think the vampires are people, like you or me. That's the point of being a vampire. You're comparing normal men and normal relationships to something (though fictional) you don't understand. Think of vampires as another species. Would you really belittle a praying mantis for biting the head off her mate? Well, it's a form of abuse (decapitation? come on!) and if those bugs were human, the female would be incarcerated for life. But we don't put bugs in prison, do we? Why not? Apart from that being a ridiculous scenario and bugs are well, bugs, we don't because it's nature and we don't know the reasons for this action or motivation behind it. Vampires are subjected to a natural urge that we, as humans, don't understand. They also have super human strength, speed, etc., that hinders what they can do. Bella is fragile to vampires, the same way trees are fragile to chainsaws. It's all about perception.

    Thirdly, I disagree with "Bella not having a say and is only an object." Yes, I see why it can be read that way, but I also see that Bella has many choices throughout the novels. Edward refuses to take her humanity because he is trying to save her. BUT! She has the choice to turn into a vampire by asking another vampire. She WANTS Edward to be the one to do it, which is why she waits. At the end of the series, she really debates on whether that's what she really wants -- her decision finally is that she wants to turn into a vampire. She also has the choice of losing her virginity, there are obviously tons of willing participants in the story. (Also, when Edward gives in the first time, Bella changes her mind and makes the CHOICE to wait.) The point is that she wants to lose it to Edward. Edward having a will and choice of his own, doesn't want to. Mainly because he could kill her (remember, he's a vampire which means 'not human' which means yes it's plausible for him to kill Bella while having sex). How is him saying "no" to killing Bella a bad thing? I mean, I once asked my dad if I could go sky diving and he said "no." Why? Because it's dangerous. When Bella becomes a vampire (again, not human), Edward has no problem having sex with her. Bella also has the choice of leaving Forks. In fact, she had the choice to leave Pheonix in the beginning. Bella is a caring and thoughtful person, who's also madly in love, and those traits dictate her decisions. Yes, those reasons have to do with Edward, but is not Edward himself.

    And as for her turning into a boring housewife.. Well, I guess all the Cullens are boring housewives. Minus Carlisle, since he's the only one with a job. Everyone else, the males and females, just hang out with the family or go on vacation. I don't think Bella turns into a stereotypical housewife -- it's her joining a new family with a different lifestyle that WE the audience of humans have not and will not experience unless you're ridiculously wealthy.

    My whole point here is that the only reason why Edward can "protect" Bella (and does) is because he's not freaking human (and seriously, I could go into a whole rant about Bella really being Edward's savior, which I think is REALLY the point of the whole novel, but I'm sure that argument can be googled so I'm not going to repeat it). You're basing your argument off the assumption that he's a normal guy and this is a normal relationship. It's a book. And I think everyone is overreacting. If people can't figure out that it's not real and it's nothing they will ever experience, then that's sad. If anything, this book is saying that girls will not find a loving guy who won't pressure them into sex and "do the right thing" unless he's fictional.

    If people want a book to complain about I suggest reading "A Pirate's Love." It's about a pirate who kidnaps and repeatedly rapes a young women who falls in love with him and enjoys being raped. They have a kid together at the end and she marries him after he saves her from another kidnapper. Or, read the Bible. That's more fully distributed throughout the world and is used to actually teach children (not a great morale booster for women). Talk about chauvinistic. Song of Solomon is actually very sexually graphic. No one wants to believe there's 'smut' in the Bible, but it's there and it's erotic. How's that for "abstinence?" Seriously, wtf.

    "I disagree with "Bella not

    "I disagree with "Bella not having a say and is only an object." Yes, I see why it can be read that way, but I also see that Bella has many choices throughout the novels. Edward refuses to take her humanity because he is trying to save her. BUT! She has the choice to turn into a vampire by asking another vampire. She WANTS Edward to be the one to do it, which is why she waits. At the end of the series, she really debates on whether that's what she really wants -- her decision finally is that she wants to turn into a vampire. She also has the choice of losing her virginity, there are obviously tons of willing participants in the story. (Also, when Edward gives in the first time, Bella changes her mind and makes the CHOICE to wait.) The point is that she wants to lose it to Edward. Edward having a will and choice of his own, doesn't want to. Mainly because he could kill her (remember, he's a vampire which means 'not human' which means yes it's plausible for him to kill Bella while having sex). How is him saying "no" to killing Bella a bad thing? I mean, I once asked my dad if I could go sky diving and he said "no." Why? Because it's dangerous. When Bella becomes a vampire (again, not human), Edward has no problem having sex with her. Bella also has the choice of leaving Forks. In fact, she had the choice to leave Pheonix in the beginning. Bella is a caring and thoughtful person, who's also madly in love, and those traits dictate her decisions. Yes, those reasons have to do with Edward, but is not Edward himself."

    I agree with all of that. Nicely put.

    I think it takes some stretching to get to a place where you're arguing that it's somehow a dangerous thing for a high-school couple mutually, together, through a protracted (and oh my goodness is it protracted) process of negotiation and discussion — for that couple to decide not to have sex until after marriage. Honestly, did you miss the moment in the books where Edward tells Bella (quite correctly) that everything he's done has been a total fuck up, and they should just do whatever she wants? Or where she gobsmacks him by showing him that he actually believes in his own soul? The idea that Bella is somehow not the center of the story, and that she has no agency, is deeply, deeply confused.

    I think really the animus on display here has less to do with the passivity of Bella per se and more to do with the fact that (some) feminists are really, really leery of abstinence — because of its connections to Christianity, and because the sex-positive bias of (some) feminism remains less questioned than it maybe possibly could be.

    I wish Andrea Dworkin were still around. I doubt very much that she'd like Twilight (she didn't like much of anything, bless her), but I bet her take on the novels and the phenomena would be really weird and worthwhile.

    Abstiiance/masturbation porn, and why do we keep teaching it?

    Very good analysis, extremely well-written and reasoned. I'm angry - I'd have trouble keeping the intellectual distance that the writer, Prof. Seifert, did. I'm ANGRY that our society still tolerates, and worse, teaches, girls, teen women, older than teen women, to want this, to view it as romantic, to find Edward appealing at all. The author of the books, is a Mormon, as I understand it, she also acknowledges that is no Laurell K. Hamilton (hey, you want to read about vampires and lycanthropes, werewolves, etc - she's your author; no pathetic heroine, yes it's over the top, but it's decently well written, and characters actually... develop.

    I couldn't read any of the Twilight series. It just.... doesn't.. it's wrong, it's bad, it's disturbing and if it had just stopped as masturbatory "abstinence porn" of an ugly sort, bad enough ... but the whole marriage and consummation/rape thing.. Mormon, fine, we get that her views on where a woman should be aren't what we want, but to make the heroine so useless, is sickening.

    And come on - whether one feel "vampire fiction" is useless or can be interesting (I fall into the latter category, well-written anything that can hold my interest, be it the Anita Blake series, Jane Austen, or a book I read that opened me to a new area of fiction - Snow Crash -- whatever it is, if it holds my interest and is decently written, I'll read it... but for me well-written also means it can't be toxic.

    Pretty Woman - the movie was so cute, love story, the Princess gets rescued by the rich and handsome prince... how much damage did that one do?

    Why the hell are we still such easy prey, and why do WE write this stuff, why do we allow it or allow the society to remain such that girls and women are still drawn by this, hopelessly drawn and attracted by giving it all up.

    Literally and completely, so completely... sparkly vampires; not sure if the "Vampire Diaries" with magic decoders rings, such that they can be daywalkers is sillier, but this series has zero to do with any form of "literature" other than propaganda to gild the message - abstain or else, until you get married, and btw, sex "hurts" - not fun kink, but bruising... on a virgin outing?

    What the hell are you

    What the hell are you talking about? Rape? There was no rape in any of the Twilight books.

    Your opinion is invalid. You haven't even read the Twilight books. They aren't Shakespeare, but they are interesting to some. How do you know ANYTHING about the books? All your basing your opinion on is what other people have said. Read the book. Then come up with your opinion. If you feel the same way, then fine.

    Also, the Anita Blake series? I'm sorry, but if you want to talk about pornography and bestiality, that's the series for it right there.

    Twilight isn't about abstinence porn. All it does is describe make out scenes which most teenagers either experience themselves or can watch on Degrassi. How is writing it any different or more wrong? If Bella and Edward never had that sexual energy between them, they wouldn't be dating. And there would be no story.

    And Mormons? I think the whole "getting bit by a vampire" isn't accepted by Mormons, so I don't think the writer's religion has much to do with the story.

    What the hell are you

    What the hell are you talking about? Rape? There was no rape in any of the Twilight books.

    Your opinion is invalid. You haven't even read the Twilight books. They aren't Shakespeare, but they are interesting to some. How do you know ANYTHING about the books? All your basing your opinion on is what other people have said. Read the book. Then come up with your opinion. If you feel the same way, then fine.

    Also, the Anita Blake series? I'm sorry, but if you want to talk about pornography and bestiality, that's the series for it right there.

    Twilight isn't about abstinence porn. All it does is describe make out scenes which most teenagers either experience themselves or can watch on Degrassi. How is writing it any different or more wrong? If Bella and Edward never had that sexual energy between them, they wouldn't be dating. And there would be no story.

    And Mormons? I think the whole "getting bit by a vampire" isn't accepted by Mormons, so I don't think the writer's religion has much to do with the story.

    What the hell are you

    What the hell are you talking about? Rape? There was no rape in any of the Twilight books.

    Your opinion is invalid. You haven't even read the Twilight books. They aren't Shakespeare, but they are interesting to some. How do you know ANYTHING about the books? All your basing your opinion on is what other people have said. Read the book. Then come up with your opinion. If you feel the same way, then fine.

    Also, the Anita Blake series? I'm sorry, but if you want to talk about pornography and bestiality, that's the series for it right there.

    Twilight isn't about abstinence porn. All it does is describe make out scenes which most teenagers either experience themselves or can watch on Degrassi. How is writing it any different or more wrong? If Bella and Edward never had that sexual energy between them, they wouldn't be dating. And there would be no story.

    And Mormons? I think the whole "getting bit by a vampire" isn't accepted by Mormons, so I don't think the writer's religion has much to do with the story.

    i agree with the rest of the

    i agree with the rest of the article but i've gotta ask...why is it not ok to like bruises? if bella likes her bruises i don't see how that's a bad thing. i mean it'd be better if the next morning she mentioned those sweet bruises from all the hot sex they had last night. that would be more empowering, yes. but really, i'm thinking it's not abuse if i say "bite me"

    actually most people here

    actually most people here don´t even get the concept of the book, yes edward is described as the most perfect guy in the world but no one has ever thought that in the book Edward is just so perfect because your reading from bella´s point of view? and that she can only see the good things on him because she is in love with him? in midnight sun you can actually meet the real Edward the not perfect one and the only perfect one there is bella the only bad thing here is that most girls don´t really know or take the time to think of that they just superficially read the book but if you really read it you can see a lot of diferent things, bella is actually in charge of her own body and of her life because in twilight she is really coodependent of Edward and she would do anything he asks her, but when Edward leaves in new moon and everything comes down for her, she gets up thanks to jacob and well it hurts her but she keeps going, but in eclipse you can see the really diferent part of bella where she gets that edward it´s not her entire life, that she doesn´t need him every minute of the day of course she wants to become a vampire but it´s because bella doesn´t really think that takes her life or her soul away it will let her live for ever with the people she loves and in eclipse it´s actually her that tells edward she wants to have sex with him and it´s because she decides it no one decides that for her, Edward doesn´t want to because he can kill her but edward is just as dependent and does anything for bella as she does for him. And I personally love the character of Bella because ok they show you the vampires and wolfs that fight and are really strong and protect humans, molstly Bella, but Bella being a normal human teenage girl puts her life at risk all the time to save the people she loves, her mom, edward, jacob and all the cullens, it shows you you don´t have to be super strong or have super speed to be brave and defend what you believe and to defend people you love and when i read them and they talked about pride and perdujice, withering hights, romeo and juliet and those classic books it really made me want to read them to so i could understand better the books, and got so caught up reading the twilight saga and how much fun it was reading that after that i started reading a lot of other books but well not every one can take the books the same way.

    To read Twilight or not to read Twilight

    I have taught for 15 years in an inner-city high school. One of my AP students asked me to read Twilight and I ended up reading all four books. While they are not great pieces of literature, they did open the doors for very real conversations. Conversations about the literary qualities of the books but also about the roles of men and women in novels and movies and in real life. One of my male students went on to read Romeo and Juliet on his own and others had a new interest in Wuthering Heights. Boys that had never read a book cover to cover finished Twilight. Students compared Bella and Edward's relationship to that of Elizabeth and Darcy. Some of my students found Bella to be a flawed character without much personality, others really liked her.

    The fact of the matter is - we need to talk about the social implications of such a book with young people. While some people have commented that reading these books is a waste of time my answer is not if you are willing to then talk about them. While I would love it if all my students headed straight for Jane Austen or Margaret Atwood, I fully understand that if you let them read what they want and then engage in conversation, their interests change, develop, even blossom.

    For that, I guess I am thankful for the Twilight saga. I have had very rich conversations with my students - ones that benefitted both the teacher and the students.

    The greatest sign of meaningful learning is when students begin to think for themselves. By discussing the book, the characters, and by trying to get into the author's head, my students came up with their own ideas and even enjoyed the whole process.
    Imagine that - students having fun learning! In a school system where books like Huck Finn, Push (by Sapphire), and Harry Potter are banned, I cringe when people write about stopping others from reading a particular piece of literature.

    The article was a great piece and one I will use with my students.
    Thanks!

    Umm - I am stupid

    Confused somewhat

    A lot of what is written here i completely understand and appreciate, and I did actually enjoy the Twilight saga without once seeing the deeper side to it. I quite enjoyed them and still do, but i need to say this:
    yes twilight is perhaps subliminally saying all these things, but i did not notice or have any need to even consider this "darker side" if it had not been mentioned by groups such as 'Twilight glorifies sexism and abuse'. Wrong, Twilight DEALS with sexism and abuse.

    This is a great article,

    This is a great article, thanks! I posted it as a link from my video blog about Twilight - http://www.feministfrequency.com/2009/11/the-real-reason-guys-should-hat...

    Hmmm, where have I heard that argument before...

    It’s clear from both the books and the fan fiction response to them that Edward has taken on the role of protector of Bella’s human blood and chastity, both of which, ironically, are always in peril when Edward is nearby. Bella is not in control of her body, as abstinence proponents would argue; she is absolutely dependent on Edward’s ability to protect her life, her virginity, and her humanity.

    The Taliban must love the Twilight series. That sounds a lot like how they, and groups like them, justify the oppression of women: It's for their own good, in a world where women can't defend themselves from lustful men.

    This is absurd. This

    This is absurd. This article is a reference on Wikipedia and one of my friends just put a quote in his facebook status. Underneath he commented "Twilight promotes weakness in females. If you love Twilight, you are a weak female." I sincerely despise you for putting that idea out there.
    Yes, there might be subliminal, deep, dark meanings behind what Meyers is saying in the books but it all comes down to love. Why is everyone picking it a part making it ugly and getting defensive? I think the people that are really bothered by how Bella acts (vulnerable, not in control or herself, dependent on Edward) have never truly loved someone. Because when you're racked with emotion, as Bella so often is, all of those things happen and it's not part of being weak it's part of being human. Even greater than that since Edward feels almost the same amount of distress and he's not human.
    When you're in love you would die for that person no questions asked and that's what Bella does. So sue her? And is everyone forgetting that Edward is just as dependent on Bella which is shown in New Moon when he basically attempts suicide when he thinks Bella's dead?
    I think it's crap to even begin to take this on with a feminist point of you. How dare you destroy a wonderful story. And yeah, Bella and Edward end up having sex. Anyone that thought they weren't going to for a second is clearly way too naive to be reading at this level. And anyone that was disappointed by it needs to seriously get a grip.

    I gotta disagree

    After mulling this article over (yes, for like two years. I'm a procrastinator), I finally got around to blogging a response to this article. (http://overbear.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/unapologetic-twilight-love-ok-m...) - I really have been thinking about it that long - I love Bitch Magazine, and this article did not seem like the kind of smart, complex response to pop culture that I expect from y'all.

    There are plenty of reasons to be upset with Twilight, but it's more complicated than this article makes it out to be. I don't think you can dismiss the Twilight phenomenon as completely misogynist and hopeless. Or rather, you can do anything you like, but I can't dismiss it. There are feminist things about the books, and those things are part of why rabid fans love them. There's hope.

    The Twilight books model abusive relationships, which sucks in a serious way, but they also have a smart protagonist who really wants superpowers and good sex, and who is constantly proving the men wrong. And at the end, she's a badass.

    (Also, I gotta agree with some of the previous comments re: bruises not always being a bad thing. That one complaint really summed up my problems with this article. There are legitimate problems with Twilight, but this article moves beyond those and starts grasping at straws. The bruises are not from abuse. They are from rough sex, which Bella says she enjoyed. I fail to see the problem with that. It actually seems kinda pro-female-sexuality, and therefor kinda feminist, to me.)

    Thank you for a great essay!

    Thank you for a great essay! All of this is thinly disguised Mormon bullshit.
    Thinly disguised because Stephanie Meyer can't write worth shit.

    I have to admit it... I read

    I have to admit it... I read them. :| I promised myself I wasn't going to, but then I decided to find out if I was the freak, or if it was the rest of my generation. I decided it was them. The writing is awful, the idea unoriginal, and the relationship screwed the hell up. HE'S 110 AND SHE'S 17! jesus!... I haven't seen the movie, but he's not hot and I have yet to figure out what the obsession is.

    Spoiler

    very good article. but actually, if you ever write anything that has a spoiler *especially for a book, which people might be in the middle of, let us know youre spoiling it.

    - thanks, ms. seifert.

    What worked for me and why I read the series

    I enjoyed reading the various comments posted about these books. I was only ten pages in to the first one before I strained my eyes from rolling them so much, then somewhere along the way, despite my best efforts, I got sucked in.

    I have enjoyed several lively discussions with my friends about these books. The most fun are where they have read the books and can take them apart with as much gusto as I can. The reason I read them was so I could do so with an informed opinion. I was tired of feeling like a phony participating in the discussions without having read even the first one.

    More uncomfortable discussions come up when I try to bash with one of my friends who become offended as they simply loved them and can't bring themselves to say an unkind word. When I then say, "They're just like candy," they say, "Yeah, yeah," and that seems to smooth things out.

    I became curious as to why they were so popular. After I read them I wanted to know how she did it. What elements had she hit that got even fourty year old moms all in a tizzy, making mommy play dates to hit the movies the night they came out.

    I too have a problem with young girls learning that it is still considered sexy to be so powerless and give ones body and soul over to a man who may or may not have our best interests at heart.

    For adult women who want to remember what sexual tension feels like, and want to get lost in what it was like to obsess, as most sixteen year olds do at one time or other, over some guy-great. Abstinence porn, or whatever, if it makes mama happy and once again ready to give daddy his due then wonderful. This is confirmed by the way. (I know of at least two mommies who were inspired to sleep with their husbands again after reading these books.) Adult women have experience and perspective that teenage girls do not.

    For the teenage girls this almost read like a manual on how to prepare for an abusive relationship. That worries me but then I was reading Stephen King as a teenager and I know my mother worried that it would have a negative impact on me. Since I haven't morphed in to a monster or serial killer after twenty years, I would say her worries were unfounded, as may be ours surrounding what these young girls are filling their minds with. Would this be better than a 50 Cent video? Probably.

    Here's another thing. Readers of YA today will be readers of adult novels in 5-10 years so this is something we should all thank Ms. Meyer for. Really. Our future book sales may well depend on how many kids have picked up the reading habit now and will continue to do so because they found it a rewarding experience in their formative years.

    I also found it intersting to read Ms. Meyer's dedication pages. In one of the books she thanked her husband and sons for giving her the time to write. As a mother/writer myself, I know how that time can be hard to get, especially if one does not have a progressive and understanding hubby willing to lower his expectations around the house and watch the kids to give her time. So for all the flack the author has taken about what she is teaching young girls about relationships, her example (probably missed by most, but still) is empowering.

    However she did it, she convinced the husband, at the time of the first book's writing when I suspect she had nothing to show for her hours in front of the computer except piles of laundry and dirty dishes, that her "hobby" was a worthwhile use of her time. Dare I imagine she was smart enought to marry a loving caring man and still be able to dream up someone like Edward who in another type of book could have easily slid in to a drug addled wife beater.

    So I still love to bash these books and what they stand for whenever I get a chance, I would like to point to a few things that I haven't heard mentioned yet. I hope I haven't covered something someone else has, I haven't read every comment yet.

    ok whats the big deal,

    ok whats the big deal, everyone is making a huge deal about it.... so what they had sex???? people do it all the time. anyways its a book, its not even real. it doesnt describe anything... books have people having sex in it all the time.(not that i read it, but its the truth.) and people who really care this much about to made up people having sex... well thats kinda sad. i was just trying to buy a copy of New Moon(which is the best book ever) for my aunt for her birthday. and then i came acroos this page and i read some of the articel, its pretty much just retarted! and the people who really care so much... just think about it, HAVE ANY OF YOU WHO HAVE COMMENTED AND SAID"oh my god, its just so bad and inapropreate" HAVE ANY OF YOU HAD SEX? IF SO HOW OLD WERE YOU? if you havent have you read a book that has??? ya thats what i thought, SO STOP MAKING A HUGE DEAL ABOUT IT, CUZ YOU JUST MAKE YOURSELF SOUND LIKE PRUDE STUP UP PEOPLE!!!

    Bella's choices and personal accountability

    I agree that the sexual abstinence that was so titilating in the first 3 novels was absent after the wedding. The strife between the vampires and Nessie and the werewolves and Nessie was not as interesting as the action based tension of an external threat in the first 3 books.

    I would like to point out to all the feminists who are reviewing the book that Bella is still responsible and accountable for her choices - her choice to love Edward, her choice to reject Jacob, her choice to have the baby. Even if Edward killed her by accident, she pursued him, chose him over Jacob and put herself in the room and in that situation. I am NOT advocating violence against women or suggesting that she "deserved it". But by stripping away Bella's choices, you are doing a greater disservice to a teen or young adult consciousness but saying she has no CONTROL whatsoever.

    As for the comment "Whether you end up doing the nasty or not doesn’t ultimately matter. When it comes to a woman’s virtue, sex, identity, or her existence itself, it’s all in the man’s hands." Is totally ridiculous. Bella's parents, her abandonment issues, losing her childhood friends and being shipped off in high school to meet new friends, and having not much trust with either of her parents, all feed into her psychological profile that has made her character so real. Bella's identity is in crisis because of her parents behaviour, her hormonal teen sexual awareness, and the teenage angst of I-will-never-be-like-my-parents, Rebel without a cause attitude.

    I would also like to point out that you can deconstruct texts and add meta-meanings about culture and empowerment, feminism, and disempowerment - but the truth is that the texts are alive, engaging, rich and creative. I am not as familiar with Christine Seifert's creative writing as I am with Stephenie Meyer's. Has she sold 70 million copies and 4 movie rights or more? Just wondering why she's satisfied with publishing on-line critiques.

    Bella, bella, bellA?

    These texts help to show asymmetrical power relations between youth and some scary type of people. Bella is in an inbetween state wherever she is, whoever she's with it seems. She doesn't appear to want to be her family though takes care of them and spends plenty of time wishing they were alive rather than dead, and she doesn't want to be her friends who she quickly ignores after befriending them. She would rather be a Cullen, but is in the rare placement of not being allowed to be that (in the first three books) either. The first three books mitigate not wanting to be one thing you already are, and wanting to be something that seems impossible to be.

    Does this reflect upon youth in general? The continual, uninterrupted stream phenomena and epi- phenomena absorbed by youth may be causing them to ask themselves who they are in terms of who they are not. Constantly seeking the other, youths become whack- jobs like myself who pretends more than enact. This is the way particular youth culture is going, we recognize the stream and what we are recieving and consciously integrating it back into the world as multi- meta- megalithic beings esconced in private individuals.

    When looking at Twilight 10 years from now the most prominent thinkers will be the groups of women, and men, who participated in this zeitgeist and enacted fictitional characters in a very real way. As unpopular as some people may consider them it's easier to think of the Twilight characters and series as your slightly offputting neighbors. Casually you will be polite and respectful, and in private scathing words will escape one's mouth every so often. If there is an emergency though you know there's a neighbor there, even if there actions, smell, or contribution to the world isn't the most pleasing.

    Use these characters to your advantage, whatever they may be- they are just a tool to mitigate your reality in ways more pleasing to yourself.

    madt