Bite me: The wrong messages Twilight sends to its fans

2011-12-05 14:08
Erin Coe
The Twilight Saga has been a box office success, with tween girls swooning left, right and centre over this inter-species romance. Apparently having a boyfriend who wants to eat you is completely fine when you’re a young girl, just as long as he is, like, totally hawt.

Some people even go so far as to compare Twilight to Romeo & Juliet. (Shakespeare, I’m so sorry my generation has let you down.) While I agree it is one hell of a love story, I have to wonder if it’s sending out the right messages. After all, do I really want the females in my life thinking this all-consuming infatuation is a normal romance? There is nothing normal going on here.

When Bella and Edward can’t be together in New Moon they both try to commit suicide. Geez guys, dramatic much? You’ve only known one another for a year, give it a few months, you’ll get over it. In any other movie, this kind of co-dependent obsessive relationship would be considered unhealthy, but Twilight posits it as something girls should aspire to. I mean, Bella chooses to end her 'human' life for crying out loud. Her love for Edward quite literally kills her. Is that what counts as romance these days?

Bella is willing to give up her life, her friends and her family, while Ed gets to keep everything that is dear to him. Well, that’s not fair. Way to go on empowering your female lead, Stephenie Meyer. Bella is completely isolated and solely dependent on Edward. Isn’t isolation the first sign you’re in an abusive relationship? Edward even cuts her car wires when she tries to visit Jacob. Ah those youngsters, they’re so in love.

Light S&M?

Meyer romanticizes things that are just plain creepy. Need another example? Why is it that when Edward watches Bella sleep it’s cute, but when Beyonce's husband is the target in Obsessed, Ali Larter has to die because she is a crazy psycho? Not only that, but Edward only hurts her because he luuuuuurves her so much and he can’t control himself when she’s around.

After they have sex, Bella discovers bruises on her body (light S&M anybody?) and he throws her into a table in New Moon. While the latter was because he was trying to protect her, it’s a bit of an overkill wouldn’t you say? Yes girls, he’s hitting you because you are his everything.

Bella’s mediocrity as a heroine is not the only thing that has raised red flags - there’s that whole age thing. Let’s face it, it’s a little creepy. Would you want your 16-year-old daughter dating an old man, because essentially that’s what Edward is? Bella is 16 and irritating. So why would someone who is over 100 years old want anything to do with her?

Intellectually, they can have nothing in common. Sure, they’re both ridiculously good looking, but you can’t spend eternity with someone based on their looks can you? Of course Twihards say that Edward is frozen at 17 so it’s actually not such a big deal. Being physically 17 is different to being mentally 17 and there is no way he has lived for over 100 years without learning a thing or two. And please, don’t even get me started on Jacob and their freak spawn Renesmee…

Twilight is a story that romanticizes abuse and makes a mockery out of true love. The heroine is so disempowered; feminists must be burning their bras in protest as we speak. As for selling this to tweens as a great romance: Shame on you, Stephenie Meyer.

Comments

  • VaalDonkie - 2011-12-06 10:10

    An astute observer has remarked that Twilight seems like Stephanie Meyers' personal masturbation material. yes, it may sound crass, but I believe the man is onto something.

  • Steph - 2011-12-06 10:29

    Dracula did it too , adding a romatic edge to violence and female subjugation is really not something new - my husband still considers Bram Stokers Dracula to be one of the all time best love stories ever -- he reckons a man whose willing to turn himself into a monster and live eternally on the off-chance that you'll reincarnate is the sexiest thing -- Twighlight is the modern version

      Peter - 2011-12-06 12:14

      I think you are talking about the film, not the book. the 2 are quite different.

  • smahlaba - 2011-12-06 10:50

    The current movie is not right for teenagers.

  • Felix - 2011-12-06 11:28

    Please stop writing about this crap. Maybe it'll go away.

      ryan.macdougall - 2011-12-07 17:20

      maybe edward should meet blade, id really like to watch that, it would also probibly be the most one side fight ever!!! You can only wish!

  • Marnette - 2011-12-06 12:01

    Sometimes you should 'see' something for what it is. Fiction & Fantasy. Like most of the movies on circuit.

      Monique - 2011-12-06 12:25

      I agree fully! It's a nice story, but it's fiction and the fantasy makes it sooo attractive.

  • Nicky - 2011-12-06 12:38

    At least the Twilight Saga has got millions of teenagers reading books agsin - give Meyer some credit

      Lauren - 2011-12-06 13:01

      Yes but they're terribly written books.

      yolie.Landa - 2011-12-06 14:36

      terrible written books?? WHats the tittle of the book you have written?

      Felix - 2011-12-06 14:54

      Bull, their moms are reading the books. They just watch the 'movie'.

      Deon - 2011-12-07 15:22

      Rather go for another Meyer, Deon.

  • Lanfear - 2011-12-06 13:28

    Very good description of this trash that has infiltrated our bookstores, film screens and internet. I see people say its fiction and fantasy. Yes it is, unfortunately there's even grown women out there so "in love" with Edward and his idea of "romance" that they are unhappy in their marriages. Just last week a woman wrote a letter here on News24 along those lines with hundres of female comments sighing in agreement! As to the Dracula comments, well Peter is quite correct. The original book is rather different than the 1992 movie. And even in the movie it wasn't so much for love that Dracula becomes a vampire, but in revenge against god for letting his love die. I would rather my child didn't read than see them read Twilight trash and think that is what love and romance should be.

      VaalDonkie - 2011-12-06 14:56

      I wanted to troll you into a "there is no love and romance under atheism", but it's the holiday season, so I'll wait 'til next year ;) Okay fine, I'm just lazy.

      Ilona - 2011-12-07 07:58

      LOL! Troll away, when you have the energy ;P btw, I love to read fantasy and scifi for relaxation, just not this crap.

      VaalDonkie - 2011-12-07 09:23

      I'm a big fan of Tolkien myself.

      Ilona - 2011-12-07 12:18

      Me too! Love Tolkien to bits.

  • Damien - 2011-12-06 13:35

    Glad to see that there are some people here who realize that it's JUST fiction and fantasy... People need to remember that!!

  • esmeralda.feiry - 2011-12-06 14:45

    If you only look for what you find wrong and negative you will always miss the good and the positive. So I will point it out to you. Bella and Edward only have sex after they have been married. In this day and age where teens are having sex as young as 12; encouragment from their heroes to wait for a more serious commitment before engaging in sex ( even if it is the unrealistic love between a vampire and human) is a good thing.

      Winsome - 2011-12-06 18:01

      Yep esmeralda - I would love my son to wait until he is 100 before having sex!!!!!! These books are like Nik Naks - cheesy but seemingly irresistible to some. I read one and decided against reading another or seeing the movies - this stuff is for tweenies not adults.

  • deon.fourie - 2011-12-07 08:24

    I LOVE Twilight. When meeting a woman who enjoys it I know immediately to ignore her. Makes for a wonderful litmus test of pettiness and stupidity.

  • ncedisam - 2011-12-07 10:22

    well u can look at the negative or the positive, Edward waited and that is rare with teens these days, also Edward does not want to eat Bella but the vampire in him wants to the fact that because of love he is able to fight that I think send a really great message to teens, if one love u they will wait and do the right thing, if they really love u they can fight any temptation to protect you

  • Kudzie - 2011-12-07 12:23

    whatever man..i soo disagree with parts of your lil analysis here. espc the part when edward pushes bella out of jaspers way because he wanted to hurt her. how can you interpret that part as girls being beaten by thier lovers bla bla like seriously?i mean really there u hit below the belt of analysis. i do agree that this romance story is creepy and weird but no one is bing asked to follow that. so ya you have your opinion i have mine but some of yours are rather shallow...and sorry if this seems rude. def not my intention

  • Pixie86 - 2011-12-07 14:31

    the first few paragraphs had me thinking, lighten up- it's just a book; but by the end i totally see your point. Never have i met such self obsessed and irritating characters! Bella annoys me so much, but strangely everytime i go to the cinema to watch it. I'm gluttony for punishment.

  • vdwaltbk23 - 2011-12-07 14:33

    They get married before anything physical happens.. What is wrong with that message?

  • vdwaltbk23 - 2011-12-07 14:35

    They get married first before anything physical happens? is that not an important message? shouldn't more movies promote this?

  • Deon - 2011-12-07 15:18

    It sounds more like a horror movie to me, rather watch an old Schuster movie than this.

  • Rita - 2011-12-07 15:55

    I can't believe the absolute nonsence that I have just read. It's a fictional movie for heavens sake. Everybody is entitled to an opinion, it doesn't mean that it is the right one. I would just love to know what your take would be on one of the Marvell movies eg. Spiderman, Hulk etc. It is a fictional movie. Why can't you just see it for what it is. If you don't like it, don't watch it. At least Edward married Belle and adores her and sticks with her. Maybe that is a better take on life for young girls than the reality around us, where every second marriage fails these days. That's my take on it, you might feel the same as me or you might not. Luckily each and every person can make up their own mind about things. Don't you just love free speach!!!!!!!

  • Kay - 2011-12-08 08:46

    ITS JUST A MOVIE I COULD CARE LESS... I enjoy it, and if people are so naive to believe it then its their own probs, even teenagers (surely they go to school and know right and wrong). Every1 is just p.ssed cause Meyer came up with a load of sh.t so u say, and is now coining it. Geez i wish i could dream like that woman.

  • Chantelle - 2011-12-08 13:39

    Erin Coe... You have written this article, sounding as if you have never read the books or seen the movie. Nowhere in new moon do they have sex. Nowhere in the book does he hit her. IF ONE READS THE STORY, which, you probably havent, you will see that in every instance bella is hurt by him, it is because he has either pushed her out of the way of danger or by accident. And no - i dont mean he abuses her and calls it an accident - as you would probably think. And, a few corrections, bella is in no way the heroine in this story. And she is actually 18 throughout most of the book. You make this article sound like she is abused by him - she isnt. He is physically stronger than her yes, but never uses this to overpower her and he doesnt ever hurt her on purpose. Why dont you highlight the right messages this story sends? 1. They love eachother... they are committed to eachother. 2. Edward and bella NEVER have sex until they are married - edward values this more than anything. 3. EDWARD PUSHES BELLA ONTO THE TABLE IN NEW MOON - OUT OF THE WAY OF DANGER. He then leaves the town, to make sure she is safe and that she is never hurt again! 4. He treats her with the utmost respect at all times it seems to me that your article is written on the basis that you dont believe in fiction and fantasy and therefore anything made from this genre is certainly rubbish... the book was aimed at tweens and for ppl interested in fiction/fantasy

  • Riana - 2011-12-08 14:55

    And how does the wear wolf imprint on a baby? Sick sick sick!

      Chantelle - 2011-12-08 15:33

      if you read the books, which, once again by your comments i can see you havent, imprinting isnt a sexual act. nor is it falling in love etc. the "wear wolf" devotes his life to protecting the baby until she is old enough (18) to be in a relationship with him... there is no sexual conotations anywhere in the book in this regard. what is so sick about that?

  • Blade - 2011-12-08 15:48

    Depends on the definition of 'eating'...

  • theresa.decastro - 2011-12-09 10:44

    Let remember it's just a story like any other.

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