Twilight on Equality | Teen Ink

Twilight on Equality MAG

January 28, 2009
By Catcat BRONZE, New Paltz, New York
Catcat BRONZE, New Paltz, New York
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour."


It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that while reading Twilight I was “dazzled” (pun intended). Almost anyone alive for the past couple of months is certainly aware of the saga, which has received excited acclaim not only from teenagers worldwide but also such esteemed reviewers as The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. So why do I have a problem with it?

Twilight is about Bella Swan, a teen who moves to a new town and is immediately adored by everyone. She instantly has several men vying for her attention and a couple of pretty nice friends as well. Her adoration of classic books would imply that she is at least marginally intelligent. Then she meets Edward Cullen (who has a unique background that is not relevant here), and as their relationship grows, so does her obsession, until it consumes her. Seems harmless, right?

Actually, no. Bella is depicted as an evil temptress trying to persuade a morally honorable man into evil, while he attempts to keep their virtues intact. Succinctly, Edward and Bella are a modern Adam and Eve.

But the book goes further in asserting that women are inferior to men. Every time Bella is faced with a conflict and has to make a choice, Edward swoops in to save her, because apparently she can’t possibly decide on her own. He goes beyond protective to borderline abusive in Twilight, but Bella justifies it as “love” every time. When Edward dumps her for a couple months in New Moon, Bella ­becomes seriously depressed and dangerous to herself.

All the female characters in this series eventually portray similar helplessness. Even the first relationship introduced in the book – that of Bella’s ­mother and stepfather – is sexist. Bella expresses concern about leaving her mother, but then reasons that it’s okay now that Phil is looking after her.

What’s even more ridiculous is that many female readers look up to Bella! Her situation is idealized. After finding Edward, Bella is happy only when she is with him. She feels that he is her one true purpose in life. So what are girls who read the novels left wanting? Their own Edward, of course! Not only do they want one – they need one. The fact that so many intelligent young men and women have been sucked into the Twilight series and have swallowed its sexist manifesto has me worried about the future of gender equality.


The author's comments:
I hope that this makes us all more aware about the messages we get while reading.

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This article has 589 comments.


on May. 25 2011 at 8:45 am
crazy_poet42 SILVER, Ormond Beach, Florida
6 articles 1 photo 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I've learned two things in my life. One that love is the beginning and end of all meaning. And two that it is the same thing whatever shape our souls have taken on this journey. Love is love. Is love." -Clive Barker's Abarat

I wonder if perhaps the problem is not wholly that the Twilight books present such a questionable situation, but that young girls in particular take it as truth. I'm all for connecting with a book, for feeling like the main character (or a minor character) in some way; that's what makes a story powerful. But there is still a fine line between fiction and reality, and characters are carefully constructed creations of an author, not human beings. The fault lies not only with Twilight, although some does, but also with the people who read it and interpret it as the "way things ought to be."

on May. 25 2011 at 8:40 am
FeelTheRomance18, Tucson, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged cupid painted blind. -Lysander, A Midsummer Night's Dream

AGREED!          

on May. 25 2011 at 8:37 am
FeelTheRomance18, Tucson, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged cupid painted blind. -Lysander, A Midsummer Night's Dream

they obviously HAVE done research on it. it is a credible point and i agree. I have no problem with twihards but please look at the facts.

on May. 25 2011 at 8:33 am
FeelTheRomance18, Tucson, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged cupid painted blind. -Lysander, A Midsummer Night's Dream

I completely agree with this. although you left on out: how old edward is compared to bella. this brings us to how 12 year olds were married off to 40 year olds way back in the day by most religions, including the mormon. stefani meyers is mormon, so i suppect she is weaving her own beliefs into her writing to teach us the ways of her religion(not that theirs anything wrong with mormons. I have a few mormon friends).

on May. 25 2011 at 2:12 am
FatesMistake13, Springerville, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 157 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes." Oscar Wilde

"The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame."

Although i agree with somethings you said i disagree with what you said about how the whole romance genre is like twilight. Even in Romeo and Juilet, Juliet makes more decisions. in fact, she was the one who told Romeo he needed to make plans for their marrage or it would be over. She also made some other key decisions. There are less sexist characters. But anyway i am kind of going off subject, what i meant to say was that in the whole romance genre there are many books that arent as sexist as twilight. Still many things the author of this article wrote about were just personality traits of the characters. Over all i thought twilight was okay though i thought it could have been better written and more realistic, it had its strong points and an intresting plot.

on May. 17 2011 at 10:18 pm
genius230 BRONZE, Long Branch, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
On your worst day accomplish something.

you have a good point it may be like romeo and juliet annd in the end they might die in breaking dawn

AsIAm PLATINUM said...
on May. 3 2011 at 10:01 am
AsIAm PLATINUM, Somewhere, North Carolina
48 articles 3 photos 608 comments

Favorite Quote:
"According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. (Generally those who don't have to do it. Politicians and writers spring to mind.) I've never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you're also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking." — Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate)

Personally I think Twilight is the modern fantasy version of Romeo and Juliet.  Is it slightly ridiculous? Yes.  But I think the intelligent girls out there will grow to realize an Edward is not what they want, and if they don't have the confidence to be equal to their partner, well I hope they find somebody like Edward who won't take advantage of it.

 

Not saying your points aren't valid - I think they are - I'm just saying this isn't a new thing, and it won't be the last either.


vampier BRONZE said...
on May. 3 2011 at 7:53 am
vampier BRONZE, Glasgow, Kentucky
1 article 0 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
"my favorite thang about eating gumybares is knowing that thay wont fight you back when you bite there heads off.......!!!!!"

well i thank that who ever did this article. i do not like at all becuse i love the twlilght saga it isan grate story to read i thank but i dont thank that kidzs under 11 shuold read this book it's more of an love story than any thang. i thank :) so next time you wont to amke an comment about something do more resurch on it.......OK.......!!!!!

on Apr. 19 2011 at 3:23 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

Yeah I know! I loved it.

on Apr. 19 2011 at 3:22 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

Oh! I thought you were agreeing with BrightBurningCampeador. :) Thanks! :)

on Apr. 18 2011 at 7:18 pm
Alex_Durham GOLD, Vineland, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 234 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

omg yes.... ITS SOOOO GOOD

on Apr. 18 2011 at 7:17 pm
Alex_Durham GOLD, Vineland, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 234 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I hope you were saying sorry to BrightBurrningCampeador and not me because I agree with you (Aspiringauhor)!!! COMPLETELY

on Apr. 18 2011 at 3:21 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

Yeah, have you read her novel The Host? It's pretty intense. :)

on Apr. 18 2011 at 3:19 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

I'm sorry for telling you that that is just how I am. You don't have to believe me. And I do have my strengths. I am a relatively good writer, I am a good singer... If you only read a little bit of the Twilight books, you cannot judge them. Reading the whole series is completely necessary for this. Please don't contradict who I am. I'm sure you've heard of that Lady Gaga song, "Born This way." That's simply who I am. 

Tayrl BRONZE said...
on Apr. 11 2011 at 10:03 pm
Tayrl BRONZE, Rockhampton, Other
4 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon

agreed!!!!

Tayrl BRONZE said...
on Apr. 11 2011 at 10:01 pm
Tayrl BRONZE, Rockhampton, Other
4 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon

I think that although all of the critism the series is getting, I DID read it and I have to admit, I was sucked in. Meyer may be talented and some people need to take a step back and stop scrutinising the plot so hard. How dramatic we all are!

I'm not saying that some of the issues in the book aren't there, I definately agree that Edward is an exaggerated version of the female fantasy, but isn't that the point? ITS A STORY. You shouldn't take it so seriously that all the events have to be compared to real life.

If the opinions of one fictional character,a weak one at that, can affect a person so much, they should remember the key word: FICTIONAL.


Tayrl BRONZE said...
on Apr. 11 2011 at 9:54 pm
Tayrl BRONZE, Rockhampton, Other
4 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon

haha similar story here, but for "Second Life" where it depicts three different avatars that closly resemble Bella, Edward and James figures. Coincidence? I think not:P

on Apr. 11 2011 at 9:10 pm
Alex_Durham GOLD, Vineland, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 234 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

You might as well cross off the whole genre... love that!

 


on Apr. 11 2011 at 9:09 pm
Alex_Durham GOLD, Vineland, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 234 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

THANK YOU! thats what I'm saying!

on Apr. 11 2011 at 9:07 pm
Alex_Durham GOLD, Vineland, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 234 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

although I don't think that she is the BEST AUTHOR ALIVE... I do LOVE her work, and I think she has the potential to write something absolutely amazing. (Twilight, although I LOVE IT - im obsessed - wasn't very well written) but Meyer has potential.


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