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 Sep. 3 2010 at 3:13 pm
d-eadward BRONZE, Victoria, Other
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
//A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim.//
//Maya Angelou//

I totally agree! I felt that Bella needs to get a life while Edward is away. It really annoyed me that she was so helpless. Even in the movies it portrays that she is helpless without Edward, and then ends up finding Jacob, and leading him on when she is still marveling at the fact that Edward is still out there! 

on Sep. 3 2010 at 12:31 pm
TheNovaClytie PLATINUM, Woodhaven, Michigan
30 articles 0 photos 63 comments

Favorite Quote:
If I could run away from my problems, I'd probably get lost, and then new problems would find me.
~Shelby Seeley

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I COULD NOT READ THOSE STUPID CHAPTERS! u cud b sad, but no freaking DEPRESSED FOR MONTHS. i still just.... it makes me wanna scream.

on Sep. 3 2010 at 10:29 am
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's mouth...it will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

I agree completely! When I first read New Moon and got to the part where Edward left Bella and she became depressed, I wanted to slap her and scream, "Get your own life, girl! You don't need a man! This is the 21st century!"

on Sep. 3 2010 at 9:44 am
MusicCloud7 SILVER, Kanab, Utah
5 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."
— Marilyn Monroe

Definatly a new take on things... Interesting point of view... that book isn't as great as everyone is making it out to be.

on Aug. 24 2010 at 5:45 pm
Zazawish777 GOLD, KC, MO, Missouri
16 articles 2 photos 100 comments

Favorite Quote:
life isn't passing me by, it's trying to run me over!

I love this! you are totaly right! i give it  5stars! 

also, if i read your thing, i will always give it 5 stars! so please check my work and rate and somment ! thanks!


on Aug. 23 2010 at 10:58 pm
SickImage SILVER, Klamath Falls, Oregon
9 articles 1 photo 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
The room was very quiet. I walked over to the TV set and turned it onto a dead channel-white noise at maximum decibels, a fine sound for sleeping, a powerful continuous hiss to drown out everything strange."

Yes, my spelling is awful.

Hopefully it doesn't distract too many people ;)

 


on Aug. 23 2010 at 10:08 am
seas.collide PLATINUM, Lawrenceville, Georgia
21 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It seems only yesterday I used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light. If you cut me I could shine." - Billy Collins

Please learn to spell. Thanks.

on Aug. 21 2010 at 10:51 pm
SickImage SILVER, Klamath Falls, Oregon
9 articles 1 photo 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
The room was very quiet. I walked over to the TV set and turned it onto a dead channel-white noise at maximum decibels, a fine sound for sleeping, a powerful continuous hiss to drown out everything strange."

Lol I suppose we have a different sense of humor. Yours being one of a high school english teacher, mine being more of E. E. Cummings (a name deserved of capitolization)

Maybe humor is the wrong word.

Anywho, I don't respect their names. They are characters in a book I don't appriciate, if you havn't noticed.

No hard feelings I hope. We just respect different people.


writ3r BRONZE said...
on Aug. 19 2010 at 11:13 pm
writ3r BRONZE, Rockville, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"unfortunate" or "sweet stakes"

im sorry but how can u say ther names arnt important enough to be capitalized?! it doesnt matter if u dont care for the person always respect a name

writ3r BRONZE said...
on Aug. 19 2010 at 8:47 pm
writ3r BRONZE, Rockville, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"unfortunate" or "sweet stakes"

wow your totally speaking the truth i mean every since this saga ive been obsessed with the passion and the thought that my guy will save its like cindarella all over again and normally i am very passionaite about gender eqaulity. i think this is yet another fantasy that is going to screw up our future society its like 1800's all over again

on Aug. 18 2010 at 2:13 pm
Hippiechick10 SILVER, One Stoplight Town, Connecticut
7 articles 0 photos 83 comments

Favorite Quote:
Those who deny freedom to others , deserve it not for themselves. (Abe Lincoln)

Great article- but I don't think Stephenie Meyer was trying to portray the book's plot as sexist. Edward, being a vampire, and finally finding the love of his life, wants to protect Bella, and since he is stronger, sees her as breakable in his world. He wants to shelter her from horror and difficult decisions. Bella is well capable of making choices, and not all of the females in the saga are helpless. Victoria is a villan, Jane is deadly and part of the Volturi, Alice, Esme, and Rosalie  certainly aren't weak or "helpless". Also, Bella is comforted by the fact that Phil is watching her mother because she wants someone to watch out for her, not the fact that he is a man.

on Aug. 17 2010 at 3:52 pm
carolinereads BRONZE, Lansdale, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
Living is easy with eyes closed :)

right on. twilight is very sexist, and in general, is a badly written book.

on Aug. 16 2010 at 5:15 pm
ForeverWonderland BRONZE, Tallahassee, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
Cross me, and the protagonist dies. ...Then again, they probably will anyway.

I completely agree.

on Aug. 16 2010 at 9:50 am
AnneOnnimous BRONZE, Peterborough Ontario, Other
3 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

It is indeed.

on Aug. 15 2010 at 4:39 pm
Katie_Grey DIAMOND, Leipsic, Ohio
58 articles 10 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
Difficult is not impossible - Relient K, "Hope for Every Fallen Man"


If all I had was love, would I still be lovely?
If all I gave was love, would you give up on me?
-House of Heroes, "Love is for the Middle Class"

I suppose they weren't looking...then again neither was Bella. So I suppose there's another point...for all these characters it just sort of happened. So when it doesn't happen,we feel like we aren't good enough, we go looking and expect to find this sort of "general character."

Then, we look to the girls that get those guys on tv, try too hard to be like them...

it's a tangled mess, really.

 


on Aug. 15 2010 at 3:47 pm
AnneOnnimous BRONZE, Peterborough Ontario, Other
3 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

ah, okay, I see. However, I still think that Elizabeth was not looking for the perfect guy- in fact, Juliet wasn't much either.

on Aug. 15 2010 at 3:45 pm
Katie_Grey DIAMOND, Leipsic, Ohio
58 articles 10 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
Difficult is not impossible - Relient K, "Hope for Every Fallen Man"


If all I had was love, would I still be lovely?
If all I gave was love, would you give up on me?
-House of Heroes, "Love is for the Middle Class"

Their personalities aren't my point.

The general idea of the story...finding that one "perfect" guy stuff...

that's my point. 

I was simply throwing in a variety.


on Aug. 15 2010 at 2:05 pm
AnneOnnimous BRONZE, Peterborough Ontario, Other
3 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

Elizabeth Bennett?!?! Have you read pride and prejudice? Elizabeth Bennett is independent and originally rejects Mr. Darcy. She is the complete opposite of Bella Swan (although Stephenie Meyer seemed to be foolish enough to think that they are indeed similar); Elizabeth is smart, witty, talented, and does not allow herself to be pushed around as Bella does.

on Aug. 12 2010 at 9:20 pm
Katie_Grey DIAMOND, Leipsic, Ohio
58 articles 10 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
Difficult is not impossible - Relient K, "Hope for Every Fallen Man"


If all I had was love, would I still be lovely?
If all I gave was love, would you give up on me?
-House of Heroes, "Love is for the Middle Class"

Nothing's new. For years young girls have been swooning over their "prince charming", thinking that they are not important enough without this so called "true love."

Cinderella, Snow White, Elizabeth Bennet, Juliet...

The story might be different, but it's always been the same.


on Aug. 12 2010 at 9:01 pm
AgnotTheOdd GOLD, Aptos, California
17 articles 0 photos 315 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reason for your unreasonable treatment of my reason so enfeebles my reason that I have reason to complain of your reason" ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I think a better example of full blown obsession would be the readers...


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