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Twilight on Equality This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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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.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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fire_ice4ever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Great article!! I totally agree with you!

Just as a side note but is anyone else starting to get a bit annoyed by all the vampire craziness? Before Twilight I used to love fantasy (HP nerd) but now I have to physically search to find a book that's not a variation on Twilight. Also the whole T.v and movie craze on this is getting annoying. I miss the days of Buffy being the gist of all this...

fire_ice4ever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm
I agree. We need some fresh material, if HP had been a copy of Merlin it wouldn't have been as good. The reason it's beloved is because it's unlike anything ever. 
Hejlna replied...
Jul. 8, 2011 at 10:48 am
i have to dissagree with harry potter being unlike anything else. the series is qlmost anexact copy of lord of the rings. ( ie dark lord and magical creatures as well as many impending wars) but its still a great series And i would be lying if i said it wasn't.
fire_ice4ever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Hm, I never got into lord or the rings so I wouldn't know. But maybe I'll check them out. (I'm in desperate need of a fantasy book that isn't vampire related.) :D
hejlna replied...
Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm
same here!!!!!!!
theavatar said...
May 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm
4 thumbs up....really good :) keep writing. when i began reading the saga, i was obsessed with it. now that i look back, i feel lyk it was stupid, i mean i used to argue over jacob and edward..............but ya, u r right about  bella...i believe she is morally incorrect
rockstardream said...
May 25, 2011 at 10:08 am
I've considered the Romeo and Juliet viewpoint as well- people describe Twilight as forbidden love, do they not? Romeo and Juilet was described the same way!
rockstardream said...
May 25, 2011 at 10:07 am
I will be honest in saying I am an absolute, big fan of the saga- I'm a holder of the merchandise, have read all four books, been to DVD release parties...but my obsession has not lead to oblivian. I dislike Bella- very much so. In the books she is portrayed as a helpless damsel-in-distress who can't fight her own battles. It irritates me that she is so dependant on this man in her life (Edward) that she neglects to pay attention to any of her friends and family, as well as endangering them at t... (more »)
crazy_poet42 said...
May 25, 2011 at 8:45 am
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 som... (more »)
Greaser replied...
May 25, 2011 at 9:11 am
Okay, you have know idea how many times I wanted to throw the book agains the wall everytime Edward had to swoop down and save her or she acted so helpless.  I wanted to yell, "Get a spine!'
FeelTheRomance18 said...
May 25, 2011 at 8:40 am
FeelTheRomance18 said...
May 25, 2011 at 8:33 am
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).
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 3, 2011 at 10:01 am

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... (more »)

genius230 replied...
May 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm
you have a good point it may be like romeo and juliet annd in the end they might die in breaking dawn
writeratheart16 replied...
May 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm
I agree that Twilight is a bit like Romeo and Juliet, but in Juliet's time, being helpless and having the man do all the work was the custom. Women weren't ALLOWED to do anything, so they were forced to become damsels-in-distress. That kind of thinking expired with the feminist movement, and making young girls believe in it is only tearing down all those years of work for equality for women. So although I see your point, I think this piece also has a strong point.
vampier said...
May 3, 2011 at 7:53 am
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.......!!!!!
FeelTheRomance18 replied...
May 25, 2011 at 8:37 am
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.
MaxRide replied...
Feb. 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm
I agree with FeelTheRomance.
TayrlS said...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm

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... (more »)

xelawriter97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

While I do agree that some of the aspects of Twilight are demoralizing towards women, I don't agree completely with some of the things you said. Although Bella does feel that Edward is her true purpose in life, Edward feels the same for Bella. He says his life is meaningless without her. Plus, one of the things that Edward says he loves about her is that she is a caretaker - she takes care of others and is independent. (She only says her mother will be okay will Phil because she knows her mot... (more »)

TayrlS replied...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm
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