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

January 28, 2009
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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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inspir3d This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm
I'm not obsessed with twilight or anything, but maybe it would help if you actually used specific examples...? and the whole ignoring edward is a vampire is kind of a biggie, it changes things like motivation
Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm
I agree, specific examples would be nice. And page numbers too. Stating sources is always helpful.
ScreenName2014 said...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm
Its about a girl who falls in love with the wrong guy. Its not about gender equality blah blah blah. Women depend on men just like men depend on women and the fact that you think Bella is only happy with Edward makes me think you havent read the entire series because she is very happy with Jacob and her father and her friends. So dont act self superior and say that Bella is only made by Edward. And last time I checked Edward said that Bella was "his only reason for living".
starrr7 replied...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:03 am
agree! nice job!
Hawthorn replied...
Feb. 11, 2011 at 9:49 am
Umm, Edward isn't alive. He's a vampire which in any dictionary is defined as an undead person/thing/animal which sucks blood to remain in existence.
Hapigrl said...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 10:20 am
Agreed 100%. Great job!
Anonymous said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm
I don't want to put down anyone who likes the Twilight series.  However, I feel it is in my best interest (and my own personal satisfaction) to agree wholeheartedly on the above topic, and comment on other ways this horrendously awful piece of literature has affected exposed teenagers.  It's badly written, too easy to make fun of, the characters are static (to be more exact, they're predictable and downright boring) and has little to no plot.  The storyline that actually appears i... (more »)
Krissy.Baby.Girl replied...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 9:09 am
If you dont like the book.. THEN DONT READ IT! :) its that easy! :P were kids.. we read whatever we wanna read.. so why dont grown ups get a life and stop reading boring old love things??
Anonymous replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 6:35 am
I would take your advice, really I would. I find it exceedingly difficult to know my preference on the book before I read it myself.  I friend of mine reccommended it to me - she said it was great - and asked for my opinion on it. I figured it was rude to not finish what I started.
leelee1373 replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 9:40 am
You need to calm down it's a book. And if Stephanie Meyer got a new profession many teenagers and adults would be upset. She is an amazing author. She May not be the best but she is better than you could ever write I bet. If you write a book that goes worldwide and has a movie made about it, then I will take back what I said.
Anonymous replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm
Oh, my friend, I'm much to shy to publish any of my writing, let alone have it go worldwide!  No worries, I'm calm about it, and I have no qualms about Steph Meyer - only her writing style. I'm only expressing my (admittedly strong) opinion that I did not like her book.
E.B. replied...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Dear Anonymous,

If I didn't think it would be removed, I would curse the living daylights out of you.  I find your opinions, however strong you think they are, to hold very little water  in comparison to the enormous fanbase that Stephanie Meyer has collected.  (Of course, I might change my mind if you let ME read what you've got.  ;) )  Do please respond.  I'd like to hear your comeback, however flimsy.

Sincerely,          ... (more »)

HisPurePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm
wow.  E.B. that did not need to be said.  isn't this the place where we all get our own opinion.  just say you don't agree in all caps or something.  i don't think that was appropriate.  and the books are rated at Young Adult, but they are poorly written.  not so much the storyline, it's okay.  but the writing itself - bad.  slow, and predictable.
E.B. replied...
Jan. 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm
Seriously?  I hate it when people do that.  It's rude.  I'd rather know what people think than just get an all-caps "I DON'T AGREE WITH YOU."  I value other people's opinions, but I also value the reasons behind their opinions.  (On a different point entirely, are you seriously trying to get in an online argument with someone you've never met over a random post?  That's ridiculous.)
Anonymous replied...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Oh, E.B., how I do love your arguments!  You give me the simple pleasure of having someone to logically discuss opinions with on this site, regardless of differing minds.

To HisPurePrincess - Thank you for your concern, but it was quite unnecessary.  E.B. was just expressing his/her view on this book.  I also find CAPSLOCK to be a bit aesthetically harsh, and correct grammar is always welcomed in comments that may actually be taken seriously into account.

E.B. replied...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm


I am pleased that you did not take offense at my (admittedly) harsh views.  I also appreciate your intervention of this little squabble, because arguing with random peple on the internet is only fun when they eventually succumb to my beliefs.  (Just kidding.  Sort of.)

Anyways, I'm sure that we could put aside our differences and have a civil conversation if we really tried... something about whether clown cars are big enough to have dashboards, ... (more »)

Krissy.Baby.Girl. said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:24 am
Personally.. i LOVE the books.. so i disagree with you.. like.. were teenagers.. let us make our own desisions.. and no.. teens love this book.. but there not gunna go run away and find a vampire to suck their blood and get married and have a kid.. they make there own desisions.. :) LOVE THIS BOOK!HATE THIS ARTICLE :) TY
Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Well, I don't see how the author of this article is trying to rob teens of decision making. I believe it was just the author's own view.

And true, teens may not run away and find a vampire, but you'd be surprised to find how many girls let this novel take over their lives. I know a girl who was in a very healthy relationship with a very nice boy. All was going well until she read Twilight. She broke up with him and later revealed that it was because she wanted a man more like Edward.more »)

Alice_L replied...
Dec. 22, 2010 at 12:56 am

Yes, because your point is very valid with all your spelling mistakes. It may be your decision to use bad grammar, but it doesn't mean it wasn't influnenced by the actions of others. You didn't just decide to make spelling mistakes, you do it because everybody is doing it and it seems cool.

Same with Twilight. It's a big thing among teenagers, and it DOES influence their decisions. A lot of people DO want to marry vampires and be loved by werewolfs. Have you read mylifeistwilight .com?... (more »)

Hawthorn replied...
Feb. 11, 2011 at 9:57 am
Technically, your'e probably a teenager too and I somehow doubt that you are very influenced by twilight. Yes I would like to have a werewolf fall in love with me but that is not because of twilight, it is because of the fact that my friend is making one of the world's greatest werewolf manga comics and everyone working on it is sort of in love with Dysuke (I can never spell his name) Sakamoto, who is a werewolf.    
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