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. 11 2010 at 2:44 pm
ellemarie BRONZE, Georgetown, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Afterwards, the universe will explode for your pleasure." -Douglas Adams

I agree that Twilight is sexist, and makes women seem like the weaker sex.  I read an article once stating that Twilight was very feminist.  I disagree, and I agree with the author of this article.  Twilight is in no way, shape, or form a feminist novel, and I think that the author of this article hit it right on the nose.

on May. 5 2010 at 4:24 pm
krazykathleen BRONZE, Edwardsville, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 99 comments

Favorite Quote:
"7/5 of all people do not understand fractions." -Unknown

Whoops! I was trying to reply to someone's comment! That wasn't directed at the author- I loved this- or Mark R. Sorry- I'm new at this!

on May. 5 2010 at 4:22 pm
krazykathleen BRONZE, Edwardsville, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 99 comments

Favorite Quote:
"7/5 of all people do not understand fractions." -Unknown

You can't call it "demonict" if you've never read it! However, I don't really like Twilight- try Harry Potter! It's awesome!

Mark Rayski said...
on May. 5 2010 at 1:47 pm
Mark Rayski, Streamwood, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Great Article Well Done!!! BRAVO!!!

JessieB SILVER said...
on May. 4 2010 at 5:51 pm
JessieB SILVER, Elkton, Maryland
7 articles 1 photo 102 comments

Favorite Quote:
an eye for an eye, and the whole world goes blind~Ghandi

hmmm. I never thought of it like this.

I love the books and all but you have a point.


on Apr. 28 2010 at 5:05 pm
torilynn400 GOLD, Poughkeepsie, New York
10 articles 1 photo 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."
-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Wow. I absolutely love the Twilight Saga, but never before have I heard or even thought of it like this. It's nice to see what others think about the Saga. Actually, I really enjoyed this article; it made me think about what might really be meant by the book.  I don't think in anyway was Stephenie Meyer trying to say something bad, but I really like where you're coming from.

on Apr. 28 2010 at 3:47 am
FizzingWhizbees27 BRONZE, Davis, California
4 articles 0 photos 18 comments
Ah! This is so great and so true! Notice that Bella also gains power ONLY when she gives birth to a child thus portraying that women can only have any power or authority when they have a child. And throughout Eclipse, Jacob and Edward fight over who is right for Bella, showing that women absolutely MUST have a man or they are weak.

Sarbear GOLD said...
on Apr. 24 2010 at 9:24 pm
Sarbear GOLD, Milan, Ohio
10 articles 4 photos 489 comments

Favorite Quote:
--Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away from them and you have their shoes.
--When life gives you lemons, squirt them in people's eyes.

very true. i agree with everything you wrote

on Apr. 24 2010 at 2:34 pm
Shannon_Bananon, Loveland, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
About talking; why don't people ever think before they talk? It would save so much trouble; it would also save me from wanting to slap about half of the world's population.
~Fictional Character (Brilliant, but, sadly, fake.)

I never actually looked at the saga in depth, but this is something I've noticed. At first, I was swept up in the suspense of the book, and adored Bella and Edward's romantic lifestyle, until I looked at it from a critical point of view, and I agree. This series is demeaning to the independent women we see more and more of nowadays.

on Apr. 16 2010 at 7:09 pm
bennyB PLATINUM, Memphis, Tennessee
26 articles 0 photos 63 comments
here is what i think I do not liek twilight and just becasue of the fact there are vampires and a creature that drinks blood that sounds like some demonict stuff to me

on Apr. 11 2010 at 7:27 pm
Arcaeynn SILVER, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
9 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only thing we're allowed to do is hope that we won't regret the decision we made."

I understand why Twilight is such a popular book in the modern world, but teens take it too seriously. Now every girl who's read Twilight thinks that there's an Edward out there for them who can swoop down and kiss them any time he wants. NO NO NO NO NO! Ugh, seriously we teens need to wake up one of these days. THERE IS NO EDWARD! Edward is a VAMPIRE for pete's sake. And there are probably teen boys out there who are trying to impersonate Edward Cullen. Helllooo! Edward is a VAMPIRE and he's been around for more that 100 years and has had  more than 100 years to gain experience and wisdom! Most people DON'T have that much time, believe it or not!

Ugh, Twilight, despite its greatness in literature, has a really negative impact on stupid teens. I'm a girl, and I know what I mean. I've never paid attention to Twilight in my life even though I've read the book and I don't intend to let the book guide my life.

on Apr. 11 2010 at 1:16 pm
americanteen97 SILVER, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
8 articles 0 photos 79 comments
Ugh, I was so simpleminded back then, sorry I see your point of view now.

on Apr. 11 2010 at 12:49 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

wow, calm down. This person was completely right in what they said. Twiight is sexist (along with being the worst book ever). If you didn't want someone to criticise-which they did gently- your beloved trashy romance novel, then you shoudln't have read this article!

on Apr. 6 2010 at 8:56 pm
deardiary BRONZE, Saskatoon, Other
3 articles 0 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
It is a truth universally acknowedged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. -Pride and Prejudice

I must say u do have a few good points. However, i'm still usure of my own opinion on the matter. I have friends who absolutely love the book and others who r totally against it. I do admit that the book has quite a few "fake" elements to it, other than the vampires of course, but i have to hand it to the authour for such a success! It's what every girl dreams of, ofcourse. Its funny, cause its even changing the styles! Vampires are totally in vogue, everyone is dying there hair dark and falling for the mysterious guys. I have to say,it is somewhat hilarious. :) I have seen numerous little girls reading these books and I do agree that they will probably be expecting an Edward of their own in their gullible state. Don't worry though, i'm sure they'll come to their senses in good time ;)

on Apr. 5 2010 at 6:40 pm
izzycaseykat SILVER, Sacramento, California
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is a great teacher....unfortunately it kills all of it's pupils."

"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; " but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever say in my life!" ~Alice

And I am not meaning that everyone wants their edward. But havn't you ever read about a person who's life seems cool and put yourself in their place, greystar? I sure have.

Ps. Sorry about all the comments.

on Apr. 5 2010 at 6:38 pm
izzycaseykat SILVER, Sacramento, California
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is a great teacher....unfortunately it kills all of it's pupils."

"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; " but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever say in my life!" ~Alice

And maybe the person who wrote this isn't an awful person trying to be a downer about what people love. Maybe the personb who wrote this is sensitive to stuff like that and many people are. You can't just assume that everything somebody says negative about what you like is trying to distroy your fun.

on Apr. 5 2010 at 6:35 pm
izzycaseykat SILVER, Sacramento, California
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is a great teacher....unfortunately it kills all of it's pupils."

"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; " but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever say in my life!" ~Alice

Okay lets say people are finding things wrong with it. Just becuas eyou enjoy it doesn't mean everyone else does.

robbi BRONZE said...
on Apr. 4 2010 at 3:42 pm
robbi BRONZE, Goldsboro, North Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
quotes are for people who are too uncreative to come up with their own sources of information.----ME.

Ok im not an obsessed fan like so many people are today, but i disagree completely with you.  It is so ridiculous that people will find some thing negative about every singe thing that makes people happy.  It is a fictional story.  FICTIONAL! seriously. Only weak-minded people want to find their edward and live that life. People like me watch the movie or read the book and say-That was a pretty darn cool - and go on with life. get a grip will you?

on Apr. 3 2010 at 11:38 pm
alexisabbott BRONZE, Littleton, Colorado
2 articles 2 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
Peace. Love. Happiness.

See my point is that you had to take something that people enjoy and find anything negative about it. It is not sexist. ok pepople fall in love and when they get their heartbroken sometimes they just kinda don't know what to do but eventually you get back on your feet. Seriously it is a fictional story. hint the word ficton.

on Apr. 3 2010 at 8:39 pm
BrainsANDBeauty PLATINUM, Donnellson, Iowa
29 articles 3 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
I knew that guy when he was a caterpillar, you know, before he 'came out'

Thank you.  It's good to see some people aren't mindless goons.