Twilight on Equality | TeenInk

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 Dec. 2 2009 at 6:54 pm
i think people should just enjoy the book for what it is.

anonymous said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 6:50 pm
the people who can openly discuss these sort of things have real friends who probably are sensibe people, who are just into the Saga.(your welcome.)

I<3Jasper said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 6:47 pm
ummm... actually, no i dont.

on Dec. 2 2009 at 6:39 pm
Miss bliss you are totally right and the obsession with the series embarasses me too.

on Dec. 2 2009 at 6:34 pm
Haha what kind of friends do you guys have?

on Dec. 2 2009 at 6:31 pm
Wow! Finally somebody realized the truth.

I totally agree with you Romantic Realist and I am so relived there are a few bright people out there.

Rose77 said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 6:25 pm
I have to say that I agree with you on the fact that no one should look up to Bella, but thats not the point of the book. Its fiction and girls put themselves into Bella's place because lets face it, she has to boys pretty much fighting over her and she has good friends and its a fantasy world for a lot of people. Its not like it was written to teach a lesson, it was made for fun. While I know Bella isn't very bright, she isn't supposed to be. Its just supposed to be fun to read.

on Dec. 2 2009 at 6:17 pm
This article completely hit the mark. I have read the series and have found the characters to be extremely strange. The fact that kids are looking up to these creepy fictional characters is wierd. Twighlight is the poo in a toilet,and the garbage in a trash can. Find another obsession dorksss.

bookwormgal said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 5:15 pm
i like both of your screennames, and i think that you are right.

bookwormgal said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 5:11 pm
I agree with ALL of the above in this conversation- people need to get over their obsessions with thinking the books are sexist- and its not like Bella dosent save Edward too. she saves him from ALMOST going suicide.

Eclipsegirl3 said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 5:07 pm
I agree too. people should just read a book for how the writer meant it to be read- NO BOOK SHOULD BE TAKEN LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, it would be nice to have a girlfriend/ boyfriend like that, but now everyone wants more than any boy or girl can give them.

wwjd96 said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 11:03 am
Amen. This guy needs to chill out.

zoey&stark<3 said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 8:58 am
i love your screen name...i actually almost like the house of night series more than twilight

on Dec. 1 2009 at 10:38 pm
Amen. My girlfriend threatened me when I agreed. The series is overexaggerated in its mediocracy.

on Dec. 1 2009 at 9:41 pm
ButterflyHeart20, Scottsdale, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray. ~Lord Byron

Wow! I've even seen twilight in this perspective before! It proves that to me and a wide range of other twilight "fans', that we might only be trend followers. Now that I understand, I completely agree with all you've said. I was kind of feeling it a bit myself, that Edward is too protective, and Jacob is a loyal friend who lets her have her freedom, yet still saves her like the weak woman she'd portrayed as. That's for making us aware!

Bookworm said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 9:17 pm
Buffy didnt kill Edward, but Voldemort did. lol.

hoopkid21 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 9:09 pm
Yes teens have adults to walk them through their first love, but how many do you know that would go to an adult with something like this? I'm not saying all teens don't go to adults, but most don't. And you have a point on the "perfect love" idea, i agree with you. And yes, most first loves are disasters, but before the downfall of the relationship, that other person is their world. That person is all they think about, all they talk about, all they can focus on (qualifier: not all but most cases), which is what this series starts out as. Granted, it develops into the perfect love which, I agree, is very rare, but it begins as any normal teen's first love.

Savvi said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 9:08 pm
I think your totaly right, Bella is helpless and stupid, and then she need's help from Edward and the hottest guy in the world (Taylor Lautner). It is a good plot but she could of like, made Bella more independint.

Dark Abyss said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 8:33 pm
ok now the first part may be true in one way or another but when it starts to say "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" i disagree this book only shows haw humanity is weaker than that of the immortals not that men are stronger than women. if the perpus of bellas role was to show that women were inferior then why would Edword alow alice who is a femail to take controle and protect theone he loves instead of asking emmett to another person that proves my piont is that jane frim the volturri who was a girl was also the most feard person in Italy

madhatter said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 8:29 pm
I absolutely agree with all that you have said here. I cannot understand why so much of the population has idolized these books and lived by them. I appluade you for analizing this series in such a way that exposes the underlying sexist theme. Thank you for bringing this opinion out for others to see.