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. 1 2009 at 8:16 pm
I really think you're reading way too much into it and you really need to find something better to do than try to fight mainstream culture because it makes you "different." If teens read too much into the book, as whoever wrote this article did, then they are trying to find problems. Find something better to do then criticize a good book.

I<3Jasper said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:31 pm
i think people need to get over the fact that its an almost COMPLETELY FULL FICTION book, and its just a teenage romance Saga, not to be taken to that depth.

bella100396 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:31 pm
Its scary how some people can get soooo addicted to twilight. Like, thats ALL they think about... its freaky but that was the point of meyers books. She made them like that so people would WANT and CRAVE an edward or bella viceversa. So is it sexist? I think that is looking alittle too deep into the books. I think that if u read this book 5 years ago like some other people when it wasnt sooo popular that it wouldnt matter and no one would even assume that. But sence the book is SOOOO popular now everyone has to find SOME down fall in it.

and i dont think that meyer had the idea of men having power over women but that "love conquors over all" sounds cheesy but yes that was meyers intintions.

Eclipsegirl3 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:25 pm
i think that you are right, that its a book and people need to realize that NO ONE is gonna be absolutly perfect!

(like your screenname, btw)

Bella100396 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:22 pm
I agree with i <3 jesus and jesus freak. Tottally. and its great to see people who actually love God but dont thing twilight is a "sin" I <3 jesus too but i also <3 twilight.

Eclipsegirl3 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:22 pm
i think you have a point, but imagine how MAD people would be if someont took the Twilight Saga out of the world. a few of my friends would tell guys that they wouldent go out with them because they werent lika Jacob and Edward, so i get your point of how we would have more friends if we didnt act like the actors from Twilight, and we didnt think that EVERY guy is perfect.

bella100396 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:19 pm
It does leave a bad influence if people cant control themsleves. Obviously now every one is obssesed with having an "edward" and if a guy a "bella". Some people need to learn how to control themselves, and realize its a BOOK and there really isnt a man or woman on this earth like edward and bella. And if there was God help us all. PS: My username does not have anything to do with twilight. Ive had this username on other occounts for about 3 or 4 years now not even know it pertained to twilight. Until someone told me

on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:17 pm
no chilax homes

teens have adults to walk them through their first love....which is normally a disater, this book feeds into that idea of perfect first love which is really really REALLY rare and makes girls believe that it is, feeding them false dreams and expetations

on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:14 pm
what i dont like is that it makes it look like girls and women need a man to save them from everything. We're just as capable of doing stuff ourselves then with some guy helping us all the time.

grammar nazi said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:10 pm
shouldnt it be alice and jasper ARE awesome...

jesusfreak said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:08 pm
I totally agree with i<3jesus223! I am obsessed with these books and think that we do feel that we need someone there to protest us. no matter what age!

on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:03 pm
it's kind of sick that people are saying the writer has read to far into Twilight, you can never read into anything to much, and I happen to agree with the writer.

this twisted thing between Edward and Bella is not romantic, its kind of sick. It is feeding people unrealistict and unheathly views of love. Never should you let someone consume who you are, be everything you need. Love is love but still being able to function as a person on your own. Sure it's a good read, but teenagers take stuff to literally sometimes and this is not good. It appeals to values and ideas that we have worked hard to get past, like sexism between men and women. and you dont have to read too far to get that...some of you just want to ignore it

on Dec. 1 2009 at 7:02 pm
as a feminist, i do see how it is a little sexist. but I dont think stephanie meant it that way. Edward is only put as a stronger character becauses hes a vampire. If it was the other way around, bella would have more power.

bookwormgal said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 6:40 pm
i think so too!

on Dec. 1 2009 at 6:39 pm
i think who ever wrote this is right. i know how my fellow peers are now. there sucked into TWILIGHt and its not that i don't like it its just i think our kids world would be better if the twilight saga was gone. all my girl friends arn't even into the puppy love the once where. when a guy walked up to one of my best friends (who i lost 2 twilight) he asked her out she said" no cuz your not edward." i think every girl my age a little younger and so much older are subscreaning there lives to a dream. you don't need a boy to make you happy, he might be the highlight of your day, but you don't truly NEED him. if the saga was gone i think i would have more friends in school and girls wouldn't be as mean and trying to chang there identaty to mach the twilight acters. i really want twilight to be gone, not because i like it. i sort of do. but because it would make us (kids) not be like we are 2day. relying out identay in someone else. Melinda

bookwormgal said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 6:38 pm
i dont think that the twilight books are sexist- both Edward and Bella save each other. from a certain point, Edward keeps Bella from getting hurt phisically- yes he leaves her, but he thought it was for her own good. and Bella kinda saves him too- emotionally. so i think that anyone who reads THAT in depth dosent get that it was supposed to be your basic romance!

on Dec. 1 2009 at 6:16 pm
-MidnightAngel- GOLD, A Field Of Paper Flowers, California
11 articles 47 photos 112 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?"

With all do respect, i think you'r reading a little to far into the books and should gust take them for what they are.

Gabbyyy594 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 5:31 pm
i understand what you're saying, but Edward needs Bella too. I mean, he tries to kill himself because he can't live without her.. so obviously this isn't sexist. Bella does need Edward a lot of the time, but he needs her too so it isn't one sided.

BillyBob said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 5:22 pm
U r so rite twilight sucks and so does edward and taylor. Alice and jasper is awesome!!!!!

i<3reading said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 4:52 pm
I think the books were good, and I dont agree with the sexist thing because it is about love and how their love runs deeper than anything else, although I do think that BOTH Edward and Bella are very weak characters like Bella is always in need of saving and Edward is always depressed and "i cant be with you" sometimes and other times "i will never leave" he really needs to just choose a side!