Now this post has been marinating/writing itself in my head for . . . quite some time. So those of you who enjoy my rants - grab some popcorn or something. One could also consider it my extended comment in response to this and this, but it does technically predate them both. It just fits.
You might have noticed that Twilight fever is heating up again. And every time it does my Twilight rage gets more intense.
Don't get me wrong. I like Twilight . . . more or less. Heaven knows the writing is not very good at all, but it's decent enough to be a pleasant guilty pleasure from time to time. (I've mentioned this to a few people but I read enough truly terrible writing in college to be pretty forgiving with writing that actually gets published.) That said, I would not want any daughters of mine reading the series until they're 21 and I can't even pretend to control anything they do.
(Completely unrelated note: these books are definitely a series and soooooooooooooooooo not a saga. I cringe every time I hear it called such.)
So. Today we have, in no particular order, Lacey's Reasons Why the Twilight SERIES are Terrible Books to Put in the YA Section:
1 ~ Ummmmm . . . because they're about vampires . . . and everybody (well, almost everybody) knows that vampires are about the most blatant metaphor for sex in the entire literary world. Flashback: spring-ish 2008. Lacey's in Florida. Twilight is getting really big and Lacey has just discovered them. (random unrelated side note - I always seem to discover a series shortly before book 4 is released. Totally when I discovered Harry Potter too.) There's a bunch of girls chatting in the break room and Twilight comes up, and I ask a girl who's into vampires and vampire novels if she likes them. She says no. And goes on to say that they are clearly written by a very, very repressed woman and as such they are just not as good as other vampire novels and . . . she went on to say a bit more, but I don't really remember. At this point I was still reading the first book, and having read a vampire novel or two before I couldn't help but agree on her main point. A lot of anti-Twilight people online attribute that to Stephenie Meyers' religion . . . but since I'm, you know, the same religion I think I can pretty solidly refute that. At least as the sole reason. (insert your own crack about her collegiate alma mater being the reason she missed the vampire = sex memo here) But the whole thing really does have a slight feeling like I'm reading about someone's highly detailed fantasy. That's a little disturbing. I mean, does anyone actually want to read about a stranger's repressed desires? Well, really super creepy disturbed people maybe. All that tension's gotta come out somewhere, I guess.
2 ~ HOLY CREEPY STALKERIFIC!!!!!! I'll admit that the story is good enough that while I was reading I got sucked in and went a long with everybody in thinking how wonderful and thoughtful and sweet and blah, blah, blah Edward is. Then I finished the books and, unlike a depressingly large chunk of the audience, I came back to reality. And in reality, Edward is not a boyfriend, but an emotionally abusive stalker. I mean, seriously - disabling her car so she can't hang out with her other friends? Sneaking into her house and watching her sleep? Not cool. They say it's not stalking if you like it . . . but just because you like it doesn't make it right . . . or legal. Suffice it to say that this site really disturbs me. Some of it's not too bad, but holy crap. Dumping your boyfriend because he won't bite you? Making your husband sleep on the couch because he doesn't sparkle?! (side note - I find the sparkling thing a little silly, but I don't have as much problem with it as some people. There's only so many reasons one could offer to explain the "no sunlight" thing.) I really, truly fear for these girls who honestly believe that a cardboard cutout of Robert Pattenson is the best prom date one could ever ask for. There is a massive group of girls about to enter adulthood (or just starting it) who are convinced that this is the type of guy they should be looking for - a guy who tells them what to do and who they can and can't associate with and how they should act all the time. And they think the right thing for them to do is nod and look at the ground and race to accommodate his every desire. That is positively medieval! News flash - women aren't property anymore!! They should never have been to begin with . . . but that's a post for another day. Maybe. Get your own life and fit a guy into it girls, don't fit your life around a guy - who could possibly want their daughters learning that?
3 ~ Bella.
She is a terrible role model. She takes absolutely no action herself. Nothing. Everything she does is a reaction to what others are doing around her. Her life revolves around her boyfriend, and when he's gone she just quits living. So, so wrong. Even the Disney princesses rank higher than Bella in this one - none of them went out looking for a guy. The guys just kinda happened along as they were going about their lives. I mean, think about it. Cinderella didn't want to go to the ball in order to marry the prince - she just wanted to get out the house. Jasmine was actively avoiding marriage. Ariel wanted to be human even before she saw Prince Eric.
And then there's Bella Swan. She just sees Edward and before they even speak to each other her entire life revolves around him. And sure, break-ups are rough, but essentially becoming a zombie for, like, six months? Taking ridiculous risks to life and limb in order to imagine you're hearing a voice? That is not healthy. Granted, it is somewhat of a normal thing for teenage girls to be over dramatic and especially since this is a first boyfriend one oughtn't be surprised that her reaction is more extreme than it would be were Edward her fourth or fifth boyfriend. But doing this gets Bella her boyfriend back - essentially glorifying her method. I, for one, do NOT want my hypothetical daughters thinking they're nothing without a man in their lives. Especially after I had a hard time fighting feeling like that all through college. So. Not. Right.
4 ~ I seriously fear the culture . . . or should I say cult? . . . that has developed around the series. You notice Harry Potter fans, while they may be pretty die-hard, typically don't have a problem accepting the fact that it's fiction. On the other hand . . . yeah. Sad. And you know what really scares me? Twilight moms.
So. Freaking. True. You know the worst part about this? Teenage girls are more or less expected to not have a normal grip on reality and be prone to unrealistic fantasies . . . but they're also supposed to outgrow it. Clearly, many do not. Which just perpetuates - and reinforces - the cycle. Seriously. I want to cry for the fate of humanity.
Sometimes I feel like the only female on the planet who realizes that Twilight is just a book. Things have improved though. In our singles' ward in Florida our Relief Society more or less came to a halt when Breaking Dawn and the movie came out because nobody could talk about anything else. Our ward now . . . I haven't heard a word. My guess would have been that moms of little kids don't have time to obsess over fiction. But that kinda doesn't work because only about half the couples have kids, and there's plenty of newlyweds . . . who, presumably, were up until recently in singles' wards obsessing over Twilight themselves with all the other single girls. I mean, really, what are the odds that I'm the only girl in the whole ward who's read them? So not happening. I'm glad I don't have to hear countdowns to the movie at church though. Seriously, don't even get me started on my general opinion of book-to-movie adaptations.
And if you want to read some real vampire books allow me to suggest this. And this. They kinda rock.
Okay, so this didn't end up quite as rant-y as I was thinking it would at the beginning. But Twilight is totally getting censored in our house. Also: this says everything I've been saying, but much more eloquently.
P. ost S. cript
So I thought about posting some Twi-spoof - and believe me, there are plenty of those. Some are even pretty good. But . . . no. Also, one can never get enough pirates. Vampire overload is pretty easy to come by.