Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Here I Go Again

Today I saw a fifth grader reading Twilight. A FIFTH GRADER. As in A TEN-YEAR-OLD. There is not enough profanity in the world to fill in the symbols in the "Are you @#$%^%&*^(&^%@!#@%^%&%@$!#$^%^%$&^#@$%^%$&^&%*&^$%ing kidding me?!?!?!?!?!" that has been going through my head all afternoon.

I know, I know, I've ranted about Twilight before. So for those of you who don't spend your spare time rereading my past blog posts, here's the recap:

1. The books themselves - story = not that bad, an original take on the vampire legend that could have made for an entertaining guilty pleasure if not for the fact that the writing = a level of horrendous I've only seen exceeded by a classmate who needed to reconsider her major back in college. (side note: this might be the most awesomest site in the history of the internet. so true, so perfect, and often so funny.)

2. Abusive male + submissive female = not okay in any relationship.

3. Humanity is clearly losing its grip on reality.

Okay, now on to my new rant's bullet points. Yay!!

(2) 1 ~ Who in their right mind lets a ten-year-old read a book that's meant for teenagers and (as I argued last time) still rather inappropriate for them? Either this child is reading her parent/guardian's copy or she got it out of a library. And either way, I am not the only adult who knows she's reading it. I refuse to believe she got it out of the school library, so it strikes me as logical to assume that some sort of parental figure is aware of this child's chosen reading material. (and yeah, let's be honest, I might be completely off here but I'ma go with it because it fits into my angry tirade and don't mess with me when I'm ranting, dangit!)

So this begs a few questions. Does this parental figure support the horrible "gender roles" illustrated in this series? Do they want their daughter to think being meek and submissive will win her the man of her dreams rather than an abusive psychopath? Do they want her to want a manipulative emotional abuser? Are they trying to teach her that she is only worth as much as a male thinks she is? There are not words to describe how many levels of wrong and awful this is!! It's bad enough that in this day and age there are still people who think that way, but at least the adults - and even the teens, to an extent - who pick up these books are (theoretically) able to see the glaringly obvious problems with the way Bella interacts with every single freaking male in her life . . . but this girl doesn't know what she's reading. All she sees is a super popular book that all the big girls read and she wants to look grown up, and now she's going to think that this is what she should spend her high school years seeking out. And granted, my high school expectations were horribly skewed too . . . but Saved by the Bell is ridiculously harmless comparatively speaking.

I'm on the fence about Harry Potter as appropriate for this age group - those last few book get rather, er, gritty, shall we say - but just based on this I'm all for them. (click on 'em to make them bigger and, you know, be able to read them.)

(2) 2 ~ These books are SO inappropriate for someone in FREAKING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. I haven't heard this one yet, but the other day Aunt Sharon was telling me about mothers who say things like, "I haven't read Twilight, but I'm okay with my daughter reading them because she's Mormon."

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm . . . what? I'm sorry, but just because you can buy these books at Deseret Book doesn't mean they're appropriate for all ages, or even appropriate for anyone who shops there. In fact, as far as I'm concerned they may as well start carrying bodice rippers with Fabio on the cover because that's about the level of integrity they have in my eyes after carrying these books (and, actually, a couple of others that my mom thought would be okay because she bought them there only to be quite surprised when she read them. and then horrified that I'd read them because they were for me. but I digress). In fact, I'm pretty sure the publishing arm of the company wouldn't touch them with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole . . . and now I'm curious about just how many places the manuscript was submitted before it was accepted - and what those places were.

So Lacey, you may ask, just what is age-inappropriate in these books . . . other than, you know, everything?

Let's start with the graphic violence that's in all four books. Because it. Is. Graphic. And let's stop and take a moment to ponder why it is that generally Mormons are okay with graphic violence, but even a whisper of sex is enough to condemn a person to the deepest, darkest circle of Hades. Yeah, could someone please explain that one to me because I've seriously been wondering for years. A little bit of passionate kissing and a smidge of hands roaming bodies and everyone's all "grab your torch and pitchforks!!" But limbs hacked off and blood spurting everywhere? Bring it on.

(Note: yes, that is a gross generalization. But in my experience it is accurate - just exaggerated.)

Then, of course, there's the fact that Bella only agrees to marry Edward because Edward won't sleep with her otherwise. Say whatever you want about the books promoting abstinence - the fact is, Bella spends Eclipse mostly trying to get into Edward's pants. I suppose props ought to be given for that reversal of gender roles . . . but is that the picture of marriage we want to be sending to the rising generation? "We" referring to both humanity in general and Mormon mothers in particular. Maybe I'm over analyzing things (of course I would have to disagree with you there) but the message I'm seeing is something like "marry him if you have to girls, but don't bother buying the pig if you can get the sausage for free."

This could probably go under the graphic violence heading, but since it added flashing exclamation points to Lacey's List of Reasons Not to Get Pregnant, it gets a separate entry:


'Nuff said. For those not in the know, the demon mutant baby performs a c-section on Bella. FROM THE INSIDE. I know it's ridiculous, but talk about not making the thought of childbirth any more appealing. (ummmmmm . . . sorry Lora . . . Shari . . . Camille . . . happy thoughts!!!)

On that note there's the whole imprinting thing. Which I was more or less okay with until what's-his-butt imprinted on a toddler. And then Jacob goes an imprints on an infant only minutes old (or an unfertilized egg, depending on just how you look at it). People talk about how the whole series (let's not touch the saga aspect again, m'kay?) is about a girl choosing between beastiality and necrophilia . . . and it is, when you boil it down to the basics. So how does everyone forget that it's also totally promoting pedophilia? And I'm not saying there are levels to it or anything because the whole idea is heinous, but Twilight is pedophilia of the absolute worst sort. And don't give me that crap about him being like a brother until she grows up - that just makes it creepier because you KNOW he's just counting down the minutes until she's ready for him to be a boyfriend instead of a brother.

Soooooooo . . . yeah. It's been two hours. I'm running out of steam. (but don't think I'm not still shocked and appalled, because I totally am.) Anyway, my point is that somebody is REALLY dropping the ball for this poor little girl and I just wish I was in a position where I could pick it up. Oh, how I hope this doesn't screw her up later on in life.

One more picture, because it's true. And funny. Because it's true.

P. ost S. cript
Speaking of cats that explain why the Puritans thought all felines were possessed by the devil . . . not that anyone has been for a week now . . . especially since the nightmares have stopped. (KIDDING!!! I promise, there was only the one!) Anyway, how about a little creepy to start getting in the mood for Halloween next month.


  1. Or, you know, she is just reading it. I read Forever about that age, which hello - so inappropriate...

  2. Granted, but Forever could be argued to have its redeeming qualities. The not perfectly happy ending, safe sex messages . . . non-abusive relationships. I think it was the combination of the ten-year-old plus the "she's Mormon so it's obviously okay" thing that set me off. Sometimes I really hate Utah . . .

  3. Well, you KNOW I agree with you about the books. I'm just playing devil's advocate. And, well, it's not the whole state. Just selected culture embracers.

    (I did like seeing you try to come up with redeeming values Forever, though...)

  4. Yeah, the more I think about it, it's really not the girl that bothers me. It's that either her parents aren't monitoring her reading choices and ten strikes me as a bit young to stop doing that, or they are and think this is a fine choice.

    And I know I'm totally generalizing the Utah thing, but it's such easy shorthand. Also - put a pin in that for bookclub because I've got a story I don't want to put here on the off chance that people involved somehow stumble across it.

  5. I'll be honest....I'm on the fence about this.... But you bet I'm going to ask you who the student is.....

    And I read Forever at waaaay too young of age, too. That is all.