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#1 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In another, rather long, thread it was asked:

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Originally Posted by Inci
Just wondering -
Are there other Twilight threads on MDC that I'm missing?
Is there a thread anywhere to dissect the sexism, and ways that the books glorify/justify abusive relationships??
So here we go!
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#2 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Twilight was amusing. Unless I thought about things too hard.

The way Edward said that he loved her more because he'd protect her by staying away from her? Is there anything more likely to cause a teenager to dig in and refuse reason than a suggestion that her feelings are less than a billion percent serious?
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#3 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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hey, Sapphire, thanks for starting this thread!

Okay, my problems with Twilight (and I've only read the first book):

- Bella has no life beyond Edward - no interests, hobbies, volunteer projects, activist work, extracurricular activities, church, lessons, or ANYTHING. Her friendships are superficial and conversations with friends revolve around boys, fashion, etc. She ditches her friends and family to just be with Edward.
p. 251 - "Since I'd come to Forks, it really seemed like my life was about him."

- Bella is self-deprecating, and Edward feeds this by always either scolding her for or being amused by how easily and frequently Bella attracts trouble, gets into trouble, etc., and always needs to be helped and protected.

- Bella cooks dinner for her dad every night, and cleans up after, while he just watches TV. She mothers him, in a sexist, 1950s kind of way.

- Edward is controlling, condescending towards Bella, is violent, and ignores her.
p. 103 - he drags her across the parking lot by her jacket, ignores Bella when she tells him to let go, orders her to get in the car, threatens that if she tries to leave he'll just drag her back.
p. 270, Edward talks about how he had the urge to murder Bella's teacher so that he could be alone with Bella.
p. 272 - "And I was filled with compassion for his suffering, even now, as he confessed his craving to take my life." THAT'S NOT HEALTHY. Junk like this primes girls to have relationships with abusive men.
p. 293 - “'You spied on me?' But somehow I couldn’t infuse my voice with the proper outrage. I was flattered. He was unrepentant. 'What else is there to do at night?'"
(He admits to coming ‘almost every night’ to watch Bella sleep]) Nooo, it's not CREEPY when a man breaks into your house every night to watch you sleep without your permission or knowledge (e.g. STALKS YOU), it's sooo flattering!
p. 310 – “You are so soft, so fragile. I have to mind my actions every moment that we’re together so that I don’t hurt you. I could kill you quite easily, Bella, simply by accident. ... If I were too hasty...if for one second I wasn’t paying enough attention, I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake. You don’t realize how incredibly breakable you are.”
p. 315 – "He threw me over his shoulder, gently, but with a swiftness that left me breathless. I protested as he carried me easily down the stairs, but he ignored me."

- Edward treats Bella like a child:
p. 280 – "Then he pulled me around to face him, cradling me in his arms like a small child."
p. 297 – "Then he leaned forward and reached out with his long arms to pick me up, gripping the tops of my arms like I was a toddler."

I really could go on and on...
It really scares me that millions of preteen girls are enthralled by/learning from THIS.
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#4 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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Sapphire clan , I think you're right, entertaining story as long as you dont think about it too hard.
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#5 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 01:27 AM
 
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I think the reason we should "think about it too hard" is because so many preteen girls look up to Bella as a role model, and want a relationship like Bella & Edward's. These books aren't just junky romance novels collecting dust in a library basement, they're all in the Top 20 Bestselling books on Amazon. As ABC News puts it, "The first three books in the series have sold a combined 8 million copies worldwide. That's staggering, considering the high-end print run for a teen novel is 500,000."
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#6 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 01:32 AM
 
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I've told my daughters plenty of times, as we've discussed these books, that I don't want them dating vampires. What's normal and healthy for vampire/human relationships would be incredibly UNhealthy in a relationship between two regular, mortal, human beings.

And that about sums up the whole thing. It's fantasy, and it's fun, and it's not meant to be taken too seriously. ITA that it's a problem if girls ARE taking this too literally, and expect human men to act like Edward- but I don't think that's what the author intended.

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#7 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I've told my daughters plenty of times, as we've discussed these books, that I don't want them dating vampires. What's normal and healthy for vampire/human relationships would be incredibly UNhealthy in a relationship between two regular, mortal, human beings.

And that about sums up the whole thing. It's fantasy, and it's fun, and it's not meant to be taken too seriously. ITA that it's a problem if girls ARE taking this too literally, and expect human men to act like Edward- but I don't think that's what the author intended.
I totally agree.

I think the main problem would be lack of discussion with the teens that are reading these.

I would also hope that these girls are aware of the fact that it would be creepster 101 for a human boy to have the urge to KILL them. That should never happen.... unless you are dating a vampire....

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#8 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For me it's less about whether they're "safe" for young women, and more about the sheer absurdity of them.

It's like that song Love Story (and lots of other songs), I listen to them in the radio and have fun, but then I just have to gripe to someone about what utter pieces of BS they are.
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#9 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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Inci, I am with you 100%.

I read all 4 books and they just kept getting worse. And from what I've heard about the unfinished 5th book, the Edward-as-creepy-stalker only got creepier.

If my daughter ever wants to read them (hopefully they'll be out of fashion by then ) she and I will have a long, hard talk about it first. I wouldn't ban them or anything... but I admit to wanting to. They're sick and set unhealthy and unrealistic expectations of relationships.

I can't express enough how much I dislike the themes in those books. If my 12 year old came to me wanting to read Twilight I'd be buying the Sookie Stackhouse books so fast her head would spin. I'd much rather her read a book with a little sex in it (as I was doing at that age - VC Andrews, etc) than books where the man is a jerky stalker and the woman is a brainless doormat.

Sorry, just how I feel. I didn't want to dump on the main Twilight thread and ruin anyone's fun... but since this is a critical discussion...

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#10 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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wow. i agree with talking to your kids about what they are reading but i don't understand why you would have a talk about it before hand. i think asking her what she thinks about it, really listening to her thoughts, and talk about that. Everyone can read the same thing and each one will take something different away from it.

i understand where you are coming from with your concerns.. i can see where people would read the books and be horrified. i was not one of those people, i enjoyed the books but i totally agree bella was so self deprecating it made me want to barf.

here's why i enjoyed the books and why i think many young adults can read them without scaring them for life. first of all i think most kids who are old enough to read this are old enough to think critically and understand the difference between reality and fantasy. second, as adults, having the experiences and slightly more all encompassing world views, we read things like that and see a teenaged girl who has no self worth, a controlling boyfriend who wants to kill her, a love triangle that is fueled by this girls need to please everyone... and to always be the injured party, the imprinting thing which is beyond bizarre if you over think it etc.

now when i read the book i got none of that from it. what i read was a girl that many high school girls can relate to. she is awkward, insecure, and spends a lot of time trying not to embarrass herself... so basically your average pre teen and young teen. a beautiful, mysterious, sort of dangerous guy who, by some miracle, seems to be interested in her. ok at that age this was like my ultimate fantasy... and it was a totally innocent one.

the vampire thing complicates things obviously but i didn't get the same things from it that you guys did. i was mad as heck that he didn't listen to what she wanted but instead did what he thought was best. how flipping infuriating... i bet many girls would think the same thing. we can make decisions for ourselves thankyouverymuch no help from boyfriends needed!

for the endlessly awkward among us having a guy who finds your mishaps amusing is a huge relief. i used to get into all kinds of stupid situations.. i needed someone who could laugh with me and even like that about me.

i think having edward wanting to kill her is sort of obvious since he is a vampire. i didn't read this and think that a man who constantly wants to kill you just can't help himself b/c it is a part of who he is. i thought the point was that he didn't hurt her. i would actually like my kids to understand that 'i can't help it it's just who i am' and other asinine excuses for abusing someone are total crap and that a man who truly loves you does not hurt your. even if someone has 'uncontrollable urges' it does not make it ok.

the other thing is that he is a vampire.. i don't know any of those in real life. i think most kids can understand what vampires are, and how they are different then people, that they are not real and it is not ok for people to want to kill you.

i also think bella sticks to her guns about what she wants in the last two books. being friends with jacob, becoming a vampire, keeping her baby etc. seems like she gets some self esteem be the end of the second book.

i don't know i guess i think that as adults we are more likely to read things into this then kids are. it is a fantasy romance, most of them will take it for what it is. i did until i read this, and i still do.
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#11 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I've told my daughters plenty of times, as we've discussed these books, that I don't want them dating vampires. What's normal and healthy for vampire/human relationships would be incredibly UNhealthy in a relationship between two regular, mortal, human beings.

And that about sums up the whole thing. It's fantasy, and it's fun, and it's not meant to be taken too seriously. ITA that it's a problem if girls ARE taking this too literally, and expect human men to act like Edward- but I don't think that's what the author intended.
that

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Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
I totally agree.

I think the main problem would be lack of discussion with the teens that are reading these.

I would also hope that these girls are aware of the fact that it would be creepster 101 for a human boy to have the urge to KILL them. That should never happen.... unless you are dating a vampire....



I think at a certain point we all just need to realize this is fiction/fantasy
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#12 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I've told my daughters plenty of times, as we've discussed these books, that I don't want them dating vampires. What's normal and healthy for vampire/human relationships would be incredibly UNhealthy in a relationship between two regular, mortal, human beings.

And that about sums up the whole thing. It's fantasy, and it's fun, and it's not meant to be taken too seriously. ITA that it's a problem if girls ARE taking this too literally, and expect human men to act like Edward- but I don't think that's what the author intended.
:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
I totally agree.

I think the main problem would be lack of discussion with the teens that are reading these.

I would also hope that these girls are aware of the fact that it would be creepster 101 for a human boy to have the urge to KILL them. That should never happen.... unless you are dating a vampire....



I think at a certain point we all just need to realize this is fiction/fantasy
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#13 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 02:47 PM
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Inci, great post!

I'm annoyed by the popularity of Twilight in the same way I'm annoyed by the popularity of the Princess thing among young girls. I can't help reading a book and looking for the underlying messages (hey, I'm an English teacher!). I think the books feed the idea that girls should feel great if they are super fragile and need taking care of by a strong perfect man... I found Bella boring and obnoxious most of the time (I thought she'd be like most YA female heroines in fantasy or action, not a YA romance novel--oops!). But I could put that aside and enjoy a thrilling story (when it finally got around to the story and not just mooning about and googly eyes ). I thought the series got much better by the end. AND I think there are other positive messages throughout the books. Staying true to what you really believe in, becoming stronger, and a very interesting metaphor of (good) vampires as the saved (because they have to really work to be good), as a religious theme... these were all interesting. I don't mind the metaphor for abstinence, either, although I thought the way the lust was conveyed was unrealistically lopsided (I do appreciate the inversion of the girl-as-gatekeeper trope), and just served to make Bella look weaker again. I thought Bella's actions by the end of the book maybe subverted the idea of the delicate princess. But mostly I think she's just like her powers... a blank, a cipher.

I can enjoy Jane Austen despite its messages of classism and bowing to the social system. I can enjoy a lot of books that have crazy messages. But I'm still aware of them.
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#14 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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http://endabuse.org/content/news/detail/1090/

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Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner – a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth. This “shockingly common behavior among adolescents” is the subject of a new Focus Report from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

This examination of existing research compiles some of the strongest data on the subject. It finds that girls exposed to interpersonal violence are more likely to be exposed to other forms of violence, show a greater propensity for unsafe sexual activity, and a higher incidence of substance abuse and suicide than either boys or non-abused girls.
Just sayin' .

In the preview for movie #2 when the brother gets crazed due to Bella's blood drop and Edward protects her by essentially throwing her into a wall behind him, it wasn't so great an image in my world.

The issue for me isn't so much for the young girls reading this in the context of families that communicate, but more the myriad girls who are reading this in a vacuum void of parental guidance, and this dreck is reinforcing of/reinforced by the other popular media garbage (where female = booty). I also don't think this is so different from the crap I read as a tween, but I still think it's, well, crap.

(when looking for this report online, I found an article that quoted a spokesperson re the research named Kiersten Stewart - thought that was funny).

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#15 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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http://endabuse.org/content/news/detail/1090/



Just sayin' .

In the preview for movie #2 when the brother gets crazed due to Bella's blood drop and Edward protects her by essentially throwing her into a wall behind him, it wasn't so great an image in my world.

The issue for me isn't so much for the young girls reading this in the context of families that communicate, but more the myriad girls who are reading this in a vacuum void of parental guidance, and this dreck is reinforcing of/reinforced by the other popular media garbage (where female = booty). I also don't think this is so different from the crap I read as a tween, but I still think it's, well, crap.

(when looking for this report online, I found an article that quoted a spokesperson re the research named Kiersten Stewart - thought that was funny).
so if your partner was about to get hit by a bus, and you push him out of the way forcefully- you are abusive? because thats what stephanie meyer made her vampires... cold, hard, fast and powerful. like steel. like a bus about to crush her and drink her blood.

and what it seems like you are saying is that it is not the books fault... but the fault of the parents or role models for not providing the right guidance....

its fantasy.

have you ever been to a comic con?

people lose themselves in ALLLLL sorts of fantasy that is probably "unhealthy" "abusive" "sexist" if you dissect it enough.

if the topic being discussed is the breakdown of the familial unit forcing children to find guidance and seek acceptance elsewhere- well, I am down for that discussion... but the fact that this book has any hand in a teenage girl going out and finding herself an abusive boyfriend that stalks her and wants to kill her.... is absurd.

it is absurd and down right offensive to the intelligence of the teenage girls to try and say that them reading this book will in some way entrance them and convince them that their safety matters not and its completely acceptable to allow men to undermine your choices and force you into the kitchen to cook their meals... give your children more credit than that.

It is not the responsibility of writers to craft each and every sentence in order to please every politically correct group out there. She told a story that was in her head. People went crazy over it. Because people love vampire stories. always have. vampire novels were HUGE when I was in high school. its a seductive fantasy to live forever and never age... countless classics have been written about it for a long long long time.

Should we censor our books to try and bandage up the open wound or try to get the knife out of the flesh first.

pretending that any of the problems listed in the posts above are really about twilight is nonsense. The fact that when you read about a 17 year old boy pulling a 17 year old girl by her jacket in a parking lot because she was just unconscious minutes before and they shouldnt be driving- what you REALLY read is an abusive boy undermining a girls power and intelligence speaks to your life experiences- not the girls reading this.

As a teenager I have pulled teenage boys by their shirts to dance. I have pulled them by jackets to walk with me to the bathroom at camp because it was dark and I didnt want to go alone.

I have been pulled, by my boyfriend, by my jacket to get in the car during a verbal altercation with another girl.

These are teen experiences, things that happen. Thank god we dont have the life experiences of a 30 year old when we are 17- nothing would be fun.

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#16 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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: to pretty much the whole post. i think we need to give teenage girls (and the people who raise them) a bit more credit.
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#17 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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I'm playing hookie from what I'm supposed to be doing, so I'm going too fast when I type.

I was responding to upthread where someone said the problem was the conversations not happening with girls. I meant that for some kids these books aren't just pap to be read, enjoyed and moved on from. And many kids just aren't moving on from these books given the mania around them. And not every kid has someone to bounce ideas off of.

I think that girls (and boys) today are living in a vastly different culture than we did (we being the 30+ crowd, in terms of the change I'm observing). Sexism and misogyny are alive and well, just as they were when we were growing up. But I think that media is a much larger factor in young women's/girls' lives than it was when I grew up, and the uni-dimensional portrayals of men and women are awful.

I'm not saying young girl + vampire fantasy = seeking abusive relationship. But I don't think that humans are not influenced by their experiences/what they read/view, and that Twilight-type Mary Sue fiction is one piece of the puzzle that supports the underlying culture that accepts and perpetuates high levels of violence.

To me, Twilight's just a small part of the problem. I don't like that young girls (10-14) are inhaling this at such a formative point in their development, without the breadth of experience of an older reader. I read Flowers in the Attic at that age and was unscathed (although creeped out), so I'm not saying burn the books (by any means), but I wish there was the same level of rapture about a series that has a stronger female protagonist without a muddled death wish and that was better written.

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#18 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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what is this flowers in the attic i keep hearing about? i read a ton growing up and i still do but i have never read this. mostly i read stuff that is fun and happy or at least not morbidly depressing. (i made it about 10 pages into go ask alice before i moved onto my princess diaries books )
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#19 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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I really did not like Edward at all during the whole series. This video really summed it up for me. http://blip.tv/file/2261825/

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#20 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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but the fact that this book has any hand in a teenage girl going out and finding herself an abusive boyfriend that stalks her and wants to kill her.... is absurd.
Of course it's absurd! It's not a direct cause & effect. But we're talking about treating an unhealthy relationship like it's normal. I don't care to normalize something like that.

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what is this flowers in the attic i keep hearing about?
Child abuse & incest. The books are gross. (There's a whole FitA series)

But let me segue this back to the original discussion: in books like VC Andrews, things like that are seen as BAD things. When the parents abuse their kids (common theme in VC Andrews) the kids realize eventually that what is going on is bad and wrong.

At no point does Bella ever seem to realize that her boyfriend is a possessive jerk.

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#21 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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http://endabuse.org/content/news/detail/1090/



Just sayin' .



The issue for me isn't so much for the young girls reading this in the context of families that communicate, but more the myriad girls who are reading this in a vacuum void of parental guidance, and this dreck is reinforcing of/reinforced by the other popular media garbage (where female = booty).
Yes. This.

Me:
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#22 of 62 Old 07-03-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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I really did not like Edward at all during the whole series. This video really summed it up for me. http://blip.tv/file/2261825/
That's a great video. Snort. "What are you, 12?"

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#23 of 62 Old 07-04-2009, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can enjoy Jane Austen despite its messages of classism and bowing to the social system. I can enjoy a lot of books that have crazy messages. But I'm still aware of them.
Absolutely.

As long as no one goes and tries saying Bella is a powerful female character, as happened with the movie version of Mansfield Park's Fanny Price.
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#24 of 62 Old 07-04-2009, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really did not like Edward at all during the whole series. This video really summed it up for me. http://blip.tv/file/2261825/


(Um... is it my computer or does Edward look like death-warmed-over? I thought he was supposed to be pale not pasty. Also, why does it look like he's wearing badly applied lipstick?)
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#25 of 62 Old 07-04-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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Am hoping to just make a short post, but I doubt I'll be able to pull that off.

The problem that I have with this idea that these books glorify abusive relationships is that for me this book is ANTI that. This book is about a relationship between a vampire and a human. Vampires kill humans. Vampires salivate when they smell humans and if they smell their blood go a little crazy. They are definitely animals. Their attacking of humans is not a want, like I feel like doing this today, it is a physical compulsion. This story is about a small group of vampires who decided to live above their compulsions because they did not want to be the violent animals that nature intended them to be. Then, when they were around humans more than nature intended, one of them fell in love with a human, a human whose animalistic draw was above and beyond even the normal. Yet he never harmed her. (I don't consider throwing her into the table away from Jasper as harming her anymore than I consider pulling my 2 year old out of the street by grabbing his arm harming him.) Self sacrifice is the mantra of these books. Not just by the girl for the "perfect guy" but by both parties for each other.

Clearly I have an obsession, and I am not under the impression that everyone feels the same about any book (a good friend once told me after she'd read, To Kill a Mockingbird "It got good near the end" wtf???!?????). If I had a daughter, I would not fear her reading these books. I think that 15 minutes of music videos, or certainly the "reality" shows on MTV where they used to show music videos, would present more mind scarring imagery than the entire series. I also do not fear that my sons would behave like Edward; I'm sorry but that would make me proud.
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#26 of 62 Old 07-04-2009, 12:58 AM
 
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i wasn't going to post this but it sort of goes along with your post. i have a very good friend who was in a very abusive relationship when she was in her late teens early 20s. she loves these books and when i mentioned this thread she actually laughed out loud. she said she would take a slightly stalkerish vampire who loved her so much he went against his very nature to not allow himself to hurt her over her ex who beat the crap out of her and then said he couldn't help it any day.
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#27 of 62 Old 07-04-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Thank you KYCat for taking the time to write this post and expressing the same ideas I have regarding this discussion! You worded it so well!

The bottom line is this is fantasy. Vampires are not real.

KYCat wrote:"Vampires kill humans. Vampires salivate when they smell humans and if they smell their blood go a little crazy. They are definitely animals. Their attacking of humans is not a want, like I feel like doing this today, it is a physical compulsion."

Yes, in the Twilight story it is in the Vampires nature to kill humans,just like a cat would automatically kill a canary or mouse. Edward and his family are a rare group in that they are trying to rise above their nature. And it is very hard for Edward. And that is part of the conflict in the story, which makes it interesting. I read somewhere that Meyers is Mormon and many things in the story are influenced by her faith, one of them being free will, that one can always chose the right path to follow no matter what the predicament is. (Of course this idea is not unique to the Mormons) In the case of the story, the Cullins are vampires, natural killers yet they chose not to kill.

The only thing that would concern me is the fact that Bella gives up all her friends to be with Edward. She also does not have any outside activities besides Edward.
I agree that this does not provide a good roll model for young girls. I know a lot of grown adult women who have done this in a relationship and this is always bad!

I don’t like reading about too much violence and that is one of the reasons why I love the Twilight series. The violence is really minimal compared to other vampire stories.It is really more of a story about first love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYCat View Post
Am hoping to just make a short post, but I doubt I'll be able to pull that off.

The problem that I have with this idea that these books glorify abusive relationships is that for me this book is ANTI that. This book is about a relationship between a vampire and a human. Vampires kill humans. Vampires salivate when they smell humans and if they smell their blood go a little crazy. They are definitely animals. Their attacking of humans is not a want, like I feel like doing this today, it is a physical compulsion. This story is about a small group of vampires who decided to live above their compulsions because they did not want to be the violent animals that nature intended them to be. Then, when they were around humans more than nature intended, one of them fell in love with a human, a human whose animalistic draw was above and beyond even the normal. Yet he never harmed her. (I don't consider throwing her into the table away from Jasper as harming her anymore than I consider pulling my 2 year old out of the street by grabbing his arm harming him.) Self sacrifice is the mantra of these books. Not just by the girl for the "perfect guy" but by both parties for each other.

Clearly I have an obsession, and I am not under the impression that everyone feels the same about any book (a good friend once told me after she'd read, To Kill a Mockingbird "It got good near the end" wtf???!?????). If I had a daughter, I would not fear her reading these books. I think that 15 minutes of music videos, or certainly the "reality" shows on MTV where they used to show music videos, would present more mind scarring imagery than the entire series. I also do not fear that my sons would behave like Edward; I'm sorry but that would make me proud.
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#28 of 62 Old 07-04-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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I think we have to provide the skill to our kids to recognize the values of our families and enjoy books at the same time, because to tell you the truth, there are too many stories with "imperfect" relationships that I still hope my kids will read and enjoy. Pippi Longstocking, anyone? Or is it dangerous as well? I love that book, but boy, if your kid starts behaving like that, I'm sure you'll have a discussion. Safety first, right? Yet, all the things this little girl does are portrayed as normal and perfect and accepted in the world of fiction. It's a beloved childhood classic for a very good reason.

The list goes on! For example...

* I don't want my kids to think that all stepmothers are bad (I am one, after all ), but that doesn't mean that I can't stand Cinderella story or that reading Snow White will cause us to have 1 hour discussion about blended families, yk?

* I firmly believe that values I provide, or fail to provide, as a parent in the examples I set and relationships that I choose will ultimately affect my child more than a book.

* YES, it IS romantic in the book when he comes over to look at her sleeping. NO! I don't want any guy to be grabbing binoculars and peering at me while I'm sleeping, regardless of how much "in-love" with me he is. It's a fantasy - someone is attracted to you so much, they can't stay away. There are many "fantasies" I don't really want to experience in real life, and that's the appeal of these books. I still can appreciate the difference between "fiction" and "reality", just like I enjoy classic fairy tales, and do not fall into the trap of the evil stepmother, yk?

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#29 of 62 Old 07-05-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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My partner's niece (who is visiting us right now) is re-reading all the Twilight books for like the 20th time. She's just getting into the "I'm noticing boys" stage, and I am so sad that this book is her introduction into relationships.

She's not a big reader, so beyond magazines this is the only book she's read beyond the school reading list.

She thinks their love is absolutely perfect, and she wants to meet someone JUST like Edward.

My partner and I have tried and tried to explain to her why she would NOT want to be with someone like Edward (who we think is abusive, controlling, sexist, and unhealthy) ... but, I don't she's really getting what we say.

I'm not into censorship, so I wouldn't ban these books from her. But, her parents ... they're not really that involved. I mean, the TV is on ALL the time in their house. That's all they do - literally. So, all that she learns about relationships is either through magazines, TV, or books.

And I know there are other girls out there like her, who don't have anyone in their lives to come in and say "hey, let's talk about this for a second." Or to offer other books that portray healthy relationships.

I think that in many cases (where a teen doesn't have anyone with whom to talk this over) this is not "just" a story. Words are powerful, and this is a series of novels that glorifies abusive/controlling relationships.

To be honest, though, this book that my partner's niece is reading is NOTHING compared to another book she has by Christine Feehan(sp?). It's a romance novel for adults, and the man in the book says - several times - to the woman he loves "If you ever do that again, I'll beat you within an inch of your life." :Puke That's a direct quote, btw.

I'm honestly a little sickened and angered by the fact that young girls read books like this, that glorify this type of behavior. It's fine if you're in a family like I was - where we read A LOT of books, with no censorship, but we discussed EVERYTHING. But, I feel so angry, at times, on behalf of my partner's niece because she has no one to talk to about this, no one to discuss alternatives with her. We try our best when she's here ... but, I don't know that it's really enough.

Ironically, though, I really enjoyed Stephanie Meyer's other book - The Host. I thought that her writing was so much better, and she had healthy relationships in it! With strong, independent women. So, I don't know what happened in Twilight.

I understand it can be read as an angsty/teen fantasy - one that is fun to daydream about, but not something you'd want in real life. I get that it can be total junk food fun.

But, on the other hand, what about the girls who don't have any other example for healthy relationships?

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#30 of 62 Old 07-06-2009, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She thinks their love is absolutely perfect, and she wants to meet someone JUST like Edward.
Ye-ep.

And how easy would it be to go from "I want someone just like Edward and it's okay for him to act that way because he's being noble and restraining his vampiric impulses and holding back his great strength" to

"this guy is sort of like Edward and it's okay for him to act that way beause he's being noble and restraining his male/musician/stressed from work/Zodiac Sign X impulses and holding back his great strength"?
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