Okay. Deep breath. I’m going to talk about Twilight.
Twilight: why? How? Do we have to? The answer is yes. Most everything critique/fandom-wise you hear about Twilight is either 1.) Fangirls and fanwomen being psychotically obsessed, 2.) talk about the Mormon-influence and horrible portrayal of women and relationships, 3.) dismissive towards it as poorly constructed young adult ridiculousness. Nobody is giving it a chance.
I’ve always thought that if you don’t like something just because someone else likes it, then you’re giving into the trend just as much as liking something you’re told to like. Of course, I don’t really share with my friends my love for Twilight. . .
I’m an educated, well-read, crazy feminist on the cusp of 30 and I love Twilight. There, I said it.
So let me tell you why.
To begin: I’m talking about the movies. The books? Burn ’em. I don’t even care. Beyond the ridiculousness that is the story itself and the resulting phenomenon, they are just in generally poorly written, poorly constructed, anti-feminist fluff. I read them because I think cultural phenomenons are important, and I heard that in the last book the vampire eats the baby out of her womb. I had to read that. If I had a young daughter, she’d have to wait to be done with puberty and wise about boys before I’d feel good letting her read it.
The movies are a different beast, although the skeleton of this insane story will always be there. If you strip away the hateful hype, what you have is a weird, kitschy, and kind of interesting modern Gothic romance. If I was twelve and someone said to me “Oh man, there’s this story about this girl who lives in the woods and she’s in high school and falls in love but the guy is a VAMPIRE” I would be all over that shit. Hell, here I am, still loving it.
To me, truly, the movies are this unique plethora of horrible B movie, consuming romance, scifi adventure, and just plain whackjob fantasy that makes it irresistible.
I’d like to address some of the usual critiques of the series, some basic tenets and guiding principles of the movies, and a closer look of what we’ve got going on here. I’ll also be watching the films in order and pulling some clips to discuss. And if your mom says it’s ok you can come sleep over!!!!
Some starting topics:
- Twilight vs. feminism
- Destructive relationships
- Fantasy relationships
- God and power
You’ve had fair warning.