Are the Twilight books misogynist
‘Twilight’ is popular fantasy fiction for teenage girls: A series of books where a vampire falls immortally in love with a mortal girl. Fantasies aside, would any self-respecting girl truly expect a vampire lover to take her away? And should the parents fear it?
In December 08 a leading UK national newspaper featured an article on the ‘Twilight’ movie and the books. As a bit of a fan-girl, I regretted reading it. The article’s author seemed to believe that ‘Twilight’ is an entirely misogynistic series; propaganda against pre-marital sex written by a mormon who believes women were born to serve, to do as they were told, and to completely give in to their boyfriends.
I’ll concede that certain aspects of the novels are misogynistic, but almost everything written for teenage girls is slightly anti-female: Pick up any teen magazine and you’ll see page after page on how to impress that guy, or today’s latest flirt tips. Teenage girls have been fed this line pretty much since literacy for teenage girls was the norm; it doesn’t mean that we take it in, though, does it? I’m sorry, but just because I am a sixteen year old girl does not mean that I’m stupid, naïve, anti-feminist or that I actually believe men treat women as well as Edward treats Bella. Seriously. I do not expect to be whipped off my feet by a handsome vampire who’ll write songs for me and lay down his life for mine.
Propaganda-wise, I’m not sure if Meyer’s message is such a bad thing in some respects. Aren’t the government, teachers, parents, bla, bla and bla always banging on about the high teenage pregnancy rates in Britain, and how UK pregnancy rates are higher than any other country in Europe? So why is it that the critics think a purity message in a book which many teenage girls are (more than) slightly obsessed with is such a bad thing?
Sure, Bella is a fairly empty character with no sense of right and wrong, but I think that this helps the reader to identify with the books. You have scarcely any character provided for you, and so you build her up yourself, adding aspects of your own personality to pad her out a bit. This makes her so much more to you; it’s a clever ploy on Meyer’s part, I think.
Given everything that’s wrong with the world, is it so bad in the grand scheme of things for young girls to like reading? We know a fiction fantasy won’t come true. We’re honestly not stupid. It’s just nice, sometimes, to escape to a world where people love you unconditionally, which is what I believe the ‘Twilight’ world to be.