I was originally planning on doing my top ten anti-heroes list today, but I just decided that I would talk about something that has really been getting under my skin lately. It isn’t a mystery that I HATE Twilight. There is no book or film series that I despise more. This series glorifies everything that I think is wrong with relationships, and especially what I think is wrong with religion. It is openly and pathetically blunt about it’s message – that men control women, and women should just do what man says. Don’t believe me? Well too bad, it is all over the text. It is in both the books and the films. It is in the books much more, and describes it more vividly. I figure I’ll throw in some dialogue here and there, just for fun.
It just makes no sense to me where the love of this series come from. I have a cousin, whose opinion I value more than most anybody else, who likes this series. I don’t get it! First, let’s examine the main character – Bella Swan. Bella is a quiet, submissive, irrational, and overall spineless character. This is what the Mormon faith wants all their women to be. The books talks about her being smart, but you never, ever, see any evidence of this. In fact, her impulsiveness kinds of rules her. She moves in with her dad, and immediately takes over all the household chores.
He seemed to feel awkward standing in the kitchen doing nothing. He lumbered into the living room to watch TV while I worked. We were both more comfortable that way. I made a salad while the steaks cooked, and set the table.
Yeah, very subtle. Bella also said to people that doing all of this was “her place.” I’m not shitting you, that’s how the book puts it. But let’s go onto the piece de resistance of this diatripe – the love between Bella and Edward.
There has always been a love of the darkness of vampires. Anne Rice captured this very well in her books. The darkness of the creature does have an allure. However, Stephanie Meyer capitalized on this and created Edward Cullen. The worst boyfriend in the history of bad and sparkly boyfriends. Of course, Bella does whatever Edward tells her to do.
Drink,” he ordered. I sipped at my soda obediently
Hey ladies, how many of you love guys ordering you to do things? You think this is an isolated incident? Oh no, no-no, it is but one of many instances where he has the need to control Bella. And Bella really isn’t much better. There is page after page after page of dialogue about how much she needs Edward, how much Edward is her world, how much everything in her life revolves around him. It borders on a little bit scary how dependent she is on this guy! She sells out her social life for him, her family for him, everything in her life for this guy. This is like every single abusive relationship that is ever seen. Seriously, ladies, know a friend who has a boyfriend that you know is bad news, but won’t listen to you when you want to talk about it? Well, meet Bella Swan.
And Edward really rewards this dedication. He has total control over her life. He frequently gets verbally abusive with her. There is even a section in the book when, after they have sex for the first time, she wakes up covered in bruises, and the first thing that she does is ask Edward what she did wrong. What the fuck?! No, ladies, you don’t do that. You pack up your shit and say, “fuck you, asshole, I deserve better than this!” But of course, it goes on and on. Another scene, in both the book and the movie, talks about how Edward is infinitely stronger and faster than Bella. He says, flat-out, that she wouldn’t be able to stop him if he were to attack her. I love that. It openly admits that he is an abusive asshole, but all the teen and tween girls fawn and gush. It’s pathetic.
As socially corrosive as Twilight is on women, it isn’t much better on men. It tells guys that they need to be as controlling as possible. Edward controls almost every single aspect of Bella’s life. He doesn’t let her drive, he tells her what she can and cannot do when they are in bed (yeah, because that always works so well, doesn’t it?), he pretty much openly stalks her, along with watching her sleep. One could argue that he makes her be isolated from her friends and family. I don’t argue that. I actually take the position that it is the lack of a spine from Bella that does that. She chooses to abandon her family and friends. It actually makes more sense. In an abusive relationship, the abused often will choose to isolate themselves, because they blame themselves.
I am too plain and boring for Edward, I don’t deserve him.”
Another really problematic thing is that Edward is threatening Bella all the TIME! He dresses it up as his “vampiric nature,” but the fact is that Edward is verbally and physically abusive to Bella. It is never shown, but heavily implied, that this abuse happens rather frequently. She is regularly sporting cuts and bruises from his beatings that are never shown, but the evidence is all there. She will regularly keep her head down and say nothing to him. Her subservience to Edward is beyond pathetic. But worst of all, he is in a constant battle not to kill her, and here’s the kicker – he blames her! He blames the fact that she smells good on why he wants to kill her. This is just plain creepy! Oh, and here’s another example of him being an abusive boyfriend – he uses his presence to intimidate and drive off all of her other male suitors.
I fell down the stairs and into a window”
You know what happens in an abusive relationship when the abuser really does something bad? There is this brief honeymoon period when he tries to make it up, promising how he’ll never do it again. We see this in Twilight too. Also like in real life, the periods get shorter and shorter, as eventually, the abuser realizes that their power is complete, and anything they do will be tolerated. Edward buys Bella pretty things when he hurts her, or plays piano (stupidest scene in the film).
And what about Jacob? I hear that a lot. Well, guess what – Jacob sexually assaults Bella! And here’s another kicker – she blames herself! What the hell is wrong with this spineless chick?!
He still had my chin, his fingers holding too tight, till it hurt. “N-” I started to object, but it was too late. His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly…making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest, but he didn’t even seem to notice. I grabbed at his fact, trying to push him away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open, I could feel his hot breath.
Wow, ain’t he a sweetheart? What makes it worse is that Bella never once stands up to him. She accepts this sexual violence. She says that it is how Jacob expresses himself sexually. The fact is that this book is socially corrosive. And here is what is pissing me off – young girls, vulernable young girls are taking their cues from this horseshit! They are looking at this relationship and are thinking that this is what they are supposed to aspire too. It is socially corrosive bullshit and it fucking pisses me off! We’re supposed to teach our girls to be strong, independent, tough. Instead, this Mormon cunt is teaching them that they are supposed to be weak, childish, pathetic.
What your culture produces, and what you take in, affects who you are. Is this the kind of generation that we want our girls to be? Parents, step up, and please, stop the abusive culture. This is what the Mormon culture teaches, I’m sorry to say. Take a look at a big Mormon family, and this is what you find. This book series is my ultimate example of why I hate the Mormon faith, and everybody who believes it is so bad. It was started on abuse. Poetic that a mediocre author continues it.
Until next time, a quote,
“One of the main ways we learn about how a relationship looks is from the media we consume. From books and TV and movies, processing those messages, 24 hours, seven days a week, whether or not we realize it. Stephanie Meyer, shame on her, has written a story promoting a certain kind of harmful relationship.” -Laci Green, DANGEROUS ROLE MODELS: TWILIGHT