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 Twilight: The Death of Feminism

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Lysander
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PostSubject: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:30 pm

Yes indeed, I read all of Twilight, and wrote down my thoughts as I read it. Why? Because it's there.

Spoiler:
 

With regards to the first book, I think we can safely say that Bella Swan is a cunt and The Vampire Sparkles is a pervert.

But, it didn't end there.


Last edited by Lysander on Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Now with formatting!)
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:34 pm

Next, I read New Moon. Or Eclipse. Whichever one is the second one, I don't even remember, they're pretty interchangeable. It's worse.

Part 1:

Spoiler:
 


Last edited by Lysander on Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Formatting of the Dead)
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:35 pm

Part 2

Spoiler:
 


As I sat down the book, I began to wonder: what the fuck did I just read? You could do away with a quarter of this book, and not lose anything more important than Mike vomiting at the movies.

Only my intense hatred of Bella Swan kept me going. She is completely useless. She never contributes anything positive to any situation. Every scene with her in it is a disaster, and she's in every scene.

I don't know why anyone would want her, much less love her. Hell, I'll bet Edward could even give himself a sparkly handjob that's better than anything he could wring out of Bella's scar-laden corpus.


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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:40 pm

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of Twilight,
I shall fear no evil, for my cross and my stake are at hand,
and my wolvebane and silver bullets are near,
and any sparklepire or emowolf that gets near me,
is going to catch a serious beatdown, I swear to God.

Spoiler:
 


Last edited by Lysander on Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Formatheart)
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:40 pm

Spoiler:
 


I was astonished. This one doesn't suck as much as New Moon, and I actually spent more time thinking about the characters than yelling at them (although I did yell at them an awful lot).

However, I had little hope. Any sense that the writer is getting better is completely undone by the inconsistent characterization. Bella flip-flops like a politician during an election year, with no goddamn logical reason for any of her actions or feelings throughout the entire book. Jacob morphs into an asshole. Edward exists in a randomly fluctuating state between emo fuckwit asshole and fairly reasonable and non-retarded given the circumstances.

In the end, there is a definite sense that Stephanie Meyer did not give a crap about this book, or the last one. They merely exist so that there is something between "Once upon a time, there was a girl who fell in love with a sparkly vampire", and "they lived happily ever after", which seems to be the actual story that Meyer wants to tell, but is hindered by the fact that it's not really a goddamn story.

So instead, we get a love triangle in a book where the main romance is inexplicable and hard to believe, a villain with three books of buildup who is introduced and dies in a single chapter, and the least sexy bedroom scene I've ever read.


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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:43 pm

It was time to go on the offensive. I had to weaken my foes, before I went to tackle the nightmare that would be Breaking Dawn.

I needed to know my enemies. I needed to know . . . who is this Edward Cullen?

I consulted a wise sage. He handed me an ancient, dusty book.

Upon it's cover were written the words:

MIDNIGHT SUN DRAFT

AKA TWILIGHT: THE SPARKLES EDITION

AKA IF I WROTE IT NOW, JAMES WOULD WIN AND THE CULLENS WOULD ALL DIE BECAUSE I'M SAAAAAAAD.




So, this is Twilight, retold from Edward's point of view instead of Bella's. Which is a welcome break, of course. I can actually stop bitching about her for five minutes!

My mission? To understand Edward Cullen. Will we develop any insight into the strange workings of his sparkly mind?

Spoiler:
 


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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:44 pm

Spoiler:
 

So, what did I learn about Sparkles from all this?

I learned that Sparkles is fucked up. Not just in the way you'd expect a vampire to be fucked up, but in some weird, creepy ways, too. Sexual ways. I can't possibly see how this repressed prude could be considered a romantic hero. Sparkly good looks aside, he's completely incapable of pleasing a woman. It might not even occur to him that women want to be pleased.

But on the plus side, he's incredibly unintentionally hilarious about it. Seriously, this one didn't enrage me like the others, it had me laughing my ass off at his constant, hilariously worded wangst.

Sparkles is a trip, man.


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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:46 pm

I glanced down at the hefty tome in my hands.

800 PAGES?!

800 GODDAMN PAGES OF THIS CRAP?

I decided to break it down into the three books. Because otherwise, I'm couldn't do this. I can't do it all at once. It's torture.

BOOK 1: IN WHICH LYSANDER RUMINATES UPON THE FINER MEDICAL DETAILS OF VAMPIRIC INTERCOURSE.

Spoiler:
 


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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:47 pm

BOOK 2: I HATE BLOND JOKES WITH HYPERNOVA INTENSITY

Spoiler:
 


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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:49 pm

BOOK 3: A GREAT BIG LOT OF NOTHING

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:49 pm

Spoiler:
 


And thus, my Herculean task was completed.


So, as I closed the last book, I foundmyself wondering if any of this could possibly be salvaged.

Yeah. I think so. There are some details here and there that would work out well in a better story. I could see how a quirky "family" of vampires trying to fit in with normal humans could make for an interesting tale. The werewolves could be saved. Some of the details here or there could work. You could probably take Edward's repressed, neurotic self, cut it up, and make an interesting character out of the pieces.

In fact, aside from the goddawful prose, there's really only one problem with the series: it's not a vampire story. They aren't vampires. They're mostly normal people who have caught some kind of Mary Sue virus that makes them sickeningly perfect and sparkly. Bella's just stronger because she already was a Sue before being changed.

All of the darkness, all of the trauma of becoming a vampire is absent. The need to exploit others is gone. The pain and loneliness and disconnection from humanity aren't there. There's no real theme of good vs. evil, and you can just forget about tragedy, because there's none to be found.

A vampire story would have action, adventure, horror, and excitement, not anticlimaxes, calculus homework, endless descriptions of Edward's face, and fade-to-black sex.

However, the point of the series isn't to explore vampire themes: much to the detriment of the story, the point is to masturbate furiously to thoughts of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen getting their freak on and living happily together forever.

The book doesn't even work on that level. There's nothing drawing Bella and Edward together. They have nothing in common. They are made for each other only in that they have no lives outside of each other. Edward is domineering and mentally unbalanced. Bella is bitchy and codependent. Jacob is exactly as bad as Edward. The sex is nonexistent; in fact, there's a sense of church-y morality all over what should be a tale of monstrous, uninhibited, forbidden passion. The "chemistry" is a bunch of flowery descriptions with no real substance. While I'm not the sort of person who generally reads romance novels, I like to think I'm open minded enough to cheer for two characters who are perusing "being together" as a goal. I never once cheered for Edward and Bella.

Finally, there's the plotting. The series is one anticlimax built on top of another. Plot points pop out of nowhere, build up, and then are erased with a short excuse, when the author decides she no longer needs them. Victoria's a looming threat for three books, who is introduced and killed with ease in a single chapter. Jacob's feelings for Bella are washed away by his imprinting. Plots are resolved offscreen while Bella is absent or unconscious, including the death of a supposedly unstoppable vampire tracker.

It feels like she's cheating. Like she's getting away with throwing in all these subplots without bothering to figure out how to resolve them.
There are plot holes and inconsistent characters and confusing plot twists: what kind of lovesick teenage girl is horrified at the thought of marriage to her love? Why are they in high school, if Jasper is one scraped knee or broken nose away from ripping some kid to pieces? Why is Washington state full of giant bears and lions?

Saddest of all, the writer is going to be spoiled by success, and will never reach her full potential because of this series and the way that teen girls and immature women have clung to it, and that's unforgivable.

Plus, the sparkling.

We must never forget the sparkling.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:54 pm

I hate "Twilight" with the burning passion of 1,000 white-hot supernovas. I hate Edward Cullen. I hate Bella Swan. And I hate the hack who created them most of all. The day Stephenie Meyer plopped her butt in front of her computer and began writing this shit is a day that should be cursed forever.

What did we learn from "Twilight", boys and girls?

  • A girl's only purpose in life is to find a boyfriend, and she's nothing without one.
  • It's perfectly reasonable for a girl to have absolutely no outside interests, dreams, hobbies, or ambitions. All her time and energy should be focused on her boyfriend and nothing else. Remember, you're nothing without him.
  • It's perfectly acceptable for the two boys you love to emotionally abuse you, because they're only doing it because they love you and they're so dreamy so that makes it all okay. Remember, you're nothing without them.
  • Females are stupid, clumsy and weak. They need a big, strong man to save them from the big, bad world. Remember, you're nothing without your boyfriend.
  • They only people worth your time are pretty people like the Cullens. The rest are to be treated like dirt beneath your shoe.


It's rather disturbing to see so many young girls and grown women view a creepy, stalking, emotionally abusive asshole like Edward Cullen as the "perfect man". And view his abusive and controlling relationship with Bella as "so romantic". And view a useless, airheaded twit like Bella Swan as a "strong heroine". Puh-LEEZE.

Men like Edward Cullen are the reason restraining orders were invented.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:00 pm

I have no urge to read those crappy books. I thank you for doing for me, Lysander, and both justifying my decision and brilliantly snarking the piss out of those things in the process.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:21 pm

I just about did a spit-take at the tempting fate bit. I called a coworker over to read it, and she literally dropped to her knees laughing.

Thanks, Lysander!
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:43 pm

Oh god Lysander, I had totally forgotten about that... I'm so glad you were able to rescue it!!
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:00 pm

What frightens me is that it's not just teenagers. Someone posted a story on the Weeping Cock LJ last night that came from a group called Twi-Moms, which is apparently an entire forum devoted to women who should be old enough to know better writing explicit sexual fantasies involving themselves and the Twilight characters. The one they posted was about a woman whose abusive redneck husband was killed by Jackson Rathbone, after which they proceeded to have vast quantities of grammatically incorrect urple sex.

Unfortunately, you have to register to join the site (and probably sign an oath in blood), and reading that one story was enough to make me realize that this way be madness. I don't even want to contemplate the number of 40-year-old women who are writing themselves as self-inserts so they can have sex with Edward 'I Sparkle in the Sunlight' Cullen. And justifying it because 'he's not really a teenager, he's over 100 years old!'

I'm not sure what scares me worse-Twi-Moms or the fact that Morgan is convinced the series is the greatest thing he's ever read.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:17 pm

Trioculus wrote:
I have no urge to read those crappy books. I thank you for doing for me, Lysander, and both justifying my decision and brilliantly snarking the piss out of those things in the process.
That's how I feel about it. I just know this book would send me into a frothing rage. The sporking is not worth the pain of reading this garbage; thankfully you took care of that for us Lysander! Smile

Also, feminism is not dead, despite Smeyer's efforts. Maybe there will be an upsurge in feminist activity because these books remind us that there is still a lot of work to do.

Lysander, all your efforts are not in vain. Hours of reading brain-shedding urple prose were worth it for this one, new word: sparklepire.

Edit: RB, what would scare me more than anything would be my son enjoying books at the bottom of the literary barrel. Are you sure he's related to you? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:15 pm

And now that I know grown women (And grown men apparently) like Twilight, I have the urge to make a very strong cup of tea and breathe. pale
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:38 pm

Nurvingiel wrote:

Edit: RB, what would scare me more than anything would be my son enjoying books at the bottom of the literary barrel. Are you sure he's related to you? Wink

Unfortunately, I have a pretty clear memory of giving birth to him, so yeah, he's related. Though, to my knowledge, this is the first het romance I've known him to read, and he's already said he isn't going to read any of the follow-ups. He generally sticks to gay fiction/romance and comic books.

On the other hand, I read some real stinkers when I was younger, so none of us are perfect.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:44 pm

Lapin wrote:
And now that I know grown women (And grown men apparently) like Twilight, I have the urge to make a very strong cup of tea and breathe. pale

It's the women who bother me more (possibly because I suspect some of them are close to my age). I can dismiss Morgan as a quirk (I don't think I've ever heard of another man, gay or straight, reading Twilight). The women, though; these are supposed adults who likely have teenage daughters who are obsessed with the series as well. And while it's nice for mothers and daughters to bond occasionally, it's downright disturbing when they're bonding over a hundred year old vampire who's perpetually stuck at age 18 and sparkles in the sunlight.

I write slash, but I don't share it with my sons, nor do they want to know the details. Some things are best kept to ones self.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:08 pm

I was reading Ms. magazine at the library a bit ago, and the most recent issue actually has an article on Twilight and a lot of what we've been complaining about. It was kind of nice to see someone other than us talking about it.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:56 pm

Oh, Lysander. I'm sorry for your brain.

I can't read anything about Twilight now, though, without thinking of this.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:22 pm

Rabid Badger wrote:
I'm not sure what scares me worse-Twi-Moms or the fact that Morgan is convinced the series is the greatest thing he's ever read.

Thankfully later in the thread you've said he doesn't plan on following up with it or we would seriously have to have an intervention. I'd think the poor boy had been brainwashed.

I can't really talk about bonding over the whole vampire thing because my mom was into Dark Shadows when she was younger. I watched Forever Knight and she came out to see what it was I was watching and we watched it together most nights. However, we weren't fansterbating over it, either. That brings a whole other level of creepiness to it. Not to mention the insertion fics. *shudders* I thought we all grew out of that by the age of 20 at the latest.

Thanks for paraphrasing this for us, Lysander. Way to take one for the team. Now we don't have to suffer through it. Now to find a way to tell the girl at work for the third time I do not want to read Twilight. Ever.
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:37 pm

Vampire fiction is ok, Solitia. I mean, you don't have to be embarassed about liking vampires. They're popular for a reason. However, Twilight is so fucking far removed from vampires they're another species entirely. Out during the day? Venom? They sparkle?! That's not a vampire--that's a fairy! At least, that's the only thing I can think of...
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PostSubject: Re: Twilight: The Death of Feminism   Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:26 am

Lysander, you should get a trophy for doing all of that.
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