January 24th, 2012

saving the world

Twilight: trashy teen novel or worst novel ever and destroyer of humanity as we know it?

Warning: not entirely coherent rant directed at other internet forums ahead.

I stumbled across a recent discussion on /r/books about hating on Twilight on reddit (which is a shitty place in general. don’t go there if you don’t enjoy watching white guys circlejerk each other about how awesome they are).

This conversations is mostly tossing out old arguments about how the writing is terrible and how the fanbase is terrible, blah blah blah, and I’ve been thinking about that lately, about how many people trot out the "but think of the children and the TwiMoms!" argument.

Personally, I feel like Twilight is objectively bad in terms of quality(though I've only seen the movies and have not read any of the books) and that it does sort of try to frame Edward’s seriously creepy as shit behavior as being rilly, rilly in luv u gaiz! Seriously, that shit is creepy and not okay.

However, I think that the fact that it is so creepy and not okay is a crowbar that Twilight haters (many of them male) can use to bludgeon people who don’t care about or even defend Twilight. This also ties into the whole line of thinking about ‘I hate it because it’s popular with teenage girls! Teenage girls are stupid!’ (Like how people whine about Dan Brown, but with extra misogyny!)

Apparently, teenage girls are too stupid to realize that Edward doesn’t exist and that guys who, I dunno, take the engine out of your vehicle because they don’t approve of your friends, are kinda abusive. And of course, teenage boys don’t get any harmful messages about sex or girls from popular culture from their movies, music, or television shows. Not from anything like Superbad, 300, the ever so popular Manic Pixie Dream Girl (warning: tvtropes). It would be so difficult to rail against those things (along with other harmful messages to teenage girls) and the culture that perpetuates them! And besides, isn’t that moment where the white guys kill the evil, sort of flaming, brown guys in 300 really awesome? C’mon, you have to admit that the cinematography is great!

I am really sick of this double standard where things that are popular amongst girls (in ways that dudes don’t expect or aren’t used to) are held up to a higher standard than things that are popular amongst boys (because boys will be boys, amirite?). I don’t see long ass lectures about why it’s creepy to try to center a plot around getting girls drunk in order to have sex with them outside feminist/progressive spaces, and yet everyone wants to call Twilight out on its shit everywhere?

I don’t know if it’s concern trolling or something else, but these days, I generally roll my eyes when people start trotting out the ‘but it’s BAD FOR YOU’ line of reasoning for having such a hateboner Twilight. Mostly, I hear, ‘but I FIND TEENAGE GIRLS LIKING THINGS UPSETTING’ instead.

Seriously, dudes, just let it go. We know it’s shitty and sexist and fucked up. If your internet feminist activism begins and ends with Twilight, I am seriously going to question your motives for hating on it.

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