Is the backlash against ‘Twilight’ rooted in sexism?
This was the question that popped into my head recently after watching the movie “Twilight”. (Which is funny, because I watched a RiffTrax of it, and you wouldn’t think I’d be left with such a serious question after viewing THAT little slice of comedy… “LINE?!” But anyhoo, I digress…)
What first struck me was, “JESUS, that was a funny
RiffTrax.” After that, I got to thinking how extremely cool the Twilight STORY is. Seeing the movie actually made me want to read the books. Not because of the vampire romance – I can take or leave vampires. What I loved was the framework of the story – that the vampire “Dad” (who is the town doctor) actually saves people’s lives, in a way, by turning them into vampires when they’re gonna die anyway. So in the story, the Doctor’s family is comprised of these young people that he’s saved (including Edward), and a “Mom”, all of whom have been given eternal life by this vampire/doctor. Oh, and they don’t live on people-blood, these vampires, they live on animal blood, so as not to take innocent human lives. They’re like a band of vampire humanists, I guess.
So now, as the basis for a book series, I ask you… HOW FREAKIN’ GNARLY IS THAT CONCEPT?!
Okay, so then… why all the mockery, and, at times, vitriol? Remember, the anti-Twilight “movement” – if one can call it that – began as a reaction to Stephenie Meyer’s books (which I will NEVER understand, being a big fan of ALL BOOKS and anything that makes someone read). It reached a heightened pitch, certainly, after the release of the movies and the surrounding teen-heartthrob hubbub, marketing blitz, etc., but it was in full-swing before there was even TALK of a movie, before R-Pattz and K-Stew were even CAST! Grown women were forced to cover their Twilight books in their kids’ schoolbook covers in embarrassment, for cryin’ out loud!
Being a library worker, I have lots of literary-snob peeps, bless their hearts, who were among the Twilight haters. I’m not callin’ y’all sexists, so don’t get yer collective academic panty in a bunch. I’m just wondering -- MUSING, if you will -- as to whether, on some subconscious level, a deeply ingrained, societal sexism had something to do with the rather bizarre anti-Twilight backlash. I don’t believe for one minute that a book series aimed at, and appealing to, teenage boys, would have met with such a public flogging and complete dismissiveness. I think it’s full-on, socially ingrained, sexism in action. People who would never think of bashing Harry Potter, for example, bashed Twilight … in many (most?) cases, without ever having cracked even one of the books open.
I welcome your thoughts on my hastily fleshed-out theory.
Particularly if you’ve actually read the book(s), which I have not.