metteivieharrison: In Defense of Twilight

shannonhale:

metteivieharrison:

  1. We can’t attack Stephenie Meyer because she is rich.

  2. We can’t attack Stephenie Meyer because her book and the woman herself have moved beyond the real and have become cultural icons.

  3. What is wrong with girls having power to choose when they want to have sex?

  4. What is wrong with…

I agree passionately with what Mette says here with just one tiny change. I don’t believe Bella’s choice to keep her baby is “anti-feminist.” It was a choice. If the book showed Bella wanting to abort but being pressured into keeping her baby, I could see a problem (in fact all her loved ones are encouraging her to abort for her own sake, but she sticks to her guns). If the book showed multiple young women who all made the same choice as if it were the only correct choice for everyone, I could see a problem. But this is one woman who makes her own choice. Feminism advocates for women to have the opportunity to make choices and live their lives according to their best desires and full potential, not hindered by their gender. If feminism has changed and only advocates for women’s right to make choices that always agree with me/you/the group/some ideology, then feminism won’t work anymore.

I recently heard a writer speaking at a conference (a writer I respect, like, and who has had objectively admirable success). When asked by the audience to name a favorite book, he answered, “I’ll tell you one I wish had never been written: Twilight.” It was an unnecessary and petty comment, I thought, but what really troubled me was the audience’s reaction: they applauded and cheered. I’ve encountered similar scenes dozens of times.By all means, don’t like Twilight. Don’t read it. Or read it and have intelligent conversations about why you don’t like it. But I question why it’s become okay to hate, mock, demean, ridicule this writer woman and her series that’s loved by so many women. 

One thing I like about tumblr is it’s organized around the positive. You like a post. You reblog a post. You ignore the negative. This seems healthy to me. I think we’re all happier when we define ourselves not by what we hate but by what we love.

I agree with this so much: “I think we’re all happier when we define ourselves not by what we hate but by what we love.” Thank you, Shannon Hale. I have actually quit a book club over enmity such as this. When I go to book club I want to hang out with my friends, eat good food, and sure, I want to discuss what we did and didn’t like about the book we all read. But when the vitriol overshadows the enjoyment I was supposed to get out of this activity, it’s time to go home and watch TV instead. 

I bought midnight release tickets to Breaking Dawn, Part 2 for myself and a friend, not because I think it’s going to be a great movie, a masterpiece of storytelling, and a tour de force of sheer acting genius. I know it’s not. It’s probably going to be cheesy, we’re probably going to laugh at things that were not meant to be funny, the audience at the Arclight is probably going to be slightly drunk and boisterous. But my friend and I share the understanding that while the book was not a great piece of literature, the way it made us feel is worth paying $15 to stay up late with some popcorn and a few thousand of our fellow fans. 

Do we quote the book and movie? Only laughingly. Do we take advice from the story and apply it to our daily lives? Hell no! (Well, actually, though I am pro-choice, presented with the problem Bella has of an insidious and fatal pregnancy, my choice would probably be the same.)

It’s fiction, people. And if it didn’t make you feel the way I did when I read it: thrilled, hopeful, silly, and infatuated, that’s ok. There are other things out there that will. A Song of Ice & Fire? Right there with you. Sherlock? Indubitably. Just ask any girl who’s got the Hiddles—we can get giddy over the oddest things. I don’t see why anyone has to be so harsh just because they can’t see the attraction.