Twilight on Equality | Teen Ink

Twilight on Equality MAG

January 28, 2009
By Catcat BRONZE, New Paltz, New York
Catcat BRONZE, New Paltz, New York
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour."

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that while reading Twilight I was “dazzled” (pun intended). Almost anyone alive for the past couple of months is certainly aware of the saga, which has received excited acclaim not only from teenagers worldwide but also such esteemed reviewers as The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. So why do I have a problem with it?

Twilight is about Bella Swan, a teen who moves to a new town and is immediately adored by everyone. She instantly has several men vying for her attention and a couple of pretty nice friends as well. Her adoration of classic books would imply that she is at least marginally intelligent. Then she meets Edward Cullen (who has a unique background that is not relevant here), and as their relationship grows, so does her obsession, until it consumes her. Seems harmless, right?

Actually, no. Bella is depicted as an evil temptress trying to persuade a morally honorable man into evil, while he attempts to keep their virtues intact. Succinctly, Edward and Bella are a modern Adam and Eve.

But the book goes further in asserting that women are inferior to men. Every time Bella is faced with a conflict and has to make a choice, Edward swoops in to save her, because apparently she can’t possibly decide on her own. He goes beyond protective to borderline abusive in Twilight, but Bella justifies it as “love” every time. When Edward dumps her for a couple months in New Moon, Bella ­becomes seriously depressed and dangerous to herself.

All the female characters in this series eventually portray similar helplessness. Even the first relationship introduced in the book – that of Bella’s ­mother and stepfather – is sexist. Bella expresses concern about leaving her mother, but then reasons that it’s okay now that Phil is looking after her.

What’s even more ridiculous is that many female readers look up to Bella! Her situation is idealized. After finding Edward, Bella is happy only when she is with him. She feels that he is her one true purpose in life. So what are girls who read the novels left wanting? Their own Edward, of course! Not only do they want one – they need one. The fact that so many intelligent young men and women have been sucked into the Twilight series and have swallowed its sexist manifesto has me worried about the future of gender equality.

The author's comments:
I hope that this makes us all more aware about the messages we get while reading.

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This article has 589 comments.

on Nov. 30 2010 at 10:34 am
dramaticgirl16 GOLD, New Gloucester, ME, Maine
17 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
You know that you are in love when the hardest thing to do is say good-bye!!

Opps I meant to reply to someone elses comment with this. But it goes for the person who wrote this article to.

on Nov. 30 2010 at 10:31 am
dramaticgirl16 GOLD, New Gloucester, ME, Maine
17 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
You know that you are in love when the hardest thing to do is say good-bye!!

Look. You , Anonymous, have the right to dislike Twilight and I respect your decision to dislike it. However, you fail to uncover the real purpose and meaning of this story. Twilight isn't about logic, equality, or a abusive relationship with a boyfriend. Twilight is about two people who think they are nothing special, who don't understand how anyone could love them fall in love. It explains the meaning of love, because the truth is if you loved someone enough you would be willing to go to great lengths in order to protect them. And don't try to tell me that you wouldn't go into a depression at least a mini one if the love of your life just walked away or left you. You know you would. So stop critizing Twilight on how its illogical and think about how amazing it would be to feel that way about someone. Think about how cool it is that Stephanie Meyer can actually come up with something this intriguing because the fact that you think this is a stupid story shows your lack of imagination, along with ability to accept new ideas.

P.S I agree with everyone who likes Twilight on this page and has commented. GO TWILIGHT!!!

Melody777 GOLD said...
on Nov. 30 2010 at 10:03 am
Melody777 GOLD, Tonasket, Washington
17 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you."

agree! nice job!

on Nov. 11 2010 at 12:47 am
hancampbell GOLD, Woodside, California
19 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one." <3

"Not all who wander are lost"

I read the whole series, and I thought it was alright. Not super amazing, but not awful. I think the movies are blown way out of proportion, but that's a different story. I agree with you on the majority of this. Also, in the 4th book (I think it's the 4th book), Bella gives up everything to become a vampire, which goes back to the moral of changing who you are for a guy. I get that it's just a love story and what not, but I still think that writing a series in which the concluding book involves her giving up her life and friends for a boy she's only known for a year or two (if even that) is sending the wrong message to teens everywhere. Just my opinion, ya'll, no need to hate (: 

E.B. said...
on Nov. 9 2010 at 4:27 pm

Dear Anonymous,

If I didn't think it would be removed, I would curse the living daylights out of you.  I find your opinions, however strong you think they are, to hold very little water  in comparison to the enormous fanbase that Stephanie Meyer has collected.  (Of course, I might change my mind if you let ME read what you've got.  ;) )  Do please respond.  I'd like to hear your comeback, however flimsy.

Sincerely,                                                   E.B.

schlage GOLD said...
on Nov. 8 2010 at 7:14 pm
schlage GOLD, Erie, Pennsylvania
10 articles 0 photos 37 comments

I noticed that in twilight when bella first arrives in Forks everyone wants to be her friend. She had 2 guys that all of a sudden liked her. (not including edward) The thing is that Bella was always socially awkward. Why is everyone all of a sudden attracted to the new antisocial girl.


on Nov. 8 2010 at 4:53 pm
The only female character I like is Alice. GO TEAM ALICE!

on Nov. 8 2010 at 1:26 pm
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

I agree, specific examples would be nice. And page numbers too. Stating sources is always helpful.

on Nov. 8 2010 at 1:23 pm
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

Well, I don't see how the author of this article is trying to rob teens of decision making. I believe it was just the author's own view.

And true, teens may not run away and find a vampire, but you'd be surprised to find how many girls let this novel take over their lives. I know a girl who was in a very healthy relationship with a very nice boy. All was going well until she read Twilight. She broke up with him and later revealed that it was because she wanted a man more like Edward.

Now, I can't fault the girl for breaking up with a guy...if it had been for a valid reason. If it was because they didn't click or because she felt like they should be just friends, I could see that. But ending a perfectly fine relationship because you want to find a perfect boy who fits your favorite fictional character is quite sad.

If this were just one girl, I wouldn't have bothered posting this comment, but it seems to be too many. Too many girls are looking for their own Edward and seem to forget that he is fictional. Yes, one could argue that they just want someone LIKE him, but that is beside the point. To base your search for a soulmate off a boy who doesn't exist will get you nowhere. Especially when the boy in question is perfect in everyway. Sorry girls, but boys are human too. They can't be perfect. And looking for a perfect guy isn't going to get you one. It'll only get you heartache.

on Nov. 8 2010 at 1:13 pm
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

You'll have to forgive me if I sound rude, but I believe it is you who needs to get over yourself. You must stop acting like you know so much about true love when you yourself say you have never experienced it.

Well, I have. I have found true love. Let me tell you, it is a truly amazing thing. And when you are forced to leave the one you're in love with (stupid army!) it's devestating. Yes, you get sad. Yes, you mope. Yes, you spend days crying. But you don't become catatonic for months! Why? Because life moves on! Even if Bella's reaction wasn't "sexist," it was entirely unrealistic. Granted, this IS a vampire novel we're talking about, but I digest. The claim that Bella's reaction was totally reasonable because she was in love is worn out and totally unprecedented. If you want to claim that she acted this way because it's a teen romance novel, and therefore, doesn't have to make sense, go ahead. I can't argue with that. But you can't very well say that this is how people react when they're in love if you haven't experienced it yourself. How can you claim to know more than others about it? Again, forgive my rudeness, but that sounds rather arrogant to me.

inspir3d GOLD said...
on Nov. 8 2010 at 12:44 pm
inspir3d GOLD, Norcross, Georgia
11 articles 2 photos 73 comments

Favorite Quote:
We're all just looking for attention, to be discovered overnight. We're all frustrated by the popular ones that claim the limelight before they fall to pieces. So many of us are stuck under the radar--what makes me different? You decide!

I'm not obsessed with twilight or anything, but maybe it would help if you actually used specific examples...? and the whole ignoring edward is a vampire is kind of a biggie, it changes things like motivation

on Nov. 8 2010 at 12:21 pm
ScreenName2014 GOLD, West Chester, Ohio
17 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone. And do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering. - Ida Scott Taylor

Its about a girl who falls in love with the wrong guy. Its not about gender equality blah blah blah. Women depend on men just like men depend on women and the fact that you think Bella is only happy with Edward makes me think you havent read the entire series because she is very happy with Jacob and her father and her friends. So dont act self superior and say that Bella is only made by Edward. And last time I checked Edward said that Bella was "his only reason for living".

Hapigrl BRONZE said...
on Nov. 8 2010 at 10:20 am
Hapigrl BRONZE, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Agreed 100%. Great job!

Anonymous said...
on Nov. 7 2010 at 4:39 pm
Oh, my friend, I'm much to shy to publish any of my writing, let alone have it go worldwide!  No worries, I'm calm about it, and I have no qualms about Steph Meyer - only her writing style. I'm only expressing my (admittedly strong) opinion that I did not like her book.

on Nov. 7 2010 at 9:40 am
leelee1373 BRONZE, Saranac Lake, New York
3 articles 4 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life Doesn't come with an instruction book that's why we have fathers."

You need to calm down it's a book. And if Stephanie Meyer got a new profession many teenagers and adults would be upset. She is an amazing author. She May not be the best but she is better than you could ever write I bet. If you write a book that goes worldwide and has a movie made about it, then I will take back what I said.

Anonymous said...
on Nov. 7 2010 at 6:35 am
I would take your advice, really I would. I find it exceedingly difficult to know my preference on the book before I read it myself.  I friend of mine reccommended it to me - she said it was great - and asked for my opinion on it. I figured it was rude to not finish what I started.

on Nov. 5 2010 at 9:09 am
If you dont like the book.. THEN DONT READ IT! :) its that easy! :P were kids.. we read whatever we wanna read.. so why dont grown ups get a life and stop reading boring old love things??

sunnyop said...
on Nov. 4 2010 at 7:44 pm
Thank you for mentioning that! Actually, I go as far as to say that she could have condensed it all into two books, what with all the stupid unnecassary imagery she vomited all over her book. The entire series is, after all, based off of a three minute wet dream.

Anonymous said...
on Nov. 4 2010 at 7:40 pm
I don't want to put down anyone who likes the Twilight series.  However, I feel it is in my best interest (and my own personal satisfaction) to agree wholeheartedly on the above topic, and comment on other ways this horrendously awful piece of literature has affected exposed teenagers.  It's badly written, too easy to make fun of, the characters are static (to be more exact, they're predictable and downright boring) and has little to no plot.  The storyline that actually appears in T-why-light is clichéd and anti-dramatic.  Stephanie Meyer needs to find a new profession whilst avoiding a word processor at the same time.

on Nov. 4 2010 at 9:24 am
Personally.. i LOVE the books.. so i disagree with you.. like.. were teenagers.. let us make our own desisions.. and no.. teens love this book.. but there not gunna go run away and find a vampire to suck their blood and get married and have a kid.. they make there own desisions.. :) LOVE THIS BOOK!HATE THIS ARTICLE :) TY