Twilight, New Doom

>> Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sarah Hepola wrote an excellent article on the Twilight series this week. Because there are so many women losing their shit over this nonsense.

But there is something particularly profound about women long past their teen years bitten by "Twilight." The relationship can be intense. One acquaintance went so far as to say the book "made her believe in love again."

"This is what I call 'true love-ism,'" Laura Miller told me. "True love-ism is the secular religion of America, one that all of us can believe in. What's appealing about Edward is his certainty. He craves Bella monogamously. The book feeds the delusion that an erotic god could love you, and that he'd also be faithful." Miller sees the books as straight-ahead romance novels. In her 2008 review, she wrote, "Despite their gothic trappings [they] represent a resurrection of the most old-fashioned incarnation of the genre. They summon a world in which love is passionate, yet (relatively) chaste, girls need be nothing more than fetchingly vulnerable, and masterful men can be depended upon to protect and worship them for it."
So fucking true. The second book/movie is all about Bella moping around because Edward left her. And even making attempts to kill herself just to "see" him. This is what women are fawning over? These women have issues even if they don't want to admit it. It's plainly obvious.
"It sounds like a lot of women have aloof, difficult fathers," says analyst Colette Dowling. "What you're drawn to is what you didn't get and a desire to rework and master that. I can imagine it's a powerful fantasy that this beautiful, aloof guy loves you at last. It's the ultimate oedipal solution."

Dowling has never read "Twilight" but agreed to talk with me about the phenomenon anyway. That's because Dowling is not merely an analyst, but she is also the author of the 1981 book "The Cinderella Complex," which explored women's unconscious desire to be taken care of, even at a time when feminism made independence more attainable than ever. More than a quarter-century has passed since that book came out, but Dowling still sees the same underlying anxiety. "For some women there is a tremendously strong resistance to creating your own life and the effort that takes. Their interest in 'Twilight' suggests there must be some need for a kind of protection, that there is some fear they can't really take care of themselves."

Laura Miller offered a similar analysis in an e-mail. "Bella relates to Edward much as a child does to a parent. His superhuman strength and powers, his wealth, his competency at all sorts of challenging activities, his vastly superior knowledge of the world and experience -- that's what adults look like to small children. He will protect her and provide for her, but also encourage her within the limits of that protection. That overwhelming power dynamic is both attractive if you're resisting adulthood and also erotic just as a sexual fantasy. But you're not supposed to want it, so it helps that it comes dressed up in the vampire guise."
Yeah, got it right with their 10-scene, mock script last year.

KRISTEN wakes up in the hospital, and ROBERT wakes up after her.

I thought vampires never slept.
Script. Six weeks. Remember?
Right. Well, thanks for saving my life after endangering it by inviting me into your dangerous world. Let's go to the prom together.
Actually, I think it would be better if we broke up. To keep you safe.
From vampires?
No, from being typecast forever after this series is done. I'm screwed, but it's not too late for you.
No. No, you can't ever leave me. Never. No matter what. We must be together forever and ever and ever.
Holy shit, you're a clingy psychotic bitch. Maybe we have a realistic high school relationship after all.

They stay together and go to the PROM.

I want you to make me a vampire so that I can be with you, even if it means sacrificing my own life as a mortal.
So, the next generation of young women are currently flocking to see a female lead starring in a movie by a female director based on a bestselling book by a female author, and in this movie the main character wants to become completely submissive and self-sacrificing for a male.
I love you. Put a baby in me.
At least the other three books can't possibly be more misogynistic and depressing.

They ARE.



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