The Twilight Controversy

Originally posted on April 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

*spoiler alert*

I am quite astounded by the current hoopla over Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. Apparently, parents are outraged. They have recently complained so much as to merit the books a number 5 rank on the “challenged books” list. I must say, these parents are clueless.

I personally have read all four books in the Twilight series. I have said before, and I will say again, that I think what Stephanie Meyer did here was incredibly smart, intended or not. Essentially what she’s created is the ultimate female fantasy. Edward is a handsome, mysterious guy who becomes instantly, passionately, and entirely devoted to Bella—the every-girl. Not only that, but their love has the true potential of forever. He is her protector, her supporter, her dream man. He is incredibly cool and suave… the guy every sane high school boy is now trying to be.

And even though he’s over seventy years old, he’s still a virgin, in spite of the fact that he’s eternally good-looking and sexy. And he insists that the sexually-charged Bella marry him before they have sex. They do not have sexual contact until book four, after they’re legally, properly married. And it’s scarcely described. Parents, are you insane? What more do you want?

Mrs. Meyer has created the coolest, most desirable role model in the world right now for teenagers. And she’s given him an extremely high set of morals. (I mean, he’s a freakin’ vampire and he refuses to drink human blood. All the other vamps are rolling their eyes.) This is perfect. Stop your bitching! I mean, this is almost as good as if Jesus were incredibly cool and current, walking around in the very-now flannel shirt and making teenage girls swoon so boys want to be like him. Saving yourself for marriage is cool! That’s the banner. Seriously, read the books. They’re Lilly-white.

In spite of the target age, I enjoyed the series. I thought they were a fairly nice fast, easy read for fun entertainment. But I also felt like they were an extremely watered-down version of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Agenda-pushing, the wait-until-marriage aspect was so strong. Almost nauseating, when I thought about how many teenage girls were going to eat this up, clueless as to what the message was, but absorbing it anyway. (This is good for the complaining parents.) There is less sex in this series than in the Bible. So a little message to the outraged ‘rents: take a deep breath, read the books, and be thankful your kids aren’t reading about the much cooler, adult, ass-kicking Anita Blake. It could be much, much worse.

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  • A. B. Davis

    Ha. This is hilarious, Annie. I have been thinking about your post, “Why I’m Tired of People Ragging on Twilight”, a lot the past few days. Recently I borrowed all of the movies from a friend, and I find myself reconsidering my own bandwagon-y jump on the hate Twilight train.

    When I initially read the books, it was when they were first displayed in Borders (back before they closed 🙁 ) and I picked up the first one and stood there for 30 minutes devouring the first few chapters. It was unique for what it was at that time, and I had no shame in eating the others right up (until I got to book 4, that one was painfully bad in my opinion). Then I watched the movies when they came out, and while I liked some artsy things about them and thought other aspects were cheesy, I still enjoyed seeing them. Then as the years went on, and everyone be hatin’, I started to denounce any affection I had once felt for those books. But there was always that secret place in my heart that enjoys a good romance.

    So I borrowed the movies from my friend (who never denounces her love for over-the-top romance, no matter how much people be hatin’), and as I watched them, yes, there were painfully cheesy parts–like if you ever rewatch The Matrix, which you may have thought was AWESOME when it came out, now it’s ehhhh–I started to see things that were really quite intelligent about Meyer’s plotting, characterizations, and situations despite some other things (weird that I was analyzing those elements while watching the movies, but I wasn’t about to read the books again, I have too many on my to-read list for that). Basically, I just wanted to let you know–as I’m sure I have before–you have a honed skill for delivery that makes people stop and think. A fabulous character trait. So in essence, just thanks. It’s always good to rekindle an appreciation for something in spite of all the turbulence surrounding it; and it’s very good to learn from that turbulence (your point about 50 Shades of Grey, if I remember correctly).

    • It is so cool to get such a flattering and thoughtful comment on an old post! I’m really touched that my post(s) made you think, and even more touched that you bothered to come back and let me know. You’re the best. <3

      PS- I just reread this post for the first time since writing it and snorted out loud at how snarky it is. I'm lucky this didn't start an angry parent rampage. 😉

      • A. B. Davis

        It is pretty snarky. I almost wish it had started an angry parent rampage, because then that would mean parents actually read it and it got their wheels turning. It seems when someone responds fiercely to something initially, it is shaking their beliefs, or at the very least, forcing them to look more closely at what they already believe. And a lot of people don’t seem to like that.

        • That’s very true. But… it takes a lot of energy to deal with angry people in a calm, mature manner, which is generally what I prefer on my website. I want it to stay a positive place, and angry rants don’t quite say “welcome,” haha. 😉