By John M. Guilfoil at Blast Magazine
The Twilight Saga is an important part of Blast’s coverage. We have a page dedicated to it. We cover every rumor, news item, do every interview and promote discussion of every aspect of the universe. It is, indeed, the 21st century female Star Wars.
But counter to all that giggling and squealing comes a certain amount of disdain.
“The books present a female heroine who can hardly take a step without needing some boy to rescue her,” Rice wrote. “In fact, the books represent sexist views in almost every way, from the fact that Bella gives up her ambitions and plans for college to get married to Edward, the fact that she is portrayed as a modern Eve, begging the noble, moral gentleman for sex while he desires to preserve their virtue, the fact that their relationship is dangerously unhealthy, and finally to the fact that nearly every single female character in the book is a hopelessly negative caricature.”
Kellen got a lot of responses. More than 3,600 comments as of Sunday night have come in the past 13 months, (its follow-up article has more than 1,000). These comments included women saying to her: “All of your opinions are completely FALSE!” and “YOU JUST THINK TOO MUCH JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE !”
This back and forth argument is nothing new.
Northwestern University communications professor Janice Radway 1984 book “Reading the Romance” is one of the seminal looks at how women are affected by romantic literature.
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Just a heads up, there’s some language in the article when they quote “comments”. But the argument is sound, and I felt the same way reading Twilight. On the one hand, it’s a beautiful love story, on the other, the relationship is a little unhealthy, and I thought at times borderline controlling and manipulative. Until Breaking Dawn, neither Edward or Jacob really see Bella as Bella; they see her as the object of their affection and treat her as such. She finally comes into her on in the fourth book, and I could finally see her as strong.
How did you feel when you were reading Twilight? Do you think Bella is strong or passive?