Friday, February 4, 2011

Writers Debate "The Twilight Effect" - Post #4 for the Opponents

NOTE: This is the last of the contributing writers' submissions in the Twilight debate.  Tune in Monday for The Final Word... from me.  (Yeah, you'll get over it).

If this is your first visit, check out the introductory post for this debate, along with Post #1, Post #2 and Post #3 for alternative views.

Disclaimer: In an effort to open honest dialogue, I’m allowing guest contributors to express their thoughts without interference or moderation. Therefore, the views and opinions expressed in this blog post do not necessarily represent my views and opinions.  If you want that, you'll have to come back on Monday. 

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Kat Kruger writes:

As authors who are specifically targeting a pre-teen to teen demographic, I think there's an inherit obligation to write responsibly. In a world where anorexic and often shallow women dominate entertainment news, do we really need our books to reinforce these awful conventions?

I enjoyed Twilight for what it was. The rest of the books made me really mad. Teenage girls don't have a lot of great role-models out there particularly in a world that's obsessed with celebrity culture. The shallowness of Bella's character, to me, is in her inability to define herself as a person without being in a relationship. She's completely consumed with Edward because he's gorgeous. She ditches all her friends to enter into a relationship where he has all the power. And really she has no depth written into her character in any way. I just feel like girls need stronger female role-models than that, not weepy damsels who fling themselves off cliffs when they're dumped by a boy.

New Moon was really awful. I’ve never hated a protagonist so much for her sheer impotence and social inertia. There was something about the first book/film in the series that spoke to the tween girl somewhere in me that was lost in the rest of the series.

I take issue with the fact that Bella is one of the most pathetic female protagonists ever put to paper. Real true love means taking the good with the bad. Not dumping someone because your “brother” can’t control his killer instincts. But just because someone who you think is your soul mate does happen to dump you, it doesn’t give you the right to mope yourself into oblivion. And puh-lease! You’re so not going to die because of that gut-wrenching stomach ache. Get over yourself, Bella. You think you’re the only person who’s been dumped in the existence of humankind? I get that she’s a teenage girl but seriously the drama queen act was way over the top.

I’d hate to think that generations of girls are going to be reading this shoddy example of a female protagonist. The damsel in distress mode of thinking that’s predominant in the books is not something young girls should be reading. At least not without context from a parent or guardian. Some of that context should include the fact that it wasn’t very long ago that women were considered property not people.

Kat Kruger!/katkruger

What do you think?  Comment here and come back Monday for The Final Word... (*insert dramatic music here*)


  1. I have really enjoyed reading through these last few posts and all of the varying viewpoints.

    I discovered the books quite by accident before they became hugely popular. I was immediately caught up in the story, devoured the first two books, waited anxiously for the third and fourth, and got all my friends hooked on the series.

    Note: I am a 30 year old female, with an English degree. Most of the friends I hooked on the series are around my age.

    I do take issue with Bella's passivity. I find it extremely annoying. However, I related to the character so well. Being the responsible, careful, dutiful, ordinary girl that I am, I loved the idea of this fictional romance to sweep the ordinary girl into a land of magic and love and devotion. Does this mean that I'm holding out until I meet an Edward of my own? no. (I am a Jacob lover myself) but I identified with the emotions and reactions of Bella.

    Was she the first girl to ever get her heart broken? No, but what girl doesn't feel like they're the only ones to ever feel that bad.

    Was she right to mope? no. Catatonic states are bad. Especially over something like this. It was exaggerated (I believe) to make a point. What girl hasn't wished that she could lock herself in her room until the pain just goes away.

    BUT, and I think this is key, she DOESN'T stay there. She comes out of it ON HER OWN. She strikes up conversation with her friends at school. Tries to regain some normality, and ends up developing a friendship that will help her to become stronger than she was before.

    Is she perfect? no. Is some of her behavior excessive? yes. Does that make the story evil?

    In my mind, no. But I strongly agree with what has been reiterated here many times - parental engagement is SO important.

  2. Well, I'm curious as to what Aimee thinks about all of this now that it's over. Have any of the arguments, either from the posts themselves or the comments, swayed you in anyway to one side or the other? Do you feel differently now than you did at the outset of this fabulous venture?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  3. Ha! Thanks for the heads up, Uriah. I'm planning a post for Monday which will answer those questions, among others :)

    See you then