- Category: Feminism & Sexuality
- Created on Tuesday, 15 December 2009 12:00
- Written by kar3ning.livejournal.com.
This was originally posted at kar3ning.livejournal.com.
As of September 2009, Twilight has grossed nearly $400 million worldwide. The sequel, New Moon, has already grossed $570 million. It's become a cultural phenomenon on the scale of Harry Potter. Based on the popular Twilight novels by Stephanie Meyer, the movies trace the relationship between teen vampire Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. Cullen is portrayed as a callous, brooding yet seductive figure, and Swan is passive figure whose role is to be desired by a man. Apparently vampires may be hard to kill, but oppressive gender relations are even harder to kill.
Below, we're re-posting a blog entry which takes this on in a sharp way.
We went to see New Moon this afternoon. Lord help me.
It was cheese-tastic. You can visit thefreak to read the blow by hilarious blow, but suffice it to say, there was much laughter, we were loudly shushed by some Twi-hards, and when wolf boy took his shirt off, I think 100 women ovulated all at once.
But there was something else.. something kind of screwy happening. I couldn't quite put my finger on it while I was in the theater, but once I got out, it hit me.
According to the National Domestic Violence hotline, these are some signs that you may be in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship.
Does your partner: * Look at you or act in ways that scare you? Check.
* Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go? "Stay away from the werewolves. I love you."
* Make all of the decisions? Check.
* Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it? "If I wasn't so attracted to you, I wouldn't have to break up with you."
* Threaten to commit suicide? "I just can't live without you. In fact, I'll run to Italy and try suicide by vampire if anything happens to you."
* Threaten to kill you? On their first date.
These are some more signs of an abusive relationship. Has your partner... * Tried to isolate you from family or friends. Bella doesn't have time for anyone else!
* Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.). Check.
* Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you. Does tossing her through a glass table count?
* Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place. "We're breaking up. And I'm leaving you in the forest."
* Scared you by driving recklessly. Check.
* Forced you to leave your home. She had to run away with him to flee from the other vampires in the first movie, and she had to drop everything and run to Italy in the second.
* Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention. Check. Even in the hospital, nothing is a big deal.
* Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles. Well, they are Mormon... (I know, I know, cheap shot.)
* Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships. Check, wolf-boy.
Now I'm pissed. According to the NDVH, "If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship." This list is fifteen.
In addition, Bella is quite literally a blank slate, an empty vessel. This created much mirth from our group-- "I can't read her thoughts." "That's because there AREN'T ANY!" "Heeheeheeheeheehee." "Shhhhhh!" But Bella seems to have no purpose, other than to be loved by someone, anyone. When she isn't around either Edward or Jacob, she mopes around and does... nothing. I was actually excited when she actually took initiative and yelled back at the werewolves.
Then I was pissed again, since the werewolves apparently also go for abusive relationships. The main wolf-dude lives with his girlfriend, who he fucking mauled once, because she provoked him into turning into a werewolf. "Well, he lost it, and she still has the scars."
Really. Let's go back to our list... actually, I don't need the list. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU SO HARD. Domestic violence is not romantic, and I don't care how much you say she started it, you don't hit your girlfriend. EVER. If the other women in your tribe had the sense that God gave mayonnaise, wolf boy would be lucky to *only* go to jail. Wait-- there don't appear to be any other women in the tribe. *sigh*
And this movie is the one that made $140 million bucks in one weekend. Bigger than Dark Knight. Maybe it's just that I'm older and (hopefully) wiser than the characters and thus out of this movie's target demographic, or maybe I'm a humorless feminist, but knowing that zillions of girls are seeing this getting the idea that a seriously unhealthy relationship is somehow the equivalent of true love -- that is profoundly disturbing. Far scarier than a werewolf.