Sunday, July 26, 2009

"If he were a regular guy, he'd be arrested by now."

I haven't done much internet reading or other reading on Twilight. So I am going to launch into this knowing that likely a million other good feminists have ranted about just this in their annals already. Only this rant will be kind of confessional.

I started reading Twilight last night. I bought it on a whim last weekend, on my one day off since the last blog entry (June 25th), when Dylan and I were out on the town. I got it super cheap, and as I had been with teens all week who sighed about it, I had to see what was up. When I woke up yesterday I knew my ice cream, my empty calorie treat for the rest of the weekend, once my summer school stint was over at noon, was going to be reading this oh-ever-so-popular tome. I was prepared to deride, to sneer, and to want to put it down.

Only I don't want to. Adverbs aside (have you never read Stephen King's good words on adverbs, Stephenie Meyers?), it's got a very good plot drive. "Nothing happens," by this "always looking for first base tittilation" reader for over 100 pages. Lots of anticipation, plot build and character set-up. It's like a Louis L'Amour, Natalie would say, empty yet somehow driving enough to make one miss a plane. Only this has got something I had long forgotten gets to me - the tittilation of total absorption; the draw of insanely impractical love.

We aren't even talking Romeo and Juliet here. Bella and Edward have something far beyond that. Trying not to spoil it for anyone (I read the spoilers, I could care less), but clearly if this guy were a regular guy, as Dylan just pointed out in conclusion to what I was saying to him, he'd be in jail by now. Not because he rapes her, not because he abuses her in any way. But because no one, not even a teenager, would accept the kind of behavior he does from a "normal" guy. Ok, maybe a few, but the lure of his "otherness" is so extreme that it excuses a lot. And even though my intellect is screaming running the other way - this dude's a freaking stalker, yo this is disgusting, ugh ugh ugh, my loins are running backwards over my own feet to the scene of the badly-adverbed crime. Give me more of his total devotion, his multiple lifetime I can't resist you fetishism. Give me more of that other-worldly pull. Luckilly I've got my brain to check in on me when my neck is crooked from a couple hundred pages of the wrong reading position, to pull me back into the present with my lovah who is plenty devoted to me as is.

But what about the girls? I hate that I loved the lyrics "Everything I do, I do it for you," and "I would die for you," from Bryan Adams in Junior High School. But I did. I wanted someone to sing it to me, I wanted to feel that way for someone else. I won't decry Meyers as some new horrible thing that needs to go, lest it filfth the minds of our impressionable teens. She's not really doing anything new. But I am an adult now, and I am shocked to see that despite my confidence and comfort, the woman in me responds to its old dog training: Want This. Want It More Than Anything Else. I am surprised I'M not arrested by now.


  1. As you can well imagine, I know exactly what you mean.

  2. Isn't it strange how despite our level of intellect, the base level, the instinct, the "loin driven" aspect of ourselves still has the power to take over?! Gets me every time!

    (this is stephanie by the way)

  3. i feel exactly the same way. exactly. plus, the first book really reminded me of what it's like to fall in love. i know there is plenty to criticize, and i cannot rationalize my love for that series with my feminist heart. but love it i do. when you're finished with the book, i'd love to have you over to watch the movie, if you're interested.

  4. v s and v - thanks, all! i appreciate your commiseration of sorts!

    val: i am very interested. a friend said she's only seen the riff track version, so i'd like to see that one, too...: )