Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight discussion

My feminist issues with Twilight

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Emma  Blue Okay, so sure, Edward saves Bella twice, and loves her and all, but he's super controlling, and somwhat jealous. And Bella wants to make everyone happy, and listens to Edwards every commnand, and she does all the typical womanly things, do laundry, make dinner. The thing that bugs me the most is the fact that Meyer attempts to make Bella independent and a feminist and doesn't succeed.

message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:34AM) (new)

I agree! Bella is just so dependent. When she didn't have Edward in New Moon, she depended on Jacob and she was happy. It's as if she can't rely on herself to do things, she needs a strong male figure in her life to be there for her and it's so irritating! What these books need is a strong female character and Bella just isn't one. :/

message 3: by Kiah (new)

Kiah I love the storyline of this series, but Ella's dependence and Edward's control issues frustrate me to no end.

Emma  Blue Bella tries to make everyone happy, I hate that, she never seems to stand up for herself, be herself in general, its all about Edward, Edward,Edward, making him happy. And Edward is just way to controling, trying to be with Bella every single minute of the day, being jealous when she even mentions a guys name, or anyone does, Bella needs to have a freaking personality!!!

Stephanie True all true, but this is LOVE, TRUE love not no high school fling and yes Bella does have dependence issues and Edward control issues but Bella was always the one who had to take care of her mom b4 she moved to Forks remember? n Edward just doesn't want anything to happen to Bella. But yes, I do agree they need to work on that.

message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda The uber-controlling man and the desperate to please woman sounds exactly like a high-school romance to me.
True love does not mean wanting to be with someone all the time or, heaven forbid, telling them what to do. I understand not wanting to happen to them, but isn't life dangerous and unpredictable? There is no way to keep anyone competely safe. Life is risk.

Emma  Blue Exactly, and isn't it good that you miss someone while they're away from you, you're going to hate that person if they are constantly around you, and also, like, hello, your two different people. True love, yes, but still. The best part of life is the fact that anything can happen. Edward is completely overrated I think. And Bella needs a backbone.

Sophie Riggsby - YT: allthingsequilateral It's a story arc that's lifted from other places...Romeo & Juliet (so often mentioned) and Wuthering Heights...and not to mention Beauty and the Beast...the man/monster is in conflict upon seeing the Love of His Life...who in order for the story to continue has to be dependent, naive and least until the end.

Emma  Blue hmmmm I understand that she has to want to be with Edward, and parically dependent, but why does she hang on his every word,and do whatever he says?

Sophie Riggsby - YT: allthingsequilateral She's young...hasn't travelled much, been out in the world so to speak...and she's met her intellectual match...I think that's why she hangs on to every word...and let's him be the Puppet Master (with a few moments of adolescent angst where she goes against his wishes...but ultimately runs back to him)...he's her Safe Haven.

Laura I've heard a lot about Edward being controlling and I guess I see that in the first one. Have you read through Eclipse? I think his controllingness (is that even a word? :-) lays off and we also see more why he had been controlling in the first place.

Megan I am glad that there are others who felt this as much as I did as I read the series...I was intrigued by the interesting ideas and creativity that Meyer introduced with depicting vampires in an alternative light (I should think of some witty reference here to how sparkly Edward is in the light, but can't think of one) however disappointed by what I feel is a poorly developed and superficial character of Bella.

I am also a bit alarmed at all the young girls reading this and Bella being a kind of role model, when to me she is not independent and makes very silly mistakes...but doesn't seem to learn and grow through them.

I also don't like how the parents are portrayed. A grown man who doesn't know how the microwave works? Come on, that is totally unbelievable. Its like Meyers uses anecdotes like those to depict Bella's strength of character....she "saves" her dad from ineptitude and she knows better than her silly mother. I do not feel that that kind of character development shows strength or compels me to admire Bella as worthy heroine.

Emma  Blue I completely agree with you Meghan. Bella is a role model, but not a very good one. And the protrayal of Renee as mostly dependent on Bella seemed slightly unrealistic. And to those who make the excuse that they're "so in love," sure, you can be in love, but do you have to be completely dependent on them the majority of the time. Also, I thought it was kinda stupid how Bella gets in a car crash because she was looking at winter chains Charile put in the car. And then, she lives in a city twice the size of Port Angeles, yet she gets lost and pratically raped, it makes Bella seem helpless, doesn't know how to protect herself in the slightest and needs a man to protect her.

celia ♥ i think this book is TOTALLY CHEESY!!!!! i mean COME ON i agree bella's completely girly and "perfect" and cute and "wants 2 make everyone happy"!! i really HATE her!! and i don't really think they hav "true love". im happy that in the movie kristen stewart is playing bella. she will make bella into a better character. ya its like she needs a man to protect her. i wonder wat kinda woman stephanie meyer is. and in twilight the story is not written well. its like: just because they r human-sucking vampires, they start out to kill bella and her family. i just don't understand y everybody (except
u guys) r totally in love w/the series. anyhow, lets hope the movie's better. kristen stewart ought to toughen up bella's character a bit. i hope.

message 15: by Emma (last edited Apr 12, 2008 05:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma  Blue Exactly, how is it true love when you only love someone beacause they smell good or is hot? I somewhat depise Bella, at the beginning I felt I could relate to her, being infatuated with a guy and feeling stupid, but then she has to go all "I'm in love, even though the guy I'm in love with is only an aquitance!" There love is not love, more like a shallow high school relationship. Also, i hope Kristen Stewart makes it better, but ultimately, its all about the script, and if its mostly the same, then Bella will probably not be too tough. Hopefully, but its all about the script.

Isabell Bella is, what, 16?! That's why she is annoying and stupid and irrational and self-involved. The book is written from Bella's perspective, we see things through her eyes (including her infatuation Edward, who is perfect in her eyes). I think Meyer did a very good job at writing a book from a teen's perspective. I don't think it's about true love, it's about a girl's teenage infatuation with a good-looking, more mature, somewhat mystical, young man. I've been there. ;) And once you are infatuated, there is no need for character development, at least in real life.

Emma  Blue Sure, Bella's a teen, a naive immature teen, but come on, there has got to be character delvelopment. She has to be somewhat more mature, and if she wants to stay with Edward, find even better reasons to stay with him. I didn't see her grow, i saw her become more naive, immature, and stupid.

Raquel I think that she's in love, and when people are in love they are often irrational and annoying. True, she's completely dependent on Edward and bugs him way too much about making her a vampire (which I still think would be awesome, it would be the eternal love that would never be able to be shared between the two of them because Bella will age and eventually die, but we all know that Edward would never do that to Bella because he wants her to live a normal life which he knows can't happen since she's in love with a vampire).

message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:14AM) (new)

The fact that a grown man can't work a microwave isn't wholly unbelievable, my father (47 years old) can't work the microwave properly either, or the stove, or a computer (but he can work the VCR so go figure?)...he's just horribly pathetic that way. Besides I'm sure that Charlie can work a microwave, just not very well, but in the mind of a teenage girl (who's probably always had a microwave) her father is utterly hopeless. Charlie had decided to depend on someone else for a change (since he had to care for his ailing parents for so long before they died (not written in the book, but any good Twilight site Twilight Lexicon will have this bit of info from Meyer's personal correspondence, something that most mild to extreme twilighters would have read by now). Is it right for him to "force" his daughter into the classic fifties woman? No, of course not, but there it is, Bella grew up taking care of her mother (who reminds me of my aunt) thus taking care of her father wasn't a huge burden for her. As far as her lack of inner strength, (being so annoyingly dependant) will grow in the fourth book. The nice thing about these books we do get to see a maturing teenage girl. Granted I have not read Breaking Dawn and I may be horribly disappointed by Bella's development, but I think that she's got this great opportunity to become a strong woman, I'd hate to knock her around too much without seeing the last part of her story.

Emma  Blue okay, maybe its different in new moon and eclipse, but I am not seeing Bella as a maturing teen, I'm seeing her as becoming a naive child.

Carolyn I understand the comments about irritation about Bella being so dependent on Edward, although I think it can be a realistic portrayal of obsessive first love. I had a relationship like that in high school, where all you can see is that one person.

I think Edwards jealousy and overprotectiveness comes from the fact that he has finally met someone after 90 years of being alone, and the fragile way he views Bella compared to himself and his family.

Also, I think part of Bella's "housewifery" is almost a bit like playing house, that she gets pleasure from taking care of her father.

I'm not saying this book is perfect, although I think many of the characters actions are understandable.

Laura Interesting insights Carolyn. I hadn't thought of Edward's jealousy in quite that way. I had often attributed it to his deep love for her; knowing that being with him was dangerous for her (and later) the sacrifice associated in becoming a vampire, he desires to protect her from all of that because of his love.

Emma  Blue Honestly, I don't think she enjoys taking care of her father. She's not the "snow white" type. I guess jealousy wise that makes sense, but still, watching her while she sleeps is going way overboard.

McKayla Everything depends on how you look at this book.
You have to keep in mind how young Bella is, and that Edward is not human, so human reasoning may not be applicable to his character.
I have to admit, the mushy lovey-dovey parts can get to be more than a bit repetitive at times, and Edward's controlling nature is unbelievably frustrating in some instances, even leading him to come off as a jerk sometimes (more often than not)... but I suppose you could justify, or at least explain, some of it.
I mean, he's been around a century and never "loved" like this before, so he could just be making up for lost time. In the same way that Bella could be excused for her obsession (being so young and this being her first serious relationship), Edward could be excused because even though he's been around, it's all still new and fresh to him, too.

But, that is just one point of view.
And even if Bella is "excused" for her obsession, there is still the issues of her dependency that greatly irks me.
I would've figured a stronger character would've been the one to catch Edward by surprise. And I suppose an attempt to portray her in that way is made, although it fails.

Kristy I have got to say this by far was the best comment I have read. Right on. And let's not forget, this is just a S*T*O*R*Y. It isn't real. It isn't MEANT to be real. Just have fun and enjoy it. Those who think it was terrible and that want a story with a stronger female role model ought to write a story themselves. I am sure there are many who would like to see more of those kinds of stories (myself included). Even still, I would bet there would be comments like those above stating the same kinds of things on the other side of the pendulum. anyway...good comment.

Emma  Blue McKayla, you are so right, I guess most of it is excusable, and the Edward thing makes sense, though Bella's lack of personality is something I will never get over. I don't believe that Bella is too young, shes 17 for crying out loud!! But being in her first relationship, its understandable for her to have an obsession, especially with a gorgeous vampire. But still, the excuses are just not good enough. The thing that bugs me the most, is the fact that Meyer attempts to portray Bella as feminist, and has many things going for her, when in reality it portrays the complete opposite.

message 27: by Stephanie (last edited Apr 28, 2008 06:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stephanie Question: Do any of you have anything better to do then pick on a goddamn book? I mean, IT'S ONLY A BOOK!!!!!! A WORK OF FICTION!!! Read it, if you like, then you keep the book, if you don't then throw it away. Stop with the trash talk, as I've said before IT'S JUST A BOOK!!!!! Get over it.

Kristine Wow -- some people need to let others have opinions about a book that are different than their own. This is actually an discussion about how ironic it is to have a main character talk about the misogynistic treatment of women in Shakespeare and then go on to create one of the weakest female characters ever seen in literature.

And yes, I can have this opinion - and yes it's ok for me to discuss it with others who have the same opinion.

1) My dislike for Bella is mostly based in that premise - if she's gonna be weak don't pretend she's an intellectual feminist.

2) I can understand when people explain that she's all swoony cuz she's 17 or whatever. I remember the swoony-ness in my HS relationships, but I was never like, "oh!! whatever you say!!!!!" High school swoonage does not equal slavery to another's words. And don't explain it away as true love either, because that's not true love!

3) The other reason I dislike her is I actually think she is a bad person -- in the way that she's so selfish she thinks it's ok for Edward to kill someone for the slight possibility it will increase his chances that he stays with her. Really, Bella? Let's just kill off other people so you can be happy.

4) The last thing that makes her such an anti-feminist is that she can't survive on her own. I've lost a guy I loved and I didn't turn into a zombie for a year. You eat a lot of ice cream, cry alot, and learn how to box it up inside and keep on living.

anyway, yeah.

Emma  Blue Uh Darkness, we have the right to express our opinons, the title directly says: my feminist issues with Twilight, so if you don't want to hear other peoples opinons, don't come into this topic! 1. Thats def the worst part, making Bella weak is one thing, making Bella weak and then say she is strong and a feminist gives people mixed messages, and makes Stephenie Meyer look completely oblivious to her characters. 2. Edward loves Bella because she smells good and she loves him because hes hot! This is not true love! 3. Bad person..... I don't know, but being self centered, or in Bella's case "relationship centered" makes you look like a jerk. 4. Another thing I can't stand! It's like she doesn't even have two feet so she has to lean on Edward!

Stephanie Good point, but still there are a ton of books that have worse issues then feminism, but that doesn't mean you can trash talk about a book that isn't even real, and sense we're giving opinions here, heres mine: YOU ALL ARE ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF HIGH SCHOOLERS! Oh, and if you don't like a book write it in your reviews that's why the damned things are there for!! So stop being stupid and GROW UP!!!!

message 31: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 28, 2008 03:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caitlin Bella and Edward are dependent on each other. They have both said time and time again that they don't know how they would live without eachother. Yes, Bella may seem somewhat dependent on men, but when she was dependent on Jacob, she was kind of using him to hear Edward, her true love, and because she was hurt and didn't want to feel hurt all of the time.

Emma  Blue The whole point of goodreads is for discussion of books, thats why they have groups, and topics, we should be able to express ourselves. What good would books do if we couldn't discuss them? Show our love and hatred? Sure, books would still benifit us, but not as much. Sure, they say they are dependent on each other, then why does Meyer say Bella is strong and independent? I would be more fine with it if Meyer actually knew that her character was weak and dependent. And though I have not read New Moon, using someone else just because you are sad and hurt is wrong, to lean on someone for support is one thing, to use them is wrong.

Kristy I am new to the Twilight experience, so perhaps I missed it, but I was wondering where the idea came from that Bella is supposed to be a feminist? And if she is, perhaps the confusion comes in on what that means. Is it a 21st Century definition or the original definition of the 19th century? There is a big difference. Anyway, I am mostly curious where the idea started. Is it stated in one of the books? I am only 1/2 way through the 3rd book so maybe I havent gotten there yet.

Kristine Darkness -- you need to not take our opinions personally. there is no reason for you to get upset by our opinions - it is the grownup way to act, I don't see our responses as immature at all. And there is a reason goodreads has discussion threads -- so people can have discussions.

kristy -- SM doesn't come out and say "feminist". And I think my definition of "feminist" would be a strong female character worthy of admiration (you can look up to her). SM implies that Bella is in AP classes, writing advanced essays in her school -- very intellectual (I wouldn't think a person who is not "feminist" would write a whole essay about the misogynistic treatment of women in high school -- in other words Bella herself cares about seeing strong female characters in literature - HA!). And just all the posturing at the start about "I have always taken care of myself - I take care of my mom - I take care of my dad, etc." Only to melt and turn into a piece of clay that can't survive on her own.

I actually have an inkling SM might be saving the "maturing" of Bella for the 4th book -- I think I would actually be happy if she has Bella end up with neither Edward nor Jacob! and learns how to grow up emotionally and survive on her own.

p.s. I have had a hard time believing in the "love" of Bella and Edward. It seems alot like obsession and fascination to me. But the more I read the books the more I see it could really be there. So I won't argue either way if they love each other - it could go either way with me.

Emma  Blue I define a feminist in literature as strong, able to stand on her own, and actually has a personality. And Bella has none of those.

message 36: by Stephanie (last edited Apr 29, 2008 09:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stephanie Kristine I don't take them personally, it's just the fact that, yeah this is a thing for discussion threads but trashing a book isn't what I'd call a "discussion" so sorry if this offends you, wait no I'm not sorry, but, you people suck, if all your time is given to trashing books. Do something better with your lives, then just saying how much you hate a damn book. I think that the whole point of it being a book seems to evade you, which just goes to show that you have no lives.

message 37: by Emma (last edited Apr 29, 2008 10:05AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma  Blue Are we screaming I HATE THIS BOOK!? Nope, we are telling people our opinons, which we have a right to do. Are we butting out people who have different views. Nope. So what are you complaining about? And who is being more immature here, the people who are showing what they think in a polite manner or the person who tells everyone who has a different viewpoint that they suck and that the have no lives? I don't mean to offend you, but you have no right to say those things about us.

Stephanie See I find it really funny that you would say that b/c no I don't care if you have a different view point,And yes you sort of are butting people out who have different views b/c with every good comment there you or someone else is to hit the down. So let me pose another question for you to "answer": Why should anyone care?

message 39: by Sara (last edited Apr 29, 2008 10:05AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara This whole thing reminds me of another thread in which I was called some seriously rude, offensive, and vulgar names because I disagreed with someone else. I really hope that this doesn't go that far with you guys. Emma is right. They're not trashing it, and everyone has the RIGHT to not like a book and to discuss why they don't like it.

I happened to like all three of the books. I just didn't like how Bella was constantly getting in trouble and having to be saved. Of course, it really doesn't matter what I think, as Stephanie Meyer wrote the books because she felt so strongly about the characters. She didn't think at first "Oh my gosh! I really hope everybody likes this book." She just loved her characters so much she had to write about them. In turning ideas into books, you EXPECT that people are going to not like them. We writers should know.

Saying that someone can't not like a book or yes, can't even HATE a book, is not something any of us can do. Well, we can, but it wouldn't be right.
They have the right to not like it, you have the right to express how you don't like it that they don't like it. But you don't need to be rude about it, Darkness.

message 40: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara So yes. I LIKED THE BOOKS. But I also DIDN'T like them. And I care about these books/these discussions because I love reading and I like to discuss it with other readers. Whether or not I liked the book.
I do have a life, by the way.

Emma  Blue Exactly. I may have a different view point but I'm not going to say "you're so wrong" you have the right to your opinion and I have a right to mine. Darkness, you have an awful lot of time to trash us eh? You could be spending your time defending Twilight, but you decide to convince us that we are losers and have no lives. This topic would be nothing WIHOUT people with different view points, so I thank you guys for that.

Stephanie I'm not saying that Emma's wrong or that someone can't HATE a book I'm just saying that, after a while what you say gets old and annoying so just get over it and move on and if you don't then you really don't have a life. Sorry if you thinks thats rude but thats just how I think, so just get over it, 'cause you can't stop me from saying what I want like, I'm not trying to stop you or Emma or anybody else, for that matter, from saying that there is something a little wrong with Bella, but I just want to point out that girls now a days are really like that.

message 43: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara EVERYTHING gets 'old and annoying' after a while. There are a lot of things that people can't get over easily. And you are obviously trying to stop us because you keep dissing us for not liking-but-liking a book. It's like someone getting mad and saying I have no life because I they don't.

message 44: by Emma (last edited Apr 29, 2008 10:40AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma  Blue oh just ignore Darkness, she's a troll.

Emma  Blue One thing I thought was very funny is that from the beginning it seems like Bella is keeping her helpless mother in line, but by the time she falls in love with Edward, she is completely dependent on him. Now, I guess you could say that Bella was tired of playing the mother,which makes sense, but if I were her I would want to gain freedom, independence and finally be able to develop friendships and relationships, but instead of growing into a independent young woman, she decides to be the dependent one.

message 46: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara To tell the truth, I wouldn't mind being almost completely dependent on someone like Bella is dependent on Edward. But not for very long. Just if I was having a really bad day and didn't feel like doing anything. :)

Emma  Blue Well thats true, but I don't really think thats the same thing, thats when your tired and depressed and want your partner to help you, thats a real relationship. Bella is helpless, all of the time.

Laura I'm glad Kristy suggested defining feminist - it really helped me get my head around what some of you have been saying.
Also, Emma - I'd be interested to see if you still see Bella as helpless all of the time if/when you read New Moon (although you'd probably REALLY hate the first 2/3 of the book :-)

Emma  Blue Well you'll get to find out! I'm addicted, and I'm just waiting for New Moon at the library. I'm very interested in Jacob's character (though, *spoiler* I know Jacob is a werewolf) delvelopment as well as Bella's. And I am very happy that Edward leaves at the very beginnng!! So I haven't completely given up hope that this series could be better.

Stephanie Oh, u hurt my feelings calling me a troll *cries* well Oh well being a troll is a small price to pay when it comes to not caring what a stupid THING thinks of me. ^_^ Have a good life, Thing

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Twilight (other topics)
Breaking Dawn (other topics)
New Moon (other topics)
The Fellowship of the Ring (other topics)
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (other topics)