Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight discussion


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Is twilight anti femenist?

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message 1: by Gaby (new) - rated it 1 star

Gaby Bella is completely dependant on Edward and feels helpless when he's not around. In fact when he does leave, she curls up in the foetal position for six months then throws herself off a cliff. She often relies on Edward to "save" her, and Edward tells her that he'd kill himself if she ever left him. Bella's weakness and dependancy on Edward makes me think this book is a little anti femenist. Do you agree?


C.C. I think that's just Bella... Twilight also has strong female characters...


Jade aka MrsTosh not at all I am married to my soul mate and if we split up I think I would have a right to curl up and die! love isnt all sunshine and roses sometimes it is dark and all consuming it is different for everyone. As Crystal says the story is told from Bella's point of view, thats how she handles the situation.


message 4: by Moulee (new) - added it

Moulee the book has been written completely devoid of objectivity that a third person or a reader has the benefit of...yes it is hard to understand the all consuming power of love and sometimes just downright annoying to hear someone drone on and on...but that is how a teenage and young love is..senseless, ruthless and overpowering..probably that's what meyer wanted to show...its wrong on some counts but probably it is so kept in regards to the first person narrative of bella..


message 5: by Mickey (last edited Nov 03, 2012 04:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey I would have personally preferred the thread 'Is feminism anti-woman?'

Feminism has decided to only value women who act like traditional men, thus limiting our choices. (Must we be strong to be worthy of being a main character in a book?) Men are rescued in novels and movies all the time, and they are not considered 'weak'. Bella is surrounded by supernatural creatures. It would be unrealistic to have her able to hold her own physically. Yet, she's weak if she doesn't. She also saves Edward in New Moon and she saves everyone in Breaking Dawn. Of course, neither one is in the kick-*ss (masculine) way that we can respect.

Because Bella doesn't 'measure up' to feminist standards (she's not abnormally strong physically like a comic book hero), she gets all sort of other things placed on her. She's called stupid, bland, weak, dependent, etc. She's called submissive. If you read the novels, she is not any of those things. These are all the old traditional epithets for women. Nice when we take off where the male misogynists left off. We'll just criticize ourselves. We've come a long way, haven't we?

By the way, I'm reading a wonderful book by a female writer (The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood). The female characters are not unrealistically strong and Atwood shows them as real people. That's the way it should be done, yet if we used the same standards for judging those characters as we do Bella, the result would be the same.


message 6: by Moulee (new) - added it

Moulee Mickey wrote: "I would have personally preferred the thread 'Is feminism anti-woman?'

Feminism has decided to only value women who act like traditional men, thus limiting our choices. (Must we be strong to be ..."

well said...


message 7: by Gerd (last edited Sep 02, 2011 06:18AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gerd I disagree (but you already now that), this classic romance combination Stephenie uses, weak heroine, constantly in danger of getting hurt or hurting herself, verses the all obsessive, controlling alpha male that has to safe her ... yadda,yadda.

Romance is very anti feminist, point.
(It's getting better though)

The problem is that this is not a (realistic) love affair, and Bella's describtion is not one of a healthy, sane, human young girl. She builds an obsession towards Edward that blinds her against everything he is, against how he acts towards her as a person, which is more like a second father (and an often highly posessive one in nature) than a lover.

She has a total tunnel vision of her future as a vampire at Edward's side, she is focused at him to the extent that she hears voices when he leaves her.
Literally!


Natalie "Feminism has decided to only value women who act like traditional men, thus limiting our choices"
Wrong.
Feminism is about equality of the sexes, and their ability to take on any traits traditionally associated with either gender. I love to hike, I'm stronger physically than my best guy friend, and I am a dominant person, but I also love to bake, do laundry, wear frilly clothes (and underwear!) and I sew and crochet. Feminism is about letting me be that way, but also about changing society to accept men who take on traditionally "feminine" activities or habits or styles of dress. Feminism does *not* only value women who behave like men. Feminism values women (and men!) who behave in a mature and enlightened way, and helps those who haven't found the strength or ability to take on those traits yet.
I find it personally offensive that you would lump all feminists together, too. The narrow view you're proposing is not even a sliver of the broad and necessary movement that has fought for many of the rights we all enjoy so freely today. Do you plan to vote? Do you wear pants? Is it socially acceptable for you to choose your own path into a career, job, or homemaking? Are you allowed by your parents to read books other than text they have deemed appropriate? Are you encouraged to earn the best grades you can in school? Do you play a sport that, traditionally, only men played? When you get married, are you protected by a law that says that, even though he's your husband, he cannot rape you? (Because it did not used to be like that. You were expected to perform "wifely duties" when he wanted, where he wanted, no questions asked. If you didn't want it, and he forced you, too bad.)
If you said yes to any of these, your life has been effected by feminism in a good way. Please don't let misconceptions about the movement deter you from finding out what we're really about. The ladies over at www.feministing.com will tell you: We are not out to make all women into traditional men, we're about letting each person, regardless of gender, class, race, nationality, or sexual orientation have their own lives to live in the way they see fit, and not be constrained by tired, useless roles that only dehumanize us.

That said, I suppose I should talk a bit about the topic. Bella is a very weak main character from a literary standpoint. She develops little, has little personality, and it can be very arduous to see things from her point of view. The plot of the book is pretty predictable and tired too. Edward is a *textbook* case of an abusive boyfriend and Bella is a moron, which is why I was really hoping she'd die at the end of the book.


message 9: by Dani (last edited Sep 02, 2011 11:51AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dani Feminist is not the right word as others have pointed out. The problem with Bella is very simple. She is characterized by the fact that she is obsessed with Edward. Everything she does in motivated by that obsession which is turns makes her unable to stand on her own, simple-minded, and overall a very weak character in every sense of the word.


BlackroseBlackheart Obsession is self-destruction, that's what I believe ;P


message 11: by Mickey (last edited Sep 02, 2011 01:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote: "The problem is that this is not a (realistic) love affair, and Bella's describtion is not one of a healthy, sane, human young girl. She builds an obsession..."

It actually is a realistic love affair. Are you very familiar with teenagers? I have taught teenagers and they are often obsessed with each other. It doesn't have to be romantically, either. I usually deal with a slightly younger crowd than Bella's and there are many same-sex, non-sexual obsessions. We've rearranged classes in order to stop the distracting behavior (resembling flirting). We've had parent conferences. Really, it's not unusual.

It's funny how everyone always focuses on Bella's obsession, isn't it? You rarely hear criticism of Edward for that same behavior, although he has said and done several things, that, if he were a girl, would've been commented on ad nauseum. How many times is she criticized for her reckless behavior? Yet, Edward went a step further and I haven't heard anyone really mention it with the same tone of censure. Why is that? Because boys are allowed to be upset over the irrevocable ending of a relationship in a way that girls aren't.

First love is intense for both parties involved, yet there is a difference between how they're treated. Girls are seen as weaker because being in a relationship is seen as threatening and overpowering to their independence. A woman is weak if she choses to be part of a relationship and to put much of herself into that relationship. It doesn't matter if that's her choice, because that's the wrong choice.

Women characters have to prove themselves to be sufficiently masculine in order to escape being considered weak because being a girl is already treated as a handicap. It's something they have to 'make up for' by being very smart or very strong or having some other redeeming virtue. To simply be a normal girl is unacceptable.

I disagree completely with the characterization of the relationship between Bella and Edward.


message 12: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Cole Is Twilight Anti Feminist?
Yes

I do have reasons but will add them after sleep, have just had a veeeery long shift at work


Valerie Yes.

For the reasons you said, and more.

For example, the situation with Leah and her inability to bear children... it blatantly says she isn't "as female as she should be" and that's why she's a wolf. So.... if a woman can't have kids, she isn't a woman? That is sad.

Then, there's the fact Meyer has an inability to create truely strong female characters, since they all depend on men in one way or another. There are almost no single women in the "story", and the ones who are are looked down upon, or they're unhappy, jealous, bitchy harpies.

Then, there's Rosalie's backstory, where they author paints it as if getting raped was her fault.

Why isn't Bella a badass? There is plenty of room for an awesome, strong character in this series, but it got thrown away. D:

I think Stephanie Meyer herself is sexist. Yes, you can be sexist against your own gender, and I find men to be guilty of that so much more than women... but still, I've met females who think they are worth less than men.


TheFountainPenDiva @Natalie: Thank you so much for your enlightened and intelligent rebuttal to the myths regarding what feminism is. Too many people have bought into the mindset that feminism wants to make women into men, that it "hates" men and that it destroys
"traditional" values. I've never seen it that way. What I do see are women given the opportunity to be all they can as human beings rather than limited by gender. Granted, feminism isn't perfect and it has had issues, but even Mickey would agree with me that society is far better under feminism than without it. I'd say the same thing about civil rights--and I'd love for someone to argue the contrary.

That's why Bella is so troublesome to me. She has potential but completely wastes it once Edward comes around. Yes, I remember what first love as a teen feels like and how all-encompassing it is. But I also remember not giving up my goals or dreams either, which is what Bella does. First love and loss definitely hurt, but not enough to curl up and lose interest in lifre or attempt suicide. Sorry folks, but that's just not realistic. In the first book she's college-bound and not interested in being a parent. By the end of the series she's given all that up to become the perfect super-vampire.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't think that Stephenie Meyer intentionally wrote the books to be offensive to women, but... they still are. Bella in particular is not a character this generation should be proud of.


message 16: by Gerd (last edited Sep 02, 2011 02:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gerd Mickey wrote: "It actually is a realistic love affair. Are you very familiar with teenagers? I have taught teenagers and they are often obsessed with each other."

That's the point isn't it?
Obsession, not love.


Mickey wrote: "It's funny how everyone always focuses on Bella's obsession, isn't it? You rarely hear criticism of Edward for that same behavior, although he has said and done several things, that, if he were a girl, would've been commented on ad nauseum."

And we would, if "twilight" had been written from his point of view.


Mickey wrote: "Why is that? Because boys are allowed to be upset over the irrevocable ending of a relationship in a way that girls aren't."

"Allowed to" is a diffcult term to use here, though, yes society is giving more leeway to men - a fact that feminist movements try hard to correct.
Besides, just because a certain behaviour is allowed or even encouraged doesn't necessarily mean that it is correct.


Mickey wrote: "A woman is weak if she choses to be part of a relationship and to put much of herself into that relationship. It doesn't matter if that's her choice, because that's the wrong choice."

If she puts her own health in danger or that of others in her care, then yes.
Also, choice requires that you are aware of the possible implications of your actions, Bella never shows any of this or even interest in it.


Valerie Mickey wrote: "I would have personally preferred the thread 'Is feminism anti-woman?'

Feminism has decided to only value women who act like traditional men, thus limiting our choices. (Must we be strong to be ..."


Wait, what? Feminisim is anti-woman?

That is an oxymoron.

Feminisim is about gender equality, and the rights of either gender to behave in any way the individual sees fit. Feminisim does not value women who act like traditional men. Please educate yourself on the subject. You're allowed to vote and do other things because of the feminist movement.

And.... who said a human can't hold thier own around a bunch of supernatural creatures? What the Fawkes?! Please, go watch Van Helsing, or read Dracula. There is a very strong woman in Van Helsing, along with an awesome hero who defeated vampires.

When talking about strength, we're not talking about physical strength, we're talking about the person's character. Bella is not strong at all, and she is /all/ the things you mentioned. When reading these books, don't pay attention to what Bella thinks. Think about what is really happening outside her head.


Mickey @Natalie, according to a poll in 2007, only 29% of American women considered themselves feminists. Obviously, the public perception of what feminism means is a little more controversial than 'equality between the sexes'.(Very few people would argue with that.)

I do agree that social constrictions on men have relaxed. Men are now more free to be who they are, but women are still as bound up as they ever were, and feminism has a great deal of blame in that. If you are saying that feminism advocates women's choices, no matter what they are; that there is no preferred course that they advocate, I would think you were being intellectually dishonest. Look at the thread name: Is Twilight antifeminist? Is Bella spending her time stopping women from making decisions for themselves? What does it mean to be 'anti-feminist'? Bella makes choices throughout all the books, but according to feminists, they are not the right choices. Who are these people that have the arrogance to think they can dictate what a person should want and what a person should be like? Who are these people that have the nerve to say they speak for all women? I'm a woman, and I can speak for myself, as can most women.


Mickey Valerie wrote: "Wait, what? Feminisim is anti-woman?"

Absolutely! It's not an oxymoron at all. Feminism champions a certain type of woman, certain types of goals, certain types of lifestyles. Why do you think so few women consider themselves feminists? Because feminism doesn't speak for them. If feminism were about women being able to make decisions, what woman would argue with that? But it's not about that.


Mickey Gerd wrote: "Mickey wrote: "It actually is a realistic love affair. Are you very familiar with teenagers? I have taught teenagers and they are often obsessed with each other."

That's the point isn't it?
Obsession, not love..."


Are you saying they're mutually exclusive, Gerd?


TheFountainPenDiva The reason most women say they're not feminists has a lot more to do with the ignorant perception of feminism rather than the reality of what the movement is. Feminism itself isn't one thing or limited to one ideal. There are pro-sex feminists, stay-att-home feminists, feminists of color, lesbian feminists and yes the traditional feminists. They all have different beliefs and agendas, but at the end of the day it's about equality. I'm the first to state thhat as a feminist of color, I've had big problems with the lack of visibility and the tabling of our issues, but I'm not about to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I'm a feminist, I love men. Most of us do, LOL. We just don't like abusive controlling stalkers, which Edward Cullen was.

People should seriously educate themselves better about feminism rather than listening to Rush Limbaugh who called feminists "femi-nazis", accused them of being ugly and being lesbians. Like any progressive movement, it evolves. And frankly, we're better off for it. Nice to be able to have one's own credit card. There was a time where a woman had to have her husband's permission to even open a bank account.


Georgina I think Bella and Edward's relationship is very unnatural and weird. I'm 17, the same age as Bella is, and if one of my friends decided to commit suicide (or even thought of it) I would think they were completely bonkers or joking. People lose their partners all the time but everyone has something else to live for. Bella and Edward are both unrealistic characters in that they are both obssessed with one another.When you love someone when you're my age it does feel incredibly lonely and you will feel upset for a while but you'll do other things in the meantime; you'll think about you future, worry about what university you're going to. Life away from home and you'll spend time with friends (something Bella doesn't really have).
Bella's obssession with Edward IS anti-feminist in that their relationship is an unequal one. Edward holds the power. He is the one who gets to choose when they are together, or just call off the relationship at a moments notice (for whatever angsty reason he chooses) and he even thought about forcing Bella into having an abortion. She is waaaaay too dependent on him as well, she should be able to hold her own without him, she should be able to have a life apart from him. Why did she need to be so desperate about becomming a vampire? It would have made more sense for her to go to university, settle on a respectable age so she can work and then be turned into a vampire. Her desperation to be close to Edward and like him is ridiculous. And she gets married at 18! What modern woman does that? Also Edward had zero flaws in her eyes. Ok, many relationships start off like this but there is no way that that can last long in reality!

I know I sort of veered off course from feminism, I was just listing a few things I found annoying about her really. Urgh.. Its basically just escapist stuff, Bella is bland because that makes it easier to project yourself into her position with the handsome but kind of scary Edward.


message 23: by Gerd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gerd Mickey wrote: "Are you saying they're mutually exclusive, Gerd?"

Pretty much, yes.
When you are obsessed with somebody you don't see them clear enough to really love them.


Valerie Mickey wrote: "Valerie wrote: "Wait, what? Feminisim is anti-woman?"

Absolutely! It's not an oxymoron at all. Feminism champions a certain type of woman, certain types of goals, certain types of lifestyles. Wh..."


No, it does not. Did you even read my whole post?

Well, then, what is it about? I consider myself a feminist. I know exactly what it's about: gender equality. Don't you want to be seen as equal to men? It is a fact that we are, it just needs to be accepted.


Mickey I disagree. Love isn't an intellectual, logical thing, but is more emotional and intuitive.


Valerie Georgie wrote: "I think Bella and Edward's relationship is very unnatural and weird. I'm 17, the same age as Bella is, and if one of my friends decided to commit suicide (or even thought of it) I would think they ..."

... This.


Molly Not really. Bella isn't necessarily a strong female character or a great role model, but everything she does is her choice. She chooses to be dependent on Edward, she chooses to let him do all of those things for her, she chooses to be left behind while all the others go into battle. Feminism isn't about being strong, tough, as good as the guys. It's about women having a choice and being able to follow through with it.

Valerie is right though, feminism isn't about being a manly woman, it's about being the woman you choose to be and having the right to make that choice for yourself. I'd explain better but I have to go. Sorry.


Mickey @Valerie, I did read your post. I just don't agree with it. The post was not persuasive enough to change my mind. I still feel pretty much the same way after reading your post as I did before it. You really can't expect to change people's beliefs that easily.

I already am equal to men. Feminists didn't bring that about. What makes women equal to men isn't if they exhibit certain (masculine) qualities or conform to the ways feminists deem acceptable or strong.

It's okay that you're a feminist. You're of the minority opinion though, so you probably shouldn't get too worked up if other women aren't. That's my choice, after all, and that's something you're saying that I have a right to, correct?

So, why do you think the vast majority of women don't consider themselves feminists? You would think if it were about gender equality, that every woman would approve it.


message 29: by Georgina (last edited Sep 02, 2011 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Georgina The thing is that many women and men have misconcieved notions about feminism. I don't know much about it, since I only learnt a little about it in history as a part of civil rights in america and learning about the suffragettes but I do know the main point is that women should be given the same rights as men and treated equally. However, feminists have often been smeared by the right wing government/press as men-hating lesbians (why being a lesbian is seen as so negative is another issue). There are some feminists who like this, back in the day there was a small minority who carried slogans such as 'Don't cook dinner, starve a rat today' but these people are EXTREMISTS and can't be said to represent feminists as a whole. And these people get more media attention because they are extreme and thus more interesting to the news which is why more people have heard of the the suffragettes than the suffragists. This is why people remember iconic things such as bra burning (a bit of a weird ritual but harmless). Some even cut their hair short like men to show they're not conforming to typical ways females are used. These people are not the norms of feminism though, just as fundamentalist christians/any religon are not the norm.

To most women and young people such as myself people start to call themselves feminists because they feel they are being treated disrespectfully or slightly discriminated against by men or other women because of their gender. And women have often been their own worst enemies when it comes to equal rights, at the time when women were campaigning for the vote other women were shouting right back that women wern't rational enough to vote responsibly. Besides, some people (men can be feminists too) might consider the term 'feminist' too proactive for their liking. While I've always thought women should have the same rights as men I haven't really thought of myself as a feminist till reccently.


message 30: by Georgina (last edited Sep 02, 2011 04:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Georgina Opps, talked a bit too much and no mention of twilight :O

Also, I don't want to insult your country (assuming you're AMerican) but I find it hard to trust a population that took all that birthing stuff seriously. If racism is still that prevelent I have to wonder about sexism too.


Kirby I'm not too clear on what exactly edward's "abusive behavior" was...could someone please enlighten me on this?


message 32: by Dani (last edited Sep 02, 2011 04:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dani Mickey wrote: "Gerd wrote: "The problem is that this is not a (realistic) love affair, and Bella's describtion is not one of a healthy, sane, human young girl. She builds an obsession..."

It actually is a real..."


There's a difference between a first crush, flirting, and an obsession. I remember when I was youngER (still young), and had crushes on guys and saw girls around me who had boyfriends who they claimed to be in love. But neither I nor those girls or were not taking suicidal courses of actions and we sure as heck weren't not defined by those crushes/relationships. It's one thing to be young and in love. It's another to, quite literally in Bella's case, throw your life away for a high-school sweetheart. Back in high school (and in middle school), wherever my friends would fight or where annoyed by their boyfriends, they'd say how he was not her everything. Which was proven true since all but one of those girls are no longer in those relationships and are now doing their thing in college.

In response to your comment about Bella being dissed more than Edward, Edward is not the model male character either. I would not want a guy like Edward to be my boyfriend. His obsession (which is even sicker since every moment he spends around her, he is holding himself back from killing her) may be painted by Stephanie Meyer as an unselfish romantics, but in real life Edwards are the men who love women to death and need to be avoided.


Mickey Georgie wrote: "Also, I don't want to insult your country (assuming you're AMerican) but I find it hard to trust a population that took all that birthing stuff seriously. If racism is still that prevelent I have to wonder about sexism too."

Who are you talking to, Georgie? And what is 'birthing stuff'?


message 34: by TheFountainPenDiva (last edited Sep 02, 2011 05:12PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

TheFountainPenDiva Georgie wrote: "Opps, talked a bit too much and no mention of twilight :O

Also, I don't want to insult your country (assuming you're AMerican) but I find it hard to trust a population that took all that birthin..."


As an American, I'm ashamed that so many people behaved so ignorantly in regards to our president. It was racism pure and simple, but they'll never admit it.

Loved your post about feminism too. It's nice to see thoughtful and intelligent discussions rather than right-wing talking points. The feminist movement is by no means perfect, but I shudder to think at how things would be if it did not exist. It's one thing to believe one is equal to men--it's another to have the law on your side to back it up. I like being able to cast a vote on the issues that matter. I like being able to apply for a job I'm qualified for irregardless to gender. I believe myself equal to Caucasians, but it's nice to have the legal means to insure that I'm not discriminated against in education, housing, etc. That's really what we're talking about here.


Mickey Have you ever heard of the straw man fallacy? You really should look it up, Vixenne.


message 36: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy Natalie wrote: ""Feminism has decided to only value women who act like traditional men, thus limiting our choices"
Wrong.
Feminism is about equality of the sexes, and their ability to take on any traits traditiona..."

You sound very angry...I get that alot from feminists.


message 37: by TheFountainPenDiva (last edited Sep 02, 2011 06:35PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

TheFountainPenDiva You know, I have never really understood how a rational if passionate debate about feminism somwhow equals "angry" in the eyes of some people. I guess just allowing the fallacies and outright lies to florish is more acceptable, LOL.

As far as a "straw man" argument Mickey, you made the point yourself that you believed yourself equal to men already. I simply took it to the logical extent that it's nice to have the law to insure that you're not being discriminated against due to gender. It's the same thing in regards to civil rights. No matter what we may personally believe, making certain that there is equal protection under the law isn't just nonsense.


Kirby I very much doubt that AMerica has the corner on the racism or sexism market- in fact, while it's probably still better anywhere to be born a man, I'm glad that, as a woman, I was born in AMerica.

I think that it's just ridiculous to say that women and men are equals. if we were truly equals, there would not be a need for both sexes- we would be interchangeable. until our species can continue on w/ only one sex or the other, it cannot really be said that they are equal.

I do agree w/ some of the posts on here about how some (perhaps even more than that) of self-proclaimed feminists seem to value the perception of women as equal- or, if possible, superior- to men more than they value the right of every woman to choose how she wants to live her life- including the choice to be obedient and subservient to the man in her life. some of us may find that distasteful, but we have no right to imply that she's made the wrong choice, or that she's "anti-feminist."


message 39: by P.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

P.A. Lupton I disagree completely with the idea that Twilight is anti-femist. It bothered me in Twilight that Bella wasn't a strong character, and that she needed to be saved by Edward all the time.That being said, it is also a paranormal book, with creatures posessing preternatural abilities, it isn't really about Bella being a female as much as it is about Bella being HUMAN. I love paranormal books with strong female characters (aka Cat--Night Huntress) but you have to remember that those women fight because they have extra ordinary abilities.Even in Twilight, all the other female VAMPIRE characters fought. As much as I hated that Bella was weak--she wasn't a coward, and she didn't want to have to depend on Edward. She went alone to face a vampire she knew would kill her and I respected that. I think the story would have played out the same if the man was human and the female was vampire--and then it certainly wouldn't have been considered anti-feminist. Maybe we could entertain that notion if we took the vampire/human element out of Twilight and were considering the story as just a normal YA romance.


message 40: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy I think we must remember that Bella is only 17 years of age and has not yet developed into the full adult person she will become. She is dependent upon Edward, however exhibits strength (and courage) beyond her years when she agrees to go the the Cullen's home with Edward. If indeed feminism is the opportunity to be what you choose to be, then I do not see how this could go against that. Feminism is as varied as are the individuals who buy into it.

@Vixenne - I too am ashamed - ashamed that in our country of free thought and speech, any questioning of or disagreeing with Mr. Obama is automatically labeled as racism. That is the easy way out....


TheFountainPenDiva Judy wrote: "I think we must remember that Bella is only 17 years of age and has not yet developed into the full adult person she will become. She is dependent upon Edward, however exhibits strength (and coura..."

I disagree with Obama on many issues. However, I have NEVER thought of him as un-American, a socialist, etc. As far as I'm concerned, he's a U.S. citizen. To insist that he show his birth certificate is just plain racist. Don't try to sugarcoat that. No other president has ever been asked to do so. Besides, it just proves how many folks flunked basic geography if they don't know Hawaii is one of the 50 states--not contiguous, LOL, but neither is Alaska.

I don't want to get off topic so I've said my piece about the birthers. As far as Bella, granted she was only seventeen. I can even cut her some slack because she didn't have any examples of what a healthy relationship between a man and a woman was like. She was like a parent to her mom and to her dad. So it's little wonder she becomes so overwhelmed by this stronger and mysterious boy who ignores her then watches her sleep. I got the impression that she was looking for a daddy-figure (and Edward is over one-hundred years old, LOL).


Elizabeth Baxter It's interesting to see how this thread has developed. How has it morphed into a discussion about American politics? As a Brit I think I'd better leave that one alone.

I absolutley detested the whole Twilight series for the very reason everyone is discussing. Bella is probably the worst female protagonist I've ever had the misfortune of reading about. I can understand why the series has been so successful, after all doesn't every teenager dream of being swept off their feet by somebody as handsome, powerful and exotic as Edward? However, we need to see some kind of character development/strength from Bella. Just a glimpse would do. Instead we have a girl who is totally dependant on a man, dumps her friends, is ready to abandon her family, gets married and has a baby at 18 years old. Is this really the picture of young womanhood authors should be portraying?


Mickey Elizabeth wrote: " we have a girl who is totally dependant on a man, dumps her friends, is ready to abandon her family, gets married and has a baby at 18 years old. Is this really the picture of young womanhood authors should be portraying? "

Do some women choose to do these things? Why condemn another woman's choices? Maybe that was right for her. Bella thought so, and said it all through Breaking Dawn. She chose marriage (as part of a negotiation, but she agreed to it), she chose to have a child. She chose to be with the man she wanted. She was happy with her choices at the end. Why limit the decisions that women can make about their lives? Why should one choice have to be shown as better than another for all women? We don't do that with men.


Elizabeth Baxter That's a fair point. But how old is Bella in these books? 17? 18? Do you really think she's had enough life experience to make an informed choice? I wouldn't have had so much of a problem with it if Bella had stuck to her orignal conviction of not getting married, staying with Edward and seeing how it goes. But no, as always, she gives into what Edward wants.


message 45: by Mickey (last edited Sep 03, 2011 03:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey But Edward didn't want the baby. Edward didn't want to change her. He's not a puppet master pulling her strings. She decided that she wanted these things, against his wishes sometimes. She has a mind of her own. Why are people so resistant to the idea that she is in control of herself? Because she doesn't want the correct things. It's a bit paternalistic.


message 46: by Georgina (last edited Sep 03, 2011 03:18AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Georgina I think that if my brother decided to not go to university and have a kid with his girlfriend at 18 I'd think that was weird and doubt his judgement.I wouldn't and couldn't stop him from doing it but I probably would have a lot of difficulty approving. My brother is a smart kid and Bella is supposed to be too, it seems a bit of a waste that she is willing to sacrifice her whole life (not technically) for him at such a young age. My problem with her IS that there is really nothing important to her in her life besides Edward which I think is Anti-feminist in that its giving out the message that her purpose as a woman is to be with Edward. Just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to give up everything, it makes sense to say 'I'd die to save you' it doesn't make sense to say 'If you die I'm going to quickly follow'. For anyone whose read the Amber Spyglass they'll know that there are two characters who love one another and have the chance to be together at the risk of the others health and they decide it would be better to live apart so they can both live up to their own potentials. (Going off topic I know)

I just think that Bella is unrealistically dependent of Edward, she is not a realistic character or a role model for women either. I don't like the fact that Bella can pretty much do squat on her own, Edward empowers her, she doesn't empower herself.

Oh well, I think I'll just have to agree to disagree with you. Though I do just think you're ignoring everyone's points by saying it was her choice. The problem is with her character itself, the author has made her choose Edward above and beyond many things most teenagers would feel are more important than a boyfriend.


Mickey Georgie wrote: "Oh well, I think I'll just have to agree to disagree with you. Though I do just think you're ignoring everyone's points by saying it was her choice"

Who are you talking to, Georgie? It's customary to either hit reply to the post you're talking about or to call someone by name.

It was her choice to do all those things. Who made those decisions for her if she didn't? Edward? Edward would've made different choices.


Elizabeth Baxter Mickey wrote: "Georgie wrote: "Oh well, I think I'll just have to agree to disagree with you. Though I do just think you're ignoring everyone's points by saying it was her choice"

Who are you talking to, Georg..."


I think saying it was her choice is a bit too simplistic. This is implying that we shouldn't offer guidance to others and that as long as the choice is theirs we should leave them to it. People make bad decisions all the time. Yes, it is her choice to be with Edward but she is portrayed as so obsessed and dependant on Edward that in fact there is no other 'choice' for her. She thinks she has no life it she isn't with Edward. This is not a healthy way for a young woman to view herself.


Mickey @Elizabeth

So, she shouldn't be allowed to make those decisions? Is that the solution to the possiblity that she might make a bad choice? She was ultimately happy with the decisions she made. People can have opinions about it, but I don't think that should trump her right to run her own life.


message 50: by J.D. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.D. Field This is a fascinating discussion!
So here's my two-pennorth...
1. I don't think the fact that a character makes their own decisions, then means those decisions are immune from analysis. If a character makes evil decisions, as readers we can criticise them, and in the same way we can criticise the lame decisions Bella makes.
2. However... i think a key part of this is whether we want heroines of stories to be role models or not. I'm not sure they have to be... Lots of girls I know yelled at the page, when Bella was mooning around, screaming at her to get back on her feet and be a bit more in the driving seat of her own life. By showing Bella as such a wimp, the book made them think about different ways to be.
3. Finally, now we have a black man in the white house does not mean I stop being an anti-racist. However much racism dwindles, you still gotta be against it. In the same way, though gender equality has mainly been achieved, doesn't mean that therefore I stop seeking it, or stop being a feminist.It wasn't really that long ago either, that my Mum got pregnant with me and she lost her job, automatically. thats now changed in the UK,
4th and last point. i think we're giving this too much of a western slant. In other parts of the world feminism is a serious and important force. in saudi arabia women fight for the right to drive, in south america they fight for the right to get divorced, in africa teenage girls are mutilated horribly. its feminism that leads in these battles. not a bad thing.


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