New Moon (Twilight, #2) New Moon discussion


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Romantic novel or a crime against feminism?

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message 401: by Carly (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Angie wrote: "Carly wrote: "Angie wrote: "Carly wrote: "Nazzy wrote: "Kirby wrote: "I agree. I never felt that SM was demonizing abortion. if that were her goal, you wouldn't think she'd put the story's ultimate..."

You said at the very least Pro-Abortion, but you also said it was obviously Pro-Choice, which was the part of the post I'm disagreeing with. While I do agree with what you're saying about Bella, Edward (no matter what his motivation--even it was just to keep Bella alive) was obviously pro-choice.


Courtney I think it is mostly what Stephenie Meyer was trying to convey with the book. She clearly had a purpose in mind when writing it.
Of course there are many different ways to look at this..
However, it is true that the series does not have inspirational actions or messages.

Stephen King once said, "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and going what is right in the face of adversity, Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend"

He went on to say, " When Hermoine's true love left, she continued bravely, helping Harry Potter defeat the most evil wizard ever existed. When Bella's true love left, she curled up in a corner and cried."
It's clear which story has the better message in it. Bella has only one ambition, and it's her boyfriend, That's it.
I enjoy twilight but I do definitely see what you guys are talking about.


message 403: by Carly (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Courtney wrote: "I think it is mostly what Stephenie Meyer was trying to convey with the book. She clearly had a purpose in mind when writing it.
Of course there are many different ways to look at this..
However, ..."


I need to like those quotes on here if I can find them. I have seen the first one you mentioned in multiple places but I haven't seen the second one before.


Courtney Carly wrote: "Courtney wrote: "I think it is mostly what Stephenie Meyer was trying to convey with the book. She clearly had a purpose in mind when writing it.
Of course there are many different ways to look at ..."


I found it on facebook or pinterest.

It's so true though! I love both of these quotes! :D
I've also seen one my King where he's saying Rowling is a better writer than meyer.


message 405: by Carly (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Nazzy wrote: "Carly wrote: "But the thing is, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life... Anti-Choice and Pro-Abortion... are all slightly different in connotation and meaning."

Hence why I find the term "pro-life" a bit of a misn..."


I don't disagree Pro-Life is a misnomer. I also agree that they each had their opinions, but at times I couldn't help but feel a bit preached to with Bella's reaction, since at times it was heavy. *shrug*


message 406: by Carly (last edited May 07, 2012 04:18PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Courtney wrote: "Carly wrote: "Courtney wrote: "I think it is mostly what Stephenie Meyer was trying to convey with the book. She clearly had a purpose in mind when writing it.
Of course there are many different wa..."


I can't find the second one on here, but I found the first one. Aww.

And yes, I did see the one where he said he thought Rowling was a better writer than Meyer.


message 407: by Angie Elle (last edited May 07, 2012 04:41PM) (new) - added it

Angie Elle Carly wrote: "Angie wrote: "Carly wrote: "Angie wrote: "Carly wrote: "Nazzy wrote: "Kirby wrote: "I agree. I never felt that SM was demonizing abortion. if that were her goal, you wouldn't think she'd put the st..."

Yes, I did say that. But in the next paragraph I mentioned how it was at the very least pro-abortion to clarify. I must not have been clear.


message 408: by Carly (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Angie wrote: "Carly wrote: "Angie wrote: "Carly wrote: "Angie wrote: "Carly wrote: "Nazzy wrote: "Kirby wrote: "I agree. I never felt that SM was demonizing abortion. if that were her goal, you wouldn't think sh..."

Well yes, I agree that he is Pro-Abortion at the very least, I just disagree with even the slight possibility that he's Pro-Choice at all, because his stance was not about Bella's choice.


message 409: by Mickey (last edited May 07, 2012 08:35PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote:"Future technology is not essential to SF, and you are wrong when you say that the society in 1984 didn't advance technologically. And Atwood's society clearly did progress from the current society (at the time of her writing)."

I find it hard to think that science and technology are not essential for a classification of science fiction.

There's a lack of examples of your position that 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale show technological advances. Can you name five examples that were important to each story? I can think only of telescreens in 1984 and nothing at all in The Handmaid's Tale.

You seem like an advocate for science fiction as a genre. No doubt it has suffered from a lack of respect and attention. I don't agree with taking dystopians and making them a subgenre of science fiction. It's like grafting a completely different branch onto an already grown tree. They're too incompatible. The reason is something that I've mentioned before-that science fiction allows readers to enter into another world with a different set of rules. It's a break from reality by entering into a different one. Dystopians don't function if approached in the same way. In order to get the full force of a dystopia, you can't just immerse yourself in the new world. Science fiction is successful when you accept (though not necessarily agree with) the world that's being presented. Dystopian literature is successful only when you keep a critical eye on the story. They're opposites in that respect.

It's too easy to miss the social commentary in science fiction, which is essential to a dystopia. Neither 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale's themes involve any commentary on science or technology. For example, 1984 has been hugely influential in its ideas on language and social control.

Gerd wrote:"Which is only the old term for SF writing, but speculative fiction is too broad a term to be really useful, because when we come down to it then almost all fiction is speculative."

But if you are going to include things that have nothing to do with science, then a change has to be made to the name. You'd have to reduce things down to fiction to make it work and to be inclusive of all variations.

Gerd wrote:"But essentially, no, SF in General is not any closer to Fantasy than dystopias, a lot of dystopian novels use pure Fantasy means to set up their world or to get their heroes there."

I thought your position was that dystopian novels were a subgenre of science fiction, so I don't understand your point that science fiction is as dissimilar to fantasy as dystopian novels are to science fiction. My library categorizes science fiction and fantasy together and the only difference is the reliance of science in science fiction.

Gerd wrote:"That's a bold statement, and a difficult to prove one."

No, it happened on this thread. Carly was arguing the point that the males had powerful jobs and women didn't. It's happened in other threads, too. Feminists have rated careers and interests based on nothing more than what is traditionally male. One that sticks out was a woman who said car mechanics was a more useful and independent hobby than cooking. (I don't know about anyone else, but I generally need to eat more than I need to fix my car.) There are dozens of examples I can give here that makes this point of discounting feminine things in favor of masculine things.

Gerd wrote:"She can adopt any religion she wants, she can even join Scientology if she wants, it's not our job to stop people from making foolish decisions for themselves. I'm only concerned when such decision are made on their behalf."

I wonder if you would so off-handedly call a man's religious decisions "foolish" that you do here for a woman. It's almost as if it's a concession on your part to allow a woman to make her own choices. As if she is somehow not your equal and you have a right to pass judgement on her choices.

Gerd wrote:"I wouldn't agree with that statement, neither in the past nor now in our growingly globalized society. The fact that these societies do exist, the fact that women are being forced into arranged marriages, that girls are kept from gaining a proper education, does put them in our reality."

If I were to design a way for these women to be free to make their own choices, it would not look anything like what feminists have done to our society. You are making the mistake of saying that feminism is the only way for women to be free, but if you look at what feminism has done to our society, it's not something I would want for others.

I do not think women should get the impression that being a mother or taking care of a family cannot be a fulfilling life or an option. (Now, if a woman wants something different, I think that's acceptable too.) I don't believe women have to or should be made to feel that traditionally female things are somehow inferior to male things. I think it was a huge mistake for feminism to not tear down the image of the "ideal woman". Instead, they created their own image, which is just as constricting and no different than what they said they were fighting against. They aren't against control over women, as long as they're the ones in control.

I think feminism created several disconnects that affect how literature is experienced. I think that there's been a great break in how women view women characters from earlier eras. I've participated in discussions where the women posters never showed a glimmer of identification with any female character, not because they couldn't relate, but because the character didn't fit the mold they'd come to expect. The posters focus on how much better things are today, but they do it through looking at a simplistic view of the past and an unrealistic rosy view of the present. It reminds me of the (sorry, this is a completely American pop culture example that is probably lost on everyone else) television show Roseanne. In the beginning and through most of the middle of the series, the show portrayed a realistic view of a blue-collar family, which had problems which accurately reflected reality in a way that hadn't been done before. However, toward the end, there was more of politically active and didactic soap-box approach. There was one episode I remember that spoofed 1950's family television shows like The Donna Reed Show. It had the mother being unhappy because she didn't have a job and couldn't be fulfilled (although in her real life she had held a series of low-paying jobs that she took in order to make money to make ends meet. Jobs like sweeping hair, being a waitress, and working at a plastics factory were not depicted as very fulfilling at the time). The whole episode was meant to make women happy that they lived now, and to portray the past and the present in an unrealistic way to fit a fairy tale story that, when looked at, doesn't reflect either reality accurately.

Why repeat mistakes? Instead of trying to export feminism (which isn't even much liked here, why not make women as free as men to do what they want? That's a goal that a majority of women might actually get behind.


message 410: by Gerd (last edited May 08, 2012 02:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Mickey wrote:"I find it hard to think that science and technology are not essential for a classification of science fiction."

Science Fiction is an unlucky genre definition, because while a lot of SF does feature advanced sciences and technologies they are not essential to make something SF, SF should however stay in the realm of the possible.


There's a lack of examples of your position that 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale show technological advances. Can you name five examples that were important to each story? I can think only of telescreens in 1984 and nothing at all in The Handmaid's Tale.

I never said that Handmaid's Tale features advanced tech. ;)


They're too incompatible. The reason is something that I've mentioned before-that science fiction allows readers to enter into another world with a different set of rules.

And Dystopias ain't other worlds?
Because clearly most Dystopias do not play in our world as it is, but as could be.


It's too easy to miss the social commentary in science fiction, which is essential to a dystopia.

Then you either read the wrong SF novels or do not pay enough attention.
Bradbury, Dick, Wells, even Verne has some social commentary.


I thought your position was that dystopian novels were a subgenre of science fiction, so I don't understand your point that science fiction is as dissimilar to fantasy as dystopian novels are to science fiction.

My point is that SF has no more to do with Fantasy, than Dystopias do with Fantasy.
There is naturally an occasional overlap, but that happens in all genres.


There are dozens of examples I can give here that makes this point of discounting feminine things in favor of masculine things.

Yes, but how do you tell if they are feminists?


I wonder if you would so off-handedly call a man's religious decisions "foolish" that you do here for a woman. It's almost as if it's a concession on your part to allow a woman to make her own choices.

Sure, I don't see what gender has to do with it.
Religion is foolish by default, I can't see a good reason why anybody would make a decision for one or another. It's flawed in the very set-up: If God (or any god at all) can't truly be known, how can anybody be sure what rules he made or not made?
But if you can find a god that is not made out to be a women hating entity I might be inclined to adopt a belief, well at least I might rethink my stance toward religion.


As if she is somehow not your equal and you have a right to pass judgement on her choices.

Who says I don't? :D


If I were to design a way for these women to be free to make their own choices, it would not look anything like what feminists have done to our society. You are making the mistake of saying that feminism is the only way for women to be free, but if you look at what feminism has done to our society, it's not something I would want for others.

So in essence you wouldn't want the right to vote for other women, the right to an advanced education, the right to work, the right to open a bank account in her own name, the right to own property, the right to have an abortion, the right to get divorced and lots of other things.

You're right, it's a shame what they have done to society. A man can't even call his wife(s) or daughter(s) a property in these darn western societies. :)


message 411: by Nora (new) - rated it 1 star

Nora Breanna wrote: "I think your a crime against feninism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Who is a crime against feminism and why?


message 412: by Mickey (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote: "So in essence you wouldn't want the right to vote for other women, the right to an advanced education, the right to work, the right to open a bank account in her own name, the right to own property, the right to have an abortion, the right to get divorced and lots of other things."

Actually, I mentioned specific things that feminism brings as a natural following-through of its views and ideology. In order to have the right to work (and I'd contend that women have been working as long as men have historically-but most of your contentions have more to do with class and the democratization process than with gender), it is not neccesary to deride the work that women have done traditionally (housewife, teacher, nurse), which is something that feminism has done. Why not cut out feminism and its baggage and achieve an equality that is based on respecting women's autonomy to make up their own minds? That's what is going to lead to an equality, not feminism.

In short, feminism isn't necessary to achieve equality. In fact, it hinders equality by championing certain women over others, certain choices over others. It's perfectly possible to gain freedoms and rights without being hemmed in by a small minority group.

Look at what's happening now. Most women in countries that have those rights exercise their freedom by rejecting the constrictions of feminism, because they see how limiting it is. Feminism is becoming so marginalized and quaint that it needs to bring up boogeymen and use fear tactics in order to have any sort of hold. People have been talking about post-feminism and when feminism finally does die out, it'll be a good thing for women.


message 413: by [deleted user] (new)

I think Twilight has to most passive female character, EVER. CRIME AGAINST FEMINISM.


message 414: by Gerd (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Sorry, but I can't see any of those evils you ascribe to feminism as a whole, a few feminists do champion the views you rally against, but they aren't the whole movement. And you simply don't throw out the whole basket because of one bad apple.

Bugt we are going in circles here, it's much like debating if the glass is half full or half empty - if we where a bunch of politicans we could agree on simply using a smaller glass. :)


message 415: by Carly (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Gerd wrote: "Sorry, but I can't see any of those evils you ascribe to feminism as a whole, a few feminists do champion the views you rally against, but they aren't the whole movement. And you simply don't throw..."

Well said.


Morgana_lefay Gerd wrote: "Sorry, but I can't see any of those evils you ascribe to feminism as a whole, a few feminists do champion the views you rally against, but they aren't the whole movement. And you simply don't throw..."

I think that those feminist who champion those ideas are more known because they are more medialized, in my opinon the radicals are always more known.


message 417: by Carly (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Morgana_lefay wrote: "Gerd wrote: "Sorry, but I can't see any of those evils you ascribe to feminism as a whole, a few feminists do champion the views you rally against, but they aren't the whole movement. And you simpl..."

Certainly. They will always gain the most attention, which paints a certain picture of Feminism.


Morgana_lefay Carly wrote: "Certainly. They will always gain the most attention, which paints a certain picture of Feminism. "

Not only feminism but religeons and other movements
Maybe it's because they want to be heard most


message 419: by Carly (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carly Morgana_lefay wrote: "Carly wrote: "Certainly. They will always gain the most attention, which paints a certain picture of Feminism. "

Not only feminism but religeons and other movements
Maybe it's because they want to..."


This is also true. The crazies cause horrible labels to be placed on people who legitimately mean no harm.


message 420: by Nazzy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nazzy Carly wrote: "I don't disagree Pro-Life is a misnomer. I also agree that they each had their opinions, but at times I couldn't help but feel a bit preached to with Bella's reaction, since at times it was heavy. *shrug* "

Yup, which is why people shouldn't look up to people in books or movies. Critical thinking skills NEED to be taught better than it is now, at least in high school.

www.nineteenreviews.blogspot.com


message 421: by Heidi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heidi Shani wrote: "I think Twilight has to most passive female character, EVER. CRIME AGAINST FEMINISM."

So being a passive female makes you anti-feminist? Or its a crime against feminism and you should only have certain qualitys approved by feminists?

Carly wrote: This is also true. The crazies cause horrible labels to be placed on people who legitimately mean no harm.


Like for example PETA. There is a crazy sector or branch that believes that animals should be free, not owned by people. They break into pet shops and let the animals free, a lot of them dying from a car passing by, or just being out in the wild.


message 422: by Michal (new) - rated it 3 stars

Michal I don't believe it's anti femminist. Is Edward a bit controlling yes, but it's for her safety and he does back off when he went to far. Also Bella is too stubborn to be the submissive female.

Do I agree with everything Bella did, of course not. But for me the underlying message in all of is in the question of one's nature. Edward is a vampire, generally considered a being that murders it's victims for food. But Edward not only doesn't eat people, he works hard to protect them from people who would.


message 423: by Mickey (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote: "Sorry, but I can't see any of those evils you ascribe to feminism as a whole, a few feminists do champion the views you rally against, but they aren't the whole movement. And you simply don't throw out the whole basket because of one bad apple."

I don't know why you don't see that feminism champions a certain ideal for women. It's obvious to me that this is not just a tiny section of feminism. That seems more like a way to avoid dealing with criticism- to always blame "extremists" or the media when it is actually something is widespread.

If someone calls a character a feminist heroine, what image springs to mind? If a woman is said to be "setting back feminism 100 years" or a book is said to be a "crime against feminism", is what is meant something that is readily understandable? I would say that it is. Everyone knows that there is an ideal image that is championed and what it looks like and it really doesn't have much to do with equality.

This new ideal image doesn't have any productive value. It alienates women who are more traditional. It annoys women who don't like to be told what to do. It's divisive, setting women against other women and leads to more judging and disrespecting other's choices. It's also completely unnecessary. It sends the message that women earn the right to be equal or are only equal if they act or are a certain way (which, oddly enough, is usually traditionally masculine). This creates a huge mess.

If you are thinking about how to make women more equal in other areas of the world, why not expand choices, instead of change them? Feminism isn't necessary and brings with it too many problems. It also seems completely unwilling to change or look at criticism in order to become a real representative organization. An organization which respects women's choices and empowers them to make their own decisions would be far preferable to what feminism has to offer.

Gerd wrote: "Bugt we are going in circles here, it's much like debating if the glass is half full or half empty - if we where a bunch of politicans we could agree on simply using a smaller glass. :)"

The glass debate would be one of semantics only, and I don't think that's what is going on here. About the only part that keeps repeating is your defense that "only a small percentage of feminists believe that", which you would have to ignore most of the posts from feminists on this thread who most probably don't know each other and yet have the exact same stance.


message 424: by Gerd (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Mickey wrote: "I don't know why you don't see that feminism champions a certain ideal for women."

I'm not denying that, we just see different ideals.


Mickey wrote: "...the posts from feminists on this thread who most probably don't know each other and yet have the exact same stance."

They don't, people have quite different ideals of how they would like to see female characters.
What they object to is mostly the presentation. Even the posters that say that the book is "a crime" against feminism or "anti-feministic" are a small minority here.
What 'we' agree upon is that Bella is a weak character, both in a literal and in a literary sense, and that she doesn't make much of a role model.

That is not a performance guide for girls and women, it's a reading preference. Pro-active characters are more fun to read than passive ones like Bella.

However, what we still do see reflected in these posts is that the traditional idea of 'women's work' and 'men's work', of male and female traits is still alive and kicking, and that alone proves to me that the feminist idea is still much needed, because society has not yet fully absorbed the social changes that has been wrought upon it, and to abandon post now would bring an inevitable return to old standards.


message 425: by Mickey (last edited May 10, 2012 03:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote: "I'm not denying that, we just see different ideals."

You aren't denying what, precisely? That feminism has been trying to shoehorn women into a certain image? What gives feminists the right to define and judge other women? That's not controlling? It somehow advances women's equality to champion the view that "housewives, teachers, and nurses" are not powerful jobs or that a housewife without a hobby is pathetic? How about to depend on your romantic partner for anything is weak (but only for the female)? These are all things that are regularly written about on this site in one form or another by various women and their roots can be traced to feminism.

Gerd wrote: "They don't, people have quite different ideals of how they would like to see female characters. "

There are so many commonalities between people here, the assumptions they have and how they interpret things. The criticism of Bella is pretty standard (and very inaccurate) and it links back to the ideal of a "strong" woman that feminists have long espoused.

Gerd wrote: "What they object to is mostly the presentation. "

If you are going to keep using the same phrase, could you explain what your reasoning is? I've asked this a few times now about your view that it isn't the characteristics of Bella that are being rejected but the presentation, yet you haven't actually answered.

Gerd wrote: "Even the posters that say that the book is "a crime" against feminism or "anti-feministic" are a small minority here."

The criticism of the female character comes from the same stance, though. The constant harping on the flaws of Bella comes from an expectation that all females should be portrayed a certain way, that Bella (who as far as I know, never called herself a feminist) is somehow supposed to champion only that ideal that feminism espouses, as if there is only one ideal for women.

Gerd wrote: "What 'we' agree upon is that Bella is a weak character, both in a literal and in a literary sense, and that she doesn't make much of a role model."

Why can't a woman character be shown as weak? Why must a woman character be judged by ideals of what a small group of people think women should be? Why must a woman character be a role model? It's strange that women should be controlled so tightly that they can't stray from an ideal that many of them don't espouse.

Gerd wrote: "That is not a performance guide for girls and women, it's a reading preference. Pro-active characters are more fun to read than passive ones like Bella."

Bella isn't passive, though. She spends much time and energy looking to achieve her own goals. The problem is that feminists don't respect those goal or recognize their pursuit. It's labeling as a way of discounting someone's desires as illegitimate. Her wanting to be a vampire doesn't "count" as a goal in other words. Her determination to carry her baby to term through broken bones and bruises doesn't count either.

Gerd wrote: "However, what we still do see reflected in these posts is that the traditional idea of 'women's work' and 'men's work', of male and female traits is still alive and kicking, and that alone proves to me that the feminist idea is still much needed..."

So, feminists who denigrate "women's work" need to be in charge of equalizing things? Feminists are the ones who are front and center at the inequality. They are the ones who have a problem with women having the freedom to do what they want. They are the ones championing masculine traits over feminine traits and saying women characters who do not show a high percentage of masculine traits are not good characters or representatives of women.

Gerd wrote: "society has not yet fully absorbed the social changes that has been wrought upon it, and to abandon post now would bring an inevitable return to old standards."

This statement reminds me of Squealer's argument in Animal Farm that questioning the animal regime would "bring Jones back". Feminism isn't responsible for safeguarding women's freedom. They are trying to erode women's freedom through telling women what they should be like. It's another form of oppression for women that women should (and largely do, although I think it needs to be more explicit) reject.


message 426: by Gerd (last edited May 10, 2012 06:37AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Mickey wrote: "You aren't denying what, precisely? That feminism has been trying to shoehorn women into a certain image?"

I really can't tell where you get the idea from that feminism tries to shoehorn women into certain roles.


Mickey wrote: "There are so many commonalities between people here, the assumptions they have and how they interpret things. The criticism of Bella is pretty standard (and very inaccurate) and it links back to the ideal of a "strong" woman that feminists have long espoused."

What's wrong about preferring to read about strong women?


Mickey wrote: "If you are going to keep using the same phrase, could you explain what your reasoning is?"

Oh I think I mentioned this several times before, it's how the whole world Meyer creates bend itself to accommodate to Bella's character for example. It's how Meyer uses the cliché of the damsel in distress so Edward can appear on the spot as knight in sparkling armour.

Most times Bella's weakness is not so much a characteristic of hers, than the only means by which Meyer can make Edward shine (and sparkle).


Mickey wrote: "The criticism of the female character comes from the same stance, though. The constant harping on the flaws of Bella comes from an expectation that all females should be portrayed a certain way, that Bella (who as far as I know, never called herself a feminist) is somehow supposed to champion only that ideal that feminism espouses, as if there is only one ideal for women."

Sorry, but I don't see that in peoples posts.
I can't help but feel that you tend to read peoples comments solely through the filter of a prejudice against feminism. I read it rather as people objecting to Meyer's unreflected use of tropes like the damsel in distress, or the wife that forgives her lover that he nearly killed her because "it wasn't his fault."


Mickey wrote: "Why can't a woman character be shown as weak? Why must a woman character be judged by ideals of what a small group of people think women should be? Why must a woman character be a role model? It's strange that women should be controlled so tightly that they can't stray from an ideal that many of them don't espouse"

Who says that they can't? Or that women characters do have to be role models?
(Although it is clearly preferred in the field that Meyer chose to write in)


Mickey wrote: "Bella isn't passive, though."

If we call lying down and wanting to die when your beau leaves active... I don't remember Bella pursuing anything else than Edward, so yeah, passive is what I would call her stance to life.


Mickey wrote: "So, feminists who denigrate "women's work" need to be in charge of equalizing things? ..."

One of these days I would like to know what makes you fight the idea of feminism so vehemently. :D

I don't see much proof for your accusations, nor does feminism strive to denigrate "women's work". It's the idea that there's "women's work" and there's "men's work" that feminism fights against, there's just work to be done and that's that.

Edit:
You can't blame people for noticing how Bella for example immediatly takes up doing cooking for her father and doing his laundry, and feminism only in so far as it makes us more aware of these situations.

This does not rule out the possibilty that Bella simply likes to cook, but if that's the case we wouldn't know, and I don't think anybody likes doing laundry.
(I might be wrong, there's probably such a thing as Laundryholm Syndrom)


message 427: by Heidi (last edited May 10, 2012 07:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heidi Gerd wrote: "society has not yet fully absorbed the social changes that has been wrought upon it, and to abandon post now would bring an inevitable return to old standards."

A wise feminist said "The truth is that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it." - Gloria Steinem

Well the full quote is "We've demonstrated that women can do what men do, but not yet that men can do what women do. That's why most women have two jobs - one inside the home and one outside it - which is impossible. The truth is that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it."


message 428: by Meishuu (last edited May 10, 2012 06:46PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Meishuu Eh, there as I time where I would have called this a "crime against literature" but with recent publications, well, Twilight just falls short.

Here are some of the contenders:Halo, Hades, Evermore and, of course, Hush, Hush


message 429: by Nora (new) - rated it 1 star

Nora Meishuu wrote: "Eh, there as I time where I would have called this a "crime against literature" but with recent publications, well, Twilight just fall short.

Here are some of the contenders:Halo, Hades, Evermore ..."


That's funny. That's basically a list of the books I want to read because they seem too bad to be real.


message 430: by Mickey (last edited May 11, 2012 02:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote: "I really can't tell where you get the idea from that feminism tries to shoehorn women into certain roles."

Generally from feminists, if you look at their words. Perhaps it is difficult for you to comprehend because, being a man, they do not focus so much on your behvavior and there is not an equivalent group for men.

There's no doubt that there are certain things that they value and there is an ideal image of what a woman should be. This is so obvious to me that I can't help but think you just refuse to see it.

Gerd wrote: "What's wrong about preferring to read about strong women?"

Nothing. It becomes a problem only when that's the only kind that becomes acceptable and if you elevate your personal preference into a rule of good literature and think that it should be the only way to portray people. I think it'll be good when we move beyond only thinking of whether women are strong or not, the same way I think it was a good things when men gained the freedom to be less than ideal. There is a lot more to people than one characteristic.

Gerd wrote: "If we call lying down and wanting to die when your beau leaves active... I don't remember Bella pursuing anything else than Edward, so yeah, passive is what I would call her stance to life. "

These two ideas don't have much to do with each other. Reacting strongly to a loss does't say much about whether a person is active or passive in their "stance to life". Abraham Lincoln was put on a suicide watch by his friends when the woman he was attached to died. Does this mean that he wasn't an active person? Pursuing a person or a relationship is still an active pursuit of a goal. If you don't approve of the goal, it does not change the fact that it is a goal.

Gerd wrote: "One of these days I would like to know what makes you fight the idea of feminism so vehemently"

I think that feminism is too controlling and its underlying tendencies are undemocratic. I think many of its tactics are underhanded and I strongly disapprove of its influence in literature in particular.

I think that it's a mistake to equate feminism with equality for women. We can have equal rights without a lot of the divisiveness and contempt that feminists bring about. We should be expanding women's choices, not saying "A woman should want this" or "A woman shouldn't want that". If you want to know how feminism could survive, it needs to start looking at how it does things. It doesn't have popular support amoung women, yet I'm getting the feeling that most feminists are not interested in learning why that is. Feminism hasn't changed with the times (look at your insistence that women are barred from certain types of employment and when I asked for specifics, you couldn't provide any examples). The feminist worldview doesn't have much to do with women's reality, that is why it is usually rejected.

This idea of yours that women's work and men's work is something that feminists battle against is not something that I am talking about. The tactic that the feminists employ to "change minds" is counterproductive. To become incensed if a woman is shown cooking carries in it the idea that cooking is somehow demeaning to women (and it's only demeaning to women, men can do it). A woman doing women's work in a book is then stigmatized and criticized, because she is doing something that feminists do not approve of. Not approving of an activity simply because it is traditionally feminine and putting stereotypes on it like "she's playing domestic goddess" or "housewives spend all their time primping" isn't moving understanding and acceptance of women and their choices to cook or be a housewife forward. The broad goals of feminism aren't the problem with feminism (although I think feminists often act counter to them), as much as the tactics practiced and underlying messages that feminists have.

I think that a broad-based movement based on respecting women's choices would do more for equality. I don't think feminists hold a monopoly on equality. In fact, I'd say they tend to create inequality by their methods of slamming women for making different choices and living by different standards than the one that they approve of.

P.S. Personally, I like doing laundry. Cleaning clothes (by putting them in a washer and then a dryer, which is hardly strenuous work) produces a feeling of accomplishment by bringing order. Clean clothes also smell nice when fresh out of the dryer.


message 431: by Mickey (last edited May 11, 2012 04:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey I'd like to expand on my last post about the nature of work and why I think the tactics of feminists regarding their stance is so faulty and detrimental to women.

Work has been shown to be good for people, even in adverse conditions, especially if it is something that they can take some ownership and pride in. I read somewhere that one of the Nazi's experiments with the concentration camp population was to have them work, but to have them do work that was meaningless. I think they had the inmates dig holes and then fill them up again. The result of this was that a larger percentage than usual of the inmates started going crazy and running for the perimeter (which resulted in them getting shot). Even when the work benefits your enemy, as in the previous case, there is still a satisfaction to be had at the work as something you did. This was explored in David Lean's movie The Bridge on the River Kwai in which an Allied POW builds a bridge for the Japanese under duress and then tries to prevent it from being blown up by his own side. People get worth (even in the most inhumane conditions) from working on accomplishing something, as long as the work can be seen as advancing to some point and that people have an ownership in their work, even in circumstances when that work hurts their own long range goals.

How does this relate to cooking and cleaning? To say that cooking and cleaning is somehow not worthy work and shouldn't be capable of giving satisfaction or that it is somehow less important than a career related goal is a pretty strong position. I think the reasons that feminists take this position points to a fundamental flaw in feminism: it is more interested in social engineering than empowering women. Feminists think women should stop working so much at women's work and concentrate on men's work, so they begin denigrating women's work in an effort to get women to stop having pride in their work and to see it as meaningless, so that they will go out and get employed as the only means of working satisfactorily. (Before anyone accuses me of saying women should be at home, I think women working is great. I work. I just think we should respect women who work in the home and deem their work as worthy as well.) Saying that cooking or housework is not important work isn't empowering women, as much as telling them that to be empowered, they need to go outside the home and that there is no choice in the matter.


message 432: by Nazzy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nazzy Mickey wrote: "Feminism hasn't changed with the times (look at your insistence that women are barred from certain types of employment and when I asked for specifics, you couldn't provide any examples)."

Perhaps not legally, or on paper, but in actuality there are some forms of employment in which women are barred from.

In Canada and the United States in the construction departments it's difficult for a woman to be a site manager. My dad works for a construction company and he said their company takes in female applicants but never gives them the job because the co-workers (all male) that the manager would work with would give them too much abuse. There have been several incidences of rape and violence against female site managers, they don't get treated with respect and some of the manager would have to work with males on the job are tough to deal with. It's disgusting and sexist, and it is a dirty stereotype to think that all male consturction workers are disrespectful to women, but you can't argue with fact at least in the case of my dad's company. He told me that it's not just the company he works for, but it happens more often than you think.

Working in the army as well, I read an article about women in the US military and it claimed that 1 in 3 female soldiers deal with rape. So sure, they're not technically barred from signing up but the conditions in the field are much less equitable for women than they are for men.
Here's the article I saw it on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/201...

www.nineteenreviews.blogspot.com


message 433: by Heidi (last edited May 11, 2012 01:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heidi Nazzy wrote: "In Canada and the United States in the construction departments it's difficult for a woman to be a site manager. My dad works for a construction company and he said their company takes in female applicants but never gives them the job because the co-workers (all male) that the manager would work with would give them too much abuse. There have been several incidences of rape and violence against female site managers, they don't get treated with respect and some of the manager would have to work with males on the job are tough to deal with. It's disgusting and sexist, and it is a dirty stereotype to think that all male consturction workers are disrespectful to women, but you can't argue with fact at least in the case of my dad's company. He told me that it's not just the company he works for, but it happens more often than you think.

Working in the army as well, I read an article about women in the US military and it claimed that 1 in 3 female soldiers deal with rape. So sure, they're not technically barred from signing up but the conditions in the field are much less equitable for women than they are for men.
Here's the article I saw it on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/201...

"


While I understand agree with anyone who wants to be treated equally, just because that is what you want (and your a female) doesnt make you a feminist.

Should female site managers be allowed? Absolutely. There is no disputing that. What the argument is; or sounds like to me - everyone should want equal rights. And time after time Mikey has said she wants equal rights, but she doesn’t want to be told something she isn’t.

Just because you want equal rights doesn’t make you a feminist. It’s like telling all the raped women or even female site managers, well now that you have been raped, you should be a feminist. Or that you are a feminist because you are sticking up for your rights. It’s like the absurdity of a “hate crime”. The definition of hate crime is : In crime and law, hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, sex, gender identity, social status or political affiliation. I don’t know one human being who cannot be described as a person who isn't one of or all of those things.

In fact, the very basic version of your both stances are - you think everyone should want equal rights (this everyones in agreement to). You also think that more women should be feminists so more people would also want rights. The flip side is Mikey doesn't want to be considered a feminist just because she believes in equal rights because it CAN have a negative connotation associated with it versus just wanting equal rights does not.


message 434: by Morgana_lefay (last edited May 11, 2012 02:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Morgana_lefay Well Mickey doesn't want to be told what we should be but to me it seems that human culture is based on telling ppl what they should or shouldn't be or want.

Even now in society I hear that men don't cry, men don't need to do housework and that it's women's job, all should have at least unversity diploma. In some religeons women belong to men. (I heard that when a muslim girl was raped they stoned her to death because she allowed it to happen, and children belong to the men)


message 435: by Heidi (last edited May 11, 2012 02:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heidi Morgana_lefay wrote: "Well Mickey doesn't want to be told what we should be but to me it seems that human culture is based on telling ppl what they should or shouldn't be or want.

Even now in society I hear that men d..."


Just because you hear those things, doesn't mean you have to like and or accept them. I don't want to be considered a feminist anymore then the next person (or for this example I will use Mickey). And I have different reasons from Mickeys - even thought I agree with her reasons.

Personally, I don't want the label. With labels there are certain expectations. And I'll be damned if anyone is going to put a label on me and define me by it. The only person that should define me and label me is myself and my god (or lack thereof).


Morgana_lefay It just seem to me that Mickeys reason for not liking feminists is beacuse they tell you what you should be, but to me it seems that society as whole tells ppl what to be

I agree that only you should define yourself (well ppl label each other according what they believe about them i.e. based on looks or what they know about them but can't force you to define yourself by it)


message 437: by Heidi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heidi The more I think about feminists and label I realize have a respect and awe towards them. But not the feminist that thinks,” I’m going to call myself that because I believe in equality”. I’m talking about active feminists. The kind that goes to marches and meetings, that stands outside of abortion offices, the kind that actively fights for equality. Saying you’re a feminist and not being active is just as useful as saying you’re an artist and not doing anything artistic. It reminds me of a roommate that told me she was a hepcat. She never listened to jazz, she didn’t dress like one, but she considered herself one. It’s like saying you’re a goth and not doing anything gothic.

Also its realizing if you are an active feminist, your kind will eat your own. Because of the negative connotation, there are other people who consider themselves feminists that will disapprove of you and say that what you did was against them. Look at Time magazine – The mother who was breast feeding her almost 4 year old son; How many women (and men)are disgusted? How many women specifically are verbal about how not ok that is/was. And personally, if I had children I don’t think I would do the same thing. That being said, I have NO PLACE to tell her what she can do, what she should do, or what she is doing is wrong. I do however have the right (as with anyone else) to feel how I do about it.


message 438: by Mickey (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Morgana_lefay wrote: "Even now in society I hear that men don't cry, men don't need to do housework and that it's women's job, all should have at least unversity diploma."

I'll limit my issues with this statement to literature and other media sources.

Men cry all the time in movies and books. I don't recall a group of men up in arms about it or trashing crying men as weak and pathetic, claiming that he cannot be a role model and is setting men back 100 years. I also don't recall any male group watching all male characters like hawks to make sure no domestic work is done. Plenty of male characters are not college educated or, if young, have not mapped out their career goals. No male group is griping about them. I don't recall the articles parsing whether Harry Potter or Percy Jackson is sufficiently strong, independent, intelligent, capable, responsible, representative, or active.

The truth is that men are not as scrutinized as women because there is no equivalent movement like feminism for men. This is obviously true for only one gender and that means that it is not necessary to have such scrutiny. As a result, male characters are more free to develop and differ from each other than women characters, who are still stuck fitting into an image. This is not empowering, and it's feminists that are doing it.

The idea that we should accept this because it's human culture (I think you must have meant "human nature") to have others decide what you should be like is rather odd and out of sync with the rest of the post. Unless you are making the point that women belong to men in some cultures, so there is nothing wrong with women controlling (essentially taking ownership of) other women. Or maybe your example is meant to be a minimizer, as in, "Hey, at least you're not getting stoned to death." Either way, it's hardly a good excuse for bad behavior.


Morgana_lefay I think one must admire active member of aby movement (well maybe not suicide bombers and other terrorrists, and those who break the law and hurt others). I think it takes lots of courage to go out there and do something


message 440: by Nazzy (last edited May 11, 2012 04:13PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nazzy Heidi wrote: "While I understand agree with anyone who wants to be treated equally, just because that is what you want (and your a female) doesnt make you a feminist."

When did I say I was a feminist?

I believe that social and legal conditions should be equitable towards men and women in the work force. The examples I listed above just point out that in some places there are still women barred from being treated with respect.

Heidi wrote: "Just because you want equal rights doesn’t make you a feminist. It’s like telling all the raped women or even female site managers, well now that you have been raped, you should be a feminist. Or that you are a feminist because you are sticking up for your rights....You also think that more women should be feminists so more people would also want rights."

Was that in response to what I wrote? If it was...um, strawman?

I totally understand and agree with Mickey's argument, even though I don't say much on the argument I always read and follow the discussions. She just asked in one of the posts above my last post about employment conditions for women and examples of how women are barred from doing certain things. I just pointed out that there are still inequitable conditions for women in the workforce, even in Canada and the US.

www.nineteenreviews.blogspot.com


message 441: by Heidi (last edited May 11, 2012 04:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heidi Nazzy wrote: "Heidi wrote: "While I understand agree with anyone who wants to be treated equally, just because that is what you want (and your a female) doesnt make you a feminist."

When did I say I was a femin..."


I never said you were a feminist. I was just making a point. And it seemed to me your point was you had these reasons why people SHOULD be feminists. My point was, people SHOULDNT be told why they should be something. That we are all in agreement that there should be equality.

I realize that I had said YOU a lot in the comments I made, and they werent directed to you even though I was responding to you. I mean YOU in the sense that anyone reading the response. I'm sorry for the confusion. I do it a lot actually, I usually try edit it out. Simply because it could be thought of me being agressive towards that person. I usually try to edit the yous to anyone or anybody.


message 442: by Meishuu (last edited May 11, 2012 07:49PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Meishuu Men cry all the time in movies and books. I don't recall a group of men up in arms about it or trashing crying men as weak and pathetic, claiming that he cannot be a role model and is setting men back 100 years. I also don't recall any male group watching all male characters like hawks to make sure no domestic work is done.

You are not familiar with MRAs then.


message 443: by Meishuu (last edited May 11, 2012 08:20PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Meishuu Morgana_lefay wrote: "Well Mickey doesn't want to be told what we should be but to me it seems that human culture is based on telling ppl what they should or shouldn't be or want.

Even now in society I hear that men d..."


Most likely Mickey doesn't understand what feminism (liberal and mainstream, etc) is about. Or simply doesn't care.

A woman doing women's work in a book is then stigmatized and criticized, because she is doing something that feminists do not approve of.

Not sure what "feminists" you have been talking to. Feel free to throw useless anecdotes to me.


message 444: by Nazzy (last edited May 11, 2012 10:54PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nazzy Meishuu wrote: "Not sure what "feminists" you have been talking to. Feel free to throw useless anecdotes to me. "

Arguments and debates are only effective when people have an open mind.

www.nineteenreviews.blogspot.com


message 445: by Mickey (last edited May 12, 2012 03:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Meishuu wrote: "Not sure what "feminists" you have been talking to."

What "feminists" have I been talking to? Have you read this thread?

Summary of behavior that "feminists" on this thread have criticized and stigmatized:

Deleted member aka Steph wrote:is it tale of a woman who would rather hurl herself off a cliff because a guy tried to leave her and ultimatly putting feminism back 100 years with her submissive behaviour? ... portray the lead character as a woman who couldn't live without a man? ...it annoys me that this kind of person is the centre of a book that teenagers are reading and relating to, when if it was transferred into real life (and the vampire etc were taken away) Bella would ultimately end up being sad and alone!...The reason i feel that this book is anti feminist is not because of house wives or strippers, but because Bella does not seem to function without a man to complete her. Because she is so desperate when she gets dumped that she hurls herself off a cliff, and instead of turning to her friends, she turns to another man, who she knows is in love with her, and uses him to make herself feel better....Bella being unable to be independent from Edward, and in his absence finding another man to lean on give her self worth is the aspect that I think shows anti feministic qualities.

Larissa wrote: While I don't feel like Bella was a submissive character I believe she was often dependent, incapable, and many other traditional gender characteristics of females, making New Moon, and basically the whole Twilight series, a crime against feminism. Also, when looking back on the series Bella seems more like a house wife of the early to mid 1900s than a young adult of the 21st century.


Carly wrote:I would have run away the second I found out he was watching me while I was sleeping (which I'm pretty sure I would have found out somehow much earlier than she did...who doesn't NOTICE that?!)...You can fall in love and be in an amazing relationship without giving up your life (human friends and family) and your dignity whilst letting someone totally dominate you.......when the majority of the female characters are made to be housewives, it's irritating.


Kelly wrote:Crime against feminism. Bella is the antithesis of any modern, strong woman. Meyers should be fined for writing/publishing such trash.


Ashley wrote: Bella's pathetic "I am nothing without my man" character...

Alannah wrote: then along comes this insanely popular series where the main character falls apart and has panic attacks every time her boyfriend leaves the room. So way to go Meyer in reinforcing social media expectations.

Nora wrote:The entire series seems against femininism. In New Moon Bella risked her life to hear a fake version of her boyfriend yell at her. She was also unable to be happy without her hallucinations or Jacob. Bella could have actually tried to be nice to her friends so she could be happy with them, but I guess that never occurred to her. ...I know. I'm saying that it should be pro friends, but instead it's pro your boyfriend being the reason for you existence. In Twilight Bella even says "it really seemed like my life was about him [Edward]"....are there really that many women and that few men who want to stay at home with their children all day?...


Calla wrote:All four books are completely anti-feminist. Bella is so useless and pathetic and whiny and the romance isn't realistic at all.

Zanna wrote: Bella was WAY too whiny and women do NOT act like that when someone leaves them

This is only a small sampling from the first couple of pages and most of these examples are about saying a woman's choices are antifeminist or her characteristics do not fit the ideal of what a woman should be, according to feminists (as if we women are all charged with conforming to this image).

Meishuu wrote:Most likely Mickey doesn't understand what feminism (liberal and mainstream, etc) is about. Or simply doesn't care."


I'm not really interested in the different "forms" of feminism, nor in the different "waves". I don't have a scholarly interest in feminism, mostly because it doesn't strike me as having enough depth for an intellectual study. The study of feminism is dominated by feminists, which mean that it isn't a critical and dispassionate study, but simply propaganda. It's like wading through a communist's explanation of what communism is. It doesn't necessarily translate in any way to real life and you can't trust its perspective. Like most people, I'm interested in its application to life and also its application to literature and other media. I'm interested in this idea of forced representation and the huge difference between its stated aims and behavior.


Meishuu wrote: "You are not familiar with MRAs then."

No, I'm not familiar at all. Perhaps you would like to tell me how MRAs fit into the fact that I have seen men behaving counter to their "rules" without a small group of men shouting about it.

Just so you know, since you seem comfortable discussing how I make a point, let's talk about how you make yours. Dropping an acronym, which means several different things is hardly a thorough way to make a point, particularly since none of the MRAs I've noticed are a group of men who target male characters for abuse and censure. The very fact that I have never heard of this group shows that they are hardly influential or very vocal.

Meishuu wrote: "Feel free to throw useless anecdotes to me."

Anecdotes may be useless to you (insofar as you in particular can't translate them or use them), but when explaining your point, particularly if it is in any way abstract, it's a good idea to try to ground the information with things that are more concrete, if the aim is to get your point across. If you are aiming to simply retort, then saying something as incomprehensible as 'You are not familiar with MRAs then.' is perfectly acceptable. It's a bit of a waste of space, if you ask me.

Feel free to advance absolutely no point at all.


message 446: by Gerd (last edited May 12, 2012 06:59AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd About half of the people you quote talk about issues they had with the story unrelated to feminism, that readers dislike the way Bella clings to Edward has nothing to do with feminism, it's simply something some readers no longer like to see in a novel.

Meyer constructed her story from some quite dated Romance stereotypes that simply do not sync with everybody, that has nothing to do with feminism.
One can very well be appaled by the way the media stereotypes women without being a feminist.

Edit to add:
I don't think that feminism has such an adverse effect on literature, contrarily I would say that feminism created an environment in which (female) authors feel more free to write what they want, with female characters as they want them. That this leads to some characters/novels people might find an affront against feminism is a rather ironic, but completely normal side effect.
If you give people freedom it must include the freedom to refuse it, or in the case of feminism, if you fight for women's rights it has to include the right to refuse these.

But when people protest that Bella is too much of a clinger or acts for a teen too much like an old housewife, then it has nothing to do with feminist sentiments by default but more with people's own expectations.


message 447: by Mickey (last edited May 12, 2012 08:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote: "About half of the people you quote talk about issues they had with the story unrelated to feminism, that readers dislike the way Bella clings to Edward has nothing to do with feminism, it's simply something some readers no longer like to see in a novel."

Nice try, Gerd. My job was to find instances of feminists criticizing and stigmatizing another woman's behavior. I'll (again!) rack up my prodigious word count to make a point...

Deleted member aka Steph wrote:is it tale of a woman who would rather hurl herself off a cliff because a guy tried to leave her and ultimatly putting feminism back 100 years with her submissive behaviour?The reason i feel that this book is anti feminist is not because of house wives or strippers, but because Bella does not seem to function without a man to complete her. Because she is so desperate when she gets dumped that she hurls herself off a cliff, and instead of turning to her friends, she turns to another man, who she knows is in love with her, and uses him to make herself feel better....Bella being unable to be independent from Edward, and in his absence finding another man to lean on give her self worth is the aspect that I think shows anti feministic qualities.
Larissa wrote: While I don't feel like Bella was a submissive character I believe she was often dependent, incapable, and many other traditional gender characteristics of females, making New Moon, and basically the whole Twilight series, a crime against feminism.
Kelly wrote:Crime against feminism. Bella is the antithesis of any modern, strong woman. Meyers should be fined for writing/publishing such trash
Nora wrote:The entire series seems against femininism. In New Moon Bella risked her life to hear a fake version of her boyfriend yell at her. She was also unable to be happy without her hallucinations or Jacob. Bella could have actually tried to be nice to her friends so she could be happy with them, but I guess that never occurred to her.
Calla wrote:All four books are completely anti-feminist. Bella is so useless and pathetic and whiny and the romance isn't realistic at all.

Each one of these posts make the point that the reason that Twilight is anti-feminist has to do with the fact that Bella does not measure up to the feminist ideal of what a woman should act like or be like. Just remember, Bella never claimed to be a feminist, but because she is a woman, feminists think that they have a right to complain about her characteristics.

If some readers do not wish to have certain types of women be main characters in novels, then the only thing for those readers to do is to not read them. Why should my reading material be influenced by some other person's preferences?

Gerd wrote: "Meyer constructed her story from some quite dated Romance stereotypes that simply do not sync with everybody, that has nothing to do with feminism."

I've said this in this thread before: I read a biography for children about Meyer in which she said that she did not grow up reading much children's or young adult literature. Instead, she read classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

I think this led to a refreshing change from the standard girl character that is overused today. Bella is more realistic than other modern girl characters. Of course, feminists are going to scream about it. They've been championing this other "role model" character for a while, but the popularity of Twilight will hopefully allow for more freedom for girl characters to break out of the mold.

Gerd wrote: "I don't think that feminism has such an adverse effect on literature, contrarily I would say that feminism created an environment in which (female) authors feel more free to write what they want, with female characters as they want them."

You offer no evidence or even reasoning with this statement. This isn't the first time you've come to a decision of how females think or what they experience without having the usual personal experience to fall back on or any other reasoning.

The truth is that every YA novelist knows that males can be shown several ways and there will not be any criticism. This is not true for female characters, so many times, you'll see a story with well rounded male characters and flat standardized female characters like Harry Potter. It is not because Rowling can't write great characters, but she knows she will face a lot of criticism if she does it with a female character.

Gerd wrote: "But when people protest that Bella is too much of a clinger or acts for a teen too much like an old housewife, then it has nothing to do with feminist sentiments by default but more with people's own expectations. "

Read the first part here where posters are saying that Bella's behavior makes Twilight anti-feminist. To say that this is simply a personal preference and is not tied to feminism is contradicted by the fact that all of these posters come to the same conclusion and hold it as common knowledge that feminism is about women behaving in certain ways. No other feminist contradicts them or admonishes them that this is not respecting Bella's autonomy or is sexist or paternalistic.


message 448: by Gerd (last edited May 12, 2012 11:40PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Mickey wrote: "Each one of these posts make the point that the reason that Twilight is anti-feminist has to do with the fact that Bella does not measure up to the feminist ideal of what a woman should act like or be like. Just remember, Bella never claimed to be a feminist, but because she is a woman, feminists think that they have a right to complain about her characteristics."

Well, I'm not a sex offender, I believe, and yet I reserve myself the right to complain about alpha males in romance novels (which includes by my count Meyer's Edward and Jacob). That probably means that I like to tell other men how they should behave, so what?


Mickey wrote: "The truth is that every YA novelist knows that males can be shown several ways and there will not be any criticism. This is not true for female characters, so many times, you'll see a story with well rounded male characters and flat standardized female characters like Harry Potter. It is not because Rowling can't write great characters, but she knows she will face a lot of criticism if she does it with a female character."

Yes, because people still run around with the idea in their head that female characters have to be role models, especially in YA, which does not stem from the feminist movement but was round since for ever is more owned to religious/social moral.

We witness a change in what (female) readers expect from female characters in novels, that's true, but so far you couldn't bring any solid proof that feminism has as large part in this as you claim either, all you can show is anecdotal proof from a thread that polarized posters one way or the other from the very beginning by asking if feminism is being hurt by a certain type of novel, namely YA Romance.

So, at best, what we can filter from the mentioned posts is what ideas people bring with them when talking feminism, to make the jump from that to say that these ideas inherently hurt novel writing (or society as whole) doesn't look justified to me given the numbers of sold copies. :)


message 449: by Eunice (new) - rated it 1 star

Eunice Biblioceraptor Just watch this:
Dangerous Role Models - Twilight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8gpHK...


message 450: by Mickey (last edited May 13, 2012 05:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Gerd wrote: "Well, I'm not a sex offender, I believe, and yet I reserve myself the right to complain about alpha males in romance novels (which includes by my count Meyer's Edward and Jacob). That probably means that I like to tell other men how they should behave, so what?"

To have a personal opinion is one thing and to have a group that actively seeks to control how a certain population is portrayed is another. You can't see the difference in between them?

Don't try to tell me that feminism is looking to make women equal when they exert so much energy policing women's behavior. As I said before, one of their biggest mistakes was when they began expecting women to conform to their image of an ideal female rather than respecting all the choices and decisions women have. Instead of empowering, they're more interested in controlling.

Gerd wrote: "Yes, because people still run around with the idea in their head that female characters have to be role models, especially in YA, which does not stem from the feminist movement but was round since for ever is more owned to religious/social moral."

How do you explain the difference between the fact that male characters are no longer bound to act a certain way while female characters are still stuck measuring up to ideals? To say where it started does not negate the fact that feminists are perpetuating it. If it weren't for feminism giving us a new ideal, women characters would be as free as men now.

But your contention that there have been no "real" women in literature is false. There are so many women characters throughout history with serious flaws and weaknesses and full blown personalities. Look at the women created by Jane Austen and George Eliot. We have a different reaction to them than their initial audience did. I'm not talking about the changes in status so much as this ideal that has taken hold and what it means for the portrayal of women in literature.

On this site, I have noticed that women characters are judged usually on one characteristic: whether they are strong/weak and this is usually determined on whether they are independent/dependent in regards to men. Many discussions center on whether a woman is "strong". I would bet that that classification is probably the most used on this site. Approval of any woman is dependent on whether she is strong, but concentration on one characteristic leads to not understanding subtleties. So Elizabeth Bennet is strong, but her whole problem with being quick to judge is lost. Scarlett O'Hara is strong, but the fact that it arises out of an incredible selfishness and self-centeredness isn't considered. Bella's reception comes from a difference in the definition of strength, Bella is strong and willful in many ways, but she is not independent from men, which makes her weak and leads to mischaracterizations of submissiveness or passiveness, because most people haven't been taught how to properly look at characters, only to identify them and put them into a few categories.

In some respects, feminism has done well for itself. The thought process that goes into labelling something as feminist or anti-feminist is easy. You have only to look at the females and ask a few questions about whether the women do anything traditionally feminine, such as cooking or cleaning, if they seem invested in their romantic relationships or if they are ever shown in a weakened state (this is only okay if in the process of the story she is brought to a position of unalloyed strength). The simplicity of the process means that everybody can do it-even kids who haven't developed much capacity for abstract thought.

Gerd wrote: "...all you can show is anecdotal proof from a thread that polarized posters one way or the other from the very beginning by asking if feminism is being hurt by a certain type of novel, namely YA Romance."

Let's be honest here...the title isn't whether feminism is "hurt", but the exact wording is whether the book is "a crime against feminism". This assumes that there is a "law" of feminism, in which a crime can be committed against. It was also not about "a certain type of novel", it was more specific-whether this series was a crime against feminism.

Several people answered who, I imagine are from different countries, different ages, different social groups and they said the same thing: that Twilight was anti-feminist because of the main female was not "the right kind of woman". The antifeminism centered on the fact that the main character didn't measure up to the ideal woman.

If your argument is that there is not a widespread ideal woman image that feminists champion or that they do not show a preference for certain characteristics over others and there are a dozen examples in the first few pages that contradict your assertion, I think that's strong evidence.

Gerd wrote: "So, at best, what we can filter from the mentioned posts is what ideas people bring with them when talking feminism, to make the jump from that to say that these ideas inherently hurt novel writing (or society as whole) doesn't look justified to me given the numbers of sold copies. :)"

The posts show that there is a tendency to think something is a crime against feminism when a woman doesn't conform to a strict view of how a woman should be, whether or not she is portrayed as a feminist. This is done by feminists and has been a part of the majority of the movement, not the extremists, as you have said before.

The number of copies sold and the popularity of the novels is a sign that there is a huge difference between feminism and women in general. I think it's hopefully a precursor that women characters can stop being cardboard cutouts and start looking like real women.

It's not surprising that there has been so much criticism of Twilight, given that it shows this wide gulf between what feminists say that women should be like in books and what is possible and marketable. This is the only way that feminists have to fight back, by trying to discredit and malign a woman author and a woman character. It's sort of a "man behind the curtain" moment. When people start realizing that they don't need to mind feminists and that a charge of anti-feminism is not going to hurt sales or popularity. Hopefully, it'll lead to a lessening of influence in literature for feminism.


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