Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1) Twilight discussion


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Is Stephenie Meyer being sexist towards Women/Girls

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message 1: by Grlpwr00 (new) - added it

Grlpwr00 The question i have people who have read Twilight is "do you feel that Stephenie Meyer is sexist towards women/girls?"
Yes, I understand that Meyer is a women herself but i feel that this book (that she obviously wrote) is sexist. I think this because the way she portrayed Bella does not do justice to real women. Stephenie made it seem that (by using bella) girls have no meaning for life unless their "MADLY IN LOVE".i think that is sexist because just because their are a handful of girls in the world who are like that it doesn't mean the whole population of women/girls are like that.
What are your opinions? Do you agree or disagree?


Siobhan The funniest thing is Bella's essay in the first book about Shakespeare being mysogynistic. First thing that sprang to mind after reading this.

I'm actually on the fence about this whole ideal. As much as I appreciate what feminism has done, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground for women still. Either we are puppets for men to project their ideals on, or we are career minded women who still have to consider marriage and children and are clearly competent so don't need to bother the menfolk about any of it.

There has to be a middle ground, where women can aspire for the family role without being considered sexist, or aspire for a career without being considered feminist. At the end of the day, it's human nature to find a partner, and a future together, regardless of the details. Does that make me sexist for thinking that?

And yet ... there are moment in Twilight where Meyer doesn't help herself. Charlie can't cook so his 17 year old daughter has to cook for him constantly? Women don't understand cars, they have to rely on the menfolk ... but then, Bella isn't concerned with clothes and make up (that's what Alice is for after all) so is Bella actually the middle ground?

I sound like I like Meyer on this one. I know, shocking. I also sound like I'm indecisive, which is probably less shocking.


Nuran I don't think it's sexist. I think SM was writing about herself and projected herself into Bella, not as a role model for how women should act.

I think SM is quite a girly person, maybe a bit old fashion, but she’s not sexist.

I do believe women should have a choice on who they want to be, whether that’s someone who stays at home and looks after the family, or goes after a career or both. I feel that should be the same for men too. Men are fighting for more choices, yet feminists seem to want to bottleneck and lessen out choices by making women feel guilty for choosing something these feminist wouldn’t choose.

I also don’t see anything wrong with cooking, you have to learn to cook and fend for yourself at some point if you want to stand on your own two feet and be independent. Bella didn’t like her dad’s cooking, and it be selfish if she just made food for herself when she can just chuck in a little bit more for her dad, so she cooks for her dad as well.

I also don’t believe Bella will stop women from going after more. Women that want more than Bella will go after more, Bella isn’t going to stop them achieving those dreams.


message 4: by Nha (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nha Rchd I agree with Siobhan.
I think looking at the whole Twilight series and how Bella's father constantly asks her to reconsider her decision for an early marriage is towards the positive side that he allows Bella to make her own decisions etc. But then again, there are those tims she gets grounded for little things which obviously limits her mobility and independancy.
There is also a notion throughout the series that girls are vulnerable and emotional etc. For an instance, Bella can't play sports, she faints at the sight of blood : all indicators of weaknesses.
I also felt that for Bella, love is an obsession. From the moment she wakes up till the end of the day, Edward manipulates every move she makes, her feelings and even every single thought.
I'm not taking any stands here, but just pointing out what came to my mind after reading the above comments.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm not sure if she was being sexist, because some of her females were actually somewhat decent, but Bella was certainly a weak and pathetic little girl.

Throughout history, women have been portrayed as dependent morons simply because society is sexist (and the media generally reflects society). But back then, it wasn't consisted "sexist"...it was considered "normal" and "realistic." However, when people began recognizing women as no lesser than men, things changed and women started being shown off for what they are -- independent, passionate equals. That's when "sexism" came into play.

Meyer did inspire the re-kickstart of the "weak whiny female" archetype that drives the paranormal romance genre, but she wasn't the first to use it. The prevalence of weak females, to me, is just another indicator of the remnants of sexism still inherent in modern day America.

All of the weak whiny females in the media in turn results in "societal brainwashing" (brainwashing, whether intentional or unconscious, by majorities of society or the media). Due to societal brainwashing, girls are more likely to act weak and whiny, because people tend to like to conform to who people view them as. It's just a cycle, which takes someone who can rise above it all to break it.

I don't blame Meyer or call her a sexist, as I don't think making girls look bad was her initial intention...I just think she's the product of a flawed and bigoted world/country. But because she fell victim to this, I can't admire her the way I can authors who were resistant/defiant to the limitations, expectations, and shortcomings of modern society.


Lusekelo Munene Well, whether or not the book can be portrayed as sexist or not, I do not think SM intended for it to be either way. I think when a writer begins to create a world in ink, there are many things that influence the way they think and the way their characters think and behave.
I would say when SM sat down to write her book, she wasn't being sexist by making Bella appear needy and helpless because of her feelings towards Edward. I think she wanted to create an effect that showed just how overwhelmed Bella was by her love for Edward. It wouldn't be twilight if Bella didn't love Edward as much as she did and the only way that could be illustrated was to show that Bella was almost suicidal because of Edward.
Also, there are women out there who get to experience that kind of love and it doesn't make a woman weak or inferior to a man, it just is.


Books for Badger I agree with Lusekelo.
Also, I think SM goes out of her way to explain how different from most people Bella feels and how until Breaking Dawn she doesn't really comfortable in her own skin until she is a vampire so I think a lot of her shortcomings are magnified by it.


message 8: by Mickey (last edited Dec 27, 2012 10:18AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey The problem has to do with how women are portrayed now. Making a woman "strong" (and this usually means giving her traditionally masculine characteristics) is not necessarily better for women, because what I think many people do is start giving women value based on how she measures up in that one area, therefore, it's devaluing women as a whole and elevating that characteristic. I'm really sick of "strong female characters", because I consider them simple inversions and nothing deeper.

I think another problem with these "role model" characters is the fact that real women's issues are not dealt with. I remember a thread about whether Twilight was antifeminist where a poster said that it was anti-feminist because Leah was upset that she probably couldn't have children. I don't think learning that such a thing is unlikely and mourning this should be something that is not allowed in literature or even frowned upon. There's a point where a group's agenda should take a back seat to dealing with things realistically.

Siobhan wrote: "And yet ... there are moment in Twilight where Meyer doesn't help herself. Charlie can't cook so his 17 year old daughter has to cook for him constantly? Women don't understand cars, they have to rely on the menfolk ... "

I actually went to live with my father when I was 16. I cooked because I was not about to eat what he ate. I still don't understand cars (you do know that, in the story, Rosalie is a mechanic, right?) Why does cooking rate so much lower than car mechanics? I remember one poster who claimed how much more useful and independent learning about cars (which Bella did in New Moon) would make her as opposed to knowing how to cook. I use cooking skills more than mechanical skills, so I would rate cooking more useful. I think most people are in the same boat, but I don't think most people have really thought about why they've learned to rate things the way that they do. I think cooking is considered weak or problematic because it's traditionally feminine.


Dawn Morgan Let's keep in mind that Bella is a representative of teenage girls. She is as independent as she can be, yet feels she has to do certain things to be seen as emotionally "ok."

From the beginning, Bella is against marriage. She wants to have sex and enjoy life with Edward, without the "archaic" idea of marriage. She agrees to it only after Edward says that it is the only way he will turn her. Again, it was her decision. She knew she could have talked him into her way of thinking if she pushed him. She chose to compromise.

Yes, she cooks for her father. Big deal. Her father was fine with his cooking or with going out to eat. It was her choice to cook for them both. How is it sexist to think you are a better cook?

She was a "shield," a natural protector. She had control over her outward emotions and her actions. Even as a newborn, she was able to control her "animal" instincts. Sure, Bella was so whiny at times in the earlier books that I had a hard time getting through scenes, but she grew out of that, becoming a much stronger character. Isn't that what we hope for for our girls, that they grow out of the stereotypical whiny teenage years with a newfound strength, with the ability to take care of themselves and the people around them?

I do think that Bells started out very weak. She had no idea of the strength that she had inside of her. When she left her mother in the very beginning of book 1, we had a hint of who she would become. By the end of book 4, Bella sees that she is strong. Emotionally strong, mentally capable, she overcame other's physical strength and manipulation.

I think SM showed us many diffeent types of women in her books. I'd say all, but Jessica Stanley and perhaps Bell's mother, showed strength in certain areas. Angela, Esme, and Rosalie believed in strong family. Alice and all the werewolf women were fierce protectors/fighters. Bella was a sort of compromise between the two.

(I think sometimes its difficult to separate the movie character from the book character.)


message 10: by Siobhan (last edited Dec 27, 2012 11:27AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Siobhan My point with the cooking/car thing was that typically, they are sexist roles, and that there are nods to them in the text in regards to Bella, but by and large I truly don't think Stephenie was being sexist. Equally, Carlisle cooks in the Cullens, so maybe his role and Rosalie being good at cars is actually Meyer's way of showing how being a Cullen is being progressive rather than archaic?


Nichola I'm not sure these books were sexist. In my opinion the lead character was weak but, in real life some women, and indeed some men, are weak. If you look at some of the other characters like Alice, who is very confident and assertive, or Esme who is protrayed as Carlisle's equal, it's far from sexist.

I thinks she may have done well at showing that the characters came from a different era where the roles of men and women were very different from the time the book is set it. Despite this, Meyer illustrated equality between the men and women when the women were not devalued when it came to potential fights or battles. She even wrote a scene where Jasper explains to Bella that she doesn't need to worry for Alice in a fight. In the second book it's Alice and Bella who go to save Edwards life.

I can see where you're coming from but no, I don't think the series on the whole is sexist.


message 12: by Jeni (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jeni I don't think they're sexist either. I think she wrote what she knew-the mantra we aspiring writers are told to adopt. In her world, she is the cook, the nurturer, the mother, the wife. I think it's natural to write your heroine in the same manner.


Mickey Grlpwr00 wrote: "Stephenie made it seem that (by using bella) girls have no meaning for life unless their "MADLY IN LOVE".i think that is sexist because just because their are a handful of girls in the world who are like that it doesn't mean the whole population of women/girls are like that."

One of the things you would have to look at is whether she portrays love as very meaningful for both men and women, and I think she does that. Edward was more distraught than Bella over the breakup and he did try to commit suicide when he thought she was dead. Jacob had his own angst. I think she puts love at the center of the problems that the characters face.

You could even say that the amount of flak that Bella alone gets for this trait is sexist, because it's obviously acceptable for boys to display negative emotions when girls are supposed to be "strong".

Personally, I don't have a problem with giving that much attention to love. I think it is important for a lot of people.


Tania if you found it that way I understand but I don't think Stephanie meant it in that sense


message 15: by Grlpwr00 (new) - added it

Grlpwr00 what about the fact that there (in my opinion) is really only too strong characters; alice and edwards mum. i really don't know about bella's mum causee she doesn't have a role that is judgable. and rosalie is just overall (once again in my opinion) a snooty girl who well is snooty


message 16: by Nyaore (last edited Dec 27, 2012 02:00PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Nyaore I don't think the book is nearly as sexist as some people make it out to be, though it's by no means actually feminist either. It's in the middle, with Meyer sometimes writing empowering moments and at others writing somethings that make my inner feminist cringe. Nothing wrong with middle ground, honestly. Not every woman needs to be a BAMF sword wielder who always has a snappy comeback at the ready - in fact I'd have to say I hate those stereotypical characters as much as I hate the simpering damsels who hide behind their men. Characters need to be themselves first, and archetypes second.


message 17: by Julia (new) - rated it 1 star

Julia Siobhan wrote: "At the end of the day, it's human nature to find a partner, and a future together, regardless of the details. Does that make me sexist for thinking that?"

It doesn't make you sexist, but I somewhat disagree with that statement. Sure, some people really want to get married and whatnot, but that doesn't make it "human nature." I get what you mean, but there are people who honestly couldn't care less about romantic relationships (or just relationships in general).


message 18: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 27, 2012 03:13PM) (new)

Okay to be honest you're right their are a lot of women that are like Bella. So yes that's who she wrote about, it's not sexist it's realistic. It's too bad that some women can't find themselves and be strong, but we've all been there. So it doesn't matter and ppl are reading way too much into this book.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 27, 2012 03:14PM) (new)

I found this on meyers' website. And I actually agree with this.

"Is Bella an anti-feminist heroine?

When I hear or read theories about Bella being an anti-feminist character, those theories are usually predicated on her choices. In the beginning, she chooses romantic love over everything else. Eventually, she chooses to marry at an early age and then chooses to keep an unexpected and dangerous baby. I never meant for her fictional choices to be a model for anyone else's real life choices. She is a character in a story, nothing more or less. On top of that, this is not even realistic fiction, it's a fantasy with vampires and werewolves, so no one could ever make her exact choices. Bella chooses things differently than how I would do it if I were in her shoes, because she is a very different type of person than I am. Also, she's in a situation that none of us has ever been in, because she lives in a fantasy world. But do her choices make her a negative example of empowerment? For myself personally, I don't think so.

In my own opinion (key word), the foundation of feminism is this: being able to choose. The core of anti-feminism is, conversely, telling a woman she can't do something solely because she's a woman—taking any choice away from her specifically because of her gender. "You can't be an astronaut, because you're a woman. You can't be president because you're a woman. You can't run a company because you're a woman." All of those oppressive "can't"s.

One of the weird things about modern feminism is that some feminists seem to be putting their own limits on women's choices. That feels backward to me. It's as if you can't choose a family on your own terms and still be considered a strong woman. How is that empowering? Are there rules about if, when, and how we love or marry and if, when, and how we have kids? Are there jobs we can and can't have in order to be a "real" feminist? To me, those limitations seem anti-feminist in basic principle.

Do I think eighteen is a good age at which to get married? Personally—as in, for the person I was at eighteen—no. However, Bella is constrained by fantastic circumstances that I never had to deal with. The person she loves is physically seventeen, and he's not going to change. If she and he are going to be on a healthy relationship footing, she can't age too far beyond him. Also, marriage is really an insignificant commitment compared to giving up your mortality, so it's funny to me that some people are hung up on one and not the other. Is eighteen too young to give up your mortality? For me, any age is too young for that. For Bella, it was what she really wanted for her life, and it wasn't a phase she was going to grow out of. So I don't have issues with her choice. She's a strong person who goes after what she wants with persistence and determination."


message 20: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 27, 2012 03:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Grlpwr00 wrote: "what about the fact that there (in my opinion) is really only too strong characters; alice and edwards mum. i really don't know about bella's mum causee she doesn't have a role that is judgable. a..."

I don't think I agree about Bella's Mom. First, I don't think Bella is exactly a reliable narrator in the first novel (so many of her initial impressions of things turn out to be wrong.) Her mom seems to be intuitive (she knew right away that Edward loved Bella upon meeting him in the hospital; She understood the seriousness of their relationship just from observing them when they came to visit her in Florida; she gave Bella and Edward her blessing when they wanted to get married.) Victoria and Jane are villains, but they are also strong characters in their own rights. So is Sue Clearwater and Leah, to a certain extent.


message 21: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Mocha Spresso wrote: "Grlpwr00 wrote: "what about the fact that there (in my opinion) is really only too strong characters; alice and edwards mum. i really don't know about bella's mum causee she doesn't have a role tha..."

yeap


message 22: by Olivia (new)

Olivia :)


Shell Belle I've tried to be as unbiased as possible towards Stephanie Meyer. I personally found Twilight interesting but rather repulsive, but I don't want to make a sport of snap judgments like a lot of people do.
That being said, I think I can honestly agree that Stephanie Meyer is rather demeaning to girls in the Twilight series- that a girl's only purpose in life comes from a man (rather than her own individuality, being a friend, being part of a religion, et cetera). However, I think it is not GIRLS she is most sexist to- its guys! In twilight, it's kind of like Bella is some goddess of perfection on a pedestal, and Jacob and Edward are simply there to worship her and give her meaning, honored simply to be even considered by her. And I know, continuing with my unbiased theme, that she does love Edward back. But many times it seems less because he is such a fabulous personality with integrity and humor and more because he rescues her and gives her the attention she desires. She loves him because he loves her? Poor males. I don't want boys to follow me like puppies, in awe of me and unaware of my imperfections- I want to have an equal relationship with real values. So, yes, I think Stephanie Meyer is sexist- both to females and even more so to males. It's a raw deal all around- that's what happens when you have an unrealistic idea of love. Sorry, Stephanie.


Mickey Shell wrote: "I don't want boys to follow me like puppies, in awe of me and unaware of my imperfections- I want to have an equal relationship with real values. So, yes, I think Stephanie Meyer is sexist- both to females and even more so to males. It's a raw deal all around- that's what happens when you have an unrealistic idea of love. Sorry, Stephanie."


So, you're saying that because her vision doesn't coincide with yours and what you would want, it's unrealistic? What about if it's something that others might want? Or is your opinion the only one that matters?


Nuran Men have porn. Women have fairytales. Both are unrealistic when if comes to a proper relationship. Men and women may have things they want, doesn't mean they are going to get.


Mickey That probably includes "an equal relationship with real values".


message 27: by Mickey (last edited Dec 27, 2012 06:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey I question the validity of judging women by their "strength" only. If we're discussing having different standards based on sex, then all this insistence and discussion on whether female characters are "strong" is incredibly sexist, particularly with faulting women for doing things that men are allowed to do without comment. Why are we not discussing if Emmett is "strong" or Jacob? Because they don't have to be. They're guys. Guys no longer get their value from being "strong". That's a double standard and also pretty sexist.


Nuran Mickey wrote: "I question the validity of judging women by their "strength" only. If we're discussing having different standards based on sex, then all this insistence and discussion on whether female characters ..."

Girls might get judge on strength but the guys are getting judge too, but on their feminine qualities. Always discussions on whether Edward is a romantic or crazy ass stalker.


Mickey I don't agree that men are generally reduced to one characteristic and judged on it. Since when is stalking a female quality?

I think you're missing my point.


Mochaspresso Mickey wrote: "I question the validity of judging women by their "strength" only. If we're discussing having different standards based on sex, then all this insistence and discussion on whether female characters ..."

I completely agree. The interesting thing is that the author can even tell the reader repeatedly that a male character has a weakness (Jasper's struggle to control himself around humans; Mike Newton's inability to sit through a scary movie) and even then, no one questions his "strength". Why doesn't Edward's suicide attempt set manhood back 100 years?

Bella's character is accused of depicting a girl whose life has no meaning without a man. (huge misconception and misunderstand of the saga, imo)
Isn't Edward even more guilty of this? Several of his family members even alluded that Edward's life seemed to have no meaning until he found Bella....but she is the weak one simply because she returns his love? You are right, it is a huge double standard. Twilight isn't anti-feminist at all. The criticisms of it are.


message 31: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Mocha Spresso wrote: "Mickey wrote: "I question the validity of judging women by their "strength" only. If we're discussing having different standards based on sex, then all this insistence and discussion on whether fem..."

how odd


message 32: by Eml (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eml Grlpwr00 wrote: "The question i have people who have read Twilight is "do you feel that Stephenie Meyer is sexist towards women/girls?"
Yes, I understand that Meyer is a women herself but i feel that this book (th..."


I don't think Meyer is sexist; I think a lot of people are without realizing it though. Believe it or not, Bella is a very strong female character. She never is controlled by Edward, and doesn't give up a life by being with him. She actually gains a lot more by being with him than not. I think people have problems with Bella because she's very relatable, but she doesn't do everything people want. For instance, people have a big problem with her wanting to have sex with Edward before they get married. I think this is proof that Meyer isn't sexist, she told the story how someone with Bella's personality from modern times would react to Edward. People don't like that she got married before having sex, but then some also don't like that she wanted sex before marriage. If it had been the other way around-where Edward wanted sex and Bella didn't, the story wouldn't get half the crap it gets. Because, that's the way it's "supposed to be." The guy wants sex and the girl either lets him or doesn't.


message 33: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Eml wrote: "Grlpwr00 wrote: "The question i have people who have read Twilight is "do you feel that Stephenie Meyer is sexist towards women/girls?"
Yes, I understand that Meyer is a women herself but i feel t..."


quite interesting thought.


message 34: by Nuran (last edited Dec 28, 2012 01:08AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nuran Mickey wrote: “I don’t agree that men are generally reduced to one characteristic and judged on it. Since when is stalking a female quality?

I think you’re missing my point.”


Stalking isn’t, but some people consider that romantic and romance is really a feminine thing.

Well, the reason I don’t really talk about Edward is because he has even less depth than Bella. If you go on the fsog thread, his alter ego gets shredded to pieces because even though Grey is based on Edward, he has some extra “shades” that make him far more interesting to discuss and take apart than Edward.

Edward is a pretty stalker, who was stupid enough to leave the love of his life to protect her but seemed to have forgotten two red eye vampires know about her.

Jacob’s freaky sexuality has been shredded, way more than Bella’s sexuality.

Mocha Spresso wrote: “Bella’s character is accused of depicting a girl whose life has no meaning without a man. (huge misconception and misunderstand of the saga, imo)”

And Bella doesn’t have any meaning in her life without her man, it is not a misconception, she even states this right before the failed battle at the end of the series. She admits she couldn’t live without him if he died in battle and would follow him and let one of Aro’s vampires kill her as well. Despite just having a daughter. Daughter not enough to make her stay, father not enough to make her stay, firends and family not enough to make her stay.

Mike is a completely minor character, he’s been left alone because pretty much no one cares about him because he is so uninteresting, I can barely remember him, not to do with the fact he is a guy.

Just like people who see twilight is sexism where there is none, people are seeing sexism in dicussions where there is none. It doesn’t shine a great light if you’re trying to convince people about how there is no sexism in twilight when you are too seeing sexism where there is none.


Mickey Nuran wrote: "Stalking isn’t, but some people consider that romantic and romance is really a feminine thing."

You aren't understanding, Nuran. I am making a point about how women characters are held to a different standard than men characters. If you look at how they are judged, the number one characteristic is whether they are "strong" or not.

You are trying to pretend there is an equivalence between the treatment by discussing odd criticism some of the males get. But you criticize them for different things. There isn't a hurdle that each one must clear or be "worthless". There isn't a characteristic that gives them value.

Bella gets far worse treatment than any other character. That's a fact. I've been on these threads for almost two years. The amount of threads bear me out and the amount of posts.

Nuran wrote: "And Bella doesn’t have any meaning in her life without her man, it is not a misconception, she even states this right before the failed battle at the end of the series. She admits she couldn’t live without him if he died in battle and would follow him and let one of Aro’s vampires kill her as well. Despite just having a daughter. Daughter not enough to make her stay, father not enough to make her stay, firends and family not enough to make her stay."

Edward does the same thing, in fact, he actually attempts suicide when he thinks Bella is gone and has always maintained that if Bella dies, he will find a way to destroy himself. But the truth is that men have the right to make that decision and women don't. They are allowed to have intense feelings without the harsh judgement meeted out to women (because women shouldn't be like that).

Nuran wrote: "Just like people who see twilight is sexism where there is none, people are seeing sexism in dicussions where there is none. It doesn’t shine a great light if you’re trying to convince people about how there is no sexism in twilight when you are too seeing sexism where there is none."

One doesn't follow another. I think it's entirely possible to point out that there is a huge double standard as far as judging characters in literature. Women are scrutinized to see if they are acceptable and project the image they're supposed to (which is where we get all the crying about being a role model). Bella's in love? She's no longer a person in her own right. Bella's upset over a breakup? She's a weak person that can't live without a man.

Let's look at whether Meyer makes a big distinction between her men and women. I would say that Jacob and Bella have almost the same reaction to their relationship frustrations. Doesn't Jacob obsess about Bella to the point that his pack is sick of it? Doesn't he mope? He runs away for periods of time, yet there's not all sorts of criticsm that he should've turned to his family or friends. (Edward is also excluded from this judgement.) I'd say Meyer is pretty even-handed in her treatment of love frustration between men and women. The reaction is way different and I think that's sexist.


Mickey Mocha Spresso wrote: "I completely agree. The interesting thing is that the author can even tell the reader repeatedly that a male character has a weakness (Jasper's struggle to control himself around humans; Mike Newton's inability to sit through a scary movie) and even then, no one questions his "strength". Why doesn't Edward's suicide attempt set manhood back 100 years?

Bella's character is accused of depicting a girl whose life has no meaning without a man. (huge misconception and misunderstand of the saga, imo)
Isn't Edward even more guilty of this? Several of his family members even alluded that Edward's life seemed to have no meaning until he found Bella....but she is the weak one simply because she returns his love? You are right, it is a huge double standard. Twilight isn't anti-feminist at all. The criticisms of it are."


I hadn't thought of those exact examples before. The only thing that I feel I have to make a distinction on is I don't believe in using the word "sexist" and "anti-feminist" as synonyms. I think feminism can be plenty sexist as well and I blame that movement for a lot of this double standard we're talking about. I wouldn't say that the criticisms of Bella are anti-feminist, because I think feminism often teaches and encourages these exact criticisms.


Nuran People aren’t exactly praising Edward willingness to die either. When people critique Bella choice in Edward, they also critique Edward. Bella’s critiques are emphasised by Edward’s shitty traits. . E.g Edward is a crazy, dangerous, stalking murderer, Bella is dumb to be with him. Edward is no way getting of lightly here.

Usually, the arguments that involve scrutinising Bella, also in turn scrutinises Edward. Most of arguements against Bella pretty much boils down to her choice in men.

And as many of the goodreaders here are female, so naturally, you’re going to be drawn more to talk about the female chaacters because you feel you can get inside the female’s head more than you can get into a male’s head.

I do get it, why aren’t people moaning fiercly about Edward’s weakness and failing in strength? Why don’t people rant about Edward’s suicide attempt but pick apart Bella’s extreme danger sport of cliff diving? Edward is just as pathetic as Bella, why don’t people point out the same flaws in him? Why don’t people get frustrated with Jacob’s depression and anger, when they did over Bella?

But I’m saying - So what? There are other factors happening here.

I could say it is actually sexism towards male and it is all about superficiality that people don’t discuss the inner workings of Edward, Jacob and other male characters in depth. The whole sexist thing “as long as he’s pretty and sexy, he doesn’t need much substance” angle. Men characters are worth depending on how much of an eye candy they are. Sexism towards women, well you can also say it’s sexism towards men.

At least, people are willing to talk in depth about Bella.


Mickey Nuran wrote: "But I’m saying - So what? There are other factors happening here."

What are these "other factors"?

I hope you have more than men as "eye candy". This is a book. There are no visuals (not even on the covers).


message 39: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 28, 2012 03:24AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Nuran wrote: And Bella doesn’t have any meaning in her life without her man, it is not a misconception, she even states this right before the failed battle at the end of the series. She admits she couldn’t live without him if he died in battle and would follow him and let one of Aro’s vampires kill her as well. Despite just having a daughter. Daughter not enough to make her stay, father not enough to make her stay, firends and family not enough to make her stay.


..."


I have to reread the end of Breaking Dawn because all that I remember is her concern for Renesse and her taking actions to ensure her safety. I didn't view her actions as Bella making a decision to abandon her for Edward. I will reread it....but right now, I am thinking that you are misinterpeting her actions and her concerns as a parent.

...edited to add this from Breaking Dawn...

Renesmee reached for me, and I held my arms open. She launched herself into them, smelling strongly of werewolf, and nestled her head against my neck. I didn’t know if I could stand this. As much as I feared for my life, for Edward’s, for the rest of my family’s, it was not the same as the gut-wrenching terror I felt for my daughter. There had to be a way to save her, even if that was the only thing I could do. Suddenly, I knew that this was all I wanted anymore. The rest I would bear if I had to, but not her life being forfeited. Not that. She was the one thing I simply had to save.

Meyer, Stephenie (2008-08-02). Breaking Dawn (Kindle Locations 8291-8296). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.


Nuran Mickey wrote: “Nuran wrote: “But I’m saying - So what? There are other factors happening here.”

What are these “other factors”?

I hope you have more than men as “eye candy”. This is a book. There are no visual...”


There is this thing that brains can do, it’s called imagination. Imagination can help you visualise your perfect guy.

Imagination helps a lot. Edward wasn’t described as average, there was no flaws in his features. I’ve read plenty where the love interest had at least a flaw or two, but can still be described as handsome. Bella had describe him as a Michaelenglo statue, an adonis. Perfect, beautiful looking being. How his face is so beautiful, how it’s an testament to his face that she stopped staring at his body. The first thing you know about Edward, what Bella first falls in love with, it’s all about his looks.

It is easier to create your own eye candy that suits your taste if there isn’t an already an image there to guide you.


Nuran Mocha Spresso wrote: “I have to reread the end of Breaking Dawn because all that I remember is her concern for Renesse and her taking actions to ensure her safety. I didn’t view her actions as Bella making a decision to abandon her for Edward. I will reread it....but right now, I am thinking that you are misinterpeting her actions and her concerns as a parent.


She would save Renesmee at all costs, I don’t doubt that. But Renesmee wouldn’t be enough to keep her living or save herself after she saved her. If Edward died, she would die too, she knew Jacob would look after Renesmee and protect her.

It’s when she looks at Edward and thinks about what would happen if Aro killed him. About how the two couldn’t live without each other, how she finally could accept, though not like, that Edward would kill himself if she died because she would do the same, that was just the way they were. It was her thoughts that told me this, not her actions.

It’s not a case of mistaking extreme sport for suicidal tendicies, she does actually think about committing suicide by letting Aro men killed her if Edward died.

The book is at home, I will get the quote for you then.


message 42: by Mickey (last edited Dec 28, 2012 03:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey What relevance is this to the discussion, Nuran? You seem to be determined to go through your catalogue of "My problems with the books".

We're trying to discuss sexism here.

There isn't anything wrong with a person describing their love interest in glowing terms. I think that's to be expected, especially if it's in first person. What exactly is your problem with it? You're acting as if it is some flaw in the writing, when it is actually a good reflection of a common occurence. It's realistic. As far as others being bowled over by Edward's perfection, Bree didn't have the same reaction. Neither did the other girls at school. Edward's female family members weren't madly in love with Edward. I think you are confusing Bella's point of view with the story.

People generally notice how people look when they first meet them. I don't see the point of bringing it up. I suppose you are trying to claim that Bella wasn't really in love with Edward because she goes on and on about his looks. (Again, how is this part of the discussion thread?) His looks are the tangible part she can experience (along with his touch and his smell), so she focuses on that. I don't think this is unusual at all.


Nuran Mickey wrote: "What relevance is this to the discussion, Nuran? You seem to be determined to go through your catalogue of "My problems with the books".

We're trying to discuss sexism here.

There isn't anythin..."


It is relevant. I’m not discussing problems I had with the book,.

You are claiming it is sexism towards women to talk about their strength and leave the guys out.

I’m saying you can also make a claim that not discussing Edward’s mind is sexism towards males.

Both points are equally dumb as each other.

What I’m trying to point out, it's not sexism to want to discuss Bella's mind.


message 44: by Mickey (last edited Dec 28, 2012 04:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Are you aware of what sexism is, Nuran?

ETA: This is going to be difficult to make some sense out of this, but I'll try.... These are not equivalent things you are comparing. Women having to pass the strength test in order to prove worthy is something that is applied to all women in the book. Look at how several posters have begun analyzing each female character to see if she's "strong" or not.

You are making a claim that there is an equivalence in males based on looks. Are all males being analyzed on whether they are "attractive" as a way to prove their worth? That Bella focuses on Edward's attractiveness has to do with the exclusive feelings she has for him. She does not do this sort of thing with Jacob or with Mike. Males are not being judged by their looks as a way to show that they have value.


Mochaspresso Nuran wrote: The book is at home, I will get the quote for you then.
..."


Thanks. I have to say that absolutely love love love the free kindle apps. (They let you read across different devices. kindle, cell phone, tablet, computer, audio in the car if you use the audible feature). No more lugging books around. No more leaving the book at home or forgetting it on the subway. No more lending it to someone and never getting it back. I never in a million years thought I would actually say this but I actually hate reading traditional paper books now. ereaders have completely changed my reading life.


message 46: by Gerd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gerd Mocha Spresso wrote: "Why doesn't Edward's suicide attempt set manhood back 100 years?"

Because he isn't the identification figure of the story?


Besides, I think Mickey makes a fair point up there regarding sexsism - people just don't care that much about male role models in literature (or media in general) as they do about about female role models.


Mickey The problem lies when a female character is barred from expressing emotions or opinions because they are not "what she should feel".

Portrayal of women characters have degenerated from pre-modern times to being unrealistic and unrecognizable fantasy creatures (the Buffy bamfs). Anything more realistic is seen as sexist because people have become used to the idea of "strong" women (who are actually extremely one dimensional). The "strong" woman is simply an image and is not anything deeper than a cardboard cutout.


Nuran Mocha Spresso wrote: "Nuran wrote: The book is at home, I will get the quote for you then.
..."

Thanks. I have to say that absolutely love love love the free kindle apps. (They let you read across different devices...."


Off topic I know.

Yeah, I have a kindle too, it's great for quoting amazing lines and stupid lines. But twilIight books were bought before I got it, kind of a pain. Tried reading a paperback after reading lots on the kindle, and I just couldn't get comfy, I was like "I need two hands to read a book????!!!! What is this nonsense???!!!".


message 49: by Mickey (last edited Dec 28, 2012 04:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mickey Mocha Spresso wrote: "...edited to add this from Breaking Dawn...

Renesmee reached for me, and I held my arms open. She launched herself into them, smelling strongly of werewolf, and nestled her head against my neck. I didn’t know if I could stand this. As much as I feared for my life, for Edward’s, for the rest of my family’s, it was not the same as the gut-wrenching terror I felt for my daughter. There had to be a way to save her, even if that was the only thing I could do. Suddenly, I knew that this was all I wanted anymore. The rest I would bear if I had to, but not her life being forfeited. Not that. She was the one thing I simply had to save.

Meyer, Stephenie (2008-08-02). Breaking Dawn (Kindle Locations 8291-8296). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition."


Nice quote! I've recently discovered the joys of quoting. It cuts down on a lot of the misconceptions. (There are so many!)

What always strikes me is how good Meyer is at putting real emotion into her books and into her characters. She's phenomenal at it.


message 50: by Jeni (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jeni I struggle a bit with sexism because I personally don't feel men and women can truly be equal in all ways. Men are (for the most part) built stronger physically and that will enable them to always do things women cannot. However, that does not mean that men or women should be excluded from anything just because of gender. Just that there are some natural imbalances that occur that have to be addressed.

In the world of vampires and shapeshifters, it's a bit different, though. Vampires and shifters are strong--very strong. They are fast and they are predators. This is a bit of an imbalance in the traditional role of men as protectors and women as damsels.

As I said earlier, I don't see sexism at play in these books. I think she tried hard to give a variety of talents to a variety of characters and she did okay with that.

Bella's determination to be with beautiful Edward doesn't make some of us comfortable because it might not be the way we would handle our infatuation, but it doesn't make her a traditional "female oppressed by a male society," at least in my opinion.

In a supernatural world, humans are at the mercy of the supes. Vampires, male and female, will be stronger and more equipped to protect humans, male and female.

Once Bella became a vampire, albeit strangely easily, she was much different. She was now a strong and fast supe and the humans around her could be in her protection. Sexism would make her incapable, even as a supernatural being.


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