As an addendum to my earlier post about the Twilight saga, in the wake of the publication of Breaking Dawn — the fourth novel in the series –here are two more feminist perspectives on the series’ messages about sexuality, both brought to you by the RhRealityCheck site.
Sarah Seltzer provides a nice summary of some of the troubling aspects of the series, particularly as they surface in the final novel (spoiler warning for those who care!), and links to a lot of other commentary — only a few of which I’ve had a chance to peruse.
Meyers has tapped into a serious artery of the teen female psyche. Adding to the dynamic is the fact that Bella is a cipher whose only strong impulses are self-sacrifice and vampire lust. She has a glancing appreciation of classic novels and her family, but is easily projected upon by readers, who can imagine themselves in her place and be vicariously wooed by sexy succubi.
In Vampires And Anti-Choice Ghouls, her latest podcast, Amanda Marcotte gives her own take on the phenomenon (audio; partial transcript also provided).
God, you don’t even get close dancing or closed mouth kisses? Well, of course not. The point of this exercise is to set the standards so high that pretty much every girl is bound to fail and then hate herself for being a dirty girl. . . The important thing is that women learn that their bodies don’t belong to them, but should always be subjugated to the needs of the patriarchy.