TWILIGHT - thoughts?

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BlancheKing
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by BlancheKing » March 8th, 2010, 12:49 am

TheShadow wrote:I was speaking from real world practicality, and I still highly doubt I could ever find a man who hates twilight because they feel objectified by Edward (or wish they were him, but cant be).
I appreciate you logical process, but unfortunately, I have met such people. In fact, the reason I posted in this thread for the first time today was because some of my guy friends were reading through my tabs while I was in the forum and happened to click on this post. Discussion ensued, followed by mockery, posters went up on lounge walls, women protested, hence my example from earlier. Dorm life is strange in that manner, I suppose.

@ Erica: Who said they are better? A critique of Twilight's morality standards is not a direct reflection of the author's personality. Perhaps if we all viewed criticism for our manuscripts less personally, rejection via query/partial/fulls would not be the painful process it has become.

@ Nick: All opinions aside, try to keep in mind that this is a discussion forum and name calling should be done only when the self is out of rational arguments. Attack the opinion, my dear friend, and not the person. And though you, my good sir, may be a Twilight-dislike and may even know others who equally dislike Twilight, unfortunately (and statistically) you are not a complete representation of rest of the male population. Specific cases do not represent the general population, and I'm sure you are not acquainted with all men who have read Twilight.

To all, as there seems to be a fondness for Twilight in this forum: Whatever your personal opinions may be, I will have to say that I am convinced that Twilight is not ideal literature. You are free to disagree with me, and vice versa. I am not going to dig through Twilight to find a specific proof or otherwise; it's simply not worth the time. At the end of the day, you will still believe what you believe and me what I believe. Does anyone still have an issue with that?
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maybegenius
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by maybegenius » March 8th, 2010, 12:59 am

BlancheKing wrote:@ Nick: All opinions aside, try to keep in mind that this is a discussion forum and name calling should be done only when the self is out of rational arguments. Attack the opinion, my dear friend, and not the person. And though you, my good sir, may be a Twilight-dislike and may even know others who equally dislike Twilight, unfortunately (and statistically) you are not a complete representation of rest of the male population. Specific cases do not represent the general population, and I'm sure you are not acquainted with all men who have read Twilight.
???

I didn't see where Nick called you names or attacked you? Are you referring to his use of scuzi madonna? I thought he was quite civil.

I also hate to break it to you, but you are also unfortunately (and statistically) not a complete representation of the male population, or are acquainted with all the men who've read Twilight. Your anecdotal evidence holds the same weight his does.
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BlancheKing
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by BlancheKing » March 8th, 2010, 1:08 am

Perhaps it's wording discrepancy then? If so, I apologize to Nick. Here, we only call a girl "madonna" when we think she's being a snobby prick.

Where did I say I am statistically correct? I'm simply offering a counter example. Maybegenius, from the sound of it, you enjoy Twilight. That's great, but like I said before, Twilight does not strike me as very interesting.
But, for what it's worth, here's what we were watching earlier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvZCPwK4d8A (excuse the link if I'm not allowed to post any)

Edit: A friend of mine would like to take a poll of those who just replied, but as I'm not sure whether this is allowed or not, feel free to not answer. How many of those who enjoy Twilight are 20 and over, and how many are under?
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maybegenius
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by maybegenius » March 8th, 2010, 1:45 am

I'm actually not very fond of the Twilight series. Certainly not an Edward fan ;)

It just seemed to me that you were implying that Nick's argument was invalid because he didn't represent the male population as a whole, which would in turn negate your own argument. If I misunderstood, I'm sorry.

I still find the argument of objectification problematic. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I'm not sure I see how Meyer is creating a divide between Edward's humanity and his body. I certainly feel she was overly concerned with his physical appearance, which was carried over to the females in the story. Many of the characters (the vampires in particular) are described as exceptionally beautiful. However, in the case of Edward, she gives the character a personality and emotion (arguably, perhaps, but she nonetheless attempts to make him more than a "pretty face"). If he were being objectified, his inner self would have no value; only what is on the outside would matter.

In would be akin to Bella telling him to "shut up and look pretty," as is so often the case in female objectification. "We don't care about your personality, your emotion, your humor, your wit. We just want you to act as a piece of living art for us to look at and do what we will. You are not a person." That is what objectification is.
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Sam » March 8th, 2010, 6:50 am

First, although I see an unrefined style in the writing of Twilight, I still enjoyed it as a whole. Some may see it as a glorified romance novel indeed it most probably is. But I find that the average males avoidance of the romance novel and the emotional tales they weave as a waste of most valuable insight into the desires of the mates they so wish to fill.

I in fact have been a fan of the tales of romance both small and large for some time now. From Jane Austin to Danielle Steele these works not only proliferate our modern culture for a reason, they give individual wonderful goals to strive for in their own lives. Where better to look for inspiration when it come to making the loves of our lives more satisfactory than in the dime story romance section.

But..

Secondly, I do see an subtle objectification of males in the work and in society as a whole that if the shoe was on the other foot (which it was not too terribly long ago, and still is to some effect) would not go without massive amounts of objection from females. There's no such thing as a perfect male or female the only flaw I see is his love for her, that sounds like the average man, huh?

With that said, I enjoy the new models of monsters who wish to be more like us compared to the old "eat the human" single minded thinking of old and I find Twilight as another step in this direction.

I've only read the first book and I've only seen the first movie so my thoughts on this work my change as the story unfolds. I can only hope that I enjoy the expansion of ideas put forth in the beginning rather than have it deteriorate into a Buffy the Vampire Slayer type of Hollywood standard that others experience with "success".

I still see it as a blood sucking Brady Bunch, but I like blood suckers and Bradys, so...

Sam

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maybegenius
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by maybegenius » March 8th, 2010, 11:21 am

I suppose I think that there are better comparisons to draw for Edward than he's an objectification of men. For example, I think it'd make a pretty good argument to say he's the male version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Or, that girl/woman in films and novels that is so beautiful and edgy/quirky/special that she can drag even the most depressed and misanthropic man out of his doldrums and get him to LIVE LIFE FOR ALL IT'S WORTH! Because she's so beautiful and special, see. That's more comparable to Edward - a beautiful, special man that sees poor, mopey Bella and wants to give her the world! Those sorts of female characters are stock in male ennui - a term I think Nathan coined!

If we want to go into what's wrong with the way males are portrayed in Twilight, why not talk about the way masculinity is constantly equated with violence? Or the fact that Bella turns her nose up at all the "nice, normal" boys in favor of the brooding jerk who more or less treats her like crap for the first half of Twilight?
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Nick
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Nick » March 8th, 2010, 2:10 pm

If you want to focus on the latter, there's a lot out there on how the relationship in Twilight is abusive. Honestly loads of people picked up on it before major outlets did or at least started running stories on it, but there's a lot out there now. One could make the point that it's all part of that teen romance thing, because I do know a lot of girls who are in shitey abusive relationships, and the number of fellow high schoolers in abusive relationships comparatively to college age and working adult friends in abusive relationships is wildly disproportionate, so one could more easily make a case for it with them being high schoolers...but I wouldn't. What writer of romance knowingly sets out to portray an abusive relationship as some sort of romantic ideal? Of course this is me, a male, speaking. Female friends and even female acquaintances, from what I've gathered, seem to be much more ZOMGHEISTHEMOSTFANTASTICALTHINGEVARILOVEHIMFOREVERANDALWAYSWITHEVERYTHINGTHATIAM in their relationships, no matter how short they are. Again, pretty sure this is just a high school thing, but that's just what I've seen (and bear in mind that I attend a high school the size of a small college, so it's not like I'm using Tenney, MN, as an indicator to a whole). It isn't to say we don't engage ourselves in relationships, but for the most part we are more tepid going in (again this may just be me, but that's a long story), and at my age a lot of guys are more interested in having someone who they can hook up with on a consistent basis rather than a bunch of random partners or rather than a genuine relationship.

Just my twopence here.

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maybegenius
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by maybegenius » March 8th, 2010, 4:26 pm

You're not off base, Nick. There's a lot to be said for the female desire to be the one special woman who gets through to a rough/jerky guy to find that he's secretly a wonderful, romantic softy with a heart of gold only she could bring out. It's a very common trope in female-centric romance. The problem is, it's always fantasy. In real life, the jerks have no soft candy center. They really are just jerks. Some women learn that young, others don't learn it at all.

There's also a lot to be said for the fact that girls are pushed toward monogamy and finding their "one true love" from a very young age, whereas boys do not receive similar pressure. In fact, they tend to receive pressure from the opposite angle - don't be serious about a particular girl; you're too young to settle. That sort of thing.
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christi
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by christi » March 8th, 2010, 6:38 pm

I'll be honest and say I used to really bash Twilight and especially Meyer. I'll admit that maybegenius helped me see the error of my ways because whether or not the book did well and all the media hype... this was not Meyer's intent. She wrote a book and hoped to pay off her car. Instead, it became a mega hit. She was probably just as surprised as the rest of the world. She didn't write it to make a statement or change the genre or anything. She just wanted to pay off her minivan.

I will say that her behavior SINCE then has driven me nuts, but that's a whole other story. Yes, I greatly dislike the series. Yes, I worry about the attention impressionable and world-naive girls have given the series and the lead love interest, Edward. I hope it's not what they truly want in life. Yes, it's true that girls fall for the bad guy, the mysterious and enigmatic hot guy. In the end, we all want to marry the good guy. He's dependable. He'll help with the kids. He'll treat our partnership with equality and not despotism. Romantic fiction is an escape, for lack of a better word, and that's because women like to be swept off their feet and told they are wonderful and special.

To answer your question, I'm well over 30, and I have no interest in that series.
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by A.M.Kuska » March 8th, 2010, 7:08 pm

When the online quiz site Quizilla was still privately owned, vampire stories used to be popular. I used to read them from time to time. Frankly, it was these stories that made me take my hat off to Stephenie Meyer when I read her first book. I have not read any of her other books, I'm flatly uninterested in them.

To understand why I respect her writing so much, you would have to see the efforts I slogged through before finding her. In the stories written by teen fanatics, girls who were obviously being stalked decided to take a walk, alone, at 2AM, down a dark alley, to clear their minds and calm their brains. Oh yes. Thy then beat futilely on some handsome vampires chiseled six-pack while he carried her off to a castle where three other sexy vampires (all male) lived, and kept the FMC as a pet. The FMC then developed Stockholm syndrome, fell in love with the vampire, and helped him defend himself from one of the other brothers who turn out to be a mortal enemy.

My stomach is turning even now. -.-

Stephanie Meyer wrote a typical vampire story that the vast majority of teenage girls go crazy over. She managed to make it a little bit more realistic than the above plot summary.

Outside of the one book I've read, I don't really know much about her. All I know is what I've read in the vampire genre, and how it compares to her writing.

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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by TheShadow » March 8th, 2010, 7:27 pm

I think the reason men hate/dislike the Twilight is simple and doesnt require all of this analysis. I dont need to look at linked youtube videos... you can find ANYTHING on the internet, and I hold strong that most men dont like it for the same reason. Why? Because we dont share interests with teenaged girls. The old stereotype of bored boyfriends/husbands watching some sappy romantic movie with his significant other holds quite a bit of truth to it. Recall situations from commercials or TV shows with the guy bored to tears, wallowing in agony as his girlfriend cries on the couch or in the movie theatre.

This is the reason I dislike it (and I say dislike because I cant say hate as I have never read it, and even if I did, I doubt I would find a reason to hate it. Hate is a pretty strong word, but that doesnt matter here). And this isnt to say that men cant enjoy romantic stories, because we can. But there is only so much mindless tripe that we can handle. In short, men dont look at things the way women do. It's that simple. As I said, this is a purely female phenomenon. I would place money that in an acurate poll of men, less that 5% dislike Twilight because they feel objectified. This just doesnt happen to men. As a matter of fact, most men would love to be treated like an object.

I can count on both hands the number of discussions I have had with my male friends in regard to Twilight. We arent country bumpkins, either. Many of my friends read a lot. The fact is, we just dont care about Twilight. It means nothing to us. What did we talk about those handful of times? The sillyness of sparkling vampires, maybe the attrativeness of the female character. Thats about it. Never once did any of us even mention Edward.
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Ishta
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Ishta » March 10th, 2010, 11:13 am

Well, now that I've mostly finished the books, (I say "mostly" because I have read as much of them as I think I ever will, barring anything that makes it necessary for me to pick them up again), I thought I'd jump into the discussion again.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I liked TWILIGHT, but liked each of its sequels less and less as I worked through them. I disagree that Edward is "objectified", although there was definitely way, way too much talk (and there continues to be throughout the next two books) about his god-like features and velvet voice. He was given some personality, as a 100-year-old vampire who wants to be better than a monster who thirsts for human blood. His relationship with Bella was controlling, but I didn't see that as a reflection of him per se, but as a reflection of the basic inequality - both physical (he can literally crush her by accident) and emotional (he has the mind and experience of 100 years but is trapped in the body of a 17-year-old, while Bella is actually 17 years old, with all of the limited experience and the resulting worldview of a 17-year-old) - of the relationship. That girls and women find that appealing in literature is interesting to me, even as I find myself drawn to the same idea. Having Edward change Bella into a vampire in the first book would even it up in many ways, but that would go against the character that Meyer has developed in him: he sees himself as a monster first, fighting to retain the empathy and discipline that allow him to suppress his base vampire instincts. A large part of what he loves about Bella is the nature of her humanity, and to have him decide to change her in the end for the sake of portraying a more balanced relationship would amount to character assassination. (She went with the character-assassination model when she had Edward abandon Bella over a paper cut in NEW MOON, but that's one of the reasons I thought the books deteriorated after TWILIGHT - it felt like writing books for the sake of writing books, not for the sake of telling the story as it would naturally unfold.) To say that he seduced her isn't accurate, since they were clearly drawn to each other, and she pursued him as much as he pursued her.

I find the idea of an imagined role-reversal interesting: what would people say if Bella were the 100-year-old vampire and Edward were the 17-year-old object of her desires? I don't think the books would have done so well, because I just don't think women and girls think that way about relationships. That the young-woman-with-older-man storyline is as old as time, and has seen much success over the years, is probably indicative that Freud was right and we females do have a daddy complex after all. To lambast Meyer for writing something that sets what we might think of as a poor example is backwards; she just told a story. Let's look instead at why we (collectively, not individually, since I know there are many here who disliked these books) continue to find this type of story so appealing.

This is definitely chick lit, and I would never call it high literature - but how often do you see high literature selling millions of copies in its first year?

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Ishta
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Ishta » March 10th, 2010, 12:15 pm

I want to add a qualifier to my last post: I don't think that women, young or old, actually want a domineering romantic partner in life. Most of the women I know who have found themselves in these kinds of relationships aren't happy with them. Whomever posted that what women really want is the good, reliable guy who will come home for dinner every night and help with the kids is right. However, that doesn't change the fact that we seem to flock in droves towards these types of fantasies.

This is part of the escapism that books can provide: they're fantasies! They give us an opportunity to take a break from the humdrum of everyday life (because face it, ladies, as great as the guy who comes home for dinner and helps with the kids is, he's awfully boring; I mean, how many of us can say that we've done anything EXCITING in the last 5 years or so of our lives, let alone EVER? And why write a book about boring normal life? That wouldn't sell.) and indulge in the fantasy of experiencing something interesting, exciting, and maybe a little dangerous and forbidden and unusual. Life is for living; books are for indulging in.

One of my drama coaches once said that a good play is the story of an average person who finds himself in an extraordinary situation. Books are the same.

And now feel free to lambast me for saying that regardless of our personal life choices, women the world over really do have a secret daddy complex. :-)

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FK7
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by FK7 » March 12th, 2010, 7:11 pm

Ishta wrote:And now feel free to lambast me for saying that regardless of our personal life choices, women the world over really do have a secret daddy complex. :-)
After watching Mo'nique at the Oscars last Sunday, I do have a question that's been eating me inside.

Are hairy legs and hairy arm pits a new thing, or part of a daddy complex too? :D

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » March 13th, 2010, 12:13 pm

Ishta wrote:And now feel free to lambast me for saying that regardless of our personal life choices, women the world over really do have a secret daddy complex. :-)
This line bothers the grown-ups.

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