I saw Twilight last night

Is it just me, or does that story kind of glorify abusive relationships? Try to follow me on this one.

Girl likes guy.

Guy treats girl rudely, going out of his way to harass her and tell her to stay away from him, when she wasn’t even attempting to interact with him.

Girl knows nothing about this guy, except that he has treated her disrespectfully.

Eventually, she learns that the guy is dangerous, that he has been known to act violently in the past and actually has though about doing violent things to her. At this point, girl falls head over heels for guy.

What the hell? Is the actual character of Edward Cullins in the movie Twilight abusive? No. But does he show many characteristics universal in abusive men? Yes.

Glorifying that kind of behavior and showing it lead to a dramatically romantic relationship is nothing short of glorifying abusive behavior. Young girls may see this movie, and others like it in pop culture (because there are many), and when treated like this by a man in real life find themselves drawn to that man (who is very likely abusive), instead of running from him, as they should. You ever know a woman who gets into one abusive relationship after another, and almost seems to enjoy it? Its stories like this one that breeds the perception that a dramatic, difficult relationship is a good one. Its stories like this ones that tricks girls into thinking that a man who treats them poorly and hurts them physically is a man who loves them deeply.

As someone who has been in abusive relationships, I did not like this movie at all. I would never allow my daughter to see it until she is old enough to understand how unrealistic and harmful the story line is, and I would have to be there with her to explain it to her.  I fear what this pop culture phenomenon is teaching the girls of the next generation.

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About Rockingthehomestead

Badass feminist environmentalist.
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5 Responses to I saw Twilight last night

  1. faerylandmom says:

    Wow. I never thought of it that way…

    Definitely something to think about.

    I did read the books, though, and loved them. I thought the movie sucked utterly. The books are more Romeo-and-Juliet-ish and less teen hearthrobby. If that makes sense. 🙂

  2. Kenneth says:

    well, i agree that the premise is really strange. i don’t think it makes for good story telling. i did listen to an interview with the author once on NPR. there is only one redeemable quote from that. she was talking about how, as a vampire, edward has the urge and physical drive to simply kill bella by sucking her blood. (right, okay, vampires. like that’s not violently abusive) but there was something sensual about the discipline to suppress the physical urge and take a role of protector. (creepy, very creepy. like a stalker)

    so, what i thought was interesting about that relates to the fact that she was writing from a moral perspective that edward has physical urges that he controls and subdues. to the author, she thought that would be such an incredible attractive feature for a young woman, that bella was bound to respond to that.

    still, abuse sucks.

  3. jessimonster says:

    Well, my point is that if Bella were to meet a human man who behaved that way, and started a relationship with him, I would bet a million dollars that that man would beat on her.
    Any girl who falls for a man who behaves this way is well on her way to becoming a battered woman.
    I don’t mind the vampire concept. I can see the whole point of the resistance thing. My problem is his behavior, his treatment of the girl. Those issues are what glamorizes abuse.

  4. Jeff says:

    I am a heterosexual married man who read this book (aloud to my wife in bed because we are sickeningly cute) and watched this movie. I didn’t enjoy either, but I enjoyed the movie a hundred times more than the book.

    But to the point. Abuse. I think that you’ve made a fine distinction here in pointing out that while Bella is never physically abused, the story romanticizes difficult relationships. There is a book “A Vindication of Love” http://www.slate.com/id/2220892/ that is in the same line. Some people argue that love SHOULD be violent and destructive as a sign that it is passionate. This is hooey.

  5. jessimonster says:

    Its hard to feel sorry for people like that when they find themselves in abusive relationships, but I have to remember that they’ve been brainwashed by crap like this book that portrays violent and destructive behavior as romantic!

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