Twilight of the She-Geeks

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LewsTherin:
It all makes sense now. Well lads, we got some apologising to do.

Ever since I saw Samus stripping after the end of Super Metroid (haven't played the original one until years later), I felt quite angry for the way women are portrayed first and foremost in a sexual manner for no other reason than just because it sells. Sometimes really just because.

Even though I'm a guy, I feel that if I was treated in that way I would be seriously pissed, so I identified a little.

The fact that sex sells doesn't bother me as much as the fact that it's being used a marketing tool far more than ever before. It's kinda seeping in people's attitudes towards each other, really.

swenson:
(...)even though when you remove the hot guys and put everything into perspective, it becomes an uninspired and slightly creepy series.

Sadly, that wise perspective is not being shared by a lot of otherwise (hopefully, at least some of'em) intelligent girls worldwide. Or guys for that matter.

Just watch how rethorical they get when someone accuses them of supporting objectificated female images in games/movies/television.

Sara Grimes:
As the books/film's many critics have also pointed out, the story also re-appropriates the traditional parallels drawn between vampirism & sexuality into this bizarro discourse about abstinence and uncontrollable "male urges", all the while pinning much of the blame on the (would-be) victim for being "too" appealing.

Yeah, that's one of the oldest and weakest excuses for male abuse. What scares me the most is that, this time, it was a woman who wrote it. I wouldn't like to have a conversation with her beyond "what the hell is wrong with you?".

Well I think that two wrongs don't make a right... just saying.

Again, it's not Twilight that bothers me. It's the fact that the books stories/movies are just so terrible but people will just willingly look past that fact for no reason whatsoever. I mean, I've been the target audience for plenty of stupid crap (see: OneChanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers) but I'm not going to force my brain into thinking that I like it because I'm the target audience. It just doesn't make sense to me. If something is blatantly flat out awful then there should be no excuse for it to have such an enormous fanbase. It boggles my mind how people can be that stupid...

It would seem all these spin off vampire TV shows/movies got it all wrong... I wonder when these people tying to cash in will catch on its not about vampires...

"Female ninjas probably would use their sexuality as a weapon!"

Umm, female ninjas probably would use their sexuality as a weapon. One of the things that ninjas are known for is that they will do anything to execute their target, including stooping as low as throwing sand in their opponent's eyes. I'll bet that some of the things that what's-her-face from the game Red Ninja were used by female assassins and ninjas throughout history.

Anyone trying to pitch a good female-centric supernatural romance franchise will inevitably have their work compared to "Twilight" and taken less seriously as a result.

So true. There has never been a good time to be a female geek but the future looks only slightly less barren than the past in terms of movies and whatnot. Looks like they'll have to stick with Heather Graham's Paranormal Romances for quite a while longer until the genre can break from the very large shadow cast by Meyer and her Twilight series. Fantastic article, Moviebob. I'm very much loving these Intermissions.

AvsJoe:
Umm, female ninjas probably would use their sexuality as a weapon. One of the things that ninjas are known for is that they will do anything to execute their target, including stooping as low as throwing sand in their opponent's eyes.

Yes, but the defense in question is seldom made in defense of the "undercover as a courtesan" thing and moreso in relation to the "inexplicable cleavage-baring outfit" thing ;)

MovieBob:

AvsJoe:
Umm, female ninjas probably would use their sexuality as a weapon. One of the things that ninjas are known for is that they will do anything to execute their target, including stooping as low as throwing sand in their opponent's eyes.

Yes, but the defense in question is seldom made in defense of the "undercover as a courtesan" thing and moreso in relation to the "inexplicable cleavage-baring outfit" thing ;)

Okay, fair enough, I should've remembered the context the line was in. Also, thanks for responding. I can officially say that a celebrity talked to me today.

The_root_of_all_evil:
As I said in one of the other threads, there is SO much better female-viewed male objectification pr0n. Laurrell K Hamilton made a career off the back (pun intended) of Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry.

Many of the historical romances have deep raging within those bustling corsets whether straight or lesbian (Tipping the Velvet?), and novels that Twilight etc. are based on (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice) have deeply shallow male characters that are feckless idiots until they get caught by the right woman.

That's the point about Twilight, there's so much BETTER shallow fluff around. A friend of mine recommends Georgette Heyer quite highly.

Edit: While Sean Connery in Zardoz doesn't count, surely Gil Gerard in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century does? While the males were ogling Erin Grey, I seem to remember his suits being awfully tight...and that's without mentioning Burt Ward in the original Batman...

There is an important difference between Kim Harrison, Anita Blake, et al and Stephanie Meyers work. Stephanie's characters step back from the increasingly detailed sex to a more innocent love. Now having read the Sparkledammerung review by stoney321 on Live Journal I realize Stephanie Meyers is to Mormonism what L. Ron Hubbard is to Scientology.

But still-I think it opened the door for the movie "The Proposal" to get made, where the lead characters fall in love but don't have sex. Our culture is missing innocence. Sex has become SO pervasive that love and romance are now the more rare currency that younger girls are looking for. (And remember that romance ends where sex begins.) So yes, there is a void but it isn't being filled quite as much as you think.

@Movie Bob: This intermission was an excellent piece of work. Thanks for the serious contemplation of the movie and the book series. (Although I still feel bad you had to watch it.)

I think the problem with the comparison here is that Twilight comes across as a romance with fantasy thrown in. The fantasy novels we all know and love may incorporate sexualised female characters but I've never read a novel in which "that character is so dreamy" is the primary claim to fame.

In other words whilst geeky guys buy fantasy novels for the story and to escape (with sexy elven maidens as a bonus), it seems the Twilight novels earn their fame purely by exploiting women's desire for a flawless male (physically and mentally).

Gyrefalcon:

But still-I think it opened the door for the movie "The Proposal" to get made, where the lead characters fall in love but don't have sex. Our culture is missing innocence.

Again, Romeo and Juliet: Baz Luhrman, The Little Mermaid, Pochahontas, Cooking Mama; even Moulin Rouge has an innocence that belies what we KNOW is going through the main characters minds.

I think it's the "quest for lost innocence" that is actually getting these movies made. Meyers talks about innocent ideals, but then piles it full of terrifying symbology, that Bob's already gone into, that leaves Bella as a subservient moron with Edward and Jacob taking Stalker and Wife-Beater roles.

That is NOT innocence.

That level of innocence is seen far more realistically in Demolition Man. True innocence can be found in pictures like Where the Wild Things Are, which has nothing to do with Meyer's Mormon-fest.

If you want a truly innocent tale of love, hate, jealousy & passion between a shy male trying to bring order to his chaotic life, and a female trying to break into the spotlight while win his heart, I have a little picture for you.

Gyrefalcon:
But still-I think it opened the door for the movie "The Proposal" to get made, where the lead characters fall in love but don't have sex. Our culture is missing innocence. Sex has become SO pervasive that love and romance are now the more rare currency that younger girls are looking for. (And remember that romance ends where sex begins.) So yes, there is a void but it isn't being filled quite as much as you think.

This is why I like Japanese and Korean romances in movies and television. It's rare that there is any sex (and if there is, it is not shown). Even physical intimacy is rare. This is mostly movie fantasy but partially based on reality (different kind of culture).

But is Twilight "innocent?" This blog post by a conservative writer argues that it is not.

bagodix:

But is Twilight "innocent?" This blog post by a conservative writer argues that it is not.

I particularly liked this bit

"When you read the book," says (Robert) Pattinson, looking appropriately pallid and interesting even without makeup, "it's like, 'Edward Cullen was so beautiful I creamed myself.' I mean, every line is like that. He's the most ridiculous person who's so amazing at everything. I think a lot of actors tried to play that aspect. I just couldn't do that. And the more I read the script, the more I hated this guy, so that's how I played him, as a manic-depressive who hates himself. Plus, he's a 108-year-old virgin so he's obviously got some issues there."

The actor also complained that fans, including a six year old, asked him to bite them.

Even Edward hates Edward.

MovieBob:
Twilight of the She-Geeks

The sad truth about Twilight's popularity is that it didn't have to happen.

Read Full Article

Finally someone else called it on the writing being crap. Every time I mention it to one of the fairer sex I get scandalized comments and looks of utter disgust. I understand that Twilight is actually just a teen girl romance, hell bent on convincing women that abusive relationships are the best/only kind of relationship. I actually read the series, I tend to read anything I get my hands on that looks even curiously like a fantasy series. I just fail to understand how Women don't pick up on the poor writing.

The books were complete and utter drivel, poorly written and with complete disregard for any of the traditional lore surrounding the mythical species she wrote about. I could forgive the last without blinking, if only the writing was of a higher quality. The fact that I'm not the target audience makes me unable to relate to the book at all (which is to be expected). I actually hope more Fantasy Teen Romance novels are written. There is a huge market and exploiting it will only help to bridge the gap between the often awkward male and female geeks!

As a girl, and a geek, I've found that the girls who are into Twilight tend not to be one of us. I have tried to read Twilight, I got about halfway through the first page. Of the people I know who have read and enjoyed it, and they are few, , the attraction is pretty clear- Bella is a Mary Sue, yes, but she is also written so as to be so devoid of actual personality in such a way that the reader can quite easily insert herself in over the top of the character. It's an escape, to a world where an outcast is suddenly adored by everyone, and has an amazingly sexy guy with the body of a Greek statue to worship her. I find what is says about those people sort of depressing and I tend to judge them, purely because of how obviously sexist and downright creepy the book makes Edward and Bella's relationship. If you're interested in a thorough exploration of all Twilight's issues, then I direct you to this site:
http://twilightsucks.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=twilight&action=display&thread=638

So, since I avoid Twilight like the plague, where, you may ask, do I get my gratuitous male objectification? Why, True Blood of course. It's the show of choice for the modern woman who likes her bloodsuckers sexy, but with interesting personalities, and accompanied by female characters that aren't all completely useless, and some of whom (Pam, Maryann, Jessica) are actually pretty damn awesome. Oh and it has plot, something that Twilight strains towards, and pretty much fails to actually grasp.

If, like me, you've tried to read Twilight and failed, or never tried but would still like to know what it's about, fear not! This guy:
http://markreadstwilight.buzznet.com/user/journal/4400301/mark-reads-twilight-preface-chapter/
read Twilight and New Moon, and is currently reading Eclipse, so that we don't have to.

bagodix:

Gyrefalcon:
But still-I think it opened the door for the movie "The Proposal" to get made, where the lead characters fall in love but don't have sex. Our culture is missing innocence. Sex has become SO pervasive that love and romance are now the more rare currency that younger girls are looking for. (And remember that romance ends where sex begins.) So yes, there is a void but it isn't being filled quite as much as you think.

This is why I like Japanese and Korean romances in movies and television. It's rare that there is any sex (and if there is, it is not shown). Even physical intimacy is rare. This is mostly movie fantasy but partially based on reality (different kind of culture).

But is Twilight "innocent?" This blog post by a conservative writer argues that it is not.

Twilight? Yes. The Twilight series, oh absolutely not! ^v^ And given what I read in stoney321's rant/review I feel bad for the fans when the 4th movie comes and it has scenes that look like they came from Mary Riley. I haven't seen much of the Korean horror genre, but I did like "The Ring" and "The Grudge" Or "Ringu" and "Jumon?" from the Japanese genre.

But Twilight falls into romance with horror flavor. It also falls under "Mary-Sue". :p

The_root_of_all_evil:

Again, Romeo and Juliet: Baz Luhrman, The Little Mermaid, Pochahontas, Cooking Mama; even Moulin Rouge has an innocence that belies what we KNOW is going through the main characters minds.

I think it's the "quest for lost innocence" that is actually getting these movies made. Meyers talks about innocent ideals, but then piles it full of terrifying symbology, that Bob's already gone into, that leaves Bella as a subservient moron with Edward and Jacob taking Stalker and Wife-Beater roles.

That is NOT innocence.

That level of innocence is seen far more realistically in Demolition Man. True innocence can be found in pictures like Where the Wild Things Are, which has nothing to do with Meyer's Mormon-fest.

If you want a truly innocent tale of love, hate, jealousy & passion between a shy male trying to bring order to his chaotic life, and a female trying to break into the spotlight while win his heart, I have a little picture for you.

You misunderstand. I'm not saying that the movies are "completely innocent". It is that they don't even allow open-mouthed kissing. Think of some of the old black-and-white films like "His Girl Friday" a romantic comedy that doesn't get to sex on the screen.

Another example: Look at "Music and Lyrics", despite being a good movie, even I disliked that the girl slept with the guy AND THEN decided she should figure out if she liked him. Not the portrayal of girls/women I wanted to see. And although I really liked the rest of the movie, I don't have it in my collection. Twilight has a guy who is fascinated with the lead female but despite any desires he may have, he keeps them in check. He shows the restraint that is expected of "gentlemen". He doesn't refer to Bella in joking or derogatory terms. He shows Bella that he respects her and values her as a person not a mere toy or something to brag about to his friends. It may be poorly written but it has the basic elements of a romance novel. And honestly, I don't think I have seen much done in the horror-romance genre outside of TruBlood so far (and THAT SHOW is anything but innocent by far!)

That Edward and Jacob are NOT role-models I would recommend to anyone (I don't like Twilight) it doesn't change what the underlying formula is. Having a guy who doesn't want to love you but can't help himself-that is a classic romance formula, especially for the "bad boy" type ones.

Gyrefalcon:

You misunderstand. I'm not saying that the movies are "completely innocent". It is that they don't even allow open-mouthed kissing. Think of some of the old black-and-white films like "His Girl Friday" a romantic comedy that doesn't get to sex on the screen.

That's not to do with innocence, that's to do with the Mormon religion symbolism. Also see Battlestar Galatica.

Twilight has a guy who is fascinated with the lead female but despite any desires he may have, he keeps them in check. He shows the restraint that is expected of "gentlemen". He doesn't refer to Bella in joking or derogatory terms. He shows Bella that he respects her and values her as a person not a mere toy or something to brag about to his friends.

And whose word do we have on that?

This is one of the worst failings of the Twilight books. It shatters the writers code of "Show, Don't Tell". How is Edward a virgin? He tells us. How is Edward attractive? Bella tells us. How is Bella smart? Bella tells us.

The entire book's images are derived from the words of a sexually starved attention/drama whore.

Edward's motivation may be truly corrupt and it wouldn't make ANY difference to the words in the book. How do we even know they're in love? Because Bella tells us. This is where the problem is because there is NO evidence in the book to back it up, circumstantial or otherwise.

It may be poorly written but it has the basic elements of a romance novel. And honestly, I don't think I have seen much done in the horror-romance genre outside of TruBlood so far (and THAT SHOW is anything but innocent by far!)

Really? Well...let me see...

The Kitty series (Werewolf DJ) - Carrie Vaughn - 7 books
The Zodiac series (Light Hunter) - Vicki Petersen - 4 books
Patrica Brigg's Mercy Thompson series
Rachel Meades' Dark Swan series
Being Human - TV series
Kindred the Embraced - TV Series
Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage series
Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series

Quite a few really.
(And having innocent horror is really a tough genre to write. How about Roald Dahl's work? There's a definite innocence there, but also the occasional hint of romance, and a whole heap of horror)

On the children's side, there's even more: Dianna Wynne-Jones, Sheila McCullagh, Madeleine L'Engle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Storm Constantine.

That Edward and Jacob are NOT role-models I would recommend to anyone (I don't like Twilight) it doesn't change what the underlying formula is. Having a guy who doesn't want to love you but can't help himself-that is a classic romance formula, especially for the "bad boy" type ones.

Edward and Jacob I don't really have a problem with,(Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is an ugly savage who beats a dog to death!) apart from them being caricatures of men; what really bugs me is that Bella is almost bereft of any positive attributes, and relies solely on her "Help me" cry to solve most of the conflict in the plot.

The Bronte sisters would have slapped some sense into Bella a long time ago, or had her burn down in Thornfield manor.

Say what you like about Duke Nukem being the poster-child for teenage masculinity, but at least he takes an active part in solving his own problems.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Gyrefalcon:

You misunderstand. I'm not saying that the movies are "completely innocent". It is that they don't even allow open-mouthed kissing. Think of some of the old black-and-white films like "His Girl Friday" a romantic comedy that doesn't get to sex on the screen.

That's not to do with innocence, that's to do with the Mormon religion symbolism. Also see Battlestar Galatica.

Twilight has a guy who is fascinated with the lead female but despite any desires he may have, he keeps them in check. He shows the restraint that is expected of "gentlemen". He doesn't refer to Bella in joking or derogatory terms. He shows Bella that he respects her and values her as a person not a mere toy or something to brag about to his friends.

And whose word do we have on that?

This is one of the worst failings of the Twilight books. It shatters the writers code of "Show, Don't Tell". How is Edward a virgin? He tells us. How is Edward attractive? Bella tells us. How is Bella smart? Bella tells us.

The entire book's images are derived from the words of a sexually starved attention/drama whore.

Edward's motivation may be truly corrupt and it wouldn't make ANY difference to the words in the book. How do we even know they're in love? Because Bella tells us. This is where the problem is because there is NO evidence in the book to back it up, circumstantial or otherwise.

It may be poorly written but it has the basic elements of a romance novel. And honestly, I don't think I have seen much done in the horror-romance genre outside of TruBlood so far (and THAT SHOW is anything but innocent by far!)

Really? Well...let me see...

The Kitty series (Werewolf DJ) - Carrie Vaughn - 7 books
The Zodiac series (Light Hunter) - Vicki Petersen - 4 books
Patrica Brigg's Mercy Thompson series
Rachel Meades' Dark Swan series
Being Human - TV series
Kindred the Embraced - TV Series
Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage series
Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series

Quite a few really.

That Edward and Jacob are NOT role-models I would recommend to anyone (I don't like Twilight) it doesn't change what the underlying formula is. Having a guy who doesn't want to love you but can't help himself-that is a classic romance formula, especially for the "bad boy" type ones.

Edward and Jacob I don't really have a problem with,(Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is an ugly savage who beats a dog to death!) apart from them being caricatures of men; what really bugs me is that Bella is almost bereft of any positive attributes, and relies solely on her "Help me" cry to solve most of the conflict in the plot.

The Bronte sisters would have slapped some sense into Bella a long time ago, or had her burn down in Thornfield manor.

Say what you like about Duke Nukem being the poster-child for teenage masculinity, but at least he takes an active part in solving his own problems.

You mean like paying prostitutes for sex? Why are we on Duke Nukem?

How in the world am I in a position defending Twilight? I say that I believe there is ONE POSITIVE thing that MIGHT have come out of it being made into a movie and trust me, it took work for me to do that.

I try to point out that the book is actually romance not horror and I'm seeing people go on about the specifics of the story. The story is awful. The book is a Mary-Sue, the lead character is unlikable (to me) and can't lift a finger to help herself EVER.

Edward Cullin is a stalker who watches her sleep and Jacob? Gee..."Imprinting" on babies and toddlers and UNFERTILIZED EGGS?? Why do I hear Monty Python songs in the back of my head?

I'm not defending the series. I'm pointing out where it really sits.

Oh-and Kindred: the Embrace? REALLY? HAVE YOU READ THE BOOK OF THE WYRM?? Yeah. I'm extremely familiar with the series, company, books and setting. Feel free to dig a bit deeper.

I'm not asking about books. I have plenty of books I myself could recommend. But movies? Television shows? Not so much.

But I'm tagging out. I don't really want to be anywhere near the "Team Twilight" group. I've just tried to see a little from their point of view. I'm not interested in being a target for any Twilight hate since I hate the series myself. Unjustified.

I'm tagging out.

While the article was excellently written I believe you missed out on a key point in your focus on the male characters. Bella herself has also filled a vacuum in the market. My parched people and I in the middle of the desert are also waiting for a messiah, of sorts, and Bella fits. In Spiderman there's Doc Oc, Venom, and Sandmam for you guys, but who are the girls supposed to root for? Mary Jane? The limited nature of the roles of females in popular franchises results has resulted the length to which women can engage in the story.

This is not to say that Bella is a character to consider cool or relatable. Oh nooooo, far from it. She is a shallow, whiny, lazy twit, but at least her despicable character is consistent and semi-believable. The fact that she is central to the conflict in the stories is just another explanation for the inexplicable problem of why so many fangirls have latched onto the Twilight wagon--Bella is one of their only lifelines into fantasy world.

I'd just like to say that I detest Twilight and all the characters in it.

And if anyone is listening, like game developers or movie script writers, could you find it in your hearts to buy a desert-girl a drink?

Gyrefalcon:

You mean like paying prostitutes for sex? Why are we on Duke Nukem?

Duke is to male puberty like Bella is to female puberty.

How in the world am I in a position defending Twilight?
...
I'm not defending the series. I'm pointing out where it really sits.

Whoa...I'm not saying you are. I'm just maintaining my point that even as Mormon-horror-romance there's better.

Oh-and Kindred: the Embrace? REALLY? HAVE YOU READ THE BOOK OF THE WYRM?? Yeah. I'm extremely familiar with the series, company, books and setting. Feel free to dig a bit deeper.

Clan Malkavia antitribu, my dear. Look into my eyes...

I'm tagging out.

Aww :(

very interesting. so thats the reason why something so bad is so popular.

I don't know how Twilight got famous, just like I don't know how Harry Potter got famous. One moment you've never heard of it, next minute it's the world's best thing that's ever happened.

I've never read it, and I never plan to. Partially it's I don't want to be seen associated with what's considered tripe in 'my circle' (i.e. geek culture, and it's something I used to do when I guess I was in education, so "social clique" mattered), and partially it's because I've heard so much about it. Also, I've got enough to read. Sure, if I wind up in the cinema with it in front of me I'll give it a go (and only for that 'Alice' character. Her actress = Yum), but I've not been impressed. I have little time for vampire stories (King even wrote them into Dark Tower. Ugh!), and often little time for werewolves. Why? Because they're often so badly portrayed it's laughable.

I remember Harry Potter really, really got into its stride on about the second/third book in the UK, and I guess it kinda deserved it. I liked 1-4, but I never really read 5. Seen the films upto #4 too, I think.

Moving to the topic of "sex sells" and "objectification". Pfft, I say. It's the oldest trick in the book, and it's least likely to be phased out. The advertising draws on your deepest instincts (i.e. the desire to mate and produce offspring) to get you to watch it. Women could say it's all aimed at men, what with breasts and attractive women splayed everywhere, but I don't think it is. Look at a lot of non-gender targeted films, such as Lord of the Rings. We got maybe 1-2 women? Women got Orlando Bloom, Viggo Morteson (I forget the spelling), Elijah Wood, Sean Bean... From a 'sex' point of view, it was certainly aimed more at women.

Ericb:

LewsTherin:
It all makes sense now. Well lads, we got some apologising to do.

Ever since I saw Samus stripping after the end of Super Metroid (haven't played the original one until years later), I felt quite angry for the way women are portrayed first and foremost in a sexual manner for no other reason than just because it sells. Sometimes really just because.

Even though I'm a guy, I feel that if I was treated in that way I would be seriously pissed, so I identified a little.

The fact that sex sells doesn't bother me as much as the fact that it's being used a marketing tool far more than ever before. It's kinda seeping in people's attitudes towards each other, really.

It just makes game a little more fun D:. Don't let it ruin the movie a bit, don't let it look like your being desperate for fans to enjoy movie, don't make eye-candy all that your movie gives (unless it is a certain kind) Have good writing, which twilight doesn't have, also don't look so sexist and "don't make a girl beaten flatten on her back ready go give a 'thank you sir I will have another' to next dominate male" which twilight has... Bleh i forgot what i was saying...

Good points. But I disagree with the notion that Twilight is somehow worse than the mass of also-bad-art female-objectification in the genre-fiction universe. *hyphen attack lol*

Gyrefalcon:
There is an important difference between Kim Harrison, Anita Blake, et al and Stephanie Meyers work. Stephanie's characters step back from the increasingly detailed sex to a more innocent love.

I'm genuinely hesitant to say this "out loud," even on the Internet, because it's almost-CERTAINLY going to cost me sex at some point in the future, but... ::deep breath:: ...I don't find a tremendous amount of meaningful difference between Stephanie Meyer and Laurel K. Hamilton. (I can literally feel my phone number vanishing from phones as we speak, and if you could see the owners of these phones you'd understand my pain.)

They're both marginal authors who's best-known works seem primarily derrived from narrative versions of masturbatory fantasies - the main difference being what specifically "gets them off": Meyer's main 'hangup' seems to be fantasies of sexual/psychological sumbission to more-powerful men (though there's a REALLY creepy/kinky undercurrent happening with the way the Cullens' adopted 'children' are all paired-off romantically but also live/act as eachother's 'siblings.') Hamilton, on the other hand, seems to be "into" sado-masochism, male-on-male sex and "non-humans." Same song, different lyrics in other words.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Duke is to male puberty like Bella is to female puberty.

Slight disagreement, if I may: The key difference is that Duke CELEBRATES the impulses of male pubescence - Nukem (and the player) are rewarded for acting on impulse, shooting first and focusing on sex. "Twilight" is all about restraining the impulses of young women. Bella wants sex, excitement and passion, and the books essentially tell the (successful) story of how Edward (and Jacob, to a certain extent) "tame her" of these impulses and show her the "true" joys of submission, marriage and other traditional female gender roles.

Back in the day, there was this woman named Anne Rice. You might remember her, she wrote a few books. There was also this movie Interview With A Vampire.

In case you don't remember, because you either were too busy playing with your Nintendo (or SEGA), the books were kinda popular, the movie more so. You could say the movie was the Twilight of the 90's, basically. Nowadays we still occasionally talk about Doom, Mario, Zelda, sometimes Sonic. Nobody is still talking about Interview With A Vampire or Anne Rice, after all Twilight came out. Another vamp romance novel with perverse undertones that is soon going to fade away into the twilight of female-oriented novels past. So why don't we return to talking about games as we always do, eh guys?

In case the topic of Twilight suddenly being all popular and shit still bothers you, this bit by Yahtzee will invariably grab your attention:

http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/reviews/beauty.htm

The_root_of_all_evil:
Duke is to male puberty like Bella is to female puberty.

MovieBob:

Slight disagreement, if I may: The key difference is that Duke CELEBRATES the impulses of male pubescence - Nukem (and the player) are rewarded for acting on impulse, shooting first and focusing on sex. "Twilight" is all about restraining the impulses of young women. Bella wants sex, excitement and passion, and the books essentially tell the (successful) story of how Edward (and Jacob, to a certain extent) "tame her" of these impulses and show her the "true" joys of submission, marriage and other traditional female gender roles.

*thinks* Isn't that the whole part and parcel of social puberty though? Male sexual awakening has always been about "Get your cock out and get it up!" while Female sexual awakening has been more "I AM WOMAN! but I must cloak this power until I am ready to use it."

MovieBob:

They're both marginal authors who's best-known works seem primarily derrived from narrative versions of masturbatory fantasies - the main difference being what specifically "gets them off": Meyer's main 'hangup' seems to be fantasies of sexual/psychological sumbission to more-powerful men (though there's a REALLY creepy/kinky undercurrent happening with the way the Cullens' adopted 'children' are all paired-off romantically but also live/act as eachother's 'siblings.') Hamilton, on the other hand, seems to be "into" sado-masochism, male-on-male sex and "non-humans." Same song, different lyrics in other words.

Two subtle differences;
1) Meyer Did Not Do The Research. (Anita Blake wields guns, reanimates corpses, dissects bodies and fights realistically; Stephanie Meyer can't even describe Forks properly, despite it being a real place)
2) Hamilton is celebrated as fluff (and no-one who reads it is under any delusion from what it is), Meyer is celebrated as literature.

On a secondary point, I've just found out that me and GyreFalcon actually agree on a lot of things, that's how arguments go at times.

I totally hated women for menstruating all over one of MENS few remaining power-genre's, but actually, you have convinced me that I need to stop being so selfish, and this article was strangely 'moving' (with regards to swaying my opinion) and everything you mentioned...i.e. having such a sucky sample for them to taste (the whole tainted water notion) really made me think

Its just...why vampires?! I swear to god...if a film comes out about post-apocolyptic zombie love, I will quite literally go postal

Very insightful...I had not yet considered Twilight in that light somehow. Though female I have pretty much the same reaction to it you do, only I have the pleasure of escaping having to actually watch it before I make fun of it, thanks to you.
So what we need is for a bunch of good writers to get out there and put forth some well-written and clever fantasy chick-flicks? XD The closest thing to that I've ever seen was Kate and Leopold, though it still managed to get on my nerves a bit. (C'mon people...women expect men to have the same level of 'fall over themselves for you' courtesy toward women from that era, but skip over the whole 'the place of a woman is in the kitchen' thing...)

Good article. The geeky female market isn't a huge one that's been tapped (see the zillions of threads about women not being fully recognized and compensated for in video games for example) but "Twilight" at least proves that there is some sort of previously unrecognized desire out there and it's going to take a lot of trial and error, squealing, and unbearable fan girls to get to something that doesn't totally suck.

The Lizard of Odd:
So what we need is for a bunch of good writers to get out there and put forth some well-written and clever fantasy chick-flicks?

Well, that wouldn't hurt. Almost anything well-written is a welcome addition to this era of blockbuster/best-selling fluff.

I'm a girl geek and I hate Twilight, almost as much for making everyong think this is what girl geeks like as for being awful. It's boring, poorly written, derivative (she pretty much admits up front to ripping off Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, and Jane Austen), and it teaches terrible, terrible lessons for young girls.

I'm a straight woman and a bit of a closet romantic, but I resent the implication that I'm going to fall head over heals for rubbish just because most fantasy is aimed at guys. I read LoTR every couple of years; I'm shamelessly obsessed with Star Wars; Watchmen was awesome; I love the original Star Trek and the new movie; Fringe is frakking fantastic television; I heart The Doctor; I play dnd as well as video games; etc.

Stephanie Meyer can keep her Mary Sue and abusive stalker vampire; I like REAL fantasy.

Really? You actually tried to justify the objectification of women in old scifi? I always just shrugged and gone, "yeah so? go make a movie where some chip-n-dales strut their stuff, what's stopping you?"

Until Twilight/New Moon, the response has always been along the lines of "girls don't go for that kind of thing". At which point I laugh and indicate the direction of the nearest firefighters calendar, nearly always sold out... ;)

I never did read these books, having been warned by 3 people never to pick them up. But this illustrates an interesting idea why this series is popular.

The_root_of_all_evil:

MagusVulpes:
i'm simply terrified by your article here. why? because now i feel a sort of need to read the books just to know how terrible they are.

that's what keeps me up at night.

Here's a taster

In that second, I wished that I was not the one exception to his mysterious talent; I usually felt grateful that I was the only person whose thoughts he couldn't hear just as clearly as if they were spoken aloud. But now I wished he could hear me, too, so that he could hear the warning I was screaming in my head.

or

I was like a lost moon-my planet destroyed in some cataclysmic, disaster-movie scenario of desolation-that continued, nevertheless, to circle in a tight little orbit around the empty space left behind, ignoring the laws of gravity.

Make up your own mind.

Aieee my precious brains! Leaking out of my ears! Curse you for inflicting that scourge upon us - there are some things you cannot simply 'unsee'!

But seriously, I was reasonably certain the books were horribly written but that was well beyond all my expectations for just how awful the prose would be. I'll just go whimper in the corner now...

Kinda freaks me out that I AM apart of the target audience. To be honest, I pictured myself in Bella's spot for a little bit. I wished that I had an Edward. Then I just about burned the book when I realized how annoying Bella is! Good Lord! Now every time I hear people talk about "Twilight" or "New Moon" I fight the urge to scream. I admit, my expectations for the "Twilight" movie were so low that I was pleasantly surprised but it was such an forgettable movie. I was watching it as a film student and it looked like a film done by a college-level, indie film-maker. I don't even want to see new moon. With all those cinematography errors I have to wonder if the Director of Photography was even taking the film seriously.

My favorite argument against all of those fangirls is that if Edward was real he would want nothing to do with any of them.

Bram Stoker's "Dracula" is one of my favorite books and to see how Meyer butchered vampires is the reason I will never be a fangirl.

"Say it..."

"CEDRIC DIGGORY!"

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