So. Twilight Eclipse. Wolfboy Jacob lurks nudely, rudely, buffly, looking ever-ready for some lupine tussling out yonder. Vampire Edward appears to be struggling with constipation. And Bella, how goes it with her? Do you know, I can't remember. Who is she? Nobody. What does she do? Nothing. Where is she without men? Nowhere.Oh, I see where this is going…
Bella's passivity, the oppressiveness of her boyfriends (presented as protectiveness), the fetishisation of female victimhood and the unstinting justification of the guys' abusiveness have spurred a strong feminist backlash against the books – a backlash which I fully support.Now there’s a shock, eh, gentle reader?
Part of our sense of disturbance and bafflement is that while all the misogynist elements of Twilight are detectable in mainstream arts and the media, they are rarely created by women.Because she’s neither dynamic, nor creative, perhaps? Prolific, she certainly is, but it’s pap. Barely better written than the awful ‘Harry Potter’ pablum.
Why would a dynamic, creative, prolific and talented woman like Stephenie Meyer write a protagonist as useless as this?
But it sells. I suspect that’s what gets Bidisha’s (nanny) goat more than anything.
Do young women despise themselves so much that the very best they can fantasise about is trailing around after not one but two bullies? It's puzzling. I grew up obsessively reading adventure novels by Tamora Pierce, the Worst Witch series and all sorts of bronze breastplate Amazonian guff. The women in these books bristled with chagrin and energy, as did their lovers, allies, enemies and friends.Oh, why can’t everyone be more like Bidisha? Why can’t they like what Bidisha likes, read what Bidisha reads, watch what Bidisha watches?
It’s just so unfair! *stamps foot*