Being a Geek Girl, or why Twilight pisses me off
There is a debate in the blogosphere about Twilight, and the ingrained misogyny behind it. Oh, I don’t mean the outright misogyny of the story itself, I mean the criticism of it. Apparently, if you hate on Twilight, you may just hate women. Interesting. And by interesting, I mean increasingly infuriating.
The Ferrett’s stance is that when teenaged girls come together to like something, THEY (whoever THEY are – are you on the THEY newsletter? You totally should be, it tells the rest of THEY what THEY should hate on at any time) want to tear the girls down. By ripping on Twilight, THEY “… sends a bulletin to teenaged girls that whatever you like, you should change that shit right away. Because you’re kind of silly and stupid, and maybe you should alter yourself to like better things.”
And you know what? He’s right. If you like these books, a small part of me *does* think you are dumb, and that you *should* like better things. Fine, I’ll take up the women-hating flag on this one. And here’s why…
These girls SHOULD like better things. These girls should strive to read something better than shittily written drivel that is incredibly disempowering. Wow, wooden characters, stilted dialogue, piss poor story development, *and* I get to be taught that girls should feel proud to be stalked, to have an overprotective boyfriend who ‘loves’ them enough to micromanage them, and eventually serve as nothing but a vessel for whatever her mate wants for her – don’t worry about college plans or your own life goals, you need to be a wife and mother now, and THAT’S ENOUGH. Woo-whee, who do I throw money at to get those great lessons, wrapped in awful prose? If Myers would have pushed a pro-anorexia agenda, or a pro-cutting agenda, I’d be just as pissed. Young girls SHOULD be told that starving themselves is bad, and that they need help if they start DIY bloodletting. But because she wraps it in a ‘romance’ packaging, it’s somehow OMGZ EVIL for me to find fault with it.
See, if I was Ferrett, I really wouldn’t have drawn my line in the sand on Twilight. If I was him, I would be angry at Stephanie Myers and every shit writer like her who churned out this drivel, while writers who create works featuring strong female protagonists languish on the slush pile. I would be angry at the PR machine that dresses up this misogynist fantasy and sells it as ‘true love’. I would be angry at the parents who think YA that is smart and challenges you but has sex, violence, or language (like So Shelly by Ty Roth) should be monitored, but that little girls, just figuring out their identity, should live in a Bella and Edward licensed world. That is who I would be angry with, not people who dare to point out Twilight’s many, many faults.
I tell ya, there is nothing like being told you are a woman hater for hating on a book that hates women.
It’s bad enough that reading comic books as a child I was taught that women were simply pawns in villains’ machinations against the hero; later, that women could be ‘super’, but only if their mammary glands could serve as flotation devices; and finally, that you could be reasonably proportioned and smart, but only if you were dead; seriously, the first strong woman that I saw in the pages who wasn’t stacked like a porn star was Death, from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. So to be told that I am a misogynist for not liking Twilight is a slap in the face.
Triple points if he has also said of women who, after repeatedly saying no to a guy who bugs them for a drink/dance/date, finally give in and say ‘yes’: “I can’t decry the process of “asking repeatedly,” mainly because it’s the only stimuli a lot of women respond to. Frankly, I think any woman who has to be begged fifteen times before she eventually accepts should be drug into the back alleyways and beaten, because her rampant need for a string of pleadings trains the wrong sort of men that no doesn’t mean no.” (What. The. Fuck.)
Yeah, apparently *I* am the one who hates women. Of course.
The more I think about this, the angrier I am getting, so I am just going to stop now.