Fans swoon as Robert Pattinson sparkles! Hearts thump as Taylor Lautner shuns superfluous garments! And I was right there in the thick of it all at Eclipse‘s opening night, lining up to watch sexy vampires and six-packed werewolves battle it out for the love of one inexplicably lucky human girl (you’d think that would be enough to get Kristen Stewart smiling once in a while).
In the interest of brevity, let’s try to disregard the fact that I’m a theoretical adult and still fangirling over Twilight. Instead, let’s take a look at this mythical love triangle between Edward, Bella, and Jacob, shall we?
As a true fan (or freak, whatever), I diligently read all four books in Stephenie Meyer’s vampire series, so I was fully aware of what was to unfold onscreen in Eclipse. But seeing the action come to life reminded me of how disturbingly disconcerting some of the story’s romantic details really are.
Now remember, I’m saying all this as the most dedicated Twilight addict this side of the quarter-century age mark. I love the ridiculously contrived dialogue and the debatably unreadable prose. But let’s be honest here: Edward is kind of a possessive jerk and Jacob is pretty much a creepy perv. Now hold up! Don’t throw blunt objects at my head yet! Let’s break it down.
Subject A: Edward is so intent on “protecting” Bella that he dismantles her truck’s engine so she can’t escape his watchful eye. Um, perhaps a bit dramatic?
Subject B: Convinced that he is, in fact, Bella’s true love, Jacob forcefully kisses her against her will, insisting, “You love me too.“ Sure, she (unsuccessfully) punches him, but in real life, behavior like that invites a swift kick to the groin and a healthy mist of pepper spray.
The guys commit a long list of other moderately offensive/borderline abusive acts throughout Eclipse, and I’m certainly not the first one to take note of their testosterone-fueled antics (seriously, Google “Twilight, abusive relationship” and see what comes up).
But I want to know what other Twilighters have to say. Are Edward and Jacob overbearing, macho losers, or just fools in love? And is Bella really a 21st century female role model, or just another lame damsel in distress (our blog contributor, Ashley, has already shared her thoughts)?
Talk it over in the comments section. Just be aware that however compelling your arguments are, my inner fangirl will continue to squeal as soon as Breaking Dawn comes out.
— Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.
I couldn’t agree more and i am on Team Jacob btw. Awesome article.
As an old fan of the books (I can’t call myself a twi-hard as I haven’t read them in quite some time), I still find myself completely enraged when people pass judgements about Twilight without thinking them through. I mean no offense whatsoever, as your claims have truth to them, but “you’d think that’d be enough to get Bella to smile once in a while”? It’s not just a love triangle between two hot guys. It’s a choice she has to make that could drastically affect (possibly even end – face it, she could be killed at any time with Edward) her life and even that of those around her. Think about it, She loves Edward but choosing him would mean eventually leaving behind her whole family and any chance of a normal life. She could choose Jacob which, as he says, would be so easy but isn’t what she really wants. On top of that: the fact that she really has no choice but to become a vampire (the volturi, remember?), worrying that her dad could be killed because of her, and the idea that she causes Edward and his family pain just by being around them.
That’s enough to make a girl pretty stressed. True, she does accept all of this as her life, but it’s still a lot to deal with.
Hot guys don’t make everything OK.
Nidhi, I could not agree more.
I think we all agree that Bella has a lot on her mind and the heart of the story is her having to make this very dramatic, life altering decision. We all love the story – I dont think the point was that Bella isnt smiling and she should given the male attention – the writer clearly states its Kristen Stewart, the actress, that should be smiling more – a play on her consistently sour expression for the paparazzi.
And on the topic of Twilight promoting abusive relationships, it’s an extremely interesting subject given how women of all ages have embraced and become obsessed with the books and movies given the very blatant signals that yes, in fact Bella is caught between two men that are emotionally abusing her – the proof is in every feminist discussion on the topic online and Current.com even has a handy checklist – http://current.com/entertainment/movies/91544310_twilight-promoting-abusive-relationships-and-female-submission.htm. As women of any age and generation – we have to stop and consider what this means – how did we all fall in love with a story where the main character is controlled emotionally, mentally and physically by a man… and comes back for more over and over again.
Well first of all I think that twilight is a really really BAD book, bad writing and character construction. really crappy for my taste, its ok if some people like it I dont have anything against it.
And in fact, the ideal love in the saga it is abusive, I dont think is wrong to analyze what we read and receive from the media, is not as if you read or see twilight you are going to embrace this idea, is nothing like that at all but it influence the way we construct our idea of reality, and what is natural about gender roles, so in that sense it sends a wrong message about relationships and women gender roles (damsel in distress always) that you analyze something it doesn’t mean that you cant enjoy it.
In the other hand I Think that this has brought a positive effect, some people might be introduce to the world of books! and thats great! more people reading, if some of this new reader continue to read more and more there is a higher chance that we get a more critical and not so easy to trick society.
I failed to say that it actually also promotes bad male gender roles
Didn’t even notice that there were borderline abusive tendencies in their “love triangle.” Eh, I’m probably not good at recognizing them because I got good and stuck in one abusive relationship and didn’t figure it out until it was too late…
Anyway, I think their dialouge and extreme love are unrealistic, too. But… I’m still a Twilight fan! And I’m on team Jacob!
Couldn’t agree more. I’ve discouraged my sister an sister in law from allowing my neices to read these books as I think they promote negative behaviour in teenage girls. By making it ok that “Bella” is bruised after a night with Edward we’re putting it in their minds that it’s ok to get physically hurt as long as he loves her. And do not get me started about the 6 month depression over the teenage romance and the sucidal behaviour to get his attention…
I am a Twilight fan and I kind of noticed the subtle hints at an abusive relationship between the 3. I do believe it is that type of thing that sells, sex, violence, drugs and games… Sad but true…