VIDEO: Why Twilight?: An Analysis

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Sofie digs a little deeper into the phenomena of Twilight, and tries to figure out what makes this franchise so loved (and hated), and what its popularity could potentially lead to.

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Tag: Twilight

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  • If this sort of stuff had been put on fanfictiondotnet (though it’s not really fanfiction of anything, just a bad interpretation of an old fairytale like you said), nobody would give a shit. It would have been business as usual but it’s staggering popularity has pissed a lot of people off.

    Still that was a very interesting look at this whole phenomenon and how people who follow it feel about it. Like you said, some find it a gulity pleasure but there are some people out there who take it way too far like that nuttymadam3575 who I mentioned in the comments of your Twilight New Moon video. A flat out ‘Fuck You’ to Stephen King for DARING to criticise Stephanie Meyer’s work and other such Twi-hard nonsense is an example of a fandom taken to the extreme. But then again, every fandom has that so that’s nothing new.

    Maybe there are authors or writers out there who could take this sort of story, make it better and heartfelt and not just be ironic and snarky about it like some recent films that have took shots at Twilight have done, then something good might come of it. My Little Pony did it and that was NOTHING but a girly fantasy product before. Being earnest and heartfelt without being snarky is becoming quite a rarity these days (no pun intended after what I just mentioned) but when it does happen, it truly is a wonderful thing.
    But who wants THAT bullcrap, wish-washy, overly-positive way of thinking?! Bring on the snark for the countdown!

    • Sofie Liv

      Still… there’s no actual critics finding this good, there is no film-makers praising it, there is no smart people fooled into believing that this is any good, if you all-ready did know better this story is not going to make you dumber, it hasn’t converted other-wise smart people to its state. It has an effect, but not entirely negative, as I said.. more movies with female leads, and making some poeple read for the first time in their lifes.

      Why can’t we just laugh at the joke it is and move on?

  • danbreunig

    Wow–is this a new twist on Legacy Hunting? Analyzing the personally unimpressed but massively loved?

    Hey, I’m all for what you said about leveling the playing field and finally bringing female fantasy into mass acceptance. And I even agreed to the Hawkeye Initiative principle before that term became famous. We definitely need more female leads without the romantic trappings and eye candy. But even if Twilight started that trend, it may take time for gender stereotype swapping to really stick. To an extent Sex In The City (I could care less about it) did a similar thing by swapping gender stereotypes–but in that case, it was about women bragging and comparing their sexual exploits when it used to be just men doing that. That doesn’t make me want to like the characters any more, it just means that now gender role egotism doesn’t need to be limited to one gender.

    So yeah, I’m glad to see some change in that area myself–just not necessarily with the characters in Twilight. And years ago I wanted to try writing about that myself, at least in comedy. Not gender flipping, nor gender role flipping: gender stereotype flipping. It’s kind of like what you said a while back about women in comedy: why are the women normally just straight characters at best and eye candy at worst, while the men get the freedom to be funny characters? I’m on the flip-side of that–why must the men always be the perverts, egotists, assholes, and even heroes while the women characters (or even in reality) are the prizes, damsels in distress, angels, and moral superiors? And if Twilight can get the ball rolling, then maybe we’ll see some of those flips, positive and negative.

    This is quite a deep dig into what makes this franchise tick–and I thought your video about why we want and need Fantasy was your Masters thesis (well, it *can* be someday, right?) I’m ashamed that my own class papers never went this deep.

    “huh-huh, dude, Porn!…” Did you just channel Beavis & Butthead?

    • Sofie Liv

      Would I have liked it if it was some-thing better than Twilight that had this effect?

      SURE! absolutely! that’s why I am giving the examples of what I would like to see in this genre.

      But the fact of the matter is that it was twilight that did it, it was twilight that had this effect, and there are both pros and cons to the effect of twilight. And some-times you have to bite in the sour apple to get to the positive effects.

      Twilight did this, and it’s not all bad, we should get used to that instead of fighting it. Work with it people, work with it.

      And njah, I wouldn’t call this as much legacy hunting as me sharing my data i’ve collected over the years when I actually took my time to ask and listen about twilight. I listened to the girls, i listened!

      Erhm… the term. “Flipping.” I do think has just as many problems with it as many other things, one movie. “Flipping.” the gender roles wont have any lasting effect.

      When you “Flip” the “flipping.” becomes the one note joke, and the new female character doesn’t get to stand out in her own right as a character we can remember and drawn inspiration from in the future.

      Twilight is not as much flipping genderoles, as it just switches perspective and takes the romantic dream of the teen girls while bringing that into reality.

      And no, that wasn’t my intention at least.

      • danbreunig

        Quite right. It’s not just the flipping roles, stereotypes, and even perspectives I want to see more often, it’s that those happen and they actually stick, without being a one-note joke or simply a gimmick. “Hey, this is an interesting movie because the gender perspectives are switched and…” and that’s all that makes that movie memorable: a gimmick that stands out. Just like a major music artist who’s recognized for the gimmick to draw an audience, and then eventually becomes known only for the gimmick more than the substance. Yes, I want some of those changes, like I said, but I also want them to keep going past one movie, or series, or genre. And sadly that either rarely happens or it takes forever to happen.

        No, I knew that wasn’t your intention–it’s just a funny coincidence. I also meant what I said about saving that thesis for a Masters–I was really that impressed (but I should’ve said that back last May when you did that, but I wasn’t on here yet).

        • Sofie Liv

          Yeah, it will just become a gimmick, and that is not the goal.
          Some-times a gimmick is needed to make a point, but it shouldn’t be the out-come.

          Aw shocks, thanks. I hope you realise you are talking to some-one whom can’t take a master degree herself. Heh.. I can’t get into university because of my horrible grades, so really what I am doing here, is just sharing my thoughts.
          The thoughts of a struggling artist whom cannot get a degree of her own, so erhm. If there is any-thing you feel like you can use, go ahead. I’m very happy people think it’s even worth considering what I have to say.

  • Muthsarah

    Regarding (paraphrasing) “Why is men’s porn OK but Twilight (aka women’s porn) not?”

    Men’s porn is NOT generally considered to be socially acceptable. Sure, it’s everywhere, but it’s still mostly underground, behind the counter, or hiding online where it cannot be seen unless you’re specifically looking for it. It’s not on TV. Not in the bookstore. Not acceptable dinner table/schoolyard discussion. Not in movie theatres (for the most part). There are no mass-produced porn-related lunchboxes, backpacks, and other merch for boys to publicly flaunt as a symbol of their fandom. And it’s not praised/defended for “inspiring young men to watch more movies”, let alone inspiring young men to explore their sexuality in healthy ways. Its reputation is still of something depraved and shameful. Popular, but a pleasure FAR more guilty than something like Twilight. YMMV, of course; I’m in the States (and I know our rep), but from what I’ve gathered, in places like Europe with more relaxed attitudes towards sexuality, there are less hangups regarding socially-acceptable displays of sexuality for both young men and women. In more repressed countries, it is still considered improper to be public with your sexuality; if you do so, you open yourself for mockery or other punishment, and there are very real limits to how public guys can be regarding these matters.

    In contrast, Twilight has been EVERYWHERE for the last several years, receiving tacit approval from all media, a blockbuster of a book and film series. If it’s the equivalent of porn for girls, then I totally get why so many guys (especially straight and/or homophobic ones), or grown women, or any girls who aren’t into this kind of erotica, would be annoyed, or at least made somewhat uncomfortable, by it, since they wouldn’t feel included. Sure, plenty of strutting guys will tear it apart (it helps that the movies make it so easy) out of a desire to prove something, but I think the main reason it’s being mocked so vociferously by men (and by extension, as things are, society in general) is that it’s a far, far more public display of media-sanctioned erotica than men are allowed to make. Sure, there are beer commercials aplenty, but those are small potatoes compared to a genuine phenomenon like this one.

    And yeah, there are still comic books and the older Bond flicks and stuff filled with objectified images of women. Personally, I think that’s a far better product for Twilight to be compared with. But comic books don’t have the ubiquity of Twilight (comic book movies are far less cheesecake than the old-style comics, being made with modern female moviegoers in mind, comic books themselves are still niche, and even then, receive lots of criticism), and even the Bond formula has changed to be more inclusive and less…haremish with its depictions of women. If Goldfinger were released today, it would be torn apart for certain; it would be viewed as an unacceptable example of male gaze sexuality gone too far by modern standards. You include images from Sucker Punch here. That WAS ripped apart, and not just on purely technical grounds. That WAS an expression (arguably a satirical one) of a certain type of male sexuality that, going by the level of criticism from those not just judging its artistic merits, clearly does not have public sanction.

    There’s more to it than “why is men’s erotica OK and women’s erotica not”. And a big reason for that is, certainly, that women’s erotica remains the exception in the mass media. But Twilight is not just exceptional in that it’s being targeted at women, but that it’s so much bigger than any of the ubiquitous, but far smaller in scale, (straight) male versions of the same kind of entertainment, most of which carry that stigma of shame with them. It’s not a level playing field for anybody, so “both” sides have cause to feel slighted.

    As for Twilight in particular, I strongly suspect that the jokes being thrown at Edward and Jacob (and Bella) have just as much to do with their specific presentation as what they represent. I don’t think it’s a grand patriarchal conspiracy to make Twihards feel ashamed for expressing their sexuality, it’s more of a ground-level, individualized set of mockery at these very poorly-written, cheesy characters. Edward isn’t a dangerous, mysterious vampire, he’s an emo who sparkles for no explainable reason. Jacob isn’t a loyal, loving ideal companion, he’s a guy who rips his shirt off every time he blinks. Bella isn’t a bad role model because she’s the lead character in a popular book/movie series, she’s a bad role model because healthy people don’t think or act as she does. Fix the characters, and you’d make it a LOT harder for anyone to mock the themes, or the genre as a whole. Meier may have been doing the public a favor by (finally?) bringing women’s erotica into the mainstream (beyond Harlequin), but that she did it with such shallow and silly works may have cursed it as well.

    I don’t think what Twilight is doing is BAD per se. I too think it’s good that there are more book/movie series being targeted at the long-ignored female audience. I also hope that it, somehow, leads to better things. Better-written, more complex stories with realistic, yet relateable, female protagonists. I think HOW it does what it does is bad. I dislike how horribly passive Bella is and how this book’s politics are so regressive. There’s good traditionalism (attachment to families, love of community, respect for elders), and there’s bad traditionalism (women have their place, men have to be MEN, do whatever authority tells you to do, etc.). These stories…do not make for an auspicious beginning to the new-but-hopefully-permanent presence of these kinds of films. I just hope – as I assume do you – that someone with vision, talent, and an appreciation for modern values (not just modern marketing) comes along and gives this genre something to be proud of, and not just a cause to reluctantly rally around.

    Oh, one more thing. What is it that Twilight is doing to actually EVOLVE this genre, be it women’s erotica, or teen romance, or whatever? What is it providing its audience that previous books weren’t? Not ten years ago, there was a real resurgence of Jane Austen’s popularity (which is great, as I love her works). But that didn’t seem to lead to anything, now that Twilight has apparently taken over the entire women’s lit universe, making “supernatural romance” almost a redundant term. How the frick did it, of all things, get so popular?

    • Jason Withrow

      On the subject of Twilight being considered “woman’s erotica,” I feel I should quote a female blogger I was reading a few years back who remarked something to this effect: “My porn doesn’t look like Twilight! My porn looks like PORN!” The comparison is just another in the ages-old and ages-tired stereotype of “girls like romance and men like sex!” and isn’t doing anyone any favours, especially if it veers towards “REAL woman don’t like sex.” If one really wants to compare female erotica to male erotica, 50 Shades of Gray is readily available as a (poorly understood) example of the BDSM genre, not to forget the entire industry of actual erotica directed at woman!

      • Muthsarah

        Please forgive the reductionism, but “Poorly understood” is by far the most interesting part of your post. Poorly understood by whom? By the target audience? By the masses? Do you think the readers themselves misunderstand the author’s intent, or just those who only know the work second-hand and may not be otherwise…interested in the specifics of the story?

        For the record, I would never wish to claim that all (straight/gay) (women/men) are of one like mind. Life is far too complex for that. But it’s already so unwieldy to try to include every possible group, so I may have glossed over some in my (already exceedingly long) comment. I was trying quite deliberately NOT to generalize about anyone, and where I was, I was trying to generalize most about those groups I feel I understand the best (comparatively).

        As for 50 Shades of Grey, I know practically nothing about it, probably just the very basics. And that alone is enough to put me off of trying to learn any more. Really, really, not my kinda thing.

        • Jason Withrow

          By the author, who has been lambasted by the BDSM community for misrepresenting and ignoring them and their specific and careful guidelines designed to prevent abusive relationships by ultimately presenting and promoting abusive relationships.

          • Sofie Liv

            Fictional abusive relationships, all fictional.

            I mean we as ordinary people get pretty pissed when politicians assume we don’t know the different between “Movie violence.” and “Real life violence.”

            It’s arguments like that, and the lack of trust in people being able to sepperate reality from fiction, that gives politicians and its like amo, to say we shouldn’t have any sex, guns or gore in movies cause it’s a bad influence.

            You cannot say no to A without also saying no to B in this case.

            This is the fantasy of teen girls, it’s a way for them to exploit these fantasies in a safe, imaginary enviroment, so it doesn’t get in the way in real life.

            So it was a cheap, not that well written novel, that did that for several thousand girls.

            I just chose to have more faith in the average girl that they can learn and are usually smarter than that.

            First time crushes are weird, and both genders takes it the wrong way, takes time to learn, and those are the girls whom reads these books. Most of them will learn.

          • Jason Withrow

            The author of 50 Shades has DEFINITELY been praising the relationships in her book as ideal REAL relationships, talking about the joy of and has been shaming everyone accusing them as abusive as not understanding the BDSM lifestyle, even though the complaints are coming from the BDSM community. You can’t say this is just about fictional relationships when the author makes it clear they think they’re representing real ones.

            http://iam.yellingontheinternet.com/2013/02/03/the-glorification-of-abuse-in-50-shades/#more-2396

            EDIT: It’s also been noted that James and the 50 Shades marketing campaign market 50 Shades as a way to spice up relationships in the real world while James continues to shame the actual, safe, sane and consensual BDSM community and its support network. The author has made this real.

            http://jennytrout.blogspot.ca/2013/02/lets-talk-about-50-shades-in-calm-and.html?zx=d7075d8dd3a6965b

          • Sofie Liv

            If any girls follows that and believes in that, then they all-ready were pretty dim to begin with.

            Most girls are better than that and knows better than that.

            So are we going to let one single crappy not very intelligent human being whom wrote a book, destroy it for future potential fictional female exploitation.

            Yes ofcause abusive relationships is not okay, ever. Any girls whom thinks it’s oki that a man hits her withour her consent, or takes advantage without her consent is oki. Are bloody brain-washed. It’s not oki.

            But neither should we have a lock-down in fictional media exploiting this stuff.
            Fictional media is where you can explore and exploit is safely, fictional media is the place where you should do it.

            I’m talking about fiction. Fiction and reality are two different things with two different purposes.

            And people in reality all-ready knows that fifty shades of gray is one big fat joke, no intelligent person has ever taken fifty shades of gray at face value. It’s a joke, it’s made fun of on a constant basis, no one with half a brain is taking it seriously, your concerns are un-warranted. most people are smarter than that.

          • Jason Withrow

            50 Shades of Grey has absolutely inspired a boom interest in BDSM. I don’t have to search the internet for more than a few seconds to find evidence of that. Meanwhile, the BDSM community’s negative impact because of the book has hardly been manufactured out of thin air either. Indeed, the threat to the BDSM community from misinformation alone is larger and perhaps even more dangerous. Misinformation has always been one of the biggest enemies of a subculture, and to have E L James claim to represent the culture while destroying its precepts in every interview and book is spreading the flames.

            Furthermore, I never claimed that fiction should be “locked-down.” In fact, I’ll be the first to say that I’ve irresponsibly not suggested any course of action at all. If a course of action needs to be suggested, it’s the one I’ve been trying to follow: education on the issues raised by the book and its acerbic and, I repeat, actively hostile marketing campaign, and proper resources for anyone actually interested in the lifestyle.

            People who have entered the world of BDSM because of these books, poorly educated, simply do exist. There’s simply no other way about it. If you’re simply going to counter that they don’t when the evidence is in front of you then this debate has already dead-ended, and to insult and nearabouts victim blame any that have ended up in abusive relationships as a result as “pretty dim” and lacking “half a brain” is very disappointing. No, I’m afraid this discussion is already over, I can’t continue this.

          • Sofie Liv

            I do apologies, I spoke without thinking.
            Any-thing actually harming people, whether it’s on a emotional plan or phsyical plan, is bad. No discussion.

            I was un-aware of such an effect, cause it’s not an issue I have heard about within the borders of my own country.

            This is a very difficult discussion because there a NO correct answers, none at all.

            It’s like a pendul swinging back and ford in two extremes, and neither extreme which means. “No exploitation.” or “Exploitations that includes fifty shades of gray.” are the answer, the answer is well balanced and some-where in the middle, where rationel people lifes, whom can thinks for themselves.

            So you can link some bad influence directly to the books, but because of enternet, the scale of every-thing is so much larger, we hear about all of the bad stuff.

            Stuff like this has been going on for decades, it’s just first now that we hear about it.

            And for people whom gets into real trouble due to BDSM, I don’t think it’s right blaming only “Fifty shades of gray.” for that, blaiming only one single book.
            That’s just avoiding the real issue, and avoiding dealing with the real issue which is.

            Education, information and talking about things like that, normally, to young people and kids without making a big deal out of it.

            It’s about how society, school and parents should be able to educate young people.

            You cannot blame the fiction in on itself for the worlds problems, you cannot lay all the blame on a book, it’s just a book.

            You have to deal with human information, and spreading the word through other means.

            By banning stuff as fifty shades of gray, you are locking down the right for shitty romance, and we do have free speech in most of the modern world, you cannot do that, so work with it.

            By just talking, and handing out information of these things, to people in a young age, and very young even, I was thirteen when I started being taught about sex in school, makes stuff like fifty shades of gray and it’s like, compleately un-impressive.

            It’s only impressive as long as it remains some kind of “Forbidden fruit.” cause we can’t talk about it.

            When it’s not forbidden any-more, it’s not the least bit impressive, and people wont care as much.

            The reality of our modern world is that this is now a part of our world, stories resembling “Fifty shades of gray.” are available, all over the enternet.
            Wheter it’s about ponies in a lesbian SM relationship or what-ever, you are not going to get rid of this stuff, it is now a part of our world.

            So don’t work against it, work for better information. it is my honest to god belief that people should be allowed to have these things in peace as long as they don’t force it upon others and enjoy it themselves.
            We don’t bother them, they don’t bother us.

            if some-one is hurt, it is due to lacking information, not these silly fictional stories.

            It’s to god damn easy to put all of the blame on a book! first you got to look at society, people and yourself.
            We need to look in our own mirror before just putting all the blame on a book, which is in no way unique in this modern world, there are plenty of more books just like it hidden on old dusty shelfs in book stores. it’s just the first one being that financially succesful.

      • Sofie Liv

        it’s teen girls porn, they are not ready for the real stuff yet. they are just discovering those weird feelings for the first time.

        It’s a scientific fact that most (empathise on most not all.) women don’t like sex as much as most guys.

        The differenc between us is that women are often (Not always.) turned much more on by the romance and prospect of romance than the actual sex act. And I am of that category, most definetely.

        The individual psycke of people are just so complex and different that you can’t really categorise like that.

        If people honestly enjoy fifty shades of gray.. let them, the book is joke to every-one whom has half a brain

        There only any real problem when people are treating it as any-thing else than “Slug.”
        It’s slug, it’s exploitation, that’s all it is.

        • ohe

          “It’s a scientific fact that most (empathise on most not all.) women don’t like sex as much as most guys” Oh yeah? You owe us some scientific statistics about that one part: how much do men like sex, then? Where do you get off categorizing different men’s individual, complex psyches so indiscriminately?

          People are just making assumptions that men are all over sex because men are so vocal about it. But the only reason for that in the first place is because men are expressing most of their emotions through sexuality. Any guesses why that is? It’s because society is constantly pushing the notion down their throats that it’s the default for men, while women have wider venues for expressing theirselves. Much like you’re sticking to the assumption right now. Makes me sick.

          • Sofie Liv

            There has been a lot of research in the subject and a lot of questionares send out about, asking what people.

            Of cause you can’t count on that with any accuracy, as it’s only a small percantage of the world population whom got to answer those questions, and those whom did lied about it.

            Then there has been a lot of sciense going about sexuality where scentists has measured how women and men are turned on, why they are turned on, what they want.

            There’s a lot about it on the nature channels, and books.. so many books. I’ve only read a few of them, but still. I didn’t just make that part up. and by saying “Some.” I acknowledge the fact that they are girls whom are turned on by sex just as much as men, if not way more.
            And there are some guys whom are not turned on by the sex act at all, hench, we are all individuals.

      • The Unicorner

        Interesting 50 Shades should come up since it started off as Twilight fanfiction

    • Sofie Liv

      Twilight is not as much “Adults porn.” as it is “Teen porn.” it’s teen girls discovering these sort of wants and desires for the very first time.
      Much like it’s a big thing for a teen boy just to discover that there is some-thing called boobs and they are sort of kind of hot.

      It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s a part of growing up.

      Because of time I couldn’t pull them up, but there are also more action orianted movies, dumb dumb action orianted movies coming out every year, such as the exspendables or transformers. which again are young boys dreams.

      Critics hates those to, but we are better at letting go of that one, and it’s not met with as much hate.

      That’s another thing, people whom are not teen girls, whom are actually smart.. were never taken in by twilight, it never destroyed any-thing.
      Critics hated it, smart people hated it, if you are not a teenagers unfamiliar with all of this stuff, you are not taken in. And if you are a teenagers, maybe it was your entry ticket to the wonderful world of more books, and they will learn at a later time when they understand love a little better.

      Those whom never learns, never had the biggest IQ to begin with.

      It doesn’t mean they are mean, it doesn’t mean they are out to destroy us, and we as the “Sophisticated quality entertainment consumers.” should try and proof ourselves the bigger man, and let go all-ready.

      It did push female characters forward by very simply having them more representative in cinema. That it’s a bad work like twilight that did it, yes it is annoying.

      But it doesn’t change the fact that it did. For the first time ever, the playing field is being leveling out, and the studios are realising that there is a female demographic to be reached when having female leads.

      Instead of having every single female lead play to the desires of the male demographic, meaning having her being a femmy fatale in a skimpy out-fitt. Catwoman, Electra, Babewire ALL of them, they are playing to the fantasies of men not women. Now there is a chance to even that out.

      And that, is not, a bad thing.

      • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

        If twilight is more teen porn than adult porn wouldn’t then the proper counterpart be transformers?

        • Sofie Liv

          yeah, it is.

          Is transformers a good movie then? and even though it is met with anger, is it met with as much and as lasting anger?

          • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

            Ehm I didn’t say it was a good movie nor do I disagree with you that twilight has been faced with an unfair ammount of hate and scorn (though that has been a boon economically) I just found it odd that you make the distinction between teen and adult porn in the comments but not in the video.

          • Sofie Liv

            I did intend to originally, I just had to cut it for time… I can see that was probably mistake.

            Originally I also compared it to such movies as “Transformer.” “The Exspendables.” and computer games, that obviously plays to the boys fantasy, not the girl.

            Also did consider pointing out that movies such as. “Catwoman.” “Elektra.” and “Barbwire.” clearly are not written or made with a female target audience in mind, but has the femme fatales there, for the sake of the boys in the audience.

          • Mr. A

            I have to agree that that really was a mistake. Those would all have been excellent points and I think that Transformers is the closest male counterpart to Twilight. I also think that the Catwoman movie would have been the perfect example for people trying to write a strong female character and equating that to a complete arsehole.

          • Sofie Liv

            I did point that out in regards to wonder woman.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Well, I can only talk about me, here – I liked the Transformers-movies. Yes, they are big, overbudgeted action-flicks without rhyme or reason… but at least they are that, which twilight fails to be: fun to watch. ^^

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    concerning the characterization of female characters:
    I’d like mine to be kick-ass, capable women, who are NICE.

    I mean – it should not be that hard, right?

    Take Jasmine from Aladdin (the series and the movies) – she is capable of defending herself, however she is a nice, young woman.

    And I mean – I don’t have anything against the snarky bitch… why not? She can be in that character, too.

    That is how I write my female characters – I try to be as realistic as the situation would have it, I try to write with their own personality (involving sense of humour), I try to write them as capable as (realisticly-)possible, and try to bring in nobility, friendlyness and being nice.

    And yes, I am painfully aware, that when all of that comes together and it is dialed up to 99.999, we are having a frakking Mary Sue on our hands – but I hold the view, that even a Mary Sue can be a good character, when the rest of the story is told well. (which isn’t, when I am writing it ^^).

    But to the video itself.

    I have to admit: I never thought of the position, that Twilight and its successors, rip-offs and remodelings hold. I just thought, it was a boring movie. But yes, it is female softporn… and I should’ve known, because I thought “What would be a Twilight, that would be written for men.” And now, that you said it – yeah… it would be supernatural-porn. Like “Boy meets sexy girl-vampire”… damn, even that was already done. They called it “Underworld”. ^^

    By the way: Ha, Jean Marais as the beast.
    I liked him in Fantomas – he was a good Fandor and a good Fantomas… and of course those movies can only win – they have Louis De Funes in it. ^^

    But – back to topic.

    Let me ask the obvious question and bring the answer right to it.
    “Do we even need movies like that, to be remindes that ‘this womanfolk can be hot and bothered too?'”
    Answer: “hey, Cal, idiot. Yesterday we had “Equal Pay Day”, on 8th of March we had “international Women Day” – do you really think, that if we would be knowing that and would be an “equal” society, we would be in need of those days? If we paid ‘womanfolk’, as you so anachronistically put it, as much as we pay men, we would be not needing that day, to remind us that it is still shitty standard, that women are not paid equally. So – yes… apparently we need movies, that show us, that women have fantasies like that, too. As long as you keep in mind: this is not the real live – it is just fantasy.”

    So – do we need movies like that? Like “Porn with Plot?”

    To which I say: “Why not? As long, as the plot is intelligent” and THAT is the department, in which Twilight … well…
    It does not hold up.

    But – that is just me.
    Other people might be totally fine with it. ^^

    Greets

    Cal

    By the way: the most funniest moments in twilight?
    there was Humour in it?
    I just remember one joke. Edward is showing off, that he can see, what other people think ( I think, it was sexual preferences or so) and one guy thought of Cats.
    Found that funny – maybe he was a melmacian. ^^

    • Muthsarah

      “By the way: the most funniest moments in twilight?
      there was Humour in it?
      I just remember one joke. Edward is showing off, that he can see, what
      other people think ( I think, it was sexual preferences or so) and one
      guy thought of Cats.
      Found that funny – maybe he was a melmacian.”

      I think Sofie means unintentional humor. It’s not a comedy, but the last movie is nonetheless HIGH-larious.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        Well, I think, I could come to like movies like that (even Twilight) more, if they had something like humour in it. That is, what I hold against the movie – there is too less humour in it? I mean, the concept of a teenage girl (who is living in OUR time) so there could be pop-cultural references and even jokes about being vampires….

        • Muthsarah

          It absolutely takes itself too seriously. DON’T YOU GET IT. IT’S THE MOST ROMANTICAL STORY EVAR!

          The premise…not ridiculous. Young human + youngish/oldish vampire, fall in love because…they complete each other, or something? Nice…May/December thing…possibly. But the way Meier presents it, with a vampire that isn’t a vampire, and a human who isn’t…alive by any real measure. No, it really feels incompetent. Ripe for parody. The author doesn’t want the audience to laugh, but it sells all the same so…whatever.

          • Sofie Liv

            Tell that to all of the teen girls caught up in the romantic fantasy of the situation and universe.

            It’s what the teen girls wants. That’s how teen girls are. they are not boys they are teen girls, their brain works just as awkward and weird, but in a different way.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            The premise is cool – even if you want to use the tamed vampire, who are sparkly. Why not? I mean – in its core, this is a story written for me, who is not really a fan of gore, splatter and blood. So – a tamed version? Why not.

            I could even arrange with them being the way Meier presents it – I could arrange with Love triangle extraordinaire… whatever.

            What I cannot – and I write that in capitals – I CANNOT forgive the movies, (which I only watched) – and if that description fits to the books, too, then I can’t forgive it the books too: No Humour. (I mean, I haven’t found anything in it… I am curious what the next vid will dig up).

            I mean DO something with it.

            Even if it is romantical – you could… oh I don’t know.. start with the most silly gag you can come up with.

            By that, you could have exposition, and still have fun.

            Hell, it would work, if Bella would at least TRY to have some fun and maybe, just MAYBE would manage to infect grumpy-pants Edward with that.

            Just two examples.

            When she learns, that he is a vampire – pull a prank.

            Bring some garlic to your next meeting.

            Or walk in front of Mirrors.

            Take the lore, make fun of it.

            Moonlight did that.

            They brought up that garlic joke “No, I like some on my pizza” and the coffin joke…

            I mean – it could be so funny:

            Bella walking into the Cullens home, she has a look around:
            “Hm, I guess, the coffins are upstairs?”

            Let the older, the seasoned vampires have fun with their condition.

            this could even go in silly territory.

            “Oh, our disco-ball broke, would you be a dear Alice?”
            And ALice strips and works as a disco-ball.

            Take the concept and – if you don’t care about the lore – poke fun at it.
            Even the name – Cullen.
            You could get a boy to read that, if you’d say: “Well, this is our family, that is our ancestor Anthony cullen… oh, this is our cousin, Peter Cullen. He works in the Movie industry.”

            Do something with that. ^^

    • danbreunig

      That’s what I’d want to see more frequently with female characters (and quite a few men too):

      “concerning the characterization of female characters:
      I’d like mine to be kick-ass, capable women, who are NICE.
      I mean – it should not be that hard, right?”

      Just a little humility. That doesn’t mean weakness, timidity, apathy, or lacking in confidence. It simply means knowing your own limitations, remembering you’re not perfect, staying honest with yourself, and taking your struggles inside and outside with a grain of salt.

      So you can still be kick-ass, capable, strong on all levels (physical, mental, moral, social) and stand your ground in any fight–and just not have an inflated ego or a shitty attitude because you can. The women characters I admire most are the ones who are neither stereotypically weak, or utterly bad-ass just to prove the point that they’re not stereotypically weak. That’s what makes them relative and believable–they’re strong but they’re also nice, and thus more real.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well, having female characters whom are varied would sure be nice.
      There can be one bitch, but then her souroundings also needs to treat her like a bitch saying “Oh no, here comes the bitch.”

      It doesn’t work when a character is a way, and the story doesn’t even acknowledged it, but instead says. “Oh she’s so amazing. cause she is a woman!”
      And that is what happens all the time, that is why it doesn’t work.

      Not only to the female character have to be in a way, the story needs to acknowledge what sort of person she is for better or worse, and she if she is hot tempered, let that be an issue, that comes into play.
      A main character still needs to be likeable by the very least, likeable. that’s the key word.

      And yeah, we needed this sort of a movie, that it’s a bad book like twilight is of cause sad, but it’s a strange world where poeple needs to be reminded that girls have fantasies to, and it’s only right if they get full-filled in cinema along with the sluggy male fantasies (Hallo every Schwarzenegger movie ever.)
      Games as well, girls in skimpy out-fits and big muscle men, your fantasies, not ours.

      I never said twilight is good, but I am saying it has an effect that was needed, and I am glad that rock is now rolling down the hill, that’s good.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        Well, I am very fine with the fantasy of Stargate – the brainy, hot, kickass, nice girl, the science-geek, the noble warror and the clown. ^^ Whom would I want to be? Hence I think Sam/Daniel is a good pairing, of course the science-geek, because, yes, I think Sam Carter is a – full, complete – and hot woman. Whom would I be? Realistically no-one but… perhaps the clown with the short attention-span. ^^

        by the way – talking Stargate.
        THIS should be a viewed as the show, that it is. A show with some emancipatory moments.
        Sam Carters first appearance.

        She chews Jack out, because “even if my reproductory organs are on the inside instead of the outside, it doesn’t mean that I can’t handle, whatever you can’t handle.”
        And yes, it is true. She is a strong, independent woman (but in a good way). Honestly? That should be the go-to fantasy for men and women alike. Stargate:Atlantis counts, too.
        But Stargate Universe sucked. ^^

        And me? I’ll do my best to keep my characters likeable and when I listen to some of my reviewers, apparently I did that, however I don’t know HOW.

  • groupthinker1984

    (Disclaimer: I watched this series because of Rifftrax, which is an excellent way to enjoy it. So thats why I have an opinion.)

    I could accept Twilight as porn for women and you’re not the first to point that out (or maybe I just realized it on my own, I forget) but it makes pretensions at not being porn, having themes and character and all this. That’s the difference. Porn is porn. Porn does not pretend its not porn, or at least it doesn’t pretend to be more than porn. Twilight does.

    If you had simply said that Twilight is wish fulfillment, I could, and in fact have, accepted that. Twilight is the female equivalent of a dumb guy action movie with a weak plot that is merely an excuse to get action set pieces and hot girls into scenes. Fast and the Furious comes to mind (disclaimer, I haven’t seen all of them, just a couple of the later ones and they’re pretty stupid).

    Whats really disappointing is Stephanie Meyer had the makings of a decent story and blew it. The setting was good, many of the supporting characters had interesting backstories, a lot of it was good or at least decent in concept, but she utterly fails to execute on it. She’s making stuff up as she goes not planning, not making the effort at internal consistency that most fantasy writers make.

    And she forgets to make her protagonist likeable. It wouldn’t have taken that much effort to make Bella likeable while still making her a character that the teen audience could experience the story vicariously through. I look to the female lead of Warm Bodies as an example (I forget the names at the moment.) She’s tough, proactive, thoughtful and compassionate while being human. Bella is completely self-centered, myopic, and useless constantly endangering the local vampire and werewolf communities because she can’t bear to be away from Edward. Granted Edward is pretty self centered too but he at least makes some effort on multiple occasions to sacrifice what he wants for the sake of avoiding these very conflicts.

    • groupthinker1984

      Oh, also, Warm Bodies actually makes an effort to show how and why the main characters fall in love with each other. R is drawn to the female lead because of the memories he consumes and because she makes him feel alive, she comes to admire the effort he makes to be more than what he is and to not let his affliction get the best of him. And she cares about him before there is love. She looks past her own fear of zombies which is well established to see him for what he really is, someone who is holding on and hasn’t given up.

      Bella just wants to get it on with Edward. Its animal lust and teen infatuation mixed together and she decides thats love and its worth her abandoning her mortal life, endangering her family and the Cullens, and leaving her father behind forever in spite of all the warnings.

      • Sofie Liv

        when did I ever say twilight is any good? that is not what I said.

        I just told what kind of a story it was. (badly represented.) and what broader effect it had, which both has pros and cons to it.

        • groupthinker1984

          When did I say that you said Twilight is good? That is not what I said.

          I just responded to your point about Twilight being porn, then I went off on a tangent about the wasted potential of this series and made a comparison to a recent movie that gets it right.

          If you’re inferring from my rambling tangent that I thought you thought this was a good movie, then infer no more missy!! 🙂

  • Gussie Jives

    I’ve heard variants of the “Twilight as porn” argument before, and I agree that it’s a good thing that more female protagonists in films.

    But as Jason Withrow says below, porn is freakin’ porn. It’s sweaty, wet, and bestial, and I’m sure women’s porn is no exception; it just has different fantasy elements. Eye-gazing and music video montages do not a porno make, even with shirt ripping.

    And porn tends to be pretty tongue-in-cheek. Twilight reeks of getting high off itself, and it does so piss-poorly.

    Seriously, why did it have to be THIS awful mess of series that had to break out female sexuality? There’s gotta be something better out there.

    • Sofie Liv

      For you maybe, but maybe that’s not what the teen girls want.

      The teen girls are finding this stuff out by akwardly trying to sneak look at pictures on the net, girls whom are more turned on by the romance than the porn, goes through the awkward phase through bad romantic teen novels, it has been that way since the dawn of time, why is it such a big deal?

      • Gussie Jives

        Well, at that point, I think we need to define the word “porn”. If it’s not explicit sexual material, then it’s not really porn. But if we define “porn” as just something that excites an audience, that definition might got a bit too broad, and we’re comparing Jenna Jameson to the Montreal Canadiens.

        Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with awkward teen girl romance. There’s just gotta be something better than pasty angst and zero-dimensional characters for girls to enjoy. I’ve never been a teen girl, so I can’t say one way or the other, but I hope that kind of lust goes beyond hand holding and eye gazing. Guys can’t be the only ones who enjoy looking at genitals being stimulated.

        I loved your breakdown though. One of the best I’ve seen.

  • DarthWedgius

    I would prefer a female protagonist who was nice, too, but even that would not have been totally necessary in my opinion. Look at the Iron Man movies — unrealistic (male) wish fulfillment all the way, and the main character is good, but not nice at all. However, Tony Stark is acknowledged in the setting as not being nice.

    I don’t know enough of Twilight to say (I read a page and a half of it, and after seeing that it was a credit to Edward’s face that it could take Bella’s attention away from his Adonis-like chest, decided that middle-aged male computer programmers are not the target audience), but maybe just acknowledging Bella’s real flaws (as opposed to the imagined ones that I hear never matter in story) would have made it a decent series.

  • Marc Baker

    After watching this video, and reading some of the comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that the feminist double standard is the reason why the media (Especially E! News) has given ‘Twilight’ a pass. They don’t have A problem with those movies being essentially being porn for girls because most feminists have hated everything that guys, and the dominant culture have always liked. They’re perfectly fine with knocking men down A few pegs, and they don’t care if Bella is A bitch. So they don’t care if straight men raise hell over ‘Twilight’. It just makes Ryan Seacrest happy that straight males are pissed off by ‘Twilight’ being as successful as it is. (Hell, I’m sure he’s happy over our disgust with Michael Bay’s ‘Transformer’ movies.) Even if you tell these feminists in the media that ‘Twilight’ is just female porn, they’ll still flaunt that out in the open regardless. I also agree that ‘Beauty & The Beast’ is also the same basic story as ‘Twilight’, but by comparison, ‘Beauty & The Beast’ is done better. Especially Disney’s version. Belle does have alot in common with Bella, but again, Bella is A bitch where as Belle is A good person. Sure, Belle, and alot of the other Disney Princesses get some flack for being formulaic, and having poor judgment in their decisions, (Ariel) but for the most part, they’re good women who make do with whatever situation they’re in.

    • Sofie Liv

      Beauty and the beast is my favourite animated movie of all time, It was on constant repeat in my home when I was a kid.

      I have never, not even ones, called Twilight good, I never enjoyed twilight.. only parts of the last movie cause I found it un-intentionally funny. I didn’t even say it was good in this, I gave examples of what could hopefully be good “supernatural romances for girls.” I wish they would be good.

      I am not going to defend Twilight as a piece of art, cause as a book and as movies they are not good, but I will defend the fact that it gave a blow into usual gender representation in hollywood and stirred things up. That things has been stirred up is still a good thing.

      Sure, it’s annoying that no one can make this thing work yet, and obviously don’t really care that much.. some-body mentioned Warm bodies to be a better alternative than twilight… yeah it probably is, also it wouldn’t have happened without twilight, that’s the kind of effect twilight had.

      So really, I am trying to do the disney princess thing, and try to make due with what I have to work with.. I’m just me, so I am not really going to change any-thing here.. ever. All I can hope to do is raising a little debate and make a few people think a little.

      And apparently I did! so my goal is absolutely archieved 🙂

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        *Applause*
        You succeeded in bringing up a debate.

        By the way – Disney Princesses etc.

        I have a question – what is your opinion on Princess Jasmine from Aladdin?

        • Sofie Liv

          Well, glad I could have people consider new things, I really do thing it’s wroth exploring new things and alternatives, especially when the field seems dangerous, that’s the time when you should explore. And at least try not to be biased.

          Well Jasmin, if you are going to make any strong independet woman, she is the prime example of how to do it.

          She’s smart, and not just because the movie says so, no, she acts smart and on own accord, we see her being independent, we see her making her own decisions.

          Also she is very kind, very caring and loving, she’s a nice good person. She has her prioties straight and is a good role-model.

          I got nothing against Jasmine, what-so ever, she is a great character. Not the most unique time around, but she doesn’t have to be, she is perfect just the way she is.

      • danbreunig

        Well, you haven’t failed yet in making us think. And argue. And debate. And most of all laugh.

        • Sofie Liv

          thanks 🙂

  • maarvarq

    “We girls have sexual drives, too. *wink*”

    Oh Sofie, you are such a tease 🙂

    You’re quite right that Bella is the major flaw of this franchise, being neither likeable nor admirable. A strong female character (a phrase that I can no longer read nor hear without thinking of this) doesn’t have to be a saint, but being someone you wouldn’t mind hanging out with would help. I certainly wouldn’t watch a series with a male protagonist as horrible as Bella. Re DarthWedgius’s post, Tony Stark may not be nice, but he works his way up to admirable, and is charming and funny to boot, which puts him way ahead of the spoilt princess of this franchise.

    • Sofie Liv

      I life to be an occasional troll ^^

      And yeah, Tony is FUN! we like hanging out with him, we want him to succeed, the entire first Iron man movie is about his redemption.

      The movie itself is saying. “Yes, this is an ass-hole whom laid down responsibility, and now his arch is about making up for that.”

      So the univers does acknowledge what kind of person Tony is, he does hear shit about it cause he deserves it.

      Bella doesn’t get any of that, she doesn’t have to face any of her short-comings or redeem them, nothing :/

      And yeah, he is charming company, you can’t help but like him.

  • Mr. A

    I think that one of the many reasons why Twilight gets the hatred it does is that while most porn (both visual porn and fanfiction) knows what it is and has no pretensions to be anything more, Twilight repeatedly compares itself to great literary works like Romeo and Juliet, which gets really annoying after a while.

  • duckaduck

    I sort of liked the Twilight books in a certain light that I set them on.

    The monotone deadpan acting from the movies really ruined anything that could have been fun, and, yeah, I think they could have had some fun with the concept if they really wanted to. Someone just didn’t want to have fun with it. Even with not liking the books, I disliked them because I actually read them, got to know what was inside, and in reading them, despite any dislike, I saw potential in them that could have been exploited in a film version – that potential was never put to use. There are scenes in the book that have Bella border on sarcastic, almost funny, if not in and of herself than the situations she’s in and it feels intentional . . . but the movie would rather drag its feet through the plot than take moments like those from the book and make them into something worthwhile.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well, I havn’t taken the time to read through an entire twilight book.. sorry.. paged through the first book and read snippets of it.

      I cannot in good concious call it a good book. The way Meyers elected to write and present many of the scenes were just.. not very well written.

      I didn’t read up enough about it to catch Bellas sarcasm.. but if the dialouge in the movies, is taken out from the books, which I guess it is, yeah she has a couple of lines bordering to sarcastic, actually there is quite a few, Stewart is just delivering those lines in such a dead-pan way that it would be impossible to catch the humour in the lines, more it comes across like she is sick and tired of her current situation and just wants to bail right out of it.

      Also what I have gennerally heard from people whom actually did read all of the books, is that the books are better than the movies, and the movies destroyed every-thing.

      Sort of like how I have it with potter, only I say those books are amazing while the movies are only half decent… hehe..

      There is no denying though that the plot of twilight aint good.. well, the first twilight movie had a very standard love romance plot, presented in a boring way, and gosh, putting Twilight side by side with beauty and the beast, you realise how few colours there are in the twilight movies!
      The second movie is.. dragging and if you think about it, the plot pretty dumb.

      The third movie drags the least and tries to tie up the plots, though ends up doing it so hastily.

      Fourth movie is tasteless and down-right offensive even though so little happens in it.

      the fifth, is shallow entertainment for me, nothing to get offensed towards, and a few things that’s actually entertains.

      But you know, this is what we have, it was hugely popular for while it lasted, popular enough to have an actual effect on hollywood.

      My goal now is to find out how we can use this affect, to our own advantage and have good things come out of it.

      Work with the flow not against it B)

  • Aww, why ya gotta go pickin’ on Sucker Punch? It still kind’ve baffles me how that movie ended up the new poster child for objectification of women in media. The movie’s a satire of that very objectification! It’s like accusing Starship Troopers (the movie) of being pro-fascism.

    • Sofie Liv

      I know, I even agree with it.

      Problem with that movie is that the “sarcasm.” isn’t pronounced enough, and without the sarcasm that was intended.. a lot of people ended up believing it was exactly the kind of movie that it was actually trying to satire.

      Also the trailer pictures just fitted best to my argument.

      Sucker punch, is a discussion for another day though. sigh..

      • I agree the movie is flawed. The main problem is it’s a little too obvious from the way the movie lingers on the fantasy sequences that Snyder may consciously know that such objectification is wrong and wants to make a genuine statement, there’s also a part of him he’s not too proud of that still enjoys that stuff, and he may indulge it a bit to much, thus muddling the message a tad. Normally it’s a good thing to understand the thing you’re criticizing, but in this case it became a bit of a liability. Nonetheless, it doesn’t require looking too deep to see what he was trying to do, and it bugs me when people just give it a surface reading and dismiss it as sexist crap.

        • Sofie Liv

          Again I agree.

          Beside I wasn’t even picking on sucker punch, I was picking on the same genre that it tried to satire-rise.

          So I used clips from the satire to illustrate the actual thing, i just needed some clips.

          Joshua.. one day.. you and I are going to meet in real life.

          We are going to have a camera, we are going to push the record button on that camera.

          Then sit down, and talk for five hours straight if not more.

          Talk about movies in relation to socity and culture, feminism, ethics.

          We will use a lot of big fancy words, I will need a monocle.
          The debate will be long, some-times heated, but always sound very smart, and we shall become the snobs of the Agony booth.

          Then we will both break down in psykotic laughter and become cell-neighbours at the nearest asylum.

          • XD I look forward to that day.

          • Sofie Liv

            just remember your monocle and top hat, as well as cane for wacking.

            No movie debate is ever truly complete, until it has two people wacking each other with canes.

          • danbreunig

            or blowing up each other with explosives

          • I’m more into bowler hats myself. Believe or not I actually do have a monocle already. Damn thing won’t stay on though.

          • Sofie Liv

            I got a bowler hat.. it’s a sign.. it’s going to happen one day >_>

          • danbreunig

            I’ve said this before, and I will just keep saying it till it happens again:

            I . M I S S . T H E . H A T .

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Monocle, Top Hat, Crane… either the cosplay is Arsene Lupin or Kaito KID. ^^

          • danbreunig

            I’m getting so weepy now. Please, Sofie–please stop teasing with what I want to see and may never get to……..

          • Sofie Liv

            All I need is to have some-one sponsor my ticket to magfest one day.

            That’s the thing killing me every december now, people going on and on. “Will you come to Magfest!? why wont you come to magfest!?”

            I would LOVE to come to magfest! I am just very poor and life on the other side on the planet.

            When I become rich…. some-how.

            I’ll come to Magfest! shesh.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Doesnt Magfest have the opportunity for journalists (which you by a stretchy definition are) to go there for free? If so, then at least that part is taken care of. Now you just need kickstarter, that you could go there.

            By the way – wouldn’t that be a kickstarter project?

  • drumstick00m

    I have a lot I could say about this piece. It was great. First: Princess Tutu = win. Second: thank you, thank you for pointing out how horrible of a person Bella is. I get so sick of how so many complain that she is a bad role model because of how dependent and or stupid she is. She is not stupid or dependent, she is narcissistic and manipulative. I, and a lot of other feminists I know, agree with you on what physically weak and well developed characters being preferable to physically powerful and mean ones, whose meanness (and everything else about them) is horribly justified, or not at all. The reason so many “strong independent women” are portrayed as mean with a bow and arrow is because that is how the patriarchy (the Male Gaze) understands the meaning of the phrase “strong independent woman”, which is to say not at all.

    Third (big one): those who complain about porn and Twilight not from the patriarchal gaze, but rather from a position of feminism (I am getting this from feminist professors form my university) is not so much that erotica exists and gets financed, so much as it is that the erotica that GETS FINANCED is misogynistic. A lot of porn either objectifies women (reducing them to things that always want sex) or involves violent sex (often rape), or both. Also, glad to know most people realize Twilight is fake, a lot boys though suffer massive disillusionment because they are never given the impression that what goes on in pornography is fiction too.

    With stories about women, the complaint is all that seems to GET FINANCED are stories that revolve around men in some way: saving them, getting saved by them, falling in love with them, winning their affections, marrying them, raising kids that were procreated with them, and so on. Nothing else about women seems to get told. A lot of women I know leveled the complaint against Korra and Hunger Games that both wasted too much time on the romance, the former seeming to be unnecessary to the plot period. I have not seen Korra, but with the Hunger Games BOOKS, I will admit they did stuff with that, so it does not bother me.

    My personal beef with the difference between the way the hero’s journey and the heroine’s journey gets told is the illusion of choice. Harry Potter expresses his desire for more and then is INVITED to Hogwarts BEFORE destiny is forced on him. Duck in Princess Tutu expresses her desire for more and then is FORCED into the story whether she likes it or not. Maybe I am over simplifying the situation, and maybe the above comparison is not as apples to apples as I could go, but I really would like to see more stories about every sort of person told from other gazes besides the patriarchy’s (the so called “Male Gaze”). Given that, I do not think Twilight happening was a bad thing, I just wish the phenomenon, at least in the cinema, did not seem to be in patriarchal hands.

    • Sofie Liv

      I do think it’s more complicated than that.

      What people seem to forget is that… men also always fights to get the girl.

      In heroes journeys for men, it is also about for them to be worthy of the girl and be with the girl, apparently the key for eternal happiness for the guy.. is to have a woman. It goes both way

      And yet it’s oki for men to fight long and hard for that one girl, while girls can’t fight for their guy.

      I mean thinking back on the old stories, the women always had it pretty damn sweet! The men could fight battles, entire WARS over one single woman. And what does the woman have to do? she’ll just sit back and nipple on a apple, then take the victor and gets the crown.

      Harry potter also ended up with a girl, his wish and price was to have an actual family, and he made one, by marrying Ginny and have kids. Some-how that would have been controversy if that had been a woman.

      I do think it’s simple human nature that none of us wants
      to be alone, and most of us want to have a life-partner whom loves us.

      As for Hunger games, the romance to me seems to be only a part of the story, not the main thing, so it’s all well and good.

      Twilight how-ever, is meant to be a romance, where the romance is the centre-piece, it never attempts or wants to be any-thing else, so that is how it is.

      In princess Tutu, I would argue that Tutu did have the choice, as long as she had the neck-lace, she always had a choice, she could just throw it away and be done with it, be a duck again, or not go to the shards.

      But Tutu the person, is presented as an person whom just represents honesty, kindness and humilty. She is the sort of person, whom would always help just because it’s the right thing to do, not because she thinks she will gain any-thing from. She does what she does, partially out of love, but mostly because it’s very simply the right thing to do, and she wont walk away from people in pain.

      When she thinks what she is doing is hurting people, she stops, until she finds out that she needs to continue to bring happiness to the people around her.

      As for girls and boys to be miss-lead into thinking porn is real.

      Honestly! I would more blame society, school and parents for not being open about it, and teach the children about these things, than I would blame the porn itself. It’s not the porns fault, it’s the people whom didn’t inform the children about life.

      I am granted, from a country where it’s commonly accepted that kids have their first sexual school classes, by the age of thirteen, and I have very clear memories of trying to put a condomn on a dildo, in a sex class at a “Errotic house.” when I was fifteen years old, on a school trip.

      If you ask me, it’s parents and schools job to inform kids about this, and treat it as a natural part of life.

      I know, some places in the US, people deem it unsuitable for kids, and would rather that kids knows nothing until they are like.. twenty-one or some-thing.. in my ears that’s crazy talk. Not informing kids and keeping it as this. “Big secret things, you cannot talk about.” is the thing harming kids.
      It’s god damn nature, trying to repress it is not doing any-one any good, it’s just making it worse.

      • drumstick00m

        The stuff on Porn: you got the problem with American and all the money behind abstinence only in a nutshell. American also have a problem with too much violent porn being made and sold.

        The hero’s journey: I was referring specifically more to the Call to Adventure part of the hero’s journey than the whole thing itself.

        The stuff on stories about women: it is nice to more stories about more people, and the arc of history there is towards justice. Always expect the better to get the better though.

        On the family and pursuing relationships thing: I wish that was what the overall message people seemed to be getting was. You are right about the fundamental need for companionship thing, but the message from most places still seems to be, you need a someone to complete your life. The message is thrown on boys and girls in different ways that are damaging. Boys: fight for that manic pixie dream girl who perfect and will love you because you did/are x. Girls: your love will change the bad boy into a prince who will love you. Both work to be more damaging to women than men, though yeah, men are hurt by this too.

        Not how relationships work, the above, and it is sad because there is nothing wrong with wanting a family and such. I suppose that as Twilight shows, girls are starting to figure out what is fantasy and what is real more than boys. Most boys still have delusional ideas about what love and what consent are. It would be nice if more of us boys could get over the whole real men make it on their own thing. Feminism began as a movement for girls, in part, to figure this sort of stuff out. Boys do not have that, or have such a visual one.

        • drumstick00m

          Again, the larger trend of more stories about more than just dudes is a good thing. I just think it should be more than dudes who control what gets made and mover over made popular. The male gaze needs to stop being the default and one that filters all the others fast. See also..a lot of other normative gazes that have far too much power and influence.

  • Gussie Jives

    One other thing I’d like to mention that angered me about Twilight: Stephanie Meyer’s Mormonism. The entire series just reeked of fundamentalist religiosity, combined with other kooky LDS beliefs. Being changed into a vampire (read: sex) is dangerous and awful and it’s an ever present temptation. Edward is just so powerful and must be feared in bed. But if you get knocked up, don’t abort the fetus, even if it kills you.

    And notice that the Native American werewolves all had Biblical names. That’s not a coincidence, as Mormons believe Native Americans are actually Israelites.

    • Sofie Liv

      personally I think that is giving Stephanie Meyer to much credit, I don’t believe that she was thinking that far.

      • Gussie Jives

        I don’t think she actively planned it, but the result definitely indicates there’s some subconscious morality wrestling going in Meyer’s little mind.

  • John Wilson

    After going through 10,000 lives and living 100,000 of years this is what I have to say about this.

    Let it go.

    Being a Democrat, Republican, liberal, what people are talking about in the comments. its fine for now. There has to be politics somewhere. I just saying that one day the world will reset again. And different poltics will take over.Again.

    I just learn to let it go:).

  • Michael

    I think the biggest reason why Twilight shouldn’t get a pass as being ‘just porn’ is because no one is writing books titled “Studying The SATs with Penthouse” No one is claiming that porn is literature. No one is claiming that porn is intelligent.

    My first exposure to Twilight, in the early days of its popularity was when I first moved to a new city to go to art school, thinking I would meet respectable, intelligent, well-read intellectuals, and the first person to recommend a book to me was a girl who told me I absolutely had to read this brilliant new novel called Twilight.
    And besides that, porn/romance novels have been around forever. Twilight was nothing new.

    • Michael

      But you’re still right, Sofie, if nothing else the fact that we’re seeing more and more female-driven franchises of increasingly higher quality is the one good thing to come out of Twilight.

      Great video as always.

  • MichaelANovelli

    Hate to disagree with your premise, Sofie, but there are women who don’t know that Twlight isn’t real. My ex-wife, for one…

    • Sofie Liv

      Usually those are the women whom is picking up the wonders of “Escapist reading.” for the very first time.

      You know how it is, your first time is always amazing, you watched some sucky movie when you were a kid and thought it was amazing, cause you could never have imagined the thing that is happening up on the screen or that you can do that, or that you can exsperience some-thing like that.

      The thing makes your interested in exsperience more, you go out there, pick up more books and more movies, you learn. Learn about quality, story telling ext.. a few years go by, and suddenly you know what things you loved so much in the past is actually crap and what holds up.

      I’ve met both types of girls, girls whom genuinly thinks it’s the greatest thing ever, and girls whom knows it’s bad but enjoys it as a guilty pleasure regardless.

      One thing both girls have in common I have met though… They are harmless! they go out and do other things than reading twilight. They work, are in the middle of an education, go out and do stuff with their friends, and twilight is just this thing they happen to enjoy in solitude.

      My number one rule has always been that I am not out to give people a hard time for enjoying escapism, regardless of my own feelings towards the subject.

      It’s never worth getting into a real life fight of Twilight. It’s a book and a movie, it cannot harm me unless I let it harm me.

      They are teen girls, let them have this evolution of their own, let them learn on their own. Or they don’t learn. Cause they are not movie snobs, maybe they are clothes snobs and feels insulted that we promote bad clothes as much as we do.

      I just don’t think it’s worth it to give girls a hard time over it, at all, I have more faith in the individual girl.

      And it’s not like there is not slug out there I thought I was amazing when I was sixteen years old, and now found out is pretty bad. It happens.

  • Alexa

    Its a really annoying assumption that a strong female character, strong as in they can kick ass, has to be a total bitch, which is not true. Even anti-heroes, like Clint Eastwood as the man with no name, had a heart he just played fast and loose with dealing with people, in other words his actions were very much dubious and sometimes shocking, but that doesn’t mean he never had moments of humanity and kindness. In other words a strong character, whether male or female, is grown when you make them humanistic and have their decisions make sense when it comes to their situation, whether that situation involves kicking ass or not, and also it doesn’t hurt to make them infallible at times to where when they get knocked down but when they eventually get the upper hand its that much more awesome. And they should also have the ability to show emotion. It you don’t its nothing but blandness from there on.

    Take a note Paul W.A. Anderson when writing your Alice character for the bazillion Resident Evil sequel.

  • tbok1992

    I agree with you for the most part, but I do think that there needs to be better porn targeted at women. Something like Phil Foglio’s XXXenophile or Lemonfont’s stuff (Please don’t ask how I know of either of those), made by people who actually are trying to do something good.

    And all those reports of Fifty Shades being “transgressive”? Hahahahaha how cute, get back to me when a consensual tentacle erotica book for women gets published, and then we’ll talk “transgressive”. Hey, I’d buy it.

    And, I do think that part of the reason Twilight is hated is because it sells itself as “real” literature instead of porn. But I also think a lot of the hate towards Twilight’s fanbase is due to the fact that our society seems to condemn the stupidity of teenage girls while enshrining the stupidity of teenage boys, likely due to most of those people who run society having been those teenage boys, but also dude to an undercurrent of misogyny in our society.

  • Derek

    I enjoyed your Twilight reviews, and especially this analysis. I like your fairness in your reviews. Some people seem unable to see the good points in something and brutally tear it apart. It’s good to be able to point out the GOOD aspects of something, because even the shittiest movies or books have something redeeming

    you made me laugh out loud at least three times in the past 2 hours.