Why Women Love Twilight

I recently ran across this article and … it says everything I was intending to say in a future blog post, but in such a succinct manner that I am left with no real desire to expound on it.

“The recent surge in vampire stories displays a hunger in our society for the stability often found in traditional gender roles. Stephenie Meyer’s Mormonism has drawn a lot of heat from critics of the book, but her portrayal of Edward and Bella’s relationship has undeniable appeal to women. Recent social changes have created a void where once we had carefully defined functions. Men were men by assuming such roles as dedicated employee, faithful husband, loving father. Women were women by becoming competent and loving housewives and tender mothers who always have an after-school snack prepared for their children…”

Read the rest.

Agree? Disagree? I’d be interested in your thoughts.

7 Replies to “Why Women Love Twilight”

  1. What a great article! I agree with a lot of what she says, and it’s always nice to find someone who defends Bella instead of picking on her for not being the next Buffy. It’s too bad that feminism has gotten so far away from traditional gender roles, because I think what a lot of women (and men, too) want is not some androgynous equality, but to have defined gender roles without misogyny and chauvinism. Twilight isn’t perfect, but the way women of all ages responded to a character like Edward Cullen is telling. Yes, at times he’s overprotective and controlling. He also learns from his mistakes when Bella calls him on it, and changes.

    I also liked her comment on Vampire Diaries, and what’s missing from Stefan and Elena’s relationship (“Perhaps that’s why Stephan and Elena (a la The Vampire Diaries) fall flat for me. He doesn’t thirst for her thoughts the way Edward did with Bella, and Elena doesn’t have half of Bella’s mind.”). I love that show, but I’ve always found Stefan and Elena bland, and I think that’s a big part of it. Stefan isn’t all that different from any other high school boy Elena could date, other than the money and looks, and Elena is a pretty typical high school girl, whereas Edward and Bella have that deep hunger to know and understand each other which I think is another big part of Edward’s appeal and which is missing from Vampire Diaries.

    1. I find it ironic that I would discover that article purely by chance around the same time that I reached a similar conclusion about the series’ popularity with girls. It really is all about gender roles, which just goes to prove that society’s attempts to transform us all into feminists has not stuck nearly as much as they hoped it would. Granted, I take issue with Bella on a lot of things, and personally would have chosen Jacob in her place, but I can also see the appeal of her story.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on “The Vampire Diaries.” I have never found that Elena is empty-headed, in fact, she is very sacrificial when it comes to her family and friends. I prefer her to Bella, because she is more independent. But with regards to Stefan and Elena, I agree that they do not have a “profound” connection… but maybe that is because they are not meant to. Is Elena supposed to be with Stefan… or Damon? I rather think in the end, it will be Damon!

      1. I didn’t say Elena was empty-headed, just that compared to Bella, who is a loner by choice and not interested in teenager stuff, Elena is more of an average teenager – she goes to parties, she’s a cheerleader, she loves school dances and makes homecoming floats, that sort of thing. Bella is drawn to a vampire because he promises something more than a high school romance, but Elena assumes Stefan is just another hot new boy until she finds out otherwise. I love Elena (though I much prefer her with Damon), but I find Twilight more satisfying than Vampire Diaries, just because of the deeper connection between Bella and Edward. Though, as you say, maybe we’re not supposed to think Stefan/Elena is the be-all and end-all of relationships, because they’re not going to end up together (oh hope oh hope oh hope!).

        1. Bella is an introvert. Elena is an extrovert.

          Ironically, I think what draws you to “Twilight” pushes me away from it, because I’ve never been that much of a “romantic”! =D

          I wish Damon would stop acting out. I like him when he’s not being a jerk!

  2. I really like her thoughts. God made us to need certain things, and as we move away from traditional ways, men and women are unhappy. Only as we accept the roles God gave for us will we be happy. That doesn’t mean I think women should be banned to the kitchen for the res of their lives, nor that men should be brutes, but that there’s nothing wrong with a woman depending on a man, nor a man providing for her needs.

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