'86 Rabbit

A FANGirl's Forkstress of Solitude

Feminist Male College Graduate: Chapter 2

This is fun. Mr. Benjamin Wheeler has finished Chapter 2 of Twilight and has graciously blogged about it already.  I don’t know if there will be much room for discussion on my part this chapter as I agree with just about everything here. Let’s see how it goes. Sometimes I surprise myself. I am a wordy girl after all.

I think a tempting way to read this is with Charlie filling the role of the undomesticated male, and Bella filling the role of the domesticated woman, but I think that’s unnecessarily reductive.

I agree with you here; it is tempting. I think that is a huge reason why so many people are so willing to label The Twilight Saga as sexist, or as having set the feminist movement back decades. The sad part about that for me is that these people seem to think that being a housewife or stay-at-home mom is a bad thing. Personally, I think the feminist movement is about having choices, options. If it’s your choice to stay at home, then great. You have weighed the options for yourself and your family, and presumably came to the conclusion that staying home was the best choice. It was not having a choice that was the problem that started the movement, I believe. In other words, it wasn’t the belief that every woman should be in the workplace with men, but rather the belief that women should be allowed to work on equal footing with men.

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April 30, 2009 Posted by | Bella Swan, Stephenie Meyer, Twi-blogs, Twilight, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Feminist Male College Graduate: Chapter 1

Mr. Benjamin Wheeler writes:

Immediately, Bella’s main female influence is a dependant woman with no apparent financial or personal agency. Without the masculine influence of Phil, she would not be able to support herself, either with money or with food. The most basic elements of her survival is dependent on a man’s benevolence, a man who will also thankfully be there to call when her mother inevitably gets lost. Serious red flag, noble readers, serious.

I suppose writing is a sort of double-edge sword. If you write realistic, or at least honest, characters, you get accused of possessing the same flaws as your characters. If you don’t, you get accused of being a no-talent hack with a penchant for writing stereo-types. You can’t please everyone. I’d prefer to err on the side of honesty, as I believe Stephenie Meyer has done. After all, as I’ve said before, if all characters are paragons of virtue, we’d have some pretty boring books. There would be no drama. Furthermore, this would be the literary version of self-esteem robbing magazine covers; everywhere we looked we would see perfection.

In Chapter 1 of Twilight Bella describes her mother as loving, erratic, and hare-brained. She is admitting right off that Renee is flawed. Renee is a pretty dependent sort, without even realizing that she is, I think. That doesn’t mean that the books or the author are anti-feminist, as Benjamin described in his original post announcing he was reading Twilight. It merely means that we have an honest, flawed character. This gives Bella some back history. We now know that Bella grew up sort of caring for her mother. Indeed, she was moving to Forks, a place she hates, to further care for her mother by letting her have her newlywed time. Despite having a dependent role-model, Bella is already, at the tender age of 17, showing remarkable strength.

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April 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 6 Comments