Friday, November 27, 2009

Back on Track. And pissed off.

Ok, back to In Defense of Twilight, even though I hate it: Part Three.

As you may or may not know, I have a degree in Library and Information Science. Save the Dewey Decimal jokes - I've heard them all. We're going into the jungle of literary criticism today.

Library school gives you amazing perspective on popular culture. The criticisms aimed at Twilight for being misleading, wrong-headed, and a bad example to our youth have been fired at writing as far ranging as Harry Potter to E. B. White to the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew to Tom Swift.

Yes, I'm serious.

Literary critics used to claim that reading these kinds of books as akin to feeding your child poison. After all, children are weak minded, you know.

To all the people who tell me that Twilight is going to tell women to fall for a gross, stalkery freak, I have one thing to say.

Women are not stupid.

Could it be possible that females are perfectly capable of discerning the difference between fantasy and reality??

When a young woman makes a poor choice in a mate, the example she's using comes from up close and personal observation of adults around her.

Not fictional characters.

If we honestly thought that women yearned for maltreatment, why don't we believe that every man reading a James Bond novel yearns to be shot, stabbed, tossed out of airplanes, dunked in arctic ice cold water, and have no emotional life to speak of?

Of course that is ridiculous - because we don't think men are stupid.

Why should we think our girls are stupid, impressionable, and helpless? Reading about Waif Bella does not turn a girl into a passive Waif. Reading about James Bond, the man with no sense of self-preservation, does not make a boy into a moron who thinks that getting shot is just business as usual.

Twilight (and romance) is popular because girls and women know it is fantasy. They get to experience what it is like to be passive Bella, or pretend they are dangerous Edward (more on that next time), or even learn how very wet the Pacific Northwest is.

What would the world look like if we believed that women were smart?

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