And now for something completely different. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME, PEOPLE [GENERALIZATION FOR THE WESTERN WORLD AND ITS MEDIA SOURCES OF ALL STRIPES,] WITH THIS ENCOURAGING OF TWILIGHT FANNISHNESS FOR YOUNG GIRLS? eta: including other sources listed under the cut, like teachers, etc. And Elena Kagan has my vote. :)
If I may: Exhibit A [DO NOT go there to leave negative comments. The discussion of right/wrong is HERE. She certainly didn't ask for it. Thanks.] Now. I want to state for the record that I do not believe the OP is aware that this stuff is really harmful nor do I think there's anything wrong with her overall message of "be supportive of fangirls," because that's a lovely thought. BUT. The material is NOT on the same level of fanishness that, say, old school geek fandom would have been. Like, the stuff that would have gotten you made fun of 10, 15, 20+ years ago like LARPing or being a Trekker. (Note: Trekkies are wannabes. Trekkers are the True Fans. *g*) This isn't like using coded language to find out if your hairdresser is into Buffy the Vampire Slayer because you don't want to seem like a weirdo.
The idea that we shouldn't tear each other down for liking what we like has merit. Only to a point, though.
Because, and this is the big one, folks, if what people are liking is HARMFUL, then we shouldn't support it. Yeah, I'm still standing by the idea that not only is Twilight a bag of crap, it's a HARMFUL bag of crap.
ethrosdemon makes an excellent point here that I want to talk about. One, being a grown ass woman with life experience, the ability to differentiate between reality and fantasy (well, some of us) is NOT THE SAME as a 13 year old girl. And I know this because I HAVE a 13 year old girl. And she is friends with 13 year old girls. And they all talk about Twilight because you are supposed to talk about Twilight. It's not geek culture. It's not something that is hidden between a small group of misfits. Their MOTHERS are reading with them.
So if you're not aware of my stance on Twilight, where the hell have you been for two years? I started reading them because my son came home with a book that I didn't know, and we have a rule in our house: mom has to read what you're reading if mom isn't familiar with it. That way, if there's something iffy happening, I know how to talk to them about it. And my son had this book because all of his teachers in 6th grade [at the time of this incident] were reading it and telling him - a voracious reader - that he should read it, too. That's problematic in and of itself, but I won't go into that.
And after reading the series, I was very frank with my two preteens: we are not reading this shit. This shit is not coming into my house.
And then, a year later, my daughter (12 at the time) had a frank discussion with me about how she knows Twilight is crap and she knows that the ideals presented are HARMFUL TO GIRLS, but she also feels very left out because she's NOT reading Twilight. So who's the outsider? The one NOT reading it.
Fast forward to this week when the newest movie is out (still haven't seen it) and all of her friends had these huge sleepover parties to go see the midnight show. And the moms went with them. Like, 10 girls and 10 moms, all piled in the vans with their Team Whoever shirts and makeup (to be pretty for the screen, no, I'm not making this up) and having a big ol' party. This isn't some oppressed fandom where these poor kids need to be allowed to express themselves through media. This is the COOL SHIT that if you don't participate, you're the loser. Those are the girls made fun of - the ones NOT into Twilight.
My daughter doesn't want to go, but... she does, because everyone's going. It's not about the material, it's about the status. So there's my first problem.
My second problem is the idea that women and girls are equal - their interests are equal. NO, THEY ARE NOT. My ability to watch, say Battlestar Gallactica and get all of the racism/gender/class issues and process it fannishly with my friends CANNOT BE COMPARED to a 13 year old's viewing. They just see Lee Adama [male] punching Starbuck [female] in the face. They don't have the ability to process that data the way a grown person would, to pick up on the nuances. I don't care how smart you're going to tell me your child is. I have smart kids, too. IT IS NOT THE SAME, and you're kidding yourself if you think it is.
A child - young teen - whatever does not have the brain capacity to really and truly suss things out on their own. Not the same way an adult does. What a child hears from their respected peers is gospel. That's like, the problem with teenagers. If they don't have the right peers, life becomes a shit sandwich quickly, right? RIGHT. Otherwise, there has been a lot of wasted time on After School Specials.
So when they read - and I'm sorry, but a person is influenced by what they read ESPECIALLY when they are young and impressionable:
- that the dad doesn't care that a boy forced himself on his daughter and actually LAUGHS when he hears it
- the girl is the sole house keeper and cook, anyone else contributing is laughable
- the mother isn't even present because she's so wrapped up in her man
- all of her boyfriend's relatives exist as couples and her boyfriend isn't complete until he is also in a committed relationship
- it's ok for her boyfriend to sabotage her vehicle to control where she goes and who she sees
- college, career, life beyond her high school boyfriend ISN'T EVEN AN OPTION
- pregnancy that will kill her is Meant To Be - oh, and that pregnancy is just months after high school graduation
when they read this, they learn some terrible, HARMFUL concepts. And when every adult (my son's teachers, her friends' mothers, etc. etc.) fawns over how Edward is perfect for all of the above things, and that he's the Ultimate Ideal Man... How can you stand there and tell me with a straight face that it's a good thing? That a kid isn't going to learn the wrong things?
You may love this material for the crackiness, for the slash that you've made up about Edward and Jacob, or whomever you're rooting for in made up slashland (sorry, Meyer is Mormon. There is no gay subtext. Shit, there's no subtext of any kind beyond LDS dogma of conversion, and it was unintentional, imo) but you are an adult.
For those of you old enough to remember The Facts Of Life, remember the episode when Tootie goes ape shit over Jermaine Jackson? (The only Jackson the show could afford, I'm sure.) She loses her fucking mind over him, obsessing about his every thought, desire, etc. to the point of having a panic attack at the thought of not going to his concert. Mrs. Garrett is terrified of the passion she sees in little Tootie. (LOL. But wait, this is going somewhere!) That was a COMPLETELY ACCURATE EXAMPLE of how teen girls can get. Go watch old footage of The Beatles hitting the US shores. Or Elvis getting on a train to go to the Army. Whether you like it or not, this is the same level of obsession for these kids. I'll leave it up to you to decide if Elvis the Pelvis was as damaging to young girls as Edward the Stalker. (Hint: no, he wasn't.)
I say this because it's becoming apparent that people are hand waving this crap as adults viewing the material, not realizing that young girls (and some guys) are being taught some really scary, old school misogyny, cloaked as Third Wave Feminism. Um, not even close. Like, not even in the same universe. FEH.
In conclusion, I've not changed my mind about that dreck, you all are awesome, and Happy Canada Day. :)