Friday, August 2, 2013

I Can't Believe I'm Defending Twilight

I recently wrote about The Beard and I fighting over music. Another argument we often have, more good-naturedly (?) than our music arguments, is about our favorite series - LOTR for The Beard and obvs Harry Potter for me. Neither of us have read the other's favorite series, but we have watched the movies several times and enjoy it.

{I DID read The Hobbit and liked it, and I've tried to read LOTR like 10x but I just can't get past Rivendell. One day. One day. And The Beard and I have listened to 1-4.5 of the HP audiobooks on drives to St. George. Compromise}

Our arguments are usually just joking - "Harry Potter has more applicable and meaningful life & moral lessons. They aren't just kids books. They are adult books that also can be for kids. You learn something new about them and YOURSELF every time you read them!!!!" vs. "LOTR is an allegory and it's just so deep and noble and blah blah" I don't really listen that closely because at that point I'm usually crying about Dobby the second I hear the word "noble."

We usually never even talk about Twilight, because why? The Beard, like all men, hates Twilight. This Oatmeal video accurately sums up his ideas.

Last night we started arguing about it, even though I don't feel that strongly about them. Did I like Twilight? Not really. I enjoyed the first book and hated each one more and more after that. Are they groundbreaking? No. Should they define our generation? Hell no. But would I stop my children from reading them? Absolutely not. And here's why.

"These books are pointless and STUPID."

Yeah, so? If kids are excited about reading something that isn't 50 Shades of Gray or Halo cheat codes, we should be psyched about that. It's not Shakespeare. But it's something. Just read.


Really? REALLY? Is it? It encourages waiting until marriage for intimacy and its pretty low-key when intimacy is involved. Sure, it's charged and emotional. But it is NOT pornography. You know what IS pornography for women? Trashy romance novels with half naked women and shirtless men on the covers that explicitly describes sexual encounters. Shut your stupid mouth you idiot.

Which brings me to my strongest, most angry argument.

"It just gives girls unreasonable expectations!"

I'm sorry - do you think they expect handsome vampires to show up and fall in love with them? Oh you think that the RELATIONSHIP is unreasonable, I see. Which part? The part where the man respects the woman? The part where the man protects the woman? The part where the man doesn't push a physical relationship? The part where the man is unselfish and puts the woman first?

Yes, Bella is worthless. Yes, Edward's dedication, selflessness and perfection is unrealistic.

I believe that if we're going to rank fictional characters to model our ideal men after we should DEFINITELY be going for a Neville Longbottom over an Edward Cullen. 

But if there's something that attracts females to these books that they can learn from, it's certainly the idea that women should expect respect and care from a male suitor. I see so many girls - students, friends, acquaintances, randoms in a restaurant - with complete DOUCHEBAGS that treat them TERRIBLY.

If all we take away from Twilight is that love should be happy, mutual, selfless and safe - then that's a lesson plenty of women in this world need to learn.

But make sure you read all the Harry Potters first. They have better lessons. And I hear LOTR has some good lessons too. :)

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