Today my wife finished the last installment in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. She has so much to say about it, she has requested my blog as her soapbox. I’m not sure what to expect so here goes:
I’m not embarassed to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the first three books of the Twilight series. I don’t read a lot of YA fiction in general but given the outragous popularity of these books, I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. And yes, I did revert to a pre-teen girl in the process. I imagined that I was Bella, madly in love with a super hot vampire (Edward) while trying to stay friends with a super hot werewolf (Jacob) who had feelings for me. I allowed myself to get lost in this story. The adult part of me bristled whenever the abstinence theme surfaced (I’ll get to that in a minute) but mostly I was able to let go of my judgements. Until book four. That’s when I almost barfed with anger.
For those of you who don’t know, the Twilight series preaches abstinence. Edward and Bella are in love but can’t have sex because Edward might hurt her in the process. Yes, I know this is absolutely ridiculous. The portrayal of Bella as a breakable female that cannot hold her own in a sexual relationship is insulting. However, I was willing to let it go. Why? Because Bella really wanted to have sex with Edward. She tried. A lot. This abstinence rule was his, not hers. Now, that doesn’t make it okay but I was pleased to see that the author allowed Bella to experience desire. We often see stories where teenage girls are pure and teenage boys are horny devils they need to be protected from. I appreciated that Stephanie Meyer acknowledged that girls are just as interested in sex as boys. So I let it go. I decided to keep reading and reserve judgment.
Book four: the worst. Bella wants Edward to turn her into a vampire. He wants her to stay human. They negotiate an arrangement. Edward won’t turn Bella into a vampire until she marries him (I know, it’s stupid) and Bella won’t marry him until he agrees to have sex with her while she’s still human. So they decide to get married, go on a honeymoon, and then return home and turn her into a vampire. There are lots of other details in this arrangement but this post is getting long so I’m simplifying. Can you guess what happens? On the honeymoon they manage to have sex without Bella getting killed. Bella really, really likes sex so she thinks she might want to stay human a little while longer. Maybe it won’t feel as good once she’s a vampire. Maybe she’ll go to college for a semester and then turn into a vampire. But wait, suddenly she’s nauseous and moody. That’s right, Bella is pregnant. Pregnant. Guess what girls, if you have sex and enjoy it (married or not) you will be punished with a half demon baby that begins to eat you from the inside out. And it all goes downhill from there.
Edward takes her home and wants to abort the fetus. It’s growing at an alarmingly fast rate and she is clearly going to die if she sees this pregnancy through. But Bella (with help from some others) forbids this. Lesson two girls, being a martyr/mother is the best.
In the end, Bella survives the greusome birthing process (this scene is truly disgusting) because Edward turns her as soon as the baby is safely outside of her body. She wakes up a couple of days later as a beautiful vampire (this makes me angry too but that’s another whole post) to find her loving husband and baby waiting. Their daughter Renesmee is growing at an accelerated rate and will soon be a toddler and seems to have some special abilities. In the end, there is trouble with some fancy vampires from Italy and a battle scene approaches, blah blah blah, but it all works out in the end. Why? Lesson three, if you fall in love with an older man, give up your entire life to be with him, and sacrfice all of your independence to be a good wife and mother, then you too can save the day.