Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘Twilight

Happy Sunday!  It’s all of a sudden winter here with a completely overnight snowfall Thursday night that has been ongoing since.  It feels like winter and the holiday season now, but the cold really makes me want to hibernate.  Anyways, here are some of my favorite posts over the past couple days (on time this time!).  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading in the comments!!

Broadsheet: Why not Team Bella?

The marketing campaign for the movie pits “Team Edward” (the vampire) against “Team Jacob” (the werewolf), but as Carmen D. Siering wrote in Ms., “few young readers ask, ‘Why not Team Bella?'” That’s because the whole point of Bella’s existence is earning the suffocating love of supernatural hotties; even if you think her obsessive devotion to Edward might waver in the face of were-love, you know you’re never going to see her throw them both over to stand on her own two feet.”

Genderbitch: You Can’t “Specialize” Intersection Away

But while we’re facing facts, let’s face another fact. Specialization as a concept is a system that requires compartmentalization to work. Things need to be separated conceptually in order for specialization to be applicable. So to be entirely honest, specializations of egalitarianism tend to either fail to achieve their aims or not truly be specialized.

this ain’t livin’: Now Listen Here

For me, though, the winter holidays always mean one thing: A growing tide of articles guilting people about food, which crests in the few days before Christmas, and then subsides again, only to bubble up again in late October of the following year. It starts with a vague headline in the New York Times Health section, and it only goes downhill from there, getting bolder and bolder and bolder until I fear navigating to any website because I’m afraid of what I will see.

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Last night I just wanted to curl up and watch TV, so that’s what I did.  But in doing that, I didn’t create my usual Tuesday Link Love list.  So here it is…on Wednesday.  This might also mean that I’ll move Thursday Link Love to Friday just for this week so I can make a more complete list.  Fun times.  As always, don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading in the comments!!

Small Strokes: The Feminist Lens: Juliet, Naked

But the exact issue I had with his previous novels of his I had read (the lack of well-rounded female characters, for those of you not following along) was turned on its head with Juliet, Naked. (If you haven’t read the book and plan on doing so, DO NOT READ FURTHER! Unless you don’t mind spoilers.)

Bitch Blogs: The Transcontinental Disability Choir: True Blood: Sookie Stackhouse, Telepathy, and Disability

But the reason I looked forward to True Blood is because the Sookie Stackhouse novels feature a disabled heroine. And, as a person with disabilities, that is something that I do not get to see very often. Despite the fact that we make up an estimated 20% of the population, our representation in film and television is quite small. This means that I rarely get to engage with a character who is like me, with whom I can connect because we share commonalities.

Bitch Blogs: New Moon’s success means women hate sex. Obviously.

However, lately it seems like every single teenage behavior is being connected to the franchise in some way, from negotiating gender identity to interacting with parents. Could it be that Twilight is the compass with which we can navigate the state of Young People Today? Do we never have to think about the nuances and complications of human existence again because Stephenie Meyer has done that dirty work for us? Well, Jonathan Zimmerman at the Chicago Tribune certainly thinks so.

According to Zimmerman’s article “Hooking up’s gender gap,” the number of young women who saw Twilight Saga: New Moon (which was a lot) tells us that, “Girls want love, not just sex.” And he got this from New Moon how, exactly?

Tiger Beatdown: Titanic: Girl Power Sleeps with the Fishes

One of the many things you come to appreciate about Titanic, when re-watching it as an adult, are the complexities of Billy Zane’s performance. Zane plays Caledon Hockley – steel magnate, loveless-arranged-marriage candidate, avowed hater of the poor – who, as you can probably guess from his preposterous name and the aforementioned list of qualifications, is the villain of the piece. Oh sure, you might think that in a movie entitled Titanic, the villain would be, I don’t know, an iceberg or something! Ah, but no. You would be wrong. The villain is Billy Zane. And what a villain he is, let me tell you!

Equal Writes: Fear and female experience

You can tell me my fear is unreasoning, childish, deserving of psychotherapy—and maybe it’s true. I know intellectually that the dark isn’t full of potential rapists and attackers, knives and penises at the ready, but it doesn’t stop me walking on the opposite side of the street to avoid the bushes, checking behind all the trees and bins in my front yard before crossing to the house, and keeping an eye over my shoulder while fitting my key in the lock. It doesn’t stop me trembling at every light that turns on, every gate that bangs open, every tree branch that rustles. I also know that my fear of the dark—and especially of being alone in the dark—has intensified since my own assault.

It’s almost Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) everyone!  Which means great food and a crazy day at work the next day!  Before we get into some of my favorite posts of the past couple days, take a look at Sarah Haskins’ most recent Target Women video (and don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading in the comments):

FWD/Forward: On Language, Again

There are a couple of themes which seem to come up over and over again in the comment threads on posts in the Ableist Word Profile series, and I’d like to break them down a bit, because I would rather not see them come up in the future.

* “I don’t use this word this way, so it’s not bad.”
* “You can’t tell me what language I can and can’t use.”
* “But it’s not used in that sense anymore, so it’s ok.”/”You’re focusing too much on the origins of the word, not the modern usage.”
* “I’ve never heard this word used this way.”/”In another language, this word doesn’t mean this.”
* “Are you telling me that I’m lacking in intelligence because I didn’t know about the origins of this word?”
* “My friend with a disability uses this word, so it’s ok.”
* “I don’t agree that this word is ableist.”
* “The feelings of people with disabilities and advocates are not as important as my right to use this word.”
* “The alternatives you suggest just aren’t as strong.”

The Sexist: Sexism and the “If I Were A Man” Defense

Sorry folks, but that’s not how sexism works. Ostroy is right, of course: The Washingtonian cover was criticized for a variety of reasons—from photo-shopping a public official to selling sex for page-views—but nobody accused the magazine of sexism. But Ostroy ignores two major distinctions between the Palin and Obama covers. One, Washingtonian used an ab-tastic photo of Obama to illustrate how hot he is, whereas Newsweek used a leggy photo of Palin to illustrate how bad she is. Second, Palin is a woman and Obama is a man. And the second distinction has everything to do with the first one.

Bitch Flicks: Ten Years of Oscar-Winning Films: In Posters

What do these films have in common?

skepchick: Ew Moon: Why Twilight continues to hurt America…

I went into the movie fully expecting it to be awful. I was actually looking forward to writing a snarky, funny review, with lots of jokes and mockery of the fans of Twilight and their ilk. I came out of the movie less smug. I remembered why I had written my original review in the first place. This movie made me sad and angry, just like the last one.

1new-moon-posterIt’s true.  I’m intrigued by the phenomenon of Twilight because I think it’s pretty bad yet it’s really popular, as we all know.  I saw Twilight (a couple times, actually) and it was bad too, but at least kind of entertaining.  I’m sad (but not too surprised) to report that New Moon wasn’t even kind of entertaining…it was just bad.

I think we are well aware of the overall anti-feminist tones and feminist critiques of the Twilight saga (even if you don’t agree with those critiques, you are probably at least aware of those critiques), so I’m not going to delve too much into some of the already discussed critiques.  I can talk about how the Twilight saga is all about sex and has created (ok, I don’t know about created, but definitely made popular) the genre of abstinence porn.  I could go on for a while about the anti-feminist themes of Twilight, but that’s not really what I want to do in this post, I just want to talk about the movie New Moon and some of the things that I found deeply disturbing.

Before I get into it too much, I just want to make a comment about just how bad I thought the movie was.  The acting was horrible and forced, the storyline was boring, there was not a whole lot of plot.  Not really a whole lot of redeeming value.  I had heard so much about how the book New Moon was so much better than Twilight so I was expecting the movie to be better as well, but it wasn’t.  I don’t even know how the book could have been better because it would have been like 400 pages with not a whole lot of plot.

But past there being no plot, there was an overwhelming theme of protection in the movie.  Both Edward and Jacob say some form of the phrase “it’s my job to protect you” to Bella at some point throughout the movie.  I’m sorry, but no, it’s not your job.  You just think that the man has to protect the woman and that no other man should tough the woman because she belongs to you.  Edward even tells her not to be reckless after he leaves her — a way of controlling Bella even after he is out of her life.

And Bella, she’s just hopeless without a man.  She repeatedly participates in “reckless” behavior as a way to see a vision of Edward telling her not to do something.  There’s a whole scene of her sitting in front of a window with the months passing around her and having bad dreams after Edward leaves her because she can’t bring herself to do anything without him.

I just have to say that I found it really hard to pay attention to the movie because it didn’t have much of a plot and I was just bored throughout.  I even found it hard to pay attention to the extremely problematic aspects of the movie because of this.  But one thing that I want to bring up as well is the representation of the Native American tribe and the group of werewolves.  When I was visitng friends this weekend, one of my friends and I were talking about the movie.  We talked about how the representation of the werewolves as part of a Native American tribe and always showing them without shirts on, just in shorts, just adds to the stereotypes of Native Americans as beast-like.  I’m sorry, but does this seem pretty racist to anyone else?

And then can we just talk about the poster that I have included in this post?  Bella is portrayed as unconscious (possibly dead).  And Edward and Jacob surround her picture as a way of protecting her unconscious body.  She has no agency in this picture, and not really in the movie either.  I just can’t believe that people thought this was a good promotional poster.

One thing that I did like about the movie was Dakota Fanning.  Sometimes she really gets on my nerves, but she has been taking more serious, adult roles recently which I like to see.  I’m not saying that New Moon is necessarily a serious or adult role, but she did do a good job.  She was only on-screen for approximately five minutes as a member of the powerful vampire family, the Volturi.  She was pretty hard-core and I actually enjoyed seeing her in that part of the movie.

So, overall, if you are not absolutely in love with the books, I would not recommend seeing this movie.  The funny thing is, I was expecting this movie to be better than the first because I’ve heard the second book is better than the first.  It was not.  And I heard from people that I respect (who also happen to like the books, and yes, I still hold some respect for them despite that fact), that it was a great movie.  I just don’t understand, because it wasn’t.  It wasn’t even mildly entertaining like some bad movies are.  I just can’t fully wrap my head around the Twilight phenomenon.  I understand that some people like the “dark romance” “undying love” aspect of it, but it’s just not good writing, acting, or storytelling.  There are other series that have the “dark romance” vampire stuff that are much better written and translated to film or television.

I hope everyone’s had a great weekend, because I sure have — despite my allergic reaction that caused me to spend a few hours that could have been spent visiting with friends in the bathroom over a toilet.  But it was still good.  I’ve got a pretty busy week coming up between retail work during the holiday season and Thanksgiving, but I’m hoping to do a litle more blogging this week than I did last week.  I don’t think I will be writing a post about Bones this week as I don’t have the motivation, but check out meloukhia’s review if you’re facing withdrawal.  I have not made it through all of the posts that I’ve missed over the weekend, but here are some of my favorite that I have read through and more to come for the Tuesday post.  As always, don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading in the comments!

Bitch Blogs: The gender wars are over and WE WON!

Everyone! This just in! The “gender wars” are over, and women won!. That’s right; after fighting for centuries for equality, our struggles have finally paid off BECAUSE MEN ARE BECOMING JUST LIKE WOMEN. Which, you know, means not only are we equals now, but women are actually the conquerors in this scenario. WE WON!!!

Equal Writes: Gender Roles and “Hookup Culture” Anxiety

While it has long been more acceptable for men to enter short-term and uncommitted relationships, the stigma surrounding women’s participation in such an engagement seems to be particularly fierce, whether or not the “hook up culture” actually exists. Yet, the fact that the “hook up” culture seems to exist and that there doesn’t seem to be too much long-term dating among Princeton undergraduates is not simply reflective of a morality meltdown; instead, it is symptomatic of shifting trends in the way that gender impacts students’ willingness to seek out and commit to long-term relationships.

o filthy grandeur!: Presentations of violence and gender in the Twilight novels

I recently finished Stephanie Meyer’s vampire romance, Twilight. While it wasn’t the most fantastic novel (certainly it took a lot of reading before reaching anything remotely climactic), it wasn’t all that horrible. But it wasn’t all that good, either. I didn’t have high expectations for a romance novel as it was (admittedly I have read few, not having acquired a taste for the genre–yeah, studying literature makes you elitist. I’m no exception). This post will examine gender roles and gender presentations in the novel, as well as other problematic themes.

My review of the New Moon movie to come tomorrow!

Tiger Beatdown: The Edward Cullen Underpants Condundrum

But the issue of Our Cultural Discomfort With Objectifying Robert Pattinson, which is a very important phenomenon that I just made up and decided that we should focus on, is perhaps best illuminated by how different it is from our generalized Cultural Discomfort with MF. Because we have no problem with objectifying Megan Fox, really! We just have a problem with everything she says, and specifically the things she says wherein she takes issue with being objectified. We just hate her. Whereas people don’t hate Robert Pattinson, really. At least, not outside of the inevitable superfans in various Internet comment sections, who take issue with him not loving Twilight like it is his own sweet mother, and most of their ire is reserved for Kristen Stewart anyway. And superfans just yell about shit all the time. That is how they show their love. People outside the superfan matrix don’t tend to have strong feelings about The Pattz, but they do tend to get all squirmy and giggly and uncomfortable with the way that so many women relate to his filmed image (for example, by screen-printing it on their underpants) and/or his person.

The Sexist: Why Sarah Palin is a Better Feminist Than Nancy Pelosi

On the Daily Beast today, Amy Siskind decries Nancy Pelosi as a “feminist nightmare.” Why so serious? Because “the House Speaker pushed the Stupak amendment through—then moved to block the woman bidding for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.”

That first point makes sense—feminist women were thrown under the bus in order to pass the health care bill, and they’re right to be pissed about it. But what’s this business about forcing us to vote for lady politicians? “A major element in our battle for equality is getting women into positions of power,” Siskind explains. “The hope is that these leaders, once in place, would promote women’s issues and encourage the next generation of women leaders. Speaker Pelosi reveals a flaw in feminist thinking: There are exceptions. A powerful woman can in fact be an enemy to women.”

I hope everyone has had a good week.  As always, this post features some of my favorite posts from the past couple days as well as some of my favorite posts from the week that were already featured in Tuesday or Thursday‘s link love posts.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading in the comments!

New Link Love

Cis [this ain’t livin’] – a definition and examination of the word ‘cis.’

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Miley: On Privacy, Teen Sexuality, and the Miley Cyrus Twitter [Bitch Blogs] – who’s a real teen – Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift?  I may not agree with this post, but it’s a good read.  And you have to see this rap video that Miley made…it makes me laugh every time:

Moore illuminate evil of a corrupt system [Womanist Musings] – a look at Michael Moore’s new movie Capitalism: A Love Story.

An Education: “mini review” [Entertainment Realm] – Nick Hornby can write about women!

Weekly Link Love

Feminism that doesn’t advance women is no feminism at all [Zero at the Bone] – Chally examines the use of ableist language.

Another Way Language Excludes People [Small Strokes] – feminists often think about how the language that they use is exclusionary. But the use of English in relation to non-English speakers is not often commented on with the same kind of concern.

What if my gaze mattered? On the continuing dominance of the white-male-hetero-gaze and how it’s infiltrating the “feminine” world of Twilight [Professor What If…?] – “All the discussion of making the New Moon film friendlier to male audiences has my feminist panties in a bunch. Why must the Twilight films court the male demographic?”

As usual, here are some of my favorite posts from the past couple days.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading in the comments!

Feminism that doesn’t advance women is no feminism at all. [Zero at the Bone] – Chally’s response to Feministing’s ableist language.

What if my gaze mattered? On the continuing dominance of the white-male-hetero-gaze and how it’s infiltrating the “feminine” world of Twilight [Professor What If…?] – “All the discussion of making the New Moon film friendlier to male audiences has my feminist panties in a bunch. Why must the Twilight films court the male demographic?”

Sexism Watch: The Jay Leno Show- Where are the Women Writers? [Women & Hollywood] – I was kind of surprised (but kind of not) to find out that the Jay Leno Show and Conan O’Brien don’t have any women writers.

New “Old Navy” Commercials Offend…Just About Everyone [Womanist Musings] – they’re not only creepy, but offensive.