I cannot express in words how much I loathe this book. This is a direct quote. This is Edward telling Bella it’s her fault vampires want to kill her because of how “delicious” she smells. Sound familiar at all? And then there was the time she was almost gang raped and he reacted by telling her how “only she could find trouble in a town like this; she would have ruined their crime stats.” This is the book that swept the nation. This is the man that had girls/women aged 10 to 40 swooning over him. A victim-blaming abuser. If vampires were real, this quote would be worthy of Project Unbreakable. Translate the concept of blood-drinking to sex, and this IS on Project Unbreakable.
Erik Grant from Auckland University, New Zealand.
[TW: Sexual Assault]
His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping tight around the back of my neck, making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest with all my strength, but he didn’t even seem to notice. His mouth was soft, despite the anger, his lips molding to mine in a warm, unfamiliar way.
I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open, and I could feel his hot breath in my mouth.
Acting on instinct, I let my hands drop to my side, and shut down. I opened my eyes and didn’t fight, didn’t feel… just waited for him to stop."
Twilight: Eclipse p. 331 (Bella and Jacob’s first kiss)
This is rape culture.
Young women are taught to think of this passage - which describes sexual assault - as erotic. Young men are taught to force their will on young women, regardless of any (non)verbal cues, because sex is conquest and women are objects - not something to be done between two consenting individuals because it’s pleasurable for both people.
The most frightening thing about this excerpt is that many survivors of sexual assault who have disclosed to me describe stories that sound exactly like this one.
tumblr user clockward submitted this to us. read at your leisure.
The lines before that:
He still had my chin—his fingers holding too tight, till it hurt—and I saw the resolve form abruptly in his eyes.
“N—-” I started to object, but it was too late.
And after he assaulted her she punched him in the face but due to his “super human strength” she broke her hand, said “Don’t touche me!” and then:
“Just let me drive you home,” Jacob insisted. Unbelievably, he had the nerve to wrap his arm around my waist.
I jerked away from him.
When he got in the driver’s side, he was whistling.
AND THEN while he was driving:
“…There is so much I can give you that he can’t. I’ll bet he couldn’t even kiss you like that—-because he would hurt you. I would never, never hurt you, Bella.”
I held up my injured hand.
He sighed. “That wasn’t my fault. You should have known better.”
He grinned over at me. “You kissed me back.”
I gasped, unthinkingly balling my hands up into fists again, hissing when my broken hand reacted.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“I did not.”
“I think I can tell the difference.”
“Obviously you can’t——that was not kissing back, that was trying to get you the hell off me, you idiot.”
He laughed a low, throaty laugh. “Touchy. Almost overly defensive, I would say.
I took a deep breath. There was no point in arguing with him; he would twist anything I said.
Then when she gets home, to where her father, Charlie, the police officer, is:
“Why did she hit you?”
“Because I kissed her,” Jacob said, unashamed.
“Good for you, kid,” Charlie congratulated him.
I didn’t read the citation first. I read the quote. I thought I was reading a woman’s account of how she was about to be raped, not a fucking passage from a romance novel.
This this this this this this
Wow I wow…
But why are we acting like passages like these haven’t been staples of the romance novel genre for fucking ever? I have read rape scenes described as love scenes, I have read slaps and punches describes the actions of a loving spouse to many times to count, especially in historical romances. And a lot of the supernatural ones use the idea of “violent animals dynamics” to pull that same fucking rubbish. This is not new.
from a post on reddit:
Let’s put problems with spelling, grammar, narrative flow, plot structure, etc. aside and just look at the story and, in particular, the character arc of Bella Swan.
At the beginning of the story, she is moving from Arizona to Washington on her own volition - she has decided to give her mother and her step-father some time and space and to spend some time with her father. At this point in the story, she is, admittedly, a bit of a Mary Sue, but an endearing one. She is sensitive to the needs of others (moves to Alaska for her Mom’s sake, helps her Dad around the house, is understanding and tries to give the benefit of the doubt even when the other students are somewhat cruel to her when she first arrives), clumsy, out-of-sorts, and a little insecure. She’s not a girly-girl or a cheerleader type, doesn’t get caught up in the typical sorts of high school behavior, and in general functions as an independent person.
It’s worth noting that if Tyler’s van had smashed her, she would have (at that point) died as a fairly well-rounded, empathetic individual. We certainly wouldn’t say she died in need of redemption, at any rate. Instead, Edward ‘saves’ her - and this supernatural ‘salvation’ marks the beginning of a journey that ultimately destroys her.
As she gets more entangled with Edward, she becomes less and less independent, more and more selfish. She is accepting of his abusive behavior (stalking her on trips with her friends, removing parts from her car so that she can’t go see Jacob, creeping into her window at night, emotional manipulation) to the point that when he completely abandons her (walking out on the trust and commitment they’ve built together, in spite of having vowed to remain with her no matter what), she is willing to take him back. Edward is clearly entirely morally bankrupt.
Her father, Charlie Swan, is sort of the Jimminy Cricket of the story. His intuition is a proxy for the reader’s intuition, and he’s generally right. He doesn’t like Edward, because he can sense the truth - not that Edward is a vampire, that doesn’t matter in particular - but that Edward is devoid of anything approximating a ‘soul’ (for those strict secularists, you could just say Charlie can see that Edward is a terrible person). Bella is warned by numerous people and events throughout the course of the story that she is actively pursuing her own destruction - but she’s so dependent on Edward and caught up in the idea of the romance that she refuses to see the situation for what it is. Charlie tells her Edward is bad news. Edward tells her that he believes he is damned, and devoid of a soul. He further tells her that making her like him is the most selfish thing he will ever do. Jacob warns her numerous times that Edward is a threat to her life and well-being. She even has examples of other women who have become involved with monsters - Emily Young bears severe and permanent facial disfigurement due to her entanglement with Sam Uley.
Her downward spiral continues when, in New Moon, she turns around and treats her father precisely as Edward has treated her - abandoning him after suffering an obvious and extended severe bout of depression, leaving him to worry that she is dead for several days. She had been emotionally absent for a period of months before that anyhow. Charlie Swan is traumatized by this event, and never quite recovers thereafter. (He is continuously suspicous of nearly everyone Bella interacts with from that point on, worries about her frequently, and seems generally less happy.)
Her refusal to break her codependence with Edward eventually leads them to selfishly endanger Carlisle’s entire clan when the Volturi threaten (and then attempt) to wipe them out for their interaction with her - so she is at this point in the story willing to put lives on both sides of the line (her family and the Cullens) at risk in favor of this abusive relationship. Just like in a real abusive relationship, she is isolated or isolates herself from nearly everyone in her life - for their safety, she believes.
Ultimately, she marries Edward, submitting to mundane domesticity and an abusive relationship - voluntarily giving up her independence in favor of fulfilling Edward’s idea of her appropriate role. Her pregnancy - which in the real world would bind her to the father of her children irrevocably (if only through the legal system or through having to answer the kid’s questions about their paternity) - completely destroys her body. The baby drains her of every resource in her body (she becomes sickly, skeletal, and unhealthy) and ultimately snaps her spine during labor. Her physical destruction tracks with and mirrors her moral and psychological destruction - both are the product of seeds that she allowed Edward to plant inside her through her failure to be independent.
Ultimately, to ‘save’ her (there’s that salvation again), Edward shoots venom directly into her heart. Let me repeat that for emphasis: The climax of the entire series is when Edward injects venom directly into Bella Swan’s heart.
Whatever wakes up in that room, it ain’t Bella.
I’ll refer to the vampire as Bella Cullen, the human as Bella Swan.
Bella Swan was clumsy.
Bella Cullen is the most graceful of all the vampires.
Bella Swan was physically weak and frequently needed protection.
Bella Cullen is among the strongest and most warlike of the vampires, standing essentially on her own against a clan that has ruled the world for centuries.
Bella Swan was empathetic to the needs of others before she met Edward.
Bella Cullen pursues two innocent human hikers through a forest, intent on ripping them to pieces to satisfy her bloodlust - and stops only because Edward calls out to her. Not because she perceives murder as wrong. (Breaking Dawn, p.417). She also attempts to kill Jacob and breaks Seth’s shoulder because she didn’t approve of what Jacob nicknamed her daughter (Breaking dawn, p.452). She no longer has morals .
Bella Swan was fairly modest and earnest.
Bella Cullen uses her sex appeal to manipulate innocent people and extract information from them (pp.638 - 461) - she does so in order to get in touch with J. Jenks.
In short, her entire identity - everything that made her who she was - has been erased.
This is powerfully underscored on p. 506, when Charlie Swan (remember, the conscience of the story) sees his own daughter for the first time after her transformation:
“Charlie’s blank expression told me how off my voice was. His eyes zeroed in on me and widened.
Shock. Disbelief. Pain. Loss. Fear. Anger. Suspicion. More pain.”
He goes through the entire grieving process right there - because at that moment, he recognizes what so many readers don’t - Bella Swan is dead.
The most tragic part of the whole story is that this empty shell of a person - which at this point is nothing more than a frozen echo of Bella, twisted and destroyed as she is by her codependence with Edward, fails to see what has happened to her. She ends the story in denial - empty, annihilated, and having learned nothing.
now who wants to write fanfiction emphasizing this point
Now that’s cool
Did I just read a Twilight literary analysis that I liked?
What have I become?
“I know what you are.” Bella whispered, leaning away from Edward as her stomach churned at her realization. Her heart pounded against her rib cage and sweat began to bead on her forehead. She was afraid of him. He was dangerous and she needed to get away.
“Say it.” he growled at her, stepping forward as she retreated. “SAY IT!!!”
“A men’s rights activist.”
Heartwarming Tearjerker of the Day: My Little Pony voice actress Tara Strong was scheduled to appear at the upcoming Knoxville Comic and Anime Show, and 15-year-old mentally disabled brony Dragon and his mom, Rebecca Andrews, were looking forward to meeting her.
Then Strong canceled.
Andrews knew her son would be devastated, and she said as much on the convention’s Facebook page: “Thanks for posting. Just wish she’d cancelled before I paid for the vip pass. Now I have to figure out how to tell my disabled son he won’t be meeting Twilight.“
But Strong saw the post, called Andrews, and set up a phone call with Dragon.
Tara: Is this Dragon?
Tara: Do you know who this is?
Dragon: Yes, it’s Twilight Sparkle.
Dragon: Tara, you are so talented with all those voices you do.
Tara: Yes, yes I am, aren’t I?
Tara: (in Twilight’s voice) I love you, Dragon.
Dragon: (stunned, muttering) …love you, too, Twilight.
After the call, Andrews snapped a pic of Dragon’s expression and posted it to Facebook.
“She talked to him for about 20 minutes in all,” Andrews wrote. “[She] did every voice he asked her to do, talked a little to him about how to deal with bullies at school, and assured him that there is going to be a season 3 of My Little Pony.”
Dragon starts high school in the fall. He recently was switched to special needs classes so he won’t be subjected to bullying for liking My Little Pony.
“It’s still rather hard to believe this actually happened,” Andrews said, “even with Dragon piping up every once in a while, ‘Twilight Sparkle said she loved me.’”
Fuck yeah Tara Strong.
Fuck yeah My Little Pony.
Haters to the left.
Totally agree with this. Meyer doesn’t actually depict the sex scene itself, and can you imagine if she had? “Edward’s hands on my throat almost choked out my breath,” “his grip on my wrists almost made me cry as I looked up into his beautiful, perfect face,” etc….Lots of readers would be really alarmed at this being Bella’s first sexual encounter, and with good reason.
It’s one thing to have a bruise or two afterwards when you’re experienced in sex—maybe because you indicated to your partner that you like it rough—and another thing to look really beaten up after losing your virginity on your wedding night.
By eliding over the actual sex, ostensibly to be more “appropriate,” Meyer effectively normalizes abuse in a way that’s really inappropriate.
If my laptop had a “THIS” key, it would have fallen off the keyboard from this post alone.
As you continue reading, you learn that the young woman was brainwashed by a strange blood-drinking cult who call themselves a “family,” though none of the members were actually related. The young woman’s husband was much older than she and had a history of violence. In fact, you learn that her husband used to stalk her prior to her marriage, watching her secretly from the woods near her home and climbing into an unsecured window at night to watch her sleep without her knowledge. Once the young woman, then seventeen, was initiated into a relationship with the man and his “family,” she was encouraged to marry right after her high school graduation. The young woman reportedly had bruises all over her body after returning from her honeymoon, where she also reportedly became pregnant. Her husband was not happy about the pregnancy and wanted her to have an abortion. She refused, eventually leading to him ripping the child from her womb, then, draining her of her blood until she finally stopped breathing. Sounds torturous and sick, doesn’t it? But in fact, this is the basis of a tween-teen literary phenomenon called the Twilight saga…”
Twilight and Philosophy, p.178 (chapter by Rebecca Housel)