Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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We all deserve something better.

"So I don't understand the contempt people who usually have never read the books or seen the movies throw at Twilight [...] I think it's because Twilight was made for a female audience, and so that must make it silly and frivolous and stupid."
--Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg
Personally, I'm generally suspicious of anything that's "made for a female audience" because I think that it's an artificial distinction. Isn't it kind of a sexist notion to assume that women all have the same taste? And isn't it also kind of a sexist notion to assume that men don't like romance?

Having read zero of the books and only seen two of the movies in the franchise, I know that I'm on shaky ground here, but I think it's lazy and disingenuous to try excuse the flaws in your book and/or movie by saying that latent sexism is at the root of the negative criticism thereof. Furthermore, I'm personally offended by the implication that this silly, stupid frivolity is supposed to appeal to me just because I'm a woman. As though the shape of one of my chromosomes is supposed to inform my worldview and negate all my good taste. As though there must be something wrong with ME if I don't like the story, not with the story itself.

Look, I don't hate Twilight. It's not worth hating. If there's one thing I learned during my years of studying literature, it's this: Quality literature endures the test of time, while literature that is popular in its own time but ultimately unsubstantial will eventually fade away into obscurity. Therefore, only time will tell whether the franchise is a cultural touchstone for the ages or just a passing fad.

And in fairness to Rosenberg, she's probably right that a lot of the negativity directed toward the franchise may be disproportionate and unnecessarily acrimonious. Nevertheless, I think that there are legitimate criticisms to be made of it, and the legitimate criticisms--as well as those making them--deserve some respect. I think that readers today deserve better writing in general, and teenage girls of today and tomorrow deserve models of healthy relationships. In short, we all deserve something better.
Tags: books, films, ideas, idiocy
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