Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prolegomena to Further Critique of Sadomasochistic Teenage Erotica

Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Since I feel awkward having these books appearing in my "read" shelves without any explanation, I feel I must offer a little context, before I unleash my full response to the Twilight Saga sometime next spring.

I'm currently doing research based on the series, looking at themes of sexual violence, specifically, identifying the Twilight saga as an example of a sadomasochistic narrative. Without going into the details, I'll offer my short version of the main theme I've found so far in each book.

Twilight introduces teenage Bella and her vampire lover Edward. My main take away from Twilight is that in order for Bella to receive physical and emotional intimacy, she must literally stand as still as possible, hold her breath and hold back any of her own responses. To receive closeness, she must shut down and dissociate. She is held responsible for Edward's sexual and physical actions. Its her job to make sure he doesn't lose control. If she does respond to his advances, thus arousing him, he gets angry, pushes her away and blames her for tempting him past his limit. He, however, is free to be as sensual with her as he likes.

Women as both the tempter and manager of men's sexuality- while their own feminine sexuality must be suppressed.

That's book one.

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Holly Priscilla said...

Uuuggh. What a depressing and harmful message that is being devoured by female America.

elnellis said...

thanks for these reviews kj. i love how you see and read. hope its ok, but i posted about you on my blog.

Kj said...

Phil, I'm totally honored. Your post upped my blog readership about 25%. thanks for the kind words :)