Bella Swan Cullen, Action Hero?

Twilight Posterby Tracy Bealer

So, it’s happened. Breaking Dawn: Part 2 has premiered, and Twihards around the country (of whose number I count myself among) have either already, or have plans to, see the cinematic adaptation of the Twilight Saga’s conclusion. The following is not a review of the film, or the books, but rather an investigation of how (spoiler alert) Bella’s transformation into a vampire tweaks the series’ gender politics and power dynamics. This post assumes a basic familiarity with the story, which Wikipedia can provide if needed.

I come not to bury Bella, nor the Twilight novels and their author, Stephenie Meyer, though not quite to praise them either. Though I have, both verbally and in print, articulated my appreciation for the progressive masculinity demonstrated by Edward’s negotiation of his vampire bloodlust and human desire to connect with Bella, the heroine herself hasn’t been as easy to defend. She makes bad decisions (running off alone to confront a vampiric foe without enlisting the aid of her supernatural companions), is willfully ignorant of the emotional consequences of her flirtation with “just friend” and werewolf Jacob Black (pretty much from New Moon onwards to Breaking Dawn: Part 1), and is distressingly eager to sacrifice her own life to protect a fetus that may or may not be a) a child, either human or vampire or; b) a viable living being at all. The connection between Bella’s willing self-sacrifice and Meyer’s Mormon commitment to childbearing has been made elsewhere, and is not the cause of my concern here. What is disturbing is the attendant beatification of Bella, both in the book and the first film, as her body wastes away. Read more

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism, Pop Culture 1 Comment

FFFF: Twilight

We’ve got two Friday feminist funny films today, both of which deal with Twilight. This is in honour of the release of the 3rd film, which my roommates remind me is coming out at the end of June.

To be right up front, I’m not a fan. I saw the first movie because my sister and I were on Hornby Island, it was raining, and let’s face it: there wasn’t much else to do. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but I’m gonna side with the makers of the following two films.

Feminist Frequency has a cute take on the right and wrong reasons for guys to dislike Twilight:

And in case you missed it, here’s a mash-up of Buffy vs. Edward:

And this has absolutely nothing to do with the FFFF theme, but I’m ridiculously over-excited about going to see The Manhattan Transfer tomorrow with my Dad – their first time in Vancouver in many many years. So for those many, many of you who aren’t 24-year-olds who like super cheezy vocal jazz, here is an example of their trademark 80s awesomeness. If they don’t do coordinated finger-snapping on Saturday, I will be highly disappointed.



Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in FFFF, Pop Culture Leave a comment