Friday, July 2, 2010

Yet Another Reason I Hate Twilight... and some gender ranting

'scuse me that I'm bringing this up, but there's something interesting that was touched on in this article over on Entertainment Weekly that I addressed in the comments but felt was really worth sharing.

The quote that bothered me most?

“A grand paradox in all this is that a great many professed Twilight haters are young men who, though they may not acknowledge it, are threatened by this pop-cultural juggernaut.”

My response?

"To be quite fair, I am the exact demographic, a young woman, that Twilight is aimed at and I know plenty of young women just like me who are professed Twilight-haters. Sure, I believe that there are plenty of young men who hate Twilight, I know quite a few myself, but for young women like me, it’s hard not to be insulted by the creation of these books and their aim at people like me. The belief that I am a sucker for anything dazzling romantic just because I’m a young woman? Insulting. I mean, I can stomach some rom coms every now and then and sometimes I even actively seek them out, but story still matters, even then. Just like how I can’t stand a shrill heroine (a la Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up – TBH that girl has every right to trash that role), I can’t stand a, not only passive, but downright inconsiderate and selfish heroine like Bella. Why would I ever want to watch or read about a girl who is supposed to be like me, but doesn’t appreciate anything in her life despite parents and friends who care about her? I would never want to be like Bella, and I think it is incredibly insulting that people think I should want to be like her just because I am a young woman."

All in all, women have more of a reason to be Twilight haters than men.

Men have plenty of their own say in pop culture - people make the argument that it's all them for the superhero movies, for things like Transformers and James Bond flicks or things like Star Wars or Star Trek. To be quite honest, that's a stupid, sexist stereotype as I am hardly a tomboy (love me some stilettos and skirts) but I have seen at least one movie in each of the aforementioned franchises and enjoyed them immensely. My favorite effing movie is probably Star Wars. But regardless, if the argument is that men are jealous of Twilight hogging some spotlight in pop culture, I think it is an immensely weak argument. If men were supposed to be the sexist stereotypes people write them out to be, they'd probably be thrilled that women were drawn into something so bad rather than going to the movies for incredibly intelligent fare which would show them as a true threat.

Of course, this is all complete bullshit. Sure, there are sexist stereotyped men out there, but it's unfair to say the whole gender is that way, just as it is equally unfair to say that women love Twilight.

It is because of this second assumption - that young women should be very interested in the Twilight franchise according to market research or whatever - that is the reason I think many a woman hates Twilight. We are insulted by these assumptions about ourselves and what kinds of stories we like. I think men should be just as insulted when things like "men have to love Transformers 2 even if it sucks, but because things blow up" pop into the conversation.

All in all, trying to figure out the success or failure of a franchise still, unfortunately, comes down to this sexist crap. Women movie-goers fit into one category, men movie-goers into another. When an audience is over 70% one gender, CLEARLY the movie is made for that gender. But 30% of the other gender is nothing to sniff at. And it's rare that you hear such a huge percentage for one gender. Most of the time, I see the range is usually smaller, the difference usually less than 30%. It's sometimes a big gap, but I doubt there's a single movie that has never drawn both genders for whatever reason.

Women and men both like crappy movies. Women and men both like good movies. Women and men hate the same movies. Women and men hate different movies. For every girl who says a war movie is too bloody for her, you get a girl like me who adores a good war movie, no matter how bloody it is. For every guy who complains about chick flicks, you get a guy who can actually enjoy a clever enough chick flick.

I know marketers have a job to do when they're selling a movie, and they're trying to find the right demographic. I understand that, but stop boxing us up too. Just because Twilight draws a female-heavy box office doesn't make "women between the ages of 18-34 love Twilight" accurate because I am in that demographic and I can't stand that crap. You're just making me hate it more by assuming I like it.


  1. Hi. I just stumbled onto your blog from this comment you posted on EW and I just thought I'd let you know I think you kind of rock.

  2. Thank you! :D
    I think you kind of rock for stumbling over here.

  3. Preach.

    I tried to post a gif of Artie that said it better than I could, but it didn't let me use the HTML.

  4. I agree with Veronica, same deal. And I couldn't agree more with the disdain for Twilight! Keep up the good work.