August 23rd, 2008

fangel wisdom

Twilight, Part Deux

After yesterday's splendiferous post on Twilight and all the wonderful reponses it got, I've been poking around online trying to find more info and, hopefully, parodies. During my search, I came across a blog that had reader responses to the book. One such response said: 

"Twilight is the best book in the history of books, published or not. I fell in love with it from the first page, and can still not stop obsessing. Me and my friend even made our own site for it! I recommend this book to anyone in their sane mind, and if you don’t like it….? Well, that’s just because you’re jealous you don’t have your very own vampire-God to love you. Sorry."

Surely, I thought, I didn't write things like this when I was younger. But it also made me consider how this response relates to flake_sake's comment that the books perpetuate appalling gender stereotypes. Fanatical ranting aside, which is really nothing to criticize the poster for - I, um, might have had some embarassing Spike-obsessed moments during my senior year of high school - what bothers me is the last sentence. I'm all for escapist entertainment. Hell, we're all here for that very reason. But the idea that women should be jealous or covetous of an unattainable ideal worries me. I would hope that young girls aren't waiting for their own vampire gods, but rather want a loyal, intelligent, affectionate, humorous man at their side. Sometimes I wonder if creating characters like this does more harm than good for young girls, who already doubt themselves, their intelligence, their bodies. 

I've always been a realist. Is it so wrong to want just a man (or woman)? Fallible, awkward, jealous, challenging, HUMAN. In my experience, superlatives are over-rated. That's not to say that one needs to settle, but that people should not expect perfect because we aren't. There will be disagreements, cellulite, bad hair days, days he can't get it up, moments of disappointment just like their will be years/months/days/hours/seconds of joy, caring and love, successes and failures, triumphs and personal victories. 

Ultimately, it shouldn't be about The Perfect Man, but The Right Man for You. And sometimes he won't be the hottest, or the strongest, smartest, wealthiest, most well-endowed, and any other superlative you can think of. And, girls, THAT'S OKAY.