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The Ninja Reader

High-brow or downright pretentious, good PNR or sparkly vampires, I don't care about the premise so long as it entertains me.

Currently reading

Bullying: The Social Destruction of Self
Laura Martocci

New Moon (Twilight Saga, Book 2)

New Moon - Stephenie Meyer You know, I'm continuously confused by the many, many, many reviews that call the Twilight series "anti-feminist". In my opinion there is nothing that could be farther than the truth, but I'm getting ahead of myself.New Moon starts off with Edward dumping Bella because she got a papercut and he is convinced that she is better off without him. In itself, the statement is totally true, but the reason behind it simply that you need to push the romance between Bella and Jacob, which turns out to be the only healthy thing in the whole book. Halfway through, Victoria comes back to wreck havoc and Bella, thanks to her own stupidity, ends up in the middle of some vampire court intrigues that give her a levrage to get Edward to fulfil her wish.I pity the guys in these books.Sure, you can say Edward is an abusive, controlling asshole and that Jacob is a violent, angry brat, but it's not like they're without justification for their actions. Edward was never given a choice as to whether he wanted to become a vampire or not, and it's certainly not an existence he wants for Bella. So while his actions are creepy and misguided, he is not doing it out of ill will. He's just an overprotective guy who's been given a lot more power than he knows how to handle. And Jacob's a teenage boy - point out one that isn't angry and intense. The way they interact causes more damage in the book than the actual villains.Which begs the question - who exactly is the villain in these books? The Volturi? Not really, I mean, they don't intervene until the very last moment. Victoria? For what? Killing people? Crossing Bella's path? But if it hadn't been Bella, they would have targeted someone else. I highly doubt the Cullen's would have chased James and Victoria if they'd threatened Jessica or Angela or Erik - the more likely scenario is that they would have let the teens die and then high-tailed out of Forks. So who then? Well, my best guess is Bella. Yes, Bella, because she just can't keep her nose out of the supernatural. Oh, sure, the guys are also to blame, not being able to reign in their lust for her even if she's such a Plain Jane, but it's Bella who toys around with their feelings. It's Bella who can't seem to choose. It's Bella who chooses to use the men around her as a crutch for her inadequacy instead of making herself into someone she could value more. It's Bella who throws away everything being human is, including her friends, her family and her self-esteem, in order to become something that is so powerful you have no choice but to love. Which brings me back to the question: Are the series anti-feminist? My verdict - not really. Feminism is a term thrown around so very often that it no longer resembles what Simone de Beauvoir outlined in "The Second Sex", and there is no final verdict as to whether sexuality has anything to do with the fact that a woman is a feminist or not. In fact, one of the sides in the debate in the Feminist Sex Wars argued that sexual freedom is an essential component of a woman's freedom (Wikipedia). Bella, while being just a weak human, manages to control these two guys who are both strong enough not to care for her opinion, yet manages to do it so well that she gets her cake and eats it too. Whether controlling guys thanks to your own weakness classifies you as a feminist is not my job to state, but she awfully reminds me of another literary character - Manda Powers from the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. And don't tell me this isn't about sex. The purpose of the whole series is Bella getting laid. Let's face it - the only thing in the whole bloody series she didn't choose was marrying Edward. The lessons we teach girls these days...