Man have I done it to myself. This passion project about Twilight (which is really a bigger passion project about sexism in literature) has taken me down a lot of paths. I knew this would happen. Sigh.
I’m only slightly surprised that it’s overlapping with my Beauty and the Beast project. The similarities between the two stories is fairly obvious, but how much is misinterpreted, misunderstood, and the falsely applied criticisms took me a bit longer to notice.
I’m actually most surprised by the critics who admit they’re not the target audience, and that looking at the saga as a romance, escapism, wish fulfillment story, makes it totally work and even well done. Then they proceed to cut it to shreds with unfounded takeaways and use a guise of ‘protecting young women’ from taking fictional stories as a real life guide.
I also think the outrage over Meyer’s vampires is comical. “They have no weaknesses”, “sparkling is stupid”, “not needing to sleep is wrong!” What’s especially funny is that Meyers never read horror or anything about vampires before writing this, so comparing her creatures to that of literature lore is ridiculous. Also, all but the sparkling has been covered in numerous stories of different phases of the lore, including the beginnings of it all.
Also, the sparkling makes sense within this reality. These aren’t horror genre vampires. They’re romance creatures where dying in sunlight would have been even more out of place for the overall tone of the saga.
Plus there’s all the sexist gatekeeping about vampires. Male fan perspective tends to be that they need to be scary and ugly creatures. This entirely disregards the original idea of vampires being frightening because they are so alluring and attractive while also being extremely dangerous. The long standing erotic nature of vampire lore also discounts the idea that they are only hideous monsters.