Ah Twilight, where to start with you? I came across the novel through a recommendation from a friend when I was 14. Five, glorious, years ago. Initially, I was daunted by the size. But I ate it up. And the others after that. And after each one I was left in an almost dream like state. Every time I thought about Edward and Bella, about Jacob or Carlisle..oh! My heart would sing and I kid you not my pulse quickened. Everything about Twilight was perfect. I was convinced that I wanted a man like Edward. One who'd creep into my bedroom at night, who'd prevent me from doing what I wanted, who was just so gorgeous. And Bella! Why she was the perfect heroine, I could slip easily into her skin! I was fair skinned and dark haired, and she had no apparent personality so I could just impose my own on hers. It was perfect!
Then, Breaking Dawn came out. By this time I was in my first year of university and had forgotten the Twlight series (the horror! I know, I know!). Then I saw it on sale and thought, eh, what the hey I'll buy it, Biggest. Waste. Of. Money. Ever.
I'm not sure what happened to me from when I was 14 to 18, but apparently I had gotten what my mum likes to refer to as, common sense. I read the book and was immediately creeped out, disgusted and over all felt light-headed for entirely different reasons. I actually liked this? I thought to myself. I didn't even finish the book, just skimmed the final chapters.
I look up at the book now, sitting between my Christie and Taylor novels (much better fare for your brain, if you ask me). I'm glaring at it balefully. Why? Because this piece of garbage has brainwashed an entire generation of girls. My 12-year-old sister included. What is it about twilight I hate so much?
Well, allow me to list my grievenences (I could possibly have more than 99, but I'll only include the ones that don't involve swearing).
1. Bella Swan is a dangerous role model
Bella Swan, is perfect in every way besides the fact that she is oh so adorably clumsy. Moreover, any decision she makes on her own is immediately overruled by the men in her life. Time and time again, she is put in her place and told what is what by either Edward, Jacob or Charlie (her dad).
Bella also is the model of the perfect house wife. All she seems to do is cook, clean and be in love with Edward. She even forgoes her university education just so she can be a mother and wife to Edward and her daughter.
Now there isn't anything wrong with being a mother or a wife, but the way Meyer paints it, it seems that this is the only viable option for Bella. Similarly all the other women in the twilight series assume this singular housewife role. Teaching young girls that there is no point in going to University if you find the man of your dreams? That is dangerous. Young girls need to be taught that they have options and choices and that their life should never ever be determined by a man.
2. Edward needs a restraining order
Strange guy who doesn't talk to anyone outside of his family, creeps into girls bedroom to watch her sleep at night. Then proceeds to woo said girl by threatening her, then bringing her back. Forces girl to cut off relations with all friends, aside from the ones he choose for her. Leaves girl for a long spell, and she is in such a state she literally can not operate without him in her life. Then proceeds to fail to tell her that having sex with him can lead too demon offspring that will eat their way out of their mother's belly.
What a dreamboat.
3. "Delusional, delusional, delusional." - Emerson Spartz, Mugglenet.com founder and webmaster.
Ok, so Emerson is referring to Harry/Hermione fans. But I'm certain he'd use the same term for the majority of Twlight fans. I have had encounters with some of the more extreme ones (and wisely kept my mouth shut), some of my own friends are twilight fans and cite it as a mere past time. That’s fine and all, they are well-adjusted and confident individuals who know that sparkly vampire boys are fiction not fact. What about the myriad of young girls like my sister? Or older women with self-esteem issues and an unhappy marriage? They are being fed this nonsense and I really fear for this generation. Twilight has, in my opinion, absolutely no redeemable values. In my mind, it is the equivalent of trash television. It is not well written, its message is poor and worst of all its enraptured millions of minds.
To me what is most dangerous is that the bad qualities that I have pointed out in both Bella and Edward are not glossed over, these qualities are encouraged in people. For women to be frail Stepford-esque housewives, and for men to be creepy stalkers. The language of romance has been utterly disregarded, there is no merit in this novel.
As Muslims, we should read all kinds of literature, not just exclusively Islamic literature. But the literature should be of some merit, go out and read Kipling, Rowling, Said, Bhaba! The Twilight series offers no intellectual merit, dear readers, it is the equivalent of toilet paper bound up in a glossy cover. If you have a copy lying around, and you're out of toilet paper- well you know what to do.