Welcome to the twisted glory that is Mormon housewife turned teen-lit sensation Stephenie Meyer’s imagination.
On the pages of Breaking Dawn Meyer let that imagination, which has been hovering under the repressed surface of the series’ previous three books, run rampant: Bedboard-breaking, feather-spilling, bruising honeymoon sex. A demonic pregnancy that grows so fast the fetus is nudging and jumping around the heroine’s womb days after conception. A grown-up werewolf falling in love with a half-vampire infant. And our heavily-pregnant heroine sipping blood from a soda cup–and loving it–just before her ribs and spine are shattered by the immortal spawn she’s carrying. It gets better: a c-section performed by vampire teeth. A shot of venom straight to the heart. A crazed childless vampire woman who will protect the fetus at all costs.
Every time a new installment of the neverending Twilight film franchise comes out, I have to reassess this massively popular tale that is such a paradox: it’s centered around a young woman’s desire, yes, but it’s a desire for all the wrong things (by feminist standards as well as by normal social ones). There’s no question that Twilight is saturated with sexist tropes–to the point of being disturbing. But there’s also no question that that disturbing element is compelling, too. Deeply so.
I have not seen any of the Twilight films and I haven’t read the books and I don’t plan to. There are so many books in the world to read and so many movies to see that I cannot justify spending any of my time on pro-life vampire teen-lit (although I can decide five minutes to a blog post, obviously). But there are some interesting thoughts to be had about female desire and gender roles in Twilight, and Sarah Seltzer writes about them better than anyone else I’ve read.
Also, because this seems related, here are some Goths up trees. There truly is a Tumblr for everything.