No jokes. No narrative. Just walk away. I’m warning you…

Undead Patriarchy and the Possibility of Love

Here we go again…

There are lots of reasons to distrust Edward Cullen when we first meet him. …He seems to be a (stereo)typical man in every respect: he has trouble controlling his urges, he’s rude, and he always thinks he knows best.

No, I’m sorry, but these are not features typical of men. They are features typical of HUMANS, period. I’ve known just as many females the above would apply to as I’ve known males (I’ve thankfully known better people in the general so the above description describes fewer humans in my experience on the whole).

Even his initial attraction to Bella Swan seems to be marked by a desire for control. Think about it: Edward doesn’t have access to Bella’s thoughts, so he doesn’t immediately have the same advantage over her that he does with others. She thus refuses (albeit unintentionally) to fall under his power. But this fact seems to make her all the more enticing to Edward, a control freak par excellence: since he doesn’t automatically have access to her mind, he longs to find out about her – and thereby to master her.

Yep, the basic human drive of curiosity is all about control. There’s no such thing as a simple desire for knowledge.

You know what’s the most fun part about this? This essay will never once bring up Alice Cullen. You remember: the vampire with the power of precognition. It would seem that having the power to predict the consequences of people’s choices infallibly gives one just as much (if not more) control over people than reading their mind.

Oh! And Alice just happens to be a girl. Just something to keep in mind and laugh at as we go through this.

Under patriarchy, men don’t have the best track record, to put it mildly. A patriarchy is a society, like ours, characterized by structures that support male dominance.

No, humans don’t have the best track record – doesn’t matter if men or women are in charge, we always find a way to screw it up. Also, what makes you so sure our society is a patriarchal one? Yeah, the essay will never, ever bother providing even the most basic proof of this assumption. For them, it is an axiom.

Equality in opposite-sex relationships is difficult to achieve.

Is it easy to achieve in same-sex relationships? Or any relationship in general? The obvious answer is no. Why? Because people aren’t equal. Some Most of you, reading this right now, are probably taller than me, better looking than me, and 100% of every one of you reading this right now know more about some topic out there than I do. The only people that are ever “equal” are newborn identical twins (natural clones) and the longer they live, the less equal they become.

And if anyone wants to protest “that’s not what they meant by equality” then my reply is to pick a better, more precise term. Or do what statisticians and scientists are instructed to do from day 1: define – your – terms.

We’re socialized to think of human relations in terms of the strong and weak; winners and losers; protectors and the protected. 1

Are we? Really? Well no, the answer is far more complex than that and just starting on involves grasping the concept of the monkeysphere. Namely, the first step is to realize that all higher primates divide their social awareness in two major categories, what we might call “personal” (the people you actually know) and the “general” (everyone else who are beyond your capacity to know).

As a result, when faced with controlling and overbearing behavior from partners and boyfriends, women and girls (including Bella) often interpret that behavior as caring and romantic. Likewise, men and boys (including Edward) often interpret their female counterparts as irrational and silly. 2 Feminists argue that, if unchecked, this lack of equality undermines trust, honest, and ultimately, love.

This is what pisses me off so much about feminists and their counterparts, the PUAs/MRAa. A tendency to attach a trait to “the other side” when every sane observer would note that the trait is universal to humanity. There are plenty of controlling, overbearing women and irrational, silly men. Of course, if either side is ever faced with this fact, they play it off with a variant of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy by claiming that such and such male just has more feminine features than normal or such and such female is supporting the patriarchy (or whatever the excuse of the month is). No, most flaws (if not all) are universal, stop trying to place blame on someone other than yourself.

Further irony? The “view of men” that women are “irrational and silly” seems to be dismissed as absurd and never given another second thought. The view that men are “controlling and overbearing”, however, will be accepted as fact and form the backbone of this essay. Do I have to point out the double standard at work here?

These patterns of domination and subordination continue in our society, even though most girls today are raised to become women who see themselves as individuals with an equal social status.

Most people realize that if you try a solution and the problem persists, one must either try a new solution, or reexamine the problem.

Recognizing oneself as an equal individual, sadly, is not the same as understanding oneself as an equal member of a heterosexual relationship (or any other relationship, for that matter).

Yay! Finally we have some acknowledgement that there’s more than romance in the world.

And there’s little help around for understanding how to have an equal relationship. Indeed, we might even wonder, with Andrea Dworkin, whether or not there can be equal heterosexual relations. 3

No, since no two people can be equal, there can never be ANY equal relationship of any kind. What’s to be done? We’re given no clue. Not only is the question never examined, but the possibility of all relationships being unequal is dropped and instead we spend the rest of the essay focused on heterosexual romantic ones. Why? Probably because these authors (and there were two) know that if they start asking those questions, this whole house of cards is going to fall apart.

Surprising as it sounds, this lack of guidance is why we need the Twilight saga. We need to see Edward learn to be a better person and less of a stereotypical man. In Forks, Washington, we find both the pitfalls of patriarchy and the possibility of a love that recognizes the necessity of equality.

I’m going to replace 2 words in one of the above sentences for a for a fun effort to see if anyone else can spot the issue:
“We need to see Bella learn to be a better person and less of a stereotypical woman.”
I guess the original is less offensive because only guys need character growth or something.

The Control Issues of Edward Cullen

…Edward can be very controlling. Feminists for some time have recognized controlling relationships as one consequence of patriarchy.

Really? Even a relationship where the woman is the controlling one is a result of patriarchy? One wonders what would be the relational consequences of matriarchy. Assuming anything bad would happen since we all know women are so perfect or something.

A system that promotes male domination also encourages men to fear the ways in which their domination may be diminished. As a result, men attempt to control situations in which they feel most vulnerable.

Wrong, that’s ALLPEOPLEPERIOD. You’re really going to sit here and tell me with a straight face that women don’t also seek to control situations where they feel most vulnerable? If so, than you’re an unobservant idiot.

Not surprisingly, Edward’s control issues most often stem from his fear for Bella’s safety – just those situations that would take her away from him.

Yep, all those parents who want their children to be alive – it’s all about control. It couldn’t be that someone (perhaps even Edward) actually likes someone else, enjoys their company and misses them when their not around.

As someone who’s actually lost friends, family and… I find this so fucking offensive. Being away from people you care about is a painful status – we are social creatures. And once you’ve experienced even a temporary missing, you understand fully the fear of death and losing someone permanently. After that, the only sensible reaction is to fear for someone’s safety – it’s called CARING about people and has nothing to do with control you bastards.

Of course there’s sane and insane reactions to this concern for your fellow human being, and while some of these reactions might be controlling not every one of them is controlling.

Apparently Bella has no choice in the matter, and Edward intends to “protect” her by controlling where she goes and whom she sees. And it gets worse.
[examples]

I’ll admit that Edward does go off the deep end of the concern scale mentioned above. But I am annoyed they put “protect” in quotes as if all of Edward’s efforts were a waste of time or even counterproductive. Were they? Did Edward have a right and just goal that he aimed for with questionable ends or was his goal wrong altogether? I thought a principle of philosophy was to avoid assuming unproven postulates.

Controlling behavior may be the result of patriarchy, but it also reinforces it. The more Edward feels the need to protect Bella, the more he views her as weak and vulnerable. Moreover, his view of her is not simply in terms of her physical weakness, but it also applies to his assessment of her decision-making capacity. Perhaps no example illustrates this point as well as Bella’s and Edward’s ongoing argument about whether she will become a vampire. Edward continually dismisses Bella’s request as irrational, uninformed, and hasty. Or consider in New Moon when Edward decides to leave Bella. He does so not because he’s tired of pretending to be something he’s not, but rather, as he later explains to her, “I only left you in the first place because I wanted you to have a chance at a normal, happy, human life. I could see what I was doing to you – keeping you constantly on the edge of danger, taking you away from the world you belonged in, risking your life every moment I was with you.” 6

Edward’s explanation may sound self-sacrificing, but Bella doesn’t want a “normal, happy, human life,” and she didn’t want Edward to leave. How many times does Bella beg Edward to stay with her? How often does she ask him to changer her? In fact, a “normal, happy, human life” increasingly becomes Bella’s worst-case scenario. Why does Edward consistently think that he knows better than Bella regarding what is in her best interest? It can’t be Bella’s track record with decision-making. …[examples]… So what is it? Could it be, just maybe – Edward thinks he knows better than Bella because he’s a man?

Did you see it? Maybe not. So let me spell it out.

Bella, can not become a vampire on her own. No matter how much she wills, no matter how much she hopes, she won’t wake up one morning undead. She needs someone else to help her out with this. Here, we see vampirism moves from a metaphor about sex to a rather literal example. It takes two to breed for them as it does for us.

See it yet?

Edward has to also give something for Bella to become a vampire. It’s a… what’s the term I’m thinking of…

Oh right. Consent.

So reread that page again. Edward – refusing to give his consent – is “controlling” Bella.

Yes, this feminist essay just went very rapey.

Don’t believe me? Let’s do a replace on just a name & word in just a sentence or two.

“Perhaps no example illustrates this point as well as Bella’s and Edward’s ongoing argument about whether [they will have sex]. Bella continually dismisses Edward’s request as irrational, uninformed, and hasty. …Edward … didn’t want Bella to leave. How many times does Edward beg Bella to stay with [him]? How often does [he] ask [her] to [fuck]?”

Oh wait, in the book that exactly happens, except it’s Bella begging & pressuring Edward. I guess “no” doesn’t always mean “no”? Somewhere along the way, I thought feminists were all about consent and not raping. Apparently not. Now we can see that every time a girl turns down a guy’s propositions, it’s all about control and “reinforcing the patriarchy” (remember they said that about Edward right beforehand).

And you want to know why I take this so personally? My review of the Scott Pilgrim movie on my blog brought down the wrath of a few feminists for a day or two (go do a search if you’re curious). They said I was “blaming the victim” just because I had cautioned women about putting themselves in risky situations. If offering common sense & self defense wisdom (passed down by generations) is “blaming the victim” then what the hell is this bit? “Guilting the victim”?

Finally, you want to get really meta? Who’s the only other member of the Cullens who is as opposed to Bella becoming a vampire as Edward? Rosalie. A girl in the story who literally raped.

Congratulations Twilight & Philosophy, you finally got me to see Edward as a protagonist.

Bella’s Mixed Reactions

Feminists highlight two reactions to this kind of controlling behavior. On the one hand, women and girls resent being controlled and resort to clandestine behavior such as lying, sneaking around, and their own brand of manipulation.

What? Girls can be controlling too? WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED.

Edward’s Progress

Patriarchal societies support inequality between men and women: Men are strong and rational; women are weak and silly.

Are you saying this is fact or as a presumed view of “patriarchal societies”? Why do you even mean by “strength”? Physical strength? Well yes, via biology men on average are stronger than women on average – its inarguable science. Do you mean other forms of strength? Like emotional or social or something else? In which case, I say women on average tend to be stronger than men on average (this is more open to debate at the moment since we don’t have adequate measures of such things). Men and women are no more “equal” than any two random people are “equal”. They are equal in a legalistic, ideal sense, not any reality-based sense. Why? Well it’s not society…

Moreover, the tendency to interpret controlling behavior as romantic and the inclination to escape it by lying and manipulating means that it is often difficult to overcome.

Of course it’s difficult to overcome. It’s not society it is BIOLOGY. As shown here, women (again: this is on average, there will always be outliers and aberrations) find dominance to be arousing while men (on average) find submission arousing. If you want to change this, then first step is going to be to change the building blocks of the people. Of course, since arousal is going to be necessary for breeding, the selective breeding needed to accomplish this change is going to be most challenging. Regardless of the moral or ethical considerations of such an effort.

Then there’s the very paradox of, are your efforts to change the one with controlling behavior also an attempt at control? See what I mean when I say “everyone is guilty”?

The tragedy is that controlling behavior doesn’t signify love; instead, it creates a barrier to it. Control requires both men and women to lie and manipulate their partners, but such behavior is at odds with love because it’s an obstacle to respect and trust.

To use one of my favorite quotes from South Park: “They’re right, but for the wrong reasons.” Love is never that simple – and yet it is simpler. Why do you think there are so many books, plays, movies, and so much, much more devoted to the question and riddle?

In his decision to trust Bella’s judgment, Edward decides to treat her as a person with the ability to make sound decisions; he decides to treat her as an equal. …Structures of dominance are not thrown off in one day or by one decision. …Nonetheless, he gets better. He learns to negotiate with her when they disagree.

Once again, the authors gloss over a much more importance issue and I suspect they did it because they have such a blind spot for “the woman” (Bella) and irrational rapey standards for “the man” (Edward). And that is: what if negotiation is impossible?

Think back to the big question that really set me off: Bella becoming a meyerpire. This is a binary decision. There are only 2 choice: she either is, or isn’t. There’s no way (that we know of) for her to be a half-breed and because of the time comparisons there is not any way she can spend half her life human and half of it meyerpire. There is no possible compromise on this debate: either Bella gets what she wants (and changes) or Edward gets what he wants (and she doesn’t). The only 3rd option to this debate is to dissolve the relationship.

Thus we see one issue with the concept of equality in the politics of relationships. In this dilemma, if we assume that both parties want the relationship to be preserved, then there’s only one other possible solution: someone must have a deciding vote. Exactly who has the deciding vote is a question with wide-ranging answers (and according to both of my parents – it’s the other person – my family is one giant bundle of lulz). Trust me, if you are in a romantic relationship that is starting to get serious, save yourself a lot of trouble make sure you and the other person both agree on who has that deciding vote. (And gals, this is why you should always date gamers – because we give the deciding vote to the dice.)

Talked into Love

This emerging equality intensifies Bella and Edward’s already intense intimacy. Freed from the need to lie and manipulate each other, they are ever more able to talk honestly about their fears, their expectations, and their desires. Such honesty is the first step in the process of love, as hooks suggests: It signals trust and respect, and thus a break with patriarchy and control. 12 Score one for Bella and Edward.

The second step in the process of love, hooks tells us, is communication. 13

Funny, I could swear that nobody would be more honest or communicating than two telepaths.

But despite the importance of communication, we’re rarely given examples in the media or in fiction of lovers who communicate with each other. Romantic comedies are not awash in communicative honesty, and even the classics seem to underemphasize how important open communication is to the work of love (we’re talking about you, Shakespeare!). Romeo and Juliet have very little to say to each other, except how much they’re in love – which is rather amazing, given that they know absolutely nothing about one another.

Well no shit! Romeo & Juliet is a tragedy. The only “example” it is to give is examples of what not to do. The entire play is a cautionary tale about letting irrationality & passion go too far. Not just between Romeo & Juliet but between their families as well. (Is Hamlet a cautionary tale about letting rationality & reason go too far? Hmmm…)

Through these examples we’re led to believe that it’s possible to love someone without really talking to him or her – without really knowing the person at all. We’re led to believe that a physical attraction or fate is all we need in order to love. We’re even led to believe that knowledge of our partner would make love less compelling, less romantic.

Duh – popular culture and society has completely divorced the use of the mind/reason in love instead emphasizing the heart/passion role in love exclusively. The tension of human nature’s balance between head & heart is the only other topic that’s more numerous and universal among humanity than love. It’s a topic that entire books have been written about, and you’re going to gloss over it in this one paragraph?

There’s a bit of a wrap up after this but screw it. I’m done with this chapter.

Tagged as:

Comment

  1. swenson on 22 June 2011, 13:35 said:

    Waitwaitwait…

    So they go from saying Edward is controlling (which he is) and this is obviously a result of the patriarchy (which… I doubt) to saying that Bella and Edward’s relationship shows the perfect equal relationship?

    Yeahhhh… I don’t buy it.

    I also don’t buy the obvious double standard (which, I might add, is my problem with a lot of uber-feminists). Even if there is a patriarchal conspiracy to keep women down, that doesn’t excuse when women do wrong things such as control men (which we most assuredly can do as much as men can). Like you pointed out in regards to the becoming-a-vampire thing, why is Bella’s side automatically better than Edward’s? Because she wants something and he’s trying to deny it to her? Newsflash: that’s not always a bad thing. If an older, wiser person can see that something is dangerous, then yeah, I can certainly understand them seeking to protect a younger, less experienced person that they love from it.

    Not that Edward really counts as wiser.

    Or that their relationship counts in any way, shape, or form as healthy.

    And now I feel like I’m actually supporting the original work, which is scary.

  2. Nate Winchester on 22 June 2011, 13:59 said:

    So they go from saying Edward is controlling (which he is) and this is obviously a result of the patriarchy (which… I doubt) to saying that Bella and Edward’s relationship shows the perfect equal relationship?

    To be fair (which I may have not been clear enough), they are talking about the “relationship arc growth” that Bella & Edward go through – going from unbalanced to “equal”.

    Newsflash: that’s not always a bad thing. If an older, wiser person can see that something is dangerous, then yeah, I can certainly understand them seeking to protect a younger, less experienced person that they love from it.

    Remind us of anything?

    And now I feel like I’m actually supporting the original work, which is scary.

    I told you it was a horrible, horrible chapter. Aren’t you glad I didn’t drag you into it this time?

  3. swenson on 23 June 2011, 00:08 said:

    Oh, only so much!

    Also, did you realize that when you Google “twilight and philosophy”, two of your articles show up on the first page? Or at least they did for me. That’s awesome. Now to get them to the top spot… above Amazon… yeah, good luck.

  4. Costanza on 23 June 2011, 00:20 said:

    Twilight has no philosophy. It is pure mindless entertainment with a few Mormon values peddled into it.

  5. falconempress on 23 June 2011, 12:17 said:

    That hurt. You win.

  6. Nate Winchester on 23 June 2011, 12:31 said:

    That hurt. You win.

    And now we all know the definition of a pyrrhic victory.

    In fact, I’ve had so few comments, I’m starting to wonder if anyone’s actually making it through the article of it’s finishing them off. Now I know of what Lovecraft spoke.

  7. Stephenie Rowling on 23 June 2011, 14:45 said:

    Hi
    I love this take. This has been bothering me a lot. Feminists have a blind spot to certain issues. I always say that Twilight is the type of book that what you take from it says more about you than about the work itself.

    Feminists tend to handwave things like Rosalie killing her rapists once she became a vampire, Alice being the most powerful of them all and Alice being Edward’s second in command helping him to keep Bella safe, so if the best woman in the story agrees with Edward, how come no one mentios this fact as maybe being the best choice and not about being a man?
    Really is like they see “A man is presented as stronger/better than a woman, regardless of the context, most rationalize hate and antifeminism” I also think that they hate the fact that Edward was the one with the power to turn her, I’m pretty sure that if this was a lesbian history with Alice doing everything Edward did, directly, they would call it enlightening and feminist and all that jazz…Double standards galore!

    Great work. I’m officially your fan. Any man that takes a moment to try and understand Twilight has my respect and if I weren’t married already I totally will try to get you know you better…in the biblical sense ;)

  8. Nate Winchester on 23 June 2011, 15:21 said:

    Stephanie, look through some of our archives at earlier chapters of T&P. I’m sure you’ll find a lot to enjoy. (or your eyes will melt out your skull)

    Great work. I’m officially your fan. Any man that takes a moment to try and understand Twilight has my respect and if I weren’t married already I totally will try to get you know you better…in the biblical sense ;)

    I’d say “introduce me to your sister” but too many would probably take that as intent to gold-dig on Joanne.

  9. dragonarya on 23 June 2011, 15:37 said:

    I made it through, Nate! And all I have to say is, “Ugh.”

  10. Stephenie Rowling on 23 June 2011, 17:03 said:

    Sadly my sister needs her own girl game, before I can try to play matchmaker with her. By the time she is ready you probably will have settled down, already.

    I saw your blog and now I’m envious I was planning to have a blog analyzing gender wars with pop culture examples (books, TV series…) and it seems you beat me to it…oh well great minds think alike I guess.

    I will check out the rest, for sure. An I fear not, Twilight bashing has been done worse than that. At this point I’m practically meh about it.

  11. NeuroticPlatypus on 23 June 2011, 17:18 said:

    One wonders what would be the relational consequences of matriarchy.

    Women would use their natural allies, bees, to attack Nicholas Cage.

    But I am annoyed they put “protect” in quotes as if all of Edward’s efforts were a waste of time or even counterproductive. Were they?

    How dare he save her from the probable rapists.

    It can’t be Bella’s track record with decision-making

    Why can’t it be? She’s a blithering idiot who wants to sacrifice her soul and her current life just to be with a guy she hasn’t even known very long.

    Why is it that with all the examples of Edward actually being scary and controlling, the writers choose the things he does that are in Bella’s best interest and actually make sense?

  12. Nate Winchester on 23 June 2011, 17:39 said:

    I made it through, Nate! And all I have to say is, “Ugh.”

    But then I know you were helped by running through the empress’s Assling sporks.

    Sadly my sister needs her own girl game, before I can try to play matchmaker with her. By the time she is ready you probably will have settled down, already.

    Drat, I was afraid the joke was too esoteric. (hint, look up who “joanne rowling” is)

    I saw your blog and now I’m envious I was planning to have a blog analyzing gender wars with pop culture examples (books, TV series…) and it seems you beat me to it…oh well great minds think alike I guess.

    I didn’t think that was my blog at all. Unless I just keep getting pulled in… =(

    Women would use their natural allies, bees, to attack Nicholas Cage.

    You win so many internets for that.

    Why is it that with all the examples of Edward actually being scary and controlling, the writers choose the things he does that are in Bella’s best interest and actually make sense?

    See what I mean about “right but for the wrong reasons”?

    To be fair, I’d have to look at the book again, I think they may have used some of the worse examples (like the MIA engine) and I trimmed them up in the “[examples]” sections (mostly because we know all of these already). I mean if you want me to post more from the essay…

  13. NeuroticPlatypus on 23 June 2011, 18:52 said:

    Drat, I was afraid the joke was too esoteric. (hint, look up who “joanne rowling” is)

    I got it, Nate. I guess I should be proud of myself.

    You win so many internets for that.

    :D

    I mean if you want me to post more from the essay…

    No, no. Please, don’t. I believe you.

  14. Stephenie Rowling on 23 June 2011, 19:19 said:

    Heh I didn’t get it because I call her J.K so I was confused by the name and assumed it was just a generic name. So is not esoteric just odd, we fans call her JK all the time that we forget her name is Joanne.

    Well you were talking about Thor and pirates of the Caribbean and so… even though it was not about gender it seems like you follow pop culture alright. I was imagining the gender thing was going to be mentioned at some point, might be just me getting ahead of myself.

    I will say that Bella was not acting stupid, at the end of book first Edward had saved her life twice (3 times if you count James), she discovered that she is vampire’s bait, she would be stupid or suicidal to decide to keep herself human and wait for a vampire with more brains find a way to kill her, specially when you throw in the mix a love that will last forever (no divorce or child custody battles, she is too young to be thinking in eat pray and love) and a family that already is willing to risk her life for her when she never spent time with her father and her mother traded her for the new hubby. So Bella can be an idiot sometimes but not about this choice, YMMV.

  15. Nate Winchester on 23 June 2011, 20:07 said:

    I got it, Nate. I guess I should be proud of myself.

    I’m always proud of you NP. =)

    Well you were talking about Thor and pirates of the Caribbean and so… even though it was not about gender it seems like you follow pop culture alright. I was imagining the gender thing was going to be mentioned at some point, might be just me getting ahead of myself.

    I try not to be “single-issue” but talk about anything that arises. (I think Thor drew me into a discussion about the oversimplification of villains and the prevalence of romance in movies.) Hope you still find something to enjoy on the blog. Like my “book”. XD

    And you’ll see one of our most common complaints about Twilight is that it wasted a lot of possibilities in story and principles. For times when it’s done right...

  16. Stephenie Rowling on 23 June 2011, 20:29 said:

    “And you’ll see one of our most common complaints about Twilight is that it wasted a lot of possibilities in story and principles. For times when it’s done right…”

    I had this discussion so many times. I think the issue is wishing Twilight was a different genre. In the romance genre the plots are the feelings so Twilight didn’t wasted anything it said what is was meant to say. It was about all feelings magnified in book 1: Falling in love for the first time, book 2 Breaking up for the firs time, book 3: Committing for the first time, book 3: Sex for the first time and family and marriage plus the fear of losing everything we hold dear. All this amplified to make it more intense.

    The actions, adventures and supernatural elements are used to serve the plot=feelings no the other way around.
    I often theorized that the reason some people don’t like Twilight is because they though it was a fantasy history with some romance in it (like Harry Potter) but is a Romance story with some fantasy in it.
    I don’t know if you ever read any romance genre novel before but Twilight filled is genre to a T.

    Maybe the problem was the marketing if they would had placed in the Romance Genre instead of YA wouldn’t be focusing on the aspects that don’t fit other YA books, of course maybe it wouldn’t had been this successful either, many people avoid the Romance section of the library for personal reasons, YMMV.

  17. Nate Winchester on 23 June 2011, 20:42 said:

    In the romance genre the plots are the feelings so Twilight didn’t wasted anything it said what is was meant to say.

    Hmmm…. I actually read a romance book of my own free will and this might explain a lot about it. I could get an article out of this. Thanks Stephenie! In payment, go enjoy some of Falconempress’ sporking of a really bad romance novel.

    Now I’ll have to investigate: does plot in a story have to be sacrificed for “feelings” of the story? Does it have to be a choice? Anyone have counter examples of romances stories with intense emotions and good plot?

  18. Stephenie Rowling on 24 June 2011, 02:40 said:

    Well the classic definition of Romance Novel per Wikipedia:
    “According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a romance novel must revolve around the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship together. Both the conflict and the climax of the novel should be directly related to that core theme of developing a romantic relationship although the novel can also contain subplots that do not specifically relate to the main characters’ romantic love. Furthermore, a romance novel must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” Others, including Leslie Gelbman, a president of the Berkley Group, define the genre more simply, stating only that a romance must make the “romantic relationship between the hero and the heroine … the core of the book.”

    So judge for yourself.

    Heh poor Falconempress, a pity such a nice brain all burned by “true love” Why! Oh why!

  19. Cadaver on 24 June 2011, 08:51 said:

    “Perhaps no example illustrates this point as well as Bella’s and Edward’s ongoing argument about whether [they will have sex]. Bella continually dismisses Edward’s request as irrational, uninformed, and hasty. …Edward … didn’t want Bella to leave. How many times does Edward beg Bella to stay with [him]? How often does [he] ask [her] to [fuck]?”

    Oh wait, in the book that exactly happens, except it’s Bella begging & pressuring Edward. I guess “no” doesn’t always mean “no”? Somewhere along the way, I thought feminists were all about consent and not raping. Apparently not. Now we can see that every time a girl turns down a guy’s propositions, it’s all about control and “reinforcing the patriarchy” (remember they said that about Edward right beforehand).

  20. Thea on 1 July 2011, 00:32 said:

    Regarding that section about Edward withholding consent only because he is an EVUL man (despite that being possibly the only place where his arguments even come close to holding up…for True Love, concern for her ETERNAL SOUL is pretty valid.

    Anyway. Why is breaking up never a possibility? I know you mentioned it, and dismissed it because it is about them being together, but why can’t it ever come up as a possiblity? If Bella finds it that important than she should make it happen without sacrificing Edward’s desires. Why can’t anyone ever move on?

    Although Meyer is the one who said she didn’t think Darcy and Elizabeth of P&P were True Love because if one died the other would move on.

    My friend, who’d just lost her father, really appreciated that comment, considering she’d rather keep her mother around a while longer :P

  21. Nate Winchester on 1 July 2011, 08:34 said:

    Anyway. Why is breaking up never a possibility? I know you mentioned it, and dismissed it because it is about them being together, but why can’t it ever come up as a possiblity? If Bella finds it that important than she should make it happen without sacrificing Edward’s desires. Why can’t anyone ever move on?

    It’s not that it isn’t a possibility, it’s that it’s not something Bella & Edward want. Look at it this way. If choice A is mutually exclusive (that is it is binary and no compromise is possible between the two choices), then it has only 3 possibilities:

    1. 1) Party 1 achieves a desired goal.
    2. 2) Party 2 achieves a desired goal.
    3. 3) The relationship between the two parties dissolves.

    Thus, if both parties have to decide how important things are to them. Is it more important for 1 to achieve its goal or to be in a relationship with 2? Same applies to 2. If the relationship is more important than the goal to both, then obviously option 3 is not a possibility for their choice.

    And by that I mean, it’s a possible choice for them to make, they won’t.

    That and if the characters just decide to break up, obviously there’s no romance. That’s sort of the fundamentals of all romance novels when you think about it. Characters have to choose whether they want a relationship or a goal conflicting with that relationship. It’s a happy ending if they choose the relationship in the end.

  22. Steph (what is left) on 3 July 2011, 03:02 said:

    Nate, I made it through! … and now, with all that T&P influence, I want to write something about the positives of the Bedward relationship.

    What has happened to me?

    Also, I’ve never known you to get so sweary…

  23. Nate Winchester on 4 July 2011, 14:22 said:

    Nate, I made it through! … and now, with all that T&P influence, I want to write something about the positives of the Bedward relationship.

    What has happened to me?

    See? Now you know why I hated this chapter so much!

    (also, see my above salute, I now send it to you as well)

    Also, I’ve never known you to get so sweary…

    I was mad at this chapter. To the point that sometimes… there were no words strong enough to express my displeasure. (and I think it worked – it sticks out to you, eh?)

  24. Stephenie Rowling on 5 July 2011, 00:50 said:

    Characters have to choose whether they want a relationship or a goal conflicting with that relationship. It’s a happy ending if they choose the relationship in the end.

    But I think nowadays people admire more people that chooses the goal over True Love. I mean like I clarified this is a Romance so anyone expecting more than that was deluding him/herself but in other adventure books, they probably would had have Bella and Edward parting ways. I’m thinking on Buffy and Angel supposedly True Love too but both of them ended separated dated other people and generally moved on…what do you think?

  25. Nate Winchester on 5 July 2011, 07:40 said:

    But I think nowadays people admire more people that chooses the goal over True Love.

    Yeah, and so far in almost every case I’ve seen, that’s a tragic, sad ending for it.

    I mean like I clarified this is a Romance so anyone expecting more than that was deluding him/herself but in other adventure books, they probably would had have Bella and Edward parting ways. I’m thinking on Buffy and Angel supposedly True Love too but both of them ended separated dated other people and generally moved on…what do you think?

    Oh… someone hasn’t read Buffy’s season 8 (in comic form).

  26. Stephenie Rowling on 5 July 2011, 10:52 said:

    Yeah, and so far in almost every case I’ve seen, that’s a tragic, sad ending for it.

    Well modern people seem to hate happy endings as well so that is a given.

    Oh… someone hasn’t read Buffy’s season 8 (in comic form).

    Heh I deny the existence of that comic…the whole Dawn as a giantess, and Buffy flirting with lesbianism and is not with Willow, WTF?!!! Didn’t appealed to me. No to mention I’m not over the whole Fred/Wesley fiasco. Shipping in a Wedhon universe is a bad idea.