If you're thinking of taking your daughter to see "Twilight" or buying her one of the books from the series, a mom suggests you think again.
I was skeptical when reading a mainstream news reporter's account that the book series was "chaste," since having its characters observe abstinence-'til-marriage doesn't mean they're chaste in spirit. However, until reading the mom's examination of the series, I had no idea how much its author sought to exploit young girls who suffer low self-esteem—girls for whom, like the book's "heroine," "life means nothing."
The "no sex, no violence" "Twilight" film does appear to be, as the mom calls it, a "gateway drug" to the books.
Thanks to American Papist for the tip.
- Catholic film critic Steven Greydanus weighs in:
Chastity is a precious thing, and the struggle to be chaste is both an inevitable part of a moral life and a legitimate subject for narrative art. In part, this quest for chastity may legitimately form some part of Twilight’s appeal. At the same time, a narrative that wallows in the intoxicating power of temptation and desire, that returns again and again to rhapsodizing about the beauty of forbidden fruit, may reasonably be felt to be a hindrance rather than an affirmation of self-mastery.
This is all the more problematic in a story in which, unlike normal adolescents wrestling with desire, lover and beloved dance around an act that is inherently monstrous and destructive. For some young readers, the darkness of this struggle might resonate in part with distorted adolescent fear of sex — but on a larger level their temptation speaks to unhealthy, disordered appetite, like an addict’s craving for his drug of choice. “Exactly my brand of heroin” is how Edward describes Bella (that’s “heroin” without a final e). [Full article]
- Gina Dalfonzo wrote prior to the film's release:
[Twilight author Stephenie] Meyer once retorted to critics who accused her of misogyny, “I am not anti-female; I am anti-human.” Whether she was aware of it or not, this was far more than just a flippant remark. Just like the allegedly positive messages about romance and sexuality, any value that Meyer and her characters place on human life is only on the surface. More than once, Edward and his family look the other way—or even provide assistance—when fellow members of their species hunt humans, just as long as those humans aren’t people they know. [Full article]