In Defense of (Being a Fan Of) Twilight

And Now For Something Completely Different
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Between The Hunger Games, Twilight, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, etc. etc., it seems that of late the publishing industry has more sway in Hollywood than ever before. (I could go on about the perception that the film industry is “creatively bankrupt,” but that, dear readers, is another story and shall be told another time.) This recent glut of book adaptations has led The Hollywood Reporter to create its first list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors. Included on the list are eight female authors: EL James (#4), Suzanne Collins (#5), Stephenie Meyer (#10), J.K. Rowling (#11), Charlaine Harris (#14), Laura Hillenbrand (#19), Candace Bushnell (#21), and Gillian Flynn (#22).

Yeah, I can see you gritting your teeth at Stephenie Meyer being included above J.K. Rowling. Stop it.

We need to talk about Twilight hate.

First: I haven’t seen the Twilight movies, but I’ve read the books, and I think they’re bad. They’re poorly written and, as has been mentioned many times before by people who have put more thought into it than I, pretty damn morally squicky.

But time and time again I see people handwaving away the series’ immense popularity because of its poor quality. And that bugs me. Not because of anything to do with the books’ quality. Not because they present a positive message about healthy relationships to their audience, because they sure as hell don’t.

Rather, Twilight hate gets on my nerves because all too often it takes on more than a slight tinge of “Twilight fans are stupid.” For “Twilight fans,” read “teenage girls.”

And that’s not cool.

Can we seriously stop giving people flack for liking things we don’t like?

I don’t care how old you are or what gender you are, I’m guessing that when you were a teenager you were really into something, even for a very short period of time, that you’re embarrassed about looking back on. I, myself, liked the Twilight series while I was reading it. There. I said it. For two weeks or so in my early 20s (yeah, yeah, shut up), I was a Twilight fan. And I don’t think that makes me some know-nothing idiot who can’t recognize and appreciate good literature, too.

Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg had an interesting interview with Women and Hollywood where she criticized the hypocrisy of the intense vitriol that gets aimed at the series:

We’ve seen more than our fair share of bad action movies, bad movies geared toward men or 13-year old boys. And you know, the reviews are like okay that was crappy, but a fun ride. But no one says “Oh my god. If you go to see this movie you’re a complete f**king idiot.” And that’s the tone, that is the tone with which people attack Twilight.

Twilight is hugely influential, and the movies have proven that a female-led movie can clean up at the box office. If you don’t like those movies, that’s fine. No one’s asking you to. But teenage girls face enough pressure in their life without being told—in general and by the geek community specifically, at least with Twilight—that their interests are irrelevant and that they themselves should be discounted for liking them.

In closing: I may not agree with what you fangirl, but I’ll defend (not to the death, that’s a bit much) your right to fangirl it.

(via: The Hollywood Reporter)

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