3 Reasons Why You May Wish to Reevaluate Your Opinions

Or, 3 Reasons Why I Sometimes Wonder if Anyone Thinks About Anything, Ever

1. You believe that Twilight sends young girls a bad message.

The argument here is that Bella, the human girl who falls in love with an immortal vampire, has zero self-respect because she mopes for a year after Edward leaves her and doesn’t seem to have much of an identity outside their bizarrely all-consuming relationship. This supposedly teaches teenage girls that they are worthless without boyfriends. Pardon me while I snort derisively. (::Snort!::) I pray that our female adolescents aren’t as soft-headed as everyone seems to believe. Let’s start with the essential point: the Twilight series is a fantasy. That means it deals with things that would never happen in the normal world. Ever. In a million years. Therefore, normal rules do not apply. To claim that the way Bella handles her relationship with an immortal being of surpassing beauty and strength should have some kind of impact on the way girls handle their real-life relationships is stupid. The whole purpose of the series is to explore the drama of a human-vampire relationship, not teach girlies lessons about human-human relationships. Can you see what I’m driving at? Stop comparing apples and oranges. What if you fell in love with an immortal being of surpassing beauty, etc.? Would you behave the same way you might if you started dating some regular dude? You remember what regular dudes are like, right? I think we can all agree that if some otherworldly hottie popped up and offered an eternity of unconditional love, sexual bliss, and perpetual youth, we’d sign on the dotted line without any of this moral huffiness. We’d probably also lose all perspective and exhibit weird, obsessive behavior as a natural consequence. Interesting to think about, right? That’s why reading books like Twilight can be fun. But those of us with any amount of sense can separate the books we read from the world we live in. We can be interested in a story about Bella losing herself in a crazy vampire love affair and still understand that normal life relationships are nothing like that. And if your daughter/granddaughter/niece/student can’t make that distinction, then the problem is not Twilight. The problem is that your young female charge is dumb as a rock. Teach her some critical thinking skills, for God’s sake.

2. You believe that early cold and snow means global warming is a farce.

If I hear someone say “So much for global warming!” one more time when a chilly spell blows in, I think I will throw up on their shoes. I admit that the term “global warming” can be misleading, but if you do just a little reading (just a little, come on, I promise it won’t hurt), you will learn that global warming is just a synonym for “climate change.” In other words, because the ice caps are melting, the weather is becoming more and more erratic. Meaning we get weird cold spells and weird hot spells out of season. There may, for instance, be a giant snowstorm in late October when we don’t normally expect snowstorms. Get my drift? (::Snort!::) (I think I just reached my snort-per-post quota.)

3. You believe that Jesus is the reason for the season.

The celebration known today as Christmas was in effect long, long before the birth of Christ. In those times, people celebrated Yule or whatever equivalent came to hand–i.e., the coming of winter solstice and the looking forward to new life at springtime. It was, even then, a time of good cheer and feasting. When Christianity began to take root in the Western world, the Catholic Church felt it would be a good evangelical move to transform this pagan festival into something more godly. So the clergy began claiming that Jesus was born in December and everyone should celebrate his birth during the traditional winter festival (when really, most evidence drawn from the Bible indicates that Jesus was NOT born then). Thus, Christmas was created. Which means that, in light of the facts, Jesus is not the reason for the Christmas season. If you wish to be correct, you could say that ancient and mostly-forgotten-but-still-perpetuated pagan traditions are the reason for the season. But we may certainly celebrate the birth of Christ during this time of love and joy, according to our own choice of faith and custom, without getting our panties in a big snooty wad over the way others choose to express their holiday spirit. Remember–“the only person who can take your Christ out of your Christmas is you.” 

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4 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why You May Wish to Reevaluate Your Opinions

  1. I agree with points 2 and 3, and parts of point 1, but I think most people are much less intelligent than we think they should be — especially teenagers. True, most teens probably need some critical thinking skills, and it is my goal in life to help them practice using those, but if they don’t have them, or if their critical thinking skills are underdeveloped (which they usually are), it’s going to be difficult for them to parse out some of the creepier elements of the Twilight Saga. More than that, the raging hormones present within teenage brains make them more likely in general to become obsessive over the opposite sex, and they are also more likely to idealize even the stupidest boys. So, even though Edward is a fantasy boy, I think Bella’s response to him accurately represents the way teenage girls are prone to think about teenage boys in the first place, supernaturally handsome or not. I think of the idealized versions of my high school crushes (few as they were) and want to mock my 16-year-old self — and I like to think I was fairly good at being reasonable. I think the books pose little to no danger to people who are able to see them for what they are, but I do think there is a rather large swathe of society, especially the younger set, who can’t see them for what they are (yet), an in such cases, the books really may encourage bad behaviors and psychological issues. I’m not one for banning books based on such reasons, of course, but I do think there are better books for young readers, and even adult readers, to read — ones that tend toward empowering women rather than mostly rendering them slavish devotees of the undead.

    • autumnlists says:

      Maybe you’re right and I expect more intelligence of teenagers than is fair. But then what about the “classics” teenagers have to read? Romeo and Juliet, or Wuthering Heights? The women in those books are just as creepily obsessive, and their behaviors are also irrational and unadvisable in regards to their man friends (suicide, anyone?). And those aren’t even really fantasies–the male objects of affection in those books are wholly human, and 100% normal. I know that teenage girls aren’t having teenybopper freak-outs over these books like they do for Twilight, but still, it seems like the Twilight Saga gets an undue share of criticism for having a main character make crappy romantic choices, considering that’s a pretty common theme in a bajillion books, ages pre-K and up.

  2. Andrea says:

    Twilight is terrible and ridiculous. Or terribly ridiculous. But I like and agree with points 2 and 3. And I probably would have gone off on a rant about commercialism on 3, so way to show some restraint.

    • autumnlists says:

      Although I did enjoy the Twilight books at first, subsequent rereads and all the overhyped fuss about the poorly cast movies has left me feeling rather lukewarm. But it still drives me nuts that people denigrate the books for not giving teens a good role model in Bella. I just don’t think that was ever their purpose in the first place.

      And yeah, I used to rant a lot about commercialism, but it made me tired, so I quit. Now all I can manage is a weary roll of the eyes when the Christmas merch pops up on November 1.

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