I just watched the movie version of Twilight last night. Very interesting. I will admit that the guy who plays Edward Cullen is very appealing in a disturbing sort of way. Here's my question: what is it about his character that is so damn sexy to so many young women? I know it's not just Robert Pattinson; it's the character of Edward Cullen that has so many young women slavishly and passionately devoted to him.
So what is it? I gave a brief talk about Twilight a few months ago to a group of high school students who were all big Twilight fans. One of the things we talked about was Edward's appeal. Universally they seemed to like his devotion to Bella. He says to her many times in the text that she is his life. He also wants to know everything about her--what she thinks, what she likes, doesn't like, everything. Of course this attention is appealing to many women who often spend lots of their time carrying the attention load in their relationships as women are well trained to do.
Recently, one young woman told me about her desire to be loved by an Edward-like young man, and her conflicting feelings about how wanting Edward to possess her diminishes her feminist ideology. In other words, she was wondering, can a woman still be a feminist and want to be taken by Edward Cullen? Is is somehow so contradictory to feminist values (such as being independent, assertive, powerful, self-possessed) to want to be swept away?
I think this is a very good question. It brings up the crucial feminist mantra of the personal being political--does what one does in her personal life, love life, romantic life, sex life, have to be aligned with her feminist political beliefs? Can a woman still be a radical feminist and want to be taken?
2 weeks ago