What’s fascinating to me as a feminist is the way author Stephenie Meyer has written Edward as the controlling character. (I’ll admit that the first novel in the series, Twilight, was not so bad…it was the second, third, and fourth where he went over the top.) He is obsessed with Bella’s safety to the point that he becomes psycho protective in his behavior. When he leaves town, he bribes his sister into kidnapping Bella and not letting her out of her sight. He’s constantly telling Bella -- by all accounts an intelligent, independent character who has essentially raised herself -- that she needs to be “protected” and “kept safe.” (I can’t help but think of those abusive husband warning signs...won’t let you out of his sight, needs to know your every move, where you are at all times, etc.)
Here’s a conversation from the third book, where Bella is trying to explain to Edward why she should still be able to hang out with Jacob the werewolf, whom she only sees as a friend. Edward sees Jacob as a threat.
Edward: You can't expect me to let you --
Bella: Oh yes I can, that's exactly what I expect.
Edward: This won't happen again.
Bella: That’s right! Because you're not going to overreact next time.
Edward: Because there isn't going to be a next time.
Bella: I understand when you have to leave, even if I don't like it --
Edward: That's not the same. I'm not risking my life.
Bella: Neither am I.
Edward: Werewolves constitute a risk.
Bella: I disagree.
Edward: I'm not negotiating this, Bella.
His hands were in fists again. I could feel them against my back.
WTF? I mean, I get that Meyer is writing this as a hot teenage romance, and that she's counting on the teenage girl fantasy of being desired by several boys (in this case, Edward AND Jacob both want Bella) to fuel readers’ interest. But what concerns me is that girls are translating Edward's controlling, obsessive behavior into evidence of True Love.
Read the rest: blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2008/11/t