Comic-Con's culture clash

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether an internet feud is just an excuse to type or lot or a manifestation of an actual conflict. We’d kind of decided that the Con-vs-Twlight feud was halfway a work, but on the floor we heard enough anecdotal evidence and passing references to decide that the Twilighters are, in fact, the most recent invaders to the con, and since they are from a different demo group, they are being greeted with a bit of xenophobic dread.

This seems to be from one of those websites that’s trying to be bold and tough in the way of a Bill Maher-wannabe, so it definitely be a “work”, but the very fact that it’s touching on these issues shows that they have some juice:

More disturbing than the material itself, however, is the rabid fanbase. The panel at Comic-Con was reportedly barely-controlled chaos, as the female hordes screamed such unique one-liners as “I love you Rob!”, but, somehow, insights were given into the acting prowess of Robert Pattinson (“Edward”): “[he had to] stand on a green box and look and stay basically expressionless”. How truly talented he is! But the throngs of fans found “camaraderie” as they waited to have the brilliance that was the Twilight panel bestowed upon them, so all was not lost.


This could be a clear iteration of fear of “the other” and general anxiety over female expression of their own interests and activities (though male-focused)…or it could be someone trying to get hits on the Internet.

What say you?

Comments

  1. Here’s my response:
    Comics were once tarred-and-feathered as sub-literate pablum, lacking any artistic or cultural merit, considered childish and lacking any merit. Communities once sponsored bonfires to rid them of the evil of comicbooks, less than a decade after the end of World War II.

    There’s much at San Diego that I really don’t care about. But if you enjoy something and want to share that joy with others who share your enjoyment, then go ahead… let your geek flag fly! That’s why we have science fiction and anime and comics conventions, so that we can participate in a larger community, and find acceptance and understanding.

  2. I was at the Archaia/Zach Quinto panel, and I can say that the fangirl population was just as rabid for him (though a smaller crowd of course, and probably a couple of years older). Some of the panels are as sexually charged as a Beatles concert in 1964. I don’t see how that can be bad for popularizing comics (and yes, Quinto was publicizing actual comic books..) :)

  3. Steven R. Stahl says:

    Twilight differs from other series that fans have gone wild about in a couple of respects. One is the scorn and disdain some people have shown for Stephenie Meyer’s writing. They think it’s junk. Another is the idea of the Twilight series being a type of teenage erotica. The Psychology Today blogger thinks that emotional manipulation and reactions to it make the series dangerous. Others might think the manipulation just makes the series and overreactions distasteful.

    SRS

  4. I didn’t have any problems with the Twilighters and, heck, I took two of them (aged 15 and 16) with me. I’m with Torsten that there’s so much about the Comic Con that doesn’t intrigue me (Twilight, Transformers, wizard statuary, etc.), but having IT ALL under one roof allows me the opportunity to roam and wander and mingle and get a taste of all that’s out there. “Culture clash”? Maybe. Does it matter? Once the Twilighters are gone, we’re back to spending too much clashing within our own insular nation. But that’s a different discussion. I had a grand time at Comic-Con, and I’m sorry it’s over.

  5. I may think that Twilight is cookie-cutter teen girl crack (although I must admit to having only watched the movie and not having read the book), but I can’t stand all the hate being directed toward the fans. Is there some moral superiority in geeking out over Starbuck rather than Edward Cullen? As a long time SDCC attendee, I fully expect to run into people who like things that I like, and who like things that I frankly don’t get. I think it’s awesome to have girls and their moms camping out overnight at SDCC. I /do/ think it would be nice if we could work out panel logistics such that a panel proceeding such a popular topic isn’t blown out by fans of the following panel, but that’s something for the CCI organizers to try and continue to work out in future years.

    Sure, Twilight is bad. But so’s most of what’s been done with Star Wars or most of the other big properties being paneled and exhibited at the Con. I’m just glad to see people out supporting work they love.

  6. I found it harder to deal with Megan Fox/Olivia Munn fans than I ever did dealing with TWILIGHT fans. And this is coming from a guy who advertises the vampires in his comics as being “One-hundred-percent sparkle-free!”.

  7. Kevin Smith’s take on Twilight at the SDCC in a way that only he can:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ6W7wzTY0o

    I do agree with him that it’s great to get a younger generation of fans into genre material with Harry Potter before and now Twilight.

    Also Kevin Smith is right that unfortunately there’s always going to be fans who look down at another group of fans. Seems that Twilight became more of a target this year at SDCC because they inconvenienced other fans getting into Hall H. However, from what I’ve seen from purely an online perspective there seems to quite a bit of support for Twlight fans from people who don’t even like the series (like myself).

  8. I think a lot of the venom directed at Twilight fans could just be frustration over the fact that they dominated facilities and didn’t clear off for panels and such. The fact that all the Twi-tarts are icky girls is an exacerbating factor in the backlash towards them, but it may not necessarily be the only reason for the hate.

    Either way, it’s still nerd infighting (and mostly one-sided at that, from what I can see), and about as interesting as Star Wars vs. Star Trek arguments.

  9. Didn’t affect me in the least. And besides, what I like about Comic-Con (and my wife, who attended for the second straight year, liked) is the huge diversity of product and spectacle. She can peruse the Ugly Doll booth while I get a copy of “George Sprott” signed by Seth.

    Everybody wins at Comic-Con!

  10. Blackeye says:

    Let me just say that, bigger isn’t better. Out of 15 years, this year was my worst convention experience. It mainly had to do with the size of the crowds and the inability to even move once you entered into the main aisles. I would be curious what vendors felt about the show. Were they successful in terms of business? Was all of the hassle worth it, to be involved in the chaos of the convention? Was anybody else frustrated with not being able to move from one end of the hall to the other? Were there too many people there? Did anybody else wonder about what would happen if there was a fire? I think I will continue to support smaller cons like Wondercon in the future, and by pass the mess that is San Diego.

  11. Wow, it’s amazing (and amazingly pathetic) to see someone so terrified of having to ENDURE another form of geekery. I’ve seen worse scenarios of fan chaos at comic conventions over the last 15 years, so I question whether this is more just a case of someone crying because the girls got let into “the boys clubhouse”. In which case I say put on your big boy pants and suck it up, dude. There’s plenty of room for everyone.

  12. Considering some of the “promotions” EA was doing at the Con, TWILIGHT is the least of both the Conventions and attendees’ worries.
    I’m actually glad they’re there.
    Comics, scifi, fantasy, etc has been a sausage fest (yes, it has) for far too long and I’m glad to see the other 50% of the human race has something to celebrate the way the rest of us celebrate Star Trek or Transformers.

  13. bucky says:

    ‘Twilight’. . . I’m with Neeb here- My girlfriend doesn’t want to stand with a group of people and recite the GL Oath anymore than I want to watch the vampire-Luke Perry look bored. I am just glad there’s a flavor of GeeKola for everyone

  14. “I found it harder to deal with Megan Fox/Olivia Munn fans than I ever did dealing with TWILIGHT fans.”

    Matt Maxwell wins!

  15. There are four places in the continental U.S. that must be visited and fully absorbed in one’s lifetime: The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, the top of the Empire State Building, and the Cattle Zone, roughly the distance between Lego and Warner Brothers along the center aisle of the Exhibit Hall at the San Diego Comic-Con (any day will do).

  16. I had a brief interaction at the very end of the convention that sort of summed up the disdain and unconscious sexism indicative of some male Comic-Con goers attitude toward Twilight. Basically, the guy asked, with many disclaimers about how he wasn’t asking for himself (because it’s shameful to like anything girls like!), where the Twilight booth had been. My male co-worker didn’t know, but I did, and as I started to answer, he interrupted with, “Yeah, a chick would know.” The way he said was just so… I don’t know how to describe it. He was completely clueless that it could be offensive, but I and the guys around me set him straight and told him he’d better leave.

    Overall, the message is always clear: Girls can like things that boys like, since what boys like is what everyone should like anyway; boys cannot like — or even tolerate — what girls like because the feminine point of view is inherently inferior.

  17. Anyone complaining about the Twilight panel in that manner has obviously never been to any comic convention panel because that sounds LIKE EVERY CONVENTION PANEL EVER!

  18. Two anecdotes:

    While standing in line for one of the room-6-something panels, I saw Olivia Munn get mobbed by several dozen people with cameras as she tried to get to the entrance for a panel. Actually, that’s not true. I saw a mob several people thick and a good 15-20 feet in diameter accumulate spontaneously around the door, many of them holding cameras over their heads, and I was told that Olivia Munn was in there somewhere.

    While standing in line for Hall H shortly after the Twilight panel ended, my wife saw a black car drive out of the loading area, stop where the line was crossing the street, and get mobbed by a bunch of fans who actually started pounding on the windows, plus paparazzi trying to shove in their cameras and microphones.

    I’d like to think that neither is representative of the Olivia Munn or Twilight fanbases, just as I’d like to think that neither is representative of the general SDCC congoer. But they made for an interesting parallel.

  19. It was kind of surprising the number of people I heard tell me directly they didn’t buy comics.

    Or the number of people who said they LOVE comics, then defended said statement by telling me how they watch Smallville or have seen all the Spider-Man movies.

    Comics is a medium, Super-heroes is a genre.

  20. It was kind of surprising the number of people I heard tell me directly they didn’t buy comics.

    Or the number of people who said they LOVE comics, then defended said statement by telling me how they watch Smallville or have seen all the Spider-Man movies.

    Comics is a medium, Super-heroes is a genre.

  21. Wayne Beamer says:

    Hey Folks,

    Did badly and interestingly dressed Klingons, Stormtroopers and Princess Leias dressed as slave girls interfere with your SDCC experience before Twilight?

    Welcome Twilighters, there’s room in the pool for everybody!

  22. Briguyx says:

    I can’t believe that people were saying the aisles were crowded. I think things moved along quite well (well, maybe with the exception of Preview Night), especially compared to memories I have of the con on Saturday three years ago. Considering this could be because the “Twilight” fans cleared out after Friday, I say yay! They certainly didn’t bother me at any other time. Plus you could always make your way along the sides of the room fairly fast.

    The real fear of “Twilight” happened because originally their panel was after “Avatar,” which a lot of non-Twlighters wanted to see. So all they have to do is make future “Twlight” panels the first panel of the day. It certainly worked for all the “Lost” fans the following day.

    The real problems that make things crowded are people stopping to take photos of costumed fans on the floor (maybe they could make costumed fans stand in a gallery and people could go take photos of them, but I’ll admit it’s not that big a deal) and the grouping of all the movie booths and toy booths so close together. If they mixed things up more, the problems would be solved. Actually, my biggest problem was not with Hall H, but with the TV stuff in Ballroom 20. A lot of people missed out on panels they wanted to see there.

  23. mark coale says:

    One assumes there were also lots of screaming fangirls at the DR WHO panel for david tennant, as well as your typical Dr Who fanboy.

    I only braved the G4 area once on Thursday, to catch a glipse of Alison Haislip (who I normally think is cute, but had the look of a raccoon this day with all the extra make-up). I hate to think what it was like when Munn was there. (boy, if ever there was someone who knows how to play her demo audience like a fiddle, it’s this lady.)

    I’m one of the many people who really didn’t buy anything. I bought 2 comics at one table and 1 ashcan at another. I never even got around to try and do any actual comics shopping. Just no time.

    And again, I had no negative interactions with any obvious Twilighters, as opposed to people in costume, babymen or dudes wearing their Afflication T-shirts two sizes two small.

  24. Only Kurt Busiek gets to win, Chad. I’m lucky to place.

  25. Re: Jennifer De Guzman:
    “Overall, the message is always clear: Girls can like things that boys like, since what boys like is what everyone should like anyway; boys cannot like — or even tolerate — what girls like because the feminine point of view is inherently inferior.”

    Sadly, well put.
    And when the fanboy driven comic industry gets too old and bloated to wash itself with a rag on a stick, and wonders where all the new generations of fans are to support it, all they will hear is the distant laughter of females and males of all ethnicities, shapes, sizes, orientations and levels of geekery from the anime/manga conventions across town, enjoying comics and games made for everyone, not just socially inept and/or testosterone propelled male comic readers.

  26. “Barely controlled chaos” could be a lot of things at SDCC… and really, if we start poo-pooing properties at Comic-Con because the writing isn’t up to whatever our individual standards are, there’s a whole lotta comics that would disappear from the show as well.

    I think Jennifer de Guzman has got it right — TWILIGHT is a property with a lot of female fans, and therefore it’s not entirely welcome at SDCC. My girlfriend came with me to SDCC this year — it was her first comic book convention ever — and though she was excited to meet the Sixth Doctor and pick up a CASTLE WAITING hardcover, her overwhelming take away from the show was that comics is an industry of misogyny. She was uncomfortable with the booth babes, with a lot of the art on display, and with the comments she heard from pros and from fans.

    She’ll still read comics and watch a lot of the sci-fi/fantasy shows that are represented at SDCC, but it’s gonna be a miracle if she attends another show with me, and I don’t blame her. Maybe something like APE…

  27. mhartsfield says:

    The only complaint I have with the Twilighters is that they prevented me from getting into Hall H to see the Avatar preview and panel. I waited for HOURS and under normal circumstances, I would have gotten in (I got perhaps 100 people away). But no. A lot of those gals and their Mom’s stayed and probably did not even like it.

  28. Jennifer,

    Sometimes the opposite can happen. I was having a conversation with a woman who has three daughters, and she was saying how cool it was that she could share Twilight with her offspring. I thought that was neat, and was similar to the experience I have with my sons and our shared interest in Lord of The Rings.

    She was very dismissive of the analogy.

    Oh well……

  29. You know what is sounds like? It sounds like this bloke kind of wished the girls were chanting *his* name.

    I think that’s the problem a lot of guys have with this stuff, its just yet more competition for the attention of a girl.

  30. alwaysoptimistic says:

    If there’s “plenty of room for everyone” as a couple of the above poster’s have said, then why do tickets sell out so far in advance?

    In the industry in which I work then July is always a very busy month and I never know very far in the future if I will be able to take time off to attend. This year I would have been able to, and I would have had a lot of money to spend on comics and Trades, but it didn’t sound like there was any room.

  31. Actually, Jennifer, you don’t have it quite right. If girls like what boys like, then they can be thought of as being a tomboy, which might mean they will be tolerated by guys or not and might be ostracized by girls. If boys like what girls like, then they can be thought of as being a girl, which might mean being ostracized by boys but not necessarily being welcomed by girls. Generally speaking.

    Not saying it’s right or fair but just that’s the way it is. To borrow from Nietzsche, until human beings become cafe au lait colored hermaphrodites, our differences will define us for the most part.

    And I say this as part of that 22% of romance novel readers that are male.

  32. Mariah says:

    Vincent:

    But being a tomboy or a girl into “boy” things has an entirely different connotation culturally. As a literary/pop culture archetype, tomboys are embraced. But in reality, usually marginalized and criticized for not being “feminine” enough.

    And there’s the fact that, in pop culture, male things are the default. They’re even “neutral” as an experience in the way “girl” things are not. Boy stories are generally accepted as being for “everyone” and are far less ghettoized than “girl” or “chick” stories.

    Boy who like girl things will, most likely, be embraced by girls. Not to generalize, but ask any gay man about that. Girls into boy things can be ostracized by girls and boys, and if embraced by boys, are constantly told how “different” they are and how few of them there are.

    In comics, women and girls are constantly told they flat out do not exist in the fandom and are still treated like aliens. The Twilight phenomenon shows a few things, but one of them is that there are plenty of women and girls ready to geek out about a story they relate to. The backlash is, unfortunately, highly gendered.

  33. TWILIGHT fans were okay by me—- I don’t think they took MY seat at those Evanier and SDCC El Cortez Memories panels I attended.

    They might’ve been part of the competition/fellow Hall H attendees on the Sat I went to those presentations, but I couldn’t definitively i.d. anyone there as a Twi-fan: they didn’t ‘sparkle’ in the dark. (Are Twi-fans into Miyazaki?)

    Should the films continue, and should those Twi-fans return and become regular SDCC attendees (who knows, some of them just might be into OTHER things in the Convention Center?), I think the “big umbrella” of Comic-Con can accomodate them under its aegis. For me, they’ll be just like those Anime Cosplayers, 501st Stormtroopers, Card Gamers, MARVEL Zombies/DC Diehards “tribes” I’d pass in the crowded aisles and hallways—- they have THEIR interests, I have MINE—- and we’ll go our separate Con ways… Peacefully.

  34. Um, make that the Fri Hall H presentations after the TWILIGHT one… so maybe by then the Twi-fans already vacated the Con?

  35. Mariah says:

    Steven:

    I’m not sure either of those things are so different, though. Lots of people don’t like any given writer. There are people who can’t stand Tolkien or Rowling, and both have thriving bases of geeky, female fans. The level of her writing could be argued back and forth, but the truth is, it can for any writer. As an editor, I’d be looking for very different criteria than someone who just reads whatever is on the NY Times bestseller list, and our ideas of “good” writing will be quite different.

    Twilight is, until the last book, devoid of sex. It’s actually a “chaste” series, with all kinds of sexual/religious undertones. Which is not new or unique, either. Especially in vampire stories. That’s a huge theme in Stoker’s Dracula, for instance, vampirism as a metaphor for repressed Victorian sexuality.

    There’s really nothing unique or different about Twilight, except for the glitter, and everyone likes to make their own individual mark on whatever genre they work in.

    People are turning it into something “strange” and different, when it really isn’t. It’s just a series that happened to come out at the right time to find the exact audience it wanted. And it took off. I think half of the phenomenon is that, unlike a lot of other stories, it’s written by a woman and clearly intended for a female audience. Like it or not, there’s a huge group of neglected readers/fans who were waiting for something like this. And they found it.

    I would say that Twilight is an dangerous any other story, because stories have power. And the series does have some extremely troubling message about love, relationships, and other assorted issues. But then so do many books and films. Teenagers are in a constant state of heightened emotional tension, and I think they feel things a great deal more intensely than people realize. But eventually, you grow up, read better books, and get embarrassed by the stuff you read when you were younger. We all have stuff like that, from Piers Anthony to V.C. Andrews.

    I just think it’s odd that so many folks seem to react to this as though it’s unimaginable or something that hasn’t happened before. And I think way too much of the backlash is because it is “for” girls in a very direct and unrelenting way.

  36. christopher says:

    I brought a 14 year old Twilight-er girl to the convention as a guest. We waited for 3 and a half hours to get into Hall H. She filled up her memory card with photos and is the envy of her friends back home.

    The rest of the convention, she tagged along as I took her to various other comic book, sci-fi and video game panels. We even watched the Masquerade and joined in on the Buffy sing-a-long. She walked out with a bag of free comics… one trade paperback purchase (Buffy) and anxiously looking forward to coming next year

    I’m looking forward to bringing her along again, too. Though next time, I’ll remember sunscreen for the wait outside Hall H.

  37. michael says:

    it’s sad, from at least one vid i’ve seen on Youtube, a girl cosplayer took some signs from some guys who were brandishing their Twilight hate signs and posed with them. Apparently one booth had even gone the extra measure of printing up Twilight hate tee shirts for the con, in a ‘thinking-ahead’ move.

    Seriously, when a cool girl cosplayer doesn’t see the irony of having some guys expressing their hate of some other geek interest, at SDCC, for goodness sakes! I don’t know what to say…..

  38. Evan Meadow says:

    I’m still wondering if any of the people who came specifically to go to the Twilight panel bought 4 day passes just so they could get in and never bothered to go back?

    While I doubt it, I would think that might cause more con regulars to get their panties in a bunch.

  39. I think the problem some are having with Twlighters is that they view them as if they were a mob of squeeing Jonas Brothers fans at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Twilight, essentially, has no “street cred” with the average fan and after years of watching vampire films and TV shows like INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, THE LOST BOYS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL and now TRUE BLOOD, it’s hard to embrace vampires that sparkle in sunlight instead of spontaneously combust.

    And unlike HARRY POTTER or the LORD OF THE RINGS, there’s little in the way of common ground for old-school fans to bond with this new crop of rabid fangirls. However, I see this as simply an adjustment period where things may be contentious until fandom in general becomes used to having the Twilighters around or something totally new comes along for both groups to shake their collective heads at.

  40. Steven R. Stahl says:

    What Barreca had the most problems with was the relationship between Bella and Edward. If you look at it strictly from the psychological viewpoint, there are elements in it that are repulsive. If people are going to be fans of something, they should celebrate the positive, thought-provoking, intellectual aspects of it, not, as Barreca put it, “. . .the latent, covert lessons of feminine subjection, abjection, and erasure of self inherent in the novels.”

    If the romantic aspects of Twilight are what excite Meyer’s teenage fans, then they might be reading the books for the wrong reasons, rather like older women getting hooked on rape fantasies. The readers who react to the content the most and become the most ardent fans might also be the ones most susceptible to being influenced by the characters’ attitudes. It may be safe to assume that a large number of readers will grow out of the series, but what about the ones who don’t?

    I’ll read a Twilight book within the next couple of days and highlight any objectionable material I see.

    SRS

  41. Steven said:

    “If the romantic aspects of Twilight are what excite Meyer’s teenage fans, then they might be reading the books for the wrong reasons, rather like older women getting hooked on rape fantasies.”

    I say:

    In erotic fantasy there are no ‘wrong reasons.’

    Wrongful real-life applications of fantasy exist.

    But not wrong reasons in the domain of fantasy proper.

  42. gene phillips said: “In erotic fantasy there are no ‘wrong reasons.’
    Wrongful real-life applications of fantasy exist.
    But not wrong reasons in the domain of fantasy proper.”

    Exactly. People can read whatever they want and get whatever they want out of it.

    That was one of the points of Lost Girls. Something that most people could find something objectionable in it, but was still worth reading and discussing and allowing people to celebrate in their own way.

  43. As much as I loathe the Twilight series because it glorifies abusive relationships and a girl-giving-up-everything-for-the-guy-because-it’s-love mentality (not to mention it makes a writer’s soul wither by its excessive use of cliches and thesauric language at least twice in every paragraph), it still has as much of a place at SDCC as any other media geekery fanbase.

  44. Wouldnlt twilighters have had to buy 4 day passes, not knowing what day the twilight panel would be?

  45. Gary Leach says:

    Charles Skaggs hit it the most on the head, in my view. As any longtime Con vets here know, there are always new entertainment phenomena coming along that create major geek-outs at San Diego. If said phenomena last and develop a notable following they eventually become part of the gloriously crazy pop-culture landscape of each SDCC.

    Sometimes I wonder if too many of us feel there is a “proper” fandom, even though it seems unlikely you could rub any two fans together and get anywhere close to agreement on just what “proper” fandom is.

  46. I think the straw man has been sufficiently beaten into submission. News flash: Comic Book Guy is a stunted adolescent angry at the world for dismissing his obsession with muscular men in spandex!

  47. The Xenos says:

    I’m with the people who say Twilight is badly written teen crack and emotional pornography for teen girls (and I guess the occasional guy). Then there’s the questions of weak female role models, bad romance / relationships, and even Mormon propaganda surrounding the franchise.

    There are plenty of other female heavy fandoms I’d rather see get more popular and be at ComicCon than Twilight. Supernatural for example. A friend who got me into that told me how she despises Twilight after she read it. Plus wasn’t comic con hit by numerous fangirls of good vampire shows like Buffy in previous years? I don’t remember complaints about that.

    I dunno. I think it really is that people in most other fandoms at the con think that Twilight is simply crappy.

  48. Evan Meadow says:

    Charles, there’s also the possible idea that in spite of how rabid the fans of Twilight are, they’re still looking down upon the rest of us for all our fannish behavior thinking they’re better than us because its about romance and we just wanna see guys in spandex fight.

    It would be nicer if Twilight fans were like “Now we understand the rest of the people here” but they don’t, they seem to still think they’re above it according to various Con reports I’ve read.

  49. Mariah:

    For the most part, it sounds like we agree on things regarding the relative acceptance of those who cross gender lines pop culturally.

    As for whether boy’s pop culture is treated as the default, I can’t really say one way or another. Being male my whole life I’m inside the bubble. I can say that as a young child, I knew there were GI Joes and Barbies. I knew GI Joes were what I was attracted to, while Barbies were for girls. In terms of stories, I knew I was more interested in Marvel and DC books than I was in Archie, which always seemed more interesting to the girls I knew. So it might be that the differences between boys and girls are more innate than culturally influenced. I think culture more often reflects our needs than shapes them. Look at all the stories on the internet of modern mothers that end up frustrated in their efforts to raise gender neutral children, where the girls end up making families out of toy trucks and boys make guns out of anything they can find.

    As for Twilight and its fans, it was interesting to see more women and girls at CCI than ever. I also saw more interracial couples than i ever did. This year’s show brought a more diverse group of people together under one roof than in years past. That’s a good thing. I’m not a fan of Twilight but they don’t need me or my permission to come to CCI anyway.

  50. Steven R. Stahl says:

    Bitch offers a spicy perspective on Twilight:

    The Twilight series has created a surprising new sub-genre of teen romance: It’s abstinence porn, sensational, erotic, and titillating. And in light of all the recent real-world attention on abstinence-only education, it’s surprising how successful this new genre is. Twilight actually convinces us that self-denial is hot. Fan reaction suggests that in the beginning, Edward and Bella’s chaste but sexually charged relationship was steamy precisely because it was unconsummated—kind of like Cheers, but with fangs. Despite all the hot “virtue,” however, we feminist readers have to ask ourselves if abstinence porn is as uplifting as some of its proponents seem to believe. 
 [. . .]

    The rape fantasy is apparent, of course, but even more salient is the fan writer’s subconscious understanding of the theme Meyer has been establishing: that sex is dangerous and men must control themselves. It’s a matter of life or death, and ultimately men are in charge.


    It’s clear from both the books and the fan fiction response to them that Edward has taken on the role of protector of Bella’s human blood and chastity, both of which, ironically, are always in peril when Edward is nearby. Bella is not in control of her body, as abstinence proponents would argue; she is absolutely dependent on Edward’s ability to protect her life, her virginity, and her humanity. She is the object of his virtue, the means of his ability to prove his self-control. In other words, Bella is a secondary player in the drama of Edward’s abstinence. 


    Reader Shimmerskin again astutely notes, “…it’s so clever that these books aren’t just about sexual abstinence. Edward is fighting two kinds of lust at the same time. Abstaining from human blood has probably been good practice for tamping down his sexual appetites now that he’s with Bella.…”


    It’s arguably clever, sure, but it’s also a sad commentary on Bella’s lack of power. Ultimately, it’s a statement of the sexual politics of Meyer’s abstinence message: Whether you end up doing the nasty or not doesn’t ultimately matter. When it comes to a woman’s virtue, sex, identity, or her existence itself, it’s all in the man’s hands. To be the object of desire, in abstinence porn is not really so far from being the object of desire in actual porn.

  51. Re: women’s “lack of power”–

    “You got your cultural conditioning in my biological determinism!”

    “Yeah, well, you got your biological determinism in my cultural conditioning!”

    “Two great tastes that go great together.”

    Tune in to my blog next week for the real answer!

  52. Hey. Is that bitch magazine downing actual porn? Or is it saying that actual porn is better than this abstinence porn bs? And then what about lesbian porn? There is no man in that situation so th… hmm.. Damn. They ended it on porn and my mind went from there.. ‘~’

  53. cctv design

Trackbacks

  1. […] The series has attracted its share of criticism as well as controversy. While not referring to Twilight explicitly, Neil Gaiman stated that vampires needed to go back to their frightening ways in a recent article on EW.com. A while ago, The Beat practically blamed fanboys for being sexist by using a double-standard when they deal with Twilight fans. Frankly this surprised me, because in my experience the chief critics were female fans — such as Tasha Robinson and Genevieve Koski of the AV Club — who were more than a little insulted that the generally mature vampire genre was being hi-jacked by a Trapper Keeper friendly version that sparkled in sunlight. […]

  2. […] Still, all of these nominations smack of Hipster Sneering and its equally-annoying cousin, Righteous Geek Rage (the force that was behind fanboys’ idiotic laments that “Twilight ruined Comic Con” last year). Do you actually suppose that any of the people who created this list of nominees – and that is to say, the people who cared enough to spend $25 to become a voting member of the Razzies – actually saw the Jonas Brothers movie? Or Twilight? Or Hannah Montana? […]

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