Extra Credit: The Twilight Saga and domestic abuse

This probably won’t be funny, so tl;dr for those of you who want laughs: Bella just fell down the stairs, Edward loves her okay he loves her she just makes him mad sometimes. Also, Twilight is serious business.

I know I make light of this a lot, but I wanted to break it down, point by point. From what I have seen so far, the Twilight series is about abuse, plain and simple. Edward is an emotional batterer, and Bella is constantly and persistently victimized by his actions. What makes it sad is that the author herself seems to have no idea that she was writing about an abusive, codependent teenage relationship. If she knew, I have a feeling she would have at least attempted to address some of the issues caused and raised by her characters and their relationships with each other.

This issue is somewhat personal to me. I have been in relationships with manipulative, and, at times, emotionally abusive people. I, like many people, also have friends who have a history of abuse. Because of this, you would assume that Bella would be a sympathetic character. This would be the case, were I not aware of the intent behind the writing. The relationship, despite its obviously harmful characteristics, is displayed as romantic. Edward, fans of the series say, is chivalrous, protective, and honorable. He opens doors for Bella. He’s sweet and thoughtful. He’s noble and caring. The creepiest part of all of this is that the justifications fans create for Edward and Bella’s actions are eerily similar to what victims of abuse tell themselves while they try to cope with their harmful relationship.

Let’s get a little deeper and dirtier with some examples. The symptoms of abuse are easy to find online, I am referencing the list found on HelpGuide.org.

Abusers use the following tactics to remain in control of their victims:

  1. Dominance. Abusive individuals (for example, Edward Cullen) need to exert control over their partners. By say, making their decisions for them (“Bella, please just do this my way, just this once.” Or, the “memory tampering” in chapter 17 of Twilight. Or dragging her to the prom in the epilogue), and expecting to obey without question (the whole of chapter 18 when Bella attempts to argue with Edward). Further example of this can be found in the fact that Edward refuses to let Bella drive, and their carefully constructed “rules” on what physical conduct is acceptable and unacceptable, rules which often come to Bella’s detriment.
  2. Humiliation. An abuser will do whatever they can to make you feel bad about yourself, or “defective” in some way (i.e. Edward’s conversations with Bella through much of Twilight revolving around the fact that she is an idiot for being with him, she can’t survive without him, etc.) The idea is that you are the crazy one, and if you believe you’re worthless and can’t find someone else, you won’t ever leave. Bella makes comments in Twilight and early on in New Moon to the effect of “I am too plain and boring for Edward, I don’t deserve him.” This is the product of naturally low self-esteem, and, in realistic characters, the fact that her lover calls her an idiot whenever he can.
  3. Isolation. The abuser needs their victim to be dependent on them, and will often try to do this by cutting you off from the outside world. Edward seems to perpetuate this less on his own, as Bella readily throws herself into it. She has no actual friends in the series beyond Edward and his sister, Alice. Her only social activity is working at the local sports store, if you can call that social. She is willing to isolate herself from her parents as well, if it would mean getting to spend eternity with her abuser. You could argue that Edward is manipulating her into this (I mean, really, there’s nothing bad about being a vampire).
  4. Threats. Abusers will threaten violence on their victims in order to exert further control. In the Twilight series, this is a little more subtle and insidious. Edward warns Bella that he could hurt her, that he could lose control at any moment. In chapter 8 of Twilight, he admits to having murderous thoughts regarding the ruffians Bella was accosted by, to further illustrate how dangerous he is. Even more shocking, he tells Bella later that he wanted to kill her when they first met. Every chance he gets, he “warns” her that he could murder her at a moment’s notice. Worse, his attempts at “saving” her often end in physical harm coming to her anyway, such as the James “conflict” and Bella’s birthday party in New Moon. Bella learns to make excuses and quick stories for the bruises, cuts, and broken bones she sustains, in a rather unsettling mirror of an abuse victim’s behavior. That’s not to mention Edward’s vague suicidal threats, should anything happen to Bella.
  5. Intimidation. Abusers will often try to scare their victims into submission. Edward in chapter 13 of Twilight, jumping around, smashing trees, showing off how fast and strong he is, in an attempt to make Bella frightened of him. Do I really need to say more?
  6. Denial and blame. Abusers are very good at making their own excuses for their actions, and shifting the blame. Again, this is a little more subtle in the Twilight series. Edward blames his behavior on being a vampire, on having to resist human blood, and on having buried his humanity for so long. In a supernatural setting, it’s hard to say that these excuses are not justified, but they are still excuses. Bella, again, readily assumes the blame for anything bad that happens to her as a result of Edward’s actions. Edward will occasionally make the token effort to convince her this isn’t the case, but there are a few times where she shoulders the blame unhindered. Edward has also told Bella that if she gets hurt, he’s going to blame it all on her. He also seems to think that if she kisses him too hard and he eats her, that’s going to be her fault as well.

Abusers will also exhibit signs of remorse after periods of abuse, entering the “honeymoon phase” of the cycle. They will make it up to the abused in whatever way they can, in an attempt to keep the victim with them. They may say “I’m sorry I hurt you,” when what they mean is “I’m sorry I hurt you, because I might get caught.” This creates further conflict in a victim who would otherwise leave the relationship–”when he’s not making me feel like garbage, he’s very sweet.” Edward writes songs for Bella, and offers to buy her expensive gifts. Then he refuses to let her drive and warns of the threat of violence if she open-mouth kisses him.

Bella, as well, exhibits signs of someone who is abused. She accepts the blame readily when terrible things happen, especially when it was through no fault of her own. She suffers mysterious injuries, and will have elaborate tales for how she sustained them (“I fell down the stairs and into a window”).  She has incredibly low self-esteem, and considers herself lucky to be with Edward. She is always ready with an excuse when Edward begins to treat her coldly, hurts her, or otherwise emotionally abuses her.

Abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional, or sexual, is a real issue. It can be insidious, as the abusers are often very good at hiding their behavior from others, or even convincing others that they should be excused from what they do, due to everything from a bad childhood to a bad day. Emotional abuse is unfortunately the most ignored, as it leaves no obvious bruises or scars. Victims will assume that since their partner has not put them in the hospital, there is no abuse occurring at all. Seeing it occur so blatantly in Twilight, a book that is shoved down the throats of young girls as a model romance, honestly makes me scared. Watching others defend the story with the same reasons and excuses abusers and their victims would use doesn’t just make me scared. It makes me sick.

But it’s just a kid’s novel about vampires. It’s not that big a deal.

228 Responses to “Extra Credit: The Twilight Saga and domestic abuse”

  1. Bravisimi.

    National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
    http://www.ndvh.org

  2. Congratulations, you have stated exactly why I despise this series and everything associated with it. It honestly makes me ill and I don’t understand why more people don’t realize it – especially older women, who should know better than a 14-year old girl.

    • I haven’t even gotten to some of the terrible parts people have told me about, such as when he disables her car so she can’t go see her friends.

      I really hope they were exaggerating.

      • Unfortunately, they’re not.

      • Yeah, not so much. :/ Edward is a creep. I don’t care how pretty he is, if a guy I was dating acted like that, his ass would be out the door quicker than you could say “vampirely.”

      • Yeah, from what I’ve been told, it gets worse…much worse…especially #3 (Isolation) from your list.

        This may be tl;dr too, but I’m seeing a trend here…

        I have to say one thing, though: while SMeyer’s Twilight series is the worst example of abusive relationships in the urban fantasy genre that is so popular nowadays…I’ve been seeing it a lot. It really pisses me off, because I really like the urban fantasy genre AND I really like kick-ass women who throw stereotypes on their head and manage to, you know, take care of themselves (like Buffy and, to SOME extent even, Anita Blake and the Lilith Saintcrow series). Sometimes, I wonder if this makes me a freak. Sometimes it seems like having vampires and werewolves, etc. in a series is just an excuse for abusive relationships — er, I mean “romantic” relationships and rape-fantasy.

        I’ve started hesitating picking up books at my book store that are urban fantasy because SO MANY of them will have the female heroine bossed around my Alpha males (that are just SO HOT but constantly are trying to get her to do what they say or telling her to go home and stay put, etc., etc.) or constantly trying to fight the urges that her pack or vampire coven or whatever are forcing in her that make her want to pull down her pants and offer herself to them (basically “even though in real life I would NEVER let you even see my bra strap, I just…can’t…resist your supernatural powers and must…submissively let you sex me up!” Usually, she doesn’t even get to enjoy it. It really is pure rape with the thin veneer of “supernatural lovin’.” When the hell did we go back to the dark ages of “if the woman doesn’t scream/cry it means she wants it”?)

        I could name names here, but this is a SMeyer blog, so I’ll just say this: WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD AUTHORS GONE (in urban fantasy, at least)??

      • Moonshade Says:

        Where have all the good authors gone?

        Hopefully, some of them are here. I’m working on a novel right now *fingers crossed*, and actively taking notes from crap like twilight.

        For example, the gorgeous-yet-overwhelmingly-controlling-jerk-who-only-does-it-because-he-LURVES-her ends up dying horribly. And for the majority of the book preceding his death, the object of his affection/abuse is constantly trying to think up ways to escape the bastard.

        • I feel the need to write a paper on this for a gender studies class. Sad to say, I still have all the novels, thus it could be a very in depth study since the materials I would need are at my immediate disposal.

      • Sarcasmfeeder Says:

        Heck no. He makes Alice kidnap her for a ‘sleepover’ so she won’t ‘hurt herself’.

      • IHateTwilight Says:

        Yeah, honestly, the 3rd book is really where I noticed all the abuse. Well, I was like 14 at the time. I didnt really know it was /abuse/, per se, just…wrong. really really wrong. I’d noticed a few things in new moon, but not really. reading your blog I’m like “How the heck did I miss that?!” Fail to me.

        • I know how you feel I am asking myself the same question. HOW DID I MISS THIS?!?!?! it is crazy!!!!!

    • Seriously, I’m only 13 and I know Edwards abusive. My own mother passes it off a romance. OH MY GOD. Where is the world headed.

      • This makes me very happy: just to know that when I think to myself “There are plenty of sensible 12 and 13-year olds who would *still* think this is crap like I would have,” I’m not just indulging in wishful thinking, is very encouraging. :D

      • soranomukou Says:

        Ah, same here. I couldn’t understand why literally ALL of my friends love it, and even the teachers and everyone I know loves it.

        To see such filth ENCOURAGING domestic abuse and passing it off as LOVE, especially when so many love it, sickens me. I really worry for the state of the world, when such a relationship becomes desirable.

        • Sarcasmfeeder Says:

          My English teacher got the entire set for our classroom, and I think she’s in love with Eddie, too. She’s, like, 60.

      • Sarcasmfeeder Says:

        Not my mom. She’s like ‘Kid, I hope you know that this is (string of swear words) abuse and if anyone ever treats you this way, you get away from them’ and so on and so forth…

        • I like your mom already! :)

        • FlameUser64 Says:

          I wish my mom was like that. Unfortunately, she seems to really love the Twilight series. I’m like “Mom, he won’t even let her DRIVE.” and she’s like “But it’s because he loves her!”

          What kinda troll logic…?

          And my mom is 54.

          Honestly, I can’t understand reading this series even as a “guilty pleasure” sort of thing. There’s just too much wrong with it.

  3. Android 21 3/7 Says:

    Not only do they defend the book the same way a victim would justify abuse, but I’ve heard of the things crazy Twilight fans have done to people who criticized the series.

    • Even if only half of them are true, they’re terrifying lol

      I’ve heard stories about girls who have broken up with their boyfriends because they’re not enough like Edward. :X

      • Sarcasmfeeder Says:

        Seriously? Oh my god, are you serious? That’s wrong on so many levels. Oh my god. No. NO!

        God, I hate homo sapiens. Where did we go wrong?

      • Reports have documented several cases of attempted rape of females for disliking the series. Several other admissions have included: burning of cigarettes on arms, broken limbs, destruction of a person’s household and/or valuables, continued physical assault and many more.

      • WoefullySarcastic Says:

        My friend broke up with her boyfriend she’s been dating for 4 years (She’s 20), because he wasn’t as “amazing” as Edward. He was such a sweet, loving guy and was planning on proposing to her on their 5th anniversary, which was 2 months away. I told her she was an idiot and now she regrets it so much because her current boyfriend is a high school drop-out with nothing going for him but an excellent career as a drug dealer. It just pisses me off.

  4. Now I’m starting to wonder if the attitudes of Edward and Bella, the nature of their “relationship,” and the excuses she (and the books’ fans) make, all have a source. I wonder what it all says about the writer…

    • Apparently in Midnight Sun, the Edward Spinoff, Smeyer tries to do her best to explain his horrible behavior. I think I might actually read it, after I finish the series, to see if she can pull it off.

      • She does, a bit (poorly), and I think she also inadvertently explained why Bella is so daft. . MULTIPLE BRAIN INJURIES XD

        Paraphrased:

        ::Edward and Carlisle are looking at an X-Ray of Bella’s head after the car accident in Twilight::
        Carlisle: “Look at all these healed contusions! How many times did her mother drop her?”

        I nearly peed my pants I was laughing so hard.

      • Hahaha, seriously?

        I wonder if she’s not just making fun of her own fans now. “Haha, you like my tripe!”

  5. Forsakentale Says:

    I’m glad you wrote this. Irony an humor can make so much, but I’m almost certain that if the link for this page pass around on the internet the result would be more direct.
    I agree with you 100% – even if I can understand why 14 y.o. girls would be attracted to this beyond-health romance, but still, they are 14 y.o. girls…
    Thanks for the post, girl :D

    • Exactly. 14 year old girls have an excuse–they’re 14. The fact that mothers are advocating this stuff worries me a great deal.

      • Forsakentale Says:

        That is actually quite sad that some adults can’t discern between relationship and abuse, nor can’t ever try to see anything between the lines. I know this is cotton candy for the brain, but still, as a public piece of “literature” it is supposed to be able to see something, anything, that resembles a positive message.

  6. I just met my very first Twi-mom :(. I told her I couldn’t get through the book, because Edward was too creepy and far too much of a stalker for me to find him attractive. I pointed out that he broke into Bella’s room to watch her sleep and she said ‘actually, yeah, now that you point it out, that is a little wierd’. Seriously, how can you read these books and not notice that? It honestly makes me sad that so many people fail to recognize the abuse :(.

    • I think that SMeyer’s style of writing is like hypnosis- some people fall for it and some don’t.
      And so when they’re under the spell, they don’t pick up on the stuff going on.
      Since us Antis have either snapped out of it or it never worked on us in the first place- we can see it for what it really is.

      • This is EXACTLY what is was like for me. I was “under the spell” for a ridiculously long time. Little things got to me, like some HORRIBLE sentences that were just so awkward and stupid I fought the urge to white them out. What finally broke the spell for me was when one of my closest friends sent me to this blog. BOOM, I was free, and now whenever I pick up a Twilight book I can’t figure out what I ever liked about it.

        • I think I know how she does it, too! She uses all the adverbs to lull us into a false sense of security so that she can slip all this stuff past us! I’ll never trust anyone who uses adverbs again…
          I’ll Always Carefully and Deliberately avoid them. Hopefully, I’ll do it Well, and Eventually one day I’ll be able to Easily skim over them. Frankly, I Seriously regard Suspiciously all adverbs and…
          … wait…
          Always, carefully, deliberately, hopefully, well, eventually, easily, frankly, seriously, suspiciously… Those are all adverbs, aren’t they? *screams*

        • yesss, unfortunately, i was “under it’s spell” for a while, till i read it again and im just like “WHAT IS THIS SH**??” ^^’

    • Old comment, but I must put my two cents in for others who browse the comments months later (like I did).

      You know, in Midnight Sun, Edward mentions OILING HER WINDOW so he can OPEN IT MORE SILENTLY. I do not understand how people can LIKE this and not see the HUGE HORRIBLE FLAWS!?!

      I pummeled a few pillows out of pure frustration.

      • OILED her WINDOW?! D: Oh fucking hell that is creepy. Just…no.

      • what the hell? OILED it?? O.o edward’s just your grade A run of the mill, indestructable, abusive stalker…..

      • WoefullySarcastic Says:

        What a stalker! No wonder Charlie wanted him away…but Charlie’s kind of bipolar with his opinion on Edward. First it’s ‘Here’s some pepper spray, Bella” next it’s “Oh Edward! Your marrying my daughter! Yay!” then “Wait, what have you done to her! She’s so pale and cold! You sicko!”. Just make up your damn mind.

  7. I am so very glad that someone spoke openly on this issue surrounding the Twilight-fandom. It’s really good to have it out there, so that people can actually recognize the series for what it is.

    Incidentally, I believe that, had SMeyer written the novels in the hopes of providing an example of domestic abuse, it would have been much more palatable.

    Your blog is hilarious and well-written. I really enjoy it. XD

  8. Laerasyn Says:

    The sad reality demonstrated by the epidemic of the Twi-moms is that most people today have a twisted understanding of love.
    There are some even more scary examples of this once you get into Eclipse. And later on in this book, really. I always said this series’s portrayal of romance was a stupid message to be sending to teenage girls, so I’m glad someone agrees. In my opinion, it gets a little better when Jacob starts playing a more prominent role, but unfortunately not for long.
    Anyway… in light of all this, I can’t help wondering what what Smeyer’s own relationship is like. Does anyone know? Is she really this confused in her personal life as well as in her writing? I suppose it’s none of my business, but I’m curious now.

  9. This is so dumb lmao…go get a life and let twilight fans be twilight fans…sheesh

  10. Ergh. Even if I wasn’t already naturally averse to these books, this is just the icing on the cake. I think I’d actually feel physically ill if I read one of these. I fear the day I run into a member of my own sex who looked at all the brainless squeeing over these books and decided to investigate them to follow Edward’s example since he’s so popular.

  11. Gabriela Says:

    I agree.

    The only thing that bugs me is that I can’t even feel sorry for Bella. Not just because she is a moron and a huge Mary Sue, but because she is abusive herself. Her passive agreesive behaviour when it comes to her friends, the way she treats Jacob, etc etc. It doesn’t make Edward any less abusive, but it makes it hard to sympathize with her. :/

    • I’m already starting to get just the tip of how she treats Jacob. I actually like the kid. It just makes me hate her more.

      • Gabriela Says:

        Poor poor Jacob. Not only does Bella treat him like crap, Meyer probably realized he was ten times more likeable than Sparkleboy and destroyed his character in the third book :(

      • Notbella Says:

        I don’t like Jacob much either, as the series progresses. He becomes domineering and abusive as well. It seems that to Meyer for a man to be a ‘real man’ he must be dominant and possessive of ‘his woman’ and physical dominance is a-ok — I mean Edward, Jacob and Sam are all examples of some really bad boyfriends/husbands and yet they are all glorified as wonderful partners in the books. In the first book, before they are even together, Edward drags Bella around a carpark. It’s so bad that she thinks if she stops moving her legs she will literally be dragged along the ground, and yet this doesn’t raise alarm bells because he’s ‘doing it for her own good,’ Jacob forces his attentions on Bella (can’t recall the book — I only read them once) to show her she loves him too, and it works. Sam rips the face off his ‘love’ because she expresses reasonable concerns about the way he treated his last girlfriend, and then he’s so ‘remorseful’ that she realises that she really does love him. Every abuser’s dream: my horrific abuse and remorseful words worked and I got to keep the girl.

        So, it’s not just Edward who is like this and Jacob has been turned into one of the worst males in the series just as Meyer tries to make him one of ‘the best.’ She seriously must have some issues with gender roles to think this is the way men and women should interact.

        Er … sorry to rant, but to my mind it’s all the relationships that are shown like this, and it’s seriously creepy.

      • Notbella- Seriously, thanks for posting this. I haven’t gotten to the terrible Jacob parts yet that everyone is warning me about, and I just got to where it’s shown that Sam has left disfiguring scars on Emily but ~*they love each other*~. It made me rather sick.

        SO glad that I have SO much to look forward to as I read.

        • Ok look, with Jacob you have to remember that Meyer can’t write. The Jacob from the first book if a sweet kid in a lot of ways because he is a plot replacement for Paris in Romeo & Juliet. The third book is vaguely baised on Wuthering heights, a much more abusive tale, and the character changes to match the needs of the new re-write. It is perfectly reasonable to like Jacob in the first two books and not the second two. They are not related in any way except for ”loving” Bell, which is required for every unmarried male appearing in the series.

  12. Thank you for making me aware of this issue, and for ripping Twilight.
    I’m rather worried about myself: about how I managed to read all the books without being consciously aware of this abusive aspect. I may be very naive about relationships, but I guess you live and learn.
    Anyway, I read them cos I usually like anything vampire-themed. How little did I know…
    I actually thought book one was pretty straightforwardly charming. When I re-read it to pinpoint the likeable romance I perceived, I wound up with “Where was it? That sense of longing and the neat dialogue that expressed those feelings so well?”
    It turns out I implied everything I had liked. There’s plenty of room for that, since Ed & Bells are so vacuous. I’d been forcefully *trying* to like Bella, while (and here’s the worrying part) putting myself in Edward’s role. She started off pretty, fairly intelligent in that science class, and not totally bitchy/full of herself – in essence, a nice template girlfriend. Then all signs of intellect and self-reliant strength evaporated. I kept reading with hope of it getting better. Which it really does not.
    Book two affirms Ed’s position as a total douche, Alice’s place as Best Character, and (spoiler!) the whole plot is this: Bella is a colossal idiot, and Ed is a bigger idiot who causes the entire ‘tension’ by trying to kill himself in a really stupid way. By the end I was wishing him every success.

    • The relationship portrayed is what a lot of young people assume a relationship should be like, unfortunately. It’s fairy-tale storybook stuff. It’s not a sign of stupidity to not notice the signs. Like I say above, a lot of this is really subtle, and of course all the characters involved are going to comment on what a wonderful and loving relationship the two of them have. There are no dissenting opinions (except I think for Jacob later, and even then he changes his mind when they set him up with Consolation Prize Baby.)

      You do bring up a good point, something I hadn’t really considered. The fact that Bella and Edward’s personalities are just gigantic question marks helps a reader put themselves in one or the other’s position, which only heightens the fantasy. Smeyer could essentially have written the whole thing in second person.

      To want to be the man you assumed Edward was (i.e. a good, honorable kid, who cares for his significant other) is not a bad thing, lol. Just don’t expect to be able to order her around or tell her what a dangerous jerk you are ;P

      • I consider myself a budding writer, mind you nothing’s been published so don’t flame me. I have a dominant and submissive character, but I do not have domineering and a simpering submissive. Both characters can stand on their own but are devoted to each other mutually. Both have strength without having to lord over the other. Bella has an unhealthy attachment to her abuser. In all honesty, Edward did physically abuse her, and also sexually, mostly in the first and last books. (anyone remember the little ISOLATED island?) Yeah. Exactly. This only heightens the abuse alert in my mind. It worries me that this is one of the big examples of an “ideal” relationship nowadays.

    • sociolinguist Says:

      I didn’t realize until I read this comment why I have been so intrigued by this blog.

      Nor could I understand how Twilight could be so incredibly captivating for legions of fans who completely, totally miss the obvious.

      Now I get it: Twilight is propaganda.

      I am a sociolinguistics major, currently studying how language is used in politics and advertising to engineer consent (on a social scale) and shape consumer/voter actions (on a personal scale). adam’s comment that Edward and Bella are so vacuous that he filled them in with his own ideal characters, is what made me realize the connection between Stephenie Meyer and Joseph Goebbels. (TLDRtards should just move on to the next comment at this point.)

      Propaganda, although it usually wears a friendlier name like “public relations” these days, was perfected by Nazi Party information minister Joseph Goebbels, but invented by an American Jew named Edward Bernays. As the wealthy nephew and confidant of Sigmund Freud, Bernays had a deep understanding of the subconscious, and as he began to develop a theory of using the subconscious to influence mass behavior–a development which Freud detested–he was approached by US President Woodrow Wilson, who needed to convince the American people to enter into World War I despite their total unwillingness to fight other peoples’ battles on foreign soil. (Those were the days!)

      Bernays’ early propaganda was unpolished, but effective, thanks in part to Wilson suspending free speech laws so that the party line would go uncountered in the court of public opinion. Living well into the 1990s, Bernays, along with younger linguists like Republican Frank Luntz (remember the Contract with America?) and Democrat George Lakoff (who can take a lot of credit for the Democrat resurgence of 2006 and later), would perfect the field of propaganda to the point where heavy-handed totalitarianism was no longer necessary: the world would simply be ruled by those who had better control over words. This is how we arrived at the status quo in US politics: the two parties in power each have committed teams of linguists tweaking words to plug into the citizen’s subconscious; victories go back and forth as one team gets better than the other, then the other team rebrands itself; between the two, they’ve so captivated the public that dissenting opinions are barely heard. Each voter’s mind is a strand in the rope in an epic tug-of-war, contested by people who write articles called “Bypassing the Will” and “Engineering Consent”.

      This newer, subtler propaganda relies on a set of linguistic principles called the Gricean Maxims. The gist of this is that listeners (and readers) subconsciously expect certain things of a speaker (or writer); for example, that what she says is relevant, and that it gives the right amount of information without skimping out or dumping too much on you. Herein lies the trick: our instinctual need to make signal out of noise means that, when Grice’s rules are broken, we do the mental legwork ourselves to bring the noise into focus.

      For example, take the old peanut butter slogan from the 1990s, “Choosy moms choose Jif.” It has a nice ring to it, but it does not have all the information your brain is looking for. In fact, it basically says almost nothing at all, by itself. Your own subconscious does the work of coming up with the conclusion that the Jif peanut butter company wants you to reach. You figure that you’re being told this for a reason, so you take the logical steps to connect “choosy moms choose Jif” to a statement that actually makes a claim. Namely: only choosy moms buy Jif; only non-choosy moms buy Skippy; non-choosy moms are too lazy to make the right decision for their kids; moms who buy Skippy are neglectful of their children; moms who buy Jif are good to their children.

      This, I finally realize, is the genius of Smeyer. She’s filled hundreds of pages with empty characters, and because we’re human, our instinct is that she must be giving us all the information our brains need, so if we don’t get a complete picture, it’s our brains’ job to make it make sense. This has played out eerily well for Smeyer: I recently saw someone post on her facebook status that “I don’t love the Twilight series, but I’ve decided that whether you’re on Team Edward or Team Jacob says a lot about you. I’m on Team Edward”. This is a smart, competent, self-sufficient adult. She knows that, so she trusts her own judgment. Her conclusions must be her own.

      But they’re not. Her conclusion was engineered through hundreds of pages of propaganda designed to stimulate her subconscious into filling in the blanks so that it’s her, not Meyer, who “decides” that choosing between Edward and Jacob is an important reflection of her personality. Meyer doesn’t have to say it. She just has to fill books with empty characters and let your mind get there on its own. Basically, she’s bypassing the will and engineering our opinion while letting us think we’re making those decisions through our own willpower.

      In other words…

      Stephenie Meyer is Edward Cullen. Except instead of your blood, she wants your money. Looks like it’s working out. Shit, she’s even got you doing it, Rachel–you’ve given your own backstories and explanations for her empty characters’ inanity and you think it was your conscious decision. She’s even had you choosing between Edward and Jacob!

      Creepy. Oh god she’s good at this. Oh creepy. I’m gonna go find my brain bleach.

      • Jetpacking Werewolves GO!! Says:

        Wow.
        I don’t know if that would work though. It sounds like most girls are inserting themselves into Bella, and Bella does (most) of the reasoning. I remember reading it and thinking what I’d do, which mainly involved punching Edward and getting the hell out of there.
        Although I probably wouldn’t get very far, seeing as he’s super-fast, super-strong and all.

  13. Softspoken Says:

    I haven’t read this series, and after this, I am very certain I’m not going to. In a way, you’ve ‘ruined’ the series for me once and for all, because now I know that I could NEVER read this without seeing all the abuse and recognizing at least most of it.

    That said, and for what I think are obvious reasons, I’m very, very glad that you ‘ruined’ the series for me. Because I would much rather know now than later how abusive Edward is.

  14. Magistrate of Mediocrety Says:

    And this is why I will never let my children read this series. I’m actually kind of concerned for Smeyer. No one deserves to go through what she writes about.

  15. I picked up on the bigger, creepier stuff – Edward’s stalkerish tendencies and controlling behavior, the strong suicide plots (Bella risking life and limb, Edward actually attempting). I read the story anyways, and unfortunately I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. I mean, it’s kinda crap writing, but I’m addicted to anything vampiric, so I put up with it. I read a lot of fanfiction, so I’m used to picking out the rare, useful bits from the miles of utter crap. Looking back, and having been enlightened, I know I’d never enjoy reading it a second time. I think what we really enjoy the first time (those of us that don’t hate it straight away) is that we see what we expect to see. We fill in Smeyer’s huge, gaping holes with what we want to be there.
    My english teacher at school tries to relate Twilight to everything, which disturbs me. I know she’s just trying to take something her students are familiar with/enjoy and tie it into her lessons so they’ll pay attention, but couldn’t she pick something with actual substance? Today in my french class, while reading a sad story, my teacher tried to cheer us up by relating it to Twilight as well. Things like this frighten me. I think I’m going to send them a link to this blog. I hope you don’t mind.

    • Yes, I really think the major draw of Twilight is that it’s essentially a mad lib. Bella and Edward have no personalities, so feel free to make them up. The plot has no semblance of reality, so go ahead and justify it with your own logic. The relationships have no chemistry or reason, so just enjoy the pointless devotion and gushing romance.

      Also, I don’t mind links at all, that’s basically how the readership grew to the atrocious size it is now, lol. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading these books, it’s that any attention is good attention.

    • Moonshade Says:

      1) Yes, it is an ad-lib. Which is why Bella’s utter lack of personality goes unnoticed by so many: they just insert themselves and don’t notice the difference.

      2) This is actually not unusual among teachers, though it does indicate that your teacher doesn’t really recognize what she was reading. Show her this article, and she might change her tune. But in my senior year of high school, EVERYTHING could somehow be related back to Harry Potter.

      But then, Harry Potter was intricate and well-written, so it actually worked.

      • “But then, Harry Potter was intricate and well-written, so it actually worked.”

        Until the last two books, which were abysmal and filled with unlikeable characters who bore no resemblance to prior characters who had had the same names.

        That said, I think that Twilight is worse because it’s managed to snow the entire world into believing that abuse = romance. Western society already accepts as erotomanic behavior as romantic. We don’t need Meyer’s propaganda.

        • The Fifth one was where it started really going downhill. But the characters were still real. Just growing up too damn fast.

    • bessie baxter Says:

      I’m sorry but you are taking a book too seriously.honestly grow up and enjoy things like literature without ripping it apart.it’s people like you that have gotten good classical books like huck Finn removed from schools.it’s idiotic that you guys take things so seriously.

  16. that was amazing. very well thought out.

    it’s great to see that there are others out there who think the same as me.

    keep up the good work

  17. Oh lord, oh lord. As a 19-year-old college student home on summer break, I was just watching the show “Access Hollywood” while eating lunch. Apparently, AH decided to name the top five Hollywood bachelors, as entertainment shows and other media usually do. Number 4 was, of course, Robert Pattinson. He recounted an incident during which a seven-year-old girl came up to him and said, “passionately,” according to him, “I need you to bite me.” His reply: “She said it with such passion that I felt like I might need to do it.”



    Apparently pedophilia doesn’t stop with Edward Cullen.

    • ..dear god. After reading the entire Twilight series and having been put through a lot of abuse, /how could I not see this/? The more I read this blog, the more I go “oh my god”.

      But, anyways.. a little kid actually told Pattinson to bite her? A little kid read/watched Twilight and basically figured ‘okay, being a vampire is cool, I’ll go ask Edward to turn me into one!’

      ..My faith in humanity is lost. But, then again, it was a long time ago.

  18. I have to say this.
    I’m a fourteen year old, and I damn hate these books.
    Even before I read this article, I always thought Edward was a twat.
    Now I am convinced. Abuse is something very close to my heart, and reading this has convinced me that Smeyer is either very troubled….or not a nice person.
    So yeah. Abuse is not to be taken lightly.
    And the twilight books are not something that should be publicised for children.

    • Moonshade Says:

      I honestly don’t think that Smeyer did this on purpose. I sincerely think she was going for the classical ‘romantic hero’ archetype, who slayed dragons and rescued princesses. You know, the really ‘nice’ ones like Romeo, Mr. Darcy, the Count of Monte Cristo, and Lancelot.

      All of which were written at a time when women were garbage and it was perfectly alright to regularly beat your wife if she displeased you.

      • Except, the only difference is those heroic characters are nothing like Edward and didn’t even beat their lovers. D: They actually treated women with more respect.

  19. Moonshade Says:

    I think you hit the two major points that mark the line between fans and concerned haters: the fact that the relationship is never portrayed as abusive, and the fact that people don’t usually consider emotional abuse when they’re thinking about this sort of thing.

    When people make arguments like the one you made (I have seen several others arguing that Edward is in fact an abuser, even made by fans of the books), there is no denying it, and readers start to approach the series with more caution. They may still enjoy the books, but they stop idolizing Edward and Bella.

    Honestly, I think Romeo and Juliet should be treated the same way, actually– It’s portrayed as a romantic love story, but anyone who actually reads it (and can understand the old dialect) knows that it’s not. It’s really, really not. Even Smeyer acknowledged this briefly (via Edward), though she threw that moment of lucidity out a window at the end of New Moon.

    • I’ve acted in Romeo and Juliet with 7-18 year old casts (the prime Twilight age group), and I don’t know anyone who thought it was a romantic love story. Even the seven-year-olds. Shakespearean tragedy in a nutshell: ‘everything would have been fine if you weren’t BLEEDING IDIOTS!’

    • I think Romeo and Juliet is fine as long as people recognize that killing yourself if your loved one dies is not a good idea at all and certainly doesn’t symbolize a healthy state of mind. Except, Bella and Edward didn’t have jerk families that didn’t want them to be together. So that’s a pretty big difference. Juliet really at that time period would have had nowhere to go and would have probably been forced to marry someone she didn’t even love.

      Bella, however at the time period she is at has more freedom than Juliet had and SHOULD be perfectly capable of making a decision for herself. She has no good excuse.

  20. Katie Cole Says:

    I didn’t read all of this on account of if someone ever tried to treat me like that I would not take their shit.

    My mom is always telling me I’m a bitch so idk hahaa

    HOWEVES
    It’s awesome that you included this,since people obviously can’t see how much of a grade-A creeper Edward is.

    • Ha! I ALSO get called a bitch for being independent, self-confident, sure-willed, and for generally not putting up with anyone’s bullshit.

      I would much rather be a “bitch” than a Stepford Wife Bella-esque constantly-falling-down need-someone-else-to-complete-me floozy.

      • I am always happy to be called a bitch in instances like this. You know what being a bitch means? :

        B eing
        I n
        T otal
        C ontrol
        of
        H erself

        I am a bitch any and every day

  21. Believe it or not, Stephenie Meyer is said to be a very conservative Mormon and conservative Mormons sometimes have a tendency to believe that males should always be in charge of their relationships with females and that females should be silent and submissive, which often contributes to domestic and dating abuse in the Mormon communities.

    Also, since I’m currently reading “Eclipse”, I also discover that in the first chapter that Edward doesn’t allow Bella to see Jacob, whom she knows very well and cares for her, even though she wants to see him because she’s worried about him and all. I mean, this is crazy! In addition to that, on the tenth chapter on page 224, Jacob is suspecting that Edward is abusive and controlling and that Bella doesn’t even acknowledge it.

    In fact, I was pretty wrong about Bella and Edward being together and I know that their relationship is not healthy because above all, Edward is mostly being in control and making most of the decisions and Bella is mostly being passive and submissive without having any common sense and logic. As a result, there’s not much equality between them and they hardly treat each other as friends. Not to mention, I prefer Bella being in a relationship with Jacob because Jacob seems to allow Bella to express herself freely, he barely dominates her, and he treats her like a real friend. Plus, he’s pretty open-minded and lively. Another thing that I didn’t know is that Jacob seems to be quite human like Bella. What a coincidence!

    Anyway, back to Edward. I’m suddenly realizing that he’s a very sickening character. Constantly checking up on Bella, very unsociable and narrow-minded, due to the fact that he doesn’t have much friends at all, with the exception of his siblings (and some other vampires), and is obviously prudish and perhaps, perfectionistic as well. I mean, if I were Bella and if he approached me, I’d tell him to just simply go away, back off, and/or leave me alone just because I don’t know him very well and that he might not the right person for me. If he made threats, insults and/or persisted, I’d either have him jailed or beat the living daylights out of him!

    In relation to what’s originally posted about the connection between The Twilight Saga and domestic abuse, I recommend that you see this book called, “Emotional Vampires” via Amazon.com. It will pretty much remind you of Edward in The Twilight Saga and it relates to him as well. Also, here’s a site for you to look at:

    http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/abuse_signs.html

    It has many details explaining about domestic abuse and it also offers advice for guys to be careful of what they say or do when it comes to women.

    And this site:

    http://www.teenhealth411.org/relationships.php#relationships

    It gives an idea about what healthy adolescent and young adult relationships should be like without gender role stereotypes and that guys and girls in young relationships should be equal to one another.

    After all, I’m also realizing that the Twilight Saga is not very realistic when it comes to healthy dating and relationships. When I was in middle school and high school, before it came along, my mom raised me to be similar to Bella. Passive, submissive, silent, delicate, let the guy be in charge, etc.-especially when it came to dating and relationships. But when I reached college, I noticed that these gender roles ruin great dates and stable relationships and that girls should be as assertive as guys and at least take charge, like making the first approach, asking for a date, etc., for example, especially if the guy doesn’t know what to do and/or if you want to avoid becoming a victim. If he is not willing to compromise, you have no choice but to leave him because he could be dangerous.

    • I don’t mean to be rude but I apologize for some errors regarding sentence usage and punctuation on my post. I know, I typed in a lot because I had so much to say. Sorry about that.

    • Moonshade Says:

      I’m going to argue with you on one point.

      I don’t think that girls should necessarily be as dominant as guys. The fact of the matter is if you’ve got two dominant personalities in a relationship, there’s going to be a LOT of head-butting and arguments, so usually there’s some stratiation. I’ve actually had issues with friends before when more than one tried to be the ‘leader’ of a group outing at the same time, and it just ended up being messy. Sometimes you have to compromise, and in any relationship there’s going to be some give and some take.

      HOWEVER.

      I know what you’re getting at. Dominance in a relationship should not be defined by gender. Or power, or supernatural abilities, like it is here. And dominance in a relationship should NEVER EVER EVER be absolute, completely disregarding of the other person’s feelings, and horrifically one-sided like it is here.

      • And everytime girls want to be dominant, there would be abuse, unfortunately.

        In addition to that, there’s the Hunger Games series which is doing way better than Twilight so far and sounds very practical. My brother likes the story a lot.

    • Am I the only one who finds it competley ironic that Meyer is Mormon and she is writing a vampire novel? i have a friend who’s mother is very religious member of the assembly of god and wouldnt let her read twilight because of the fact Vampires are satanic

  22. I read the entire thing about the abuse, and frankly she did nothing more than cite the evidence that supported her claim while ignoring everything else that doesn’t. I don’t want to post a wall of text on here… but just to show that I’m not just saying it…

    1. Dominance: Yes, Edward does take control of certain situations, but not always. There is more compromise between the characters than any sort of dominance. The two areas she cites are driving and rules for physical conduct. In regards to the driving, he is straight up no questions asked the better driver. Bella is allowed to drive when she really wants to, but she has no coordination and it is logically safer to have Edward drive. For conduct, those rules are equal to the “Don’t stick your arm in the alligator pit” at zoos. Edward is a deadly blood-thirsty beast who tries his hardest to be nice. So the rules were set in place to keep himself in check.

    2. Humiliation: Did she even pay attention to Edward in the novels? He’s constantly berating himself, calling himself a monster and soulless/stupid for putting her at risk. His “berating” is of her lack of coordination. Everything else is an attempt to get her to find someone better. He never once tells her that she is not strong (in the metaphysical sense).

    3. Isolation: Umm… Bella’s choice. The only people Edward doesn’t want Bella around are the people that want to kill him. And even then he lightens up on this belief.

    4. Threats: Her logic fails. Just because one demonstrates that they are strong does not mean they are abusive. Otherwise every guy showing off in the gym is abusive. I’m certain everyone (men and women) has stated one time or another that they want to kill someone or something. Does that mean we are all abusers?

    So many other arguments that require wall of text. Not really in the mood to do so even if I love debating. I just get sickened when people go into a critique with an agenda. It blinds them and twists the facts around, allowing them to see what is not really there. Most of all it sounds like just because Bella is not dominant and Edward not submissive it suddenly equals an abusive relationship, which is just wrong.

    • Aren’t you doing the same thing right here?

      1. Dominance: This aspect is generally one that happens by degrees. If you started out domineering and possessive, most women would be put off by that. No. The majority of people who end up in abusive relationships meet the other person and think them charming and charismatic. Maybe a little on the strong-willed or hot-tempered side, but nothing huge. Listen to yourself – Bella is “allowed” to drive? The important question here is *why does she need his permission to drive?* I mean, tossing the coordination issue completely out the window. She’s driven before and managed not to die horribly. I would assume she can still do so even after having her logic systematically devoured by her own selfcentered idiocy.

      And while you have a point about the predator thing, he knows it and keeps going back to her anyway, which is leading her on, which is *still* cruel and intended as possessive “alpha male” behavior. It’s irresponsible at best. Especially since we’re talking about a girl who doesn’t have the common sense God gave a damn turnip.

      2. Humiliation: No. His berating of himself is calculated for Bella’s reaction. Go back and read those passages again. By doing this, he’s attempting to control her behavior by forcing her to feel guilty about what a martyr he is. I know that tactic all too well; I grew up with it. He doesn’t *have* to tell her she’s not strong, he’s pushing her to a point where she naturally believes it herself.

      3. Isolation: It is Bella’s choice because she’s a stupid kid who doesn’t know what a healthy relationship is like. If not for the fact that 3/4 of the characters in the book are as regrettably lacking in common sense as she is, she would have realistically received attention for maladjustive behavior. But there I go again, expecting logic from this book series. (Also, you’re wrong. He doesn’t want her around Jacob.)

      4. Threats: *…Dude.* What. Seriously! He was showing her how strong he was just to scare her! How is that not a threat? Please explain this to me because I have very clearly missed something in my own reading of this book.

      And uh… no offense, but you might want to lighten up on the SRS BSNS there. I can tell you for a fact that Rachel didn’t go into this critique with any other agenda than to take the piss out of a really, really putrid series of crappy urban fantasy books.

    • Quick fact, dude – The internet is not a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. It’s incredibly rude to address a statement referring to them rather than replying to them in this format. If you want to engage in a real-life debate rather than what high school taught you, learn some manners first-hand.

      And if you have a list of logistical fallacies that Rachel’s commited that you yourself did not fall into during your response, I would love to see them.

    • 1. it doesn’t matter who’s the better driver. Bella’s soooooo clumsy; yet she’s never even gotten into a near-accident while driving, mind you. it just bothers Edward that she’s so ~slow~. i don’t see any compromise here – it was “Bella, you drive too slow, I’m driving.”
      the fact that Edward is a natural predator of Bella doesn’t make any of this okay, either.

      2. this may not necessarily be abusive, but it’s healthy … how? it’s not exactly uplifting to listen to your lover constantly berate themselves.
      (would you excuse your significant other’s self-mutilation with a wave of a hand because s/he finds his/her physical body repulsive?)

      3. yes, it is Bella’s decision to dump all her friends completely for Edward. did he ever encourage her to make or keep friends? … did he ever even notice this?
      he does seem to heavily encourage Bella being BFFs with his family, though. (and in New Moon he explicitly attempts to prohibit Bella from seeing friends…)

      4. yes many people have made hollow death threats – but a vampire telling a human, while having a hissyfit, about how easily the vampire could kill the human … that’s not a threat….?
      Edward’s threats are not along the lines of frustration venting – e.g. “Arrgh, I could kill him!” – but along the lines of “I could kill you any minute, Bella, stay away.” how … is this not abusive…?
      and yes, duder, if you’re in the habit of warning your partners any other day that you could snap and off them, you are an abuser.

      … why are you defending this, anyway? that really worries me

      this is not an issue of Edward being dominant and Bella submissive – this is far, far from a power exchange relationship (and I’m sure I’m quite safe in assuming that is not at all Smeyer’s intention).

    • Let me get my fact’s straight, Matt:

      You really like the books. You’re upset because someone is bashing them. Okay. I get that.

      You see a one-sided picture here. I get that, too. Just looking at the graphic on top of the page should have informed you that this was going to be one-sided in its presentation of Twilight.

      So here’s a thought for you to consider, which I hate using because my little sister has mastered this technique: how would YOU like to be treated this way? Having stuff thrown at you, being forbidden from seeing your best friend for the past year or so, etc. Being made to feel guilty for everything you do, while your flaws are put on a flag and waved in your face?

      Granted, this is not a perfect analogy. Aparently (as Xena and trends such as FemDom prove) quite a lot of guys find all that stuff increadibly appealing. And sexy. Admittedly, I find the very idea of vampires to be sexy.

      That’s not the problem here. The problem is that dysfunctional relationships are fine in fiction. We love conflict. It’s when a dysfunctional relationship is touted as THE ULTIMATE LOVE EVAR AND YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER SHOULD BE JUST LIKE TEH ONE IN THE BOOK!!!!! that there are problems. And the thing is, there ARE problems like these. I recently rescued a young man from an abusive home; he didn’t think he was being abused, despite admitting that he was regularly beaten and starved. He WORSHIPPED his parents, who treated him like a dog. And it makes me mad that Bella is doing the same thing and we’re expectd to find it romantic.

      It’s fine for girls to enjoy the story. It’s fine for guys to like the idea of a girl being draped all over them the way Bella is with Edward. It is NOT fine, though, to think that this is even remotely healthy.

      Here are the facts, once again:

      Edward is an abuser.

      Bella needs medication.

      Any questions?

    • 1) Dominance: Bella could drive. She was not that injured. She barely knew him, what right did he have to drag her and insist he drive? How does he drive better? He drives ridiculously fast a lot of the time. Why does him driving better give him the right to tell her what to do ANYWAY?

      2) Humiliation: What exactly does him putting himself down have to do with him not putting her down? Also, in a lot of emotional abusive relationships the abuser can put himself down in order to obtain pity from his lover (speaking from experience). So this is irrelevant.

      3) Isolation: The point is that Edward didn’t have to do much in that department considering Bella did it herself, but getting her involved in the Vampire thing makes it a bit difficult for Bella to be completely transparent with any human friends in the first place.

      4) Threats: If your lover said they wanted to kill you at some point, wouldn’t you be scared or question your relationship? Wanting to kill your lover isn’t exactly healthy.

      It’s not about Bella needing to be dominant or Edward needing to be submissive. It’s about them needing to have a healthier relationship of equality. It’s about Edward not telling her what to do almost every time he’s around her and they aren’t being kissy kissy (example (BREAKING DAWN SPOILER: Not too long near the end before a final battle Bella wanted to practice her abilities with Emmet. Edward right out says no. That she has to come home with him. Just because they’re married doesn’t give him a right to make her his DOG.)

    • I feel the need to comment on the driving issue only here.

      I am a TERRIBLE driver. But my boyfriend sucks it up and buckles his seat belt because he recognizes it is a sign of not only his trust in me, but in his respect that I should be allowed to drive myself from place to place, because I am an adult and do not need him to constantly take care of me. This kind of give and take, push and pull, yin and yang, if you will, is the hallmark of a healthy relationship.

  23. I wonder, Edward is like a hundred years old, right? Wouldn’t he have gotten, like, other girlfriends beside Bella? Maybe not, because maybe all those girls had common sense, something Bella does not have.

    • LOL, HE SUPPOSEDLY HAD A THING FOR ONELY BRUNNETTES, SAYS HE, BUT IMMA BRUNNY SO YAYYYYYYYY!!! LOL

    • According to the books, Edward never noticed a girl before. Not even when he was alive, and he died when he was seventeen.

      To Meyer, this indicates that Bella is Edward’s sealed-in-the-temple-for-time-and-all-eternity soulmate for whom he has been waiting a hundred years or more.

      To me, this indicates that Edward is either asexual or gay and so far back in the closet that he’s in Narnia.

  24. EVERYTHING I KNOW IS A LIE!!!!!!!!! I LIKE A STRONG MAN, BTW!!!!

  25. I’m sure I’m not the only opne to bring this up, but I’m lead to wonder if, perhaps, Meyer is a battered wife herself, without realizing it; if she has suffered these sort of abuses from at least one man (and possibly every man she’s ever had a relationship with) and simply DOES. NOT. KNOW. that the things she has portrayed here are wrong?

    I mean, hell, if I was writing for this book, I’d have Nothing Wrong With Mike grow a pair and speak up about Bella being a damn idiot. Granted, that would ruin his chances with her, and Nothing Wrong With Mike is just enough of a chump to still LIKE this bitch, but really… if one of my friends was in this sort of situation, I’d speak up. I think most reasonable humans would (even if most supernaturals wouldn’t…)

    On the other hand, it’s possible that he DID speak up during

    [B]OCTOBER[/B]

    [B]NOVEMBER[/B]

    [B]DECEMBER[/B]

    [B]JANUARY[/B]

    and Bella’s just too fucking conceited to have noticed the presence of mere mortals.

    • misspelled “one” in the first sentence. MY bad.

    • i never thought about it, but yah mayby meyer just dosent get that she’s been in abusive relationships….and i totally agree with you if my friend went freakin insane because her stalker broke up with her then i’d be the first to tell her to get a life =)

  26. Hi, I just wanted to say thanks.
    There’s this pretty assholy prick I’ve been friends with for over a year, and it wasn’t until I read this that I realized I needed to get rid of him, ASAP.
    Our friendship has always been leaning towards ‘something more’, but in hindsight, I’m grateful it never got to that point.
    Thank you, I got rid of my very own Edward emo Cullen, thanks to you :D

  27. Hey, thanks so much for posting this. You sum up so perfectly why twilight is so god damn awful. I really dont get how girls can become so totally insane over such a awful series, and with great evidence of abuse like you’ve shown it really makes you wonder what is wrong with the Twi-Tards?

  28. Albatoonoe Says:

    Ugh, these books are just vile. It is just depressing when my friends, who I would normally consider smart and sensible people, like these books. Not only is the entire message just wrong, SMeyer is just an awful writer.

    Though, there is something I noticed. I think, if she were a better writer, she would have something here. There is a lot of components to make a good story here, between interesting side characters, and abusive relationship, and some accidentally interesting plot points. It’s like there is a decent story that lying underneath all this crap.

    Anyways, these books are inspiring me to write a story about non-sparkly vampires. I’m looking at Twilight for specific things not to do.

  29. Oh god -_- Tl;dr (the comments. lol)
    I feel like I’m waking into the Chez Cullen after getting into a bloody car wreck saying this, but alot of the Vampire Romance i’ve seen seem to be all ABOUT issue number one. DOMINANCE. The fantasy of having this man that is so strong and powerful and hypnotic that you couldn’t fight against him even if you want to, and not even WANTING to because he’s just SO DELICIOUS even though if he misses a meal(or whatever) he could eat YOU.
    So yeah, number one shoudl just get thrown out the window since that seems to be the appeal of the vampire/werewolf romance.

    Everything else is totaly valid.

    On another note… why the hell does she lie about some of this stuff? “I tripped and fell into a glass table” Is there somethign wrong with that?
    “I was kidnapped by a psycho who beat me and was going to rape me” That is of course from the first book and it’s not actually the truth but it still doesn’t really have anything to do with Edward, just her masochistic tendencies.

    So yeah…and stuff.

    Makokam out.

    • True, but the problem does go back to the idea that twilight isn’t just a vampire romance, or at least that is not all that there is to it. the fans and the writer seem to think that it is the kind of romance that should be sought after. Edward is supposed to be on par with Mr. Darcy when it comes to fictional hunnys. If Edward was seen for who he is by the fans and writer then it would be just like the other vampire romances.

    • Maybe you need to lay off the Harlequins then, or at least stick to the ones written after 1985.

      Honestly. Asher from the Anita Blake novels is dominant (as in BDSM-Dominant) and in his pissiest moods he would never pull crap like this. Jean-Claude is the Master of the City and Anita would shoot him if he tried to tell her that wasn’t allowed to drive or see her friends.

      Egad. Anita Blake is hardly a shining light of feminist literature, but this tripe sure makes it look like one.

      So no, “it’s a vampire novel” is not an excuse. All of the vampire characters I’ve ever seen behave like this, from Dracula on, got a stake in the heart for their behavior, not accolades for being OMGsoromantic!

  30. GOD, thank you for saying this. Sometimes I feel like I’m bashing my head against the stone wall of the entire female population’s revolting Edward worship.

  31. I read somewhere that Bella had originally moved to Forks because her mother’s husband had sexually abused her. The reason this doesn’t show up in Twilight is because Meyer’s editor asked her to change it so it would be a more age appropriate book. So, the way she acts throughout the series is, more than likely, a result of what had happened before the book had even began.

  32. awriterofthings Says:

    i wonder why no one has pulled smeyer aside and find out if she’s been abused by either her father or her husband. writers write what they know- no matter what they write or how well they write it. she writes out the victim very well. i can’t help but think that she either was one or still is one.

  33. I think that people need to stop looking at ways to depict domestic violence out of movie/book. Maybe spend that time educating young woman on how to be independent, strong individuals. There are bigger fights to fight in regards to domestic violence. Go volunteer at a local shelter if your so concerned.

  34. Yes, Edward is a domineering jerk; on the other hand, the vampire as a romantic hero sort of comes with some of these dominance issues. There’s always that element of danger (generally what makes the heroine so easy for him to seduce), which I guess fantasy romance authors think is sexy.
    Maybe the issue isn’t just that Edward is an abuser, but that Bella herself is such a dependent, whiny little twit; I can’t help but wonder what Twilight would have been if Edward had been matched by someone more like the fantasy heroines I admire (C.E. Murphy’s Joanne Walker, or any of the female characters in Harry Potter or the Dresden Files, etc.). Maybe if Bella had a backbone, Edward would’ve been knocked down a few pegs and wouldn’t come off as such an abusive a**…
    As for telling the issues of abuse in books and movies, I think it can be interesting if done well. BBC’s Being Human tackled that, with a supernatural bent, and it turned out really awesome (Annie, the abused character, is a ghost, and she goes from only being visible when she feels good about herself, which is sparingly in the first few episodes, to avenging herself and finding her own empowerment.) And pop culture does make an impact; maybe there are bigger fights, but considering how many young girls read these books (and how many mothers and guardians can’t see the problem with them), I think it is a scary thing.

    • re: vampire dominance issues… I’m so glad you brought this up… SOMEONE had to!!

      Relating this novel to real life will ALWAYS be problematic, because it is about a relationship between a vampire and a human much more than a relationship between a man and a woman. Meyer’s vampires among themselves are on equal footing with respect to gender (very unlike humans). So these particular criticisms (allegations of abuse), while not altogether invalid, neglect to recognize this other dimension of the story.

  35. Well-written essay. I think you hit the nail on the head. I wrote in my own review of the film adaptation of New Moon that the relationship is so absurd, I’d tell any friend to get their head examined if they stayed in one like this. I probably didn’t comment directly on the abusive angle as much, but interestingly I found Bella to be just as manipulative and loathesome as Edward. Psychologically-abusive relationships sometimes go both ways.

  36. I did find the relationship a bit pathetic but your arguments for abuse are weak

    1 Domination :he is 108 years old and super experienced, super smart he should be boss most times. He does expect himself to be chivalrous being a walking talking period piece. its in the context of the book. He and his kind are presented as MONSTERS though kindly who tolerate a single human
    Besides any one with a modicum of understanding of science/evolutuion will tell you: WOMEN LIKE DOMINANCE IN A MALE. Theres a reason why Everybodys going crazy over Jacobs’s bod. Its not an objective appreciation of the abstract aesthetics of some abs. Its a visceral reaction
    Edward is a dangerous weapon. there needs to b rules ask any democrat

    2 Humility: Bella has quite an uppity attitude to all her peers
    she is making an honest assement herself being with a practically celibrity /demigod. You wouldn’t go up to Brad pitt and ask him out on a date would you. you’d have to have a beyond massive ego.
    An constant ustable estimating of themselves is a way a most modern women think. changes day by day besides its just the startup mode of a growing character

    3 isolation: can it be called when she finds an extended family she can identify with, even if they are weird. aside from that she isolates herself most times. otherwise its because she was an outsider from where she lived originally.Some people are like that makes her sympathetic to some extent

    4 Threats: are reasonable warnings to get Bella to leave him since he cant bring himself to do it , not to stay

    5 Intimidation: Bella is more awestruck than ever afraid. Edward needs to know he has value as well and he cant show off to anyone else

    6. Denial and Blame you said it you self , this ones a weak argument

    She was never intended as role model for any reader nor was the relationship ever presented as haelthy.NEVER. Her father was the voice of reason to a realistically rebellious self-injurious girl.But you get to see her human 3d nature throughout the series. Bella in the end becomes the strongest and most important character in the scheme of things which provides some redemption and it is Edward who is awestruck (took a little long and there should have been glimpses the entire saga though she did show spine with Jacob wanting to kill him, and she defied Edward many times.)

    • As someone who was in an abusive relationship with a guy like Edward Cullen, and as someone who has seen similar relationships and all end worse than mine, I call your “arguments” pure bullshit based on speculation, faulty observation, and bias. And what do democrats have to do with this book?

      Keep romanticizing. Hopefully you’ll never see it for yourself and I pray you never will.

    • WHAT. What does age have to do with “being the boss”? No one should be the “boss” in ANY personal relationship — healthy relationships are about give and take, not about “Yes sir, no sir”.

    • I have to agree with the above repliers in calling out WTF, but thought it might be better to break it down to your points:
      1. (a) “he is 108 years old and super experienced, super smart he should be boss most times” – No, he should not. As has already been said, relationships are not about ‘boss’. Also, super experienced? From all I’ve read about his actions, that is only an informed ability – i.e. we’re told he’s done lots of things and knows lots of things and is OMGZ SO PERFECTTTT, but from his actions, he’s actually pretty crap at leading a normal life, and at being in a relationship.
      (b) “He does expect himself to be chivalrous being a walking talking period piece. its in the context of the book. He and his kind are presented as MONSTERS though kindly who tolerate a single human” – Chivalrous is one thing, a posessive douchebag is another. And yeah, it *could have been* written as a part of the fact that he is from a different time (would have been interesting, actually), except she doesn’t do that. She does not write him as a ‘walking period piece’, but as a rather modern guy (goes to schools and universities, drives fast cars etc.), and his behaviour toward Bella is not presented as archaic but as OMG HE IS AMAZING AND THE PERFECT BOYFRIEND. So again, no. Also, I have a suspicion that the stuff about vampires being presented as ‘monsters [...] who tolerate a human’ is your own reading, since from all I’ve seen, she does not once describe any of them (besides the [informed] evil vampires) as anything other than perfect.
      (c) “any one with a modicum of understanding of science/evolutuion will tell you: WOMEN LIKE DOMINANCE IN A MALE. Theres a reason why Everybodys going crazy over Jacobs’s bod. Its not an objective appreciation of the abstract aesthetics of some abs. Its a visceral reaction” – Hoo boy, where do I start? First off, anyone with a modicum of understanding in proper scitific method will tell you that the attempt to justify social norms through evolution is iffy, at best. To claim that ‘women like dominance in a male’ is pretty much the same as claiming that ‘women are naturally better at housework’. And if you don’t see the problem with that, well, I’m not even gonna start that argument. Also, there is a difference between ‘dominance’ and ‘oppression’; some women might prefer to let their men make all the decisions, but nobody likes being constantly shot down whenever s/he tries to form any kind of independent opinion. Also also, none of these things have anything to do with the cultural norms of male physical beauty, or in your words, with ‘why everybody’s going crazy over Jacob’s bod’.
      (d) I don’t really get the bit about a weapon and democrats, as well, so let’s leave that piece of randomness out.

      That was 1. Yow. Now let’s see the rest.

      2. I can’t even begin to understand your claim in this one, really. “Bella has quite an uppity attitude to all her peers she is making an honest assement herself being with a practically celibrity /demigod.” ??? What are you even saying? I can’t even parse this sentence. And honest assesment of what? Which part of the sentence is this related to?
      I gather that she is written as being terribly snotty to everyone while also being written as having very low self esteem. That is just bad writing and a poorly thought-out character, in my opinion, but let’s assume for a moment that she really is snotty AND has low self-esteem. Do you really think that it is positive for Edward to push this low self-esteem further by constantly telling her that she is stupid and useless, not letting her do anything without his supervision, and so on? No, that is not positive.
      “You wouldn’t go up to Brad pitt and ask him out on a date would you. you’d have to have a beyond massive ego.” – Ah I see, you are saying that she actually has huge self esteem because she is going out with the local celeb. Except it’s not like she walked up to him at school and said ‘Hey sparkle boy, wanna get a drink sometime?’, he’s the one that came to her (in a rather creepy way really), and she constantly feels that she does not deserve him. Show me the huge ego here, please.
      “An constant ustable estimating of themselves is a way a most modern women think. changes day by day besides its just the startup mode of a growing character” – First of all, change ‘most modern women’ to ‘most people’ or ‘most teenagers’ and you might have a case (‘it’s not actually low self esteem, her esteem is constantly changing, she’s a teenager’), which would still be refuted by the *actual facts* of how she thinks of the relationship and how Edward treats her. As it is, I have to dismiss it on ground of sounding disgustingly sexist (‘oh, for the good old days when women knew their place, all this modernity and equal right and stuff did was make them have constantly shifting views of themselves’).

      3. “can it be called when she finds an extended family she can identify with, even if they are weird” (etc.) – Yes, yes it can. This is how cults work. By creating a sort of substitute family, which is ever so much better than your real life, if only you conform to their rules. THIS IS A BAD THING.

      4. “Threats: are reasonable warnings to get Bella to leave him since he cant bring himself to do it , not to stay” – Well, I suppose there really is a very thin and subtle line here, but still ‘I can kill you’ and ‘I have killed before’ and ‘I wanted to kill you when I first saw you’ and ‘You can’t run away from me’… I dunno, sounds like threats to me. This can really be eye-of-the-beholder stuff, but in my opinion, when an otherwise abusive partner says ‘Why don’t you go away, you stupid woman, I am dangerous’, that is still a form of threat.

      5. ” Bella is more awestruck than ever afraid. Edward needs to know he has value as well and he cant show off to anyone else” – part of it is related to the above, and thus can be eye-of-the-beholder, but the second part of your sentence I just don’t get. Are you saying that he’s running around and breaking trees in order to warn her (reasonably, in your opinion), or in order to show off and build his own self-esteem?

      And the last bit:
      “She was never intended as role model for any reader nor was the relationship ever presented as haelthy.NEVER.” – Oh, except for the parts where it was presented as the most perfect loving caring eternal love forever and ever with rainbows and butterflies and amazing beautiful diamond skin relationship ever in the history of the world, you mean? Puh-lease.
      “Her father was the voice of reason to a realistically rebellious self-injurious girl” – Oh, except for all the parts where he is presented as a mean adult that wants to keep Bella away from her perfect eternal love and he just DOESN’T GET IT and all that, you mean? Or perhaps you are talking about the parts where he pretty much ignores the fact that his daughter was found is having night terrors ot acting catatonic? Bella is constantly presented as being right in her love for Edward, and completely misunderstood by her father, not as a rebellious (realistically or otherwise) girl.
      “you get to see her human 3d nature throughout the series. Bella in the end becomes the strongest and most important character in the scheme of things which provides some redemption” (etc.) – that is not called a 3D character, that is called a Mary Sue. Just because after she finally became a vampire she suddenly became super-beautiful and super-graceful and super-superpowered and-also-has-great-sex-all-the-time, that doesn’t make for a ‘redemption’ of being pathetic before, it’s just another way of showing how amazing and incredible and perfect vampires are. And since pretty much all vampires are Mary Sues, and Bella is Mary-Sue-ish to bein with, this just makes her a Super Sue. What’s 3D about that?

  37. [...] Extra Credit: The Twilight Saga and domestic abuse « Yes, I Read It. It’s Still Stupid. – [...]

  38. [...] Read mor: The Twilight Saga and domestic abuse [...]

  39. I never censored what my (now adult) children read but, after trying to read this series, I would have had serious discussions about these books before allowing them to read. I saw the Twilight movie without knowing anything about the series – I just knew it was a vampire movie. Right away, I saw the abusive nature of Edward. And he was just way too creepy stalker. How he manages to come off creepier than Gary Oldman as Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I cannot figure! Later, I attempted to read the series and became so disgusted with the writing, I gave up.

  40. As someone who had a friend who was in a completely emotionally abusive relationship, I am glad someone is pointing out these major major barely covered up flaw in this book. I do have an interest in vampire books but never were characters so terrible as in Twilight.

    My friend was in an emotionally abusive relationship and was pretty much as weak willed as Bella is, her bf systematically broke down every single shred of confidence that she had, made so sure she was completely dependent on him, treated her like a doormat and made sure she never even looked at other guys (yeah once they had a fight cause she looked up as she was walking and her eyes crossed with some guy walking towards her direction….they had a huge fight over that). The only reason i am extremely sad to say that she left him was because all of her friends threatened to completely abandon her (last ditch effort on our part) this was something he had obviously wanted but not anticipated her response. I.E her leaving him. The reason this is depressing is because she still thinks he was geniunely good guy (he was not).

    So Thank You, for being one of the sane people out there who point out how terrible this book is. Yes it is fiction, but fiction can also shape how we think and what this book shapes is a generation of mindless weak willed girls who are incapble of being independent. This book throws back all that women have been fighting for. SM should be ashamed of herself. The publishers should be ashamed. And YOU should be extremely proud, because out of something that was meant to be just for fun, there are some pretty profound words and thought.

    With that essay, lol, I hope you do finish all books because honestly I have had wayyy too much fun reading this!

    (why can’t kids these days go back to readig Roald Dahl, now that man had magic like no other author can ever achieve!)

  41. THANK GOD SOMEONE ELSE FEELS THE WAY I DO.

    I thought I was the only one. People would tell me, oh they are just books, not meant to be taken seriously. And I’m thinking, umm there are like 12 year olds who will read these and start to form ideas of what the “perfect man” is and isn’t and therefore ups their chances of getting into and staying in an abusive relationship.
    There are PLENTY of books throughout history that have a tinge of abuse in them but for most, they are part of the storyline and are building up to a righteous morality that opposes anything of the form.

    Someone was like “oh you are just a feminist”..but Its not that…I’m a woman, and I, as a woman, take offense to this crap SMeyer passes off as “literature”.. It’s published fan fiction to me.

    To sum this bs up in one sarcastic image: http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu20/plaidshirtkrista/bellaabuse-1.jpg

    • Roguefemme Says:

      On the contrary: writing like that wouldn’t be permitted on the better fan fiction sites, including the one I post to. SMeyer’s writing isn’t fan fiction, it’s Mary Sue- and emotionally disturbed Mary Sue at that.

  42. Brilliant. Just brilliant. I agree with every single point you made. I read the books and got caught up in them, like everyone else, but luckily I got out and realized just what sort of romance that actually is.

  43. On the part about the werewolf Sam, and the girlfriend he disfigured in New Moon, it should be noted that Bella actually SYMPATHIZED with Sam and not his scarred victim/girlfriend.

    Go figure.

  44. Never read the books; luckily my fourteen-year-old sister is happy to fill me in. Even luckier, she thinks Edward and Jacob are dangerous assholes and Bella is a weak, pathetic excuse for a heroine.

    To be fair, I find something disturbing about all vampire romance novels because I don’t think a man who wants to drain my blood is sexy, whether he acts on this desire or not.

    But this is even worse because, as you’ve pointed out so nicely, even if Edward were a normal 17-year-old guy, the relationship would not be healthy. He doesn’t just want to kill Bella; he stalks her, manipulates her emotionally, gets insanely jealous, bosses her around, etc. And for her part, Bella keeps forgiving him and decides that she has no desires other than Edward; no personality other than Edward’s girlfriend; no ambitions other than to become Edward’s wife. Excuse me? Do girls like this even exist?

    SMeyer mentions Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff. Yeah, Heathcliff’s bad news, but Catherine and Cathy at least have personalities (and Catherine totally gets him back, torturing him far into her own afterlife). As for Mr. Darcy, he gets his comeuppance for the classist things he does and has to earn the affection of a girl who, honestly, really needs to marry a rich husband to guarantee her survival, given the entailment on her father’s estate. God, just look at this: Catherine tells Heathcliff “no” and gets away; Elizabeth tells Darcy “no” and gets away. Bella? Not so much.

  45. ok. so i just had a big fight with my sister about this cr*p.(she has a doctorate in social/cultural history). My argument was pretty much commensurate with those presented on this site, whereas she was arguing that smyers was presenting a valid reflection of the world as is – that hetero-normative society is an instantiation of the bella/edward relationship, and that the reason for its fairly unprecedented success was that it connects at a fairly deep level with a plurality of girls that have either been abused, or who expect that some form of abuse is forthcoming; that essentially the modern heroine is a sop, a patsy – a way of allowing the modern, privileged (read:white;male;monied) class to feel better about a perceived level of equality, without ever achieving it. i counter that this tripe is perfectly valid as fantasy mind wank material for consenting, although deficient, adults, but should be rstricted from children – she argues that it has de-facto found it’s audience, and as they cannot be finding literary merit, they must be finding some point of contact with it, which is probably experiential. understand that she is not advocating the genius or perceptiveness of smyers, she is closer to the 100,000,000 monkies theory, but still that acceptance, even that fandom, is based on the fact that this is the world we made, not the one we hope we strive for.

    now frankly i posit that this is bs, because it has lead not to grudging acceptance, but to squealing celebration, and it is pushed more by school teachers, church leaders, and parents, those who are more likely to have a vested interest in the status quo, than it seems to be by teens, tweens and kids mirroring their own experiences in the book.

    i have to qualify all this by saying we are both interested in this as a social phenomenon, and would not sink so far as to read this shit, but i would be intrigued to hear thoughts on whether the effect of these books, intentional or not, could be to talk to a ‘lost generation’ of girls still labouring under a patriarchy – or when we make porn pervasive, and early sexulisation implict, is it too much to ask that teen girls don’t have a fairly adult response to their own repression.

    just to re-iterate, i still think it’s tripe.

  46. I happen to be a “Mormon housewife” and I find this discussion to be refreshing, intelligent, and necessary. I have no desire to read the books, and could tell by reading the book cover when I picked up Twilight at the store that it was not appropriate for my pre and young teen daughters. The insights here have been enlightening and impressive, and I am so glad to see that there are people who are looking at this story with their eyes wide open. Keep it up.

    As a side note, I have also wondered about SMeyers’ experience with abuse, and/or with her sense of self. She mentions in an interview that she had lost a sense of herself and this book helped her find it again. What is that?

  47. Absolutely spot on with all the abuse. As I was reading these summaries, a lot of what kept going through my head was “This is completely abusive…” And when I got to that scene where he forces her with his seduction breath to do something she has outright said no to, it honestly left me stunned. I instantly lost all respect for any woman outside her early teens who reads this and doesn’t just bin the book out of disgust.

    There are, as you pointed out, so many things to point to: the way she gets isolated, the way Edward won’t let her do anything for herself, makes all the decisions, doesn’t let her have any input, puts her down, reminds her constantly of how much better he is, has her lie to people who actually care for her, makes her totally dependant on him. It’s shocking how much of a realistic and disturbingly accurate portrayal of an abusive relationship this is.

    And indeed, people defend it in the same way the victim will defend the abuser’s actions. Writing a novel about an abustive relationship is nothing bad, of course. One of the best aspects of a well thought-out and well written characters is the flaws, and a series exploring the progression of an absutive relationship could be a very interesting read. But the point is Meyer clearly doesn’t see it like that, and nor do her fanbase. They see it as “romantic”, “noble” and “gentlemanly”.

    Twilight is a poorly written piece of tripe by a braindead mor(m)on (“dead” blood, Stephanie? Really?) at the best of times, but there are many poorly written series’ out there. And even if gaining popularity wouldn’t be bad, were it just badly written. What’s harmful is that thousands of young girls are reading this and believing this is what a relationship should be like. That being a manipulative control-freak is “romantic”. That is a horrible thought.

  48. Some good observations in here. Howeverrrrr… the point you’re trying to make is irrelevant.

    Criticizing the book from this perspective is about as relevant as criticizing Lolita as an account of child molestation. Nabokov was not trying to write a book about the morality of child molestation or the politics of sex when he wrote Lolita — he was concerned with CREATING BEAUTY. When people politicize and argue about the subject matter, it comes off superficial and silly no matter what.

    And Twilight. Twilight is just one single image that was expanded, out of passion, into a story. By writing it, Stephenie Meyer meant only to paint a picture of something she thought was beautiful, and isn’t that what all art aspires to do? Be beautiful? Not that I consider Twilight to be high art, but it is nevertheless a creative endeavor that strives for beauty and all this social commentary seems a crass misunderstanding of the author’s intention.

    Don’t get me wrong… I think the Twilight books are utter bullshit — but in terms of artistic integrity and substance alone. I could criticize it in a thousand different ways, but this particular point, that you bring up… is beside the point.

    PS – she IS in fact too plain for him. All self-esteem issues aside, this part at least is real, and not just in her head.

    • Sorry if I’ll sound like a jerk, but… have you actually *read* Lolita?
      Yes, it is from the point of view of a pedophile (and yes, it is concerned with much much more than pedophilia), but the relationship there cannot, in any way, be seen as healthy or normal, from the actual facts in the book. Humbert Humbert himself recognises the fact that he basically ruined Dolores’s life, even if he tries to wrap it up with a lot of justifications and a so on (justifications which of course tie into the very clever referencing done in the book, but never mind about that now). It is not prtrayed as true, eternal love. Or, rather, he tries to present his feelings towards Dolores as love, but it’s very obvious all along that (a) it’s simply lust, because it fades away once she grows up, and (b) she does not feel that way about him, she goes along with his lust because she kinda has poor judgment and because he gives her things. And this is all not through conjecture, this is all directly written in the book. So comparing this to a book in which an abusive relationship is constantly portrayed as the most perfect loving relationship possible is really quite in bad taste.

  49. Anti-Abuse Says:

    This is a response to D:

    You have to understand the impact the books have had on these poor young girls, and a few women who are still little girls in many ways, which has brainwashed them into believing that ‘Edward’ is the ideal boyfriend and that these types of relationships are okay. Even if that wasn’t Meyer’s intention, though she herself is also blind, these are the facts and this is what’s going on. It has grown into a propaganda epidemic much like the one in ‘Hitler Germany’. So you can’t say that authors do not intent this or that becuase you cannot close your eyes to reality an the reality of the situation is that girls around the world are dumping their boyfriends becuase they’re not like Edward.

  50. Thank you, I couldn’t agree with you more. Edward and Bella are definitely in a codependent abusive relationship. It is downright creepy and a terrible model of “love” for young girls. Not to mention how subservient Bella is to these abusive boys. I am so glad to find out that there are people that agree with me. I found your blog after watching the second movie and feeling that it trivialized domestic violence. Which it does. It’s not OK for your boyfriend to want to kill you or accidentally scar up your face if he gets angry.

    • “It’s not OK for your boyfriend to want to kill you or accidentally scar up your face if he gets angry.”

      I’m amazed that girls have to be told this. Some girls who have been abused, fine. I could understand that. But…millions of girls? All the Twilight fans? They ALL need to be told that a handsome guy wanting to control and kill you is NOT a good thing?

      Sometimes I despair of the human race.

  51. Okay, so I recently read the series less then a month ago and really liked it. Yes, there was awkward phrases and sentences that didn’t go. And yes, I saw the abusive tendencies right away. However, I still enjoyed the series – I was reading it for what it was and putting it into perspective that Edward is not human and is not suppose to have human tendencies.

    Edward is trying to warn her – not threaten her. He struggles with his relationship with her, wanting to be with her and knowing what is best for her (knowing logically its’ not him); there is internal turmoil. I think what is key is when reading the Midnight Sun draft is realizing his goal is to let her choose her own path and that he won’t force anything upon her (yes, the oil part is very creepy and watching her sleep). He questions his own sanity and hers. He specifically talks about how creepy and obsessive he’s become over her. The books clearly talk about how vampires feel everything more enhanced… something to the effect of… how do you compare a tree to a forest? everything is 100x stronger in sensation for him then a human. It is in their nature to be overwhelmed, hence self control being a big deal in all the books in regards to Edward and his behavior.

    I think we need to find a balance of fantasy and reality. There are plenty of non-fiction books for those that want to take everything literally.

    (I am not trying to offend anyone and I know this will anger many folks on here)

    • This isn’t about offence, or anger. You are entitled to your opinion, after all. And you have definitely expressed them in a much more dignified manner than some others on this thread.
      But when the books constantly present that relationship as the paragon of all that is good and perfect and beautiful, as what True Love is supposed to be like – and when young girls take that seriously and expect the same in their own relationships (which happens) – that is when it becomes problematic, to say the least. When the books treat acts like breaking into her house to watch her in her sleep (before they even became a couple!), or dismantling her car so she cannot drive to friends that he does not approve of, as romantic and caring, or *at most* being a teensy bit over-protective, I see that as problematic.
      And personally, I see the ‘feel everything more intensively’ thing as kind of an excuse, more than an actual justification. Why does feeling things intensively mean that he feels a need to control what she does, and make her decisions for her? And speaking of that, how do these actions – things that happen again and again, from him deciding that she is unfit to drive, to him deciding she will go to the prom with him, to, well, a whole lot of other stuff which has been pointed out in this blog – how does this fit in with this proclaimed need to let her choose her own path and such?

      I am not being angry, or attacking you. But I still can’t help but feel that the relationship in the Twilight books is wrong, even within the low standards of romance novels. I can’t help but feel that these books describe a very bad model of love, and that because they are so hugely popular they have become dangerously influencial as well.

  52. The thing that most people still aren’t getting is that this book is fantasy, he is a vampire, so it is in no way comparable to a realistic human relationship. If Edward was a human, yeah I agree. But critizing over a fictional relatioship that has no possibility of ever happening dosne’t make sense to me. In the recent moving Avatar, there was disagreement that the Pandoran people would connect to there animals in the same way they would have sex with another person. The fact of the matter is that no one needs to panic over beastiality or abusive relationships because they are far away in a fictional place, and do not need to be digged into. Pandora and Forks are both a long way away, so please settle down

    • Once again, I feel compelled to explain that what is problematic here (in my eyes anyway, and obviously also in the eyes of the blog’s writer, and a number of the commenters so far) is not the fact that a fiction book is depicting an abusive relationship; it is the fact that this book, which is immensely popular and influencial among young girls, is depicting this relationship as a perfect romantic ideal. Girls end up looking for something like that – and this is not a conjunction, you can see it everywhere, girld proclaiming that they are ‘looking for [their] Edward’, stories of girls who demanded their boyfriend be more Edward-like, etc. So, no matter whether this fictional relationship is between a human and a non-human – those readers are applying it to their own (human, of course) world. This is a problem. And this is what this blog entry tries to address: the fact that this relationship, which the book keeps describing as perfect and which, therefore, young girls learn to recognise as perfect, is not so – it’s abusive.
      I hope I could get my point through. I feel like I am repeating myself, but it’s kind of annoying to hear the ‘it’s only a fictional story’ argument when the whole problem, the whole thing we are talking about, is that people don’t treat it as fiction but apply it to their own life.

    • Here! Here!

    • I agree with Penny. Saying ‘Twilight’ is just a story is side-stepping the real issue. For young people, stories are examples on how to live. They encourage and inspire behaviors and responses to real-life situations. Bella, like most young girls, feels alone and has low self-esteem. Relating to her means young girls will be more likely to follow her example and gravitate toward a man who treats them the way a “soulmate” like Edward would. They wouldn’t acknowledge the abusive traits. And sadly, this is already proven by the girls who defend Edward’s actions toward Bella by explaining away his possessiveness and control as signs of true love.

  53. Trish K. Says:

    I totally and completely agree 100%. I’ve never read the Twilight series, but I have many friends who have, and they’ve described the books to me quite vividly. I’ve never been interested in reading them either, an especially not after they describe these things to me. Although I may just pick up the first book sometime and read for myself just to clarify, but in reading this blog I am already pretty sure what I will find and that I will still agree with you 100% that it is a dangerous, and underhanded description of abuse, disguised as dramatic romance that could harm young girls if taken seriously.

  54. [...] Blogger who did the same thing I’m doing (chapter by chapter, comments and such) – so: The Twilight Saga and Domestic Abuse. As I said, please read that – it’s not a rant by some anti-Twlight troll – [...]

  55. THANK YOU!! Best thing I’ve read in a while. Every time I risk explaining why I don’t like this series, I’m thought to be just contrarian or something. No, I like the Harry Potter books a lot & they are popular, I don’t like this series because it’s more of the same narcissist-aggrandizing garbage.

  56. Danielle Says:

    I haven’t commented yet, but I’m really enjoying reading all of your entries. I have read the books and think they are terrible, Breaking Dawn just about made me cry because I wasted all that time forcing myself to finish it. Worst book I have ever read.

    I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that you wrote this. It is so true that the relationship between Bella and Edward is emotionally abusive and I think it is terrible that teenage girls are reading it and think that Edward is the perfect man and this is the perfect relationship. It makes me sick to think of the expectations this is giving girls of their boyfriends and how screwed up these girls could become.

  57. People,with all due respect, it is just a book. The book is not great literature and I don’t think they should be mandatory reading in schools. However, even though it is not a brilliant novel, I found it silly and entertaining. You are looking at this out of context. Edward is a vampire; he sucks blood out of humans. Bella is a human. Hence, he wants her blood. Granted, his thirst for blood is stronger around Bella, but obviously a vampire (if they actually existed in real life) would kill any human when they were hungry. An abuser will target a specific person or certain people. They don’t target the entire human race!

    Personally, I think Bella was a moron for even considering a relationship with Edward since he is a vampire and directly told her how he wants her blood. However, Bella is a teen girl who fell in love for the first time. Many kids become unhealthily obsessed with their first loves, but they learn to balance their relationship with the rest of their life as time goes on.

    Edward DOES have jerkish tendencies, but he doesn’t fit one key quality of abusers: he ditched Bella in New Moon as an attempt to let her enjoy her human life. He advised her to not become a vampire and give up her humanity for him. Abusers DO NOT give a damn about what their victims would be giving up by being with them nor do they try to escape and give their victims a chance to get over them. Abusers will do anything to make sure their victims can never leave.

    But guess what? Bella is the one who CHOSE to be a vampire even though Edward begged her to reconsider. She wasn’t forced into this way of life and she didn’t listen to Edward. Bella can be stubborn and strong-willed when she wants to be, and when she chooses to be stubborn, not even Edward (her so-called “abuser”) can convince her to do otherwise.

    Furthermore, if your kids are picking up relationship advice from a FANTASY novel, then you have failed your job as a parent. People let their kids watch movies about people brutally killing and raping others, but it’s suddenly going to hinder their child’s development by reading some silly novel about vampires?

    I’ve read all kinds of books that had some pretty twisted relationships that promoted these relationships as being romantic rather than screwed up. Guess what? I’ve been able to figure out very quickly when a guy in real life is the abusive type. When a guy starts showing the first signs of abuse, I break up with him. In contrast, I have friends who have been sheltered all their life from any book or movie that could potentially give them a warped sense of relationships and yet many of these friends are ironically in very abusive relationships, but they can’t recognize it.

    There are elements of Edward and Bella’s relationship that I like, but other parts where I would in the other direction (i.e. Edward watching Bella sleep. Very creepy). However, I take the book for what it is: a silly book to read for fun. There’s nothing deep about it.

    So parents, please teach your kids to distinguish reality from fantasy. They should not be getting relationship advice from books about vampires; you are the ones who should be teaching them. Stop letting the media parent your kids.

    • LOL Anna, LOL. While I do agree with the fact that parents should be talking to their children about the media they consume, instead of letting the computer and TVs babysit them… I cannot stand the argument “its just a book”. Maybe its because it’s just ignorant, or stupid or maybe I’ve just heard that tired excuse one too many times… but it makes me want to smack you upside the head.

      Popular media shapes our culture. People will take their cues from it and saying that its just a book just… completely disregards the effect ALL media has on our society. Songs, movies, books and photos that objectify women, use damaging stereotypes or are racist… Should I not object to revolting imagery of women as objects of sex and nothing else because it’s “just a music video” or “just an ad”? People consistently see that, and think its okay. It’s conditions us. Pop culture influences us! IT DOES! It really, really does and to a scary degree. People see it and emulate it. Its WHAT PEOPLE DO.

      While I wish we lived in a perfect world where people weren’t stupid and lazy and were critical of what they consumed — but they aren’t and they don’t. For every great person who writes an article dissecting the troubling themes of a HUGELY popular and influential teen series, there will be 50 more who blindly obsess over it and wish to emulate it. I cannot count the times I’ve heard “I wish Edward was real” or “I wish I had a boyfriend like Edward”. It’s especially damaging because the audience is so young and impressionable.

      So no. It’s NOT just a book. But I find it funny that you are chastising us for critiquing a book while in the same voice encouraging parents to discuss the themes of the book with their kids. So you want the parents to be objective about the media their children consume, but no one else? LOL OH OKAY

  58. Wow, amazing article. It is now permanently in my favorites to send to obsessed twlighters.

    I find nothing wrong with people liking the books as long as they understand the message that the books are sending to the youth. Quite honestly I liked reading the first book before the hype, but I totally understood the underlying message the novel was sending.

    I have to say that I now totally hate the books, I can’t find anything more upsetting then girls and boys fantasizing about Bella’s and Edward’s relationship.

    If anything women aspiring to be with an ‘Edward Cullen’ puts the feminist revolution back quite a few steps, because as i under stood it we fought for the rights to feel safe, make our own choices. None of which an relationship with an Edward Cullen would provide.

  59. I went to this dark side. And they had no cookies.

    This series…is so ridiculous it hurts.

    Here’s a question. Eddie boy was turned when he was 17, correct?

    Y’all remember Interview with a vampire? THe little child that got turned? Being a 9 year old girl forever made her kinda batshit crazy.

    A 17 year old boy is naturally hormone driven and just about useless for cognitive thought out side of “omg boobs!”

    Edwards will be 17 until he dies. His brain is going to forever be stuck at a 17 year old’s level, no matter how much he learns or sees.

    He will always be a pretty, sparkly little boy…a fancy poncey veggie vamp (dirty hippie!).

    Give me a series with GROWN characters, with MEN, not little boys. The Southern Vampire Mysteries, for example. and the True Blood tv series based on it. Now there are some prime examples of What Not To Date!

    Bill Compton seduces Sookie Stack house because he was ordered to. Not because he cared about her. She learns this…and she drops his ass like a ton of bricks.

    Eric Northman seduces Sookie…because he likes the challenge of a telepath…because he is an infinitely curious viking, and because he’s a man. He thinks she’s sexym alluring, because she’s so naive and fragile, and yet, at the same time, stands up for the beliefs her Gran taught her.

    Anyway, back to Twatlight. Anyone else think this series was a Mormon take on a combination of Buffy, Lestat, and the movie Aliens? (srsbsns. Renesme is a face hugger alien voodoobaby)

    To be honest and serious now, though. Twilight does showcase abuse and male dominance. Bella is weak…truly a Mina. Edward is portrayed to those who like the series as an emotionally scarred, conflicted boy who wants what he can’t have and tries to protect what isn’t his.

    It’s so backwards and twisted around…I’m confusing myself trying to make my point now.

    If girls and women want to read stories about women in unhealthy relationships, at least read something that makes sense, like the Kushiel’s Legacy, or the Axis Trilogy. Or anything by Amelia Atwater Rhodes (childrens vampire stories- written by a then 15 year old girl…very good)

    As a woman who has been around the literary bend a few times, there are better characters in better stories to obsess over than the useless ones in twilight.

    Anyone for Team Bill Compton? No? I didn’t think so.

  60. This is a wonderful essay! The Twilight phenomenon has long bugged me, in part because of something it shares with most modern fantasy: letting dark supernatural forces have everything their own way, while God is handcuffed and gagged. But you have articulated another important reason why the Twilight series is sick-oh. If you feel up to reading a slightly wacky spoof, I have written one, in which fanciful superheroes counteract not only sexy vampires, but the WORSHIP OF sexy vampires.

    http://www.narniafans.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25555

  61. Romance Otaku Says:

    Bull; you just read it. All this is is a publicity stunt for this blogger. You guys fell for it. Have you ever heard of a submissive relationship? There are people in this world that actually like that. It doesn’t mean that Edward is evil. Now, arguing about whether or not Twilight was good is a whole other story… but that’s not the point.

  62. [...] the Twilight blog Yes, I Read It; It’s Still Stupid featuring “Extra Credit: The Twilight Saga and Domestic Abuse”. Worth a [...]

  63. Thank you for a brilliant article. It was very useful in my writing of a Masters level uni-essay on domestic abuse in Twilight, which I’ve linked to below. When cutting out words, I had to remove the part that explicitly gave you credit for phrasing and forming some of the key points so well and so accurately, but if this essay ever gets published, I will be sure to credit this blog as part of the foundation for my essay.

    Most people know that Twilight is bad, but so few people know just how bad it is.

    Link to essay: http://eternallydisputed.com/site/index.php?page=news&type=view&id=omniroth%2Fromancing_bruises

  64. Thank you for writing this.
    The abusive relationship between Bella and Edward is something that is grossly ignored by its fans.
    I wish I could articulate my thoughts on how much the people who enjoy this book series need to understand how bad it really is…

  65. (I feel a bit stupid for commenting on an old post, but…) This is a great essay. Even if Twilight had been written better, I doubt it would have appealed to me (romance is not my cup of tea). Unfortunately, it was SO FREAKING UBIQUITOUS that I eventually gave in to curiosity and borrowed a copy. I wish I hadn’t. That was 400+ pages of my life I’ll never get back…

    But the real problem with it is not that it’s badly written, boring, and effing creepy – the problem is, as you say, that the relationship between Bella and Edward is portrayed as good and desirable. And that people accept that! I’ve read things that portray creepy relationships, but it has always been made clear by the writing that “this relationship is wrong” or “this person is a horrible person”. It’s the complete opposite in Twilight, and that baffles me. I don’t normally say this because I read all sorts of age-inappropriate books, but: Parents should not want their kids reading this!

    I maintain that Twilight could have been great if it were written with a liberal dose of humor and self-deprecation. In fact, if you just read it like it’s making fun of itself, it becomes a bit more bearable. I almost wish I had a copy so that I could have a go at rewriting it. (If Smeyer can get published, I can too, right?) But then again, I don’t want to be seen within 50 feet of the thing. I’m not sure I could forgive myself for owning it, even if it were just for mockery.

  66. Great article. From the beginning Edward being 100 and bella being 17 freaked me out, and then it just got progressively worse. I mean imagine that a 60 year old man was doing all the stuff Edward does, creeping into her room etc. It’s like people think that being attractive makes his behaviour ok.

    Also these abusive men with no self control warning their vicims beforehand about how strong they are etc, so that the victim feels like it’s her fault if she is hurt, is classic psychological abuse. And the victims in Twilight always stay with their men. You could easily replace werewolf or vampire with abusive alcholic.

    To contrast it with the Buffy/Angel relationship wich had a similar creepy age difference, both of them were very independent and Buffy had her priorities straight. Angel never bullied her or kidnapped her for her own good. She also never wanted to become a vampire becuse she was secure in her own life. She had a social life and a job and was portrayed as his equal. And Angel only ever crept into Buffy’s room to watch her sleep after he had turned evil. She also got over that breakup without jumping off a cliff.

  67. I myself was in an abusive relationship. Grant that it does have similarities in the book as to point towards that type of relationship, but it is not intended to be taken in that context. I still like the books and the movies and considering this is a fiction story it shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

  68. I personally cannot stand the “it’s just fiction, so you shouldn’t take it seriously” argument.

    People have never had any trouble looking for deeper meaning and life lessons from great literature, or in researching how negative messages in fictional advertisements (e.g. for beauty products) can and do severely affect and change the personalities and behaviour of the people that watch them, whether they are aware of it or not. Yet as soon as someone says they think a work of fiction is less than perfect in any way, or that maybe it could be having any kind of negative effect on anyone, someone else instantly responds with ‘but it’s only fiction, why are you taking it seriously?’

    But ignoring this ultimate irony, permit me to explain *why*, in Twilight’s case, it is not only lazy, but dangerous, to pretend that no-one would ever take it seriously.

    First and foremost, this is currently the most popular young adult romance in the world, with over 100 million books sold and over $1.7 trillion in ticket sales and counting. And the majority of those sales are coming from Twilight’s explicit target audience – young adults.

    Now, as a gamer, I’m usually the very last person to say that young people are incapable of differentiating fiction and reality. But *what* 13- to 19-year-old girl definitively knows *exactly* how a normal boyfriend should act, how she should be treated by him, what she should let him do and what she should and shouldn’t accept as normal? In the complex area of relationships, I personally believe that all of us, especially young adults, are still learning, and so are looking for answers and are thus very, very impressionable to anything that could tell them what is normal for a relationship. Yet here we have the most popular young adult romance in the world claiming that if your boyfriend humiliates, threatens, isolates, controls, degrades and hurts you, not only is it all your fault, it’s ‘perfect,’ and you don’t deserve even that.

    And here you are saying “it’s just fiction, what’s the harm?”

  69. Fantastic article! Not sure if this was also addressed in the comments, but the case of emotional manipulation and abuse becomes disturbingly prevalent and more obvious as the series goes on. If you are familiar with the werewolf “Imprinting” thing Meyer made up, wherein a male werewolf will “imprint” on any random woman and she is deemed his “soul mate” (by the way, did I mention she has virtually no choice in the matter). This is especially disgusting and disturbing in the case of Leah and Emily Clearwater, where one of the werewolves is initially in love with Leah, imprints on her sister Emily, ditches Leah, and, when rejected by Emily, brutally attacks and scars her face. Then, of course, he comes to see her in the hospital and they “fall in love”. If that’s not some evil s***, I don’t know what is….

  70. I think perhaps people are taking a BOOK too far. Treating this book like it’s the only one capable of sparking so much “negativity to teens.” Reality is, the number of blumbering idiots is not as high as people think. They just happen to show face more. Teens were not having it shoved down their throats. They had to like it to want to suggest it and it got POPULAR. No one forced these people. Never mind the fact that adults read it as well

    I think people are forgetting what books are all about. It’s reading a story. a fantasy [or reading for information in reference books]. I don’t like Twilight because my literary standards are too high. Having been through several types of abuse I can some what see what you are talking about, but it’s instantly nullified by the fact that I’ve seen anti-Twilight fans being ten times MORE abusive than the people who read the “abusive” fiction novel.

    It’s FICTION. If you can’t make a distinction, then perhaps it’s a personal problem.

  71. Jessamine Diane Says:

    ‘He also seems to think that if she kisses him too hard and he eats her, that’s going to be her fault as well.’

    Wha….?!

    ———————————

    On the article as a whole though, I agree. This is disgusting. Girls will grow up thinking that this sort of relationship os okay, healthy and sweet when it isn’t. Where have all the decent role-models for young women gone? WHERE?

  72. @David

    David, the reason these books are so insanely popular (particularly amongst young/teenage girls) is that they find the relationship between Bella and Edward (and various other relationships in the novels) to be romantic, when in fact many, many of the instances in their relationship are textbook forms of psychological/emotional/mental abuse. Now, perhaps you are speaking as a person who has never been on the receiving end of that and thus just does not realize how harmful it can be to girls that start thinking the kind of behaviour exhibited in the book is okay in everyday relationships, which, considering that they find the book ROMANTIC, lends itself to that argument.

    • It’s easy to think that is what romance is. But lets not forget, they have us read Romeo and Juliet [which calls double suicide romantic] and the Scarlet Letter, which sees hiding sins for your man so HE doesn’t get in trouble as romantic. IN SCHOOL. TV does this to kids as well. Movies do this to kids. Books do this to kids. Twilight is not a special case. No matter how much you people would like to think it is. I know what abuse looks like, I know what it feels like. Twilight isn’t the problem. People are the problem. Yes, blame the idiot teens for thinking their love story is beautiful, but lets just forget about how if they’re ever abused it’s not THEIR fault. It’s the one abusing them at fault.

  73. @David

    I appreciate that you are saying Twilight is not an isolated incident, but why should that excuse it from this kind of attention anyway? It may be one of many, but that does not mean the issues presented shouldn’t be discussed or brought to light. If this article can change the mind of even one person about what should constitute a good or bad relationship, then it is worth it. To do nothing at all is really the more pointless action. And I do understand that abuse can be a two-sided road, as you have to allow it for the abuser to get away with it. But you must also be able to recognize it. Many people will not read Twilight, but many will also not read Romeo and Juliet. Would you be posing a similar argument if this article had to do with the negative themes of Romeo and Juliet instead of Twilight? Your issues seem to stem from the chosen example rather than the underlying issue…

    • Probably because the underlying issues is that people fail to understand that Twilight highlights VAMPIRES. Notorious for being less than…well…HUMAN. If people can’t relate that fact, then they’re idiots to begin with. This article pats asses of people who hate Twilight. I doubt anyone learned anything they haven’t seen EVERYwhere else.

      • I apologize for the long reply, but here I am responding to your last three posts David, and all the problems therein, and the logic holes that keep appearing the more you continue.

        First you said that we should not judge Twilight fans because of their fanatics, then said we should alternatively condemn anti-Twilight fans because of their fanatics. Then you said that we are all bad for blaming the victims’ of abuse, then said that anyone who can’t tell that vampires are less than human (say, a teenager who sees a romantic (abusive hero), as romantic, and falls victim of abuse herself), is an idiot. You then say that vampires are presented as less than human.

        You seem to be completely ignoring centuries of literature holding up vampires are not less than human, but more. They are physically stronger, faster, and women cannot resist their charm, their charisma, their allure. They, attractively and romantically speaking, held up in fiction as MORE than human, not less. This is the case in Twilight as well, where the ROMANTIC HERO (Edward/Jacob), and his relationship with the reader-insurgent ‘character’ Bella, are held up as ultimately romantic, a perfect romance, a perfect relationship. Perfect abuse.

        Abuse is very, very common in our society, and is statistically seen as normal (don’t believe me, then spend just two minutes reading my essay on the figures – http://eternallydisputed.com/site/index.php?page=news&type=view&id=omniroth%2Fromancing_bruises).

        But, as you keep saying, it’s fiction, so why take it seriously. I can think of three reasons: political satire, beauty advertisements, and propaganda. These are all fiction too, and would you have us believe that no-one ever took them seriously. That 1984, unhealthily thin models, and racist propaganda have never effected people, never changed the way thousands of people saw the world for the worse, never?

        Fiction effects people, in deep and permanent ways, especially when it concerns subject we do not know enough about ourselves. And NOW we have a situation where a teenager is very likely to hear of Twilight from their friends, teachers, and parents (yes, adults do read it too; no, that does not make it better), as well as the media, the majority of these trusted sources all telling the teenager that this book is good – that this Young Adult Romance is actually romantic, that it represents an idealized, real world romance, and that Edward and Bella have a perfectly dreamy, romantic relationship, the kind Bella, or anyone, should be grateful for.

        Here, domestic abuse is being held up as a perfect ideal, the kind of thing the reader can only dream of experiencing. And a teenage reader is hearing this, after being told its good from people they trust, and all while they are learning about relationships and lack the life experience to know exactly what a normal relationship is. And here the fiction says, not only is domestic abuse normal, it’s perfect. And that too, has an effect, one that should not be ignored merely because it is the latest example.

        ‘All that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.’ Many great men have said that. So what, David, do you suggest we do?

        But then, it is likely that none of this is getting through to you, is it? You are already calling everyone here idiots, declaring this article to be worthless, and that we’re all stupid if we can’t understand your logic. What a drastic change from just two posts ago – as soon as someone started trying to have a logical discussion with you, you very quickly got hyper-defensive through sudden aggression and abuse. You’re not helping your case here, as that is exactly the same behaviour seen in someone who is panicking, because they subconsciously know they are losing, and cannot think of a reasonable rebuttal, so they start slinging abuse.

        If you are able to calm yourself, and return to a logical discussion, I urge you to do so, as amidst it all you make some interesting points. Either that, or declare me an idiot, and prove yourself without rebuttal. Your choice.

  74. @Omniroth

    Wow, fantastically interesting (and accurate) reply. You pretty much said everything I wanted to articulate, only better. I will definitely have to take a look at that essay of yours.

    • Thank you very much. Unfortunately I’ve dedicated a bit too much time into researching this recently, as once I discovered that Twilight wasn’t just a little bad, but completely abhorrent, I just couldn’t stop myself researching how and why (I have never even considered burning books until now). But then someone commented above (or it may have been in another thread) that they are currently doing their Doctoral thesis on Twilight, so that beats me hands down.

  75. You know, as much as I enjoy reading your blog for the laughs, it’s really making me realize that just how abusive the horrible relationship I just got out of was.
    Really, the first sign I should have noticed was that he forced me to read Twilight.
    Unfortunately since I was 15, I thought it was some sort of romantic gesture. And when I saw so many similarities between him and Edward…that should have also been a clue. But again, romance and all of that.
    3 years of emotional abuse later, the bastard got bored with me and found a new toy, so he’s finally gone from my life. Damage done and all.
    In a way, it really is my own fault. If I was too stupid to notice, then well, I walked right into that.

    I do want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on these horrid books, in addition to the entertainment value, the abuse parallels being pointed out are helping me a lot.

  76. @Corinne

    Ignorance does not make you at fault. Now that you recognize the signs, however, you will be better equipped if someone tries to pull that shit again….

  77. ok people i am twilight fan but i also agree with you edward does come off as an abusive a** hole but he is not the reason i like the books bella is i think that the whole story is based on her finding her self as was stated in the end of the eclipse movie not so much the book its about who she should be and who she is and the story is about her over coming it all for god sakes she saves all of them at the end of breaking dawn she becomes stronger than all of them put together thats what i think should be remembered in the end she over came the abuse and stood up for her self and he gave in we even started to see this towards the end of eclipse when he stops with the hissy fits about her going to see jacob in the end all he wanted was for her to be safe and i think that she should be remembered for the fact that she beat the abuse not let it over run her in every way so i do and dont believe how you see the twilight books but thats the point isnt it if we all thought the same way we would be completly boaring maybe i just see the world diffrently and to be honest i like it that way i woudl rather think for myself and i love this pages books as well i like to see the strong women as well as the weak it gives us more than one way to think of strong women some are born strong and some have to learn to be strong but in the end we are all strong in our own way and that is what needs to be taught

    • It might be because I haven’t had my coffee yet, but I found it incredibly hard to even get to the end of your reply; yes, I understand you are [probably] an impatient teenager and write as you are thinking the words, but that makes it very hard for others to follow you. Don’t do that, please. Yes, E.E. Cummings wrote like that, but you are not E.E. Cummings. So when you are trying to communicate your opinion, please remember that you first need to actually *communicate* – capitalization, and most importantly punctuation, are necessary.

    • There is a flaw to your argument, I’m afraid. Your argument is the old ‘the love of a good woman made the bad man turn good’ one, and it almost never happens in real life. It makes women settle for men who abuse them, in the hope that their true love will make the man want to change. This does not make Bella a strong woman and role model; it makes her a very dangerous one.

  78. QuinSeparable Says:

    THANK YOU! This is exactly the reason why I refuse to read that trash!! I’ve been in this type of relationship before. If this were a novel about abuse and IDENTIFYING it rather than promoting it as a “model romance” maybe then I would read it.

    Thank you! You are truly amazing!

  79. [...] think this blogger put it best: I know I make light of this a lot, but I wanted to break it down, point by point. From [...]

  80. panwarelal Says:

    I love your post. It finally gives me a valid reason to hate the book. You presented a point that not many see……Anyways i hate the book…Twilight sucks in a kind of way hard to explain.

  81. opheliajasmin Says:

    I just posted on this too! I’d love to enjoy the book as light entertainment, but it just gives me the heebie-jeebies too often. I love very dark Gothic fiction, but Stephanie Meyer’s books really stand out for the ways they romanticise violence and co-dependency. It’s not just the violence of men against women (which is the main problem, yes) – Bella’s successful method of attempting suicide to get Edward back is just another example of the … weirdness. I’m off to read Poppy Z Brite, because at least she doesn’t make it pretty.

  82. Mia-Carole Says:

    Dude, this is SO true. I used to like Twilight, but when I looked the books over again, I saw the same pattern!

  83. Shancock Says:

    Thank you, so much for this.

  84. No Edward is by far not an emotional batterer. He does not hurt Bella physically or emotionally! He makes sure she has the choices. He doesn’t force her to do anything against her will. He never controls her. He even tries to push her away.Because he really loves her and doesn’t want her to get hurt. She loves him so much she doesn’t want to leave him. She trusts him. When she does get hurt it is not his fault really, not intentionally! She really justs wants to be with him, she says she feels safe with him because he does protect her and he is so careful to not hurt her.And he does let her have her friends, but she is kind of a loner and she chooses to be with her love! in twilight he’s afraid to get to close to her, but in eclipse there was a lot of hugging and cuddling. He does not tell her what to do. He does think of her as an equal, he just doesn’t want her to get hurt. He doesn’t want her to be a vampire, she wants it because of her strong love for him. they don’t have sex until their wedding night because he wants to do the right thing! Edward just really loves Bella and wants her to be safe so he takes care of her. He is so gentle with her. And he does not take her friends away. He lets her be free, but she wants to be close to him. Read the books again. your trying to drag down a gentle, caring, and loving character. I see through you. Your not gonna hurt Twilight! there in no threat of violence if she open mouth kisses him. he’s afraid to lose control as a vampire and hurt her! I still totally love Twilight! It is a work of fiction remember! He is a vampire so it isn’t a typical love story. He does those things because Bella is his true first love and he a vampire. He’s not quite sure how to act around someone he finally finds and is his real true first love that he knows he wants to be with her forever. in what he does he thinks it is right. He is not hurting her intentionally. He just wants to protect her. He does not want to get her hurt. as for the prom she does know ahead of schedule. and he just wants her to go to college not to miss out on anything and same for prom! Why can’t you leave Twilight alone? He thinks hes helping her and he is trying.i saw twilight more than once i really never saw what you were talking about in the movies. you must of taken note on every little thing he did. Oh well i truly loved the movies! You must want to hurt us fans.i’m a little older and i know this a movie, a great movie at that, so i’m gonna ignore you all!

    • * sigh *
      My goodness, where to start? Well, maybe here, back when I still had the energy to try to make replies: http://vampirely.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/extra-credit-the-twilight-saga-and-domestic-abuse/#comment-5266
      Although of course, since you declared that you’re just going to ignore us all, there’s probably not much point in it. Ah well.

      • Claire-a-bella Says:

        First, let me preface my post with my history with Twilight….

        When I started hearing of this series a few years back, I couldn’t imagine the appeal or allure that a series written for a teen audience, based on vampires, could possibly have. As it would be, however, many of my friends (who are not only 30 and 40 something women, but wives, mothers, and professionals) had both read and revered the series. When the most recent movie came out, I just so happened to be on a week off of work. I ordered Twilight for my Kindle on a Tuesday. Nine days later, I read the final page of Breaking Dawn. I found the books riveting, not so much in the literary aspect (I will freely admit that the writing is less than stellar), but in terms of the astounding love story between Edward and Bella. For two individuals to risk everything, including their families and their own lives, to carry on a love affair that truly transcends eternity is illustrious. For it to be done in the context of a book that also uses almost no offensive language, maintains a core value of marriage before sex and promotes a prolife attitude is virtually unheard of in modern literature. As an individual with a master’s degree in literacy, I took the books as a quick sort of beach read that happened to be a magnificent love story.
        Having said this, I was slightly taken aback at the barrage of comments regarding the “abusive relationship” between Edward and Bella. And no, I am not a victim of domestic violence, just for the record, nor am I in denial that I am a victim of domestic violence……
        Again, while on another week off of work for the holidays, I perused this sight and read the posts. With the slight exception of Edward being slightly stalker-esque (though what else is he going to do all night, considering he doesn’t sleep), I absolutely did not interpret the books in the same way. For each argument supporting the domestic violence interpretation, there is most certainly a counterargument that can be easily made. Here I briefly provide some of those argument, just for your consideration:

        1.Dominance – Yes, Edward is dominant. He is IMMORTAL. WIth the exception of the Volturi, other vampires, and shape shifters, nothing can harm him. Bella, on the other hand, is MORTAL. Anything – illness, injury, etc. – can harm or kill her in an instant. Edward did not dominate Bella in the traditional sense of abusive relationships. Quite simply, there were just times when he knew better and expected her to trust his judgement. The rules on physical conduct were because, as a “vegetarian vampire”, not harming humans is foremost in the Cullen’s mind, though totally against their nature. Edward’s fears of harming Bella were the cause of those rules, not a desire to “put her in her place”. As for the driving….He’s a better driver, has a better car, 100 years of driving experience, and can go faster than any mortal without harm. Let it be.
        2.Humiliation – Edward did not humiliate Bella. He was trying to make it clear to her that, despite his love for her and hers for him, their relationship was dangerous for her. His fear of unintentionally harming her, the danger of other vampires, the lack of control on the part of his brother Jasper; all of those things were a danger to Bella. He wanted her to know that, to understand that, which is why he constantly reminded her of the possible consequences of her choices. Edward was not trying to make Bella feel bad about herself. Quite the contrary, if you’ve read “Midnight Sun”, he was amazed by her humanity and how she was so unlike all the others. Yes, Bella had low self-esteem, but she had that long before Edward came into the picture. As stated at the end of “Eclipse” she’d always felt different, out of sync, and in the vampire world she finally felt as though she belonged and her confidence actually grew as the series progressed.
        3.Isolation – The only one Edward truly tried to isolate Bella from was Jacob. As clearly evidenced by the scars on Emily’s face from just a fractional second of a loss of control by Sam, shapeshifters are just as dangerous as vampires and Edward was trying to protect Bella from that. When Bella realized that she truly was also in love with Jacob, however, Edward let her make the choice. If she had chosen Jacob, Edward would have let her go, knowing that Jacob could give her the normalcy of a human life and human love that Edward could not provide. To love someone so much that you’d let them go so that they could live their life in the intended manner is far from abusive. Edward never tried to stop Bella from having outside friends, and especially wanted to foster the relationship between Bella and Angela. He also respected Bella’s relationship with her parents, and wanted her to remain human so she could maintain those ties. And not once did Edward EVER try to convince Bella to become a vampire. Quite the opposite, he bartered and bargained with all of his might to keep her mortal so she could live a normal life, one that he hadn’t the chance to experience. It was only when her option was death or eternity that he finally gave in. Not because he could isolate her, but because he couldn’t live without her. If you haven’t ever felt that way about your partner, you shouldn’t be with them.
        4.Threats-Edward never threatended Bella’s life. He simply was brutally honest with her about the possiblity that, should he lose control, he could kill her. Yes, Edward wanted to kill Bella the first time he saw her. That’s blatant in “Midnight Sun”. Her scent was so strong to him that he almost couldn’t resist it. But he did. True abusers don’t. And of course, at times Bella gets hurt. However, the injuries that come to her at the hands of James’ attempt to kill her and her party are nothing compared to what could have been had Edward not intervened. Airbags are designed to stop you from dying in a car accident, but they can break bones and cause harm too……And Bella’s excuses? Well, to expose the Cullens for what they are would mean certain intervention from the Volturi, and death for them all. She loves the Cullens, and would never bring them harm in any way. In reverse, of couse Edward wanted to bring harm to the men who were planning to rape and possibly kill Bella in Port Angeles. That is a distinctly human reaction, and not an uncommon scenario for the lovers or parents of violence victims. For him to not feel that way would make him a monster.
        5.Intimidation-Edward was not trying to intimidate Bella. He was trying to inform her, to show her clear proof of the danger he could be. He wasn’t showing her his strength and power to control her. He was doing it to help her see why she just shouldn’t love him. It wasn’t a power move, it was just a reality. It was a reality that never once frightened her, because, as she states multiple times towards the end of the series, she was born to be a vampire.
        6.Denial and blame- Probably a dozen times or more throughout the series, Edward states that he would never forgive himself if something terrible happened to Bella. That’s why, in New Moon, he left. To allow her normalcy and freedom from the harm that could come to her in his world. He never blamed her for the things that happened – he always took the blame upon himself, and tried to push her away from him, despite their deep, requited love for one another. Edward always put Bella’s good before his own, even when he chose to be with her, because her love for him made her complete. And his love for her, as time progressed, made him so much more human.

        In abusive relationships, the individuals don’t grow. They regress. Both Bella and Edward grew throughout the series, Bella so much that by the end she was amazing everyone with her grace, her strength, and her beauty. If the relationship between Edward and Bella was abusive, she would have become weaker and more helpless. Quite the opposite, she became strong and independent, because she finally was in form as she was meant to be.

    • I do feel the need to add, for some reason, that I am fascinated by how the writing seems to deteriorate throughout the reply, both in form (the last few sentences suddenly start missing capitalization and some punctuation, for example) and in the level of the argument (from actually trying to refute the claims, however weakly, to ‘You must want to hurt us fans’). It’s like a study in the effects of teenage sentiments on writing quality.

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  87. serpentlady Says:

    After having spent the last. . . 2 hours reading this article and all the accompanying posts and replies, a thought has finished percolating in the back of my brain.

    Not only is Bella a victim of abuse in addition to her other “personal qualities”, she is a junkie. At one point, Edward descibes her as his “own personal heroin”, when in fact, just the opposite is true.

    After having “discovered” her drug of choice, she makes massive lifestyle changes (issolating herself from potentially disapproving friends, hanging out with those associated with her addiction, maximizing her drug exposure, etc), her behaviour become erratic (she manipulates those arround her including her father, Jacob, even Edward himself, she becomes a chronic liar, she needs to hide her addiction and deflect attention from her relationship), once Edward leaves she goes through classic symptoms of withdrawal (physical pain, cravings, mania, depression, etc), until she eventually overdoses (becomes a vampire herself).

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the so called “dependence” she displays in the relationship sounds more like a physical dependence than a psycho-social or emotional one.

    • Having known a recovering drug addict, I can’t believe I never noticed how obvious that was O_O Spot-on, actually.

  88. Claire-a-bella Says:

    First, let me preface my post with my history with Twilight….

    When I started hearing of this series a few years back, I couldn’t imagine the appeal or allure that a series written for a teen audience, based on vampires, could possibly have. As it would be, however, many of my friends (who are not only 30 and 40 something women, but wives, mothers, and professionals) had both read and revered the series. When the most recent movie came out, I just so happened to be on a week off of work. I ordered Twilight for my Kindle on a Tuesday. Nine days later, I read the final page of Breaking Dawn. I found the books riveting, not so much in the literary aspect, but in terms of the astounding love story between Edward and Bella. For two individuals to risk everything, including their families and their own lives, to carry on a love affair that truly transcends eternity is illustrious. For it to be done in the context of a book that also uses virtually no offensive language, maintains a core value of marriage before sex and promotes a prolife attitude is virtually unheard of in modern literature. As an individual with a master’s degree in literacy, I took the books as a quick sort of beach read that happened to be a magnificent love story.
    Having said this, I was slightly taken aback at the barrage of comments regarding the “abusive relationship” between Edward and Bella. And no, I am not a victim of domestic violence, just for the record, nor am I in denial that I am a victim of domestic violence……
    Again, while on another week off of work for the holidays, I perused this sight and read the posts. With the slight exception of Edward being slightly stalker-esque (though what else is he going to do all night, considering he doesn’t sleep), I absolutely did not interpret the books in the same way. For each argument supporting the domestic violence interpretation, there is most certainly a counterargument that can be easily made. Here I briefly provide some of those argument, just for your consideration:

    1.Dominance – Yes, Edward is dominant. He is IMMORTAL. WIth the exception of the Volturi, other vampires, and shape shifters, nothing can harm him. Bella, on the other hand, is MORTAL. Anything – illness, injury, etc. can harm or kill her in an instant. Edward did not dominate Bella in the traditional sense of abusive relationships. Quite simply, there were just times when he knew better and expected her to trust his judgement. The rules on physical conduct were because, as a “vegetarian vampire”, not harming humans is foremost in the Cullen’s mind, though totally against their nature. Edward’s fears of harming Bella were the cause of those rules, not a desire to “put her in her place”. As for the driving….He’s a better driver, has a better car, 100 years of driving experience, and can go faster than any mortal without harm. Let it be.
    2.Humiliation – Edward did not humiliate Bella. He was trying to make it clear to her that, despite his love for her and hers for him, their relationship was dangerous for her. His fear of unintentionally harming her, the danger of other vampires, the lack of control on the part of his brother Jasper; all of those things were a danger to Bella. He wanted her to know that, to understand that, which is why he constantly reminded her of the possible consequences of her choices. Edward was not trying to make Bella feel bad about herself. Quite the contrary, if you’ve read “Midnight Sun”, he was amazed by her humanity and how she was so unlike all the others. Y0es, Bella had low self-esteem, but she had that long before Edward came into the picture. As stated at the end of “Eclipse” she’d always felt different, out of sync, and in the vampire world she finally felt as though she belonged and her confidence actually grew as the series progressed.
    3.Isolation – The only one Edward truly tried to isolate Bella from was Jacob. As clearly evidenced by the scars on Emily’s face from just a fractional second of a loss of control by Sam, shapeshifters are just as dangerous as vampires and Edward was trying to protect Bella from that. When Bella realized that she truly was also in love with Jacob, however, Edward let her make the choice. If she had chosen Jacob, Edward would have let her go, knowing that Jacob could give her the normalcy of a human life and human love that Edward could not provide. TO love someone so much that you’d let them go so that they could live their life in the intended manner is far from abusive. Edward never tried to stop Bella from having outside friends, and especially wanted to foster the relationship between Bella and Angela. He also respected Bella’s relationship with her parents, and wanted her to remain human so she could maintain those ties. And not once did Edward EVER try to convince Bella to become a vampire. Quite the opposite, he bartered and bargained with all of his might to keep her mortal so she could live a normal life, one that he hadn’t the chance to experience. It was only when her option was death or eternity that he finally gave in. Not because he could isolate her, but because he couldn’t live without her. If you haven’t ever felt that way about your partner, you shouldn’t be with them.
    4.Threats-Edward never threatended Bella’s life. He simply was brutally honest with her about the possiblity that, should he lose control, he could kill her. Yes, Edward wanted to kill Bella the first time he saw her. That’s blatant in “Midnight Sun”. Her scent was so strong to him that he almost couldn’t resist it. But he did. True abusers don’t. And of course, at times Bella gets hurt. However, the injuries that come to her at the hands of James’ attempt to kill her and her party are nothing compared to what could have been had Edward not intervened. Airbags are designed to stop you from dying in a car accident, but they can break bones and cause harm too……And Bella’s excuses? Well, to expose the Cullens for what they are would mean certain intervention from the Volturi, and death for them all. She loves the Cullens, and would never bring them harm in any way. In reverse, of couse Edward wanted to bring harm to the men who were planning to rape and possibly kill Bella in Port Angeles. That is a distinctly human reaction, and not an uncommon scenario for the lovers or parents of violence victims. For him to not feel that way would make him a monster.
    5.Intimidation-Edward was not trying to intimidate Bella. He was trying to inform her, to show her clear proof of the danger he could be. He wasn’t showing her his strength and power to control her. He was doing it to help her see why she just shouldn’t love him. It wasn’t a power move, it was just a reality. It was a reality that never once frightened her, because, as she states multiple times towards the end of the series, she was born to be a vampire.
    6.Denial and blame- Probably a dozen times or more throughout the series, Edward states that he would never forgive himself if something terribly happened to Bella. That’s why, in New Moon, he left. To allow her normalcy and freedom from the harm that could come to her in his world. He never blamed her for the things that happened – he always took the blame upon himself, and tried to push her away from him, despite their deep, requited love for one another. Edward always put Bella’s good before his own, even when he chose to be with her, because her love for him made her complete. And his love for her, as time progressed, made him so much more human.

    In abusive relationships, the individuals don’t grow. They regress. Both Bella and Edward grew throughout the series, Bella so much that by the end she was amazing everyone with her grace, her strength, and her beauty. If the relationship between Edward and Bella was abusive, she would have become weaker and more helpless. Quite the opposite, she became strong and independent, because she finally was in form as she was meant to be.

    • Poor poor Claire-a-bella. Bella didn’t grow, she died if you haven’t noticed. You can’t amaze anyone with your beauty for very long if you are aging, my dear. I understand the allure of escaping your 40-somethings and regretting the choices already made that cannot be undone. Seeking “values” in the trash is hardly the answer. Break the spell, come into the real world!

      • Claire-a-bella Says:

        Andrea, I’m not seeking values in the Twilight Series. If I were, I’d have some serious issues. The point that I’m trying to make is that there are always two sides to a coin. The coin is exactly the same whether it’s heads or tails, but the way we see that coin can be vastly different. Your assumption that I enjoy the series because I’m a 40 something who regrets the choices I’ve made in my life is quite interesting. Actually, I’m in my early 30s, I have a great husband, gorgeous kids, a job that I both love and that I am very good at, a beautiful home, and more than enough money to support my family quite comfortably. I don’t regret any of my choices because they’ve brought me to a wonderful place. Perhaps my view of Twilight comes from the fact that I am happy, so I’m not trying to “escape” my reality and make more meaning from the series than I feel was actually intended by the author. SImply, I thought the whole storyline was fascinating and I enjoyed it. Period. But, as I love a good discussion now and then, I felt the need to offer counterarguments to all of the individuals on this thread who don’t see Twilight as I do. You are quite entitled to your opinion, as am I to mine. I live quite firmly in the real world. In the real world, there are women who die everyday in the pursuit of motherhood (as did Bella – forgive her for being pro-life). In the real world, people seek values in “trash” everyday, following the words of politicians as if they are actually the truth (as you have accused me of doing through Twilight). In the real world, people don’t view a book about teenage vampires as gospel or as a societal pariah (as apparently you do….). And in the real world, intelligent people realize that differing viewpoints are progressive, not closeminded (as are all people who refuse to believe that there can be two views of the exact same issue). I loved the Twilight series, you hated it. Fine. We can agree to disagree.

      • Dude, seriously. I disagree with her too, but if you’re going to present an argument, do it in a less pretentious, arrogant way. You open with “Poor, poor CLaire-A-Belle”…I’m actually surprised her answer back wasn’t hostile.

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  90. Anonymous Retard Says:

    Actually, Smeyer is part of a religion that supports domestic abuse, and wrote the book as a way to teach young girls how they should act around their boyfriends and lovers.

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  92. anonymous BenxAngela fangirl Says:

    This raises several good points, but I feel it my duty to point out that Bella wasn’t just friends with Alice, she was also friends with Ben and Angela.

    Sorry to be such a nerd, but they’re my favourite characters and they always get overlooked. Angela and Ben should be the modal romance in this book, not Bella and Edward.

    • H. Savinien Says:

      They get overlooked because Bella herself doesn’t pay much attention to them. They rarely interact with her for long the farther the series progresses and the more obsessed Bella becomes with the Cullens.

      They’re much more likable characters than the leads.

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