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The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

I think I figured out why I don’t “get” TWILIGHT

November18

I love vampires so hard, guys. I really do. I’ve been really into vampire literature since I was 11 or 12 (before that it was werewolves), so on the surface books like Twilight seem like a perfect match, right? It’s Vampires! And they interact with the world! But there’s this “older, more physically and socially powerful man grooming/stalking/courting a younger, less powerful woman” theme that I hate. I’ve always hated it, and it is RIFE in YA lit, in fact pretty much all literature, aimed at women.

Most of the women I know have been sexually assaulted, molested, and/or raped. While some of the perpetrators were the same age or younger, or were female, most of them were older men who spent time grooming them, stalking them, and manipulating them. I don’t know if the women I hang out with are unusually unlucky, if broken people attract each other, or if they just talk about shitty stuff that’s happened to them more than other women do. The Powerful Older, More Experienced Man trope may be sexually thrilling in fiction, but in real life it’s freaky as fuck; and it’s something that’s touched my life both directly and indirectly. When I was 17 I was sexually assaulted at work by coworker with seniority, who had laid down a ground work of intimidation and silencing action ahead of time. Two of my girlfriends, both under the age of 18, had been raped– one by a boyfriend, and one by somebody she grew up calling “uncle.” The boyfriend’s stalking ended after a year of threats; the uncle encouraged the second girl to tell because “nobody would believe her anyway.” Both young women had powerful, assertive men roll up in their lives, treat them specially, “watch them sleep” as it were, and then fuck their shit up.

It’s a fantasy I can’t get behind. I’ve seen it play out in real life, and it’s pretty twisted. A guy who’s interested in you and climbs a tree to peek into your bedroom generally isn’t checking to make sure you’re safe. In real life, he’s likely to send you a photo of your room with a note saying he knows where you sleep at night. It’s a threat. He can get you at any time.

You aren’t safe.

It isn’t very sexy.

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