[TW: Sexual Assault, rape culture, victim blaming]
"His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping tight around the back of my neck, making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest with all my strength, but he didn’t even seem to notice. His mouth was soft, despite the anger, his lips molding to mine in a warm, unfamiliar way. I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open, and I could feel his hot breath in my mouth. Acting on instinct, I let my hands drop to my side, and shut down. I opened my eyes and didn’t fight, didn’t feel… just waited for him to stop.”
This, my lovelies, is an excerpt from Twilight.
Yes, you read that right.
Doesn’t it sound like a woman’s account of how she was about to be raped? I was definitely not excepting this to be a passage from a teen romance novel. Young women are taught to think of this passage – which describes sexual assault – as erotic. Young men are taught to force their will on young women, regardless of any verbal or non-verbal cues for progression, because that’s what they’re taught as sexy and masculine. What ends up happening here? Take a wild guess.
The lines before that:
He still had my chin — his fingers holding too tight, till it hurt — and I saw the resolve form abruptly in his eyes. “N—-” I started to object, but it was too late. (red flag: lack of consent)
And after he assaulted her she punched him in the face but due to his “super human strength” she broke her hand, said”
“Don’t touch me!” and then: “Just let me drive you home,” Jacob insisted. Unbelievably, he had the nerve to wrap his arm around my waist. I jerked away from him. (red flag: lack of consent)
When he got in the driver’s side, he was whistling. (rape culture)
AND THEN while he was driving:
“…There is so much I can give you that he can’t. I’ll bet he couldn't even kiss you like that—-because he would hurt you. I would never, never hurt you, Bella.” (nice guy syndrome) I held up my injured hand. He sighed. “That wasn’t my fault. You should have known better.” (victim blaming)
He grinned over at me. “You kissed me back.” I gasped, unthinkingly balling my hands up into fists again, hissing when my broken hand reacted. “Are you okay?” he asked. “I did not.” “I think I can tell the difference.” “Obviously you can’t——that was not kissing back, that was trying to get you the hell off me, you idiot.” He laughed a low, throaty laugh. “Touchy. Almost overly defensive, I would say. (rape culture) I took a deep breath. There was no point in arguing with him; he would twist anything I said.
Then when she gets home, to where her father, Charlie, the police officer, is:
“Why did she hit you?” “Because I kissed her,” Jacob said, unashamed. “Good for you, kid,” Charlie congratulated him. (rape culture)
I found this post on Tumblr and had to blog about it. Granted that I haven’t read any of the books and so my judgement of them cannot be entirely justified but look at those passages! They are so DISTURBING. And yay – this is just one passage from a chapter of one of the four ludicrous Twilight books! And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that Bella and Edwards relationship is even more disturbing:
I tried reading the books but my brain begged to explode after I got past the second chapter of what I like to call mindless dribble. And now we have to clean up the mess made by the Fifty Shades of Grey series as well, which incidentally began as Twilight fanficiton. Now let me stop you before you jump down my throat. I am very pro-erotic-fiction, but Fifty Shades of Grey sends out some alarmingly bad messages.
Look at the major themes of the novel — abuse from a spouse is acceptable as long as he’s great in bed, consent isn’t necessary and sometimes you have to suck it up and engage in sexual acts you’re not ready to do because your man is horny and doesn’t care about your silly opinion, that pregnancies should always be carried to term even if the parents are not ready to be parents, and the ridiculously antiquated, Victorian idea that the love of a pure virgin can save a wayward man from himself. These messages are irrational, unbelievable and dangerous.
The books also misrepresent BDSM, Dom/Sub culture, and glorifies the abuse that actual mentoring and training eliminates. Christian Grey ignores basic safe-sex practices, does not establish limits and disregards the use of safe words. Writing fictional crap like this is scary. People of all sexes, all ages, and all walks of life might be influenced or tempted to start a Dom/Sub relationship based on this book; may be more likely to prey on individuals deemed ‘weaker’ than they are; might stay in a shitty, abusive relationship because apparently, that is what love looks like.
We need some serious damage control here, but where to start is the question.
Now with the movie being set into production, I wonder what fresh hell that will release..