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Suffering from Twilight Fatigue Syndrome?!?

January 14, 2010

Analee Newitz, in her review of Daybreakers, argues “If you’re suffering from Twilight Fatigue Syndrome (TFS), this gritty, unromantic tale will be a welcome break.”

She throws out this TFS terminology without comment, as if this syndrome needs no explanation, as if we all should be suffering from this.

In similar off-handed Twi-hating commentary, Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone writes in his review of Daybreakers,  “After all the toothless, limp-dick vampire posturing in the Twilight chick flicks, it’s a kick to see a balls-out, R-rated movie about bloodsuckers that doesn’t spare the gore so little girls won’t cry into their Twitpics of Rob Pattinson.”

Excuse me, Travers, but I take issue with your “limp-dick” claims as well as with your hatred for the “little girls” who supposedly need to be spared of gore.

In these all too typical anti-fandom comments we can see what the “fatigue” is about – people like the above writers are sick of romance*, of the non-gory and the non-violent. More specifically, they are sick of those things designated as “girly” and their derision for female fans drips with misogyny.

I don’t have TFS, but I do have THFS (Twilight Haters Fatigue Syndrome) – a condition that makes me weary of all the under-theorized, discriminatory, and anti-female Twilight jabs…

*Must admit I am not a big fan of romance novels of the Harlequin variety nor of silly rom-coms like the recent Proposal movie with Sandra Bullock. Nor do I like the idea that (for women) romance is the be all and end all of existence. Blech.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Roxie permalink
    January 15, 2010 2:09 am

    I agree with all of your points! I’ve also noticed another trend, that is to repeat outright untruths. Several times I’ve read criticisms where there is a an accusation that Edward beats & rapes Bella the first time they have sex and continues to rape her after she passes out from being beaten.

    This argument, of course is usually put forth by ppl who haven’t read the books.

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      January 18, 2010 6:36 pm

      Roxie,
      Yes, I agree that Edward as an abuser is often fortified using false evidence. This seems unecessary given all the things he actually does that are abusive! I think also it’s important to think about how (in ways) Edward doesn’t do much more than many boyfriends do… In our culture, we normalize controlling, jealous, borderline abusive masculine behavior while also teaching males they need to save/protect the wittle females. Ugh!

      • Roxie permalink
        January 18, 2010 8:44 pm

        Edward’s controlling behavior definitely freaked me out. Especially in Eclipse. I was so angry about it, I nearly stopped reading all together. Edward does apologize and stop his behaviors, however, I don’t think there was enough made about what he was doing, imo. Because we absolutely do normalize controlling/abusive behaviors and often time romanticize them.

  2. January 17, 2010 6:31 am

    You know I didn’t read the books till three months ago do to comments like that. But some HS students keep telling me how cool they were so I gave it a shot with an open mind. And I love them!
    I remember reading on IMDB of one of the many people that voted one on NM just out of the spite of the books to make sure it won’t end up with a high rate saying: If I can prevent just one person from watching this movie I would had done a service to society”

    Well guess what? I’m not thankful! I would had rather hear the truth and not out of context info that only make them look like haters and liars and prevent me from getting into something I love. No matter how imperfect it is.

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      January 18, 2010 6:37 pm

      Glad to have you at the blog Ana!
      Yes, Twilight is imperfect, but I think examining our appreciation for it can tell us a lot about ourselves and the culture we live in.

      • January 18, 2010 7:01 pm

        Well if we only loved perfect things there wouldn’t be a lot of love on this world wouldn’t it?

        I kind of feel like doing a feminist analysis of Star Wars, the Dark Knight and Star Trek… I’m sure that if I nitpick enough I can find reasons to call Kirk/Anakin an abusive man and that it glorifies abusive relationships too. :p

        Wanted to link you to this blog that has a essay about reading.
        http://socyberty.com/advice/how-to-read/?224392#comment-224392&reload

  3. Roxie permalink
    January 18, 2010 8:39 pm

    Ana, I think everyone who’s found this website knows to read well enough, thank you.

    I love Twilight, but there’s no need to “nit pick” to pick up these themes that we see. They are very apparent. As that link you offered says reading is not just for entertainment, but it is also an art. We’re operating with the art of feminist/womanist deconstruction here.

    • January 18, 2010 11:49 pm

      Oh sorry I though this was an open site to express POV on the series. Didn’t knew we had philosophy that we need to agree with. My mistake.

      I also didn’t meant to imply that people reading this site cannot read it was mostly an example that there is more in a book that whatever feelings it might awake on someone and not awake on others. Meaning that just because one reader sees something means that everyone should read it the same way.

      Again my mistake.

      • Roxie permalink
        January 19, 2010 12:52 am

        No one said nor hinted that you should agree with a philosophy in order to comment here, so yes, that is your mistake. Decrying the points here as “nit picking” instead of addressing the points that are actually under discussion is again, another mistake.

        I agree that Twilight is polysemic. Let’s get back to the topic of that media which we love & brought us to this blog–Twilight!

  4. natalie wilson permalink*
    January 19, 2010 1:23 am

    Ana and Roxie,
    Thanks for keeping the conversation going.
    I welcome all different POV at this blog!
    I didn’t take the comments about readership to mean that people on this site wouldn’t have read the series, but that “Twi-haters” often have not read the series. I have come accross people who will not “lower” themselves to reading the saga but nevertheless have a lot of negative things to say about it.
    I must admit, I expected to hate the books. There are things about them I hate, but the more time I spend ruminating about the saga, the more I find it has hidden depths. Classic literature it is not. Feminist literature it is not. Heck, well-written, adjective, and metaphorically rich literature it is not. But, nevertheless, it is compelling. I have come to see it as a sort of mirror — we may not like what it reflects to us, but the reflection is telling nonetheless.
    Hope you both keep reading and commenting!

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