There has been lots of ire levied against the Twilight fandom, usually in the vein of attacking fans as “silly shrieking girls.” For a recent example, take Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers comments from 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.” Ugh.
Ever notice how fan communities get a lot more criticism when they are predominantly female? The term “chick flicks” smacks of this derision, as in “it’s good enough for silly girls, but not for real people, not for men.” Double ugh.
So, I take all the Twi-activism surrounding the earthquake in Haiti as a big “take that naysayers!” Twi fans are not merely empty-headed, romance-obsessed gigglers drooling over Ed/Robert. In addition to all the original, creative Twi-blogs, many fans also support activist causes or highlight the activist work of Twi-actors. Granted, much of the Twi-net functions as masterbatory-Twi-fantasy – but not all of it!
Internet activism is sometimes derided as not REAL activism, but I disagree. Internet communities are able to spread news, rally support, and raise funds; they are able organize and disseminate information at breakneck speed. I think we need to recognize the power of this medium to support activist causes rather than hold on to the notion that real activism must take place in the streets, at marches, or real-world rallies. I also think those on their high horses would benefit from taking off their Twi-hating blinders in order to recognize the Twi-fandom is a powerful block of humans that has shown themselves ready and willing to translate their Twi-love into support for the Haitian community.