The Twilight saga recently released its latest movie, Breaking Dawn.  I must admit I read the books, but haven’t seen the movies. I want to see the most recent for Bella’s birthing process; it involves Edward ripping open her uterus with his teeth and then sucking a lot of her blood. Not exactly PG-13. 

But in all seriousness, the Twilight saga has come under a lot of fire.  The messages it presents for women are not the best, but it does occasionally contrast media portrayal of gender roles:

·      A male vampire is sparkly- whoa! That’s like feminine! But it does provide a different view of masculinity, showing men can be feminine and still be heterosexual

·      Waiting to have sex until marriage- but I thought everyone was having sex all the time! Guess not everything the media shows me is right

·      But, Bella has to have a boy to make her life worthwhile, so much for powerful heroines

·      She gets preggers!! That makes sense, there was no sexual education in the movie, so clearly Edward had no idea how to use a condom, and Bella received abstinence-only education

·      The family intervenes, and Bella is entirely dependent on them. Sounds a lot like the life of a teenage mother

Overall the Twilight saga does very little to fight media portrayals of well, anything.  But it does tap into a new audience previously ignored, tween and teen girls.  And the message may not be great, but I must commend Stephanie Meyer for recognizing young girls as a legitimate audience rather than making another action and super hero heavy movie for the ever-popular teen male audience.

--Emily Schwab

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