Monday, November 9, 2015

Currently Reading 11.9.15



The books I'm actually "currently reading" are, to put it quite simply, no fun so I want to talk about a book I wish I had the time to read:  


Okay, so hear me out. It is absolutely, undeniably, boring to make fun of Twilight and I'm not saying this because I was/am a huge fan. I'm actually not at all interested in Twilight but that's because, as discussed in my last post for "Currently Reading," my cup of tea is American Realism and the short story. 

However, I read all four books in this series, hoping to be able to cite my work when I made fun of it but I quickly learned there was absolutely nothing to make fun of. Granted, its not Crime and Punishment or Moby Dick, but to be quite honest, why does it have to be and also would I have enjoyed Crime and Punishment (19th century Russian Lit.) and Moby Dick at fourteen? Absolutely, not. I barely enjoy one of those now, although I won't say which one. Moby Dick

There's a popular culture grounded in hating or making fun of Popular Culture and it's a little ironic. It's like standing on top of a mountain with ten or fifteen of your best friends, in matching outfits, screaming at the top of your lungs, in absolute harmony, "I'm unique and you are not!" That was a bad simile but you get it. 

We have to let kids be kids and more specifically, (although, gender is a social construct), we have to let girls be girls. People love to make fun of teenage girls and the things teenage girls like and like I already said it's boring. Its diet sexism. 

Speaking of sexism, one actual critique of the series is that the books themselves are sexist and paint an unhealthy picture of what love should be to the same teenage girls we've already realized a lot of people hate for no other reason than them being teenage girls. Okay. I'll accept that. I think there's even enough evidence in the books to support that claim. I think Stephanie Meyer is even willing to hear you out which is why she wrote fan fiction of her own fiction. That's right y'all, she made Bella a boy. Now granted, she could have taken this a step further and kept Edward and Jacob as Edward and Jacob, but Bernie Sanders isn't president yet and this is still a heteronormative world so she switched their genders too. (How cool.. would it have been if, maybe like, Edward's gender was switched and Jacob's was not.. so like..we'd have like, bisexual boy-Bella. Even if just for the alliteration!)

Meyer has kept all the dialogue the same which is cool because like.. gender is a social construct.. so there's this element of feminist theory involved that basically makes us, as the readers, see words or sentiments or phrases that we are programmed to believe are inherently feminine or masculine, as simply just words or sentiments or phrases. 

Admittedly, in both texts, the control and devotion these teenage lovers have over and for each other is a bit alarming but I'm also pretty sure Romeo and Juliette is required reading for every 11th grader in America. Let the kids be kids, man. Also, lets the adults (is that me?) be kids, man. 

I'm going to start it on December 15th and I'll tell you how it goes. 

-Chante

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