*warning: Slight Twilight bashing will ensue, don’t read if sensitive…
I just spent the last half hour reading reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not, as of yet, read the novel itself but decided that I wanted a broader picture then just what the popular media and its fan base had to say. The reviews are bleak. At best it was Twilight fanfic revamped (no pun intended but haha anyway) to be a standalone series. At worst it seems to be a story with characters that take the slightly destructive relationship of Bella and Edward and turn them into something that verges on terrifying, and most of the reviews don’t condemn it for its sexuality and blatant eroticism, but rather for its twisting of a BDSM relationship into something more violent and abusive.
Now, I’ve not read the novels so I feel it unfair of me to judge it yet, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about the message we are sending to the young females of the next generation with these books. Maybe I’m biased, I did grow up with Buffy and Xena as role models, but I feel that the pop fiction we produce today has characters that masquerade as strong but falter when it really matters.
Bella spends every novel pining for one guy! If she was Buffy she would never have run away in the first novel, she would have found the vampy weakness and kicked butt, and I seem to remember a scene in which buffy found out angel was watching her sleep and was kind of creeped out, not turned on by the prospect.
There are loads of other characters that fall into this trap; even Triss from Divergent spends more time being saved then saving. Truth be told it makes me sad. I don’t want any children I ever have to believe that this is the way women should be viewed or treated. If my daughter ever told me that she “fell” down a flight of stairs while running away with her boyfriend I’d probably have a restraining order taken out against him. I can only hope that my daughter would be more Buffy then Bella. I want to raise a Warrior not a wimp.
I know some people will argue that Bella has her own strengths, her braving motherhood for example. Though I believe that its good of her to take it on with such grace (ermmm…) the truth is still that she become so self-absorbed by her own vanity that she barely does anything for a whole book, and then when her daughter is in danger and she’s supposed to protect her… well its ok someone else saves the day for her. Bella never has to work to fix her own problems or the mess she creates. She is irresponsible and childish. I certainly don’t want my children to imitate her. I want my daughters to be Éowyn, I want them to be Arya and Catelyn, and I want them to Buffy, Willow or Tara. I want my daughters to know that it’s ok to be timid and afraid, but that bravery comes from facing your fears.
I don’t want my daughters to be Bella.
SO with this I’d like to give my support to all the authors that write female characters that are not afraid of their own shadow, and if they are they show their bravery by facing it.
As some of my favorite authors called them, I’m Cheering for the Sheroes!