Buffy vs Edward

I love this so much! It exposes all the sexist crap being foisted on girls by the “Twilight” series. It was posted at blip.tv, by Jonathan McIntosh. To quote McIntosh’s explanation:

In this remixed narrative, Edward Cullen from the Twilight Series meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s an example of transformative storytelling serving as a pro-feminist visual critique of Edward’s character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy’s eyes, some of the more sexist gender roles and patriarchal Hollywood themes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed

See a more detailed explanation of McIntosh’s rationale, at Women in Media and News.

It’s about time we stopped people trying to turn our young women back into 1950s helpless little man-dominated wifies. (Yes, I have Opinions about this, hee!) Have a look at how it’s really supposed to go:

    12 comments

    1. Ryan says:

      This is now the fifth time I’ve seen this video and I never get tired of it. Finally Edward gets what he has coming to him.

    2. Stephanie says:

      What? This video makes no sense. I’ve read the books and, although I found problems with it, there are many things I didn’t have an issue with, chief among them the way women are treated.

      The whole series of books are about the choices Bella makes, the choices Bella insists on. She calls the shots sexually and otherwise. It’s largely about self-control and putting someone else’s interest beyond our own. Book after book, it’s about what Bella wants, not Edward. Lord knows, that’s the kind of unselfish thinking I’d like my daughter to find in a boyfriend, if not someone with quite so many challenges.

      I can go to the romance section of any bookstore and find, at any given time, a dozens of books where the hero rapes the heroine, and we’ve been feeding our daughters that for a long time. For all the writing issues I have here and there, the female vampires are at least as capable as the males (as demonstrated, particularly in the fourth book), so it’s about species differences rather than sexism, it’s about judging people by who they are rather than what they are and it’s about learning self control and responsibility. If there are elements that I think are flaky and fruity – and I think there are – there’s nothing I consider creepy or even fifty-ish.

      You can dislike Edward of course and find some of his habits disturbing, but I don’t see how someone could read the books and think it’s about subjugating women. Sorry.

      Did you all read the books or just decide based on sound bites?

    3. Stephanie says:

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so harsh, but really, I don’t see it that way and I’m way overboard for women’s rights. There’s a lot of crap out there I wouldn’t want my daughter to read. This didn’t cost me a single night’s sleep.

      • Phyl says:

        No, don’t worry, I don’t think you were harsh. I don’t mind at all if you’re vehement about this, especially since you know the books. I’m perhaps not being fair, having only seen big excerpts but not having read the entire books. The excerpts I saw really made me reluctant to read the books at all, as did the trailers of the movie. One of the things that bothered me was what others here have mentioned as well — that it’s somehow “romantic” for someone dangerous (but good looking, so that makes it okay?) to do things like come into a girl’s room to watch her sleeping, and other things like that.

    4. StephanieD says:

      I didn’t want to – but I ended up reading the books compulsively. I do see both sides of the argument. I think it is creepy for the hero to show up in a teenage girl’s room at night and watch her sleep. I did get frustrated with Bella when she seemed to need rescue much more than she should. I think if you look at the dynamics of their romance and take it beyond the realm of fiction, you have the elements of a dysfunctional relationship in reality. In terms of strong, female role models, if I had a daughter, I would prefer Buffy rather than Bella. There is no comparison.

    5. Anne says:

      I haven’t read the Twilight books and have no problem that my 18 year old LOVES them. But, I am a HUGE Buffy fan and thoroughly enjoyed this. Honestly, from what I have seen and heard, I don’t like Bella or Edward, but I have no real grounds for that and hold nothing against those who love them.

    6. *lynne* says:

      how have I not seen this vid before? Yes, I am a Buffy fan, and am NOT a fan of sparkly vampires (or poorly-written books targetted for hormonally-seething teenagers!). I am certainly passing this around 🙂

    7. It’s interesting to me the reaction I’ve seen, so much so I’ll be writing about it and responses to a question I’ve posed myself.

      Although I understand the concern about stalking someone, say, sneaking into one’s room to watch someone sleep, the real problem is what they might do afterward – which never happens. If the person you loved (as it is established fairly soon in the first book that she loves him – and he admits at once what he’d been doing) loved to watch you sleep, you’d find it endearing, right? If she asked you to be there, what’s the stalking? He’s dangerous (as is any predator). She believes in him more than he does and it turns out she’s the one who’s right. Perhaps that sings with me because I did the same with my own husband, and still do.

      In several places, Edward tries to control her actions, gets all overprotective, yet she thwarts that and does what she wants and he learns that’s the right thing for him to have done in the first place. Isn’t that a salutary lesson? She is repeatedly protected and saved – as is her father, not because she’s female but because she’s relatively susceptible to harm – human.

      The female vampires hold their own with alacrity. Bella worries about Alice and Rose and Esme and is continually assured (and shown) how they are well able to care for themselves. The family represents patience, self-control, chooses not to become the monsters they seem physically inclined to be. Sorry, but, for this mother, that’s not a bad lesson for hormonally charged teenagers to be exposed to, particularly in a way they can accept and identify with.

      I’m all for self-sufficient women, but I think it would be a sad day when we convinced our children that the old-fashioned notion that protecting others who might not be able to protect themselves was somehow sick and wrong. I don’t think the notion has to be gender specific and am forced to ask myself if this notion of self-sufficiency or death is a factor in the deterioration of common courtesy and the callousness that allows us to walk on by blithely as others suffer.

      Admittedly, after trying to watch the show (and seen the movie), I’m not a Buffy fan. It doesn’t really matter what gender is doing the patronizing, does it? Isn’t it still wrong?

    8. StephanieD says:

      Stephanie Barr-

      From what I remember, Edward initially shows up in Bella’s room without her asking him to. That’s considered trespassing. He has good intentions yes, but look at it from a teenage girl’s point of view. If she has a guy who shows up in her room uninvited, she might be more apt to think it’s romantic and sooo like Edward than to think, wait a minute – how did he get in here and what are his real motives? Teenagers sneaking into one another’s rooms is one thing, but an adult male (and Edward is well over 100 years old in the book) showing up in a teenage girl’s bedroom uninvited is stalking.

      Stalkers don’t ever say they’re stalking because they’re bad men who intend to do harm. Stalkers say they do it because they “love” the women they are stalking. And in their own minds, they consider that love; they might not know or care that its definitely a warning flag, a prelude to more dangerous ground. A teenage girl who doesn’t have enough experience won’t see it as a warning flag.

      How do I know? Because I work in the criminal justice system. This is the pattern, whether you want to believe it or not. Stalking, once allowed to go unchecked, does not stop at stalking.

      I am NOT saying that the Twilight books are breeding a generation of girls who will let guys stalk them because they will inaccurately think it is romantic. I am saying these girls need to be educated to know that Edward is an anomaly and they need to recognize these behavior patterns for what they are so that they don’t end up in a harmful relationship.

    9. My ex is a cop, too. I’m not disagreeing that it’s hardly kosher to encourage girls to think boys sneaking, uninvited, into their rooms is romantic. I DO agree. My point is two-fold. The first is that this behavior is the focus of much of antipathy and “creepiness” of Edward even though, in a four book series, it is a nit on his personality and the events that are portrayed. By all means discourage this behavior, but I object to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I maintain there is much to admire in the remainder of his behaviors and that, in fact, discussing the differences and types of behavior, good and bad, with a teenaged child (of either gender) could be more helpful than banning the books across the board. The fact that the character rings as well as it does with teenagers (when so many of his behaviors with regards to such topics as promiscuity and courtesy are opposite the norm) can provide an excellent learning example, both good and bad.

      The other point is that Edward IS different. Anyone who’s read any speculative literature, from Harry Potter (which is also up to its eyeballs in stupid/dangerous behavior) to fairy tales knows that the rules aren’t always the same for “magic” as they are for “reality.” I would be surprised if teenagers weren’t savvy enough to note the differences between the risks dating a vampire presents and those dating a hormone-laden teenager. Nor do most teenagers (if my daughter is any example) equate Edward with an adult, even if we adults do.

      In general, I’m against any black/white condemnation of most things (though I make exceptions for rape and will drop a book in disgust if our “hero” goes down that path). The fact that this books speaks so eloquently to teenagers I see as an opportunity, not a perversion, an example I can use to discuss some very grown up topics with my teenager who thinks she’s far more grown up than she is. And I’ve done so.

    10. StephanieD says:

      “discussing the differences and types of behavior, good and bad, with a teenaged child (of either gender) could be more helpful than banning the books across the board.”

      I absolutely agree with the first part. However, I do not believe anybody here, me included, has even implied banning the Twilight books.

      I have to commend you in taking an active interest in your daughter’s reading material and talking to her about its implications.

      Teenagers, as I well know since I have a 14-year-old, may be intelligent, but still be quite impressionable.

    11. A teenager always finds it difficult to differentiate between what is good or bad for him/her..though there are always exceptions..this has been nicely portrayed in the movie..

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