littlemorningbirds asked: I've seen your comments on twitter and Facebook and feel like I am more anonymous on those sites than here. Sir, Twilight is made fun of because it glorifies very bad things. It takes horrible things like stalking, self harm and suicide, abusive tendencies, wanting to murder someone, and a loss of self identity in place of your significant other's identity and makes them seem beautiful and romantic. I beg you to read the books, because there is a lot of very bad stuff in them.
I hope I can be clear about this, but my thoughts all day have been a bit muddled, so I apologize if I express myself poorly or come off as defensive or anything.
1. There are deeply problematic relationship dynamics glorified in Twilight.
2. Criticizing misogyny in art is good and important.
3. My concern is that popular work by women receives far more vitriolic criticism from the public (like, in terms of number of demeaning jokes made by Jay Leno*) than popular work created by men.
4. So I think we’re talking about two different kinds of criticism: The totally legitimate criticism we see in literary journals and feminist web sites about misogyny, and the demeaning and dismissive this-sucks-because-teen-girls-like-it-and-everyone-knows-that-teen-girls-are-not-fully-human criticism we see in popular culture.
5. Also, I would like to see equal attention given to the sexism in popular work by men, from Nicholas Sparks to for instance J. D. Salinger. Catcher in the Rye—although I like it very much—is profoundly and disturbingly misogynistic and yet seems to get a critical pass both online and off. This happens a lot, I think, with books by men, and I don’t want male writers (including me!) to get that pass.
6. I might be wrong about any/all of this. I’m wrong a lot, and always trying to learn.
*EDIT: Apparently Jay Leno has retired. You learn something new every day.