Monday, April 20, 2009

Gentlemen

When I was still in my teens, I had a few boyfriends before I found my guy-for-life. And I still remember what my grandma used to say, after asking me about the latest. "As long as he's nice to you."

Truer words were never spoken. I was lucky enough to find my gentleman, and have been married to him for fifteen years.

But I still remember how blurry that dating time was. How difficult it was to define that "nice," and how blurry the line to "not nice."

On Alice's CWIM blog, guest-blogger Sarah Raasch has some incredibly smart things to say about Twilight, and what a bad example beloved Edward is: emotionally abusive, controlling, with stalker-qualities. Ugh. I know what my grandma would say about that guy.

Which brings me to this question: what responsibility does the writer have in the message of their books? Especially in YA...

Is it okay for girls to aspire to this Edward-type boyfriend?

2 comments:

  1. Wow, you hit one of my pet peeves with the series. No girl should put up with a boy treating her this way--alive or dead. It's not dreamy. It's creepy. Just because he doesn't have sex with her outside of marriage doesn't make him a good guy.

    Okay, you know I can go on and on about this one. Let's just leave it at "No, it's not okay for anyone to aspire to an Edward-type boyfriend."

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  2. Your question about responsibility as a writer is tricky because our job is not to teach or preach. Twilight is also a tricky thing for me to comment on accurately because I read verrrry similar books (especially the YA 'horror' motif stuff) and I think I wound up okay (one questionable high school/early college relationship and one failed marriage later). But I wouldn't blame the books or movies I read. That's just life beating the hell out of you, ya know?

    It's important, however, for parents to talk about what their kids are reading with their kids, just as much as movies (An aside: Sometimes these conversations come on faster than you think. I recently had an interesting time trying to explain 'mating' as described by a children's non-fiction picture book about tigers). I've had a couple conversations with my niece about this series and we had to talk very seriously about this kind of stuff. And it is hard to break through that magic spell of fiction to talk about reality.

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