I know this is pretty random, but I heard a quote the other day that captures the beef that I have with the Twilight movies. It was said a few years ago by author Stephen King (you may have heard of him...I think he has sold a few books). His quote was comparing the themes of the Twilight books with the Harry Potter books.
Here's what he said:
"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."
In no way do I want to start a debate about the rightness or wrongness of Harry Potter, so please don't email me about that. I haven't read the books or seen the movies. The point has nothing to do with Harry Potter.
What is valuable about King's observation is that he succinctly captures the message that our girls are getting from the Twilight saga: their life has no meaning unless they have a boyfriend. I blogged about this a couple of years ago, when the second movie came out. Click here if you are interested.
Our girls' emotions are being constantly bombarded with messages that suggest that they need a boy to love them. Friends, movies, and even parents hold this ideal before them. The sad thing is that I don't think there are very many teenage guys out there who are even remotely capable of truly loving a girl selflessly. Certainly not to Edwardian standards. While vampire-boy may protect and care for his girl effectively, most of the teenage boys I know don't have a clue what "guarding a girl" looks like. They aren't mean-spirited...they are just clueless.
(Hey, fathers of sons, who do you think is supposed to teach young men to honor and protect women? Check your mirror for the answer.)
So our teen girls' favorite movie fuels an unhealthy yearning in them that cannot be satisfied. They are left seeking the affection of boys who end up using them and then breaking their hearts. They are likely to carry the long-term effects of any sexual intimacy they experienced long into adulthood...even if this intimacy is relatively benign.
And parents don't think this is a big deal. I assure you, it is.