Thursday, December 3, 2009

Guys Hate Twilight.

People, mostly men, are complaining about Twilight/New Moon... saying that it's demeaning to men.  It's obvious from the hollers in the mostly-female theatre audience that the men are being objectified.  For most of the movie, Jacob and his gang are shirtless, showing off their chiseled bodies.  Bella, the main character, is the one who drives the plot forward.  And, as physically powerful as Jacob and Edward are, they fall weak to Bella whom they love.  She is the one who holds the control and decided who she wants to be with, therefore, she's the one that drives the plot forwards.

I know several guys that these movies actually infuriate.  They claim Twilight/New Moon sets fantasized expectations that real guys feel they could never live up to.  Many guys are pissed that Stephanie Meyer is projecting these fake men who are highly sexualized.  These guys sit, uncomfortable, in the movie theatre while girls shriek when Jacob whips off his shirt.

I'm curious as to why men are uncomfortable with their own objectification while women are basically numb to theirs;  Women are expected to say nothing when Megan Fox's ass is plastered all over the Hollywood screen.  It's because it is the norm.  Since the production of old Hollywood films, females have been objectified on the screen in order to satisfy the male gaze.  The protagonist has usually been the male, withholding the qualities that make him ideal:  strong, powerful, handsome, wealthy, while the female is a representation of a sexual fantasy from a male point of view: sexualized, beautiful, isolated, weak.  This is the way it has been throughout the years and, unfortunately, will continue to be.  The female character performs for the male.  In Laura Mulvey's essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, she states that "as the narrative progresses [the female] falls in love with the main male protagonist and becomes his property, losing her outward glamorous characteristics."

So, again... why is it that men feel uncomfortable with their own objectification?  I commend Stephanie Meyer for switching it around and objectifying men on screen.  It's really one of the first movies produced purely for the female gaze and I'm not complaining... and I really think guys shouldn't either.


maxpowerllc said...

So, two wrongs does make a right?

Beth Martin said...


The Art Warden said...

it's pretty obvious what that comment meant - I don't believe your question mark, frankly. I'm not gonna say its "wrong" to objectify men, but have you considered the POSSIBILITY that the reason you are posting "Guys Hate Twilight" is mostly because you are angry with the way women are treated in the same way by men, and not because you want to see a complete culture-change towards objectification of men (rather than women)? Indeed you may even be resisting deeper feelings of empathy for men who felt uncomfortable watching this movie?

Anonymous said...

The issue isn't the sexualization of Twilight, it's the portrayal of Edward as the "perfect" man that every girl should aspire to take as a boyfriend. And logically, guys think that because there is no possible way they can measure up to Edward, their girlfriends will always just be "settling" for them. And that hurts.

I don't give a shit about the objectification of men here. Honestly, I believe that the guy should definitely try to make the girl happy as he reasonably can, and I'm a guy. But you want an Edward-like man in real life? As close to Edward as humanly possible? That's utter bullshit.

If you got a boyfriend as close to Edward as *humanly* possible, one of his traits would be to try to please you in every way possible, wouldn't it? Well, how could he possibly make you the happiest girl on Earth if you want a guy like Edward? A human cannot be perfect, and he cannot measure with Edward. The guilt would tear him apart from the inside.

Finally, it only espouses one model of a man as "perfect" for a woman. There are different types of men for different types of women. We hate girls who are obsessed with Twilight because it makes them seem naive and obsessed with dreams that cannot come true. You may say "well I know Edward doesn't exist." Well then, your boyfriend will have the pleasure of knowing that he's a second choice because "Edward doesn't exist." And since you wanted a guy that had Edward-esque traits, he will be sensitive enough to feel the pain--and it will suffocate him.