Leave Twilight fans alone

Let them enjoy their terrible movies

I once worked with a guy who hated everything about Twilight . He seemed like a normal guy in every other facet of his life but he was a maniac when it came to Twilight and for some reason turtles.

Now I’ve never seen any of the Twilight movies or read any of the books but while I spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over pop culture I’m also a mostly rational adult human being who doesn’t get overly worried about the trash that prepubescent girls are swooning over.

If anything the whole Twilight phenomenon is sort of amusing to me because it serves as a completely harmless reminder of just how weird teenagers can be. The kids love Justin Bieber? I get it the kid’s talented and charming — don’t believe me? Give Never Say Never a chance — and for some unknown reason brought his pet snake to the MTV Video Awards. That shit is cool.

But Robert Pattinson makes a whole lot less sense. I’ve been out of high school for less than a decade and there is absolutely no way that guy would have been a sex symbol when I was still a pimply teen. He’s thin and has great hair but that hardly accounts for the hordes of hormonal adolescents who Twitter-bully anyone who dares utter his name in vain. As far as I can tell they actually think he’s a fictional fucking vampire. And that is amazing and completely batshit crazy.

How can anyone not love that?

Well apparently a lot of people. In pop-culture terms there’s very little that has ever elicited so much anger. I want to chalk it up to jealousy but I also don’t want to accuse hundreds of thousands of grown men of being jealous of a skinny British guy just because underage girls have crushes on him. But I also don’t believe that the haters are motivated by their reactions to Stephanie Meyer’s horrific prose. These are people who are bitching about a vampire love story on the Internet. They probably can’t read.

One of the more compelling arguments against the series is that Twilight butchers commonly held vampire conventions. I read somewhere that Edward the Vampire goes scuba diving and that does make you question why Meyer didn’t just make him a really old pale guy instead of a vampire.

Except that argument doesn’t hold any water when you look at every other monster movie over the last 15 years. Zombies can run now. Wolfman is somehow the titular character in movies that don’t kick ass. King Kong goes skating in Central Park. For God’s sakes the best vampire movie of all time is Blade 2 and that movie is about as far away from Transylvania as you can get.

We love genre films and books because they’re constantly evolving and the monsters who frightened us in our youth are reinvented and reimagined as we reach adulthood. That’s part of what makes them exciting.

The reason so many morons hate Twilight isn’t because the series changed the conventions of a monster we love it’s because it changed those conventions in a way that appealed to women.

Genre films — and for the most part genre literature as well — has almost always appealed primarily to men. This isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of equally devoted female genre fans but the core of most sci-fi fantasy comic book and monster fanbases have traditionally been male.

But Twilight has never been particularly concerned with attracting a male audience. Strikingly attractive boys were cast in both leads for the films and in the books Edward and Jacob were less well-rounded characters than they were loosely sketched adolescent-girl fantasies. It turned out that there was a massive market for this sort of character and the story the Twilight books told.

Suddenly girls loved vampires. And as we all know no self-respecting man — at least no self-respecting man who hunts and gathers and watches Tool Time — is allowed to like the same things that girls like. So guys found reasons to hate Twilight and claim that fans of the books weren’t real vampire fans. They weren’t allowed to join the geeky-awesome-genre fan club.

I’m not saying anyone should go watch the ludicrously named Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part One but I am saying people should shut up and stop being assholes and just let fans of the series enjoy their movie. If you love genre films as much as I do you’ve probably been made fun of once or twice for your obsession. Why would you want to do the same to someone else?