I recently came across a press release from Match.com informing me that the Edward vs. Jacob thing was still going on in Canada and that they'd done a survey asking single Canadians what type of supernatural creature they would prefer to date. Yes, really, I'm not making that up. We're asking single men and women if they would prefer to date vampires or werewolves. This leaves me with so many questions. First and foremost, however, is why are adult women lusting over teenaged characters in their fantasy worlds and why are we finding this acceptable as a society? Secondly, why the hell are we asking adults if they'd rather have sex with a vampire or a werewolf. I'm glad that as a married person, I don't get asked asinine questions about which undead creature of fiction I'd rather bang.
But back to this quiz for a moment: according to Match.com's Canadian relationship expert, Canadians prefer overwhelmingly to want to date a vampire but, surprisingly, MOST Canadians would rather date a ghost. A GHOST. The bottom two on the list are werewolves and finally zombies. Apparently people haven't heard about Warm Bodies yet (I'm personally excited about this movie, but not because I'm fetishizing zombies). But why are we asking people about this? Oh wait. Twilight.
In case you are living under a rock, the final installment of the film version of the Twilight series will be released in theatres next week. The books, young adult fiction written by Stephanie Meyer as an allegory of her Mormon beliefs aren't very good and centre around 120-something-year-old high school student (and sparklepuss) Edward Cullen who falls in love with 16 year old teenaged girl, Bella Swan. Werewolves get involved, she is torn between the two (but without the premarital sex business), settles on the vamp, eventually becoming a vamp herself and (*spoiler alert*) her former werewolf boyfriend falls in love with her NEWBORN DAUGHTER. Oh, and vampires play baseball during thunderstorms because the sheer power of their baseball prowess would scare people if not masked by thunder. Vampires should not sparkle.
Over 50% of YA fiction is purchased by women over the age of 25. YA fiction is described as fiction for youth aged 12-16. So, we've got this weird romance and no-sex-before-marriage book for girls aged 12-16 that adult women have just decided is the bee's knees. That's sort of weird enough, but I get it. I'm not into YA myself for reading, but I do enjoy movie versions of books such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. The weird part of this is the marketing of the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob camps that was clearly designed for adult women. Yes, Edward is a vampire who's technically 120 years old, but he's acting as if he were a teen and became a vampire as a teenager so he LOOKS like a kid. Jacob in the books goes from what, 15-18?
Why is it acceptable for grown women to fetishize these characters? Grown men who look for their own personal Lolita are deemed creepy paedophiles, and ladies, this is weird creepy stuff. At least in 50 Shades, everyone is an adult and the books are about sex (granted, 50 Shades started out as Twilight fan fiction, but that's for another day). But I digress.
Am I being overly sensitive about the idea of grown women fantasizing about teenaged boys? Because if you strip away everything else, (I've seen video clips of grown women trying to rip Taylor Lautner's shirt off. And he just turned 18 in the last year. Why aren't these women being arrested?) this is adult women fantasizing about and sexualizing teenaged boys. Why does our culture have this strange double standard? If 35-year-old fathers were lining up at movie premieres to get their photos taken with Dakota Fanning, we'd scream bloody murder.
I don't have any answer for this because it truly boggles my mind. I cannot, for the life of me understand what makes this acceptable. And before anyone gets all "you don't get it because you don't like the series" this has nothing to do with the quality (or lack thereof) of the books or films that are the Twilight franchise. This is me not understanding how or why as a society we find this kind of adult on teen lust acceptable if it's coming from women and deplorable when it comes from men.
Tell me what you think—do you love or hate Twilight? Do you find sexual interest in the characters? Because for me, if I were going to go for a vampire, it'd have to be Lestat or Louis from Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles or that flawless vampire god, Eric Northman. They only come out at night, people.
So, spill it! What do you think of Twilight fan lust?