I don't really know why I'm posting this, except this is my blog and this article got under my skin, and if I can't rant here, where do I rant??
So I am still perusing my last week's Entertainment Weekly, which I missed over vacation, and which came resplendent with vampires on the front cover. I am not a vampire girl. I have to say I don't think I've even read a vampire book before - not even Twilight. I'm not sure I've even seen a vampire movie, with the exception of Interview with a Vampire, which is just 2 hours of my life I've resolved I will never get back.
So that said, there is an interview with a vampire writer in the EW, a woman named Laurell K. Hamilton. I've never heard of her, but seeing as that isn't really my genre, that isn't surprising. What is surprising to me was her answer to a question about Stephanie Meyers.
I've gotten used to hearing a lot of flack about how Stephanie Meyers is a lousy writer, and the controversies over whether or not Bella makes a decent role model for girls, but this one actually made the hairs on my neck prickle.
The question asked is what she thinks of the Twilight phenomenon.
Stephanie Meyers has come and she's taken the genre that I sort of pioneered... She took out a lot of the sex and violence, especially for the first book. My readership is both male and female, but Twilight is very much a girls' book. I ask people, Why has this really captured you? What I heard from all ages is that it was very romantic that he was willing to wait for her and that there was no sex. They like the idea that [Bella] was like the fairy princess and [Edward] is the handsome prince that rides in and saves her. The fact that women are so attracted to that idea - that they want to wait for Prince Charming rather than taking control of their own life - I find that frightening.
I do get it - that feminism has made it acceptable for females to go after what they want. But what if what they want is a Prince Charming? Why is it no longer acceptable for a girl to decide she wants to wait for sex, or wants to wait for the perfect guy, or wants to be saved? Don't we all, in some way, want someone to save us, even as we are setting out boldly to blaze our own path?
I'm frustrated that as more options become viable, the acceptability of others close. We don't really have more acceptable choices now - we just have different ones.
It's not just that this author doesn't agree... she finds it frightening. As though to wait for something, to choose a different path, threatens her choices in life. It annoys me that she seems to claim ownership to this genre - though clearly vampires have been around much longer - and is angry that someone else might have a different take on it.
Isn't that the joy of books and reading... that there is something for everyone? Isn't it great that there are sexy, dark vampires for adults, and gentler, softer ones for younger readers? Isn't it great that women get to go after whatever career they want, or stay home with their kids? Isn't it awesome that women get to be strong and independent and powerful, and still be feminine and curl up under a man's arm at night, and let him empty the mouse trap and unclog the plumbing?
What, really, is so frightening about that?