Six Sunday (not Saturday) Morning Musings: From Screaming in the Car to the Goddamn Twilight Movies
Originally Posted: 2019
I took a terrible, horrible little drive this morning.
I didn’t intend for it to be so terrible, horrible. I just wanted to get some apple cake and coffee from the gluten-free bakery that is less than a mile from my house.
But a car in front of me sat at a green light- without hazards- then began waving us past. I start to pull around (which honestly already has me somewhat spooked) after checking if other cars behind me were already about to zoom by. We seemed to all be on the same page, appearing to want to handle this in an orderly fashion. But instead of waiting, a car two behind me kept coming, made a show of pulling into the opposite side of the road, glaring at me and honking the whole way.
I finally get out and hit the gas. Hard. Only for a few seconds, enough to get me through the light. I scream, in what I can only describe as a completely out-of-body experience. I scream so loud my throat is still sore. I burst into tears, turn into a side street and pull over. I cry for a while before I calm down.
The irony of it all is that I was just thinking about whether or not I have it in me yet to drive in the city. I thought I might be able to. But apparently fucking not.
I hate this. I hate the wave of normalcy that comes crashing down into a complete flood of fear-panic-fury. I hate that I feel like a raw nerve- everything that touches stings, burns. It makes me exhausted. I hate that I was doing better before all of this happened, and that it is so much harder to do better now.
I feel like a pinball all day; like I’m not in control of who I am, where I’m going, or what I crash into along the way. Just flinging myself from thing to thing, hoping I can keep it together enough to stay on the stupid board. It’s so loud and bright and chaotic. It’s so… much.
I know, I know that I need to accept and move through things like this. But part of that has to be acknowledging how much I hate it. If I don’t, the hating it will eat me alive.
I got my apple cake and coffee. They were worth it.
My house is currently a reflection of all this inner-turmoil. In other words, it’s a crazy-disgusting mess. I keep looking for the energy to clean it. It must be lost somewhere under the pile of clothes and empty takeout containers.
Gluten-free for two months now. It’s amazing to me the difference it’s made in my health. Thank you to the awesome folks who have sent me recipes or cooked me delicious meals. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. And 100% worth not feeling sick all the time.
Kickboxing is quickly becoming my second form of therapy.
It feels good to be sore again from working out my body. It feels almost euphoric to be able to punch and kick the shit out of a bag and imagine it’s a hundred other things. It feels badass to put on the gloves and pretend I’m some kind of superhero. To sweat and grunt and breathe better than I do when I’m just hanging around. I’ve been holding my breath a lot lately.
Putting aside an hour of my day to focus on my body is one of my most important self-care practices right now.
Okay. So the Twilight movies are just… on.
And nothing else is. And sometimes you’re in the mood for trash. Especially when you’re trying to motivate yourself to extract trash from your home.
Cool. Now that we’re past the excuses…
Every time I somehow finding myself watching these stupid movies I find more and more issues with them. It’s no secret that they are problematic. From the somewhat-preachy “wait until marriage” messages about sex, to the heteronormativity (seriously, all of these vampires and NONE of them are gay? they are fantasy ‘vegetarians’ that sparkle in the sunlight, dress sharp and look young forever and NONE OF THEM ARE GAY?!), to the many critiques of the lack of feminism in our leading lady.
Now, I actually don’t super agree with all of the hate Bella gets- quite frankly the books (which, yes, I fucking read), for all their faults, gave us a much more thorough look at her thoughts and actions. An entirely different, superior portrayal, in my opinion. She was intelligent, friendly, different and headstrong. The writing of the movies gives us none of that at all.
BUT HERE’S MY CURRENT ISSUE.
Jacob and Edward are the ones who deserve all the hate that is constantly heaped on Bella (the MISOGYNY of it all). People are all picking sides and talking about what Bella does and doesn’t deserve- BITCH these two asshats don’t deserve HER.
Let’s break it down a little:
Jacob starts out seeming alright. He is a good friend and warm person. Sure, when he goes through that whole becoming-a-warewolf thing, some anger and frustration are to be expected. His mood swings aren’t my problem.
Even when Edward was out of the picture, Bella was always clear about her feelings with him. No, Jacob, she doesn’t want to bone. No, she doesn’t feel that way about you, but she loves you as a friend. She was 100% CLEAR, goddammit.
Flash forward to Jacob spending the entire third movie being like: “Yeah, you’re in love with me too, you just won’t admit.” Then he flat out threatens to KILL HIMSELF if she doesn’t ASK HIM TO KISS HER. Is anyone else upset about this very clear manipulation and issue of consent?! Anyone?!
Now, people will say, “Yes, but she did love him!” Well, first of all Susan, that’s not the fucking point. It does not give him the right to constantly badger a woman who has made it clear she does not want to be with him, and then initiate intimacy through threats of personal harm to appeal to her protective nature and take advantage of her friendship. SUSAN.
And what does it all come out to? “I knew it wouldn’t have mattered.” She did not love you the way she loved the other idiot, so she was never going to be with you in the first place, dude- which she has ALWAYS, ALWAYS SAID.
Still. Jacob’s response? “I’ll wait for you.” NO, BRO. DO NOT.
I think of this character as one of the catalysts for the toxic term “friendzone” and I’m still really angry about it.
Okay, Prince Twilight Sparkle over here isn’t any better.
He broodily watches Bella through most of the first book, and is actively angry with her because he wants to be around her? He’s angry with her?? For his own??? Stupid???? Feelings?????
He sneaks into her window to watch her sleep (before they are together, without her CONSENT- consent is seriously an issue in this series) like a stalker.
He spends most of the movies making decisions for Bella- again, without her knowledge or consent- “for her own protection;” acting like he wants her to be happy and free but actually just controlling the crap out of her. He literally cuts the breaks in her car so she can’t go see Jacob- because it’s “too dangerous.” Hello. HELLO. Let the woman who saved your ass on more than one occasion make her own GD decisions.
He abandons her in the second movie because “he doesn’t want to hurt her”- but instead of just telling her that it’s for her own safety, he dumps her like a JACKASS with cruelty and coldness, pretty much saying she’s not good enough for him, and disa-fucking-ppears into the woods to look constipated and sparkle some more.
Aside from ALL of that…. what does she see in this guy? In the movies he… broods, and that’s about it. Lots of self-loathing and pouting. Do they laugh together? Do they play? Do they have literally anything in common? Where is the joy in this relationship that is apparently so intense and eternal?
Too many things, you guys. Too many problems.
The Cullen family is pretty cool, so I’ll accept that she wants to hang out with them. But maybe there should be another movie where they all get sick of Edward’s shit and throw him off a cliff. Just a suggestion.
Bella in the books had WAY more agency. And her choosing one life or the other was about her own personal journey just as much as (if not more than) it was about these two airheads. The only issue I really have with her is that she gave either of these dudes the time of day.
YOU DESERVE BETTER, GIRL.
In conclusion, Jacob and Edward are both the worst. I’m Team Bella Follows in Kristen Stewart’s Footsteps and Becomes a Lesbian Vampire. She’s already got the flannel and the pick-up truck. We’d welcome her with open arms.
We’re going to pretend that the last book/ two movies never fucking happened.
The soundtracks are the only good thing to come out of this series.
Why the HELL did the majority of these movies (all but the first) not have a female director?
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.