At The Hooded Utilitarian, there is a fascinating essay by Mette Ivie Harrison, herself a Mormon writer of YA fantasy, about how Twilight relates to Mormon beliefs. Found via Sherwood Smith, where she also shares some observations made during a con panel, where the Twilight bashing panelists were shamed by a group of librarians who shared how empowering Twilight was for teen girls from problematic neighbourhoods who were forced into the caretaker role for younger siblings, because the parents were absent or inadequate.
I always find articles illuminating the Mormon content in Twilight from an insider perspective (because there certainly is no shortage of outsider perspectives) fascinating, because I freely admit that I don’t know a whole lot about the Church of Latter Day Saints, to use the politically correct term, since it’s a faith that doesn’t have a big presence in Europe. Though I do know enough to know that many of the usual stereotypes are incorrect and often border on the offensive. Not that “I don’t know very much about this denomination” has ever stopped cultural pendits from pontificating about the implications of Stephenie Meyer’s religious beliefs. I don’t think I’ve ever read an article about Twilight or Stephenie Meyer that does not include an aside about her religion. Meanwhile, the actual audience of the books couldn’t care less about Stephenie Meyer’s beliefs and how they are reflected in the books. As a student of mine said, when the subject came up, “Who cares about the woman’s religion?”
The Hooded Utilitarian offers up even more good Twilight related essays, such as this one by Emma Vossen about Twilight hate and why it’s a symptom of rampant misogyny. She’s a lot more positive about Fifty Shades of Grey than I am (because Fifty Shades is highly problematic), but I agree with her overall point. And some of those memes are horribly offensive. Luckily, I haven’t come across any of those memes yet, but then I never hang out on Facebook where that sort of thing seems to reside.
I’d add that it’s not just Twilight, because the general vitriolic hate directed at urban fantasy and paranormal romance in the geekier online spaces is in fact a example of the rampant misogyny in parts of the SFF community. And yes, I’ve got a post coming up about that, which will likely piss a whole bunch of people off.