My Monster Boyfriend: How Twilight Disrespects its Female Monsters
There's this sub-genre in romance, which YouTuber Lindsey Ellis called "My Monster Boyfriend." It's basically a metaphor of how society thinks the gender roles for men and women should be in romantic relationships. If you look at stories where a human and monster fall in love, there's about an 80% chance that the human is a woman, and the monster is a man. These "monster boyfriends" all possess the same characteristics: severe anger issues, high sex drive, obsessive possession, unyielding devotion, and raw strength. These are traits that are often coded as positive qualities in men. The human woman is usually portrayed as weak, helpless, kinda dumb, and frequently persuaded by other (human) men who want to take advantage of her. This is how the story justifies the monster's terrible behavior towards the woman and other people. There's also another love interest who's a human man. He's usually the opposite of the monster; kind, gentle, and open with his emotions. However, he's usually seen as inferior to the monster or isn't a "real man." Just like how society shames men for avoiding conflict by walking away from a fight or apologizing. Men (at least in fiction) are often praised for acting like they "own" their partners by threatening the lives of any men that so much as look at them. There's also the trope of the male monsters having an insatiable desire to kill/eat the woman, but he can control himself due to the power of love. This is an example of the harmful belief that it's a woman's job to "fix" the man. Also, the reason monster and human are in love is usually because the monster sees the human as a helpless child in need of protection. The human is willing to put up with the monster's abusive behavior because she's thankful for him saving her life.
Romance stories where the monster is a woman and the human is a man are almost the polar opposite. First of all, the woman is always the stereotypically "sexy" type of monster, such as vampires, mermaids, succubi, and witches. The common trait with female monsters is they're virgins who are so overwhelmingly beautiful that they drive men crazy ("Born Sexy Yesterday" - Pop Culture Detective). They are also helpless and need protection due to being pursued by other men. These men are usually other monsters who intend to marry her (generally by arranged marriage), monster hunters, or government agents that want to experiment on her. The monster woman may be physically stronger than the human man, but her ignorance of the human world makes her dependent on him. The monster woman's one goal, besides survival, is usually to marry and have a baby with the human male and be a happy domesticated housewife. This is usually the catalyst that drives the human man to protect her. The reason why the monster woman is in love with the human man is usually because he's the first man to love her for her and not just her looks, or she's infatuated by his human traits (despite him having no redeemable qualities).
Twilight is a perfect example of the "My Monster Boyfriend" romance sub-genre. All of the male monsters have the same obsessive and possessive traits, yet are treated as normal and even attractive. As for the female monsters, the one that stuck out to me the most were Leah and Rosalie. What separates them from other monster women in romance stories is they are both demonized and perpetually tormented (both by the author and the characters) because they can't have children, and therefore aren't seen as real women. Leah is ostracized and treated like a freak because she's the first female werewolf, which made her infertile. Because the werewolves share a hive mind, she can't think about her "feminine problems," or else it'll make the men uncomfortable. Not to mention because the alpha of the pack refuses to allow anyone to leave, she has to stay and watch the love of her life be happily married to her cousin. Also, her dad died because he had a heart attack when he watched her first transform. Rosalie is given the mean girl treatment because she didn't immediately accept Bella as part of the family, rightfully questioned why she had to risk her life for a stranger, and she's the only character whose backstory involves rape.
Rosalie was still slightly less demonized than Leah since she was rich, white, feminine, and wanted to protect Bella's baby. Twilight's weirdest aspect was how the male monsters could pass on their genes, but the female monsters couldn't get pregnant. Bella got special treatment since she was able to give birth and become a vampire. It's almost as if Stephanie Mayer (and by proxy a lot of romance authors) was trying to say that male monsters are the peak of masculinity and female monsters are abominations that are not real women. But that's just speculation. In case it wasn't clear, I did not like this story. It's another example of romanticizing abuse.
(This is coming from a 12 year old) An incredible book. I cannot say enough good things about Stephanie Myer’s writing and how much emotion it causes me. I CRIED SO HARD IN THE SECOND BOOK! I read the whole saga in under 4 days, and I never had a better reason for sleep deprivation lol. 10/10 recommend 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
I like the book very much, midnight sun I wish you are continuing to write Moore please.
It was soo good I couldn’t put it down finished it in 4 hrs and I think that this one is one of the bests and to all haters don’t hate the book the book is amazing and if you can’t see that you are missing out.
U SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! it is a very satisfying conclusion to the twilight saga. i read the whole series during quarantine. I wish this wasn’t the end.
I love it
By Asiyah Carter
My mom loved the Twilight saga. She watched and read all of the Twilight book. She had died 4 years ago. But every time I read the books, they remind me of my mom. And she had the poster to Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1.
Somewhat balanced opinion
I can see both sides of the issue.
Twilight is silly, full of typos, illogical, self-contradictory and pointless.
Twilight is also relatable, addicting, interesting, entertaining, romantic, and impossible to put down.
If you can see past the problems, you’ll love it. If you can’t see past them, you’ll hate it.
I relate to Bella really well :)
I especially hate the typos and especially love the Cullen family.
When I was younger, I hated twilight a cause I thought it was scary. But later on, I listened to the song, a thousand years and that’s when I fell in love with twilight. I fell in love with the magical world Stephenie Meyer created and I can never thank her enough for the joy she has given me
By Jayden Hurt
I have watched the movies before I read the books. The books are better but one thing I didn’t like was the different parts in these books. I think they should’ve described the fight scene like how it was in movie. Other than that the wedding, pregnancy, and the Vultori were an amazing edition to the series.
I expected better- (spoiler warning)
It was an okay book, but I’m very disappointed with the ending. I feel like all that build up for a fight ended up being a huge let down then there was no action. I feel like Bella should’ve sent Jacob and Renessmee away, and the epilogue been from Jacob’s POV about how much Renessmee has grown up, and how the two of them are finally returning to the rest of the family now that it’s safe. Another thing, why does Bella have to be so h*rny in the first half???