There’s another Twilight book out today, and I want to vomit — probably because Stephenie Meyer’s newest addition to an already beat-to-death series is the same exact story except Bella is a boy and Edward is a girl.
Meyer’s new release, Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, is the same plotline as book one, but gender-swapped. Bella is a human boy named Beau; Edward is a female vampire called Edythe.
Meyer claims she wrote this version because she was sick of people buying into the “damsel in distress” stereotype. (I’m sure it had nothing to do with making more money; nothing at all.) Please keep in mind, the following opinions belong to me and me alone.
First off, I’m not a feminist. I share certain feminist ideologies, but I’m never going to be on the front lines, fighting for women’s equality and proving how tough I am. I’m here to say, honestly, I’m not always tough, and sometimes, I want to be saved.
Remember all the romantic legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood? Remember the queens, princesses and maids who were saved by their knights in shining armor? I do. I was raised on stories of so-called damsels in distress, and I don’t see why we need to pound our fists on our chests and scream to the heavens, “I need no man!”
By erasing Edward as a heroic figure, there to save Bella, Meyer is adding to the slow downward spiral of strong male heroes, all because we’re too busy shouting for equality. I’m not sorry to say I like strong male heroes. I want strong male heroes. I find them to be romantic and sexy, and I’d hate to have them erased.
I believe Meyer is playing into our current society’s embracing of gender fluidity. Celebrities are so excited to announce how open-minded they are when their son really wants to be a little girl and vice versa. Transgender athlete Caitlyn Jenner is all the rage, even winning a Courage Award from ESPN.
I’m not here to bash anyone struggling with his or her sexuality or gender. I’m here to bash Meyer for cashing in on it. I believe she saw the opportunity to fit in with a mainstream hot topic, and she took it by reversing Bella and Edward’s genders.
This is a game. This is a publicity scheme. This is a way to make more money. This is not literature. Even Meyer admitted writing Life and Death was “really fast and easy.” Well, duh, honey! You just did a pronoun search and changed he/she. This isn’t a new plot. This isn’t a new story. It’s a recycled story. E L James pulled the same crap earlier this year with Grey.
For the people who plan on buying this shameless cash cow, please consider that sometimes, a girl likes to be swept off her feet. Sometimes a lady wants her knight in shining armor. Why can’t we, as women, admit to a little bit of weakness — and love for a man with muscle? Let’s not forget, the damsels in distress of legend usually ended up as queens.