09 April 2012

I wish people would stop bashing Bella Swan

I recently read a little bit of fan-fiction (I suppose you would call it?) that involved a hypothetical girls' night involving Bella, Katniss, Buffy, and Hermione.  The latter three were discussing how they generally kick butt and save the world and are no-nonsense about it. Of course, Bella was all mopey and pathetic.

Look, I'm not saying that I want Bella Swan to be a role model character for my future daughters. I'm really not. BUT (and it's a big ole but) Of the four girls there, I think more teenage girls are like Bella. Also, I am forced to assume the writer hadn't even read the Twilight series, because Bella wasn't actually that pathetic. I mean, she had friends. But, (at least like 16-year-old me) she was pretty into having a boyfriend and being in love.

I also think this writer did the other girls a disservice. I mean, Hermione was not only about defeating moldy Voldy. She was about grades and always having the right answer and, yes, BOYS. She went to high school dances and even married her high school sweetheart. Saving the world AND being a huge nerd AND wearing pretty dresses AND snogging. Sounds like a well-rounded character.

I hate when people use others' writing to make their own point. Like, for instance, third wave feminists pigeonholing characters to make their own point. But even more than that, taking aspects of a character away from them to subject them to ridicule.

Also, why must we ridicule at all? Why do so many of this generation's feminists need to tear down? Can't we all be women? Can't we be okay with each others' personalities? Maybe Katniss owns at archery and maybe she has what it takes to survive in a brutal world. Maybe I don't. Will I be ridiculed if I'd rather get married at 23 and raise my children than foment a coup? Does it make me less of a person? I assure you, no. [and if you think so, come tell me to my face.]

Forcing women to all be warriors and only warriors is unfair to womanhood. We should enjoy that we are fierce protectors AND nurturers. Some of us are better at some things than others. We shouldn't only have to save the world to be role models to our daughters. Surely a caring mother who takes care of her children and enables her husband to be a godly man is a good role model as well. Someone like, say, Mrs. Weasley (excepting the godly part, of course. Those wizards are godless heathens). But no, she'd never be invited to a girls' night.


  1. I've been thinking about this too, as it applies to men. I always have this feeling like if I don't change the world somehow, my life will have been a failure. But then I think about all the men through history who "just" loved and provided for their families and treated their neighbors with kindness and generosity. I would never say their lives were failures.

    Also, Mrs. Weasley is pretty much the ultimate wife/mother.

  2. I thought Katniss Everdeen was a bit stagnant, myself. Though to be fair I only watched the movie.

    In regard to your main point, YES. I especially liked your example of Mrs. Weasley. Who may not have been miss flashy-pants when it came to her warrior-like abilities, but it was she who got the privilege of taking out the fiercest she-villain in the series, Bellatrix. (Who was ALL KINDS of crazy, and imho, not too far of an example of what women can become when we allow anger and unhealthy-obsessive-need-for-attention from the wrong guy to control us.)